Aug 08, 2016 8 Questions with: Pearl Davenport
As a Gen X/Millenial mom, I look to my friends for support and solidarity. When I met Pearl Davenport, we both had a red cup of Hennessy in hand at an LA rooftop party. It was Saturday and we were day drinking. Like typical seasoned partiers, we were standing on couches, singing along to every 90’s R&B song that the DJ played. Not knowing that in a year, we would be mothers to two baby girls that would be born 2 days apart. If that wasn’t a sign that this was going to be a start of a lifelong friendship, then I don’t know what is.
I call Pearl an “influencer” because that’s what she is. She is the perfect example of a woman who is juggling a career, a baby named Halo, wife duties, a supportive friend to an insane mom like me and still manages to focus on herself. At the age of 34, she is the Director of Production for Disney XD Marketing & Creative. Those branded promos you see in between tv shows on Disney XD, that’s her. Behind the scenes, she sips her matcha green tea lattes while hitting corporate deadlines. And don’t even TRY to test her knowledge of Star Wars. You will lose. Get influenced by this Asian-American superwoman.
Where did you grow up?
Bi-Coastal…Chasing rainbows in Hawaii and alligators in Florida.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A dolphin trainer. A sports medicine doctor. An international business woman. It changed a lot. It wasn’t til college that I realized that I was obsessed with the process of how something comes together. I remember spending hours in an edit bay at UCF learning Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0 (and funny how Premiere Pro CC is the industry standard again after all these years). It all started when my parents let me watch the “MAKING OF” Michael Jackson Thriller video when I was a kid. You know you watched it, too. Over and over. I was obsessed with the process of what goes on behind the scenes of television and movies and I still am. I grew up on MTV.
Thought’s on social media? Why?
Instead of hating it, just embrace it. The history of communication is something you learn about in any COMM101 class in college. It evolves. Nothing can get better unless it changes. So excited to see how my daughter Halo will communicate with us in the next 5 years.
Which Marvel character best describes you? Why?
The curious new 15-year old Black girl Iron Man. Because I want her fro, bad.
What’s it like being a Gen X/Millenial working mom?
I’m a cusper! Born at the end of Gen X and at the beginning of the Millennial generation. I identify a lot more with the Millennials, however there’s a finesse that Gen X has that I think is important to embrace. They have an appreciation for knowing how things were before this crazy technologically driven world flourished; like the process of making fine art, the appreciation for live music, the experience of going to a movie at a theatre so you can see it how the director intended – on a huge wide screen. The Millennials on the other hand have content, experiences, and communication at the palm of their hands – spreading info like wildfire. So I skirt the generations as a Mom…we brought her to the Beach when she was 3 days old, and I’m fine with her using a tablet and even encourage it. I want to pass the best aspects of both of these generations onto Halo.
What’s the best advice you can give to a woman trying to balance work and motherhood?
Be flexible and have no expectations. And take time to take care of yourSELF. Self care is so, so important and NECESSARY to LIVE. Do yoga. Even if that means down dogging over your napping pile of cuteness. And don’t be so hard on yourself when you want french fries at lunch…but don’t do that every day. And love on your partners hard.
What’s different about kids today? The choices they have! And how kids nowadays have so many more role models who have paved the way for them to be anything they want. Regardless of race or gender. And learning in general. I feel like evolution is making kids smarter. I’m not looking forward to helping Halo with her math homework.
Anything exciting coming up at work?
We’ve been working on a crazy fun ID series called the Disney XD Sketchbook. It’s so outside of our day-to-day of making show promos for the network; instead we get to work with artists on branding pieces. Each one is different and the process is never ever the same. We work with street artists & show creators. We work with different mediums like stop motion, food art, and animation. I feel like every job needs a creative outlet outside of your normal workload to make yourself a little uncomfortable. That’s when the best creative happens!
What’s the one thing you wish you invented? Why?
The Emoji library. I think emojis are so additive to the way we communicate. They’re the hieroglyphics of this generation. One day the future world will know that a lemon emoji means Beyonce.
Who was your biggest influence? Why?
My Mama. Working Mom who always stayed active…I remember her watching Jazzercize VHS tapes in the living room wearing shiny pantyhose and braided sweatbands when I was a kid and I always wanted to be like her. She kept her illest vintage Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo and pieces for me from the 80’s and I will do the same for my seed. Haha!
In your opinion, what is Disney doing right?
Storytelling with a variety of diverse, relatable characters for our youth. Little girls can play dress up with more than princess dresses and tiaras. They can tout lightsabers like Rey, too! And I love that.
Do you think there is a lack of diversity in Hollywood?
On paper and in the news, yes…we always hear about the lack of diversity. But when I look around me and my peers and environment I feel like we’re making an impact, we’re being empowered to voice our opinions and flex our creativity. Instead of focusing in on the lack of diversity, we should be celebrating the success of the diversity that IS in the spotlight and doing our part to spread that awareness. My daughter’s generation is the first in which the MINORITY is the MAJORITY so just wait a few years. This will all change. Black and white is becoming GRAY and I will do my best to help blur the lines when I can.
Lastly, Matt Damon or Matthew McConaughey?
Matthew McConaughey pre-Buick commercials.