Moon Ferguson always had a passion for storytelling in all mediums: novels, films, television and now, podcasts. Her love for telling tales stemmed from needing an escape from her grueling childhood. She began to write herself as a heroine, a warrior, even a knight — all kinds of victors. This then turned to her dolls (and brother’s action figures) acting out the scenes of the stories she wrote.
Moon creates complex, yet admirable characters and thought-provoking plots. Her ethnic Caribbean background (Chinese & Jamaican) and experiences as a Black millennial woman and first-generation born American attributes to the stories she tells.
She attended Miami Dade College for Film Production and Southern New Hampshire University for Screenwriting. Her first independent project, Mental, focused on the stigma of mental health in the West Indian community and was an official selection for the 2018 African American Women In Cinema Film Festival in New York City. This film was a passion project due to her own experiences with depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD.
Moon hopes to continue to create stories where her characters are triumphant despite their taxing trials and to open up dialogue on topics such as mental health, motherhood, and womanhood. We spoke to Moon about creating and her newest project, the Juju web series.
Black Girls Create: What do you create?
I create experiences.
BGC: What made you want to create the Juju web series?
I was tired of seeing Black supernaturals in a negative light or used as a prop. It really set me off when I saw the lack of care put into Bonnie Bennett’s character in The Vampire Diaries. That was the final straw for me. Bonnie was the Black pocket witch who cleaned up her friends — the white vampires — messes. She went through so much and lost so much and still ended up with nothing at the end. I was also inspired by shows like Charmed and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and wanted to show Black witches having fun with their magic and using it for the greater good.
BGC: What has been your favorite thing about making the show?
Finding sisters. I moved to New York from South Florida in November 2017. I have no family up here besides my son and my husband but I found my tribe, friends, sisters. The Juju cast and crew are like a family. We have such a strong bond. Working with everyone is like a family reunion.
BGC: What has been a challenge in making the show?
The most challenging part was balancing motherhood and production. There were times I had to put the project first, but because I have such a supportive cast, crew, and family, everyone made sure they stepped in when needed.
BGC: How do you balance creating with the rest of your life?
Planning. Rest. Meditation. Compassion for self.
BGC: Why do you create?
Creating is honestly the only thing I know how to do effortlessly. It’s not a skill, it’s a part of me. It’s a part of my DNA, my whole being. It feels so good to release your thoughts, emotions, wishes, desires, pain, love, excitement, and everything else externally. It turns the ugly side of you into something beautiful. It’s a release.
BGC: What do you want folks to get from your work?
A sense of belonging. I always want people to feel like they have a tribe and that they are never alone.
BGC: Who or what inspires you?
Children inspire me the most. Their joy, their innocence, their raw traits, their silliness. They live out loud and don’t have to worry about image or anything else. They love unconditionally. They are kind. They are geniuses.
BGC: Why is it important as a Black person to create?
We have such a nuance of stories. We come from different cultures, countries, backgrounds. We are not a monolith like the world sees us to be. We have such an array of history.
BGC: Any advice for new creators?
Don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself. If you did your best, then it’s the best. Energy is everything. And when it seems unbearable, remember why you create.
BGC: Any future projects?
I’m working on a fantasy horror short film called The Break of Dawn and a scripted fantasy podcast called Crescent Alley. I’m also working on Brown Girl in the Ring, a coming-of-age feature film about my teenage years and what it’s like to be a first-generation American girl in a West Indian culture and the battle of identity between Jamaican culture and Black American culture.
Follow Moon on Twitter and check out the Juju Web Series here!