LISTEN to Tracee Ellis Ross’ episode of ESSENCE Podcast Network’s Yes Girl! Podcast here:

Tracee Ellis Ross just keeps on shining her light at exactly the right moment. With a career spanning over 20 years, Ross continues redefining the beauty of evolving.

The veteran actress who has given us not one but two iconic Black female leading television roles (shout out to Joan Clayton and Rainbow Johnson!) recently sat down with Yes, Girl! podcast for a conversation about finding hope, staying well mentally and emotionally, and her empowering first leading film role, The High Note.

“My career has not been filled with scripts, stacked up at my door and people saying, ‘We want you for this.’ And me going, ‘No, no, no.’ Hasn’t been that,” Ross emphatically told Yes, Girl! hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn.

“So every once in a while I get a phone call. Usually with my schedule, I can’t even do it anyway. But, this was the first leading role one, and my manager called and he was like, ‘Let me tell you about it,'” remembers Tracee. “Then I was like, ‘Would I really have to sing?’ He was like, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘Please send the script.’ From that moment, I chased this script, I met with everyone I could meet with.”


In this episode, Ross breaks down just how important The High Note is to her and why the wait was worthwhile. She also gives voice to:

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“I have discovered that so much of my own esteem and sense of fulfillment comes from being of service and taking action. But, then really knowing, what is the action to take? Because we need to take care of ourselves as well. And remembering, because there’s such a strange feeling today for me, I’m like, ‘God, are we celebrating a movie. It’s so dumb.’ But it’s not dumb. There’s a way to hold complex, conflicting feelings and knowing and remembering that joy is revolutionary, and one success is our success.”


“I think it’s ridiculous. I feel the wisest, the smartest, the sexiest, the most beautiful I’ve ever felt [at 47]. I feel more myself and there’s so many examples. I look everywhere, I’m like, ‘I want to be more like that.’ Gabrielle Union, we’re the same age, Michelle Obama, my mom. My mom is more gorgeous. My mom is on stage at 76, I’m like, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God, how could you get better? Is that possible? I don’t know how that’s possible. How is that possible, that you are more sparkly, more shiny?’ Because it’s exactly what we look to, but we don’t talk about. Like fine wine. Wine gets better. Why don’t we get better?”


“I feel like you can sip it or you just do it plain and I call it Kissing Tequila… I just put a little bit in a little glass and I just literally just touch my lip. I call it Kissing Tequila.”

You can hear Tracee’s full episode of ESSENCE Podcast Network’s Yes, Girl! Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts. And check out The High Note film streaming now.