SYNOPSIS: Everyone wants to know why women go to the bathroom together. Welcome to Potty Break where we show you why. This is a wild/raw/comedic journey of two aging party girls who tackle serious situations while looking for love and/or meaning in a shallow and NYC party scene. Starring Toni Thai Sterrett and Donna Augustin-Quinn.
Potty Break is a hilarious series from Toni Thai Sterrett who wore multiple hats to see it to come to fruition – writer, director, producer, songwriter, lead actress. Toni gave us some insight into Potty Break’s core.
Taji Mag (TM): What spawned the concept for Potty Break?
Toni Thai Sterrett (TTS): A few things spawned the concept. One was the idea of the bathroom being a sacred space for women. When you want to have a private cry in a professional setting, bathroom. You want to take a bath to soak a hard day away, bathroom. And for some of us who have wacky periods, we can spend a lot of time in the bathroom just sitting there, enjoying the comfort of just sitting there. LOL. Even moms sometimes use the bathroom to escape their children. But last but not least, the bathroom is where women congregate. In clubs, bars, restaurants, etc. People always want to know why we go to the bathroom together so I used this as an opportunity to show them.
TM: There are so many important discussions addressed in the series. What are some that are most important to you?
TTS: For me, the most important discussions addressed in the series are 1. Men’s mistreatment of women. In the “To Dump A Predator” episode, I compare men who take advantage of vulnerable women to child molesters. It’s the same thing. Misusing your power over someone who is trusting and vulnerable. 2. Colorism. I know for a fact that my complexion has opened (fake) doors for me and gotten me in certain rooms. I also know that it tends to attract certain types of men and I’m not going to sit up here and gaslight Darker-skinned black women by saying the thing is not a thing. I want to air this shit out and help my chocolate sisters heal from the bullshit. 3. We talk about dating outside of your race. It’s important to me that Black women open their minds up. Yes, most of us want a Black man but we can’t cry racism then turn our noses up to a man from another culture who wants to get to know and love us. Not fetishize you, but love you. They are out there. I mean have your preference but be open to what God has for you. He just might be from Korea. IJS. 🙂
TM: Centering Black women is obviously important in the series but it appears that so was flipping stereotypes. What were your thoughts behind Kandi Kream Kane as well as Adrienne and Taylor’s characters?
TTS: Kandi Kream Kane is important because she is a sex worker. A porn star. So we judge and look down on pornstars but the porn industry is booming. So the same people talking shit, are secretly indulging. That’s crazy to me. I believe Pornstars serve an important function in society. It’s stress relief, acne prevention (you have to watch), educational, and probably even Rape prevention. I hate to say that but I feel it’s true. As far as Adrienne (Black) and Taylor (White), I wanted to show that there can be a sisterhood between Black and white women. Also, I wanted to show that the Black girl isn’t always the hanger-on and plus one. She was the one from money that exposed the white girl to the club culture and excess. I love those episodes. They are so fun and the ladies are amazing.
TM: Who would you love to make a cameo on Potty Break?
TTS: Dave Chapelle for sure. I just think he’s one of the most brilliant minds we have in our culture. He’s funny, smart, honest and he challenges his audience which I love and I set out to do in my own work. He also curates an amazing, positive, kind group of people in real life around him which I think says a lot about him. I know he’d probably be smoking a cigarette in the scene, which I hate, but I’d let it slide, I’d even write that in!
TM: I loved everything about the series except the concept of you all sitting on a bare toilet in a public restroom lol, would you consider including an episode that addresses those of us with OCD and how we maneuver through these same girl chats “without touching anything”?
TTS: Thank you. and OK, so full disclosure, that was a fuck up. The first time we shot it, I was doing the squat thing my mom taught me as a little girl but let me tell you, I was so overwhelmed with all the hats I wore on set that I honestly just forgot. That’s why it’s important that you have someone covering your blind spots when you are writing and directing. In Santana’s episode, She actually lined that seat with toilet paper first but our editor cut it out for timing. Looking back, we should’ve left that in. I love that you bring that up and we need to address that in future eps because that would never happen.
TM: I enjoyed how every episode zones in on the conversations and builds character development without ever having to leave the restroom. Would you consider expanding the Potty Break episodes to other 1 location stories?
TTS: Oh absolutely. And thank you for that. You know, the possibilities are endless and when you have limited resources and time/budget, you have to be really creative. I love that. We are working on different ways to flip it so stay tuned.
TM: Are you planning on future seasons?
TTS: Yes, because of the current climate, we are working on new ways to tell our stories. Obviously, clubs are closed so we have to flip it and are working on that now.
TM: What else do you have in the works?
TTS: So we actually have a theme song for Potty Break that I wrote and performed called “Queen Of The Club” so we will be promoting that soon. We are also in talks to do an entire mixtape. In addition to that, we are in talks to do a podcast to dig in deeper on the serious themes that we tackle in Potty Break.
Watch Potty Break on YouTube now and get in on the conversation!