F5: Beginner -- use button to change color of other buttons

I need to create an application where I select a button, which would
color other button objects.

My layout is similar to the following:

I have a “circle” object that is subdivided into 3 parts. Each part is
a button. In order to make this object, I created the button, placed
it inside a Movie clip object (b/c you can only color movie clip objects),
and assembled the 3 movie clip objects into the “circle” object.

So far, I can color my own button when you press it, and I can color
other objects of the main movie by referencing _root, but I can’t seem
to reference the other MovieClip objects of my “circle” object. I tried
referencing _parent._parent (thinking that the onRelease _parent._parent
would reference the circle object). Regular _parent didn’t work.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I know I’ll be back for more help as I
evolve my application.