What I'm doing for love

What I'm doing for love

Existing in the same timeline as A Strange Loop and Britton & The Sting is awesome! They are proof that you can let go of or lay to rest your traumas and still be something. And still be familiar. The beautiful things about you will still exist. I didn’t always believe this but I definitely do today.

Rocky Start

No more theater put a gap in my finances and time on my hands. What does a man do with time? Work. So I started applying for jobs. Lots of jobs. Did I want these jobs? Of course not. Hell no. I was typing so fast that I was misspelling my name. But bills don't care about any of that. And we love bills. So we love jobs.

I'd never cut it as a “businessman.” Traditional Corporate America is too generic for me. The rejection letters look the same. I appreciate the follow-up, but the effort is so minimal that it's not worth it. Each stale no-reply email came as a shock. See, the theater industry doesn’t care enough to respond to you.1 How do you know you didn't book a role or show you wanted? You see the cast list with the names of everyone who did. I’ll take that over; getting emails daily letting me know I was right, I wouldn’t cut it. I couldn’t get through the door.

It didn’t take me long to conclude there was no space for me in Corporate America. Especially once, I couldn’t convince myself to be like some of them--making conscious choices that required minimal effort and warranted maximum reward at the high cost of someone else. I didn't want to love that. Alas, there I was, gluing myself to a mouse and keyboard for 10+ hours a day, hoping something on the screen would generate enough income to pay the month's light bill.

Ultimately I ended up taking the Choose Your Own Adventure route—aka joining a startup. I knew I wanted a strong community. Space where inspiring change isn’t seen as a negative thing, and you're putting in maximum effort because you love it. Most importantly, I needed room to continue loving myself outside of institutions. (Bonus if you’re creating something to empower or help people.) The goal wasn’t to replace the theater with something similar but to replace it with me.

“I can slay my own dragons; I can dream my own dreams. My knight in shining armor is ME.” -The Cheetah Girls

Match made

Pandemic routines aren’t best for a post-pandemic society. What even is post-pandemic? Anyway, I gave myself grace for what we've all experienced and continue to experience since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and sought to answer this question; Was there equity, community, and space within my body? Well, there were Insecurities. And they heavily influenced my daily practices. Fear and stress ate up my energy and space and clouded my judgment. Shout out to dance, though; it quickly turned things around. Florence said, "it's hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake 'em off!" So I did and daily! I just let it go like Elsa. Fresh daily practices led to fresh thoughts which led to fresh experiences.

Picture it; a job with equitable pay, a welcoming community, and space to explore your creative adventures. Thanks to Twitter and a new mindset, I would find precisely that in a job. Ripley's.2

"This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it." -Ta-Nehisi Coates

Loving myself in today's work culture?

Before this, I fed other desires and distanced myself from my own, thinking that somehow would make me something. A savior. Adjust your thoughts, actions, and choices to receive support or empathize with another person. “That ain’t it kid, that ain’t it kid.” My new approach is much different and revolves around two things; I’m taking up space and being mindful of others along the way.

I’m focused on personal healing with my upcoming projects.

It’s about me. It’s not just me. I cling to my new and improved daily practices and reach out if I need anything. Yes, it's much easier said than done but so worth it.

Oh yeah, and creative opportunities outside of work still exist for me. I told you, I can’t stop being an artist, but more on all of that later. 😉