Artists, Protect Ya Head. (320 Words)

Roundabout Theater Company is supporting me with fully-funded office space, conference rooms and fruit-infused water this week and next.

Here, I am writing down the conjurings of my imagination and retelling important people’s histories like it’s my job, because it is my job. I made a decision not to let in the belief that it’s “impossible” to make a living as a theater artist. I am making more money now than I ever have and most of it (98%) comes from my art. Let me be clear. I am not struggling. I’m doing really well. That is because I’m diligent about protecting my Ori (the Ifa word for “head”) and what goes into it. Daily, I reject a lot of bullshit and superfluous stuff that is just unhelpful to my dreams. On the days when I don’t, it shows in my feelings and my ability to show up for my work.

The very real practice of Artist oppression requires my fierce commitment to rejecting bullshit like I’m committed to the daily act of brushing the plaque off my teeth.

People will try to speak all kinds of limitations over your life.

Sometimes out of spite

Sometimes out of fear

Sometimes out of ignorance

People will tell you the “facts” about what is possible for you because of what happened to them–out of spite, out of fear, out of ignorance, out of ill-directed attempts to “help you.”

The good news is that everyday, you get to decide what to believe again. You get to notice what you want to in the perspectives of those around you and make a decision about what to do with what you notice. It is your job to absorb only what is useful to you and to figure out how to do away with the rest. Or, you can be small and unhappy like the people giving you “advice” if you’d rather that. I say, nah.

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