You Are F*cked

So, I am currently listening to J. Cole Forest Hills Drive Live on Spotify. I want to talk about something that has really been in the back of my mind like a southern gnat on humid Southern day. Not only have I been working my ass off for the last couple of weeks learning how to use photoshop/ artistic directing/ collaborating/ opening up a business/ and being a producer, because with a team of only 2 people you have to do everything. Literally everything. I am not complaining about that after all it is the hustle and expectation. My partner in crime is Ty. Shout out to her for sticking through and always showing up (not always on time; usually about 5-10 min late) BUT ALWAYS THERE. Love you Tyharra Cozier!! Anyways, as I am typing this I am going to be frank. I am frustrated and BEYOND OVER IT. Let me clear the air in case you haven’t seen any pics I am FEMALE and BLACK; which puts me automatically in the minority category. How does that affect me? Well, hell. We are starting a theatre organization in Portland, OR; a very predominate white space. What I love about this city is the independence and artistic liberty one can have. The problem, that liberty is more accessible to the latter. Don’t get me wrong I have friends and a few supporters here who want to see change, who are financing change, demanding change, implementing change, but it is a very small amount of change in our community. My point, you would think that my partner and I would be receiving assistance and support left and right. The reality, we ARE NOT. Problem, the realty isn’t matching up to the big talk around town. So, I made an image below that encompassed how we feel. The thought? We are inherently born in an unfair disadvantage world and we want to be honest with our struggles. However, the immediate afterthought was would we offend anyone with our organization name? Would people get upset with the word F*CKED associated with our picture? Is the picture itself with two black women “side eyeing” and being-the-hell-over the lack of opportunity on stage (in directing, producing, and financing) with theatre that SHOULD encompass us, offensive? Let me make it clear at this point I am talking about where I live, Portland, OR. BUT WHY!!! (I scream). The truth is WE ARE F*CKED and will continue to be, but only if  WE don’t show up, produce, direct, and demand representation. So my censorship and hesitancy is caused by valuing other feelings, priorities, and values over my own. I won’t anymore. I can’t. If I do, I feel we won’t grow. We won’t be able to open the doors for others like so many before us have. So I am putting my original design for this post up. If someone (and I know someone will make a comment) asks or seems to get more stuck on the word of F*CKED than the actual problem of representation in a career and passion I have devoted time, effort, and money to, than the picture has already made my point. It’s almost a new year and you don’t have to wait until then to help us make this city, space, and theatre, more inclusive, more accepting, and more different than now. Do your part because, we sure the hell will.

 This is the original design. The design I was so worried about because it actually expressed my real feelings about being an actress/producer/business woman. 

This is the original design. The design I was so worried about because it actually expressed my real feelings about being an actress/producer/business woman. 

 This is the edited and more "acceptable standard" version. What's the big deal you ask? We know we are powerful. We say that to ourselves everyday. The reality is that we can't continue to just put the burden on ourselves without acknowledging that we like to talk around and avoid that some of us do not have the same representation and advantages in this art form. How many of us are having these conversations in theatre and what are we doing to actually change it? 

This is the edited and more "acceptable standard" version. What's the big deal you ask? We know we are powerful. We say that to ourselves everyday. The reality is that we can't continue to just put the burden on ourselves without acknowledging that we like to talk around and avoid that some of us do not have the same representation and advantages in this art form. How many of us are having these conversations in theatre and what are we doing to actually change it?