In Roxbury, a neighborhood within Boston, MA, I had exposure to female
leadership. My Mother, Grandmother and aunts raised me and my cousins together;
though we had our struggles, I learned the value of pooled resources. At
school, I consumed ideas around competition, fitting in, and success - the privileges of an elite education. On my way to
adulthood, I spent many evenings avoiding schoolwork and absorbing 90s TV and
Hip Hop. By the time I threw my cap in the air on
a sunny day in `99, I dreamed of becoming the next Quentin Tarantino/Spike Lee
hybrid, spreading love the Oprah way, and throwing money on a yacht while some
NYC dude pumped his fist.
So, I did the college thing and later moved to NYC to jump right into my
shiny dream… For a few years, I worked
as an event planner or mediocre assistant at a half dozen companies including
an investment bank and management consulting firm. Though I filled my evenings
and weekends with screenwriting and directing training, writing, and production work, by 2009 I was no closer
to any “Hottest Director under 30” list. And in chasing a living, I landed so
close to the uber-wealthy minus the yacht or fist pumps. What was a girl to
do? Out of a job and broke, I did what any sane working-class artist woman
would do: I pursued my passions,
sensibilities and curiosity. That’s right. I ate, prayed and loved before
Julia, right from my Flatbush, Brooklyn studio apartment.
My self-discovery process included hours and hours of listening, reading,
writing and roti. I saw the stories I scripted, the events I planned and the
communities I helped to build in a new light. I fell in love with the study of
storytelling and its practice online and I was mesmerized by the possibilities
that social media offered. And as I jumped further down the rabbit hole, I
realized that I knew how to tell a story and understood how to build community. And these two skills, Storytelling and Community Building, are not only
interesting and applicable to various settings, but also necessary in the digital
world. It took me thirty years (so long Under 30 list!) to figure out how to
bring the different strands of my life together to do compelling and
sustainable work. I’ve thrown out my Q-T/S-L/Oprah aspiration in order to develop
Int. Bedroom – Night.
Girl-in-Charge, 30 and buxom, sits at desk building Story Worlds for
fascinating people and projects. Girl-in-Charge types:
We think you deserve community.
She stops typing.