It has been a while since I’ve checked in with a “Leading Lady Chronicles” update… but no worries, I’m still going strong! There have been so many amazing things happening, which has made life SUPER busy. (And made me SUPER grateful!) I can’t wait until I’m able to share everything. Until then, I’m checking in from my day job/desk job with a Monday Motivation (#TNSAmondaymotivation) reminder for all of us about approaching our goals in steps! Not leaps. Not bounds. STEPS. Often, especially in our microwave, instant-satisfaction, technologically-advanced world… we want to skip to the end. We want to make it to the BIG FINISH without climbing the (smaller) steps that will lead us there. I’m sure that I am not the first to tell you (but I’m happy to remind you)… that it simply doesn’t work that way. And you should be thankful for that! We will all appreciate so much more that which we have truly worked and sacrificed for! Hear more of my thoughts on this topic when you watch the latest “Leading Lady Chronicles” VLOG below! HAPPY MONDAY! -Brittany
On the morning of January 1, 2017… I woke up with a little idea. A very specific, very vivid, albeit small, idea. Maybe I had dreamed it, I don’t remember. But once awake, I immediately sent text messages to two artist friends of mine, both male, and asked if they’d be interested in being a part of a live art event in March (for Women’s History Month) that would showcase the work/contributions of Black male artists who have honored Black womanhood through their art.
I didn’t have an event title. I didn’t have a venue. I didn’t have a budget. I sent them exactly what you just read… and they both said yes. Immediately, I was terrified. Now that I had shared my idea, I had to follow through. YIKES!
I’m learning every day that the more you walk in your divine purpose, the easier it is for the right people, ideas and circumstances to flow to you. (In other words, we don’t have to work so hard or make the path to our destinies any harder than they need to be.) I was able to confirm 2 artists for a nameless, venue-less, dateless event at the top of the year and I had no idea how I would find other artists to be involved or all that it would take to mount a #TNSALive Event that I could be proud of… but I knew I had to make it happen.
TNSA’s Founder, Brittany Inge
Shortly after confirming those two artists, I got busy reaching out to other creatives who I thought might be interested. I also set out to put a team together to help me effectively plan this event, which now had a name: “TNSA Presents… The Art of Black Women through the Eyes of Black Men”. I also now had a better idea of how I wanted the event to be set up. I envisioned an interactive museum with various stations/displays, including a listening station, interactive art pieces (featuring live models) and various photographs and paintings throughout the space. I wanted everyone who entered the event to encounter art at every turn. In the end, I was able to create exactly that, with 7 artists’ work on display and over 12 artists/vendors involved to pull the entire evening off without hitch!
#TNSALive in full swing.
When I first decided to put on a live TNSA event, I knew I needed a solid team… not a large one, not an expensive one, just solid. A team who was down for the cause, had strong individual work ethics and didn’t need to be micromanaged. I found that in three people who I must name: Brian Jordan, Jr., Brittani McElveen and Nzingha Shaw. There are so many things I could say about these people individually but then this blog would never end! What I will say is that Brittani and Nzingha were both SO helpful during preliminary planning; taking it off of my plate to do research on certain event elements and helping me to draft contracts for the artists and vendors involved. They were both also extremely helpful the day of the event… with Nzingha flying in from Washington, DC to participate and Brittani coming to help set up AND clean up before and after a play that she’s currently in! (#BlackGirlMagic) Brian Jordan, Jr. was literally 3 team members in one, all by himself. He was my hands-on, in the trenches, right AND left hand man! On top of all the event planning and event design he did (Don’t even get me started on that flower wall! Handmade by Brian via his company: The BATCHELOR, Atlanta!), he was also one of the featured artists for the evening! He wrote and performed an original monologue: “I Promise”, which addressed the many stereotypes and boxes that society attempts to place the Black Woman in. I asked so much of him during the planning of this event and he delivered on EVERY front… you don’t find many friends or artists like that these days. Needless to say, my gratitude level is on 1000!
Brittany Inge & Brian Jordan, Jr.
Speaking of featured artists, let me tell you a little more about the other artists who were featured and what they do! Devin White, who also came in from Washington, DC, is a recording artist whose music video “QUEEN” was showcased as a part of the listening station. (FUN FACT: Devin is my best friend since high school. His presence at this event meant THE WORLD to me!) Spencer Charles is a photographer who puts particular emphasis on the Black female body in his work. His photographs were on display during the event. Beeombi is a fashion designer who created a custom piece specifically for our event which represented the Black woman being caged inside a society of white supremacy. Deep stuff! Gorgeous creation! Markelle O’Day is a content creator who developed a reality show sizzle reel for a buzzing, Black female entrepreneur; the sizzle reel was on display at the event’s listening station. Michael Gillespie is a fashion stylist who styled our five live models for the evening’s interactive art pieces; titled “The Closet Series”, because the models were styled out of their own closets to embody various scenarios. Craig Stanley is an artist whose paintings were on display throughout the space. He also did live airbrushing at the event and had one of his gorgeous pieces auctioned off to a lucky attendee!
Pictured L-R: Michael Gillespie, Markelle O’Day, Spencer Charles, Devin White, Craig Stanley, Beeombi, Brian Jordan, Jr.
Honestly, TNSA’s first event was more than I dreamed it would be! The space was filled with positive, supportive and creative energy. I believe every attendee left the event having learned/experienced something new, beautiful and impactful. If you missed it, you missed something special… but don’t worry, there’s more where that came from! There’s a first time for everything and planning TNSA’s first live event taught me A LOT! It was not the easiest or cheapest journey (LOL!), but it was absolutely worth it. Thank you to ALL who attended, all who bought tickets but couldn’t attend and the artists/models/vendors who gave of their time and talent to help TNSA bring this vision to life. God bless you! Onward.
Visit TNSA’s Facebook Page to see ALL the photos from Sunday’s event! Photographer Credit: Sherita Bolden
“TNSA Presents… The Art of Black Women through the Eyes of Black Men” RECAP Video
Happy 2017 to all of my fellow (Non)Starving Artists! I hope your holiday season was full of love, family, rest and preparation. Now, let’s get down to business. What do you want to accomplish this year? Seriously. I want you to think about it so take a moment— You got it? Good. Now, what plans or actions have you set in motion to achieve that goal?
This year, I have decided to put my money where my mouth is! I have HUGE dreams and I am very clear on what I SAY that I want. What I haven’t been so clear on is establishing the course of action that will lead me to the results that I desire. Here is the question that I have vowed to ask myself everyday of 2017: What are you willing to DO to get what you WANT?
My handmade “Leading Lady Checklist”
Simple enough, right? Well, what I want is going to take discipline, faith, passion and some really tough skin. I want to be a leading lady in film and television. There. I said it and the world continued to spin. A wise person once said: “You have to dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” In the spirit of that saying, I believe that we should live for the lives that we say we want. If I want to be a leading lady, I need to live like one RIGHT NOW. We lie to ourselves with the idea that we’ll get our lives/lifestyles on the right track once opportunity knocks. Up until now, I was notorious for proclaiming: “Well, once I have the dream role and the dream paycheck, I’ll be able to do everything I need to do in order to live, eat, work and slay like a leading lady.” That’s a lie. What happens instead is that we continue to put off being our best selves and one-day, opportunity makes a house call while we’re still in bed and in our pajamas. UNPREPARED!
I don’t know about you, but I refuse for that to be my reality. With my mental adjustment in place (it all starts in our minds), I knew that I had to put my leading lady course of action in place! Now, there are a few things I know about leading ladies—or at least the ones I admire. They possess many of the same qualities even though each lady houses theses qualities in her own unique way.
Common Leading Lady Qualities:
BEAUTY (ideally inside & out)
A GREAT TEAM
SOLID WORK ETHIC
The list could go on and on but for the purpose of this blog, let’s stop right here at BANGIN’ BODY. Yeah… so I need one of those. ASAP! There are SO many other things necessary to have in place on the path to becoming a leading lady and I am not negating them. To be clear, I’m working on ALL of them. But I have to start somewhere, right? To get this BANGIN’ BODY journey started, I created a “Leading Lady Checklist” and made a personal vow to myself to make meditation & fitness daily priorities in my life and to break-up with sweet/sugary foods. (I seriously have an addiction to sugar, y’all. I’m setting myself free!). These are just a few of the very necessary sacrifices that my “Leading Lady Checklist” helps me keep track of as I ask everyday: “Brittany, what are you willing to DO to get what you WANT?
Gym Life: I’m focused, man.
I am on a quest to live my BEST life—physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. I know the business that I am in and the reality is—it can be SUPER shallow. I’m not saying that it’s right and I’m not saying that it shouldn’t change. What I AM saying is that in order to be an agent of change you must first have a seat at the table. I’m working on my SEAT right now. Amen? My body, along with my faith, skill set and work ethic, needs to be in tip-top shape if I’m going to be a leading lady. Period. Now, I’m a (proud) curvy girl… so MY tip-top shape is never going to be a size 2 and I honestly wouldn’t want it to be. I simply desire to be the best version of ME that I can possibly be. So, I’m going for it! And I’ll be sharing all of it right here on #TNSA. And I want all of you to hold me accountable. If you see me at an event standing near the dessert bar, just give me “THE LOOK”. I’m serious! I am READY to live like the leading lady that I know I am destined to be. Whatever your specific goals may be, I am encouraging you to make the decision TODAY to actively go after them. Live the life you envision for yourself. You don’t need to wait for the “magic moment”—it’s here. This is it! RIGHT NOW.
These are… the LEADING LADY CHRONICLES. ♥
Check out the inaugural LEADING LADY CHRONICLES VLOG below where I take you into my (messy) kitchen to show you how serious I am about this journey. I hope you’ll join me and follow along! Write me about the specific goalyou’re working towards this year at email@example.com.