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A quick, monthly running recap of the things I’ve made, seen and am supporting.


8.2020


Personal Things

It’s been difficult for me to find the energy to write or create anything unrelated to work these last few months.  When things began to unfold in March, I felt energized, and although my head was spinning (as was the case with everyone around me), I relished in the opportunity to make the most of this “moment.” The last few weeks have been an entirely different experience. I find myself confronted with an overwhelming amount of isolation, reflection and reckoning, both internally and externally.


The nature of my work requires that I operate at both a leadership and strategic level, but I’m also constantly executing and creating across mediums, projects and teams.  Historically, this is something that has defined me and typically “filled me up” as the saying goes. Over the last few months, all I’ve longed for is focus and depth. And from what I’ve been hearing from others it’s that we’re all re-examining what’s truly important to us, the values that define who we are and how we can really live them and empower others to do the same.


I’ve been living in LA since March - and prior to my leap of faith, very deliberate move here in 2019 (in which I changed my whole life to be closer to water I could accessibly freedive in), I had the privilege of mobility - effectively allowing me to be anywhere I needed/wanted for family, community and work.


And for those of you who know me well,  you already know I’ve always felt like the East Coast, particularly Boston, is my true home.  Though jobs took me to New York and then LA, I always hoped I would set roots down in a city that was pinned as a place where you go to school, not live in.

Recently I’ve been asked over and over again - “Why Boston? We thought LA would be a perfect fit for you.” Funnily enough, for most of my life, apparently because of the things I’ve been passionate about that are associated with the place, people have  assumed I’m from CA.

When I graduated film school in 2008, everyone I knew left Boston and headed to LA or NY.  I chose a different path and stayed.  Perhaps this is part of the reason I feel such a deep connection to the city. Beyond building some of the most important communities in my life there, to accessing incredible nature and the cold coast just a short train ride away, being a creative person trying to make work and finding your voice and identity in a place where that isn’t the expectation is both exhilarating and exhausting.


And I suppose that is the best way to describe the emotions I have been feeling through the back half of this intense year.  Exhilarated and exhausted, moving between these two poles and feeling like I’m caught in the whitewash that sometimes seems endless.


Anytime you are the other in a given homogenous environment, these are the crests and troughs you have to navigate. For me the most prevalent identifiers have been topical things like race, ethnicity, gender or my physical size, to more nuanced and personal markers like my professional creative experience in a field dominated by quorum... or how about that same experience being put through constant judgement in a culture that narrowly defines what is valuable?


On the hardest days, I remind myself that I’m so far from alone.  I take great comfort in knowing that these are conversations being had and there is finally a lasting opportunity to connect with “people who look like me.”

When I say “people who look like me,” I’m not just talking about the physical dimensions of that phrase. I mean those people who have a deep curiosity and array of lived experience that has allowed them to keep riding the waves and show others what they are capable of.



Impactful Things

Below - a visual annotation from The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbana.  Exhibition book from Tyler Mitchell’s I Can Make You Feel Good, which ironically enough is the last in person experience I had with friends in New York before COVID hit.  Everything about this approach and body of work is beyond salient and heartbreakingly beautiful.  Lastly, a photo of The Wizard and the Prophet.  A fascinating read about the true origins of luddites and techno-optimists.


   



3.2020


Helpful Things

A LOT has changed over the last few weeks.  I take comfort in the fact that I know I’m not alone when I say that the range of emotions I’ve experienced while navigating this moment in time has been an absolute rollercoaster.  I am grateful for the support systems that I have in my life both personally and professionally.  And I am deeply, inexplicably grateful for those people who are on the front lines of this day in and day out.  

In the spirit of trying to provide support and resources in a moment that feels so incomprehensible and overwhelming, here are a few I put together sourced from conversations, research and my own problem solving over the last month. 

Things I Have Found Personally Helpful
  • Scheduling virtual time with friends and family (game nights, watch parties, etc)
  • Regularly checking in with people who are important to me
  • Asking for help/knowing my options when it comes to monthly financial obligations EX: Adobe is offering Creative Cloud credits for the next 2-3 months, options for pausing, discounting or deferring major obligations
  • Sticking to a schedule and communicating windows of working hours (and how those hours are being spent EX: blocks for calls versus blocks for execution)

Projects/Resources
  • #QuarantineTimeCapsule - A quick project I put together featuring DIY activities you or your loved ones can use to connect and reflect during this time
  • HospitalityLink - created by my friends at Monday.VC, this job board connects hospitality workers to open jobs in the grocery industry
  • Freelancers Relief Fund - Freelancers Union’s fund to support freelancers impacted by COVID-19
  • AidTable - Database of discounts/tools by category to help individuals and businesses dealing with COVID-19




2.2020


Work Things

Had the honor of participating in a show about making shows with my friends at Wistia.  We talked about everything from how to get buy in across your company to what it takes to turn your idea into a pitch.  Last but not least, we broke down why it’s absolutely necessary to tell your story across platforms and how short-form assets can help expand, support, and extend the lifecycle of a single show or video.  I’ll be sure to share the episodes as they become available.

PS - Being on the other side of the camera is not easy, the Wistia crew made it a breeze for me - so a gentle reminder to be kind and in tune with your talent.







Creative Things

I visited some dear friends in NYC and we went to Tyler Mitchell’s “I Can Make You Feel Good” exhibit at the ICP.  I was blown away by the premise of the project.  His execution and approach made my heart and mind race.  There are countless things to say about the work but his use of perspective (hanging screens from the ceiling and creating 180 walkthroughs) are mind blowing.  I cried while laying on the astro turf of the white picket fence, staring up at his imagery moving above me. 



    


Incredible Things

I am grateful to be surrounded by incredible people doing incredible things that they believe in.  This month they include:

  1. Danny and Will Madden and the debut of their feature “Beast, Beast” at Sundance.
  2. Lorelei Bandrovschi announcing her world tour of Listen Bar and bringing people together for Dry January.
  3. Megs Gelfgot making her debut at TEDxCincinnatiWomen.
  4. Saskia Rysenbry for launching Precious Plastics and funding the next stage of her empowerment centre in India. 

WHAT HAVE YOU MADE TODAY?