winner winner chicken dinner
taming my inner Suge Knight
Firstly, this newsletter is late. My bad.
I’ve been ripping and running lately, back in the states with an eventful weekend of win, lose or draw*.
The lose was me booking a car service and getting my card charged 4x. I hate when my money gets played.
The draw was… the Beyonce concert. Sorry friends, I know there’s a lot of fans on this email list, but I was trapped at Fedex field in the rain with a bajillion other people. It really made it hard to get in the mood to party. Nature will nature, but that really didn’t mix with Renaissance, tbh.
There was actually a lot of wins this weekend, the primary being to get to see all my friends from college this weekend, dancing and pretending it was 2003.
Another win was my story, Freedom Diving, winning Bronze in the Best Documentary Category of the 2022-23 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition.
I had to give an awards speech, which was a new challenge for me. I haven’t won many things**, let alone given many speeches for winning, so I didn’t have much to draw from.
When I found out I won, a few weeks ago, my reaction surprised me. I felt like Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania, just like deep-squat-growl-fist-pumping situation. I could have ripped off my shirt. This was a victory in the face of adversity, and the real speech in my heart is something like they’d do at the Source Awards, where you cuss out a bunch of people and a fight might break out afterwards. I’m not proud of this energy, but I am slightly entertained, since it’s not a frequency I hold often.
Nevertheless, I figured that’s not the energy I should magnify, not yet at least. Going to try to work through it some more in private. Someday I’ll tell the story how hard I had to fight to create space for myself to be myself at that institution.
Instead, I recorded a sweet little video in front of my casita. But then that felt a little dry. Two people I forgot to thank in my video were my parents, and specifically my mother. Early on she taught me the trick for getting me to really put my heart into any project or school assignment — make it fun and a little bit extra. One time, in 6th grade, when we had to memorize and perform a speech from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, she convinced me to wear a bedsheet as a togo and really go all out. Obviously, I kilt it.
Thanks, Kathy, for always encouraging my extraness.
So in that spirit, I re-recorded my video later that day, being extra, literally showing my ass at an awards presentation. It might hurt future employment prospects, but I personally really love it. It feels like me.
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*I googled this and had the freaky memory awakening a TV show from the late 80’s/early 90s, where the set looked like the living room from Full House.
** I do hold my win in the 1995 Richmond Speaking Contest very dear to my heart.