I didn’t mean to sound so crunchy with the headline, but you’re here now and I got a story to tell… ::cues Notorious B.I.G::
I’m always in motion. Day job, podcast, workshops, fundraising, hustling to make a dollar- rinse and repeat. Day in and day out. I was tricking myself that I was doing enough. That there was nothing more I could possibly do without falling over and dying of exhaustion. And yet, I was still in a rut.
My depression was creeping in and my anxiety was a beast of burden. My joy was gone, I felt like I needed to do something drastic to remind me who I am at my core.
So I took a class.
Womp. I know, school is so not sexy.
Let’s call it “professional development” instead. That sounds sexy like a my High School Spanish teacher Ms. Maldonado. ::TMI::
Anyway, I took a chance and applied to Air’s Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive. They only selected 14 mid-level audio production professionals to learn from each other and industry professionals about podcasting, interviewing, storytelling, sound design and more.
The application slid in my inbox two days before it was due, but something in me told me “just do it” and see what happens.
I did it. I got in. Oh shit. It costs $850. Do I just take 5 days off from work and lose all that pay? What was I thinking?
The Universe was like: “You wanted drastic… I’ll give you $850 worth of drastic.”
Then I was like: “Universe, I’m in- and i’m gonna learn the shit outta this class.”
And, learn the shit out of it I did…. after being so isolated by my unrelated day job, I was suddenly surrounded by industry peers and professionals having substantive and challenging discussions.
I gave myself the week off and committed only to this class. After classes, I did a lot of reflecting about my place as a Black Woman in broadcast/podcast media. I thought about resources, accessibility, invisibility, whether I am subject to producing programs that speak to the Person of Color’s experience, all these things continue to swim through my head over and over. Being in a room where I was getting my intellectual fill was wonderful, yet I felt guilty that access is a problem. Most of my POC friends jobs won’t pay for them to come do this, and dipping into that savings isn’t always an option.
I still had to deal with the after effects when I got back. A snowball of bills that got shuffled around and doubling my workload in the subsequent weeks, which put me in a funk.
I know what you’re thinking…. Was is worth it?
I learned new techniques and workflow. I got validation that I was already on the right path. It increased my confidence about speaking up and out. I started working with one classmate on a news segment. I got some awesome podcast suggestions. I applied to a some producer jobs (still looking!). Finally, I also started teaching my own class for beginner podcasters!
All this to say… Shake shit up sometime.
Below is my IG diary during the 5 day intensive: