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AOA S4 E12 Wrap Up Episode


Hello and welcome to a podcast about creating experimental art in trauma-informed and sustainable ways that support artists, our communities, and the organization as a whole. You're listening to Any Other Anythings. And in this season, we are focused on the journey of Grey Box Collective, and we will take you through from the very beginning, before Grey Box Collective even existed, and all the way through to present day, and talk about what the future of Grey Box Collective might include as well. Highly recommend listening to this season in chronological order since it is somewhat building upon each part of it, but it's up to you if you want to take a nonlinear approach. Appreciate that. Respect that, and hope you enjoy this journey of Grey Box Collective.


All right. Hello all, and welcome to the final episode of Season four of Any Other Anythings. I'm your host, Molly. I am also the Founder and Creative Producer of Grey Box Collective, and we're in our wrap-up episode. I have no idea what the hell to say - I will start there. Yeah, I have been procrastinating on this episode and oh, I didn't do a check-in. Yeah, I am feeling okay. I wish I had more of a sense of like what to, what I want here, like I have some notes, but I don't like 'em anymore, so I'm not gonna use them. Yeah, so that's that.

 

Yes, I'm not sure how to wrap up this season and it's interesting 'cause one of the big questions in a workshop I was giving this weekend - on Trauma-Informed Creative Practices was, also like a big question was like, how do you bring closure to stuff? And it's like, well, I don't know - to a point I don't really feel that there is closure, especially with like this story. I think it's more about finding some kind of resolve or some kind like feeling content with where there is a pause or an ellipses or a to be continued. And so that's how I'm gonna approach this - this episode is, where's the pause, the to be continued and Yeah. I also want to bring back and name that like, yes, I have done this as a solo season and I think I have for the most part, pretty much hidden behind the scenes of our at least digital footprint for Grey Box Collective. And so it does feel important to also bring myself forward a little bit more and allow myself to be seen or I guess heard in this case but also a reminder that like there are over a hundred people who have been a part of this company and been a part of this journey. And when I say over a hundred people, meaning like creatives who have been involved  in making new work to exist in the world that's not including how many audiences or partners we've had over the years, or those who have been supportive behind the scenes of me and like business coaches and all of that. So I feel like, even though it's just my voice coming through, it's not just my thoughts or words coming through - it feels like a collage of information that I have received over this period of time that has very much informed what I share here or what I have been sharing.


And along those lines of like being seen and heard as we are expanding this year, getting more people involved, looking for board members and just like, really changing the structure. I think it's important for people to be able to get a sense of the company beyond just like what we put on social media, to get a sense of working with me, and like my tone and how I approach things and all of that - so that it's not like a, I don't know, surprise or whatever when you get in a rehearsal space with me or in a Zoom room or whatever. I think that's important to be able to get to know the person who's the Founder, and if you are looking to get involved, I think this is a great series to listen to. It'll really give you a very - yeah, a comprehensive story of Grey Box Collective. And it also feels wildly incomplete to me, I'll say that I am here being like, I know there's more stuff that I wanted to say. But yeah.


 So yeah, I hope that it's helpful for those who want to get involved. I also hope it's helpful for those who are like, I don't wanna get involved, but I'm doing my own thing and, or I want to start my own company. And maybe there's some stuff in here that you've learned. And I'm sure you know, from almost a decade ago at this point, when I was looking at all of the startup and was in a class about it, you know, a lot has changed and, hopefully more of this information is out there so that if you are starting your own company or looking to go into the arts business world you've got a lot of resources out there - and hopefully this can also be a resource for you. I think if you are someone listening to this who is kind of treating it as a resource I find, I don't know, kind of a reframe that I had to take myself through with some training programs and other like, resources out there - was having to just see it as like, it started some momentum when being told like, “oh, this is how you're supposed to run a company”. And being like, well, I don't wanna run a company that way, and not letting it be something that stops you, right? Like, just 'cause you don't wanna run a company perhaps in the same way that I have, or that in my case this other group did like that - it's not a bad thing at all. I think it's a, it's like that momentum starter of like, okay, well I don't wanna do that, so it gives you something to move away from and therefore, like you get some motion going. 


So, I guess that's very similar to a lot of the projects that we produce and the work that we put out there - it's to spark a conversation, it's to get the ball rolling. And I talk about how like that lighting of a match, that sparking of a conversation, there's movement with that, there's intention around it. And I guess going back to the hundreds of people who have been involved in Grey Box Collective in one way or another? I've always said like, who's in the room matters, and I mean that for the creative process, or at least that's where I started saying that. That if we had a lot of like theater folks in the rehearsal room the piece would likely turn into more of a theater piece, versus if we have mostly dancers in the room, it's gonna become more of this movement piece. And I think one of the big lessons for me is, you know, there's so much that I think I have learned in a rehearsal room that can apply to the operational side of things - who's on the board matters, right? It sounds so ridiculous to just like say it that way in terms of like, “well, duh, obviously”, but like that discernment. And that discernment is something that I have really struggled with over the years, and I think it has come from this fear of is it worth it, right? 'Cause there have been times where like every single day I've been like, why am I doing this? Like, I'm gonna shut it down. I'm over it. But then, you know, I get an email from someone who's been a part of the company or I get a random message from a stranger in another country who is like, “this company looks really important and I wanna understand more about this Trauma-Informed Creative Process that you implemented in the company”, right? Like that kind of stuff is what keeps me going. And it's been, I think, a little too easy to get bogged down in, in the struggles of navigating a pandemic while like, everyone's been navigating it and the admin side of things like that can weigh you down. Especially when the parts that let me turn this into like ‘I’ statements, I have found that like the pandemic and the admin stuff can really weigh me down. And unfortunately due to a number of factors, you know, the hours committed to the company focus on like the heavy admin negotiating, navigating the ups and downs, the roller coaster of it all - when those outweigh the hours of really enjoyable rehearsal time that's where it gets hard. That's where it gets really difficult. 


And I think through, going through this podcast series, going through this reflection, also going through the Play in the Grey workshop series and digging into like some of - especially Finger Painting [for grown-ups]. Like that, just thinking about that can lift my mood. Just revisiting the playlist can shift my energy for the entire day, and yeah, it's just, I don't know, it's really important reminders. And those important reminders connect back to feeling that the purpose, the mission, the vision, the intention of it all is still really necessary in the world. And so finding, finding a way to engage in this work in a sustainable way both creatively, but also as an administrator, making sure the operations are in check and all that kind of stuff, like it's really a three-sixty kind of three-dimensional commitment. Yeah.


So I guess wrapping up here, I am procrastinating even ending the episode now. Wrapping up with like, how am I doing? What am I thinking about? So checking out right, and what I'm thinking about - it's, you know, the hopes for what the future is and hoping that this kind of archival podcast series and episodes can happen again in the future. And that it won't just be my voice, that it will be a collective of humans. And also thinking about how sometimes I get wrapped up in like, well, who's gonna do this project, right? Like, everyone I've asked is like, been unable to be a part of it, right? And like, that can get very discouraging. So thinking about how perhaps some of the people that are going to be on this podcast in the future, like I haven't even met yet, maybe we are not even in each other's like bubbles yet - and I am looking forward to what the future holds. I am looking forward to discovering the way on the way, allowing the unfolding to continue and really engaging in the long game, as I mentioned in the previous episode. So yeah - oh, and I forgot to mention in previous episodes, I think that there is also a playlist for season eight that actually has a song about being here for the long game.


So, yeah. Alright, that's a wrap. At this time, there are no plans for the next season of this podcast series, and yeah, here's to the unknown. So thank you all very much for going along this Grey Box Collective journey. I hope that you have listened to the entire series, hopefully in order or maybe you took a nonlinear path. That's cool. And yeah, until next time, y'all take care of yourselves and each other. Bye for now.


Hey listener, thanks so much for listening to another episode of Any Other Anythings. Be sure to check out the show notes for links mentioned in the show as well as how to stay connected and learn more about Grey Box Collective. Thanks so much for your time and energy. Please take care of yourselves and each other.


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