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GBC’s Story and Motivation

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

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MOLLY: Hello and welcome to Any Other Anythings – a podcast that talks about all the creativity, work, and randomness that happens in an ensemble-base performance collective. I'm your host Molly W. Schenck and founder of Grey Box Collective.

This will be one of the shorter more focused episodes. So this past week I was asked to tell the story behind Grey Box Collective and my motivation of being a business owner; and the expectation was to tell this in a very authentic, raw, human way as opposed to like a pitch deck approach which is like a quick overview of a business plan. And I've never really told Grey Box Collective’s story in this way before which feels weird because I think I've been asked to give the Grey Box Collective narrative before. But there's something about the way that these questions and the expectations all came up, it resulted in the new telling of an old story; and I like what came out of it and I felt that it deserves a home in Any Other Anythings.

Content-wise nothing explicit. I do mention mental health and sexual violence but no details of retelling of specific events. That being said as always, dear listener, please put yourself first. Hit the pause button if needed to take care of yourself.

So what motivates me and what's the story behind Grey Box Collective? I'm motivated by seeing people surprise themselves – artistically, personally, and professionally. I love seeing someone do something they thought they couldn't do by embracing the tenacity, and perseverance, and courage that's deep within all of us. It's a feeling that I personally attempt to speak often. It counters our culture conditioning and I think especially as a female, I have felt like that conditioning to be small; and by continuously surprising myself and working against it. I think the self-efficacy and confidence that is built as we creep outside of our comfort zone little-by-little are the ingredients needed for social change. I think of social change as a local to global effort, and local being starting with our own minds and bodies. And I think once we start to experience growth of individuals as artists at a personal, professional level, then we are able to situate ourselves in such a way that leads to greater impact in society. And it all starts with us. As in me, as in you, as in like one human being. Once we build that self-trust and believe that we can surprise ourselves and do things we didn’t think we could, like we’re unstoppable. And we can really become agents of social change.

I founded Grey Box Collective to create brave and supportive spaces where people could step outside of their personal, professional comfort zones by taking methodical artistic risks, and getting vulnerable with themselves, and others. I think of the company as an artistic vehicle full of change agents who are looking to challenge social norms and shift the culture. The inspiration comes from my own #MeToo moment when I was a freshman in college. After my assault, I felt completely alone and clueless on how to handle it; and I kept thinking like, “How do I not know how to process this experience?” And I thought a lot about my education experience and wondered why I wasn't given the tools to deal with, like, the messiness of life. And so my way to deal with it was creating a show around sexual violence on college campuses shortly after my own experience which ultimately became the inspiration for Grey Box Collective.

So, that is Grey Box Collective’s story. And I wanted to just bring up the idea of Post-Traumatic Growth as well. So Post-Traumatic Growth is this idea that through adversity we grow as individuals; and I'll talk about it more in an episode about Trauma-Informed Creative Practices but I'm mentioning it here because Post-Traumatic Growth is Grey Box Collective’s story at the heart of it. And it's something that's important to us and in our work.

So thank you once, again, dear listener for tuning in, and until next time. Take care of yourself.

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