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S2 E7 with Micah & Chasity

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Micah: Sweet. Yes. All right, so happy Friday everybody. Um, Grey Box Collective is back with another podcast and we're excited to be here with, um, another one of our wonderful, lovely collaborators. Chasity. Um, thank you for joining us today, , and, uh, I'm your host Micah. Uh, we're super happy to be here. The end of the week is here, so I'm super happy. I know that's for sure. Um, . Uh, but yeah, how are you doing? Um, tell us a little bit about yourself?

Chasity: Um, I second that on Friday. It's here. Um, I am Chasity Flores. I'm from Arizona, born and raised. Um, I have my BFA in dance. I consider myself a performer. Um, my specialty is dance. It's just like for me, I've been performing since I could like walk and talk like I was a pageant baby.

So like, you know, I was kind of groomed for this stage and like the way. I've perceived performance since then has become something that's healing for me. Mm-hmm. like personally, like, and I think that like being able to display other things that I can do, like singing, editing, video, you know, like poetry even like whatever facets of art you can like really draw from.

I feel like Grey Box Collective has kind of like allowed me opportunities to. Do my thing.

Micah: I love that. I love that. Okay, so you said you're born and raised Arizona. See, I migrated from Mississippi to Arizona when I was about 10. And I'll tell you, the heat killed me. I could not have been happier when I finally was able to run away.

Are you a fan of the heat? Like does it bother you? Do you feel like you've acclimated? Is your buddy just embracing it?

Chasity: So now I live in Nevada and I realize how much I like the heat. Yeah. Like I like hot showers, like I turn the heat on, I wear like little sweater jackets and stuff like that. Yeah. So I like the heat, but I don't like the AZ heat.

I'm gonna be entirely honest with you. It's just unbearable. Like people are like, oh, you get used to it. I'm like, I've lived there my whole life. I'm like, I did not. To it?

Micah: Yeah. Yeah. Honestly, I'm the exact same. I feel like I became a human furnace because of Phoenix, and now I'm like, bring me through the cold.

I need, I need something to just counterbalance that. That's hilarious. I love it. Um, cool, cool. So, all right. Kind coming back to. Artistic experience and just you, I know you specifically said that you're like a dancer through and through and I love that I'm envious. I love people who just have like done it from day one.

I adapted and like got into movement and danced much later in my life. I don't actually think it was until. University that I really started to like, dive into movement and the exploration of like body and space and all that good stuff. So like that's, I, I envy to a certain extent. Um, but I am curious when you are getting started, whether it's warming up for a performance or rehearsal space or whatever the case may be, like, do you have like a favorite.

Warm up or check in or like grounding activity before you really dive into, uh, the work.

Chasity: Okay, so if I'm being entirely honest, my favorite part of the process is right before the performance, like in a, in a like in-person performance. For me, it's like doing my makeup. Like, it's something about like the ritual of like putting on your makeup and like getting ready for this stage.

Like it's so, I don't know, like I love it, but like on my day-to-day, I don't really wear very much makeup. Mm-hmm. , so like mm-hmm. , I'm like, let my skin breathe. But there's something about the meditative like process of like, okay, I'm gonna let my body embody these things. Like, I mean, for me, I guess I got into dance really when I was in high school.

but earlier than that, like my pageant talent was singing, but I don't like to sing very much anymore. But when I get the opportunity to, you know, I will. But , it's like, it's, it's one of those things where I feel like. , my artistic journeys have led me different places.

Mm-hmm. and like allowing myself to kind of go with the flow of what that looks like has given me a lot more abundant opportunities than I ever could have possibly imagined.

So like, yeah, I don't know. It's, it is one of those things where it's like I'm deeply passionate about it and rooted in it and grateful for the opportunity.

Micah: Yeah. I, I love that. I love that. And I feel like there really is, uh, you said something that caught my attention about like, uh, you know, in your pageant days, like singing was your, I guess, uh, presented talent and such, and how it's kind of shifted away from that into this new expression of art and, and, uh, you know, um, self, um, I, I am curious.

And I don't mean to pry, so you don't have to answer it's, but that's okay. Uh, yeah, like when, cause I'm, I guess the question is like, when you started doing your pageant days, like how young were you? Did you feel like you had to sing like, , where do you feel like the transition happened from? Like, you know what?

I think that this isn't something that I want to fully explore anymore and shifted into dance per se.

Chasity: Ooh, okay. So , it's, um, it's definitely something I'll answer. So for me, I'm a twin and I'm an identical twin. So my twin sister would also like do these pageants with me and she would. Me and I always felt like it was tied to her identity and not my own.

Mm-hmm. , like I didn't have my own identity. And that was like kind of being snuffed out in some ways. Hmm. And like later on, as I found out, like I grew up in the system and stuff like that, so I was a foster child then I like found out who my real parents. Where I went to live with them, there was just like a lot that like happened and that I experienced, but dance was something that kind of like helped me express like my emotions when I couldn't, when I didn't have words to say.

Like, yeah. So it was like, yeah, like and singing, like, I don't know, singing, like, it makes me feel free, but it also makes me feel like, like I'm stuck in. Like, I don't know, it feels like I'm stuck in that cage still , if that makes sense.

Micah: Yeah, I, yeah, yeah. and sometimes yes, it, that's a hundred percent valid where sometimes we have a, you know, even something that we could enjoy, uh, that, you know, for all intents and purposes, uh, is perceived as something that's, you know, joyous or something that we just express ourselves with.

Sometimes there is something that's really kind of tethered to that. Sometimes weighs us down and if we need a different form of expression. I loved that you were able to find that through line three movement, through dance, and really blossom in that. Like, that's amazing. Um, I, I, I, I know that like, I think part of what keeps me fueled as an artist is like hearing how people.

Hone into what they love because I think sometimes, yeah, we, we , I had a friend in university, I'm kind of tangenting a little bit, that everybody was like, oh, you're such a great performer. You should go straight to Broadway, blah blah, blah, blah, blah. We were all like, rooting for him and I think like talking with him now and uh, you know, getting to know because he ended up.

Like pursuing theater any further than than university. And everybody was like, why? Why? You were like the best in our program. Like you could have gone so far. And I think there's also like just this idea of like, like kind of like expectations of like whether we're being like pitted against someone, um, or if we are, you know, everybody's got these expectations.

Like you should, you should, you. I mean, I even had a, a, an educator, um, sadly enough in like elementary school. I was in band when I was really young and, uh, played in symphony and. She was like, I loved singing and that was my expression of self and that was something that I feel really rooted in.

Um, but it's something I've had to work at. And I had , I had a, uh, a band teacher tell me like, cuz sh. You know, she wanted to build out more people in the band, I think. And I was really interested in choir and wanted to drop one for the other. And she was like, uh, you know what Micah, I actually think that you would make a better instrumentalist than vocalist.

And I was like, that's not what you want to tell someone. And like it did kind of shatter my spirit a little bit where it's like, well wait, like should I listen to someone else? Tell me what I should. or should I find that for myself? So again, I I really do, I thank you for sharing your story, cuz I think, um, sometimes we don't give ourselves permission as artists to let something go if we need to let it go.

Um, it's not say that that's a, yeah, it's not a bad form of expression, but like if there's something that's attached to that, that just isn't for you and your heart and your. It's okay. Um, so yeah, thank you for that,

Chasity: No, I definitely hear you. I'm like that choir story, like, I mean that, that I heard from my own mom.

My mom has a voice of a chair and she was just like, Hmm, like, let your sister sing, like find your own thing. And it's like, all right. Like, I mean, at the end of the day, like I consider myself like a writer, you know? I like my voice. I'm not ashamed of my voice, but it's one of those things where it's like, it's.

It's no longer a comfortable place for me. It takes a lot of my energy. Yeah, it takes a lot of like. I guess of like that thinking that same patterning and it's like, until I can go back and like try to reassociate it, like I just kind of put it on the shelf at times. Like I'll sing karaoke, I'll do like, you know, I'll write songs here and there and stuff like that.

Or I'll. I'll sing like in intimate spaces where I feel safe and like I feel like I can be okay. Mm-hmm. . And that's why like there's times where like I've done like singing opportunities with Grey Box, which just kind of like pushed me outside of that like comfort zone for myself. Like, all right, like, I'm gonna do this

Yeah. But it's like building that confidence within myself, like not living within that imposter syndrome or like the limiting beliefs that others place on you, like, mm. I don't know. .

Micah: Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's the key right there. Exactly what you said, those limiting beliefs, because it's like, sometimes people wanna put labels on individuals or say like, oh, based on what I see right now, you are this or you are that.

And it's like, well, we go through different phases. I may not be what you're looking for right now, but that is irrelevant. So, um, yeah. No, I, I feel you. I feel you. Okay, cool. So tell me this, in your exploration of movement and. When did that intersect with Grey Box Collective? Like how were you introduced?

What projects have you gotten the, uh, gotten to work with?

Chasity: So I've actually been working with Molly specifically since I was a freshman in college. So I was a freshman in college, like 2014. And then, so I like did some projects with her. I was in my undergrad, she was in her graduate program. And so then after that I'd had my baby and then, um, I, my daughter's now four, but like I've been with Grey Box since like 2000.

Teen, I'd say. And now we're like season seven. So yeah, I've been, I've been doing [00:12:00] some things here and there, you know, and it's like as I've progressed through, I don't know, like when I, when I think about like what Grey Box does, that's like, okay, it's this trauma-informed to like creative practice that like allows people to explore their creativity.

At least for me, that's what it. Felt like, and you know, I feel like Molly's talked a lot about like her process and like how it works, but like being immersed in that process is something that like, she really, I think allows for like the collective to do their thing. Like, you know, and so that's where it's like, you know, some people, they try to dictate or control what that creative, um, outcome looks like.

Yeah. And I think for her it's more about like uniting people who have. Similar mindsets or like similar like, like that, like each people that sh like are part of the collective have things that they have as attributes that they can contribute, that they can, you know, Collaborate with. So like that's exciting for me and it's like, that's where I wanna be.

That's what I wanna do. You know, especially with the kind of taboo things that we work with and conversations and things that get brought up. Like for me, that's a very beautiful and honest space to live from. Like, I love transparency. I think we all should. But yeah, that's just me.

Micah: No, I, I love that. I absolutely love that.

Uh, and transparency is really key. I think there's a lot of times where we feel like we need to put up a facade or we feel like we need to omit something or whatever the case may be. And it's like, uh, no. And I feel like every time that I've chosen to be vulnerable in a given space, it's always been okay.

You know, it's always like, there's always this like fear of like, whether it's rejection or, you know, whatever the case may be. . I think there's just this in not, it's not innate. I think it's learned this, this, this hesitancy towards vulnerability. Because we look at kids and we look at, you know, the way that they express their thoughts and their feelings.