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S3.E5. Haley & Chasity

Updated: Jan 13

Haley: Hello all. Welcome to episode five of Season three of Any Other Anythings.

I'm Haley and I'll be the host for this episode. I'm the costume designer for some of the productions last season and this season. Today I'm here with Chasity and welcome Chasity.

Chasity: Hi.

Haley: In a minute we'll get into more of your origin story, but I wanted to start with a little check-in and resourcing first.

So maybe we'll do our check-in and then just take a breath together. Is that okay with you?

Chasity: Absolutely.

Haley: All right. So yeah, why don't you check in first. How are you?

Chasity: I am doing well. I am very.

Reflective, I would say like I'm reflective about a lot of the things that are like going on in my life and then in my day to day. I'm relatively busy, so I think that like staying busy and keeping busy has a lot to do with it. And then like being a mom and then all of the things that go into, you know, life, like, it's kind of crazy.

I don't know. I, I'm just really reflective on like the journey I'm on and like how often like I dismiss like, I guess the growth that I've had over like my 26 years of life. Like I'll be 27 this year, so it's yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. So how are you, Hailey?

Haley: That's awesome. I'm good. I am a little bit tired and have a headache, but I laid down before this, so it's, it's on, it's on the up and up.

It's getting better. I'm actually really excited to be interviewing you because I feel like I haven't gotten to talk to you much, and I remember when I met you last year, I was really interested about your story and where you came from and where your movement came from and all of that. And so, yeah, I'm excited that I get to be the one to interview you.

That was serendipitous.

Chasity: I'm excited you're interviewing me, so like

Haley: That's that's awesome. Yeah, so I'm really glad that I get to do this. And then yeah, let's just maybe take a breath. So if we can do, can we do a four count in, seven count hold and an eight. Out. Does that make sense? Four count in, seven.

Count, eight count out. Yeah. So we'll do that. Do you wanna count in your head or do you want me to count?

Chasity: Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Haley: We'll just kinda feel it out and count in our heads. So yeah, so let's go.

Ooh, yes. That felt good.

Chasity: The importance of breath. Absolutely . Yeah. Thank you for that.

Haley: Yeah, for sure. All right, so one of the things we're doing slightly differently this season is dividing out each episode into three segments. So one segment focuses on your creative personal history. One is talking about behind the scenes of our most recent projects.

And the last section is where we lean into Any Other Anythings. So we lean into the title kind of and talk about anything that's kind of sparked today. And for little transparency, we have talked about the structure and content of today prior to recording. So while a lot of the content is spontaneous, the form is pretty much set and agreed on by both of us.

So just for the audience, so they're up to date on that. And then so at first we have. So up first I'll be holding space for Chasity's origin story on this platform. And origin stories can take many shapes. But we can think of that as clues throughout our lives that suggested we'd end up where we are today, either physically, professionally, or personally.

So, kind of like you were saying, just you're in this reflective mood, so that's gonna go along great with this. Another way to think of the story is it's a part of our journey that doesn't necessarily make it into our bios or websites, but they're definite threads that have been a part of our lives.

So maybe not something. as obvious as education, or that could be a part of it, but something that has been a thread throughout your life. So today I'll be holding space for Chasity to share their, to share her story as a formal exercise. This is often done with the challenge to the listener, to hold space for the speaker without interjecting.

With minimal nonverbal communication and no vocal responses until the storyteller or Chasity feels complete in her story. So I'm gonna be quiet for a minute and Chasity you. When you're ready, go ahead and share your

origin story with us.

Chasity: Okay, . So to get started on that, I started in pageants. I am an identical twin.

So me and her used to do pageants when we were babies, and that's like how my creativity was kind of sparked or started. My twin and I like would sing on stages and that was our pageant talent. Before that, it was just like dressing us in little outfits and kind of like parading us across the stage.

And I have like lots of pictures, but like we were ambassadors and I think like sometimes like. Looking back at like those pictures or thinking back about those memories are just like very grounding or like very foundational for like who I am today. So like, I think for that, like I grew up in a very, like, complicated, I guess like situation.

Yeah. Like as far as like origin story goes, like, I'll just lay it out like. My mom when I was like, before me and my sister were born she had a psychic that she would go like see and like, it was always kind of like intriguing to me cuz like I'd. had, the reason she was seeing the psychic was because like I'd had a brother that passed away and then I had had a grandfather who had passed away as well.

So she kind of like wanted answers and she kind of like was dealing with like the grief of like them passing on. And I think that when she went and did this and like made this agreeance with this woman, the woman was like, I can't have children. So you have children for me. And me and my twin are those kids.

So like it's a very. We were raised by this woman, and like a lot had happened to us, like trauma dramatically. Like I don't really talk about it a lot, but I, I'm like, this is a safe space. I, so I suffered from ptsd, Bcause I like endure ritualistic trauma as a kid and so did my twin. And so like, it's something that when we had lived with this woman, it was a lot of.

like, yeah, it was like pageantry. It was all of these things, but like it was a lot of like to cover up what was going on actually, you know, and I had found out later on when I was in foster care, like that woman's not my mom. So like I'd found out like, Okay, well, who's my real mom? And it was the woman who was carrying us as a surrogate.

So I mean, it was a lot of confusion and a lot of like hurt and a lot of not, I guess like understanding and like being a mom now, like I'm going through my own things. Like I'm recently divorced and like it's custody and stuff like that. So there's a lot of, I guess like emotions and like feelings that come up and like when I create or I move, it's like truly therapeutic.

Like I can move through that and I can like move the things and shift the things around me. I don't know, arts it's been like, I mean like for me, like it, it helps me be vulnerable and it helps me be raw cuz you never truly know like what someone's going through and like what your words can do to impact them positively.

So yeah, that's like where I'm like with things. And that's a little bit about like where I come from. So as far as like branching off to like segue back to like artistically origin story after pageantry, like after I was in foster care, my, my biological mom had like physical custody of us, so she had placed us in cheerleading and like different things.

So we got to like travel and like I'd got to get on the plane for a first time and go to Disney World and it was like an amazing experience, you know? And so, , I started to like always have like a competitive mindset cuz I have a twin. So it was like, okay, I'm competing against people. But I really realized as I got older, I'm not competing against anyone but myself.

You know, like previous versions of myself and like allowing myself to grow and move forward and like, I think that like competition can be healthy, but I feel like when you start to like venture off into like different areas of like, I don't. like. There's, there's a toxicity that I guess comes with it because you're constantly comparing yourself to like other people and like what they do and not acknowledging like the uniqueness of like yourself.

And it's like, if I was like giving like this wisdom to my daughter, it's like I want you to like hone in on like, you know, the uniqueness of who you are, what makes you different from other people, and like what is your gift. Like how do you give it, you know? And for me, like that's always been performance, that's always been dance.

Sorry, I'm like crying. I'm like letting it out. Yeah, it's definitely something that through performance, I am allowed to be anything and everything that I embody everything and anything, like I can empower. And so like when that beat starts, or like even like if it's like dancing to like no music, like dancing to like spoken word or like, you know, Broadway, where it's all three, like it's singing, dancing, it's acting.

I just get really into the creative process because you can use like what you've been through in life to really like focus on like these are the emotions that I get to have and that I get to kind of like. release with boundaries. Cuz I feel like it's an exchange. Like sometimes you don't realize, like with other people, like the audience also has boundaries and that's like, that's why people get up and they walk away like you don't like in a performance.

And sometimes you wanna push people's boundaries, but you don't wanna push it so hard that the person's not willing to like listen to you or they're not willing to like see you. And a lot of times people aren't willing to see past what they see. You know? And I think that that happens to me often. Like people see like, oh, okay.

you seem average or you seem like, you know, like things have gone well in your life. And I think that that shows that I've been successful and like, you know, growth in, in my life. Cuz there was a lot of things that like happened to be, you know, more of a challenge than I expected it to be. And then like with those challenges, like you learned that like you're othered from people.

Like I, I think that like this whole like tying things back to like the work that we've done, like I really understand how like I have othered myself from people and how people have othered me and how I've othered people. So yeah.

Haley: Thanks for sharing that. That was really. cool. Yeah. So now we're moving into the curiosity section of our interview.

So I would like to get into the creative process and behind the theme of the most recent projects you've been working on with GBC. So with almost any creative pursuits. In the final product project performance is sharing just a tiny part of the work with audiences. So what that means is a lot of the time and energy that goes into it happens well before audiences are aware of a project.

So we wanna take some space to share more about your creative process as an individual within the company. So for example you could tell me more about your creative process and within your role, how you come up with, with your creativity and then, I have a few more questions, but if that sparks something for you, go ahead and share.


Chasity: Okay, cool. So as far as creative process with projects that I've been working on with GBC I worked on the digital process of Understanding Otherness. I feel like that has been a very. It's been interesting to see all the moving parts that have come along with like creating digitally and like all the ways that you can, like utilize the spaces that you're in, utilize the people that you know, like we're feeding off of each other's ideas.

So I think that like the more that we take things in one direction, the more it seems to kind of like Bring on other ideas, so like other ideas kind of bubbling off of each other. Kind of like when you see like a bubble that has multiple bubbles on it. Like that's how I think of it. Like in terms of like creating, like there's all of these like ways of going about it and perspectives.

So in terms of what I did with my portion of like, the videos and the footage that I took was like, okay, how can this scenery be interesting for like, what they have? How are these color, tech, colors and textures and things around me in my environment? Adding to like what? is different. And like also adding and like juxtaposing at the same time because it's like also like even the location differences of all the places that we kind of meshed together.

And the, the editing, the editing was very like the opacity on it. Like you can see different layers of things and I think that that's just another layer of like understanding the work that we do together and. It shapes itself. And just having a role in that is important because it's like you understand that like, if one of us wins, we all win.

You know? And if one of us loses, we all lose. Like it's a team effort and that we need to do, you know, what is given in within the role to like be able to help it flourish and help the idea kind of be executed and come together. And that for me is very like, It gives me anxiety sometimes , cuz I'm not responsible for like other people's like like role, but I'm responsible for my role and have to be accountable when I drop the ball, you know?

And that like for me is like what I love about like the art and the things that we do. Like, you know, when you drop the ball, there is support to help you pick it up. You know, like there is those, those opportunities to like be able to like, help each other where maybe there's like obstacles or maybe there's, you know, sometimes even like a blockage in thinking, like, saying like, okay, well I don't really know what I'm gonna do.

I don't know, like how I'm gonna go about, like, making sure that like the footage I take is gonna go well with everything else that everyone else, you know? Brings to the table as well, and also honoring what others bring to the table as much as they honor. Like even if they don't, you don't feel like they honor what you bring to the table, or they might be silent about it.

Like there is something that when it's all put together is like at the end of the day, like it is a team effort. You know? Like there may not be like the outright acknowledgement of like, Hey that was a good job individually, but like, it's a like, hey, this video is great. Or the comments that like come along with that, like that is a personalized thing because everyone has a piece of the puzzle.

So that's what I loved about working on the digital side of this. I, the first time I did that was during the pandemic and that for me was like, okay, like is this like dance for film? Is this like art for film? Like what direction does this go? And I think that, with Grey Box Collective, it goes many directions and I love that.

You know, and it's also like, there's many statements that I think are made in the things that we do that are intentional in like the, the themes and like, especially like with the idea of understanding otherness. Like we're all in different locations, we're all doing different things. We all bring our, you know, own unique thing to the table, but to a, like, analyze it in terms of like how others perceive that like, to watch the full thing be put together really like helps that be the onion pulled back.

Like you understand all the layers that that go into like the editing process and the footage and you know, even the sound and like the textures around the sound too. So, yeah, so

Haley: I can't help, but like, I sounded silly. I can't help, I can't, I can't help but like noticing a connection kind of between something in your origin story and something that you just said about your work now.

And I remember you saying something about, the competitiveness and how you, you kind of maybe with art withdrew from that eventually because it felt inauthentic and it felt like you were kind of ignoring what was like. individual and good about you as a person versus I feel like when you were talking about your work on the, your online work with GBC you were bringing out this aspect of teamwork and that you, you didn't have control over others and you only had control over what you can do within this framework of teamwork and of making a dance video online. And I just wanted to point out that, that's interesting to me to see that development from maybe what you learned that you didn't enjoy about that kind of competitive atmosphere and, and what you're kind of learning about yourself within this more freeing structure that's also supportive.

Like it's. It's not like, okay, you go over there and figure out how to do like a quadruple pirrouette and when you can, when you can do it, you can come back and join the rest. It's not that kind of thing. It's more of like, Hey, you go figure out your own stuff, whatever that might be, and we're gonna accept it and we're gonna take it and we're gonna kind of put it with all this other stuff and it's somehow going to work.

And I think there's something beautiful about. about the way that you described that versus, you know, your struggle with the competitive atmosphere. And I think I just wanted to point that out, that I, I think that's cool to see that, that progression, I guess through life, but I think that's cool.

Chasity: I mean, it's definitely something that, like, as you spoke about it,

I wasn't aware of that, like when I was saying it, but honestly like thinking about it, it's like, yeah, like the competitive side or like even commercial side of like dance is really like cutthroat. Whereas like when you're creating from like the heart and creating with like, it's like they talk about like teamwork and showmanship and all these things, but like those things are really like almost absent in those spaces.

Even like, it's, it's more of like, you know, each girl kind of I think has, or like each person on the team has like their.

You know, like they executed as a whole or like nothing. Right. You know, and it's like there's no, you know, and like if, if we were to do like a dance video where it was that way or like an art video or like, it's like, cuz not everybody in that space is like, gonna consider themself a dancer. They might consider themself a mover.

And that was something I also thought as well, like we, like within GBC, like move and like movement is dance and like, I don't know, there's, there's a lot of like breaking it down for me, but. I love that, that we get to like wear those many hats.

Haley: Yeah. Yeah. That's cool.

Chasity: Including this. I'm all with my journalism background. I love it.

Haley: Oh, nice. Yeah. Cool. Well that was a fun, I think, Observation that we made. And if you're all right, now, we're gonna move into the final segment of our episode. So we're going to open it up for Any Other Anythings. So leaning into that title. So that title actually came from a phrase used in our rehearsals that was essentially a last call for topics to be brought up before we closed out rehearsal.

We're using it in a similar way here to just. Let anything kind of come up and spark that you feel like you want to say as like a, a final. Final word before we end.

So yeah. Anything else coming up? I can also ask questions if that would help . Chasity: Yeah. I'm like, as far as any other, anything, so I was like, there's lots of things Yeah.

in the timeframes that we have. I mean, as far as like. , the work that I've done within Grey Box, I've definitely grown and have seen the growth from my first projects and the things that like even, you know, just kind of seeing it come to fruition and like seeing like work before, I ever joined.

Like, it was definitely intriguing to me and like the idea of like doing what we do, like. and being able to like get paid to do it is amazing because a lot of the time it's like, oh, okay, well this is for experience and this is to like, but to be able to have a platform to like share that and to monetize and to be able to like have like almost like it feels communal and it definitely does feel , like we work as a collective in all, in all components.

So like that's, yeah. That's my Any Other Anything? Unless you have questions, then, then there's more .

Haley: Yeah. No, I think that was good. I think it's, yeah. That's great. Just take a minute to make sure I have asked all my questions. . No, I think that's good. So

I'll go ahead and say thank you for sharing with me and being vulnerable and open and yeah, I know that there are others out there who need to hear that.

And so I'm, I'm glad that you're at a place right now where you feel like you can share. and also that you're acknowledging your continued growth, and I just thought that was, yeah, really cool to hear.

Chasity: Thank you. I really appreciate.

Haley: Yeah, yeah, totally.


Chasity: Alrighty. Hey listener. Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to listen to the episode of Any Other Anythings. Be sure to check out the show notes for links to find out more about the podcast, the speakers and Gray Box Collective. You can also go to Grey Box Collective dot. Slash podcast for a full transcript of the episode.

Thanks again for listening and catch on the flip side. See you in the next episode.

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