For those of you unaware of the case or who Jussie Smollett is; let me break it down for you as it was previously reported:
Jussie is a star on the hit show ‘Empire’ starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard. About three weeks ago, he was the victim of a hate crime. Two unknown men (described as white and dressed in MAGA hats) jumped Jussie in the middle of the night, on a Chicago street (the same city where ‘Empire’ is filmed) wrapping a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him. They called him the N-word and said: “this is MAGA country.” He then reported the crime to the Chicago police.
When the report was first released, there was a huge outpouring of sympathy and support as it was not uncommon for someone like Jussie who is Black and LGBTQ to be violently attacked. He was the most prolific, so of course, it sparked a conversation for the non-marginalized to understand why this happens. Good. It should have done that. However, as time and reporting went on, more people are discrediting the story. The common denominator being that this was a staged publicity stunt.
Now here is something I can sink my teeth into.
For a little background about myself: I’m an actor, who is working an internship with an industry insider whose job is dedicated to publicity. I benefit from this gig not only for college credit but also for a better understanding of how to promote and manage myself in this industry. I have previously written about the publicity stunt orchestrated by Conor MacGregor (which I still hold firm due to my time in Dublin and all of the rumblings I have heard about him); and another possible chance of two celebrities “dating” to make their exes jealous (though I did delete that post because no one could possibly be that stupid.)
Now you know where my head is at, let’s talk about how this could either make a good publicity stunt or a bad one.
As far as a good publicity stunt goes…like I said, sparking the conversation people need to have about violence towards Black LGBTQ communities benefited from this. It also sheds much-needed light on the fact that there are people emboldened by hate due to our current “leadership.”
Bad publicity would mean that he staged this for sympathy and attention devoted solely to him and not the community as a whole. Ultimately wasting time and resources by law enforcement and labeled a liar for the rest of his life.
Regardless of whether the publicity is good or bad, it does make people talk which would be a win for Jussie; but there’s no real gain beyond that. He doesn’t stand to make more money from this. There are no additional acting jobs being thrown at him. He’s not getting written off ‘Empire’. There’s absolutely nothing.
Some suspect that maybe the details of the case were fudged to cover up a sexual encounter gone wrong with, possibly, the two suspected male assailants in the case. But why? Smollett is openly gay, so making up this story to cover up a sexual relationship with another man in the year 2019 would be pointless.
There’s also the theory that he was purchasing drugs and was assaulted. In order to hide from the shame, he made up a story about a hate crime. Once again pointless. Celebrities are notorious for dipping into illegal substances. He could be charged with a crime, yes, but he’s not going to completely have the book thrown at him as opposed to someone like me who is common and poor. If anything he would just issue a bullshit public statement about his drug use and then spend a couple of weeks in rehab.
The big theory amongst the social media rabble is that the creator of ‘Empire’, Lee Daniels, set Jussie up in an attack for reasons unknown to them…
This took the cake for me.
I have heard that Lee Daniels is not the most pleasant person to work with, but he is running a business, so harming someone who keeps his business running would not make sense either.
With all of this said: I believe he was attacked.
Now, could Jussie have embellished the details of his attack in order to point fingers at a group he doesn’t like? It’s possible. Maybe it was a simple mugging and he used the opportunity to say racists did it, I don’t know. What I do know is that the reporting of this case from start to finish is a hot mess. I hope for a resolution and the truth to come out soon.
All fell to pieces. It looks like my planned trip to train as a production assistant is a no go. The flight I needed to be there on time is overbooked. Not only that, it looks like flights even heading back home to the Philadelphia airport are overbooked.
Which means I’m stuck here…
I’m hurt because I did put a deposit down for this that’s non-refundable. I also scheduled it in such a way so that I could go back to the office back home and gather my work assignments and new credentials.
This would have been less of a problem if I didn’t have to spend most of my money on my survival here. If I was back home, I would have had the extra cash I needed to maybe splurge on a guaranteed booking instead of a standby flight ticket.
With the way things look, I’m probably going to have to quit my gig with the insider since I’m now hindered from completing my duties with them too. This is a shitty situation in more ways than one.
Excuse me while I go scream.
Somehow my Event Management class got roped into putting on a fundraiser for the school and I have to be present for it now in order to pass. 😒
The Musical Theatre students will put on a show while the rest of us, including myself, will be serving drinks and food to the guests. The event planners want all of the servers to dress in costume which we have to provide ourselves. The current dress code is Black Tie. No biggie since I do keep gowns for special occasions. However, dressing up as a character from a musical theatre production that I will never wear again, can be a tiny bit frustrating. I think everyone working would have been better served to adhere to the dress code of the guests present.
The property owner whose space we are using is famous. He has been featured in the tabloids on numerous occasions for all of his philanthropy and this event is no exception. I’m now going to have to avoid the paparazzi like the plague while trying to work so they can get good pictures of our host and his guests.
It was easy to not get in the way at Tribeca since I was not authorized to stand on the red carpets or in the way of the celebrities being photographed. This time…not so much. Pray that my rear end doesn’t block anyone’s shot.
(Source: Chappelle Show, Comedy Central)
As it turns out, work with the industry insider hasn’t been slowing down at all. For some reason, the other members of my team aren’t sharing the workload with me. I think it’s mainly due to me being “out of sight, out of mind.” Since I have to make a quick trip back to the States this weekend for Production Assistant training anyway, I may see if there is time in my schedule to pop in and open the lines of communication between me and the other team members. But I still have the gig which is good. I’m hoping to learn more as I go along and plug in the hours I need for internship credits.
(Source: L.A. Magazine and Pinterest.)
So onto the happier stuff. My training is this weekend and I couldn’t be more stoked! The place that is training me doesn’t offer too many of these workshops since it’s mostly genuine production crew members that train us. They are far too busy. My sincerest hope is to make more connections on the West Coast. The opportunity for me to travel out there has opened up this year, now making me Bi-Coastal like I dreamed, and with that, I want to take on as much work as possible whether it’s in front of the camera or behind. I know full well that PA work is grueling and thankless, but it is work. It is relevant to my industry, and it puts next to the people I will hope to be working with regularly. Wish me luck!
As I sit here huddled under a thousand blankets, I wanted to update you on some of the things going on in my life.
1) The internship with the industry insider is going well. Since I deal with sensitive information, I can’t say what work I’m doing, but I do like it. It may be an alternative career path if/or when I get tired of acting.
2) I’m heading back to Dublin soon on a wing and a prayer. I have two leads for a place to stay. Hopefully one of them works out. If not, I’ll either stay in a hostel or if money is way too tight, then I’ll come back home. If that does happen, then I will defer the semester and come back in September with hopefully more money saved in the bank.
3) I managed to figure out some of the software on my laptop via a crap-ton of tutorials on YouTube. Yay, I don’t feel as computer illiterate anymore!
4) I have production assistant training coming soon. That will be in Los Angeles early spring. I needed to have an industry related career that was freelance and could also put cash in my pocket between gigs. I’m really excited to get to work on that.
That’s all for now. Pray that I don’t freeze into a popsicle in the meantime.
(Source: Pokémon TV Series.)
Truth be told, I saw this coming. Some time earlier in November, the Dublin Fire Brigade came to inspect the apartment I lived in with my roommate along with the other tenants. They searched high and low for anything that is a potential fire hazard along with questions about livable conditions. As a result they gave our landlord a list of things that need to be improved along with a deadline. If it couldn’t be completed within that time, then the tenants would have to move out at once.
I heard rumblings that we might be evicted the night before I was to leave for the States and I found out a week later that the landlord made the decision to evict all of the tenants instead of making the safety improvements. *Sigh*
Once again I’m homeless in Dublin, but never fear: my now former roommate found a tip on a place for me to live that I’m actively pursuing. As for my roommate she is living in quarters provided by her employer.
There is still no guarantee of that working out and I’m looking at other places in the meantime. However, I do take it as a blessing. The building was a fire hazard and there were definitely times when I told friends and family that I didn’t think it was fire safe. So there’s that. We’ll see what happens.
Actually I think I’m just a trash actor regardless.
Ok maybe that’s a little harsh. However, I just saw the short film I worked on in school and needless to say: I’m not a fan of my performance.
My acting through screen coach says it’s not great to watch yourself on screen as it dashes your confidence. I’m inclined to agree. Film is a different beast from live theatre. It requires smaller movement due to the fact that the camera picks up every little detail on your face. For me, it’s not just my reactions that annoyed me, but my vocal inflection as well. It just sounded like I was reading the lines as opposed to breathing life into the character I was playing. It’s going to take a significant amount of more training for me to be comfortable with putting myself out to potential projects. Aside from the upcoming film I’m working on in the summer, I’m definitely not auditioning for any other projects in the meantime.
This is so disappointing.
(Taken last night when I walked into the house.)
I made it! It feels so good to be home too. Yes, things are finally calming down with school, but I still felt scattered and out of sorts. Landing on American soil not only rejuvenated my spirit, but calmed some of the anxiety I was feeling.
A couple of good things came out of my move to Ireland. 1) I’m down 20 lbs with 40 more to go. As long as I continue to work out while I’m home I should be able to shave off another 15 while I’m here. 2) I have a deeper appreciation for what I had back home. Things look less bleak and I’m ready to work my butt off as well.
I hope to post more now that I have a bit more time to work on my own projects. In the meantime, I’m going to rest.
(Source: Student Problems Facebook.)
One. More. Class.
Then I fly out on Tuesday morning back to the United States, and not a moment too soon. To say this semester kicked my ass is an understatement. Yes, it did improve, and so did I. However, the steps it took to get here were super treacherous. This trip back home will be a bit of a reprieve.
There are some updates I wanted to include in this post that I talked about in recent days:
• I’m no longer in the professor’s course that disrespected me in front of the entire class. I had to take the case up with the head of my major’s department and the academic dean to move me out of his class. I was moved to a different professor’s course where I’m ACTUALLY LEARNING my craft and it’s not being treated like a contestant for the teacher’s favorite student. The original professor still infuriates me. Not only in how he treated me, but the rumblings I’m hearing from how he is treating the other students. It also doesn’t help that he’s industry (working actor) too. If I ever have to work with him in a professional setting and he is disrespectful to me again, I hope I will be in a position of power by that point in time to call him out on his bullying instead of taking myself out of the situation like I did in class; which made me feel powerless. I suspect that is what he wanted all along. To make me feel powerless. He is a bully after all.
• The classmate finally came around and contributed the bare minimum to the group project and no need to “correct” my paper. Between my friend who also worked on the project calling them out their lack of effort and my email, it seems that kicked them in the pants enough to do some work. I hope to never have to work on another project with them ever again.
• The short film I worked on is coming together fast! We only shot it this past Wednesday and there is already a rough cut that was sent to the directors and the producer/writer of the production. Soon I hope to use some of the footage for my own show reel. Finally a friggin reel. It’s all coming together.
Aside from the updates, I managed to book another fit modeling gig back home and apply for some mini gigs. I’m also teaching at the dance studio this month starting next Thursday. My reprieve will be a bit busy, a bit profitable, and most of all it will be at home. I can’t wait!