The Curious Case of Jussie Smollett

(Source: Facebook.)

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 (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 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 who’s 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 wrote 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 a 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.

People Have Poor Taste

(Source: Facebook.)

So I’m watching the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix and I’m paying attention to people describing how handsome he was on social media and I have a simple question:

How is he handsome?

Rhetorical question: he’s not handsome and he aged like milk.

Not only that, he was a rapist and serial killer. That in itself should be a major turn off. I have low faith in humanity and I know there is a deep sickness in the world that is incurable; so trying to apply common sense and logic to this situation is next to impossible.

Also: Ted Bundy looks like the bully professor I wanted to fight. Cementing my loathing for both men.

New Year, New Post

(Filter courtesy of Snapchat.)

If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a story that many of my friends and family responded to me as depressing. While it may be, it was the truth.

2018, even with the good things that happened, was absolute garbage. Many of the goals I set for myself did not come into fruition. As a result I chose not to set new goals or resolutions for 2019. This way I have no expectations or disappointment when recapping 2019 on December 31st. It just is.

I also said there’s work to do, which is absolutely true. I have a workshop this weekend and an audition next Tuesday. I’m still without a home in Dublin (though I’m searching frantically) so I messaged the head of the department about what my options are if I can’t find a place before the 14th when the new semester starts.

As far as the school is concerned, I managed to get a shared lead role in a heavily abridged version of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ as Prospero. If I’m completely screwed to come back, the show will go on with the other actor fully taking on the mantle of Prospero which gives me comfort. I hate having to drop out of projects with no coverage.

I think this new year will be ok. There were definitely opportunities that presented themselves that I felt I should take. The main thing I need to do is stop thinking there’s only one way to have a successful acting career. That will open up things a bit.

Run Away!!!

(Source: Facebook.)

The above picture is me internally screaming.

Why?

Well it’s because I ran into the industry insider that I want to work with, and the situation was so awkward that now I just want to hide. Here’s the backstory:

I mobile ordered food from Starbucks and went to the cafe I normally go to, to pick it up. I walk in the building and she is there fixing her coffee. I walk past her trying to avoid eye contact because, 1) I just woke up and I look rough, 2) I didn’t want her to think I was just in there to follow her. Still as I turned around from the pickup bar, food in hand, we made eye contact. I mustered a smile even though I died inside, grabbed some napkins and rolled out as quickly as I could. Later I saw her post an Instagram story of her pulling up to the cafe shortly before I got there…

NOOOOO!!!!

Now I look REALLY suspicious for being in the same place at the same time.

Just put me out of my misery now. 😔

A Scam that Built a Community

(Source: Image Orca Pinterest.)

Is it possible for a scam to bring people together? In my case and many others, yes it did.

A “recruiter” messaged me a few weeks ago to tell of a a beauty campaign featuring diverse faces and body types for a campaign. I was wary of it at first, but I was also wary of a strange email sent to me about a film (MUDA) that turned out to be very real. So I asked for more information and they sent me an email regarding what the campaign is and what the contract looks like.

Before I agree to anything, I typically do research to find out more about the companies involved as well as the campaign. Shockingly these scammers did an incredible job at crossing their “T’s” and dotting their “I’s”. They provided real companies, real discount codes for their products, a genuine conference call with everyone that would be working on the shoot, as well as a real location as to where we would be staying. Unfortunately, but fortunately, the veil lifted for everyone soon after and it was revealed to be a scam.

The silver lining in all of it was that everyone scammed was on a group email and we all corresponded with each other after the big reveal to figure out how we can fight the scam and stay in touch. Now we are a community that follows each other on Instagram with the hopes that we will collaborate on projects in the future. It’s definitely possible: many of us are models, actors, recording artists, bloggers, and brand ambassadors. Movers and shakers in this industry that are making big things happen.

I’ve been fortunate enough to not be pulled into an elaborate scam that affects my safety or my finances. Those people are out there and it’s concerning that they would go to such lengths. Take this as a warning: do all of your research, ask questions, ask others that are involved, and if something doesn’t feel right in your gut, walk away.

Inclusiveness

(Source: Facebook)

I know the meme I’m including above has a sour face, but I promise it’s not in relation to the Entertainment or Fashion industry being more inclusive in general. The face is directed towards people begging certain outlets to be more inclusive where as they have historically shown themselves not to be. Primarily the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and The Academy Awards (even though they are making an attempt.)

I read an article from Teen Vogue about Rihanna’s SavageXFenty runway show last week. The headline said “it was everything that Victoria’s Secret runway show should be.” My question is why? They don’t even make inclusive sizes for women like myself. Plus the quality of the garments is so crappy, that I would prefer if this company just fades away into obscurity. (I used to work there so I know.)

We need to stop asking for a seat at the table where we are not wanted. Instead pour as much money into companies who do celebrate us, like SavageXFenty, to make bigger and better shows with dazzling collections year after year.

I’ve Landed

(Source: Pinterest.)

Ok, ok. One more post before going off the grid for a bit.

Currently I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in City Centre Dublin. My flight landed in Dublin Airport at the buttcrack-of-dawn this morning. The airplane seating was a little tight. I know good and well that paying economy prices usually means less than favorable seating with domestic flights; however, I was quite surprised that my international flight was the same way. Previously I have flown to England and Japan with a little wiggle room, so I expecting the same with this flight. There were still in-flight films provided and it gave me a chance to rewatch ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ It took up most of my flight time which was great.

Once I arrived, I called my mom to let her know that I arrived safely. After that, I had to get approved for student status at the immigration booth. Super easy process.

The real panic came when one of my bags did not arrive in baggage claim. Of course it’s the one bag with all of my underwear and my coat in it (SMH). I started to get nervous. I went to baggage claim only to find a long line with other passengers from my same flight. The employees knew something was up and asked the people doing the unloading of the bags if they possibly placed bags from our flight in the wrong receiving bin. That was exactly what happened and we managed to recover our bags. (Thank goodness!)

Once I exited the terminal, it was chilly. A huge difference from the 100 degree hellscape I just left from. Not really a complaint, but more of a shock to the system. From Summer to Winter in a blink of the eye.

I took the shuttle bus from the airport to the area where I’m staying and got a little confused as to which direction I’m supposed to be heading. An older gentleman saw that I looked lost and asked me where I’m going. Once I told him it was easy for him to figure out. He also asked me where I was coming from, I said the United States and the first thing that came out of his mouth was “You didn’t vote for HIM did you?” I chuckled at the fact that no one, myself included, will refer to my country’s awful leader by name. I replied “Absolutely Not!” to which he replied “Good for you!” A great first few hours in Dublin so far. 😂

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m taking less time on social media, but I will definitely be back to report on the upcoming ‘Hamlet’ production with Ruth Negga.

For now, I’m just killing time until I can check in to my accommodation and take a much needed nap.

Blog Clean Up

(Source: Chappelle Show, Comedy Central.)

A lot has happened over the weekend and unfortunately it left me with a lot of anger and grief. I got into a Twitter argument with someone that I liked and respected and ended up being labeled a horrible human being en masse.

I still stand by my statement because there were no ill intentions on my end. But it reminds me that I have a pattern of dealing with the same type of people when I get into disagreements online. So I figure maybe I’m not great at communicating whether it’s in spoken form or written form.

Because of this, I cleaned up my blog of anything I think could be taken the wrong way. Deleting posts. Cleaning up the language of some. I just noticed not every photo was sourced, so that’s a silver lining. I may change some of the photos too.

It’s not going to completely stop arguments from happening, or people loathing me. However, it is what I need to do to make the moment right.

But I may just go off the grid period. Not only because this was an unwinnable situation, but also due to one of the responses directed at me was super racist. Being misunderstood and not being able to fight back because I’m already written off and would be perceived as “grasping at straws” is aggravating.

Elitism at its Finest

(Source: Facebook.)

Fox News posted a disgusting tabloid tweet about actor Geoffrey Owens (known for working on the Cosby Show) who is currently working at a well known supermarket. They were basically shaming him because he is no longer in the spotlight and works at a service job. The woman who took the picture and posted it for tabloid consumption, deserves THESE HANDS….however, that will be for another day.

Why does this make me so angry? For starters, Fox News, the station who always calls the acting community elitists for speaking out against our current leadership; is acting like elites over a person working in the service industry. Second, working in the service industry is nothing to be ashamed of. Is it a pain in the ass? Yes. Do you have to interact with all types of people, including the less than savory ones? Yes. Is it a job that pays your bills and keeps you alive? Yes. Can it be satisfying? Yes. Where is the shame in that?!

People also need to understand that working in the entertainment industry is roughly the equivalent of working a temp job. It’s fleeting. Projects can range from a few seasons, months, weeks, days, or hours. You only work as long as needed and oftentimes there are long bouts of unemployment. If you’re lucky, you can work on a hit tv show like Grey’s Anatomy and hit a huge pay day like Ellen Pompeo, but that is very rare. There has to be income producing activities in the meantime to stay in the black.

No matter where life takes me in this career, even if I were to be suddenly famous, I’m always going to have some sort of gig. Whether it’s my own enterprise or working for a company. I’ve been in poverty. I’ve been homeless. I’ve had to turn down social events because I couldn’t afford it. I’ve had to put off my education due to money. So I’ll be damned if I let myself get back there again.

Fox News needs to disappear forever.

Terrible 😔

(Source: Facebook.)

I don’t want to talk too much about yesterday’s mass shooting because it is too sad and too close to home for me being a habitual member of the gaming community. What I do want to talk about is the fragile ego of individual, themselves, who premeditated a mass shooting in the event that they lost.

What the hell?

In a world that’s finally opening up about issues surrounding poor mental health, we still struggle to dive deep into harmful personality disorders. I say harmful because its usually the people around the individual that suffers more loss than the actual individual. Just look at our current leadership for a perfect example.

Where does the breakdown happen? Is it from birth, a traumatic event, or the way someone was raised? Did they never lose in life and now when they feel a minor and/or perceived loss they must react in a murderous rage. This is just a game. People lose. It’s part of the process. You learn, you grow.

So what can we do as a society? The murderer used their loss as the final straw, but it didn’t start there. We would really have to look back and see where the red flags were ignored as well as when the poor behavior was rewarded. We also have to recognize a pattern that many people on social media are violently resisting: the fact that the majority of the mass shooters are male and white. Sorry, not sorry, this is a glaring pattern.