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 (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.

Best Laid Plans

(Source: Facebook)

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.

Fundraiser and Other News

(Source: Facebook.)

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!

I Feel Lost

(Source: Memegenerator.net)

I feel like I’m caught in a giant pause right now and it doesn’t feel good at all. Work with the insider has slowed down. School is still a mess. I’m still searching for gigs.

Everything just feels so…blah.

The other part to this issue is that I feel like I’m on the cusp of something major. The problem is, I don’t feel prepared for it at all. Do I pray for clarity? Do I twiddle my thumbs in the meantime? Do I try to distract myself with something else? I need to feel productive or else I just feel useless.

It’s Too Cold To Do Anything and Updates

(Source: Pinterest.)

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.

Tech Struggle

(Source: imgflip.com)

Good news, I’m now working with the industry insider that I wanted to work with. Because she is such an insider, I’m bound by an NDA so I won’t be able to post about my job. What I can talk about is one struggle associated with my job:

Word processing software.

Not necessarily the software in general, but the version that is downloaded on my laptop…it’s giving me serious hell! It took me nearly 2 hours to get one document done due to tabs being missing on this version without an option to download. I’m super pissy about it because I want to do well and not look like a total idiot.

When I go home tonight, I’m going to play around with it a bit more to see if I can correct the problems before Monday.

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.

Evicted. What Do I Do Now?

(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.