Celebrate Juneteenth, Celebrate Your Artistic Freedom with Nattalyee Randall
This month BOLD is featuring 5 Black Women Who Are Using Their Artistry for Freedom.
We talked to Nattalyee Randall, Performer, Writer, and Runner! She's been using her voice at protests all over New York City. Check her out @nattalyee
Q: What are some ways you have you been reclaiming your creative voice during this
time of both the Pandemic, and over the past few weeks, watching the Uprising of
Black People across the country?
I have been attending many Black Live Matters protests and marching with many different groups. I’ve also been able to sing at many peaceful protests.
Q: What are you reading, watching, listening to that has contributed to your creative freedom?
I’ve been attending a lot of zoom meetings about diversity, inclusion, equality, and confronting racism. I’m not typically someone who is tuned into digitally watching panels of people talk, but I had to start expanding my knowledge on these subjects. I also need to hear the stories of what my sisters and brothers have gone through and talk out solutions to fix it for the future.
Q: If you had a gigantic, lit up billboard in Times Square- an avenue to get a message to millions of people- what would it say? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (It can also be someone else’s quote, something you live by.)
NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES
Q: What advice would you give to a young, driven student graduating today about the industry? What advice should they ignore?
The advice I would give a young driven student graduating is “Take a breath”. I say that because this is the most unusual time we’ve had in a long time with our industry. The Class of 2020 is going to be a class no one ever forgets because of all the hardships they’ve had to deal with. So take this time to recharge, rest, and just breathe. When the industry goes back into full swing, which it will, the class of 2020 will have to grind twice as hard because EVERYONE in the business is starting over in some way.
Q: What have you become better at saying no to? What are some boundaries that have helped you feel free?
I have become better at saying no to people who don’t have my best interest in mind when asking me to do something. I am a helper, and some people will try to take advantage of you for being so willing to help. I used to feel bad and so guilty about saying no. During this Black Lives Movement, I have really come to value my mental space, and not everyone is allowed into that room.
Q: When you feel overwhelmed, unfocused, or even in despair, what do you do?
When I’m overwhelmed, I tend to want to sulk and lay in bed all day. Instead, I get up and run. I get up and call someone to check in on them. I get up and remember tomorrow is not promised so why waste it crying today. I get up and do SOMETHING. Even if it’s something as simple as washing the dishes. I just have to get up and move. Also, I’m a big advocate for mental health, and if life is becoming too overwhelming please reach out for help. I go to therapy and it’s been the most transformative journey of my life. Never be ashamed or embarrassed to reach out for help.