The Southern Englishman
This Is ME
Getting to know me isn’t very hard if we were to meet in person. I happen to enjoy meeting new people and will be one of the first to introduce myself to a stranger at the bar or a cocktail party. Granted, this is a blog so my writing will have to suffice.
The simple facts are that I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have just graduated from The Boston Conservatory, and plan to move to NYC to pursue my dream of being an actor all while working at my favorite store, Club Monaco. That’s me on the surface. Underneath, however, I’m a little more complicated.
I’m a young adult and am blessed to have a loving and supportive family, friends who keep me on my toes and with a smile on my face, and a cat who doesn't bother with me unless she needs food. I am an adventurer, a performer, a perfectionist, a control freak, an experimenter, and a leader. I’m not afraid to assert my opinion because I think I have some great ideas to offer, even if the way they are presented is blunt. Although I am a great organizer and have leadership experience, I often think I can run everything better than the next person. I definitely am drawn towards power. Sometimes, I should butt out, but I can’t help but to have an opinion. My mom has told me, “Just because you have something to say, doesn’t mean you have to say it”. In fact, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from her is “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I’m still trying to remind myself of this rule. The first impression people often have of me is that I am straightforward. I’ve been told this quite a few times and have even been called aggressive in the way I assert my opinions in professional settings. Sure, in work situations and business meetings I want to be respected and aim to be poignant, but I never want to intimidate new friends. I believe my father being a lawyer contributes to this. He’s always thought carefully about each statement he makes. When we’re on the phone, sometimes I think we’ve been disconnected because it takes him so long to respond to my questions simply because he wants to have the most thorough and poignant answer. I am to have this same thoughtfulness in life. Sadly, it is sometimes mistaken as me being unwelcoming or off-putting.
I will try anything once. Maybe twice. Food especially. I'm not a picky eater and clearly love to cook. Recently zucchini bread has been one of my favorites, but I'm really a die-hard pasta boy. My food journey has been ongoing for about a year. Just like any relationship, we've had some falling out, but right now I'm comfortably riding the healthy food wagon. Especially now that I am no longer going back to school in a month, I've begun to develop a lifestyle. I don't want to be someone who spends money everyday on food. I've been avoiding coffee for this very reason. At the moment, I'd much rather go out for tea than coffee simply because I do not want to be dependent upon caffeine to get me going in the morning. Not to mention, $5 every morning is not something that I can afford. I have been meal prepping everything from sandwiches to vegan red pepper pasta to the zucchini bread I mentioned earlier. Having a local farmers market in the North End of Boston has been the most convenient for not only fresh, but cheap produce. Catch me there every Friday morning!
Another part of who I am is my sexuality. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana wasn’t traumatizing or oppressive like most make the South out to be. The difference is that pop culture and liberalism are not at the forefront of the Southern way of life meaning that I had no exposure to homosexuals until High School or until I sought them out. I remember feeling uniquely accepted during plays that I would participate in outside of school. The common love of the theatre was extremely comforting and hardly did I realize that these people would shape my passions, let alone shape myself. During a musical my junior year at Theatre Baton Rouge, a local community theatre, I was becoming friendly with one of the guys in the cast. At this point, I never thought of myself as having a crush on a boy, but just liking them as a close friend. Eventually, I would learn. For me, it wasn’t a guttural instinct or an innate knowledge that I was gay. I had an open mind but knew that to be intimate with a guy was not something that I would initiate because it simply seemed “not right”. I had a few girlfriends through middle school and I don't mean friends who are girls. No, I mean girlfriend. I had a few, honestly. I had kissed them and been on dates and introduced them to my family and brought them to school dances.
It wasn’t until I kissed this boy that I knew that I was gay, for sure.
It was the first time that I wanted to close my eyes kissing someone. It wasn’t me trying to replicate the happiness I saw in the movies when the actors kissed with their eyes closed to appear in love, but because I genuinely was enjoying the experience. That evening, I rethought all my past relationships to see what I had missed, what I loved, what was different. I had been unintentionally in the closet and suddenly knew that telling my friends and family was inevitable.
It is one of the worst feelings in the world to feel like just as I was getting to know myself, everything changed and suddenly the world could hate me.
My sexuality since that day has never hindered me. In fact, it has made me more uniquely me. I’m not afraid to embrace some of my feminine characteristics. I embrace my natural speaking voice and exclaim the stereotypical sayings such as “Fierce!” and “Slay!”. I embrace my fashion sense wearing bright colors. Those who know me know I love to sport some short shorts and a French Tip. I think Boston has a lot to do with this. Not to mention, having my first boyfriend helped a lot. I feel comfortable and definitely don’t stifle my artistic expression. That’s part of the reason I feel compelled to begin this blog - I have nothing to hide and I feel free enough to share my true self.
The Boston Conservatory has been my home for the past four years and was such a nurturing environment for this nervous boy in the closet. When I first moved in Orientation week and was beginning to meet new people, I specifically remember identifying myself as bisexual because I did not realize the demographic would be made up of mostly gays. I have a few friends who still like to remind me of this. Here, I studied Musical Theatre and had amazing opportunities to perform and explore outside of my comfort zone. I took advantage of connections and became a freelance stage manager in the Boston area, I took over a theatre company by the name of EarthStone and managed to grow our operation, as well as serving on the Student Government Association for 2 years. My experience was unique and the Boston Conservatory will be different with every graduate that you speak with. I know that I am prepared for my future in performing because of it. That's why I have no fear to move to New York City - it's my time!
Here’s what you’ll learn about me through my blog: I love to cook, I love to design, I love to organize, I love to perform, I love to explore, I love to have fun, I love the craft. That’s what I’ve got for you. That’s me :)