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Use Your Voice with Jose Solís


Jose Solís: That’s the great thing about the web generally. I do know it may be hell, however it will also be a spot the place stunning connections can occur.

Yura Sapi: Welcome to season three. Welcome to our liberation. Welcome to the Constructing Our Personal Tables podcast.

The Constructing Our Personal Tables podcast is produced for HowlRound Theatre Commons, a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide. That is Yura Sapi, right here to assist you in your journey of creation in the direction of our collective liberation. How thrilling is it to rework our future and be the long run ancestors we’ve dreamed for? Could you obtain that which helps you in your journey and launch that which doesn’t. The universe expands as we do. Nature evolves as we do. We keep in mind. We keep in mind. We keep in mind.

Refrain: [sings “Remember”]

Yura Sapi: Allow us to name upon the 4 parts that assist us: The hearth that burns inside igniting our creativeness, our potential to see into the long run. The water that holds us and holds inside our reminiscence. The air that lifts us up and carries our tales throughout to fulfill one another. The earth, which offers us sustenance, restore. To assist us on this journey, allow us to welcome in all of our ancestors.

We’re studying from visionaries who’ve constructed their very own tables, receiving gems of knowledge to assist us alongside our journey. In as we speak’s episode, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to tradition critic, canine dad, taco fiend, buddy of Judy, and tarot reader Jose Solís.

Jose: Thanks for having me. To begin with, I’m Jose Solís. I’m every part you simply stated, principally. I additionally am the co-creator of podcast and internet collection, Token Theatre Pals. I’m the founder and director of the BIPOC Critics Lab.

Each these tasks, which might be two of the issues that I’m proudest of on this planet, began out of a spot of anger and of being upset, recognizing nuestra gente [English: our people] weren’t being acknowledged; that our contributions, that our very lives—folks didn’t care. The extra that we cry and the extra that we ask for illustration within the arts, and the extra that we demanded to be seen and heard and to be allowed into areas, it simply wasn’t occurring.

Humorous sufficient, each Token Theatre Pals and the lab began with me occurring that place of common wrath and anger referred to as Twitter, the place I went on-line—the primary time I stated, “I’m sick of this. Who’s a journalist or who’s one other individual of coloration who needs to do that challenge with me?” After which years later in 2020 when the pandemic was getting began, I had that very same feeling of powerlessness and full anger.

In the course of the summer time I used to be in New York. We had simply had the horrific homicide of George Floyd occur. Folks had been taking to the streets, rightfully so. Folks had been indignant, folks had been upset. I needed to do one thing. I needed to contribute. What can I do to contribute? What can I do to enhance this? How can I put my little grain of sand on this planet to attempt to change what’s occurring given my very restricted abilities? All I understand how to do is be a critic. I don’t know how one can do the rest. So given my very restricted abilities, I assumed one of the simplest ways for me to contribute was to create an area the place individuals who had been traditionally advised that they couldn’t or that they weren’t imagined to be critics might come and grow to be critics.

I ended up operating a pilot program in my condo in Brooklyn with eight strangers who stated sure and got here together with me and stated: “Certain, we wish to be in no matter it’s you’re doing.” In lower than three years since I created the lab. And up to now, thirty-five critics of coloration, most of whom had by no means been printed, are all printed critics due to the lab. It was the little push, I believe, that every one these unimaginable folks wanted to tune into their powers, and likewise the reminder that the remainder of the world who wasn’t seeing us wanted to know that we had been there and that we weren’t going to be silent anymore.

Constructing a neighborhood that nurtures and helps you might be my principal piece of recommendation for anybody that desires to create one thing and that desires to make secure areas for folks to develop and be nurtured. An important apply so as to have the ability to construct an area and invite folks to a desk is to essentially maintain your self first. If you’re not in a spot the place you are feeling like you’re being nurtured and that you’re being beloved and brought care of, every part else turns into this insurmountable activity.

It’s so vital to search out practices that assist us heart. I’m a tarot reader as effectively. Meditating with the playing cards is one thing that basically helps me lots. And in addition, that is one thing that I ended up discovering after the lab had occurred, and it’s one thing that basically will get me very emotional, and it touches me each time I give it some thought. One of many issues that I made a decision after I was placing collectively the primary iteration of the lab, the pilot program, was that I didn’t wish to impose a schedule, and I didn’t wish to impose guidelines that had no purpose to be. And the very first thing that I did after I had discovered the primary eight mentees that got here out of the lab, was that I despatched all of them a Doodle. I needed all of us to have the same opinion concerning the time and the day of the week.

So once we could be assembly, proper? As a result of I’ve seen so many instances how while you’re allowed and while you’re invited and while you’re accepted right into a workshop or some type of instructional apply like this, a schedule is all the time imposed on you. So for example, in case you’re a father or mother and have nobody to take care of your youngsters, then you definitely’re screwed. You need to discover what to do along with your children. When you’ve got work or when you’ve got faculty and there’s a battle with the schedules, you’re often not giving the chance to discover a means round that. So it’s all the time such as you both match what we’re demanding of you otherwise you’re not allowed in.

So after we agreed on a selected time and day—funnily sufficient we ended up deciding that everybody might meet on Sundays. I assume it’s the day of the week the place most individuals get to loosen up a bit bit and have a bit bit extra time to themselves. What I wish to get to with that is that we constructed neighborhood, and it was uncommon. And up to now within the three iterations of the lab that we had—the final two being posted by the Kennedy Middle—virtually nobody misses a session. For some purpose, each time each group has agreed, and we’ve ended up doing the lab on Sundays, every time. That’s not a rule, it’s simply what works for everybody. So it’s all the time so touching to me, Yura, when folks don’t miss classes.

I keep in mind there was this time when one of many mentees was on their technique to a household private factor. They received on their cellphone they usually had been within the automobile, they usually stated, “Sorry, I can’t be there technically, and I can’t be part of the entire lab and take part. However I simply wish to hear you as a result of listening to all of you makes me really feel secure.” So constructing a neighborhood that nurtures and helps you might be my principal piece of recommendation for anybody that desires to create one thing, and that desires to make secure areas for folks to develop—and it’s magic. When issues had been stored that means. We hear that lots, that cliché concerning the stars lining up and every part. However no, you’re proper. It’s like, issues occur after they’re imagined to occur.

So figuring out that individuals needed to be in that area, no matter whether or not they had been “studying” or not, which was not the purpose of the lab, might be the factor that I’m proudest of and likewise the happiest for that got here out of the lab. I used to be not anticipating that, and that has reworked me in a means the place I all the time inform folks—I say mentees solely as a result of I don’t have a greater phrase to name the folks within the lab. I often name them instructor critics however nonetheless haven’t discovered the proper phrase that matches what they’re. I don’t consider them as college students in the exact same means that I don’t consider myself in any means as an teacher or instructor or a professor. As a substitute, the best way that I wish to construct relationships within the lab and in my work and in my life basically is that I consider every part that we do as sharing.

Proper now, for me, I don’t consider it as an interview or every time. I consider this as two individuals who had by no means spoken earlier than sharing for the period of time that we’re going to be sharing. And that’s how I method the work within the lab. I typically say that I be taught extra from the individuals who apply to be within the lab than I believe they’ll ever be taught from me.

“If you’re not in a spot the place you are feeling like you’re being nurtured and that you’re being beloved and brought care of, every part else turns into this insurmountable activity.”

What I did in 2020 was that I went on Twitter once more. I stated, “If you’re an individual of coloration who needs a studying free of charge, I can do that for you. That is what I can do proper now. Let me do that for you if it’s one thing that would assist.” That’s the great thing about the web generally. I do know it may be hell, however it will also be a spot the place stunning connections can occur. I ended up doing dozens and dozens of readings for individuals who I’m most likely by no means going to fulfill in individual. With my apply, I would like to have the ability to give folks a spot the place they will really feel secure and heard and beloved and nurtured and cared for.

The way in which that I wish to construct relationships within the lab and in my work and in my life basically is that I’ve consider every part that we do as sharing. Proper now, for example, I consider this as two individuals who had by no means spoken earlier than sharing for the period of time that we’re going to be sharing.

Yura Sapi: Completely. Every little thing is an change. Alternate of power, and time isn’t linear. It’s good to belief instinct that moments from the long run are connecting with this second proper now, moments from the previous, all the issues that ended up getting us collectively on this area right here, and the long run connections we’ll have are all right here on this second as effectively.

Now we have to be welcoming magic into our world. This understanding of the unattainable being doable, particularly round our future—our liberated future—these anti-racist, decolonial, equity-based, justice-based, therapeutic futures for the world we discover ourselves on on this time as beings of Earth. Having the ability to transfer past these fears and these doubts round what is feasible and unattainable, I believe, is a key that we’re actually unlocking for a door in the direction of our transformation and our future.

Refrain: [sings “Time is Not Linear”]

Yura Sapi: Time isn’t linear. You aren’t alone. You might be by no means alone. We’ve been by way of this cycle earlier than. We’re working from the facility of our previous fighters from earlier than, and time isn’t linear. Connections occur for a purpose. There’s a purpose I’m right here the place I’m so bask, indulge, refuge within the happenings of now, the happenings of previous, which is able to information to the long run, which can be actually the previous.

The Constructing Our Personal Tables podcast is produced in partnership with Advancing Arts Ahead, a motion to advance fairness, inclusion, and justice by way of the humanities. We create liberated areas like this one to uplift, heal, and encourage us all to vary the world. You possibly can join with us extra past this podcast by visiting advancingartsforward.org. We provide teaching, programs, organizational consulting, and an artist residency in Nuquí, Chocó, African descendant and indigenous Embera place of birth.

Jose: We’re going to ask the universe to ship a message for us concerning the methods through which we are able to maintain ourselves with a view to create areas that our welcoming, nurturing, and caring for others as effectively. So the primary three months of the yr:

For January, now we have the Knight of Swords, and it’s the reversed night time of swords. So when a card is reversed, it talks lots about your internal universe, and to not reduce your issues. As a result of there’s a hurricane or an earthquake or some huge tragedy occurring on this planet. Tarot as an alternative builds the area for us to have sympathy and empathy when issues are occurring, and by serving to ourselves, we may help others.

Take into consideration January and take into consideration the beginning of a brand new yr, and everyone knows that entire “new yr, new me” factor and all of that. So this card is an invite for all of us to get out of our heads in January, and never take into consideration the locations the place we screwed up, the locations the place we didn’t accomplish what we needed to perform in 2022. And as an alternative, this card is saying, get out of your head and simply go to battle. No matter’s brewing in your thoughts, no matter’s brewing on the mental degree, get out of your personal means and belief your intuition. Be your personal knight in shining armor. Rescue your self, rescue your concepts, rescue no matter it’s that you just wish to rescue. And begin the yr with this power of reminding your self that generally you’re certainly your greatest enemy. Every little thing that has to do with doubt, with self-doubt, this card is saying, “Nope, don’t hearken to that.” That’s the little voice making you are feeling that you just’re not sufficient. And never solely are you sufficient, you’re the hero in your personal story. Strategy 2023 similar to that.

For February, oh, that is so attention-grabbing. It’s so attention-grabbing when now we have reverse playing cards. So for February, now we have one other reverse card and now we have the Ace of Cups. The Ace of Cups in so some ways is said to the Knight of Swords. Ace card talks about your feelings. The cups discuss your feelings. So in February, maybe you’re a bit bit drained from the work that you just did in January while you had been the knight going to battle and fixing issues and going after what you needed.

So in February, it’s time so that you can actually maintain your self. It’s a month of affection and we generally neglect that we have to love ourselves as effectively. You’ll be the one that provides your self probably the most love within the universe. The Ace is the beginning of one thing. It’s the start of one thing. So it’s saying: “Decide up a apply the place you present your self love in an surprising means.” Whenever you have a look at the cardboard and also you see the imagery, which is actually a hand popping out of the sky providing blessings to you. Consider what’s round you, what you have got round in your life. However perhaps there’s a interest that you just all the time needed to strive, that you just’ve by no means tried since you thought that you just weren’t price making an attempt that. Go for it. If it’s a horseback driving, if it’s knitting, if it’s beginning a e book membership—discover that factor that makes your coronary heart really feel fuzzy and heat and deal with your self to it in February. And consider it additionally as a means to have the ability to nurture your self, so you possibly can proceed doing the work that you just began doing in January while you had been the Knight of Swords going for it.

For March, now we have one other reverse card, and this time now we have Justice reversed. March might be going to be a month to reevaluate your idea of justice, and it will most likely be associated to the way you consider justice as delivered by you. Have a look at the locations the place you’re being too exhausting on your self and the place you’re being too exhausting on others. Have a look at the locations the place perhaps the legal guidelines and guidelines of the society and the world that we dwell in should not fulfilling what you recognize is correct. We all know that human beings, sadly, we don’t appear to have the capability to be truthful and to be simply with everybody. So in March, it’s a time so that you can replicate on what you’ve been doing up to now, and maybe it’s going to be associated to this challenge that you just began in January or this interest that you just took up in February.

Deal with your self with kindness. Seize the structure of your soul and seize the structure of who you’re as a human being and rewrite it. March is the time so that you can add addendums and additional legal guidelines, and to take away issues that not be just right for you so to grow to be an individual that simply bear with your self, initially, after which you possibly can apply that to the remainder of the world.

That’s my studying for January, February, and March of 2023. And I all the time remind folks: Notice that you’ve got a voice proper now. You had been born with a voice, and it’s time to make use of it. So take into consideration this power of the Knight of Swords, take into consideration this power of the Ace of Cups, take into consideration this power of Justice, and provides all these treats to your voice. Make your self be heard, whether or not that’s by way of artwork, whether or not that’s by way of whichever discipline that you just’re in. Ensure you’re heard. Be certain nobody’s silent. And I do know that’s stated simpler than completed.

That is the place, if I can do something for anybody who’s listening to this, you could find me on Twitter. If Twitter’s nonetheless round, you possibly can positively discover me on Twitter. You could find me on Instagram, or you could find me on my work e-mail. If you wish to chat about something, that is what I’m right here for, and if there’s something that I might do to assist in any means that I will be, simply let me know.

Nothing makes me happier than connecting with different human beings, particularly at a time the place due to the Coronavirus, due to the best way through which the world is altering—now we have battle, now we have so many horrible issues occurring round us—that I really feel that it’s our mission to nurture and to encourage human connection as a lot as we are able to. So I’m right here for you all, is what I wish to say to all of you.

Yura Sapi: This podcast is produced as a contribution to HowlRound Theatre Commons. You could find extra episodes of this collection and different HowlRound podcasts on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, and wherever you discover podcasts. Be sure you search and subscribe to obtain new episodes. In case you love this podcast, submit a score and write a evaluation on these platforms. This helps different folks discover us. You too can discover a transcript for this episode together with lots of different progressive and disruptive content material on howlround.com. Have an concept for an thrilling podcast, essay, or TV occasion the theatre neighborhood wants to listen to? Go to howlround.com and submit your concepts to the commons.

There’s a purpose our artwork is of the guts. We rework and transcend, share love and share truths. Creation is the remedy for destruction. Storytelling is liberation. Communing is energy. Evil wins once we learn to dehumanize. As a substitute, we should decolonize. Upon us as an undoing of nice feats. So let folks in. Be stronger collectively as a result of there’s a weak point in solitude.

That is Yura Sapi. You could find out extra about me at yurasapi.com, or comply with me on Instagram or LinkedIn @yurasapi. Thanks for becoming a member of us.



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