Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Don't You Want to Be on the Other Side of Things?"

By chubbynavyblue
Guest Blogger

I'm in the car on the way to New Orleans with Reno. We’re drinking and listening to a podcast (you can do that in Louisiana ayee) when he asks me to pause it then proceeds with asking me, "Where have you most experienced white privilege?" 

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I responded, "Midtown". There’s no contesting that. Told him how, in my early twenties, we’d go to this area in Houston called Midtown that was the scene at the time. I explained how people who looked and dressed like me were turned away at the door to most places (in the mf 21st century smh). 

I'd be upset, embarrassed, and even hurt sometimes. We laughed at a story about this one time me and some friends pulled up to a bar and I got turned away for having on an urban outfitters t-shirt with tupac and snoop on it (UO clothing, in general, isn't cheap) while the dj was, very ironically, playing "California Love" by dre and pac (because everyone could #dancechallange and feel on each other to black man hip-hop music but require a safe distance from people who look like the artist that made it). It changed me. 

When we did get in, I would withdrawal into my own corner of the room and dance all by my lonely, with my fingers in the Very aggressive and atypical behavior for me, prior to that season of my life. I would resent it when friends who knew, and were present during some of these discriminatory experiences, would invite me out to the area.

Midtown played a large part in how I moved around the city, and how I move and travel now, in my late twenties. We were forced to (fortunately) discover and stumble upon bars, events, and spaces where we could do what we wanted, wear what we wanted, and be who wanted. Most importantly, most nights we wouldn't pay a dime (important when you're young and broke). I have a variety of ways I bring friends together (meet-ups, dinner parties, etc.) and if i'm not footing the bill for the meal or ticket (respecting, honoring, and paying for their very limited time), 99% of the time the thing we're attending is free. The event Reno and I attended last night was free admission. [editor's note: they attended Tidal's in-studio interview with Elliot Wilson x Lil' Wayne].

I don't want to ever be one of the people that suggest a certain type of lifestyle on social media without being responsible enough to say that.... i'm being responsible – even if it takes the mystery and cool out of things. 

This bit of communication is to help convey that, and hopefully inspire. I get a lot of inbox replies on social media asking when i'm at work (since it seems i’m always moving) or how can I afford to be here and there all the time. 

I typically work six days out of the seven day week, with three to four of those weekdays being occupied by both my full-time and PRN jobs at two different facilities. Once or twice this year, I worked thirty to forty hours in a half the week's time and I took a trip without using any of my PTO (ima have PTO forever).

Wednesday, I went in to work wayyyyyyy early to treat all of my patients and depart early. Got hit with a speeding ticket right at the start of things. Hit a lot of traffic and was nervous we wouldn't make it in time. Made it, and definitely enjoyed it. Got back to Orange, TX way late. Slept a couple of hours on the homie’s couch. Threw on a shirt I found in my trunk, and worked both jobs without having taken a shower.
Marfa, Texas (Photo: @chubbynavyblue)

I take photos, so usually when I move around to different cities or events, it's for an opportunity as much as it is to enjoy myself. Last night, I wasn't selected to help with the team of photographers shooting the event, but I was selected to attend (with a plus one), and I did bring my camera. I initially submitted to assist the team of photographers shooting the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music & Love, and though I wasn't selected I will be sending their staff the photos I took. I know what i'm capable of, and sometimes you have to prove you belong in certain spaces. They say no, and I still go. I dream something up, I come up with a plan, I budget, and I go. A lot of pleasure, but the pleasure comes attached to copious amounts of productivity. A lot of what you see from my out of town work is merely, masked risk-taking. This year i've been looking to take a photo(s) that's gonna change things, or put me in a room I wasn't allowed to be in prior to it’s sharing. If nothing, no matter. I'll keep sharpening and developing as I take the slow and scenic route.

I mean c'mon, think about it. Don't you wanna be on the other side of things?  I love art, music, design and visuals (to name a few things)–and I've always wanted to be on the other side of things. When I buy tickets to a rockets game, I see a court full of players there who worked their asses off and are living out their dream. There are coaches, a dance team, vendors, a camera crew, an architect that designed the damn place–so many people who outworked and inched past others that could potentially be in that position. When I go out to a night spot, in my head i'm like, "man there was an interior designer who arranged all of this, there's a dj who had to figure how to mix this night after night weekend after weekend(under the pressure of satisfy a room full of people), there's an artist who made the song the dj is playing (who was hoping and praying it'd be received well), there's a producer and engineer who helped that artist make and master the song. All dreamers. All fighters. I don't know why I think this way, but if you've ever met me out for dinner and watched me quietly look around and take in the space, these are my thoughts.

I don't want to be just a consumer, I want to be on the other side of things.
I want to work, I want to make, and I want to take risks.

So let's do it. An actual proposal for those whom this might apply to: I know a few people on here who own cameras who and have their own style. 2019 is right around the corner. Let's come up with an idea, let's find four or five other shooters (or just the two of us), let's pick a city, let's envision, lets chose a medium (film/digital/polaroid), lets look up geotags or book a cheap studio space, let's dm some models in the area (or travel with friends needing to build their modeling portfolios), let's skip town (or come together right here in good ol' TX), let's be responsible, let's be efficient, let's make things happen.

you can do anything, 


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