I don't even know where to begin. The last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind and I am eternally grateful for the chance to slow down. I have extended so much physical and mental energy that the gazelle needs to chill. After November 3rd I am cashing in on a vacation.
Last week I was in San Francisco for work, the Black Enterprise Tech ConneXt Summit where I served as partial emcee, conducted a one on one interview with Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, and led a LinkedIn workshop for 40 HBCU students that participated in our hackathon.
I'm sure I made all the running around I was doing look effortless, but I was truly overwhelmed and concerned that I wouldn't hit every mark outlined for me. I had an aha! moment earlier today thinking about how God's been preparing me for these opportunities. So much of my grace under pressure was developed when I was a restaurant hostess at Locanda Verde - just having an even temperament, and going with the flow. I can't tell you how many times my scripts changed at TechConneXt or how I had to redo my LinkedIn presentation because the branding for the sponsor didn't show up the first time. How about when the conference at some point lost track of time, so interviews our social team had previously scheduled had to be rescheduled on.the.fly! There was also artwork from one sponsor still be edited and approved that had to go out on our social channels the same day. lol
The point is, I didn't let the stress, changes in the script or my own fears get in the way of my work. I prayed to God and got it done. And reflecting today I realized the training I got working the front of house at Locanda - kitchen flubs or tables not ready for reservations coming in, dealing with difficult people all allowed me to navigate my responsibilities at TechConneXt with charm and grace.
In looking back on TechConneXt I absolutely did my thing and showed other folks what I could do! My goal was to inform and enlighten the attendees as well as be inspired. I achieved that!
Hell, I even interviewed Ryan Leslie wearing my grillz. I slam dunked this conference. lol
Check out my twitter Moment from TechConnexT below
And if TechConneXt wasn't exciting enough, the week rounded out with me interviewing playwright, director and author David E. Talbert and the following day attending his actors workshop. David is responsible for the book turned film Baggage Claim and he's won over 20 NAACP Theatre Awards. We had a good interview, he discussed his faith, and how he started his career and his most important title these days: Father. To be honest, I had never heard of David, though I had heard of some of his work and had seen Baggage Claim. David and I did have something in common though, we were able to connect about go-go. David is from the DMV area, like ME, so we talked some of his favorite go-go bands. Needless to say the interview went great. I also told David that I was an actress and he invited me to his workshop, at no charge! The workshop was great too! I have over 4 pages of notes, which I'll come back at a later date and share! Below are some behind the scenes from the interview and inside the acting workshop. Fellow actors Kim Whitley and Clifton Powell stopped by and gave advice on navigating the industry and some of their own challenges and triumphs. It was a nice surprise. You can learn more about the workshops here #NextGreatTalent.
This week is no less busy than last week. In fact, I was supposed to be traveling again to a conference in the Bahamas. Due to the hurricane, the conference has been postponed. I can't lie, I am happy to sit down for a moment. I realized November is right around the corner! Can you believe it? I just need a minute to regroup, celebrate this stellar year that I have had thus far, and feel out my next steps. I will be speaking on a panel about Branding + Social Media here in New York this week, which I am excited about. So, if you're in the Brooklyn area, come through!