I vomited in my notes this morning. I’m tired. Here’s a love letter to the Broadway & Theatre Community: pic.twitter.com/kofBIYkCEg
— Cody Renard Richard (@codyrenard) June 1, 2020
To be or not to be…
To be a community of leaders, creators, and artists
Embracing the new sounds the new stories of the lives we live
Or to be the community that thrives on fear,
Controlling the community by what we can give.
By choosing the same friends and circles,
With a guarantee in the spotlight
But where Black and Brown storytellers,
Are found nowhere in sight.
A revolving door of the same voices, the same faces, the same stories, for the same skin color…
Where if you’re anything other than white you are only good enough to be anything but white.
In a community that preaches diversity but deep down are terrified to think of the loss of an opportunity for the sake of their own ego.
An ego so privileged, they’ve never second-guessed auditioning for the “white role.”
An entitlement so deep-rooted, they’ve never second-guessed their capability in a role because they weren’t “the type.”
A community so blind, they’d rather see an opportunity lost for the sake of being right.
Where white actresses and actors can speak about how their hearts bleed for us and our pain,
But when it comes to fighting for us, the silence is louder than any money note they could ever hit.
The community that will cast a Latina in any Black or Brown role
But the same community that will also chastise the same actor for taking the only role they’re offered.
Where we are supposed to take any role with a smile,
When our dignity is screaming “racist and vile.”
Where I can be told to act “more Black,” sound “more Asian,” be “more brown…”
As if what I have to offer with just my talent isn’t enough.
Where you are never enough to possibly be seen as anything other than the Brown face
That society tells you is wrong to embrace.
Like my talent and my worth are only enough for this cancel culture
Because the color in my skin minimizes what I have to offer.
Where I carry the receipts from those who’ve said,
“There’s no Black people here, so here you are instead”
Because the thought of casting me to begin with
was a concept so “edgy” and “far.”
…That does nothing but embrace the toxicity to validate an already oppressive system.
So quick to yell “Oregon is so white.”
You made it white.
Because “if it ain’t white, it ain’t right,” right?
Because WOC aren’t writers.
Because WOC aren’t directors.
Because WOC aren’t leaders.
Because WOC aren’t artists.
Because WOC aren’t people.
“Conscience does make cowards of us all…
And thus the native hue of resolution is sickled o’er with the pale cast of thought.” ~ Shakespeare