the boss.

so…if you’re reading this, you either clicked on it on purpose (bless you.) or by accident (sorry, my friend.) either way, if you keep reading you’ll be in on the scoop of what’s happening. a lot of people have asked, “why you spendin’ a month in nyc?” well, simply: to be the boss.

when i first moved in nyc, i came with a dream. (didn’t we all.) i wanted to perform on broadway. i wanted to be on somebody’s stage in somebody’s theatre in somebody’s musical singin’ songs and kickin’ my face. after countless “thank yous” and few “almosts,” i kinda started feeling dejected. i watched my friends click into production contracts and find their ways, but even through that dejection i didn’t settle, and I continued to pursue my pink contract. (for those of you that don’t know, a pink contract is an ensemble contract on bway. we’ll get to that in a sec…) meanwhile, i’d always wanted to write. about three years into my nyc process, i mentioned this to someone and they said, “no. you don’t wanna do that. people are gonna get confused about who you are.” i listened to them. and THAT’S when i started to settle, squelched some desires, and just “did what wouldn’t confuse people.” then i came across CHICAGO the musical.

i’ve been touring with that show on and off since 2007 and while i was in the “pink contract” position of the show, the way it’s crafted, the ensemble each has his or her chance to shine and do his or her thing. it’s like 13 mini white contracts. (the white contracts are for principals.) in fact, CHICAGO to my knowledge is the only show where each member of the ensemble gets his/her own bow with his/her name called. #spoiled. while relishing in the honor and extreme privilege of doing that show, i realized that corey wright didn’t have the voice to be a lead in a mt show. (i’ve made peace with the fact that when i walk into a room i’m expected to riff for the blood of jesus and i….can’t.) i also realized though that i want to contribute more to the process…like a principal. i was in japan a few years ago (with CHICAGO no less) and steven sofia — dance captain at the time — said to me, “things are changing in musical theatre. you can either go along with it or help shape it. neither is bad, you just have to choose which you wanna be a part of.”

guess which one i’m choosing.

i’m coming back to new york for month to step behind the table and help shape it. i’m coming not as a performer (although i still enjoy performing and will definitely still do so). i’m coming as a writer. a director. a choreographer. and i’m so proud to be able to say that. not only of the work, but just the fact that i’ve stuffed a sock into the mouth of the person who gave me that awful advice. (i’m sure he meant well.) “just what is it?” you ask.

give this a click to find out:             Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 6.17.25 PM               Lou Invite Only

a condensed version of what it is, is a good bunch of people sayin’, “y’know, c. wright? i believe in this part of you.” you can witness it if you wanna (and i hope you wanna!)

will i ever get my white contract? i absolutely plan to. but maybe in a play. for now though, i’m content with comin’ in town as the boss. and, look…

i’m not gonna lie, it’s a little scary. unchartered waters. it’s different. even more vulnerable and usually these things are, but at some point we have to wade through those waters. i say “we” because i’m including you. and i want to encourage you: if there are places where you’ve been feeling that thing inside of you, do yourself a favor and don’t be a miserable cow and step out and see how you can be the boss. ūüôā (disclaimer: i just told you i’m scared outta my mind…but it’s like the kid who’s afraid and if he can get enough of his friends to do it too he’ll be alright. HA!)

love all y’all. see you in a few hours, nyc.

-coreycor

3x

t: @coreycor518 / ig: @coreycor

 

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it does not change.

After freedom rang on the 4th of July, a few gun shots followed suit. And my usually optimistic self couldn’t find it, and I was paralyzed for a bit and couldn’t really function. I thought about my purpose and was paralyzed, and for those few days I stared at that purpose from across the room, wondering if it even mattered…wondering if EYE even mattered. (Thanks to those friends who rallied around.) A few more unearthing events followed and my heart continued to ache and just…sit. Is this how it was supposed to be? (And I’m not talking about “what our founding fathers intended. Eff the founding fathers because they were purposeful bunch of good-intentioned mess balls. Is this (the current state of our global union) how it was supposed to be overall? Something deep within the gut of who I am as I sat staring at my currently unoccupied purpose whispered “no.” It tugged at my heart and said, “Shades of skin were never meant to be markers to indicate superiority or inferiority.” Not so suddenly, I realized something. Even though my hope in the greater and best version of humanity had melted into a pile of defeat…
 
My purpose did not change.
(Your purpose did not change.)
 
Somehow I managed to wiggle into that thought. Actually, “thought” is the wrong word. Lie. Yeah. Lie is more suitable. I wriggled into the lie that my purpose had been diminished because of another person not walking in/recognizing theirs. My mama would say, “What that got ta do with you?!” In fact the only thing a purpose can do is grow more intense and more specific.
 
The other day I had a conversation with a super light in my life and she said, “I’m so much more conscious of my blackness,” to which I replied, “I’ve thought about the fact that I wouldn’t wish my blackness on anyone.”
 
We all have both a general purpose and a specific purpose. That general purpose involves taking care of one another. Being examples of love and light and hope and peace…contributing to the comprehensive growth and development of the world at large. Then there’s that specific purpose. The one that harbors specificity. The one that take some soul work. Process. Sacrifice. Saying that you were wrong. Stepping outside of a comfort zone. Humbling the ego. Pushing past the feelings and emotion and producing. THAT’S the one from which we tend to cower…like I did. For whatever reason.
 
“It’s too hard.”
“I’m at a disadvantage.”
 
And we get distracted…
“The dress is gold.”
“That gorilla didn’t deserve to die.”
 
And miss the point…
 
“Black Lives Matter”
“No. ALL lives matter…but Blue lives matter.”
 
Meanwhile our ultimates sit on a shelf. Unused or postponed. Can I get real with you? We will never have world peace. As much as we want it,it won’t happen. Call me a cynic. Call me a pessimist. But I’m telling you as sure as the sun rises, there will always be people who will war against the ensuing unification of this human race. Yes. It’s true that we COULD have world peace. Everyone could — at the same time — decide to embrace one another. But they won’t. I don’t say that as discouragement. I say that so that we — you and I — can prepare our hearts to hold fast to that specific purpose in the face of all of it.
 
Ugly’s gonna come, but your purpose does not change.
Hate will sit right next to you, but your purpose does not change.
The person that you want LEAST will get the presidency, but your purpose does not change.
People will hate gays and discredit their love , but your purpose does not change.
You could find out that your friends like to debate with you and tell you that you’re a closed-off, closed-minded sell-out because you’re choosing to walk in your purpose or NOT choosing to take a side, your purpose. doesn’t. change.
 
…and if you don’t know your purpose, grab ahold first to the fact that you DO have one. And know that it’s not small or insignificant. And know that even though you can give it away, it cannot be taken away. Dig in. Chin up. Boot straps pulled. Armor on.
 
Your purpose is waiting and, for the record,  it does not change.
 
-coreycor
3x
 
IG: @coreycor
TWITTER: @coreycor518

a letter to scott…

 

today, i read an article that severely interrupted my stream of consciousness. it pulled me out of my creatively productive world and forced me to think about something that is actually commonplace…a heedless commonplace. the article highlighted a rape and one journalist’s response to the outcome.

Blogthe quick details:

a young girl was raped by a stanford college student one night during a party. she was unconscious and he was a swimmer on scholarship. (he was also white…it matters, but it doesn’t.) he was convicted…for a six-month sentence because “he’ll suffer enough from the permanent blip on his record.” i read every word of her account¬†and couldn’t help take into account HER suffering. (if you have the time read it.)

the gist of his article stated that he doesn’t deserve prison but 6 months in county jail instead.

here’s my letter to him.

“Scott,

I seriously can’t believe what I just read and it saddens me that your article was even published. If the victim was your daughter, would you still feel the same way? But let’s leave that alone for a sec. Let’s talk black and white and I don’t mean race…although that’s a whole other kettle of fish that we’ll leave alone right now. He committed a crime. Unless he came from a universe/planet/society where doing what he did is 100% okay, he knew exactly what he was doing and he knew it was wrong. That’s inexcusable. All day. Who gives two beans in a can that it’s a blip on his record. He did it. You don’t get to just yell, “I have a future!” and get a do over. This ain’t Monopoly or CandyLand. Nobody IS confused about the severity of this case.

Let’s just say for the sake of a [ridiculous] argument that, sure, okay. He’s not a threat. First offense. Bright future. (I wanna vomit typing that.) He took it to trial. He decided to treat this like a big boy thing. He hired a big shot attorney. He dragged this out for a year. So, his sentence should reflect that. When it was all said and done, he lied about the whole thing anyway. Created a patchwork story that changed a few times, and I can’t help but think it’s because he’s an adult and knows that what he did wasn’t the most proper.Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 9.46.06 PM

The fact is, we’re not talking about giving him the death sentence. We’re talking about putting him in an environment where he would have to sit down and consider what he’s done. (Despite the fact that — in my humble opinion — that should have happened before he stuck his fingers and penis inside of a girl whose name he did not know without her consent. I took the time to read every part of her letter to him, and as an adult male with a host of beautiful, strong females in my life, I was sick to my stomach.) The “genuine remorse” of which you speak seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle between his denial and his turning a whole slew of lives upside down. So, no. He doesn’t get the right to still play with his toys.

Y’ wanna know what I think, Scott? I think that you don’t believe anything about what you wrote. I think that YOU think that this “kid” deserves a lot more than what he’s getting. Perhaps you’re trying to start a dialogue. Get people’s attention. Force people to think. Grow an awareness. Good on you…if that’s truly your intention. There’s something in me that believes that you’re just experimenting with such an asinine supposition of handlings in regards to this case. Maybe that’s what you’re up to. If it is, what an ass backwards way of doing it.

This isn’t about a culture of drinking. I won’t go into the hundreds of campus parties that involve drinking — and actual drunken individuals — that don’t result in rape. (To that end, there are more that do and those victims don’t come forward because there are actual human beings with brains who write articles like the above.) This is about an individual’s actions and the proper consequence that should follow. This isn’t a Have-a-Drink-and-Get-Your-First-Rape-Free society. No. In the same way that you wouldn’t give a person who willfully commits murder trash duty on an Adopt-A-Highway Program, you don’t give a person who willfully commits rape (irony at its best) a lesser sentence. You know what that does, Scott? It lets every other person know that this is okay….as long as you have scholarship. It communicates an acceptance of a nasty and grossly inadmissible set of actions. By your standard, if this girl’s boyfriend decided to snap and ruin Turner’s face, he should be given 6 months in county as well…or am I missing the point? Sure, we’re trying to send a message: that this won’t be tolerated. These circumstances aren’t unusual as you put ’em. They’re sick.

“But there is a temptation to see the Turner case as a chance to send a message, rather than to weigh all the messy human elements involved.” That’s what you wrote, Scott. Fact is, that’s exactly what’s happening. What about the victim? What about her messy human elements? What about her life being shaken like a snowglobe and left for dead? There is no six-month expiration date for her messy human elements.

What’s more than sad about this situation is that, Scott, you had the chance to promote and encourage serious deliberation about an issue that affects so many of us directly and indirectly. Yet, you chose to take this route. I’m not only disappointed in you as a journalist, but as a fellow man and furthermore…a fellow human being. Maybe if I looked into your eyes I’d understand, but something tells me that I won’t.

And that hurts my heart. To the victim, we stand with you. But unfortunately, Scott, we do not stand with you.

-Corey”

 

these here words…

i’ve been thinking a lot about words lately. i know this isn’t the first time i’ve posted about them, but as we know all of life cycles through. i suppose it’s at the forefront because i’ve been writing so much more these days and in making sure that the scripted conversation contains all the elements that help move plots along, i’ve been more aware. ¬†i’ve been listening to conversations and random orations and monumentally taking in…words. i think we can all agree that there are two types of words. 1) words that build up (which is what we generally strive for if we have a sliver of decency attached to the whole of us) and 2) words that tear down. (when i say “words” i mean a grouping of words.) i’ve made a concentrated and conscious effort to practice using words that build up and encourage and eliminate language that causes detriment to another human’s psyche. i think — for the most part — i’m pretty good at it. (i have my moments.) but there’s this mid-range of words — a third type — about which i sometimes forget. these words don’t build up. but they don’t tear down either. they’re words that do absolutely nothing besides take up space. they’re work-shy. listless. slack. unemployed. they’re almost invisible and they slip past us unnoticed because they aren’t really doing anything.

idle words.

why do we do that? why do we just talk for no reason? is it to be funny? command the room? is it for attention? it’s true that actions speak louder than words, but words can damage a lot more than actions…in some cases.

if a father is constantly hugging his daughter, but tells her how stupid he thinks she is…

if a man constantly buys gifts for his lover, but communicates his disdain for his lover’s face…

if a teacher gives her student a gold star every class, but tells him how awful of a student he is…

negative words. but what about those idle words? those rice cake words. (what’s the friggin’ point of a rice cake?!?!?!) ¬†i liken it to having three of your chunkiest sweaters atop your nyc closest in the dead of summer. why? why are they there taking up space? there’s no point. i did a little experiment for a few days and tried to thwart anything idle before it left my face. to my surprise, i was a little more quiet than i usually am. ¬†i started to notice how often i actually toss out talk that has no point at all. just air. noise. for no reason, and in those moments when i was quick enough to shut the eff up, i listened more and was able to convert something idle into something up-lifting. i had chunky sweaters in my speech.

so here i am waging a war on these here words. those idle words. because when the light goes off at night, i don’t ever want to think, “now why did i say that?” anything that passes through these lips has to edify my brother. lift my sister up. my desire is for my words to bear hug anyone with whom i come in contact. you bet your ass it takes a LOT more effort and a consciousness that ain’t for the faint of heart, but it’s the kind of necessary effort that gets afforded — i feel — when you’re searching for a higher self that can speak to another’s higher self and in conjuring both of those entities, the worlds starts to walk on its toes and is encouraged to lift its chest.

am i alone in this? what if none of us spoke negatively OR idly and with that took an extra two seconds to ask, “what’s this gonna do?” and i’ll raise you one: not only to others, but to yourself. what kinds of things are you putting into your own system that cause indigestions? sure, we’d probably say a lot less, but do we love the sound of our own voice that much?

-coreycor

IG: coreycor

Twitter: coreycor518

finding new dreams

i hate sleep. I really do. to me, sleep gets in the way. it’s a hinderance and a bother and if i could¬†just stay up all night and work and create i would. if there was a pill i could take, i’d probably take it — in mass quantities. don’t get me wrong. i love the occasional cat- or sun nap or cuddle up (which i could use right now..any takers?), but that 8 hours stuff? for the birds. the mother truckin’ birds. #adiosfelicia.

LOGOas many of you know, i’ve started shooting the pilot to brunched the series. my first real go at being the nuts and bolts of everything beginning to end — #creator #writer #producer #director #etta — and i have to say it’s been an educational process. stressful at times, but what isn’t. people have asked me, “how does it feel?” i thought i’d have a stringed necklace of neatly packed explanations to issue, but…i don’t. there’s one word that comes to mind — weird.¬† ¬†IMG_5455

on the 7th of april i had 4 principal actors, my dp and his assistant, my assistant director, my script supervisor, a boom operator, my co-producers and production designer, 2 pa’s, a makeup artist, her assistant, and 2 guests that dropped by. speaking specifically about the actors, i looked around at them¬†and thought about how a year ago, they were all just in my head. they are just voices with things to say, but now they are actually saying those things.¬†they’re walking around on the set and uttering words that i’ve penned. the voices that kept me up until 4am are now finally saying what they’ve come to say. this weirded me out and then what could be a scary thought hit me: ¬†the dream of all of this happening…is over. i can no longer think about what they might need to say or how they’ll wiggle out of this, that, or the other (at least for this pilot.) i don’t have to. ¬†what i have to do now, is stop dreaming [about this thing] and move on to the next thing.¬†DSC_0206 - Version 2

not gonna lie. scared the crap outta me.

for those people in life who use the threads of hope¬†and purpose¬†to attach commitment¬†and excellence¬†to the fabric of our determination, we’re constantly blazing through dreams and sections of dreams and levels of production and often find ourselves having to stop dreaming about one thing, but only because we’re DOING. at some point the celebration of what’s been done has to give way to progress as we dig deeper and find new things about which to dream and then — because we are who we are — accomplish. see, the thing is,¬†we can’t find new dreams unless there’s room for them and we make room for new dreams by fulfilling the old ones. by kicking them outta there by way of action and followthrough.

a separate thought but slightly related, i drove past a graveyard the other day and a thought struck me. i wondered how many dreams were there. how many books were six feet deep. what¬†cures laid beneath the earth. if there were paintings that were staling in wooden caskets. if inventions were lowered with once present and able bodies. if theories and poetry were trapped inside brains and are now stuck on the inside of lifeless lips. let’s forget the fact that life’s short for a sec, but how boring is it to just clock in to pay bills. i’m convinced that there are¬†millions — yes, millions — of people out there who are suffocating their dreams with the mundane (or fear…) people who allow the snake of excuses to slither around what has the potential to be amazing and squeeze their aspirations so tight that they asphyxiate and rot. worse than a dream going to the grave is a dream that’s in the closed pocket of the living and able-bodied.

so now that this dream is (almost) done, i gotta find another. is there a dream that you need to kick out? .

-coreycor

3x

www.corey-wright.net

nyc public trans takers vs l.a. public trans takers

i’ve had the honor and privilege of living consistently in one of the greatest cities on earth — new york. it boasts great culture, a contagious energy, a smorgasbord of delicacies and free stuff, and — of course — a pretty great public transportation system. i’ve been in l.a. since april steadily (and i will always have one foot in the city that never sleeps) and while sometimes the q runs on the 4 track and uptown trains are running amok between here and there for 2 hours after the lunar eclipse, nyc public trans has figured out quite a bit. lately i’ve been taking public trans in l.a. and there are just some rules that make sense in nyc that l.a. public trans patrons need to learn. i know that l.a. is a place that’s primarily car-driven (pun intended) but for the people that do take pt every now and then, i’ve taken the liberty to list 4 them.

1. move faster.

nyc folks, bless you. you realize that trains don’t wait in the station. for anyone. but do l.a. folks realize that? if they do, they don’t care. when a new yorker sees a flood of people coming at him/her from the direction of his/her train, they know that it’s time to hightail it. they clench their bags and any loose articles of clothing and elbow their way through. missing a train is not an option. but in l.a…that means nothing. “oh, look! where is everyone going? check out my skateboard!” nope, l.a. it’s not time to dilly dally. it’s time to move your buns.

2. let us off first.

this announcement i’ve heard garbled over the train pa system in nyc: “let ’em off, let ’em off, let ’em off! let ’em off the train!” usually when this announcement is made it’s because someone ain’t gettin’ it. (more than likely someone from l.a.) ¬†it just makes sense. if you wanna get on the train, let people off first. because guess what? they’re standing where you could be standing and in order for them to get out of your spot, YOU HAVE TO LET THEM. move out of the friggin’ way and let us off to make room for your inconsiderate ass. and may i also add, WATCH YOUR FRIGGIN’ BIKE. just cause you have it on your shoulder doesn’t mean that it’s a boom box.

3. stand to the right, pass on the left.

this one irks me to no end. most of the time i take the stairs, but every now and again it’s been a DAY and i — still waiting to climb — need a little assistance. perfect compromise? the escalator. why oh WHY — dear l.a. — do you stand on BOTH sides of the escalator?! new yorkers are genius in this way. it’s a rule: to ride the escalator, park it on the right. to climb it, walk on the left. and in nyc when you violate that rules you hear a symphony of lip smacks and sighs and people who would have just been content to stand feel like they need to ask you to move just to let you know. and it’s great that you want to ride your bike to save the environment. three cheers for you. why ya bike gotta be diagonal across the escalator? there are times when i catch eyes with someone on an escalator who’s just as frustrated. we clench our jaws and raise our eyebrows as if to say “this would never happen in new york.” and it wouldn’t.

4. get up and show some respect.

there’s the occasional moment in new york when a train will rock me to sleep and i’ll miss this, but if i’m awake and i see someone who looks like they need my seat, i get up and give it to them. i’m sorry, l.a. public trans takers, but this is another area where you fall just a wee bit short. i mean, if your grandmother was standing in front of you with 15 grocery bags hanging onto a pole for dear life, hopefully you’d give her your seat. i don’t care if she has 50 pounds of crack in those bags, let ‘er have a rest.

yes. there are plenty others. but these are the main ones. don’t even get me started on the bus. ride on, l.a.!

happy birthday, brother.

last night i was on the phone with a friend and he’d just told a joke and instead of laughing i started wiping tears from my face. 1376332_10151948700614594_1680541991_nit kinda caught me off guard because i can usually tell when i’m being affected by something. the reason for the tears was because i looked up above my desk and saw a picture of me and my brother when we were younger. in 3 seconds i thought. “he looks just like his son. look at those cheeks. wow. he’s not here anymore.” and it was in those three seconds that a lump in ¬†my throat — about the size of george washington’s nose on mount rushmore — formed in my throat. i actually couldn’t speak.

today’s his birthday. he would have been 26, just over a quarter of a century. at 26, i was traveling the country/world and approaching opportunities in love and career and life that were helping me to lock in who i really was…who i wanted to be. i was making mistakes, getting some things right, trying new things, spreading myself thin, GETTING too thin, closing chapters, starting new ones…at one point in that time i remember thinking, “i wonder if brandon will go through this when he’s this age. i wonder what advice i’ll have for him.” it’s hard for me to believe that that opportunity isn’t available for either of us.

i’ve thought about the emotional pile of melted ice cream that i would be 484786_10151948453964594_1640954437_non these bench marker days —¬†mom’s birthday, a few days later “the anniversary”¬†and then thanksgiving and right after christmas, new year’s, and a few weeks later,¬†your birthday (today) — but it seems to be the days in between that are the hardest. the in-between days are the ones that tweak my heart the most, the ones that make me have to pause and deal with the “noses” in my throat. the ones that steal my appetite and make me want to shuffle and slide instead of sprint and leap.

but…

i made a promise to you, brandon, that i would live for us both and in turn, the world around us. so today — on your birthday — ¬†i’m remembering the laughs that made my stomach hurt and the foot races that proved that you were NOT faster than i. i pull to the forefront of my heart the memories of how you use to eat EVERYthing and how you were pawpaw’s favorite grandchild. (i somehow still think that you are.) honey buns and powdered donuts and sprite, i think, were always in your blood. you are one of the most tender-hearted people and i actually learned a lot about being that way from you. you were tough, but it was beCAUSE you were so supple at heart.

i’m gonna give myself permission to — on the other 364 days of the year — let the lumps come, but on your birthday, i’m going to choose to celebrate your life and be happy. because january 17, 1989 was indeed a happy day. you still live on in my heart and at the end of it all, it’s the safest place for you to be. so HAPPY¬†birthday, brother. here’s to many more learnings and findings and progressing WITH me ’cause i’m brining you with me wherever i go. no more “he would have been” as if you’ve stopped being here. you still exist. you’re still living and are alive. and i’m going to honor that fact as much as i can. plus, it’s another excuse to have a plate of cookies. (as if i needed one before.)

i love you.

-coreycor

http://www.corey-wright.net