We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Faith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emily, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I am going to answer this is a round about way because for me “giving up” seems like such a negative way to frame a decision. Recently, I was listening to a Brene Brown podcast where her guest, Scott Sonenshein, discusses the concepts of stretching vs. chasing.That frame has been revolutionary for me in how I make choices about my career and relationships. What surfaced very quickly was the realization that I have spent so much time chasing. Chasing a theatre company dream, chasing a graduate program, chasing friendships and relationships and recognition and on and on and on. I think it is the nature of the business that I am in. It is exhausting, lives in the realm of shame and comparison and is not sustainable for me. Once I shifted into a “stretching” mindset, it has been easier to choose projects that are more authentically in line with my artistry and I am so much nicer to myself. So- I “give up” if I realize I am chasing. I keep going if I know I am in a place of stretching.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an actor and director, a coach and an educator, a drama therapist and a hospital clown. Interwoven into all of these roles is the Role of Artist. Being an artist can feel tricky in so many ways, but comparison has been the biggest and ugliest and longest-standing thief of my joy. Comparing my art to others started at 12 years (12!?) old feeling already behind my peers who had taken hours of voice lessons and were competition dancers. This thief lingered into college with the ultimately unhelpful and somehow universal homework assignment where you ask your friends and family “what actor do I remind you of” to find my “type”… which led me down a decade long path others had already made that was so ill-fitting on my artist. When roles/jobs didn’t fit, the only thought I had was that something must be wrong with ME. As I have gotten older, comparison festers: comparing my current self to my younger self, comparing my current self to a self that does not yet exist, my current self against what I perceive my friends and family to want me to be, my current weight against my former weight, and so on and so forth. Oh, how self-injurious. In all that comparison, and through heavy supervision and personal therapy, I have learned a lesson that I commit to relearn each and every day: What makes me an artist lies in MY choices, MY view, MY perspective, MY movement, MY lighting cue, MY humor, and MY look, within the current moment. Reconnecting to that radical self-compassion is the only way to combat comparison.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My career is so varied and full and I am finishing up a masters, so I tend to be a homebody in my spare time. But when I do leave my house, these are my top spots. Braindead Brewery- vegan friendly and patio seating for Deep Ellum views Pizza Lounge- vegan friendly, cozy and walking distance to theatre when it comes back Dallas Arboretum- outdoors, beautiful, family friendly Crow Collection of Asian Art – free, gorgeous collection Ruby’s Snowballs- seasonal, unique flavors, weekly staple.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to The Pizza Chapel Co. Team, hands down. Lindsey and August jumped right in during the pandemic to host a bi-monthly virtual artist town hall . Each meeting was revitalizing, inspiring and so incredibly human. This team know how to cultivate compassionate AND sharpening spaces to brainstorm and dream and lament and I give those meetings so much credit for my capacity to pivot during Covid-19. And then, they produced a drive-in theatre experience during Halloween. It was innovative and brave and good work. Their ferociousness in theatre-making deserves daily shout-outs. Biggest fan.

Website: www.emilypfaith.com
Instagram: emilypfaith

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