2021 Wrap Up: Our Favorite Things for the Journey

Y’all. This year SUCKED. We never imagined we would hear the words “collective trauma” so much in our lives, let alone experience it. So of course we at Out of the Arts are looking forward to moving forward, and we hope you are too! Here are some of our favorite things that kept us going through 2021, and we hope that as we march into 2022 and beyond, maybe some of these can offer a lift for you too.

SOCIAL MEDIA

@hercareerdoctor (Instagram)

Beth: What I love most is that she focuses on helping empower women to find the career they love and deserve. Who wouldn’t love that?! There are a lot of “career change” resources out there for basic tools, but Dr. Tega Edwin steps it up to really help you explore the questions in your head surrounding a career change, and she really gets to the emotional root of the career change process, in addition to offering the hard and fast resources.


@katelumpkin (Instagram & TikTok)

Amy: Kate is a Director and Casting Director who offers knowledge and advice about the industry, but is also very open about her own personal and career journey. She recognizes there’s more to life than career, and more to career than one singular focus. She addresses mental health, she cheerleads like no other, and her content is just *chef’s kiss* for performing artists looking to take a wholistic approach to life and career.

BOOKS

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda

Amy: Yes, the Emmy Award-winning actor Alan Alda. Did you know he founded the Center for Communicating Science? Alan Alda reminds us, without mincing words, how important empathy is in communication, and how as artists we’re empathy experts just solely by the merits of our craft. He has successfully bridged the gap between the arts and sciences in a way that only artists can - we have skills of connection and communication that no one else is taught, and there’s so much potential to use these skills in new ways. I hope more artists read about his experiences and spread the gospel of Alda throughout the land.


Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper

Beth: “Patriarchy is America’s daddy issue. America rules the world through war, the same way patriarchs rule families with an iron fist and a Janus-faced promise of either violence or benevolence, depending on which day you catch them, and how well you bow down and do their bidding. Our government does not just wage war abroad. It wages war in Black communities at home, controlling Black folks through surveillance and violence, demanding their submission and compliance.” This is written by a Black Feminist who encourages you to get up and do something, to fight together against the real issues at the heart of our discontent, instead of against each other.


Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Amy: There is SO much to be said about the insights that Glennon offers. But my most favorite takeaway from this memoir is that sometimes walking away means finally walking into yourself. Especially in the midst of a career change, it can be so easy to want to climb back into the comfort of what you’ve known. But the potential for good that lies in actually leaving it behind? That’s where the magic sits. I think we can all use this reminder.

PODCASTS

Radio Headspace

Beth: The episodes are 5-7 minutes long and perfect to tuck into a commute or a break at work. They cover everything in life, so it’s not just a brain break, but it’s also a time when you can create focus and intention, to take a few minutes to look at yourself and check in. I am terrible at doing this for any amount of time longer than 5 minutes, so these are perfect to help me to check in with myself, see how I’m doing, and make any adjustments for a better day.


Lightning Bugs: Conversations with Ben Folds

Amy: I rocked the suburbs hardcore growing up (or so I liked to think), so I was excited to learn Ben Folds started a podcast. (Granted, who DIDN’T start a quarantine podcast??) But beyond that, I love this podcast for the conversations around creativity, how to bring the spark of creativity it into your everyday life, how to go beyond art, and how to connect authentically to art and to life.

SHOW/SERIES

Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

Amy: THIS. SHOW. Based on a brief trailer, and the subject matter (sports), it didn’t hold much appeal for me at first, other than I like Jason Sudeikis, so I watched the first season with trepidation, basically on fear of death at the hands of another friend who swore up and down I HAD TO love it. But they were right - I did. And if the first season was good? The second season just completely gutted me (you know, in a good way). The show deals with themes such as personal journeys and growth, mental health stigma, toxic positivity, making authentic connections, and honest collaboration. Everything that we face as artists and humans, through a lens of empathy and hope.


The Witcher (Netflix)

Beth: Not just because Season 2 just dropped and it’s on my mind, but because of how well everything ties together. Okay, some wigs are better than others, but the actors are awesome and the sound effects for the monsters make my sound designer heart very happy. When I mentioned that to my husband the other night while watching it, his non-arts ass was just like, “Okay, that’s nice.” So instead I decided to share it with you here, because you understand why it matters! It’s some of the smallest details that are really selling the story. Don’t forget that.


Mythic Quest (Apple TV+)

Amy: (Look, I got that promo that offered Apple TV+ free for a year when I bought my new phone, so I chose to explore and I quickly became obsessed with what the service has to offer. SO MUCH!!) This show about designing a video game delves into the creative process in a way that is entertaining, frustrating, maddening, and also touching, somehow? Especially if you’re a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and/or if you’re someone who likes the emotion and experience of a show to slap you across the face, you should definitely look into it.

MUSIC

Amy: This year, I was here for those who rose from the dead, as it were: Adele, TSwift, & Demi. All of these amazing musicians reminded us that it’s possible to go on a journey and still come back to reclaim ownership of yourself and your art. Your art never leaves you, even if you have to leave or relinquish it for a time. And even if you don't come back to it as the same person you were before, it will still be there ready for you to ROCK IT.


Beth: My top song for 2021 is “Stuck In My Head” by BLÜ EYES. The song starts off with, “The only days that I’m not stressed/Are days I work myself to death/And I’m too tired to feel anything else.” I think my connection to that really speaks to my mental health, but really I love this song for the good and the bad days. On the good days it reminds me that I don’t need to go back to that spiral. On the bad days, it reminds me that I’m not alone.