Featured Artist In Action: Randy Redd

I LOVED having the opportunity to work with Randy in the Path Course a few years ago for so many reasons, one of them being how honest and real he was in his approach to the course work.  When he hit up against a block in the work, he didn’t run away.  He also didn’t rush past it. He sat with what was hard and listened long enough to learn something valuable about himself and his process.  “The best way out is always through,” really does prove to be true.  The work we do in the Path Course can wake you up to a lot of things about your life and career that aren’t working, as Randy describes when he says “I needed the vital tools that Path provides to dig my way out of my own fortress of fear, crippling self-doubt, and flourishing ambivalence.”

Randy shares below about how he has been able to worry less about his financial future since taking the Path, which (let’s be honest) we ALL could use a lesson in.  And finally, one of my favorite gems from his interview, “I learned that I’m much happier developing multiple ideas instead of picking a favorite. It’s like having a garden of projects - I tend to them on a regular basis - feeding and weeding - and I see them grow. Of course, the projects that get the most love grow the fastest.” 

REDD B&W 1.jpg

Do yourself a favor - take a break from your shopping or your working (or your scrolling) and sit down for a few minutes with a cup of something warm and read more about Randy Redd and his Path – I expect you will get a glimpse of an artist who has done (and continues to do) the work it takes to be living his true purpose. Thank you Randy for taking the time to share your Path experience with all of us!  There is still room in our upcoming January Path courses. If you are inspired by Randy’s Path story don’t wait to get into action and create your plan for 2019! Click here for more info on upcoming classes plus our holiday discount!

What brought you to the Path Course back in 2016?

A very good friend recommended Path. He knew me well and saw that I had drifted off course. Before the Path Course, I was working but I wasn’t fulfilled. As opportunities arose, I bounced from project to project but I rarely found true creative or artistic fulfillment. I was walking around with this constant, nagging ache. Now I know that that tormenting ache was my own withering ambition. I was full of desire but lacked the tools to take action and get to work redefining and pursuing my goals.

Overall, I felt stuck and at sea. I’ve always been full of ideas but found myself neglecting my own work and pursuing ambiguous goals.  I was employed - teaching part-time, chugging along. I had just enough work to stay afloat. From the outside it might have looked like everything was humming along just fine. In fact, I was just barely getting by.  The hopes and dreams that I had nurtured for so long were fading. The desire to make my own work and develop new work had been replaced by constant worry, indecision and self-doubt. Frankly, nothing felt possible. My creative confidence was shot and I felt overwhelmed every time I sat down to work. 

 

What were the goals you set when you took the Path course? Did you meet them?

My original goals were so simplistic. Find a new agent, write more, and make more money. Pretty basic stuff. I found myself reflecting and revising those goals. I did sign with a new agent and booked a workshop of a Broadway musical and was cast in a new Off Broadway musical (The View UpStairs).  My goals as a writer changed somewhat. During the Path Course I was determined to finish a solo show that I had been cooking up for years. However, I learned that I’m much happier developing multiple ideas instead of picking a favorite. It’s like having a garden of projects - I tend to them on a regular basis - feeding and weeding - and I see them grow. Of course, the projects that get the most love grow the fastest. And I finished the solo show. As for money, yes! I sorted out and satisfied a tax debt nightmare. I am making more money but I don’t see money as a “goal” anymore. I’m grateful for what I have.  When I pursue my actual artistic and creative goals with all my heart, I worry less about my financial future. To be honest, I had a very hard time sticking to the new Path practices. Things would work for a while and then I’d slip. When things got messy, I would run back to the Path to get myself back on track.

 

Have you surpassed your goals?

Yes. In fact, I changed my life. I left New York City last year. After the Path Course I looked around and I wasn’t living the life I had always imagined for myself. So I moved out of my cozy Park Slope apartment and ran away to a friend’s house in the Hudson Valley to take a long look at where I had been and where I wanted to go. After lots of soul-searching and Path-ing - a 9 month existential freefall - I landed in Memphis, TN where I’m living now and making my own work and developing new projects with friends. 

 

What’s your life like today? What does your schedule look like?

Today? I’m just about to walk over to the Memphis Farmer’s Market to pick up food for lunch and then I’ll sit down to make a list of resources for a new theater project I’ve dreamed up: JookMS. I spend most of my time juggling and tending to new projects. When I’m not here in Memphis writing and dreaming up new work for myself, I’m on the road directing or performing. I’m working harder but the work is altogether more gratifying. I am making new friends and forging new professional relationships with like-minded artists. I’m traveling more and meeting artists and performers from all over the world. 

 

Have you encountered unanticipated challenges and roadblocks? How did you handle them? Did any of the tools you picked up in Path help you move through them?

Oh boy! I’ve encountered countless obstacles as I’ve climbed these creative mountains. The hurdles in this uncharted wilderness are incredibly frustrating and, at times, overwhelming but I’ve come to recognize those stubborn blocks as opportunities. Instead of feeling defeated by the challenges, I’m more motivated than ever to step back, reflect, and explore alternate routes. Sometimes the unexpected detours are more fun - fortuitous and rewarding happy accidents.  I rely on the Path tools. I’m setting more specific and EXCITING goals, wrestling with and quieting my inner critic, brainstorming and listing my resources regularly, diligently maintaining my professional network, and setting up a stronger system of accountability. 

 

What was the most valuable thing you took away from your Path Course experience?

I’ll never forget the guided visualization exercise that first night. I felt silly closing my eyes and letting go. But I did it and I let go just enough to dream again - and I caught a glimpse of the life I had always imagined but had abandoned. That visualization - the exercise that I resisted the most - has become my guiding light as I pursue my Path. When I am feeling like shutting down or giving up on a project, I close my eyes and take myself to that happy place - where my future Self is thriving. That gentle reboot is usually all I need to get back to work refreshed and refocused.  

 

What advice do you have for anyone struggling with their careers?

Keep on keepin’ on… Trust your gut and take leaps - big ones. Share your ideas and goals with friends. Establish accountability with others. Make new friends and scout new paths. Take time to pause and reflect. Are your goals your own or are you working to fulfill someone else’s hopes and dreams? 

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

I already had everything I needed to succeed but I had abandoned nearly all of my most valuable creative resources - I had surrendered my biggest dreams. I needed the vital tools that Path provides to dig my way out of my own fortress of fear, crippling self-doubt, and flourishing ambivalence.

 What’s next for you?

I am directing a new musical in the Spring of 2019; I am writing a new musical - an adaptation of a fantastic novel by a brilliant Southern writer; I’m curating and producing a Broadway concert series here in Memphis; I’m directing and installing more shows for Royal Caribbean; and on and on and on. 

 Follow Randy Redd here: @rddrndll