We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Gray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks is essential in any aspect of simply being. Whether it’s a career, relationships, or finances, strategic risks are necessary for substantial rewards. Honestly, my entire career has been a cluster of risks; quitting my job in New York’s Financial District, giving up my comfortability, knocking on production company doors in the hopes of speaking to someone, moving to different cities, turning down glamorous positions that I knew weren’t aligned with my path, making the conscious decision to share my work…the list goes on. Risks are imperative for growth. Some of my risks had more favorable outcomes, while others taught me valuable lessons. Either way, both circumstances worked in my favor and have allowed me to become more in tune with myself. Being willingly exposed to the unknown helps you step outside of your comfort zone, propelling you forward to a level you have manifested and prayed for. Take the step. No matter how big or small, you need those steps to advance. Forward is better than stagnant. It’s not ideal to remain in the same place, wishing a move was made when you had the opportunity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Getting to where I am today wasn’t easy by any means. Being present where I am, especially in a pandemic, can be a hard pill to swallow at times. I like stability, and sometimes I feel the need to know what is going to happen next. With this journey, I’ve grown out of that. I never know the next opportunity, where my next paycheck is coming from or what location I will need to relocate to. Yet, I love it all. Having the ability to create your own blueprint, and do so with faith and confidence, is truly a blessing. It’s bittersweet, a double-edged sword, if you will. But once you let go and allow yourself to enjoy the process, the beauty shines through, and clarity on what moves you should make on your path develops. My story is constantly evolving as I find my voice personally and artistically. I like to call myself a sense stimulator and aesthetic curator. I’ve always enjoyed stills and films that have stimulated me visually to the point of evoking emotion. Just how everything works together seamlessly; the music, motions, color palettes, etc. I want others to feel emotion, a dose of dopamine, feel alive when immersed in my work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hands down, we are going to the Slauson Swap Meet. In all of the places I’ve lived, I have never been to a swap meet and never knew they could be filled with so much life and culture. The Swap Meet has any and everything you could imagine, and then some. If I need hair for braids, unique jewelry, a dose of culture, some shea butter, literally anything, I’ll find it at the Swap Meet. We would definitely go hiking, brunch in West Hollywood or breakfast at HoneyBee’s in Mid City, grab blackened catfish and Parmesan grits from My2Cents LA, definitely eat Guisados chicken mole tacos, hit up Tha Juice Joint open mic night, eat my fave donuts from Donut Friend, pop in on the Leimert Park Art walk, watch the sunset/rise in Malibu, spend a day at the Getty or California African American Museum, watch movies in the park, go midnight skating at World on Wheels…..and so much more. If anything, we’re going to eat and explore, simply creating new experiences. I’m still not an expert on LA, so exploring is critical.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to Tiana. She is one of the kindest and selfless people I know, who set a good foundation for my LA experience simply by opening her home—just having a place to stay opened many doors for me. Even though I couldn’t pay her in cash at the time, I found creative ways to pay my respects forward. I always have to give a special shoutout to my sister Stacey for introducing me to Missy Elliot and Dave Meyers’ Get Your Freak On music video when I was 9, sparking my initial interest in the world of film, which has evolved, of course. Of course, I give credit to my family, close friends, and loved ones who have acknowledged my gifts while supporting and encouraging me as I have embarked on this journey without a map or blueprint.
Photographer and Creative Director – Sarah Gray @essgeezy Stylist – Anthony Johnson @anthonyswardrobe (for the 5th and last photo)