Relocating Back to the Bay Area

As some of you know, earlier this past June I decided to take a bold step and take the next year or so off from grad school and move back to the Bay Area to continue developing my work/platform. I do aim to finish and get my MFA whether it is in LA or elsewhere, but for now it feels critically important to be in community. As with any choice, there are challenges and setbacks as well as unexpected opportunities and doors that open.

I realize that the only way that I have made it this far at this point in my life has been because of the folks in my community/network that pour out their love for me and have continually showed up for me over and over again in a multiplicity of ways. I thank you. I also thank the spiritual guidance of those who came before me who are lighting the path in subtle and grand ways. 

Generating this GoFundMe page has been a difficult challenge because it is hard and very vulnerable for me to directly be asking for financial support in this specific way. A part of me feels like I don't necessarily deserve the support because I got myself here and I should be able to get myself out of this moment. I know these thoughts are also intertwined with systemic truths about being an artist of color and an artist in general and the struggle that comes with making a living as an artist. I honor the struggle and collaborate with the challenges.

As I reflect on the choices that I have been making, I wonder what I can be doing differently to reach a more financially stable place in my life and with my choreographic work. Even if I had decided to return to LA this fall for grad school, I still would have needed to fundraise to move back there.

All of this said, I’m releasing these thoughts, being gentle with myself throughout this reorientation back home, and know that all of us at some point in our lives will need this or some kind of support. 

So a part of the focus of this next year is to continue my choreographic excavations as well as deepen creative partnerships in the Bay Area and take concrete steps to generate/save income in order to shift into abundance. How to not become solely money driven whilst also understanding that financial abundance is a critical component to my overall well being/mental health? #capitalismsucks

This summer I have been surviving through sporadic performance gigs, a CCI grant that I was awarded to travel to Greece this past month,  and a bit of coin left over from my scholarship award from UCLA.

At this point, those resources have  dwindled, I've landed back in the Bay this past Sunday, and the job search is underway.  What I am asking for is support to get on my feet again.  Unfortunately, I do not have financial support from my blood relatives because we all out here struggling.  So much love for them though!

After traveling this summer and reflecting on what I need to be grounded, I know for a fact that I need a room/space in order to thrive. There are already some leads for housing beginning in early October or as late as Nov. 1. I will be checking out some of the potential rooms in the coming days/weeks. 

As a QTPOC artist/choreographer, I am like WTF am I doing moving to a place that is so expensive, but I trust and know that there is more work for me to do here and that the folks out here that I know/love are encouraging me and affirming that it will all work out.  Intuition shifting and weaving into intention and action. 

As I mentioned, I am working hard this month and next to find several part-time jobs and gigs. I'm still waiting to hear back from some of the ones I've applied to and will keep moving forward until I secure something related to dance, choreography, teaching, and performance. I'll also be looking a bit outside of the field and see what opportunities may arise/tap into that Williams network I keep forgetting exists.

The majority of the funds accumulated from this fundraiser will go directly towards ensuring I can cover rent for this month,  first month's rent of wherever space I move into next, any deposit costs, and any other miscellaneous costs that may arise from moving. 

Other ways of supporting me are just keeping an eye out for me with respect to housing in Berkeley, Oakland, SF (my ideal budget for housing is anywhere between $500 - $850/month),  sending any gigs or jobs my way, holding me, cooking a meal together, a phone call, and generally keeping me in your thoughts.  Thank you to those who have already shared some leads and for expressing your support. 

I am hopeful, excited, and praying through all of these shifts and look forward to seeing y'all in the Bay. Not having enough $$ is always a trip and simultaneously teaches me about what I actually need to be at peace within myself and what it is that I need to let go of. 

At the end of the day it comes down to being a channel for love. My prayer is to be able to help someone who in the future may be in this same exact position. May the blessings and opportunities continue to appear ten fold for all of us and may we be courageous enough to create the spaces and opportunities that we need to thrive and bring our vision into the world. 

With humility and gratitude,
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Randy Reyes 
Oakland, CA

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