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Be Ready And Stay Ready

‘Be ready and stay ready’: Jasmine and Cassie discuss growing up in a diverse and supportive community and finding out later in life the rest of the world is much more complicated. Cassie describes the drive she feels to pursue an acting career and how explaining that drive to her skeptical (but loving) Haitian parents was difficult. Cassie cites her support system, her relationship with the Lord and the practice of ‘being ready and staying ready’ as the main factors that have allowed her to succeed. Cassie finishes by discussing how she will continue to hold space for not only herself, but for those who are unable to be loud enough to hold space for themselves.

JASMINE [00:01:46] Oh, my gosh. Oh, my God. How's it going

CASSIE [00:01:54] I can’t hear you. I can hear you now.

JASMINE [00:01:59] Oh, good. So basically, KIRU, give me the rundown thing about like Break the cycle. And. So, yeah, if you don't know which I'm sure you do know. But I'm over like creative direction for the KIRUNIVERSE COLLECTIVE so I just like come up with like different conceptsfor each project. But I'm also here to interview you as well for Break the Cycle. And so basically, I'm just going to like ask a bunch of questions, you know, vice versa. And this is actually recorded. So we will like share this as part of the project.

CASSIE [00:02:49] OK. Let me turn on my light (Laughs). I am always trying to, like, find the right angle. My desk does not, like, face my window.

JASMINE [00:03:03] I'm in the living room right now.

CASSIE [00:03:05] That's why I gotta do.

JASMINE [00:03:10] Yes, So let's open up. So I'm going to act like this is like to the world, so. Hi,guys. This is Jasmine and I'm here with Cassandra. Would you like to introduce yourself? And, you know, what do you do in all of that? Great. Those great things.

CASSIE [00:03:31] Yes. So my name's Cassandra Borgella. I am an actor, a singer, a mover, an artist, a creative. Lover of life.

JASMINE [00:03:47] And like, what is your background and, you know, what kind of work do you usually do?

CASSIE [00:03:55] Yeah. So a lot of my work has been theater based. My trainings in theater. I went to school and majored in theater. So a lot of stage work. But more recently, I've been diving into the film world. So I have a Web series under my belt. The web series. was on YouTube. It was part of the Fantasy Network. I did a couple of short films here and there with some people I connected with, but really just trying to dive in more to the theater and film, TV and film world aswell as something that I'm really. Diving into more and focusing more on.

JASMINE [00:04:41] And how did you get to the point of theater?

CASSIE [00:04:47] Oooh. Great question. I think I think it's. Wow. I would say theater specificallywas probably through high school, but acting in general was me being a rambunctious child. I would watch TV and like see what they're saying and try to say what they're saying better. We did

like this--my elementary school first school play when I was in the fifth grade, which is about theUnited States of America. And I just felt like I was meant to be in the middle of it all. Andthankfully, my high school, I went to school upstate, was the only high school in the district, so itwas pretty well funded at the time. And so they actually had a performing arts academy where all ofyour electives could be like focused solely on acting, dance, singing. So I was able to take part in alot of plays and our blackbox theater, as well as the musicals on our major mainstage auditorium. SoI think that just from my youth, it's really been where I started in theater.

JASMINE [00:06:03] That's awesome. And I'm sure you've like, you know, encountered different obstacles as well, because, I mean, that's essentially a part of life. What did that look like? Werethere anything? Was there any, like, kind of cycle or something you had to go through that you, like, overcame as well?

CASSIE [00:06:23] I think just becoming aware was something that I really had to focus on,because the one thing they always teach you is that you're going to hear a lot of no's. But they don't necessarily tell you, like some people may experience more no's than others. I remember in college my first my first callback, like my first real callback. I looked at the people I was up against and Iwas like, wow, we all kind of have similar looks. But I really only look like them right now because I have, like, my sew-in and like my long, beautiful sew-in. And I didn't get the part, which I mean,there are probably many reasons why I didn't get the part and I was OK. But really, just being moreaware, as an artist, what I can do and what I can control and as a person, what I can do and what Ican control. So that was really interesting to like develop and see as a person and an actor.

JASMINE [00:07:32] Mm hmm. Yeah, I can definitely relate as well, especially to, like, the no's and everything. Like I mean, well, I was in fashion. I'm kind of trying to be in fashion.

CASSIE [00:07:46] You're always in fashion! Fashion will never leave your body!

JASMINE [00:07:51] Thank you. Yeah. Professionally, though, I am working in fragrance. But before that I was in fashion. You know, I just like, heard so many no's, like, you know, professionally and,you know, for my own kind of blog as well. But I, I just talked about in the Sunday Style series of what's it called. Selfie-Concious. But yes. So basically like, yeah, I would like ask people for things thatwould say no, like certain bosses I had at the time, they were always just like, you can't do this. They would literally say that like fashion is like that.

CASSIE [00:08:33] Cutthroat.

JASMINE [00:08:33] Yes. And even like in college, I could think back to that as well, you know,just like, you know, hearing like hearing those things and like asking for help and not receiving that help. Very challenging. But, you know, we overcome it. We move.

CASSIE [00:08:52] Oh, yes.

JASMINE [00:08:55] So I guess going back to, like, the starting point of, like, you know, your interest in theatre.  I guess what-- you kind of answered this, but, what kind of inspirations was in your life at the time? Like what triggered you to be like 'this is it. This is what I'm gonna doforever'.

CASSIE [00:09:26] Oh, goodness. Wow. I don't think there's like a specific answer to that. I remember going from junior high to high school, you had to pick what academy you wanted to bein and telling my mom I wanted to be in the Performing Arts Academy vs. the Nursing Academy. By the time you graduate, you become a certified nurse. And she was like, are you sure you don't want to do that? I'm like, I'm really sure I don't want to do that for high school. And going into college, it was interesting because I knew that I wanted acting to be in my life, but I think I kind of had, like, those practical shadows in my ear saying 'that that's not something that you can necessarily--' that can't be your major'. That can't be something that you pursue solely, like you need something else, not necessarily a plan B. But it was essentially a plan B. And so when I got tocollege, I was literally just looking at a minor in theater and I was looking for a major and it endedup being a business major with a concentration in human resources. But then I just remember looking at the--What is it like the class list at the options they gave me and I was like, well, it's only--Like the minors 24 credits, and it's only like another 24 credits for the major. Which is what, like another year of school? I can do that. And so thank God I did that because, like, coming out ofschool, I definitely was like, OK. I love both of these. I love theater and I love human resources.And I want to pursue them both. But more recently in my life, I've come to this realization that Ihave such a passion for it that I can't not do it. And to do it at the level I was doing that was wasreally, part time, almost like a part time job, but it also just felt very pedestrian. It felt like there wasno true pursuit of it when I was juggling a full time job. So, I think just I think honestly, just time.Time really made me want it and crave it.

JASMINE [00:12:03] Yeah, I definitely would say that as well. I can relate to that, too. I mean, I wasn't a year, you know, like five years into school, but there were things that I had to take, you know, like certain things had to take like again or certain things that I like during the summertime like that. But I'm glad that I was able to do that and overcome that, too, you know, so I could relateto that. So I guess my next question would be like. What, I guess what with that, you know, like yousaid, you went through that extra time of schooling and you were glad that you did that. Like, why do you know what I mean? I'm just trying to dig deeper, you know what I mean? What made youkeep going? That's the question. Because you can say, like, oh, yeah, I just wanted to pass this class or--

CASSIE [00:13:21] No, no, no, no, no, no. Oh my gosh. College. College. Not in the sense of, like,the work necessary. But college was so hard.

JASMINE [00:13:34] Yes.

CASSIE [00:13:34] And for for the fact of like just provisioning. Like I went to Brooklyn College,which is a City University. So it's already lower costing than most schools. But my family still, likethere was no college savings for me, and I had been working. And literally, like I took out one loanfreshman year. Such a  hot mess. I've received very little financial aid throughout my five year college. So it was honestly just like a monthly struggle. But in the back of my head and even before I was really like in a relationship with Jesus. I just knew I had to do it. And there really was no other time for me to do it. So when that that like light bulb moment of like you should just double major came, it was like, OK, I'm going to double major. But there was never I mean, quitting quitting may feel nice for like a hot second for me, but quitting really was never an option for me. It was just like. How hard will this journey be for me? Period. (laughs) And like no matter what, I was coming out the other side. But my in terms of like my 'why' it was it was really just I had to. I just felt like I had to. And unsee it. I can't yeah, I can't unsee it. I can't. I can't not do it. It's wrong to not do it.

JASMINE [00:15:27] I feel that. And, you know, you mentioned double majoring and it immediately crossed my mind that, you know, the last time you had spoken, you were in twocareers, too.

CASSIE [00:15:40] Yeah.

JASMINE [00:15:41] So how's that going?

CASSIE [00:15:44] Girl! The Lord blessed me. I got fired (both laugh). Around the time of the revelation like you should pursue acting full time. And it was like I wasn't necessarily surprised because my heart just really wasn't in it and it was reflecting in the work I was producing. So, March 19th ish. I was like, go for my job. And I just saw it as like a blessing, thankfully, with, like, all the Corona relief, I wasn't too uncomfortable financially or I'm not because technically I'm still unemployed. But, I've kind of switched the lens right now, so it's more so like I want to act fulltime, which is, of course, pretty difficult right now because we're still in the shelter in place. I don't  know if you can hear me over this helicopter.

JASMINE [00:16:49] I hear you.

CASSIE [00:16:51] Good. But I want to act full time and have like a very easy going part time job at full time, part time job of like administration. Literally something I could do in my sleep butwould still make me happy. Like I would love to be a very simple, efficient office manager. I wouldlove to do that two to three times a week. No problem. No problem. I love ordering supplies. I love taking inventory. I love like setting up conference rooms. And it gives the freedom of like whenmaybe I don't have, like, my next gig lined up immediately, I will have some income coming in. But it also just leaves that breath that I need to do what I truly want to do. So that's been really interesting. I've also as of like June 1st was very last minute, I received a partial scholarship to the Jen Waldman Studios, which is an acting or studio performance studio, because they do somesinging as well. So I've been taking online classes since June 1st, which have been really, really fun as well. Just staying, like, limber in that sense. So that's been a lot of my focus as of late as well.

JASMINE [00:18:25] OK. Yeah! There's so many online courses right now.

CASSIE [00:18:29] Yeah. And they're actually like working like we have some movement stuff thatwe do. And it doesn't feel awkward. And I make sure to, like, put my camera on. So, like, I'm like actually being seen because what I'm seen that's what I'm like on more versus like, oh, they don't have to see anything. I can just go through the motion. I really want to, like, make the most of what's been given to me to use.

JASMINE [00:19:01] I like that and you said when you're seen, your on more, that's like a word.

CASSIE [00:19:09] That's so true. Stay ready.

CASSIE [00:19:13] Also speaking of being seen, I really want to move my Swiffer, its bothered me.

JASMINE [00:19:21] I didn't even notice.

CASSIE [00:19:23] I noticed. I was like that could not be seen. But I don't want to interrupt theflow. I feel so much better now.

JASMINE [00:19:34] I didn't even notice. But it's all good. But yeah, I was gonna definitely saythat, you know, I can relate again as well. You know, being let go from my job as well. My last fashion job. And, you know, my heart wasn't there either. And you're really like, find out what I guess, like, what will the turning point be in my career. And like what I would want to focus ontoday to reshape my focus on. It I feel like it was more about happenstance. But yeah, at the time Iwas just like, OK, like I'm going to like work on my blog more. I'm going to like, you know, just like, you know, start doing, you know, podcasting, which I did. I have a podcast too. So yeah, it's just like finding out like what you know, you want to do and everything by I can definitely relate. And its hard in New York, you know, it's like the most expensive city. So I can totally understand it. And my next question for you would be about underrepresentation. Like, I guess and what examples are ways like have you experienced that in your career so far? Because, you know, this is this is really the whole basis of the conversation. To get a feel like, you know, how you were underunderrepresented in your industry, or in your career and how you overcame that, how you broke that cycle.

CASSIE [00:21:24] I mean, I remember thinking--wow these are such insightful questions. Iremember thinking when I was like the younger that I just I just never really felt seen. And to be specific on that, I am like. One hundred percent Haitian. But a lot of people look at me and thinkI'm half Black. And so I remember growing up and seeing, like on TV, people my skin color, butthey may be Hispanic or they may be half Black. And I'm like, but I'm not either of those things. Idon't know necessarily where I fit in this. On top of the fact that my whole family is chocolate andmy mom gave birth to a little piece of caramel. Life was real interesting. Just not necessarily findingmyself in other people or other places. I would say that I grew up not really being aware of, like underrepresentation per se. Like I lived in a very diverse place, again, being like one high school forlike five cities. You kind of meet everyone. But it wasn't till I got older and I started, like, you know,having more conversations with people who grew up in other places. Hearing more stories on TV, things like that, where I was like, oh, this is this is a problem. And so now I'm kind of at this pointwhere I'm trying to find that balance where, like, you audition for things, even if you don't meet the requirements that they post verses like, do I want to, quote, unquote, waste my time on that? And soI think for me it'll be like when I really when I feel really connected to the short bio people give,sometimes that will propel me forward. I will say there was one play I did, two years ago now, and Iwas I was like one of the main characters, but I was the only person of color that was one of themain characters. And then a cast of about 15 of us, I think me and one other person were the only people of color. And usually when that happens, it's just like, oh, a lot of white people in the States. OK. I guess I'm black person. But it was really interesting. To actually, like, let that be somethingmore than just surface for me to be like, OK, what does this mean that I'm the only black person. Ontop of the fact I felt like my character had like a very, like catalyst moment where it kind of likechanges the trajectory of the rest of the play. So it was like, how is my character impacting thestory? But how can I also impact the story? So, I mean, I always try to bring my A game with thatone, especially. I had to bring my A game. So I was like, I can't I can't not tell this story the way itdeserves to be told. And when I feel like there's a story that I can tell, I have to be ready and stayready and like go above and beyond for it, no matter what someone originally thought she wasgoing to look like she's going to do where she was going to be from. So yeah. I think that answeryour question but I kinda forgot.

JASMINE [00:25:30] Oh, yeah, it did. I was just asking you about underrepresentation. How youyou know. You know, in certain situations of your career and how you were underrepresented and how you like, you know, broke that stigma that whatever that was, that cycle of just being, youknow, whatever everyone thinks you are. What we assume, you know, because I've been in that roleas well. Where, um. Well, I'm in this role now. Two men in the past two roles. I've been the only African-American person in my in my department and team. And so yet what the last part of my jobin particular, I was just like, I don't know. It's really hard for me because, like, you're like, have you read the story about the Amy Cooper woman and how --.

CASSIE [00:26:33] KIRU actually told me about it.

JASMINE [00:26:36] Yeah, she like stopped this African-American in the park. And she just just went for him. She was just like yeah, I'm going to call the cops like like she knew what she was doing. That's just the kind of people I used to work with in the past. Yeah. So I was like really hard for me because I was like the first time in my life really that I was like exposed to that kind of, like, attitude and behavior. Growing up, like, I don't want to make this all about me right now. But, you know, growing up, I attended an all black, like, elementary school and like middle and high school was like half black. So I really didn't like, you know.

CASSIE [00:27:26] Yeah.

JASMINE [00:27:28] And I really didn't experience that kind of stuff, like as a child, but like, you know. Yeah. When I was asking like, what's happening?

CASSIE [00:27:38] Like, you really find out till you're older, Its like what.

JASMINE [00:27:45] I know. Like you're not you're trying to change that narrative and change how you tell the story in your shows and plays and everything like that.

CASSIE [00:27:57] Yeah, I tried. Somehow I feel like somehow like, the change finds find me if that makes sense, because like the web series I was in, it was. Like, I think one person in the castwas not Black and that was intentional. And my last job was literally a nonprofit organization led by Black women for Black women. So, yeah, I feel like both of those--the the Web series, they literally found me. they literally found me on backstage and was like, oh, please apply for this thing. And Iwas like, oh, this looks interesting. And the job kind of just like I was scrolling through and I was like, oh, this is interesting. And I was a back and forth, but eventually it worked out. And I'm very grateful for both experiences because I also learned a lot about not only how the world works, but how we can reshape how the world works. Right. And change the narratives of a lot of things. Iusually just try to like trying to be myself and be like, yo, we're cool people. You may want to hire me again and hire my friends cause I think they're talented, too. You may want to spice it up a little bit. Spice it up.

JASMINE [00:29:30] That's what we need to tell these companies right now. Like, you need ahigher like. Black execs to run your your show.

CASSIE [00:29:41] Especially because unfortunately but not unfortunately, at the same time. It'slike kind of a hot thing to do right now. To like, show out the POCs in your companies and stuff,you know.

JASMINE [00:29:53] Yes. They don't know what they're missing. But thats why we're here.

CASSIE [00:30:05] Thats why we're breaking the cycle!

JASMINE [00:30:05] Yes. And I wanted to go back to like the series that you're involved in, the Juju webseries, right?

CASSIE [00:30:14] Yes, Juju the Web series.

JASMINE [00:30:16] Joujou the Web series... So you said that they found you. Was it online?

CASSIE [00:30:22] Yeah, it was through backstage. The audition site. Yeah.

JASMINE [00:30:28] And like, how do you or what made you think that or not, what made youthink like I guess. How did they find you on backstage? Like was there a piece of work out there?

CASSIE [00:30:46] No, it was honestly one of those very, like, standard, because as a as someone who was posing for something, you can put like a search for like I'm looking for Black women aged like twenty three to twenty nine. Any other features you may want slash skills. And then I guessthere's like this all feature from those that are filtered where you can just send them an invitation. SoI received an invitation. We have these roles that you meet. You like meet the requirements for.Please, please apply to audition. And so I read about it. And I was like, I always wanted to, like, play a witch because one of the shows I also used to mimic was Charmed. So yeah, I, I definitelyenjoy charm as a child, except when it got weird. There are times it got weird. But I was like, this looks cool. Let me apply for it. So I think I applied and then they emailed me back, the sides to record for my self tape. And it was like right when I was moving into this apartment, which kind of worked in my favor because like all my walls were blank, I was able to just like I had my roommate, like, hold my phone. I had my boyfriend read the lines with me. I was just like, let's do this. This is the start of something new. And I submitted it. And then they ended up bringing me infor an in-person callback. Which was interesting. It's always interesting to me when you, like, are waiting and there is like other people there, or either auditioning for the same role or like one thatlike are very close to yours. And it's just like, OK, you know, just stay level headed. They brought you in for a reason. Don't be like nobody else. And I was just like my normal self. It's funny because I think a couple months ago they sent me a clip of my callback video. And I was like, oh, my gosh, I look so weird. But in a good way. Yeah, that was pretty much like the finding process and theaudition process, which you weren't even when they let me know that I got cast. That was still a journey. Like we didn't actually film until maybe like a year after that because of like funding, trying to get funding, things falling through and having to pick back up. But I was very grateful because it also taught me a lot--about I had learned a bit from my background work about being on camera. But it was really interesting to, like, apply that and still learn more while I was on camera.

JASMINE [00:33:46] And you and you mentioned a few minutes ago about, you know, having,you know, your roommate and your boyfriend in your corner just like helping you. How importantis that for you? Like having a circle around you?

CASSIE [00:34:03] Oh, I think. No, it's like necessary. I mean, I'm probably such an annoying child. Sometimes I look back and I'm like, I was so annoying to my mom, but I remember like. Well, like telling her leg, you have to be my cheerleader. I think there's no are no excuses. My mom worked nights, so it's very hard to have conversations with her during the day, like when she wakesup to, like, maybe grab a bite of food. She's still tired, but I'll be like, oh, this is my chance. And Iwould like tell her, like, I did this monologue. And the teacher said that it was good. And she'd be like hmm and I'd be like, this is this is the part where you're supposed to, like, celebrate. And she'd be like, yay! But now she's gotten used to it. And I was I literally was like, you have to be my cheerleader. Like, who else am I going to tell this to? And they like to celebrate with me because my dad's like one of those typical Caribbean men, like emotions and theater. They don't make sense to him. So like me telling him that my monologue was like received high praise would like make nosense. He saw my shows and I'd be like, how'd I do? He'd be like, it was good. And that's all hewould say. So I think that was like really one of the first times I was like, I mean, I need you to bein my corner, especially because it was hard for her to hear me say how many times I want to, like, pursue this. And then, like more and more how it was like, I'm pursuing this. She had to, like, get tothis point where it was like, I am always going to worry about you, but I'm never not going tosupport you. I mean, and with my roommate, my roommate is also an actor. We actually met in school. He's an actor and a singer. And we've gotten along really well. And my boyfriend is like everything under the sun. Like actor currently, becoming guitar player, producer type person and writer/director. So it's also helpful to have people in the field who understand because you can also,like, be there for them, too. But I mean, like I don't think I'd be like depressed if I didn't have them. But it's definitely like a nice kick in the butt when you need it, when you need them. And even likea nice, like feeling when they're there to, like, be like I feel you. We've all been there, like this isn't this isn't gonna be the last of you that they see. You know, this is just so that that definitely is very important and very helpful.

JASMINE [00:37:17] Yeah, and especially when you're going through different trials, differentcycles that you're trying to break. And then there's people like Amy and, you know, a bunch ofparents that are trying to ruin your career. Those people in your corner that are pushing you, youknow, mentally and emotionally, maybe even physically, depending.

CASSIE [00:37:41] And its nice too, because, like, a lot of the people in my community are from different backgrounds. So my boyfriend, he was born in El Salvador. My roommate, he is from the Republic of Georgia.

JASMINE [00:37:55] I had a friend that was from that place.

CASSIE [00:37:58] There is always one friend! Like Georgia is small but not that small. But it'sgreat because, like, he sees things kind of through a few lenses, like he sees things as a white man. He sees things as a gay white man, and he sees things as an immigrant. So it's always helpful to like--I feel like it's definitely necessary to have people in your community who don't all just look like you or come from where you come from, because a lot of growth can be like stagnant throughthat. So I think that's also like another healthy way of breaking cycles, because if you're around thesame people who are just like you, you're all probably going to be doing the same thing. Or it's like stuck in the same things or never really moving forward or the same things like staying in the sameplace. So that's I think it's imperative.

JASMINE [00:38:59] Mm hmm. And I think another person in life that's important that I wish I had is like a mentor. You haven't had any experience with mentorship.

CASSIE [00:39:15] No. And I want to. I remember like meeting people being like, I want you to bemy mentor. It just like, it just never happened. Man, mentors are nice.

JASMINE [00:39:30] At least you have, like the people in your corner that you do have there kindof in the same field, like you said.

CASSIE [00:39:36] So, you know, some of my friends are low key, my mentors. Low key, which iswhich is OK, because they give great advice. They do.

JASMINE [00:39:49] Yeah. I don't have that many friends in fashion. And honestly, they're from all different, you know, areas and industries like medicine and film and, you know, photography. And I'm just like you guys.

CASSIE [00:40:10] But oh, like. Oh, my gosh. Did you like, I guess the answer may be no. But like were you able to, like, meet any, like, really cool people and like connect with people when youtook, like, a couple classes at FIT.

JASMINE [00:40:30] I did, and I have a couple of them on Instagram, but we just never really, like, connected after that. But you're making me fake. Maybe I should be DM them.

CASSIE [00:40:47] You never know.

JASMINE [00:40:48] Yeah. I still stay in touch with the professor. She sends me to different events to volunteer, you know. So she'll be like, oh, you want to volunteer for this show or this show? And,you know, I usually take her up on her offer. So, yeah, it's cool to stay in communication with her. I see her as like a plug.

CASSIE [00:41:14] Yeah don't be afraid to say it! She probably knows she is. Yeah. She knows. She knows. But yeah.

JASMINE [00:41:25] But I would like to have like that one on one mentorship with someone that'slike in the field that's like you know already in fashion and like. I don't know. That's just like all around creative. But yeah. Back to you. I don't want to talk about myself. But yeah, like I said, like,it's good for you to have, like, those connections that are, you know, in the field pushing you and stuff. And I think another form of that would be therapy. Have you ever experienced, like therapy atall or counseling or--

CASSIE [00:42:11] I think the answer is no. Therapy, no but counseling It's like I have to, like,make sure it's a no. Yeah. No, I'm sure there were definitely times where I was like, maybe I should do like therapy. I mean, I feel like I'm at a place in my life right now where I don't necessarily need it, which I think is OK. I think sometimes people are like, I don't need it. And like, people don't really believe that they don't need it right now. But I would definitely like open to it. I think the closest to counseling I currently am in is a pre engagement counseling that started that last month.

JASMINE [00:43:10] Nice! Congratulations.

CASSIE [00:43:12] Thanks! Its like a weird congratulations because like nothing has happened yet. But like, nothing is supposed to happen yet.

JASMINE [00:43:29] Pre-Congratulations.

CASSIE [00:43:29] Thanks. So you heard it here first.

JASMINE [00:43:35] Oh, my God. Oh, yeah.

CASSIE [00:43:38] Which is like interesting in and of itself because, I mean, we chose to do it with the pastor who kind of like knows us pretty well. And I think I think it's more helpful for my boyfriend then for me sometimes. But it's still helpful for me to just think about things in a way I maybe have not thought about them in a while or never thought about them before. I feel like counselling is like always, a good perspective shift. I feel like a lot of us need sometimes.

JASMINE [00:44:10] Yes. And like you said, thinking of things that you hadn't thought of before.That's exactly what I was getting at. Because I think that it would definitely be a good form at somepoint in life. I mean, not for everyone, but, you know. I think for for a lot of people, you know,people are just like. I think that a lot of people are, you know, ashamed or embarrassed, prideful, because they they know like they want counseling, but they don't want to make it seem like theyneed help.

CASSIE [00:44:42] I mean, as far as I know, most black people don't think therapy is a thing that they need to be doing.

JASMINE [00:44:49] I mean, I. I was like that. And although I haven't had therapy, I have my first counseling session tomorrow. It's through work. But it's something. Yeah. But like I was that person where I was just like I dont need that, I have the Lord you know, I mean, like I'm fine. But the Lord has placed people on this earth that has these gifts, you know, like teaching or mentorship. And, like counselling or service. So. Yeah, I definitely think it's something worthy now, enough to pursue and,you know, I think it could relate to like, you know, the trying times that we've been in, the trying times that maybe you've encountered or I've encountered in my career, you know, to have like that kind of person in your corner to having that person there to, like, talk to and stuff.

CASSIE [00:45:53] Sometimes we need, like, an objective. Yeah. Yeah. Congratulations for you. Well, good for you for the counseling session tomorrow.

JASMINE [00:46:05] Oh!

CASSIE [00:46:06] I feel like that's a good thing.

JASMINE [00:46:12] Yeah. And it was actually something that I like, well, I didn't push for it. Butlike, I did push them to have resources because I saw that they didn't make a statement and theirInstagram post was kind of like ehh. So I reached out to them last week and I was like, hey, like, Ithink you guys should provide these resources. And I give them a list of resources, you know, likethe donations and petitions you've seen out there and stuff. And I was like, I think you should definitely share this with everyone else. They have it because the whole executive board is like French, white. So I don't think that they--Not that they were insensitive, but they just didn't--.

CASSIE [00:46:59] They didn't think to think like that.

JASMINE [00:47:02] Right. So, you know, I gave them some stuff. And next thing you know, theysent out an e-mail with these resources, including counseling. And I was just like, wow, OK.

CASSIE [00:47:16] You made a change!

JASMINE [00:47:20] Yeah. So, yeah, I'm excited about that. And I'll definitely let you know howit goes. Yes. I had another question and it slipped my mind.

CASSIE [00:47:38] I'm sorry. Because I asked you questions.

JASMINE [00:47:42] But actually what I just said about, I guess about like, you know, Talkingwith this company and like e-mailing them and stuff. I guess my question would be like. Was thereever a situation where you, Like, felt like you said you needed to change. Change it. I know youtalked about, you know, you know, changing the narrative and stuff. But like, was there ever a time where you felt a need for that organization or that party or people or whoever. Like, did you ever feel like you needed to send them a message or change their way of thinking? Because I mean, likethis scenario for me, I felt the need back to, like, e-mail them because it's like, they don't know. They're not Black and they don't know. And, you know, it could come off as insensitive to other Black people in the organization. And. Yeah, I feel like it does show that they're very low on Black staff and stuff like that to the nature.

CASSIE [00:49:12] I feel like, nothing comes to mind. And I don't know if it's like because, I feellike for me, at least when I was first starting to learn about these things and have theseconversations with people, it was always like a question of like, well, is this happening? Because,like, they don't like me as a person or they don't like me as a Black person or they don't like me as awoman. Like, there's just so many variables that makes it difficult to like, it was never like a clearthing for me. I think now I'm wondering I don't know. I think organizationally nothing really comesto mind. I know that I, which can be like a gift and a curse, I have a tendency to speak up forpeople. Especially when it's like small groups where like, I can tell that someone either wants to say something or they're just hanging back because everyone else is talking. But I'm always that personwho's invested in like what do you have to say? What do you have to contribute to this group, because your voice matters, too. What that was like group projects or literally like any like sort ofacting exercise or anything like that. I'm always like, we can't we can't be the ones like just havingthis conversation. There's other people in our group that need to be in on this conversation, too. So I'll be like one of the first people to be like, well, what do you think? You haven't shared yet, whatdo you think? And then usually that sparks conversation too! Yeah. That's that's really the onlything that comes to mind. Sometimes I do too much. I do that to my mom a lot, too. Yeah, that wasa learning curve because she doesn't like to talk, but obviously she'll talk for herself. But sometimes I'm like, oh, she won't talk, so I'll talk. And she's like, you wouldn't let me say anything. And thensometimes she'd just like, go ahead and speak for me. She's a little bougie now, which is fine. It'sfine. That's fine. That's my gift and my curse. My mom-- let me just shout out my mom real quick--my mom went from this like little turtle always in her shell. To like some great counseling from herdaughter--. She is now this, like I would say right now, she's probably like 18, 19, like a few yearsfor a few years she was like a 16 year old, like just like ughh. To like everything now. But now she'skind of like more grounded, you know. But she's literally like unofficially hired me as her liketherapist, her personal assistant, financial adviser, her shopping assistant, her shipping coordinator, like all of this all wrapped up into one child. Even though she has two children! She is my cheerleader. I'm her cheerleader, too. That's another thing. I just. Well, this goes on.

JASMINE [00:53:01] That's amazing. I Think that way about my mom, too. So we have a few minutes left. But in closing, I just this is like a generic question and it's gonna be so broad. But justin a few words. How will you continue to break the cycle? Because, you know, as as like a Black woman, as a you know, a woman of color period, you're always going to have this, like, battle, thisfight. I mean, big wars. But. How are we going to break the cycle, just like every day in general?

CASSIE [00:53:57] The first thing that popped into my mind was to be present. Hold space. For myself and others. And to, I think to shine brighter than all the noise. And to shine brighter than all the haters.

JASMINE [00:54:29] I like that.

CASSIE [00:54:31] Yeah.

JASMINE [00:54:32] Be the light people like.

CASSIE [00:54:37] Be the light Period. Girl shine brighter than your haters.

JASMINE [00:54:42] Well, thank you so much, Cassie.

CASSIE [00:54:46] Oh, thank you.

JASMINE [00:54:49] I had a great time, just like catching up, interviewing, and I hope that itinspires everyone as much as it did me.

CASSIE [00:54:58] I don't want to hang up. This is me on Zoom calls. I don't want to hang up. OK. Let me get a hold of myself. Jasmine. It was great speaking with you as well. Well, we will talk soon.

JASMINE [00:55:26] Yes. We have to do this, like offline, like, you know, when this is over like we should definitely hang out or something. Cause I ran into you.

CASSIE [00:55:37] Like, where were we? It was. . .

JASMINE [00:55:43] who's apartment was that? I was going into this apartment. . .

CASSIE [00:55:50] Oh, you are going to Amber's apartment. Yes. Yes. Its next door to myboyfriend's church. Yes. Oh, my God. Wow. That was a while ago, too.

JASMINE [00:56:04] Yeah. So I feel like every time I run into someone, I definitely have to like.Catch up. So I'm glad that we did. Have a great evening and thank you again for taking your timeand everything.

CASSIE [00:56:26] Thank you for interviewing me. This was great.

JASMINE [00:56:30] Everyone look out for the blog post. I love you.

CASSIE [00:56:38] Love you, too.

JASMINE [00:56:39] Keep safe on these streets. Bye! I don’t know how to hand up.

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