Proud Stories: Grace Rex (She/Her/Hers)
Q: What kind of performance artist are you?
Q: When did you first know that you wanted to be a full-time artist?
I started dancing and performing as a kid and decided I wanted to do it forever pretty early on. In college when I was studying musical theatre, having a side job in the big city was kind of romanticized - the whole only eating oatmeal and living in a shoebox while running to an audition after your double shift at the restaurant kind of thing. That was "the life" and I figured I'd do that for a while. Doing it in actuality, as a graduate, sucked. I think I probably started dreaming about making a living as an actor that first day at the restaurant.
Q: How are you keeping yourself inspired to create during this unprecedented time?
I'm writing a feature script with some of the time I now have on my hands. I've never done that before so it's a cool and challenging puzzle to focus on. I'm in a lovely zoom writing group that keeps me on course. I watch a lot of movies and tv shows and there are stretches when I'm able to focus on a book. Craft projects big and small. I do a fuck ton of day dreaming which is such a privilege. Some days I'm totally out of it while doing this. Yesterday I put my phone charger in the freezer.
Q: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest obstacle has been me. I'm often in my own way and don't trust myself and my instincts when I'm working. It's less of an issue with acting because I've had experience and some good teachers and directors who called me out of on my tricks along the way, so I'm pretty comfortable with the process now even when it's really uncomfortable. With filmmaking, because I'm pretty new to it, I still often rob myself of discoveries and happy mistakes while I'm making things because I'm afraid of what will come out of me. It might be messy! Even if it's more interesting than whatever pretty shit I made up in my head! I'm not done being a control freak but I'm much more at ease than I used to be. Time and therapy and having some people in my life rooting for me has helped.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
I have a great community of artists around me. It takes a while to find your people in New York and I am lucky to have found mine. I truly believe I have the most talented and kind and funny friends of all time. I grew up in Indiana and I don't see my family very often so my friends are my family, too. They're actors and filmmakers and theatre artists and they make incredible work and they help each other and are engaged with the world, in its horrific state, in ways that inspire me to be better. I love sharing with them and working with them and when they succeed I feel like I am succeeding too. That's a special feeling.
Q: Is there anything you are working on now that can be shared and supported?
My official website: www.gracerex.com
Everything I'm working on right now is still in the oven but - in the barrage of causes that need our attention and support right now:
- Be An Arts Hero: https://beanartshero.com
- Brown Girls Doc Mafia: bit.ly/GoFundBGDM
- We See You W.A.T: www.weseeyouwat.com