We had the good fortune of connecting with Bree McGee-Pryor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bree, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Most my life I’ve been hesitant to take risks and have been more focused on planning and being prepared for things that might happen but the pandemic and the changes that came with it like being furloughed and the general uncertainty of not knowing what comes next forced me to go with the flow and trust myself more. So in way, I view risks as an opportunity to become more free. Speaking of freedom, life and career taking risks have allowed us as people, as a family, and as a group to switch our focus. For example our CEO Chon, he took the risk to not return to his 9-5 after they switched management, and this was still in the middle of the pandemic where people were lucky to even have a job so that was a huge risk but he took it and has since put himself in a position to work in our community doing work that benefits our community while still learning valuable skills such as digital marketing and entrepreneurship that he’s bringing back to the team. We also have taken the risks of jumping from attending events to throwing events, for me personally, I’ve been throwing networking photoshoots that bring photographers and models together to collaborate and create which was nervewracking initially. I was experiencing imposter syndrome throwing events and struggling to find a balance between work and being mom but I knew that this was something I wanted and I had to trust that I was just good enough to bring all the right people to the table, to set the right atmosphere, and lead my team by example but, the effects of taking that risk and others like throwing our own show have been tremendous and we’ve found support in places that we really didn’t expect support from and have been able to evolve into a more serious and focused business. So, yeah taking risks have just allowed us to become more free and to really dive into the things we’re passionate about.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Some people don’t know this but #PirateGang is actually an acronym which stands for People Inspiring Real Aspirations to Experience Greatness Approaching Newer Generations. The core of that goes beyond any one art, it’s really about inspired people doing what they love together which is just one thing that sets us apart, the fact that we’re a collective from different walks of life with different skills and experience levels. With us being a collective, we’re inherently supportive of one another which allows each one of us to use our skills to help one another and stand apart from other artists while never standing alone. For example I do digital marketing, graphic designing and event planning for the team but I also use my natural passion for dancing to occasionally choreograph or be a dancer in one of our videos. Chon is a musician with a ton of passion who uses his natural leadership abilities to bring people together and give them opportunities. So really, we’re just all consistently helping one another to grow and become better which is probably what I’m most proud of because it took us years to get to where we are now. We’ve learned so many lessons along the way and a lot of them hurt not just professionally but personally. We had to really learn that the way people talk and the way people move aren’t always the same. Some people have said they want to be part of our movement but down the line we would discover that they weren’t really prepared for or willing to accept the challenge of all that our business entails. Regardless of what your art is in our group, we require hard work, accountability, communication, honesty, relationship building, supportiveness, and just constantly working on your craft and not everyone can bring those things to the table, and not everyone is willing to work to put those things on the table and hence not everyone is able to sit at the table. Some of those people that we found couldn’t sit at the table with us were our friends, people we considered family and because of their unwillingness to put the work in, we’ve drifted apart which is unfortunate but a life lesson, not everyone can sit at your table and not everyone deserves to sit at your table. With that I think the thing we’d like the world to know about us is that we really aren’t just a brand, we’re a lifestyle, a wave of love, positivity and acceptance of others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a friend visiting Pittsburgh, I would take them to breakfast at either Pamela’s Diner because I love their strawberry pancakes or EON because they provide the good soul food. The best places for lunch would be House of Soul or Back to the Foodture because I’d like to support and experience some Black owned restaurants. For dinner and drinks, we would visit the North Shore which includes various bars, restaurants and beautiful scenery. I would definitely have to take them to visit Homestead which is filled with Black owned bars such as EON Bar & Grill, Soldi and 808 Pgh as well as Waterworks which has a movie theater, restaurants, shops and more. For fun, we could take the incline to the overlook in Mt. Washington to see the city, Andy Warhol Museum, Natural History and Art Museum, Social Studio which I haven’t visited yet but it is a photography museum with different designs backdrops and set for people to visit and take selfies. I would also have to go visit some of Pittsburgh’s other staples such as Randyland, which is a Northside landmark building filled with vivid colors, upbeat murals and objects. Kennywood, of course, to enjoy some bacon cheddar fries and Dippin Dots and maybe a ride on the Phantom’s Revenge if we are up for it and Point State Park, which is at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, forming the Ohio River. Many people go there to walk, listen to music, dance, hang out with their family or to just relax. Some of my favorite places to visit are Diiviinetims Productions, a Neon art exhibit that caters to the Black and LGBT community. I also enjoy visiting Level Up Studios – a dance and community center that hosts events, showcases and workshops. I’m not really a picky person so as long as I can go somewhere to listen to great music, dance, drink and eat good food, I’m satisfied so I’m always willing to explore new places that I haven’t been with my bestie.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to dedicate our Shoutout Atlanta interview to a few entrepreneurs that have helped us stay focused on the mission throughout the pandemic and beyond. First, we want to acknowledge our teammates. These people include our graphic designer, Virg Moore of VirgBoogi Designs, our videographer, Lava Thomas of Original Telegenic Productions and our photographer, Jared Rini of Reneaux Photography. Next, we want to recognize Diiviinetime Productions, Level Up Studios and Dreamz of Music Network for event and collaboration opportunities.
Other: CEO of PGEntLLC, Lyricist, Artist Consultant, Chon Pryor (CPx3) – www.cpx3x.com for EPK and more. Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/192898989@N03/E7e20f https://www.flickr.com/gp/192898989@N03/0MNV6t
Jaquan Brockman Photography Reneaux Photography Thr3eyedproductions VirgBoogi Designs Original Telegenic Productions Diiviine Ascensiion