We had the good fortune of connecting with Joan Leslie and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joan, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Get you a project management tool that works for you. If you are an independent artist doing a lot of the behind the scenes work, you need something to keep you on track. We need reminders to answer that email, revise that script, get on that person’s calendar, etc. Asana is my tool of choice, but you’ve got to find a system that works best for you.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a spoken word poet and storyteller, I’m proud of where the art form has come from and how it’s evolving. I am where I am today because I found the thing that set me apart from other poets and other artists in general. Once I learned my superpower, it became easier to carve out my own lane and build base around that. I am most proud of my work for showing others with similar experiences that I see them and that they are not alone on this journey. Yes, there have been challenges in identifying that base. It evolves as I evolve, but I want to make sure I am always giving the people not just what they want but the comforting words and sentiments they may need.

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?
The Gathering Spot, Bartaco, Urban Grind in midtown, Piedmont Park

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?
I’ve got to shout out my big sis, Ashlee Haze, for bringing my name up in rooms where I am not present. We need people who always have us in the back of their mind when opportunities present. I’ll never forget when she was on the phone with her agent, and she was asked to recommend spoken word talent. There I was on her couch being offered a game changing opportunity in my arena. Get you some friends who believe in you like that.

Website: harlemsownlyric.com
Instagram: JLyricLeslie
Twitter: harlemsownlyric
Facebook: Harlem’s Own: Lyric
Youtube: Joan Lyric Leslie

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