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

Hi Rita Nicole, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Wow, where do I begin? No, seriously, how much time ya got?

I’ve taken so many professional and creative risks throughout my career and in my life. I can say that it gets easier, once you see that it’s less about the actual outcome and more about the fact that you tried something that scared you and you didn’t die and the world didn’t end– you can relax your shoulders a bit and unclench your jaw. You realize it’s going to be fine, you put one foot in front of the other and you keep going. Run your own race, it doesn’t matter what the next person is doing.

It’s about having the courage to be a novice, to potentially fail and not be as great as you’d hoped.

So fail hard, it’s a great way to learn what you’re good at because everything changes once you learn to define success for yourself. Determine what that looks like for you.

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.
I want the world to know that I’m here unapologetically as my whole-intersectional-self and I’ve got a lot to say and many stories to tell.

I’m a storyteller, but most importantly, I’m an observer of life (however cliche)– I think you really have to be to get all of the nuance. I’m most proud of a piece I’ve performed in front of a couple different audiences called, ‘Bones’, about my lifelong caretaking experience with my mom. It was the first time I can ever recall being so nervous on stage.

Last year I worked on a super cool audio immersive experience with Strange Shapes that I was proud to be apart of: https://shapesarestrange.com/to-whom-it-may-concern/2020/6/21/streaming

Currently, I’m working on a film anthology about the emotional impact of the pandemic based on stages of grief with filmmaker, John Pruner and an amazing group of local talent from various disciplines. Be on the lookout for that towards the end of the year.

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?
Honestly, during the lockdown I came to appreciate the parks so much more. Georgia gets green space right.

I don’t know, it’s a harder question to answer during the pandemic. We weren’t going out for a year. I’ve always liked Muchacho and Golden Eagle. I also kind of love the way restaurants have adapted to create these lovely outdoor experiences. OMG. Nearly every.single.item at Wonderkid is delectable.

Is it messed up that I’m withholding a few cause I don’t want folx to crowd my favorite places like they did with the Dairies Coffeehouse & Cold Brew?

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?
Hmmm. . . I mean, honestly, anyone involved and invested in the creative-literary-art scene in Atlanta, from patrons to participants– even the venues, especially the venues. Highland Ballroom is pivotal to the local show runners right along with Village Theater, Dad’s Garage, Relapse and The Punchline,

Getting my start at Village Theater and taking improv classes led me to performing live lit shows produced by: Jason Mallory, of Song and Scene Missing fame, Nick Tecosky and Myke Johns, producer extraordinaires for Write Club, Ladyfest, a queer, feminist space for women and gender non-conforming people.

And last but certainly not least, Amy Tecosky, co-founder of Bleux Stockings Society gave me the opportunity to not only perform but co-produce and host the popular reading series. We had an amazing run before Covid turned everything on its head.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/minxielarue/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rita-leslie-bb025512/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/minxielarue?lang=en

Image Credits
Marilyn Ocasio Nieves

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