April Yvette Thompson
is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor &
FOUNDER/CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers,
With 25 years of teaching, acting, writing and advocating for people's dreams, April has the uncanny ability to help her clients find their personal transformation magic.
April is a midwife of genius: helping you give birth to your dreams and crossing the finish line to your goals.
**The DreamingOutLoud Technique from April's Ted Talk: ReWrite Your Story,** is the basis of her teaching methodology.
* Writing is the way to focus ourselves in the present, on what's working and figuring out new ways to get around old problems.
* Writing is a way to align the life you're living with the life you've always dreamed about.
* Writing is also how you let go of the bullshit beliefs you have about what you're capable of.
**The DreamingOutLoud Technique** allows you to grieve the losses, forgive yourself for past mistakes and weave a new story of how you'd like to spend the rest of your life thriving instead of just surviving.
**HOW I HELP YOU MOVE FROM FEAR TO FUCK IT**
**The DreamingOutLoud Technique**
uses writing exercises, a rigorous questioning process and dismantling of all the limiting beliefs you hold that no longer serve you.
And like Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction and transformation, I help you root out the dead weight so that you can focus on flying.
I teach everything that I've done which in a nutshell is:
How to get past FEAR to "Fuck It."
_Fuck it_ is that place where even though you're broke and nothing is working and you're afraid of complete failure, you decide (finally):
_"I'm doing this shit by any means necessary because JOY is my BIRTHRITE."_
TheDreamingOutLoud Technique is what happens next after
You with me?
And just so you know, I'm not some random woman, making this up, I'm sharing some of the things I've done.
From surviving the Pork N' Beans public housing projects to Vassar College to Broadway/Film/TV and doing the fabulous black expat writer thing in Morocco; I've not only figure out
how to WEAVE a RICH life by learning how to RE-IMAGINE my very POOR beginnings.
but I've also created a process where YOU can learn how to change the very fabric of your life.
It's called ReWriting Your Story and it's the fuel that drives the DreamingOutLoud Technique.
So, I know first-hand that anything is possible.
Stay tuned for more info about TheDreamingOutLoud Technique and how to change the fabric of your life from sometimes-happy-working-actor, to working actor living your dreamlife...
""""One of the most mortifying moments I experienced in my theatrical career was when I was asked to bring the entirely African-American cast of a new musical we were workshopping, a new piece by an African-American librettist and composer, across the street to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and up into the plush boardroom so they could perform a song or two for the board of directors. I wanted to say something, but I didn't. For one thing, it would take an invaluable 45 minutes to an hour out of the creative team's limited time together. But... every year we had to do the same old song and dance for the board to remind them that yes, we did do new plays and musicals, so yes, it was sometimes a good idea to expose the board to new voices, to the vibrancy of an exciting work in progress.
You all know where this is going, don't you? I led the team in. The talent in that team! The writer/composer himself and the cast, lauded veterans of the stage and the most promising members of the next generation of acting giants. And there was our board. White, as white as can be, white white white white. And very comfortable. They'd just been served lunch, I believe. My theater spared no expense in pleasing our board and catering to their demands (oh my god, I'm feeling such rage right now! I'm pretty sure we had a staff member who was mostly dedicated to help our richest board members get house seats to shows on Broadway and the West End. But I digress...)
The only black face in the audience seated at the conference table? The only person of color? The head of our education department, of course. My heart went out to her.
The cast sang a song from the show. They did it. And they brought it. Because they were and are professionals. And the very pillars of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion reverberated down to the parking lot. It was breathtaking.
And I had just been complicit in the remaking of a scene for the millionth time: black bodies and voices entertaining white audiences, an institution raising money on the backs and voices of black bodies.
I was too mortified to apologize to our writer and to our cast, none of whom, I should add, expressed even an iota of discomfort. They were professionals, and they shone. And come to think of it, they'd probably all become accustomed to this scene. "It's just how theater works," they might have thought with a shrug of their shoulders. Or maybe they seethed inside, for the millionth time, when all they were trying to do is workshop a new musical.
Well, I apologize sincerely now to our writer and those actors. I wish I had had the courage to put my foot down. It is not how theater should work.
I quit the American theater on Valentine's Day 2016, so I've been out more than four years now. And honestly I don't plan to return, which is why I can write with such candor.
The heart of the problem, my friends, is with the non-profit structure, which is capitalism on steroids. Who are the bosses ultimately in an American institutional theater? The board of directors. Who are the board of directors? For the most part, those members of the community not with the strongest attachment to the art form but those with the deepest pockets. Often they're really not members of the community. They often just drop in. They are sometimes mere tourists.
It's no wonder that that board meeting was held in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The theater, like most American theaters, had built its board of directors on the old opera model: You get the richest folks together, offer them galas and house seats and receptions and private recitals and showings (for which artists often don't get paid extra, mind you), you pamper them and make them feel more special and entitled than they already do, and then they'll write you big checks to support the kind of art they like, the kind of art they can bring their kids and grandkids to. AND they--not the artists, not the community--get to hire the institution's leadership.
It is a rotten model. Rotten to the core. How can any artistic institution claim to be working for and in the community with that model?
It's got to be torn down. It's got to be reinvented. And I have no idea what the next model will be. I really don't. And no, honestly I don't think government is the solution frankly. Some of the most bloated, self-satisfied, decadent theater I've ever seen was in Germany, where it was almost fully government-funded. Lots of bells and whistles and provocations and completely soul-dead.
I see amazing and galvanizing lists of demands recently being made and posted by theater artists of color. These are vital demands. But they don't address the central issue. As long as the ultimate bosses of an artistic institution remain the community's deepest pockets, nothing will change. Nothing. You'll be putting band-aids on a gaping wound. Sorry, but it's true.
So please figure something else out. Maybe for a few years you just avoid the institutions. You've already started. In the pandemic, so many of you are making amazing art without an institution. Find those who truly adore your work and ask them to fund it. Screw non-profit. Form a corporation and value your art art-making as a resource that profits you, your viewers/audience and your community. I have no idea.
But please don't return to a new version of the old. After the virus, after he's out of office, after police reform and nationwide conversations about race, after, after, after, begin something new. I can't wait to see what it is!”
Words: Pier Carlo Talenti
Video: Griffin Matthews
April Yvette Thompson