Bret Shuford 0:00
You probably didn't know this about me. But I was divorced on national television. By today's guest, yes, it's true on an episode of The Good fights. Chaston Harmon divorced me her character did at least, and we had a great fight scene with our lawyers. And that's how we met actually. And turns out she's quite a prolific actor, and is going to be in the upcoming musical Mr. Saturday nights written by and starring Billy Crystal, and has also been on Broadway and the musical hair. But most importantly, she has her own company that I can't wait for you to hear her talk about it. What's really impactful? To me hearing her talk about her navigation of being an entrepreneur is number one, how it started as one thing as a product based business, but evolved into a service based business where she really got clear that she wanted to spread and empower a message to women of color, who are really the foundation of our society, and create more leadership within our communities. And that to me was just so profound, I want to encourage you to take a moment and check out our show notes below. Today's episode is brought to you by daily harvest. Now I started eating daily harvest last year, because I was trying to go more plant based if you haven't heard me talk about this in 2022. My mission is to reduce as much of my impact on the climate as I can. And that's by reducing plastic and other waste. But also we know that meat products can have a pretty lasting impact on the environment. So I'm trying to go more plant based and daily harvest is the only way I've been able to do that. They send you pre packaged prepared and frozen meals and you can select the menu items that you want. It's so fresh, so delicious. I make smoothies every day I have their soups are really good. They have these rice bowls that are really really good. And what I also love about it is that when you receive the package, it comes with dry eyes so you best be believing that I put on some showtune either cats or wicked or phantom of the opera or something that uses dry eyes and just seeing my face off while I run hot water over the dry ice I highly suggest you do that. Maybe perhaps make an Instagram reel and tag me in it. But daily harvest is giving my listeners a discount $25 off their first order so if you check out the show notes and click on the link, trying daily harvest see if you like it you don't have to order every meal. You can order just some things if you want to get some more vegetables and more greens in your diet I highly suggest an easy simple way to do that. And it is daily harvest so check that out below. And now on to the episode. Alright Chason I'm so excited to have you on the podcast Welcome Hello Hello. Now to be here. This is only the second time you've actually seen each other the first time was on set of the good fight where you and I were getting a divorce and you were being vicious vicious to me
Chasten Harmon 3:26
I was okay okay this is why the divorce happened to begin with
Bret Shuford 3:39
and then you go to like Key West or something like after that I was like so mad. I'm stuck in New York My
Chasten Harmon 3:46
God and for real though that was the last vacation I ever took.
Bret Shuford 3:51
Oh my break is that was January Right? Or like December January before the pandemic.
Chasten Harmon 3:56
Little did we know we got
Bret Shuford 4:00
right I just realized that was right before the pandemic.
Chasten Harmon 4:05
Yeah, yeah, I was nervous about all the flying because of the pandemic they were like back and forth and back and forth between LA and New York and I was like I'm so there's this virus and they were like it's fine and I'm like But you sit at a desk I'm the one on the plane all worked out but like we just missed it we just made it
Bret Shuford 4:29
holy moly. Wow, that just hit me and well I love following you because you do so many things. We're gonna kind of dive into that but I just want to serve while we're in the acting world. You're about to go to New York and Premiere a new musical Mr. Saturday night. Talk about that talking about working with this like star studded team of people within Jason remember Brown and talk about it?
Chasten Harmon 4:53
Yeah, it's really full circle journey for me because of course I started in musical theater. I did my degree in musical theater and why you at cap 21 where I had a blast like the most fun you could ever have. And yeah, the first show that I did was hair on Broadway as a swing. So after that, I went on to do lame is and then kind of decided to switch gears and the film and TV. I didn't think I was gonna come back to Broadway. But crazier things have happened in the past two years, people change. I was on a plane, I was watching a movie, it was set in New York, and I just had like a little seed thought of ooh, I miss New York a little bit, I miss singing a little bit, I miss theater a little bit. And I got off the plane and I opened up my inbox, and I had an email that was like, oh, Billy Crystal, John Miranda are interested in meeting with you for their new project, would you be interested? And I was like, Yeah, I think maybe I would. And then a series of meetings and auditions. And here we are. But long story short, I never thought I was gonna come back. And here I am. And I'm super excited, because it's a really beautiful show with a really beautiful message that I think is really important right now. So I'm stoked.
Bret Shuford 6:19
I just think that that story to me is so profound in that you had that moment of energy and seeing New York and be like, I wonder if I could do that again. Right. You know, it was just that moment of thought, almost feels like it manifested the opportunity for you. It's crazy.
Chasten Harmon 6:41
It really is how it works that way. But it does. So I had a like a little seed in my mind that maybe one day I'll go back for a special project, a special run, and it just came through.
Bret Shuford 6:54
Because when we were shooting that episode, I had just joined the broadcast of wicked. And I remember you and I having a conversation on set about you had done what you had done here, and you'd moved to LA and the irony of like moving to LA and booking a show in New York, and you had to fly to film it. And it's just so funny how it all works out.
Chasten Harmon 7:15
Yeah, you want a job, book, a vacation, buy a house move to that's how you get a job. It's so true. I always tell people, the industry is its own thing. But what keeps me going is you really never know what projects are being created and what projects are being written right now that are going to come to the surface and bubble through in a few years that are going to be perfect for you. And it's that thought that keeps me from quitting whenever I have those days, which are many, as we all do. But I think it's just so beautiful that new works happen every day. And people's imaginations are writing new things every day, there's always going to be something beautiful coming down the river.
Bret Shuford 8:00
Wow, talk a little bit more about what you mean by you know, when you have those thoughts of quitting because I think on paper, I mean, if anybody Google's you, and you should but it's like well chansons like that she was on elementary, and she's working all the time. And your IMDB is like very full and in now, you know, so a lot of people on paper, it's like, quit, you're like a thriving, working non stop person talk about it.
Chasten Harmon 8:27
Yeah, I was really lucky. The first film I did out of school, I was working with an older actor, and he had a resume that was like, and I just asked him straight out of the gate. I was like, Okay, so do you ever feel stable? Like do you ever feel like I'm doing it? I got it. Like the money's coming in. I know where it's coming from. As like, I mean, you've done it. You have the like homerun career for me. It's very Chewbacca made his life like, No, never. Sometimes I'm rolling in the dough. I have more jobs than I know what to do with. And they all come in at once. And I'm kicking myself because I'm like, Where were you? A year ago, and I was working at Trader Joe's. And he's like, and sometimes you're working at Trader Joe's, you're refreshing the sag after residual page to see if any residuals are coming through. You have no idea where money is coming from next year begging your commercial agents for commercial auditions. Like you just don't know. It's a rollercoaster ride. You jump in you fasten your seat belt and you do it because you love it. And so I took that advice deep and to heart and I knew Okay, well this is going to be a harrowing journey. And it is because we just live in a culture and a country that doesn't financially value arts to the same degree as others. So it makes it a harder uphill climb for us. But that doesn't mean the journey shouldn't be gone on because artists we are. We are the healers. We are the medicine I firmly believe it so it's a journey worth getting up and going Not every day for me.
Bret Shuford 10:01
Yes. Yes. And I think for so many people, it's encouraging to hear that because I think that it's easy to think that there's like, boom, you know, the magic happens and you're set for life. But that is the adventure of being an artist is that it? Did you aren't, you're always seeking, you're always searching you're always creating. And I think that what I really am fascinated to talk to you about is your the other hustle you have. And your work with plush armor, which is your company that I don't even know if I want to say it's a side hustle, because it's also sort of very much in alignment with what you do. Yeah, yeah. So talk about plush armor and what you do with that company.
Chasten Harmon 10:42
So yeah, so plush armor has had many iterations, but at its present, and it'll probably have many more, but at its current, it's creative playground where black woman can dream audaciously, and feel supported and resourced bringing their dreams into fruition. So it started actually as just a knitwear line. And it started from my love and passion for knitting that I just picked up in college for my mom, my mom taught me and I've always loved art. I've always loved making things with my hands. So I was like, great, this is something that I can do is a little side hustle, this is fine. And then after hair, I went on tour with Les Mills. And one of my favorite things to do on that tour, every city that we went to was go into a yarn shop. So I go into a yarn shop and come back with all this yarn. And like I was the one on the tour that had like trucks and garment bags filled with yarn. And I was just making things left and right and giving things away, left and right. And then one of the caskmates suggested money, you open up an Etsy shop if you have all this stuff. So I was like, Sure why not like let's open up a shop and see what happens. So I had by that point in time, I'd left the tour and gone back to grad school. So I was at Yale and I opened up an Etsy shop, I only have four pieces. That's it, just four pieces. I posted four pieces in the shop. And they all sold. So I was like, Oh, great. Well, there's something here people like the work. Not only did they all sell, I woke up on Christmas morning, and a photo of one of them was used for MCs, Christmas email blast. And I was like, well, holy moly, I think people like it. So I continue to develop it and expand it. It was something that I really couldn't do full time because I was in grad school and I was an actor. So it started as like my side hustle, just something I did whenever I had extra space around holiday season. And Etsy just kept featuring my shop like Etsy has been for black artists before it was cool before it was a trend. But they just kept featuring my shop and I just kept getting more and more inquiry and input and it grew that way. And it was through my training at Yale that I actually fell in love with embodiment. And bodywork, which is a natural progression for an actor because all of our work is through the body, right? Our bodies the instrument. So that makes sense. And so I decided to merge the two and expand it into like, well, so that we're aligned and a wellness platform that offers spiritual and people were like, what, that doesn't make any sense. Like that's too confusing. Like, those things don't go together if you aren't gonna understand. And I'm like, You know what, I don't really understand it. But these are the things that I love to do. And there's some way that they fit together and like I'm gonna find it. So it's been a journey. It's been a long journey. And there's been a lot of times where I've tried to put it in a box, well, maybe it's just knitwear or maybe it's just embodiment. Or maybe I'm just an actor, maybe I need to do this. But what really started to grow and flourish when I started to own all the different parts of myself and how they came together. And then I realized that I actually was the embodiment of the intersection of my business and all the passions and I'm like, Oh, I am the embodiment of like the multi passionate, multi hyphenate artist who has lots of different passions and wants to dive headfirst into all of them, and weave their own unique Foundation, which is possible, much to our what we've been told.
Bret Shuford 14:32
So many things, so many questions. I hope I can remember all of them because there's just so many things I want to know. Number one what is embodiment mean for someone who's maybe not trained in the arts or has experienced in the theater for you. How do you explain embodiment and how do you teach or transfer embodiment to someone else?
Chasten Harmon 14:57
embodiment is Tough one, every time I use the word, most people's responses was that I have no idea what that is. And I think that's a sign of our culture and what we value. And we really are a head, dominant culture. It's ingrained in our values. It's ingrained. And how we learn. It's ingrained in our language, the head of the company, the CEO, the head of state, the head, the head, the head, the head, the head. So of course, we naturally live in our heads, which is where this kind of mass epidemic of depression and anxiety can cultivate and fester. And so embodiment is really the art of getting back into the body, getting back into like, the torso, getting back into the belly, getting back into the pelvis, getting back into those areas that ground us, and ourselves and our center of gravity. When you even look at the five senses that we acknowledge and value, they're all first of all, there's 20 Plus senses, there's not just five. But the five that we choose to acknowledge and value are the five that reinforce this idea that external stimuli comes in through the eyes, or through the years through the time, and then it gets transferred to the body. But actually, there's some cultures that balance is the original sense is the prominent sense. And before a child learns to do anything else, they learn to balance, they learned to get in touch with their center, and their relationship with the center of the Earth gravity. So they tap into that relationship, that intuitive feeling of connectedness, with everything. And it's just not something that we teach, it's not something that we value. And so it's not something that we learn. So I find that embodiment is like a process of really starting as babies again, and being like, Okay, how do we use our bodies? How do we inhabit our bodies? What are these visceral senses that we can tap into to get us into our bodies? Because most people, when I asked them, What does it feel like to be inside of your body? They don't, they can't answer, they don't have an answer. Or if they do, their answer pertains to how their body looks, as opposed to how their body feels, they can't disconnect the two. So it's a process, but it's the most necessary process. Because as we've learned, disembodiment is how mass control happens. So
Bret Shuford 17:50
I mean, but look at where we are, you know, as a culture to with the amount of digital consumption and just constant disconnection were happening. You know, it's all happening out here in front of us. And you just see, we moved to Houston during the pandemic, and you know, New York, you would see people on the subway on their phones all the time, I see people driving their cars on their phones, you probably see this in LA. And it's just like, What are you doing you there is a world like a people that you are putting in jeopardy, and they're just so disconnected? I mean, it's just such a fascinating thing to say, like, yeah, we do need embodiment work, people do need to learn how to get into their bodies.
Chasten Harmon 18:37
Yeah, we were body creatures, and 96% of communication is nonverbal. We communicate with our bodies, we communicate with our facial expressions, and we need to understand what's going on inside of them in order to understand what we're communicating and how we're communicating. Because it's not just through our language, as we've learned.
Bret Shuford 18:56
Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about having this multi passionate, multi hyphenate experience in the entertainment industry. Because I do think that there is a lot of fear that comes up for artists who are afraid. I mean, there's a lot of fears, you know, there's a spectrum of it. But I think that most people, especially in my experience of the theater and actor, world, they're not going to be taken seriously if they have a side also, that there's this fear that by having a plan B, they're somehow letting down their plan a or whatever, that BS that were sort of pumped into us, which I think a lot of people maybe in the last two years have realized, well, what was I doing this one, I could have had this whole thing built like your business and my business. But what was their fear having gone through grad school at Yale and having to be taken seriously as an artist? If I start this side, hustle, Am I no longer going to be taken seriously talk about that.
Chasten Harmon 19:59
Yeah, Of course, and I was told, like, mentored by multiple people not to do that, to put my passion all into one thing, so that I wouldn't be taken seriously. And I tried, I tried to do that I ended up sick, I got sick, like my body said, No, I need to express in all of these ways. That is what is sustainable for me. So what I would say to those thoughts, and concerns are concerns about what people are going to think, if people are going to take you seriously or not, if people are still going to offer you jobs or not, do those matter more than the expression that you're here to embody? Because if you let them matter more, than you're sacrificing parts of yourself and parts of your expression for hypothetical opinions that you've created in your head. And when you put it like that, then you're like, Oh, well, I don't want to show up is a compartmentalized version of myself, I don't want to show up as less than myself, like I'm here, I have one life, I'm alive. I want to express everything that was inside of me that is meant to come out. And then it's also about really understanding this single minded narrative is actually just, you know, it's just a little child of capitalism. That's all it is. It's not fact, it's not truth. It's just like, This is what works best and capitalism if you stay focused on one row. But as we made all this up, so we can make it all up again. And we need to, and we should, because if there's anything that we've learned in the past two years is that the models that we've made up and subscribed to aren't working for us. So it's time to find the unsubscribe button, and just get a little click, a little click
Bret Shuford 22:07
Make, it sounds so easy, but it is it really is. Really can be that easy if you want it to be. And I think that that's ultimately, I think most people are afraid of failure. And they're just afraid that if they try something that they're not going to succeed, but I also typically on the other side of that I'm like, it's two sides of the same coin. And it's like, well, what if you actually do succeed? Like, what if you actually make I say, this kind of thing? What if you make six figures with your side hustle? Would you care if you got called back as a swing? And some not, you know, some tour? And they'd be like, No, I'm like, exactly. So what do you have to lose? It's yeah,
Chasten Harmon 22:45
yeah. And then I clients all the time, that are just like, I feel like I have to choose. And I like you don't, you can't do everything all at once. At the same time, you might have to sacrifice a little here. And there. It is about fitting pieces together and puzzles together and figuring it out. It does take finesse, but it is possible and everything is hard. Everything takes time to build. And so in my opinion, I'd rather be doing that work for something that lights me up from the inside out, as opposed to something that I'm like so so about, but this is the plan that people outline that said that would work.
Bret Shuford 23:26
Yes. Oh, God, I just I just love every the way. You're saying everything is so accurate to me and I resonates with me. That's why I started doing what I'm doing as well. Because I waited tables, I did retail, I did all of that stuff that you're supposed to do. Because you need to have flexibility. And I would just be miserable. Like, I don't have to do that. But if I create something, and yes, it does take time. And sometimes it takes failing and figuring out and trying something different. And like you said, like starting with knitting and then and then evolving into something else. And you the only way you're gonna find that is by trying.
Chasten Harmon 24:04
And this is my second business. I had one business already that failed. So yeah, so yeah, I mean, I learned very early, I was like, Okay, so there's always going to be cracks. And I'm always going to need to be doing something in the middle that I'm passionate about. So like, let's figure this out. And I would say that the more that I waited, the more I saw other people doing the things that they wanted to do. And I saw those things build and I saw those things grow. And then I would turn around two years later and be like, Man, if I just follow my impulse two years ago, like, I would be there too. And after that, I was like, Well, I'm starting now. I don't care if I don't know yet. Like I'm going to throw myself in I'm going to be messy. I'm going to fail. I'm going to learn because that's how we learn anyways, it's not an intellectual process. It's a physical, visceral process. And we're going to get this party started because three years from now future chess is gonna thank me.
Bret Shuford 24:59
Yes Also all the people who you've affected and changed and helped change their lives. Which leads me to my next question, which is, why is it important that you serve black women? Oh,
Chasten Harmon 25:16
black women are underseen under represented and undervalued across every industry. And because of that, I know this is what I say to my clients, when people can only see you a certain way, they can only show you a certain way. So black woman have only been showed a certain way. And we've spent far too much time serving and nurturing and nourishing other people's dreams, other people's bodies, other people's lives. And I personally believe that the original sin like the reason that we're in whatever you want to call, what we're in now, is the erasure and the eradication of indigenous knowledge. And I'm defining indigenous by any community that has a reciprocal relationship with earth and with the land. So I include African cultures, and indigenous knowledge. And I think in order to restore the balance, we need to recover that knowledge. And that knowledge is in our bodies. So it's my goal to garden, black women's bodies to garden, black woman's dreams and bring those expressions forward not only so we can show up, fully express and get to experience what that feels like, which is our birthright. But also because it's the medicine that the world needs. We need more leadership period. And we definitely need more indigenous leadership. So that's why my work is so focused on black woman because we're underserved and underrepresented and underfunded across the board. And we need more black women leaders, we need more black women in business and with business skills. And if you think about what the African American community is taught, and has been taught years over years in a leadership skills, it's the mission. So we need to actually deprogram our bodies from submissive states and reprogram them with leadership skills.
Bret Shuford 27:35
I have chills. A big part of my mission is to help LGBTQ plus, yes, community, not for the exact same reasons, but for similar reasons. And the underseen and the disempowerment. And how do we embody? How do we embody leadership and a culture of oppression?
Chasten Harmon 27:59
Boundaries, that's as simple as I can put it, boundaries, because we have no leadership as a country. And because as a country, we are addicted to work. For me, it starts in addressing workplace culture. Mm hmm. And that requires really strong boundaries, getting people back into their bodies is the first step. And the second step is giving them advocacy tools, so they can show up to workplaces and say, no, like, this is not a livable working condition, we will not accept this. And people feel empowered to speak up about that and say, Hey, we need this to change in order to keep going because this is what is actually sustainable. And this is what is actually healthy. We need more people saying, No, I'm not gonna do that thing that you're asking me to do that is actually abuse to my body. And this is a lot of what we're seeing in our industries right now with everything that's been happening is we need more humane working conditions, we need more sleep, we need more time off, we need less pressure to perform like these are not environments where creativity thrives. So it really takes strong boundaries. Because this work isn't individual, it's communal. And the only way it has a communal impact is if we start to actually communicate not just via our language, but via what we're willing to do and not to do with our bodies, how we're anytime you work for someone, you're leasing your body. So you better believe you vetted the person that you're leasing your body to that they're going to take full responsibility of taking care of that body. And we need stronger vetting and we need stronger boundaries to start to dismantle these systems and to start to teach people No, this does not work for me. period without the drama. It's just no.
Bret Shuford 30:03
Yeah, yeah, I Oh, gosh, boundaries. So this is something in the work I've done with actors that I run into so much is the scarcity mindset that so many of us have been bought into, even you grew up in a like for my situation growing up in small town in Texas wanting to be on Broadway. And everyone's assumption that, oh, you're going to be broke for the rest of your life, everyone's assumption that oh, the rejection, Oh, it must be so hard. So you're already bought into the energy that it's gonna be a struggle. So we get what we expect, we move to New York. And it's a struggle, because we're like, we're expecting it to be a struggle. And everyone around us says, Well, you got to be grateful, you're in a show you're on Broadway show, you can't call out, don't call out sick, don't speak up. Because you might get put on some sort of imaginary list that everyone says you're going to get put on if you speak up, because you're difficult. All those things that we've all been sort of bought into. And it's a general, like you're saying communal experience. I mean, it really is, you know, the whole point of a union, right, is that we're supposed to commune in this union, that empowers us. But how, you know, as you start to think about coming back to Broadway, and we know that there's a culture of that scarcity. And there's a shift happening, question mark, but there's a shift that wants to happen in that space. So I guess the question to me is, how do we help others move through the culture, you know, in a space where there's just, it's already been bought into by so many people, sometimes you can feel a little bit like an iceberg in a sea of scarcity. So how do people do that in a way that, that we can transfer that empowerment? I know you're talking about setting boundaries, but some people are scared to set boundaries because of that scarcity. So how do we move through that? I guess? That's my question.
Chasten Harmon 32:05
I've always found that, as I said, like learning is visceral learning is physical. And it really doesn't matter how many times you say it, or tell people or how many times you hear or understand it until you actually experience it. You don't know. So I've always found that just living what I'm speaking is the loudest voice. And then when I live it, other people are like, did you really just say that you really just do that? And like, they have to have their visceral response to it burst. But then they walk away, and they think about it. And that's what I want. I want them to go home and think about it of like, well, maybe I have a choice. Maybe I can do that too. And then people start to know that they have options, their brain start to deprogram and they start to think outside of the box of the narrative that they've been given our what they've been told. So living, it is the best way. All of the feedback that I get is like, oh, yeah, it was in watching you do that watching you own that watching you and power that they gave me the courage to do that courage is contagious. The two most important leadership at courage and vulnerability are the two most important things for leadership and both of them are contagious. So spread them like wildfire. And then also, it's like you said, like when you're like the lone person in a sea of scarcity mindset, then the boundaries come in to self protect, like, I need a good three hours of meditation and warm up before I go into a rehearsal space. I do, especially if it's an all white space, because I'm holding energy in a different way. And so I prep myself for it, I adjust my expectations of everyone here is well intentioned, but we all do have it's a mental illness of sorts around how work is we've attached hard work to self abuse, that's a mental illness. So it helps me show up to rooms with compassion. They're not intending to be evil. It's not intentional. Everyone's just a little brainwashed. And everyone just needs a little bit of time to let that unravel. And it happens one seat at a time it happens one example at a time. And so I'll still be the person in the dressing room who's like, this is abuse. Other people will be like, it's just the way it is. And I have to be like, it's abuse. Because we have to rewrite these narratives in our head and start to learn what our edges are and what our boundaries are. So we're not at that place where our bodies are screaming No, no, no, no, but our brains are like you're gonna go and do that, which is how we've been operating.
Bret Shuford 34:55
I just love everything you're saying. And I think that it's so important to people to hear this number matter what industry you're in the power of example is very powerful. And knowing boundaries and setting those and you need help. That's my finding someone like Chaston, who can help you find what your boundaries are through that embodiment work or working with somebody and understanding that we all have been bought into a system for a very long time that it just doesn't change overnight, it changes through one thing at a time, that's really, really, really powerful.
Chasten Harmon 35:29
We're sitting on that uncomfortable precipice where we've had this grand awakening where we know things need to change. And now we're like going through the growing pains of like, oh, how does that gonna happen? Like Brene browns, calling it the big awkward, and I couldn't agree more. And that's what it's gonna be. And that's what it needs to be, it needs to be awkward, it needs to be messy. We need to be showing up to these rooms and these conversations of like, I don't really know how to do this, or say this or talk about it, but I'm going to give it a shot. That's where it starts. And it's going to be weird and awkward and sticky for a while. And that's okay, that's good. That's good. That means we're making progress, and we're evolving, and that's where we want to be going. So like lean into the awkward.
Bret Shuford 36:09
To me, I think so many people are afraid. There's like a hesitation into the space. And it's like, no, like, let's get in there and let's get it messy. Otherwise, it's just gonna delay the change and make it even more painful. Yeah. Okay, I just feel like I could have that conversation around theater and the arts and especially diversifying not just the workplace but diversifying the leadership diversifying the audiences, helping people feel seen, you know, for me, it's super important that we get more non binary space and more transgender leadership, I've just like a big goal of mine. 22 is like to help, as many transgender entrepreneurs become successful business owners and like, that's something I'd really love to see is like more people in in that leadership space. But I know for a lot of people, there's always a struggle, when you're a multi hyphenate of balance. There's always a conversation about time management, but it's just understanding like, Okay, I've got a graduate degree in theatre, or art, or whatever it is you do. I'm paying those bills still. And I'm also trying to run this business and coach and be available and flexible to auditions. How do you feel, or what's the key for you to staying balanced as a human being as an entrepreneur and as an artist,
Chasten Harmon 37:39
listening to my body, always. So I just like our weather happens in season our bodies happen in season two. And there's some seasons, there's some years where I like I'm all actor this year. And there's some years where I'm all knitter this year, and there's some years where like, I'm all embodiment this year. And when a shift shifts, you shift with it, I was in the middle of working on it huge wholesale order for free people. When I got Mr. Saturday night, and I finished 75% of the order. And the last 25% I was like, hey, this other job came through, it's more renumerated employment. And I'm gonna do it and you have the pieces that you have, I'm not going to deliver the last piece. And they're like, Fine, that's great, thank you. Whereas another option could have been, I could have fretted or tried to do it all or tried to over exert myself knowing that it was a recipe for burnout. Instead, I was like, I'm not shipping like five boxes of yarn to the Berkshire's to try and knit a collection while I'm intact. Like, I'm not doing that to myself, I want to be fully present with this show. With this tech, I'm not losing anything by doing this. Like I still launched a collection with three people this year. So knowing what my body's limits are knowing what it wants to do, and knowing that sometimes a wave is going to come along and you have a choice to grab a surfboard and get on it. Or just say oh no, I'm actually doing this right now. Because this is where my body is. And this is what my body loves. And I'm going to let that wave pass and I'm going to trust that another wave is going to come but it's really hard for people to trust that the other waves are going to come Oh, but trust me they do. They do the good ones and the bad ones.
Bret Shuford 39:36
They do the waves come and I was gonna say you're saying go with the shift. So shift happens, right? We want to allow those shifts to occur the way that they're supposed to and like you said, like trusting your gut man. Like I totally echo that. You know, there's seasons where your spirit, your higher power, whatever is telling you, like just go with that flow like this is what I need to do. And the other thing you said There is kind of back to boundaries. These are my boundaries like, this is taking precedent. So I'm now you know, not going to fulfill the rest of that order. For now. It's still pretty freakin awesome. You got to line the free people. You're premiering a new musical with Billy Crystal and just around and continuing to serve people. How can people learn more about working with you? Is there a download or some sort of way that people can learn more about the work? You do? Yeah, so
Chasten Harmon 40:28
you can find me at plush armour.com. I'm also very active on Instagram. And we just launched a fundraiser actually for the business because black female businesses are underfunded. So that's a whole nother podcast. But you can book consultations with me through that. And we can do creative visioning sessions, you can book a one off or you can book a package. And I am like your personal I'm here to hold you and your vision and garden, your dreams coach, like let's figure out how to get you where you want to be in a way that feels good and feels sustainable.
Bret Shuford 41:10
I love that. I love that. And so I'm gonna put all those links in the show notes here. So you can you can check those out and sign up for a session with Chaston which sounds amazing. I need somebody to hold my vision in place. We all do. We all do. We all do.
Chasten Harmon 41:28
What do I have three coaches.
Bret Shuford 41:33
It's important to have that support and that nurturing and know that you're not alone. Is there anything you want to make sure we dive deeper in that we didn't talk about or anything that we didn't cover that you want to talk about?
Chasten Harmon 41:48
Oh, yeah, I also just, I think it just released yesterday, I recorded a Marvel podcast that just released yesterday. It's a Black Widow Marvel podcast. So that's another fun little thing that just came out that is expanding my repertoire. I've never done one of those before. So add voiceover to my Haifa netlist. Now,
Bret Shuford 42:10
I have some Disney Marvel fans, so I think they're gonna probably all jump on that.
Chasten Harmon 42:13
Oh my god, Susan Sarandon is playing the black, which is great. Yes. Okay, cool. And then the only thing I want to say is if you have something that you want to do, Nike, just do it. Just do it. Just start now start today. And the number one thing that if you only only focus on kicking your perfectionism, because that's the thing that's holding you back, wanting to be perfect, wanting to make sure you get it right, wanting to have a plan, wanting to have money, wanting to have the right thing like that's all perfectionism. So if you just work on kicking your perfectionism, and showing up because you have the impulse, you have the desire, and you have a longing and being willing to learn and be messy along the way. That is gold. That's the gold.
Bret Shuford 43:05
Oh, I love that. I always say to Pete, to people, perfectionism is another form of self sabotage. It's just a way to prevent you from jumping all in and you chasin just are an all in person you're all in. And it's such a beautiful example of leadership. And I just see so many, not just black women, but people who feel underserved and underrepresented and following your lead, they need the thing that you have. And I'm just so glad that you're getting more platforms in which to be seen, so that they can find you and get access to this gift that you have. So thank you for sharing that here with us today. It's just really, really an honor to have been your ex husband and to have gotten to interview you.
Chasten Harmon 43:57
Thank you. I know what a pleasure See, these are the fun things that arise from the work that pops up new friendships and new relationships.
Bret Shuford 44:06
Well, everyone go make sure to check out Chassin follow her I'll put all the links in the show notes, and keep being courageously creative.