The Art of Hustling Boundaries

A few days ago. I was sitting at home, waiting for a delivery from Postmates. When my food arrived, I opened the door, took the food, said “Thank you”, closed the door and sat down to eat. Two minutes later, I received a text message.

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I did a double take and read it again…..

“This can’t be real? What the fuck?”

I was baffled. Then I was angry.

Angry that I once again was being forced to deal with a boundary-crossing fuck nugget.

Did I contact Post-Mates about it? No.

Why? You’ll see in a second.

Instead, I posted a screenshot via Twitter and Instagram.

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It was my way of creating a boundary. It was my way of saying “No”. Not just to him, but to those like him.

I didn’t include the dude’s name, his contact info, or his social media information. I didn’t even describe him (he was a 50 something year-old-white dude.)

Maybe if I had, the responses wouldn’t have been so insane…..but probably not.

People were outraged that I would post such a thing. Not only that I would post it, but that I was angry about it. They didn’t see anything wrong with what this person had done. They simply couldn’t compute JUST how inappropriate this person’s behavior was.

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I recognize that some felt my post was directed at “who” this person was, in this case, a delivery person.

No, no, no, no, no.

I could give two fucks what their job title is. They just happened to be a delivery person, who was delivering something  TO MY HOME!!!! MY PERSONAL SPACE.  

That was and is the issue.

Many people ask me to read their scripts. Some of the queries come through Twitter, some through Instagram and others send emails to my manager, who then forward’s them along to me.

Some ask me to read their scripts because they want to attach me as an actor. In those instances,  I give them my manager’s email and see what happens.

Each case is different.

Others ask me to read their scripts because they want feedback. They want to know if their script is solid, if anything needs to be changed, etc.

If they want feedback,  I give them my rates and if they can afford it, I will happily oblige.

Wait, you charge people to read their scripts?? Hell, yes.

The base price is 500 dollars.

Why? Because I have 30 years of experience and that has value.

Just because I’m in this business, doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to help anyone who asks.

Nor I am not obligated to take a photo with you when I’m out to dinner, or sign something for you when I’m in the middle of a meeting, or spend 20 minutes out of my day giving you advice about how to “break into the business”, or read your fucking script.

That’s not a part of my job.

I have had many beautiful conversations with those who are fan’s of my work. I love these moments.

The true fans are always respectful.

They know my name, my work and are almost apologetic in their approach.

Those are who I give the most too and will go out of my way for.

Because I’m the one who is making the CHOICE and they’re being respectful.

They’re not putting me in an uncomfortable position. They’re not invading my personal space.

If I’m at a dinner party and happen to be introduced to a well-known doctor, I’m not going to corner them in a room to ask if my mole is cancerous.

That’s not why they’re at the dinner party. They’re there to have some food, good conversation and a nice bottle of wine, not to look at my potentially cancerous mole.

THEY DON’T OWE ME SHIT!

Just like my ordering food on PostMates doesn’t give them the right to send me a personal text message asking to read their fucking script, just because they have recognized me.

I DON’T OWE THEM SHIT!

What’s crazy is that I actually had a moment of insanity and considered the comments left for me on Instagram, thinking that perhaps these people were correct.

My internal dialogue went like this:

I mean, everyone deserves a shot, right?

-This guy didn’t do anything horrible, he simply asked me to read his script…..

-Maybe I am making too big of a deal about this. Am I being mean? I know what he did was wrong, he totally crossed a line, but I don’t want to get the dude fired, especially since it can be so hard to find a job.

-Maybe he just didn’t know any better. Maybe I should reach out to him and gently explain that he crossed a boundary.

I let the criticism of others lead me to question my right to set a boundary, to the point that I actually felt guilty for being angry; angry over the violation, followed by shame that I dared to publically share it.

Systemic, internalized gaslighting is a hell of a thing.

Even with others voicing support over my post, who saw the truth for what it was; A creepy as fuck dude crossing a line that had NO business being crossed, it didn’t matter.

It wasn’t until I got together with my good friend, Lexi Alexander and casually mentioned what happened, that I got set aright.

She was my gas mask.

I hadn’t been over-reacting. It was a big deal. It is a big deal. I was right to feel angry. I am right to feel angry.

A boundary was crossed without care or regard for how I might feel.

As a woman.

As a being.

In 2018.

This wasn’t someone who was “taking a shot”.

This was someone being a FUCKING CREEP.

Countless stories have emerged since the start of the #MeToo movement. Stories shared by incredible women, whose boundaries were violently crossed. Crossed by men who could give a fuck about boundaries. The whole world belongs to them; including everything and everyone in it.

There are equally just as many stories about women who didn’t make it, who were murdered for drawing their personal line in the sand, for daring to say “No”.

-“No” to a date

-“No” to giving out their number

-“No” to giving their time

-“No” to ___________

When I was a kid, I would continually get trapped in vice-like hugs by a member of my family. I didn’t like it. It made me feel uncomfortable, “icky” is the more appropriate term.

I didn’t know how to express my displeasure except to attempt to squirm my way out, which would only make them clamp down harder.

One day, in the midst of another “hug”, I made the decision to step on said family members toe with my foot.

“All they want to do is love you. What’s wrong with you?” “ All I want to do is love you. Why won’t you let me hug you?”

These sentences were said by family members, through tears,  that left me feeling alone, confused and defeated.

I learned at that moment that other peoples desires were more important than my personal feelings, sense of comfort and safety.

It didn’t matter that I felt gross or “icky”. All that mattered was that their desires were taken care of, without question or protest.

The pervasive assumption that women especially, should freely give what they have or are thought to have; time, money, cigarettes, hugs, smiles, energy, whatever the fuck it is, simply because someone asked needs to stop.

It’s taken me a long time to get truly value the power of my “No”, and to utilize it accordingly.

It’s also what has allowed me to value the power of my “Yes”.

I had a moment of forgetting. I’m grateful I got the reminder. I’m grateful to those who will share their gas masks with me when I’ve misplaced mine.

To those who don’t seem to get it, I’m gonna set a very clear and present boundary:

I DIDN’T OWE HIM SHIT AND I DON’T OWE YOU SHIT. 

To the rest of you, the one’s who do get it, I say “Thank you”. You’re part of the reason I love getting to do……. and I know that  YOU DON’T OWE ME SHIT!! 

****Will update after I contact PostMates.

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