From Dead Last to Top 3!

Am
I talking about being dead last on RuPaul’s Drag Race (You know, the
wildly-addictive, funny and touching reality show that looks for America’s next drag superstar)? Am I talking about the drag queens who get
eliminated on the first episode of every season like
Porkchop, Shangela,

Penny Tration,
Kelly Mantle, Magnolia Crawford, Tempest DuJour,
etc.?

Nope!

I’m talking about being dead last when
my classmates and I in the Professional Development Program 3.0 class
created a comprehensive points system in January 2016 to track our
progression as the CEO’s of ourselves as artistic businesses. The points
system covers many different categories of career administration and
the value of the points varies from one category to the next. For example, putting up
a scene in class is worth a certain amount of points whereas booking a
guest star role on a TV series is worth a higher amount of points. Mailing out postcards is worth a certain amount of points and making an industry phone call is worth another amount of points.

What
I love about the points system is that it gives me an accurate picture
of where I am thriving as an artist and where I am not. Which areas I am
strong in and which areas I need to put more attention on. And you have
to be honest about giving yourself points in the different categories
because it’s an honest look at your career administration. To cheat the
points system in order to be ahead of others only hurts yourself. To
cheat and add points that weren’t earned only hurts yourself in the long
run. We are a business. We punch in and we punch out. The points system
tracks our progress. It’s our profits and loss statements. It’s our
growth statements. No point in cheating.

When we
started tracking our points back in January, I was shocked to see that I
was dead last in terms of points earned. Out of all my classmates, I
was dead last for three or four weeks straight. I was mortified! How
could I, of all people, be dead last in the areas of career
administration?!?!?!?! I’m supposed to be Chasing The George every
week!!!! I’m supposed to be the motherfucking man, careering gaily over
the waves!!!!

Instead, I looked like the screaming man in the famous painting, “The Scream”, by expressionist artist Edvard Munch. The horrors! The horrors!

Instead
of giving up, I decided to focus and study the facts. First of all, I
wasn’t clear about what I wanted 2016 to be about on a professional
level. That was problem number one. Public enemy number one. Without
clarity, my career administration was general and uninspired. I didn’t
have clearly-defined goals to work towards. So being dead last was a
wake up call for me to get specific about what I wanted 2016
to be about.

Once I got specific about the professional design
for 2016, I moved pretty quickly into the second to last position on the overall points
earner list. I was earning more points in different categories and that excited me! The
points system also forced me to administrate and take action in certain
categories that were uncomfortable for me. Categories I had a flinch on.
Why does this section have no points at at all? What am I scared of?
Focus on this area. Confront it. Be a better artist at the end of the
day because I am confronting uncomfortable categories.

As I
gained momentum on my career administration, I continued to move up the
overall points earner list. If I saw someone gaining up on me, I worked
harder and pushed myself further. What risks could I take this week to stay ahead?

On July 8th, we assessed our six-month
progress in class and it was really nice to hear the points list
administrator acknowledge how cool it was to see me move up the list over the
last six months. By the time we assessed our progress on July 8th, I was
in the Top 3! I was positioned at #3!

In RuPaul’s Drag
Race terms, I was the drag queen who made Top 3! I joined the ranks of
past Top 3 Drag Race contestants like Nina Flowers,
Alaska
Thunderfuck, Roxxxy Andrews,

Adore Delano, Courtney Act, Pearl, Ginger Minj, Kimchi, Naomi Smalls, etc. When you make Top 3 in RuPaul’s Drag Race, your career is
pretty much set for life. Top 3 is still a rocking place to be even if
you aren’t crowned America’s next drag superstar (the person who
ultimately comes in at number one) Top 3 is an achievement. These three
have shown consistency week to week on the show and also Charisma,
U
niqueness, Nerve and Talent. C.U.N…

Instead of
being told to “Sashay away”, I was told, “Shantay, you stay”. Or, more
importantly, I told myself to stay and keep fighting.

It was such a gratifying experience to see my hard work pay off.

On
July 8th, the points system got revamped and became more streamlined.
All our points have been reset and we’re all starting from ground zero
again. I hope to be Top 3 again. I’d LOVE to be number one by the time
2016 comes to an end, but I’ll be just as happy with Top 3. Why? Because
being Top 3 is still a cause for celebration. It’s still an indication that the work flow I’ve created and maintained for myself is working. It’s still an indication of how
consistent my career administration is. Having a work consistency that
produces results, that makes an impact and that is in alignment with what
I’m about is more important to me.

And at the end of the day, I
can rest assured knowing that if I make Top 3 again, I can come back for
the All Stars Season…okay, okay, enough of these RuPaul’s Drag Race
references!

(By the way, RuPaul and Michelle Visage, I would LOVE to be a guest judge on a future season of Drag Race! xoxo)

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