We had the good fortune of connecting with Baldie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Baldie, why did you pursue a creative career?
Oh, girl I couldn’t have stopped this train if I tried. Ever since I was just a little sprout, I was always absolutely ignited by the connection I’d experience making people around me laugh. I’d do just about anything to really capture someone’s attention and get to know them while giving them something to giggle about. As I grew into an adult, I found that I was losing touch with that side of myself, and realized that human connection and letting go of the idea of social norms was essential to my happiness. In a matter of months, I pivoted entirely and really leaned into pursuing a performative career. Once I started regularly doing shows, I found that my goal each set was to pull people off of their phones, out of their thoughts rumbling around in the back of their mind, and plop them straight into what was happening in that moment. I miss that more than anything after this near 12 months of pandemic/quarantine.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Oof I love talking about art. Let’s do this! I’d say what sets me apart from others is maybe my comfort in engaging with new people and creating a space in which they also feel comfortable. It doesn’t happen every time, but oh boy when it does it is just magic. I do my best to really take a moment and “read the room” before diving into a performance. I intentionally leave pockets of time in my routines so that I can improvise/mold to the vibe of the audience. Right now I am most excited to get back on a stage on a regular basis. I feel like quarantine has really flubbed things up and I am looking forward to getting back out there and helping people shake off this year, ya know? As far as my journey in my career goes, I’d say it started with a love for theatrics and has transformed into a lifelong intention to genuinely connect with others in the most fun way possible. I started bartending/cocktailing on roller skates for little events here and there. It was a super fun way to start getting my name out there. It slowly transformed and my description of “what I do for a living” got harder to explain. I began clowning, miming, burlesque, stand up, improv comedy, acrobatics.. the list goes on!! I opened myself up to pretty much anything! You want something specific? No problem! I’ll do my research and give it my best shot. What else is your 20’s for, right? Although that was very fun and new, it was almost essential if I wanted to pay any fraction of my bills! After a couple years, I got picked up by a local entertainment agency and that really turned things up a notch. I had WONDERFUL women that I really enjoy working for sourcing well paid gigs for me, so that alleviated a lot of the stress of finding paid work. It also allowed me to take a moment to really learn how to balance work/life/relationships now that everything wasn’t all my responsibility and needed my attention. I struggle enough with that balance already, so this transition was and continues to be a learning experience. I think what I would like the world to know about me and my story is that I have had, and continue to have, massive obstacles in my way directly related to my choice to pursue an artistic career – socially, financially, mentally, and in my family and personal life. It was never “easier” to be an artist. I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be a roller skating clown and suddenly everything felt right in the world. It’s still a struggle every day, but dang do I love the life I lead. I have never felt as free within myself than I do now. Life can be so scary and disheartening, especially right now, but I will always have my art and expression with me in every step. That’s really special to me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The great thing about Houston is that, no matter what your friend is in to, you could fill an entire week up no problem. However, Me and my friends would absolutely be visiting CAM (Contemporary Art Museum) and the Menil Collection. Our museum day would be highlighted by a morning stop at The Breakfast Klub for some incredible chicken, lunch at any food truck with Pastor, and a quite dinner in the herb garden of Coltivare. We would also spend an entire day around the Discovery Green area. The landscape and architecture in these blocks are some of the best in the city. Once night time crept up, it’d be time to hit some comedy/drag clubs and dance floors mama. Maybe a lil stop at The Eagle, maybe a lil Secret Group.
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?
You already know I have to thank my mom here. Even when she doesn’t understand, she does her best to support me and make sure I remember that I’m loved and I’m poppin – which we all need to hear sometimes. Other than my mom, my chosen family supports me a lot. Through moments of triumph and celebration as well as moments of failure and imposter syndrome, my friend fam is there to make sure I’m supported and moving towards my goals. I really don’t know where I would be without them. Certainly not on a stage!!
Elio Winter, Ursula Baker, Jinni J, Alex Parker