Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Crystal Bush. Crystal is a seasoned actress with a solid foundation in theater. Her career has stretched the span of film, TV, commercial, and digital arenas.
Crystal first proved a stand-out on the stages of her Chicago hometown, earning the Black Theatre Alliance Award for her role in the acclaimed production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Then, in Sacramento, CA, performing on the Delta King River Boat Theatre as Belle in “A Christmas Carol,” She appeared in numerous theatre productions throughout the Bay Area: Berkeley Rep Theatre in Passing Strange, Big River at the Willows, Ragtime at Broadway by the Bay and Book of Days at TheatreWorks. Crystal is so happy and excited for the world premiere of her solo show Chrissy Meth ~ A Dance with the Devil and the Journey Back to Self at this year’s first EVER StreamFest Aug 22, 2020, 7pm pst at Whitefire Theatre. Crystal was last seen on an audible.com national commercial alongside Mindy Kaling. Currently, audiences can watch her on Netflix opposite veteran actor Stephen Baldwin in the independent, faith-based film, God’s Club.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I started out in theatre, went to theatre school. I love all things ART, theatre, fashion, writing, and creating.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey.
You know I had been in LA for a while, and things were happening, but of course not as fast as I needed them to be happening. I had the worst fear of writing. I remember feeling so envious of my friends and colleagues who were just able to create content online. It was this new world and frontier of web series. I loved, loved, loved the Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. I was like, wow, where did she get the money, the confidence the balls to write this show?!?!?! I actually fancy myself a poet. But, writing a play or a film was beyond my reach, at least at that time in my life. People around me were writing their OWN shows, no one was sitting around waiting on Hollywood to pick them. So, I had to do something. I hadn’t been on stage in a while, from almost every day at the theatre to hardly at all ever. Incidentally, I didn’t consider myself a writer at all, but I had kept a journal for a few years. I had hundreds of journal books tucked everywhere in my bedroom: in the closet, in my drawers, stacked on the floor between books, on my bookshelves, on my bed. So, one day I cracked open an old journal book during the time when I was on drugs, and I just wept. This was my story.
Who are your role models?
Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Issa Rae
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the thousands of YouTuber’s who get out there and Create!!
Please tell us about your show ‘Chrissy Meth ~ A Dance with the Devil and the Journey Back to Self.’
Chrissy Meth~ A Dance with the Devil and the Journey Back to Self, is a solo show written, produced, and performed by me. Chrissy Meth premiered June 6, 2019, at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The show was granted the Hollywood Fringe Encore Award and Diverse Diva nominee by the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. Due to Covid-19, theaters are closed, so I am live streaming Chrissy Meth on Aug 22 at 7pm pst, and I want the WORLD to log on and see my show!
In Chrissy Meth, a motherless child, growing up in the western suburbs of Chicago, not only has to face the racially oppressive construct of her world, but she also finds herself stumbling from one abusive relationship to the next, pushing her into deep drug addiction. On top of that, she is shunned and ostracized for her sexuality. Somehow, from the depths, she finds hope and begins to put the pieces back together. Through the use of song, multimedia, humor, and multiple characters, she explores, questions, and challenges beliefs and social mores surrounding race and sex identity while showing that it’s never too late to come back and find one’s self-worth. Buy tickets at www.whitefiretheatre.com.
What’s your most memorable experience?
The most terrible, disgusting, and tragic time of my life, I turned it into a piece of art. The preparation: the writing, the rehearsals, the INVESTMENT, the giving of the deepest part of my soul. I will never forget.
Which social media channels work best for promoting your work? What exactly do you do on the social media channel that makes it work for you?
Well, for me, and promoting Chrissy Meth at the time, Facebook worked best because I was able to market to my friends and family about my show. I would post on Instagram as well, but the reach was very small because very few of my followers lived in LA, and/or nor did I have that kind of relationship with them that they would come to my show. But, with my show being online well now, the sky is the limit. I try to be as creative as I can on my social media platforms with my various posts.
What’s your greatest fear?
Uhmmm, that only my Mom will log on and watch my show…lol. Just jokes. My greatest fear is me giving up on my art.
Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
Sitting down and writing your story can be a profound, painful, scary, challenging, healing, and rewarding experience. As anything we set out to accomplish in our lives: starting a business, or creating a piece of art: music, song, dance, performance. I wish I had done it sooner. So, whatever, your idea. DO IT…DO IT NOW!!
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
I am a bit of an artsy-fartsy type, so I had to get REAL focused and organized. And, whatever project you are taking on get support. I had a personal counselor for emotional support, I was in a weekly writing group, I had a producer/director. You can’t do everything you need support, and that’s ok. It’s so important to love and accept ourselves where we are, and our abilities.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
I think about how important it is to tell my story. I think about all the people that are struggling with drugs and alcohol; my heart fills up, and I know I have to keep going.
Any message for our readers.
At any moment, you can change your life. You may be experiencing hurt, pain, fear, self-doubt, lack of confidence, low self-esteem. But, when you look deep inside of your heart and find your hearts’s desire, ALL pain will melt away, like snow on a sunny day.