We paint our pain onto canvases and host art shows, providing visual candor for our communities. We invite them into our imaginations, in hopes of inspiring them to find beauty in their own human experiences.We mix the beats of our hearts during panic attacks, and sing our sorrows into microphones. We amplify our expressions to crowds of thousands, motivating emotional liberation. We introduce our imaginary friends, construct our make-believe worlds, publish our ideas, and dissect our mistakes. These stage plays, motion pictures, speeches, articles and books become bedtime stories that comfort readers into feeling better about waking up to reality the next morning. We capture life’s chaos with shutter speed, encouraging viewers to exercise multiple perspectives. Once these coping skills lead to rising stars, it’s human to forget our human qualities. Maintaining transparency in conversations associated with mental health are essential to community, and connection. Here at For The Punks, we want to be the explore page for all your artistic inquiries. We promote creatives who not only explain who they are and what they’re doing, but note their feelings, insecurities, and aspirations, making the industry conversation accessible to all. Briana Boyd is twenty six years old and lives in Queen, NY. She manages the Minnesota band Dad Bod, and hosts Lesser Known Self, a mental health/music podcast for people of color. Briana also manages meet and greets, and other VIP experiences at concerts.
How has mental health affected your life?Thankfully, I’m a high functioning person with depression. I’m able to show up for work and do a good job. However, it used to affect my social life, my relationships, and my creativity. I isolated myself. I was exhausted all the time, and often declined social invites. Negative self-talk persuaded me to believe I was incapable, and stole the energy required to try anything new. I could write a small, passive aggressive novel on the poor dating decisions I’ve made, but I’ll spare you. I’m blessed to have a family that loves me unconditionally. Even at my lowest and most desolate, I knew I had a family that loved me. Ultimately, that love saved my life. Which stereotypes and stigmas surrounding mental health stand out to you the most? The common idea is that mental health is over-dramatized. The truth is that it should be treated like what it is, a disease. I often find that people who think otherwise haven’t experienced mental illness themselves. It bothers me. It’s an incredibly dismissive and apathetic point of view. Drug addiction and suicide kills hundreds every day. What kind of relationship do you have with yourself? I grew up with a father that ended his own life, and a mother, who tried her best, but was often emotionally unavailable. Growing up with moderate to severe depression, I had a very negative view of myself, and felt unworthy of love, with a side of major identity issues. I defined myself as a depressed person rather than a person with depression, and it showed. These days I’m able to articulate myself in ways that once seemed impossible, thanks to my therapist, and online research. Sometimes, I judge myself for the amount of time it took to get some relief, but it may take more than a few tries/providers before you get the help you deserve. I encourage everyone to keep trying to find what works for them. I’m much kinder to myself because of my past. I view myself as someone who’s been through a lot, and deserves happiness. I want to continue being kind, and be the best listener I can to the people in my life. How do you choose to survive your bad days? Me and my upbringing invalidated my thoughts and feelings for a long while. Now I work to nurture my spirit. I advocate for what I want. It’s okay to ask for space. I perform acts of kindness for myself: going for a walk, calling my mom, or buying plants I don’t have room for. Today for example, I’m ordering Dominos. I recently picked up macrame. It’s a meditative process that helps with anxiety. What three things would you thank yourself for? 1. Not giving up on my passions and dreams. I’ve had more than a few disappointments and setbacks in my career thus far. It would be much easier to switch paths, but I’ve never doubted that I’m supposed to work in music. 2. Speaking up for my mental health and seeking help when I needed it. When I started to doubt if I’d ever feel better, I sought help, whether that meant trying alternative methods, switching providers, or calling my mom for her perspective. 3. Being unafraid to take risks. Traveling alone was one of my favorites, and helped me to get to know myself better. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? There’s a clip of Eartha Kitt talking about love. It’s hilarious. I want to laugh like Eartha Kitt every day of my life. A man asks her if she’d ever compromise for love, and she’s immediately bewildered. She says “I fell in love with myself and want someone to share it with me. What is there to compromise about?” I’m alright just as I am, depression included. I no longer see the need to bend in my friendships or relationships. Share yourself with those who deserve you. When you compromise yourself for others, you dismiss your value, and give your insecurities permission to rule.
Describe your biggest dream(s).I want to make my living as an artist manager with a roster that I’m proud of. I’d like to live in a place that brings me joy, with plenty room for all my plants and pups. I’m always manifesting joy, sunshine, and love in my life! Who/What inspires you? Why? Music is my muse most of all! I love artist discovery, and nerd out regularly on the abundance of new talented bands/musicians! Second to that, I’d say myself. It took me a while to get here, but there’s only one me, and I’m a fighter! What projects can we expect from you in the future? Times are so uncertain right now, but I want to continue managing Dad Bod. I want to nurture and guide them to a place we’re all proud of. I want to continue growing my roster, and improve as an artist manager/podcast host. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me!