Cynthia Erivo & Leslie Odom Jr. Know the Difference in a Career Being Low-Key or Off-Key is in ‘Positive Tracking’

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Is it the Christmas season already? All signs seem to suggest that rush is about to come. A visit to any major box-store these days will have you passing trees and decorations. There’re also the Christmas shows getting ramped up on cable. Even the Rockefeller tree has been picked to travel from upstate NY.

But a story that’s sure to catch some eyes before then is the movie release of Harriet, about famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Her network of ‘safe spaces’ made it possible for blacks to travel the ‘underground railroad’ from slavery to freedom. It was a low-key enterprise that changed the social game.

The movie features two reasonably known actors who some might say have had low-key careers. Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr cut their chops on Broadway. Erivo starred in The Color Purple while Odom might be remembered from Hamilton. Now they’re set to raise their profiles even more primetime.

They’re busy on the PR tour for the movie. Erivo on a recent sitdown with Oprah talked about her showbiz journey as a British singer/actress. When asked whether the Harriet role found her or she found it, her response wasn’t off-key at all. She felt the role found her even though her dream brought her to this point.

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She said, “To dream, to be specific about the things you want in life, and to see them clearly, actually helps to bring them into fruition.” That may be another way of saying the difference in a career, business or social campaign being low-key or off-key is in positive tracking. This has elements of a:

  1. Vessel

Erivo saw herself as a vessel in this Harriet role. In one sense a vessel holds some content. You can pour into it and pour out of it. When a vessel sits in place it appears low-key. Erivo knows that whether this role looks low-key or not, the trick to being at her best was in what she could pour into it and pour out of it.

  1. Vehicle

The ‘underground railroad’ was like a “hometown network.” It wasn’t an actual railroad even though it served as a way for folks to travel from the south to places north. For Odom and Erivo, the vehicle that got their careers to this point is the Broadway stage. That was a ‘network’ to expose their gifts and riffs.

  1. Voice

Their musical background and singing skills come through in their work. Both have used music to blow the roof off with their voice. Finding your voice isn’t simply about having a hip sound. So they’ve used ‘positive tracking’ to keep their voice, goals and dreams hitting the right notes in the key of life.

  1. Vision

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Odom feels the Harriet story is one of vision. It’s where people saw something that seemed impossible and made it real. Erivo feels humbled by the chance to play this role. It’s one where the vision of the movie’s storytellers reflects the reality that the ‘underground railroad’ made possible.

These days Halloween’s getting competition from Christmas. You forget that Thanksgiving is somewhere in between. Whether their career is between being low-key or off-key isn’t something Erivo or Odom are worried about. They’re happy to be a part of a project of turning dreams into reality. Look at them now!

Tip: Dreams get turned into reality as you let it pour into you like a vessel and flow out of you like a vision.

Talkback: What’s going on: late Thanksgiving, early Christmas, Halloween in-Between?

Tracks: Selena Gomez – Look At Her Now – https://youtu.be/8u-_64S7plI

Lizzo – Good as Hell – https://youtu.be/SmbmeOgWsqE