Today we’d like to introduce you to Astin Rocks.
How to rock like Astin:
1. Go to Temple University for film school.
2. Get a job in South Philly selling knockoff, luxury handbags to pay for your North Philly, mouse-ridden apartment.
3. Get inspired, by your boss, learn to speak Mandarin.
4. Graduate, accept an internship in Beijing.
5. Work four different jobs in Beijing, including singing at a bar and intern for a film that still hasn’t come out, move back to the states. BONUS: Write original songs.
6. Give up on filmmaking. Hide at your cousin’s in Jackson, Mississippi to write and bullshit.
7. Live in Mississippi for four years. Direct Community Arts non-profit for teenagers, get re-inspired to write and shoot your own short films.
8. Take original songs and create short films for them. Screen and sweep at various festivals.
9. Move back to Atlanta. Temporarily shelf music, continue filmmaking.
10. Produce short web series about the job that started it all, about a cynical college student selling knockoff, luxury handbags.
11. Call the bags, “Kucci.” Slap it on a shirt.
– Because well, as we all know, Kucci *SLAPS.* 😉
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road is still bumpy as shit. Sacrifices are still being made. Maintaining balance is 1000% tricky, as I invest 100% of my earnings and time, into my projects. Ex. When to promote, what to write. How much to spend on ads. My apartment has to come later.
It sucks, having to push some of my personal wants back an extra inch, but I’m loving what I’m doing. I am having a ton of fun doing it. I almost question having too much fun.
Oh, and yes, I’m still partying. Dancing takes the load off when I feel I’m losing myself. (See, I’m balancing! Right?RIGHT?!)
Tell us about your work. What do you do, what do you specialize in?
I’m a Writer! Before anything else, I ‘m a story-teller. It never stops at a paper.
What I’m known for, depends on you you talk to, haha. Some still know me as the poet, some are still waiting on a new electro-soul album. Most, though, know me from filmmaking, and my involvement in the film community. I have created films for both my poetry and my music; “Letters from a Transient,” and “Love Soliloquy,” respectively. And for both, I put on my own screening events; inviting live performers and local artists to participate.
Today, I’m focusing on comedy narratives. Satire and irony are my bags, in real life, and I want to be the voice for sardonic Black Daria-esque characters, like myself. I’m not in the event-planning game at the moment, but instead, focus on pop-ups at art events and parties.
I’m just starting, but I’m looking forward to being the “Kucci Lady.” With merchandise on the table for sale, and my series available to watch at the stand, nothing excites me more than finding new ways to engage an audience.
What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
– Even if people believe in you, no one is going to invest in you, like you do. That includes money, time, energy, equipment, promotion – anything.
– Don’t get stalled by the idea of someone taking your idea, nor creating/producing a similar idea that someone has seen before. You’re not [just] selling the idea. You are selling YOU. That’s not just filmmaking, that’s everything.
– Enjoy what you do. Sometimes the work isn’t fun. Don’t let it deter you from having fun. In fact, I recommend building teams [of people] and selecting confidantes that make you laugh.
– Let, “No,” fuel you. You’ll see this suggestion a lot, but I cannot stress this enough.
– Managing balance will always require improvements. Do not beat yourself up over not being perfect.
– Go to sleep, sis. Rest is still productive.
- Kucci TEES Women/Men $15
- Gang Slides $30
- Klassik Kucci Purse $45
- Bukket Hat $30
- WATCH The “Real Kucci” Series: FREE
- Website: linktr.ee/whyastinrocks
- Phone: 4045361793
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @realkucci_
- Twitter: @whyastinrocks
- Other: IG: @whyastinrocks
Stills from Shoot: Cat Leatherwood, Photos of models: Astin Rocks