Is being Broke Worth it?



So it is the end of February. Some of us have forgotten our new year’s resolutions and fresh starts. I have so many things to accomplish in this year that I may have put down too many resolutions; so many, in fact, that absolutely not one of them as been accomplished to date. Most of the resolutions have been forgotten. Of course, in my case, fear resides over completing a majority of them.


The Body Image Project one-hour workshop production is supposed to go up in April at Gorilla Tango in Chicago. I have so much money to raise, characters/dialects to learn, people to wrangle to come see the show and so much more that in some ways I just feel like cancelling the production, laying in bed and finishing Season 3 of Prison Break. I know that is not an option. Every time I see what NEEDS to be done: website; programs; promotional video; transcriptions and so much more- I always just want to quit. Quitting is easy. I have to make sure I go to the gym in order to survive this one-hour production. But, anytime I go outside in this negative 15-degree weather all I want to do is curl up and hide away. I went home to the East Coast this past week to do a conference in DC at Howard University and when I got home to NJ I slept for three days straight. Now, I am not sure if all of that sleep was absolutely needed- or whether I was just excited to have a place to hide away to.


Some of these emotions can be depression- I know. I think what freaks me out the most is knowing that I have no money right now to make this production into something amazing.  $6,000 has to be raised by the beginning of April in order for this to even happen. I have so many dreams for this project; I would like to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this year. I would like to go off Broadway. I would like to get grants and finally have the opportunities to just tell these stories. In this rock and a hard place as most artists find themselves in, I sometimes feel like this career is a mistake. Is the struggle worth it? A lot of artists will ask themselves this question. There are times like this when I have less than one hundred dollars in my checking account and a foreshadowing of March rent that my answer to this question is “No” this art is not worth it.

But, then there are moments I have to remember, about how this project has changed lives.


I received an e-mail this weekend from a close friend and colleague sharing her experience and interest in the Body Image Project. She is a member of Overeaters Anonymous and was Bulimic. In her e-mail she said the relationship she had with her body had affected her entire life negatively.  She is in the process of learning to love herself from the inside out. This e-mail reminded me of the reason I started this project. I started this play to find healing for myself through the stories of others. I started this project as a journey to help others know that they are not alone in their own personal body image struggles. I started this project so that I can communicate these stories in my safe haven, which has always been theatre. When I worry about money and not having enough and gaining 30 pounds and not looking my best and transcriptions and not feeling good enough or talented enough.  I have to remember these stories. I have to remember the e-mails that have been sent to me as a thank you for creating this project. I may not have enough money, but I have a show that will hopefully provide healing for a lot of people and that will educate people on the true definitions of the word beautiful. I write this blog entry to say I am back! I have been in hiding for a while, but I am out. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project and truly inspires me to keep on going. Thank you and Thank you.


Danielle Pinnock-Wallace

Actor | Director | Playwright

Twitter: @thebodyimage

Instagram: @bodyimageproject

Facebook: The BODY IMAGE Project


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  1. 🙂 trying not to stress! Can’t wait to see you at the christening in may! Xxx


  2. Amazing blog. So relatable yet soooo inspiring. Have been having similar struggles facing the daunting task of beginning my MA project, finding showcase pieces, needing to exercise to build stamina FOR the MA project and showcase…and have ended up pushing everything back in favour of retreating to my room with cups of tea, chocolate biscuits and netflix (regretted THAT decision in my animals assessment on Thursday!!!) but you’re right…when you remind yourself of the good things, somehow the struggles seem worth it all!

    Still…I spent this evening baking instead of being productive but surely thinking about it is a start…right?;)

    Anyway, wanted to say brilliant post and glad you’re back and at it again, superstar!



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