studio (un)scripted: 5 questions with dustin norris.

DUSTIN NORRIS, OPERATIONS MANAGER (and the epitome of all that is good in this life)

The studio is my happy place, where is yours? 

My happy place is inside a theatre either performing or watching a show. I grew up loving and eventually, at a young age, performing music theatre. It is the #1 thing I am most passionate about in this world. To me, it’s an active, creative way to tell a story and connect with people. When performing, I was helping people escape the stresses of their lives for two-and-a-half hours, and when I’m in the audience, I get to escape. The art of theatre brings me so much joy, clarity, perspective, and at times healing.  

You are one of the most kind, thoughtful and generous people I’ve ever met and I know that’s intentional. In fact, I love when you share on Instagram what you’re grateful for. Why is that so important to you? 

“Gratitude” is my favorite word! I am a recovering alcoholic. I will actually be hitting 12 years, God willing, in December. I learned in early sobriety the importance of focusing on gratitude. It’s a common AA practice to write out gratitude lists to help shift your perspective on life. It has often helped me reframe the thinking of, “I have to do this…” to, “I get to do this…”.  When I start my day with gratitude, I am starting from a place of openness and appreciation for all the universe has given me. Are there plenty of things I don’t have that I want? Absolutely, lol. But, I think it is important to keep my energy in today and be thankful for the things I do have. 

You are also so dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle which is incredibly admirable and something I aspire to myself. How do you stay so committed and focused? 

I work out so I can have a hot boyfriend. Just kidding! I am one of those crazy people who track their workouts and track their meals. I thrive off of routine. I mean, I work in operations as a career. Making sure things are running smoothly and efficiently is what I do best! So, why not apply it to my own life? Of course, I have cheat days and lazy days…I think those are necessary for a healthy balance. To me, physical fitness also works out the heart and mind. If I’m stressed, anxious, etc., a quick workout helps set me straight. Again, it’s one of those things I look at as something I “get” to do rather than something I “have” to do. 

Relationships of all kinds take work. You mentioned to me once that you make sure to see your mom once a month, I know that you have maintained friendships from childhood, LA, New York… the list goes on. What are some ways you encourage others to give energy to their relationships? 

OH! My people are my people! I looooove my friends and family. I often have people mention to me how nice it is to see my stories because I try to always support and praise my close friends from afar for their successes, milestones, etc. Just because there is space between us doesn’t mean we can’t remain close. Or for that matter, grow closer! I keep my friendships close and intimate because I want to grow from those around me. My family and close friends teach me new things all of the time. It’s hard to do that if the friendship is just surface level. I thrive off of deeply connected relationships because at the end of the day, it’s going to teach me so much about myself, about life, about the human connection and about love.  

If you could ask me anything, what would it be?

Every gay man has THEIR diva! I have two…Beyonce & Gaga. Who is your #1 diva???

First and foremost, we hope you’ll share in congratulating Dustin on his 12-year sober anniversary. That is an incredible achievement. Second, to experience some of this goodness, follow this sweet soul on Instagram for a daily dose of gratitude and love.

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