My name is Osayi Endolyn. “Osayi” is pronounced like “oh-sigh-yee.” I think it’s important that you know that. You should practice it in front of your mirror twice daily, five times per session. Just do it, you’ll see.
Although my name (and my father) is Nigerian, I am a California native living in The South. California is absolutely as great as they say, and being in The South is not nearly as bad as Californians think. Being from California gives you a certain currency overseas. It’s like you’re excused from all the “other” parts of the US, like states that don’t allow you to purchase liquor on Sundays. Ahem. I reside in Atlanta, a city I’ve come to love, with my husband Darryl. Darryl is a saint. He’s also an extremely talented jazz musician with many fans. He has other impressive capabilities but this is not his site.
I graduated from UCLA in 2004, during which time and afterward I worked in the entertainment business. I really don’t like it when people say “the entertainment biz!” or worse, “the Biz!” It’s almost as bad as when people say “moist.” I enthusiastically travailed in TV development, concert production, and was an executive assistant to Diana Ross. (Yes, she was. No, she didn’t.)
Eighty percent of the people I worked for were honorable, dedicated and exposed me to numerous opportunities. The other 20% are going to hell anyway so it really doesn’t matter what I say about them here.
My degree is in French, and I’m comfortable saying I’m “conversational.” This way, when I hear something in French that makes me feel awkward, I can just quizzically look around like I didn’t understand. I eagerly plan for the day Darryl and I move to Paris, albeit temporarily. He doesn’t really know about that yet, so please don’t mention it until I break the news myself.
My family is amazing in many ways, but their artistic fortitude is something to brag about. My brothers are both musicians (they are also very handsome). My mom is a songwriter and painter. My aunt is a musician, Grammy-nominated. Like Proust, I can still recall the delicious meals my dad made when I was a kid. He also comes from a long line of Edo sculptors, men who could really take it to a hunk of bronze. I like to remind myself of all this when I’m feeling like a creative shipwreck. You can’t go wrong, I say; it’s in the genes!
Currently, I’m most interested in nonfiction writing projects. I’m working on a memoir/journalistic hybrid of how civilians usually perceive the military and what we tend to overlook in our quick assessment. Using interviews from people in and around the military, the piece deals with how I once doubted an old friend who joined the Marines, and actually lived to know better. I’m also developing a piece on my beloved grandmother, who was a trailblazer in California politics in the 1970s. She has a saying, lesson or cautionary tale for every foreseeable life experience. People can’t talk about her without a sense of awe. I will develop these projects and others while I work towards an MFA in writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta.
Because I can’t commit to a dog, and I don’t like the way fish look at me, I maintain many houseplants. They all have names. I believe all songs are love songs. I enjoy collaging, yoga, craft beer shops, and I vow that one day, Netflix will pay me backdated commissions for all the people I’ve converted on their behalf.