It takes a lot of work to gain recognition as an artist in your hometown, and once you’ve got it, it can be tempting to stay there and hold onto it. Atlanta poets Ryan J and Nate Mask have left the comfort of home to tour across the country.
They’re calling the tour “No One Likes Us, But We’re Here Anyway.” They spent five weeks travelling around the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest earlier this year and are heading to the West Coast in the spring.
The show presents what Ryan calls their “fire and ice” personalities and writing styles with work that deals heavily with race and relationships.
“Part of it is just the experience,” Mask says. “I’m hoping to use it as a launching pad […] to build a career out of this.”
“It’s the first step in learning how to run in this form of art,” Ryan says, “being a full-time artist. It seems like a huge first step to take, and maybe it was. But I think there were a lot of lessons to be learned from going to other places and being outside of your comfort zone that I’ll be able to apply later on.”
This story originally appeared with an audio interview on WABE.org.