Deciding on a career is the most important decision of your life. Knowing what is best for you and realizing your dream is a cornerstone for a successful professional life. It’s no less than a blessing when you find your true calling and start working on it to become the best in that realm. Ann James, the founder of Intimacy Coordinators of Color and Broadway’s first black Intimacy Coordinator, always knew her calling was between teaching and artistry.
Since a young age, Ann always had to move around from camp to camp with her family because of her father’s job in the army. She found a constant friend in the form of performing arts. Her mother always encouraged her to go to operas, theater plays, and ballet classes from an early age. Ann found it mesmerizing, and something in her heart said this was what she was meant to do for her entire life.
Ann believes she has teaching and performing in her blood and loves to do both. All through high school and college, she couldn’t decide on what to do and which one to leave. She felt a hole in her when she left one for another, so she started searching for something that could incorporate teaching and performing arts, and she could get the best of both worlds. And it couldn’t get better than becoming the Artistic Director at a Chicago theater company.
After gaining over three decades of performing arts experience, she has finally introduced intimacy coordination through some classes she found online. She learned from the best teachers available and then wanted to extend her education by spreading her information to others. She found a significant gap in the entertainment industry where she discovered that intimacy directors were primarily white, and there were very few Black people or people of color who could help figure out intimacy best practices for people of color.
With these findings, she launched her own company, Intimacy Coordinators of Color, where she mentors and promotes people of color in the entertainment industry. She offers intimacy consultation to arts organizations and helps people with details regarding intimate and/or provocative themes. She is also an intimacy director and is determined to make intimacy easier and accessible to everyone in the entertainment realm.
With her passion and determination for change and equality, it is a no-brainer that she will succeed in changing people’s minds regarding intimacy. She also feels that her services help actors do a better job by helping them tell the story in a better and more comfortable way than before. Ann is adamant about bringing change and is hopeful for the future of the entertainment industry.