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    21 Questions

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    Batey, 28, is in the ensemble of the touring production of Hamilton, June 4-23 at the Kentucky Center. “I lived in Floyd County and then J-town but went to New Albany High School,” Batey says. “True Kentuckiana.”


    Describe the space you’re in right now.

    “A jazzy yet relaxing nail spa in Sacramento, California, getting a much-needed pedicure and massage.”


    Earliest childhood memory?

    “Christmas morning, 1992, getting a karaoke machine.”


    When/where are you the most creative?

    “I enjoy journaling and drawing early in the morning. Rising with the sun gives me all kinds of great ideas for the day.”


    The weirdest place somebody has recognized you in public?

    “In a changing room...while I was still changing.”


    When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?

    “For a while I really wanted to be a firefighter simply because the firehouse field trip was my favorite, and I hadn’t ever met a black female firefighter. Then, when I was about 10, I was sure I wanted to be a lawyer. I thought I could make money defending and arguing and proving my side of things — which I did a ton of at home for free.”


    The most unusual benefit of your job?

    “I don’t have to pay for my haircuts.” 


    Who’s doing big things in Louisville under the radar?

    “Christopher 2X is an advocate for homicide victims and is a very present link between LMPD and the families of victims of gun violence.”


    Besides your current one, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

    “I loved working for Lil’ Genius Child Care (on West Broadway). I volunteered there for a while, then worked there as a teacher one summer. It’s rewarding to work with the little ones. I love babies, our future.” 


    Favorite possession?

    “My yoga mat. I have been traveling across the country with this mat, sharing this passion of mine. I truly treasure that it’s been with me for all these years in all these different studios. I use it every day.”


    Favorite thing hanging on the walls at home?

    “A tribal elephant figurine my mom gave me for my birthday.”


    What’s on your nightstand?

    “Lavender essential oil, a diffuser, an eye mask and a water bottle.”


    What/who makes you laugh?

    Family Feud! I have a great laugh playing along.”


    The first thing on your bucket list?

    “I actually am dreaming up a tour of Sub-Saharan Africa.” 


    Best book you’ve read over the past year?

    The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. Life-changing book about the incredible power of being in the present moment and not worrying about the past or future.” 


    Secret talent?

    “Most recently I discovered I can guess a person’s astrological sign pretty well.”


    What should every person try once?

    “Not speaking for an entire day, which some singers call ‘vocal rest.’ It’s harder than you might think, and it’s amazing how much you will actually hear when you spend a day just listening.”


    Favorite movie scene?

    Coming to America, when Prince Akeem meets his bride. ‘What do you like to do?’ ‘Whatever you like.’”


    Greatest movie ending?

    Beaches. It’s my favorite movie and reminds me of my mom. I cry every time.” 


    If forced to get a tattoo, what would you get?

    “An African queen’s crown outlined in my birth chart, with ‘And so it is’ written inside.” 


    Something nobody knows about you?

    “I’m sometimes shy and push myself out of my comfort zone more often than people would believe.”


    If you could write it yourself, what would your headstone say? 

    “What a ride in this body we had.
    Walking the earth in this shell was rad.
    It was raw, exciting and expansive, sure.
    This soul will always feel blessed to have been her.”



    What song is stuck in your head?
    “‘Here Comes the Sun,’ by the Beatles.”

    All-time-favorite album?
    Joy in the Wild Unknown, by Ripe.”

    Your drink?
    “Ever had Young Thai Coconut Water?!”

    “Salty snacks! Naps!”

    Can’t-miss TV show?
    World of Dance.”

    What’s Louisville missing?
    “A co-ed, family-friendly urban bath spa.”

    What word do you overuse?
    I — using it less takes practice.” 

    Least-favorite word?

    This originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine as the 21 Questions. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Illustration by Shae Goodlett,

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