A big part of what’s driven me to write on “this here blog” has been the desire to constructively air out my experiences and feelings.  Part memoir, part guidebook to life as I’ve seen it—the wish to be of some significant influence in the lives of those who “see” me. 

So how does a person who has decided to focus her energy as a film actress survive in the age of social media?  First you have to know about the person and THIS person is still figuring that out. I’ve certainly been prepared for this era to some extent. From my early days on dial up excitedly probing complete strangers in chat rooms and learning how creepy creepers could be. To MySpace and the early rise of Facebook discovering how many people were my “friends” but more so my new hive mind.  I’d even say I am part of the first generation to come up through being so immensely photographed and oh so very seen.

For better or worse,  my BFA program by design had a very rigid structure. As an example, my freshman year we were required to wear black at all times–be a blank slate and avoid distraction. We were also not supposed to pursue performance work outside of the training for a number of years for the same reason. One part of the program that deviated was “Free play”. The first part of your spring semester your senior year was yours to claim. You could do a one person play, a film, make a music video, you name it! After much contemplation I decided to blog and use it as an intensely serious account for researching love.  No joke. I used it as an effort to get to know myself and examine from a scientific point of view what love was. The subject led to a range of topics- I made videos about hemp shakes, discussed  madonna/whore complex, and wrote about a visit to a psychic. While I was judged by some of my peers for being too self involved, I see now how crucial that time was. 

Without sounding too critical, some of those same peers have since taken to their own platforms and perhaps see how there is suddenly value in public self reflection. To see others going through something and to relate or be inspired goes a long way. There is a magic in finding a way of framing our experiences to start conversations. I know I’ve found strength from such musings especially in regards to destigmatization of mental health issues. 

It’s a slippery slope though, because the more people that chime in–the more it becomes cacophonous. So here we are now in an age where people can share and now self edit left and right. We are weighing our opinions and feelings to the perception and comparison of others before uttering a single word. Or we are exclaiming controversy in order to rise above the noise to feel heard. That goes for words, images, and even re-shares. 

In the midst of this, I think that I find solace in reaching further than the people in my close circle. Instead of drowning in the sea of obvious connections, I’ve been enjoying learning about people who have nothing to do with my immediate needs in the industry. I navigate through what is shared and presented as a means of understanding my craft and self.

I watch your videos because I desire the ability to knit yarn. I love cheering on your artwork.  I love learning your fierce makeup techniques just ’cause– hell maybe I’ll make reasons to be so bold. Did you know that without an ounce of irony– you inspire me? You even join my catalogue of “characters to be”.  

That’s how I survive. You feed my humanity and the ability to portray it. 

So, yea, love you. Mean it.

Photos by Michael Andre Photography 2019

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