November 16, 2016. Exactly eight days after the election. I am in Ripon, Wisconsin to perform my one person show, Faces of America. In my show, I bring to light stories of the American experience, each one through a different ethnicity’s perspective. I had envisioned this particular performance as a celebration of our first female president, one brave enough to stand with undocumented immigrants and Muslim parents of war veterans at the DNC. Instead, I am nervous because it’s not just that my dream wasn’t realized, it’s that my worst nightmare had come true. So here I am, a brown girl in a blue state turned red. I am wearing the Safety Pin, the one we all jumped on as the movement to outwardly show that the wearer is a safe haven for anyone who needs them. It’s a feeble attempt, I realize this, but what else can I do? I’m grasping. I feel hopeless. I cried myself to sleep a week ago. This is all a fresh gash in my chest, and the proverbial blood on the white pantsuit I wore to the polls hasn’t even dried yet. Continue reading “The Night Listening to a Trump Supporter Gave Me Hope”
It’s the mid-1970’s, I am 6 years old and I sit in front of my mom’s antique armoire every morning. This is my performance space. It has three long mirrors. A wide one in the center, and two moveable ones on the side so I can change focus at appropriate dramatic moments.
In the drawers, I keep all my tools for prep. I have a ritual, where I methodically place make-up items on a laid out hand towel. Lipstick, powder puff, and a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder. I sprinkle powder onto the puff, and dust my entire face and neck till I’m covered in white, then finish it off with mom’s rejected Estée Lauder lipstick.
White face, red lips, now I’m ready to perform… Continue reading “An Actor’s Full Circle”