Highlighting & preserving women in Art
1. When did you first begin doing what you do?It depends on what you mean. I have been creating my entire life. I began singing when I was seven years old and went to a performing arts school for elementary school where I trained my voice daily in addition to singing in our county’s choral program. I have been writing as early as I can remember. Anything from stories, to skits, to songs, and screenplays. I guess you could say I was born this way. I was born creating.
I founded the Rising Minds Foundation in March 2014 and our first show was for International Women’s Day. I wrote a skit that we performed at Union Square and we began performing shows at the New York Film Academy shortly after. Now we have shows every week at the Williamsburg Music Center.
2. When did you become serious about it, and pursue it as a life path? Would you consider what you do your life path? I’ve always been serious about it and really got immersed in the world of creativity when I moved to New York a year ago. Every time I pick up my ukulele and sing a tune, I know it’s my life path.
3. Why do you create? I create because it lies within me and needs to be expressed or else I don’t feel like myself. I also express to heal through creativity and….most importantly, to uplift others.
4. Who are some of your major influences/role models? Off the top of my head: Oprah, Tyler Perry, Einstein, The Beatles, Billie Holiday, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Eve Ensler, Edie Windsor, Laverne Cox, Jim Carrey, Halle Berry.
5. What inspires you? Being around creative people, meditation, listening to music, nature.
6. What advice would you give a nineteen year old creative who wants to make their thing into their whole life? I’m not sure. I would probably tell them something that I need to hear myself. My words of advice come from an amazing artist friend of mine, Paulie Nassar. He says, “If you love it, do it everyday.” Also never doubt yourself. Carry a pen and paper with you to write down ideas. Surround yourself with creative people.
7. What’s one of the most rewarding parts of your work? Touching people’s lives. Just hearing that a song I sang or skit I wrote reached their heart warms mine. That’s why I do it.
8. What’s one of the hardest? I would have to say keeping balance. It’s too easy to party like a rockstar after a show. Not only am I creating, I am running a non-profit organization and have a lot of responsibility and can’t afford mishaps or lack of sleep due to partying after shows.
9. How do you get through blocks in your creativity? I don’t really get them I’m always doing something. Even for a period of time where I thought I had a block because I wasn’t writing poetry, I was still keeping a sex journal that ended up being the basis for one of my first screenplays. What is sometimes harder for me my “creative binges” where I’m up writing, singing, or painting for over twenty four hours and can’t sleep or eat because creativity takes me over like a monster.
10. What’s your favorite color? It varies. Usually blue. But I always claim purple or pink for some reason.
11. Where are you from? If not originally from NYC, how long have you live here and what brought you to New York? I’ve live all over so I cringe when I actually tell people that I was born in Ohio. I spent most of my adult life living in Europe and South America. I lived in Paris for six years and Colombia for a summer. Also, by the age twenty two I had been to twenty-two countries on five continents. Most of them I went alone.
Living in New York was on a bucket list that I wrote when I was eighteen but I ended up moving here with an ex who dumped me a month later. We broke up the day we moved into our new apartment and it was really hard to decide if I wanted to stay here and make my dream work. Now, I’m glad I did.
12. How did you become affiliated with Art LovHer? By meeting the fabulous Joi at a Street Poets NYC event a few months back!
13. What is feminism to you? Feminism is everything to me! It means that we are creating a better world for women to live in. It means the dynamics of society are changing. Feminism is women owning their power. It is ending violence against women. It is equal pay. It is sexual liberation. It is so many things in a tiny little world, which goes to show that there is much more work to do.
14. If you use a stage/pen name, Where does your name come from? I am love. Simply put.
10. What have you got coming up in the next couple of months? I have shows every Sunday at the Williamsburg Music Center in Brooklyn at 7pm where we are showcasing a variety of different artists, from poets, to musicians, and short skits that I write and produce. In addition to that I will be touring around Europe in October doing concerts in Paris and Greece, possibly Poland. Keep up with whats going on with me on the Rising Minds website.