I perform periodically, for several reasons. First and foremost, I love the experience of sharing my work directly with an audience. The immediate feedback of people approaching me after shows embodies the reason I write, for connection. I love to hear people's thoughts. Also, I think there's value in contextualizing my work. I am still struggling to encapsulate every delicate theme I'd like to instill in my essays; there's a consistent thread I'm grasping at, that a petite, well-spoken girl like myself is capable of atrocity not through the power of strict dichotomy, but because everyone has complexity to them. Demons are healthy, unavoidable, fascinating.
Live readings comprise a crucial component of the 21st century writer's toolbox. For those endeavoring to make this their paying livelihood, we must consider ourselves both artists and entrepreneurs. Readings help with publication. Finally, as a recovering alcoholic who misses the attention she could garner on a barstool, I find the stage a suitable stand-in.
So here is a log of the shows I've done, and updates on upcoming occasions. Come watch me read! I love audience interactions - heckle me, cheer for me, join in my occasional self-deprecation.
Above is a live-streamed reading I performed for Left Bank Live on March 17, 2020. Left Bank Magazine rapidly organized this event to provide those under quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic with independent art and connection to soften the situation's blow.
For this event, I read a new piece titled 'A Harder, More Difficult Way.' I'd originally intended to debut this piece for my feature performance in celebration of The Inspired Word's 10th Anniversary, which was slated to take place on April 3rd before it was cancelled due to the outbreak. I hauled ass to complete this piece for my short-notice deadline.
I wanted to read something new to honor this worthy cause. However, I was extremely uncomfortable writing about frivolous matters such as heartbreak, obsession, and tattoos at a time where history was being altered forevermore. You can see the angst on my face over this. The show still went on though. Before coronavirus, this essay got written first in my head, on the tattoo table. Then in my phone's notes on the ride back down from the Bronx. In my notes on cigarette breaks at work. In my notes during a revelation on the elliptical. Finally, I began writing the piece itself at the Hungarian Pastry Shop. Two guys sat down next to me and we started talking.
"I'm writing an essay about fate," I told them, and began to explain all the serendipity that's graced my life since I quit drinking.
"I'm recovered twenty years now," one of them said, shaking my hand.