Today we’re joined by Alex. Alex is a phenomenal up and coming performance artist. They specialize in acting and are quite dedicated to the craft. While they hope to do film at some point, at the moment, they’re dedicated to stage performances. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’ve been acting since for over 5 years, but it took no time at all for it to become a passion. I mostly do stage performances, but I hope to be moving into a film setting soon. I have been professionally trained in stage combat, and that’s something I really enjoy. I also do a bit of aerial work, but the theatre has been my home for a while now.
What inspires you?
I’m always inspired by other artists going before me. Seeing members of the LGBT+ community who are able to achieve their goals and accomplish something that will last drives me to keep working. I hope that one day I’ll be able to leave my mark and possibly inspire rising LGBT+ artists myself.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
The first play I ever auditioned for, I thought I was going to see a play. I’d received a flier about it at school, but I misunderstood. When I arrived at Wizard of Oz auditions instead, I thought, “Why not? Already here.” Of course, my first audition was nowhere near up to par. However, that play was one of the best experiences I’d had up to that point. I learned so much, and I knew I had found a place to express myself. I’ve always struggled with depression and anxiety, and acting is an outlet for me where I can show myself to world without being myself. I suppose I always did want to be an artist, though starting out, I did more visual art.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Community/private theatre isn’t exactly a place where personal marks are easy to have. There’s nothing that comes to mind, no.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
It’s cliché, but honestly, just be yourself. Find a good group of friends who will support you and stick with you, and stick with them. It’s difficult to put yourself out there when there’s so much hate in the world for the LGBT+ community, but if you enjoy it, don’t let anything stop you. There are going to be people attacking from all sides to try and tear you down. I wish I could tell you differently, but I’ve experienced it myself and know it to be true. The world is slowly becoming more accepting, yes, but it will take time. People like you and me, though, we’re the kind of people who can help make that difference. Art is an incredible medium for mountain moving, friend. Don’t let anybody take that from you. Don’t let them take your voice.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as asexual and panromantic.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Theatre people tend to be very outgoing, at least among other theatre people. They’re kind and good-hearted, but they’re impulsive. This often leads to stray comments and jokes that are never intended to be hurtful, but boy, they are. I honestly think this is harder to deal with than blatant disrespect and ignorance. As a sex-repulsed ace, I have learned and perfected how to have “The Talk” with somebody when they’re making comments that hurt me or make me uncomfortable. Almost always, people are very accepting and kind, being much more mindful of their words around me. Talking to people straight-on is, in my opinion, the best solution for unintentional harmful comments.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
As a pan/ace person, the most common misconception I run into is that “ace people don’t want relationships/fear commitment.” Being panromantic, this is especially untrue for me. The theatre community is generally very accepting- that is, as long as it’s one or the other. Either “You aren’t into sex or love” or “You’re super flamboyant and stereotypically gay.” It’s hard to deal with, so I usually just try to explain that sex does not equal love, and that a healthy romantic relationship does not require a physical relationship, or vice versa.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Accepting myself as ace was incredibly difficult for me, seeing as up to that point, I just thought I was attracted to anybody of any gender. It was a slow process, seeing more and more of my friends get into and have a desire for sexual relationships, while I was left feeling uncomfortable and broken. Let me tell you something, friend. You are not broken. It’s not a bad thing if you only want romance. It’s not a bad thing if you don’t want romance, either. It’s not a bad thing if you just want one or the other, or if you don’t want either, or if sometimes you only want one, sometimes you only want the other, and sometimes you want both. You are your own person. You’re unique and you’re beautiful, and you deserve respect and a thousand more wonderful things. The world is trying to silence us because we are different. Don’t let the world win. We stand together and help each other. There will always be somebody in this community who’s been through what you are and is more than glad to help. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to reach acceptance, but artists like you and I can only help.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I haven’t really done anything major and I’m not comfortable giving out the names of the theatre companies I’m part of. However, if I do get to do something in film soon, I will give an update.
Thank you, Alex, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.