Today we’re joined by Turtle. Turtle is a phenomenal actor who is currently studying theater as an undergrad. She has a delightful passion for acting and it truly shows, as you’ll soon read. Turtle is definitely an actor with an incredibly bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m an actor! I participated in acting programs since I was young, got involved in musicals and straight plays during summer camps and middle school, and then in high school I was in the theatre almost every season, in one way or another. Now I’m an undergrad and I’ve done one show so far, and intend to audition for another this winter. I’ve also dabbled in technical theatre, mostly stage management and scenic design.
What inspires you?
Other actors! Sure, solos and monologues are all well and good, and they make you feel important and strong and talented. But there’s nothing quite like acting opposite a scene partner who’s as into it as you are. That’s a unique sort of energy I’ve only ever found on the stage.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve been melodramatic and energetic since I was a kid. Acting classes were a way to express that, and I really fell in love with the theatre when I was about ten and did my first stage production at a summer camp. Haven’t looked back since.
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?
That’s an interesting question. Lots of actors have certain tendencies that sort of define them. Like, she’s really bold, or he’s really realistic, or they’re very emotionally open. I’m not quite sure what it is for me. Probably that I talk really fast.
In high school I had a typecast, which is a certain archetype that you’re found suited to play. My director always cast me as the cutesy little girl. But then I got taller and gangly and obnoxious, and started botching audition sides for certain characters on purpose, so he had to branch out a bit.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
When I was in high school, I thought a lot about pursuing theatre professionally, but I was always scared that I wouldn’t be good enough, or wouldn’t get paid enough, or that it was just impossible. Which I think is a common fear among artists. Somewhere along the line I had to let it go. I’m working things out as they come. Maybe I’ll major in theatre, maybe I won’t. For now, I’ll keep doing it because I’m passionate about it, and if that continues to be true, then I’m sure I’ll figure something out. Since I adopted that mindset, everything’s been a lot less stressful. I can focus on my art in the now, instead of worrying out the implications of pursuing it longterm.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Heteroromantic asexual. Sometimes I consider gray-asexuality, but those feelings are always in flux, so I just identify as ace for simplicity.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Both my high school and undergrad theatre communities have been really open-minded, so personally, I have not.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Some people simplify asexuals to “people who don’t have sex,” which is far from the same thing as “not experiencing sexual attraction.” Personally, the differentiation is a little unnecessary, but there are aces out there who do have sex for any number of reasons apart from sexual attraction, and their orientations are just as valid as mine. For that reason, I disagree with that simplification of what asexuality is.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
There’s nothing wrong with identifying with what makes you comfortable now. A lot of my hesitancy with calling myself asexual at first came from an uncertainty that the description would fit me permanently. Pro-tip: it doesn’t have to! Sexuality is fluid. Identify as what you like, when you like. Choose labels when they are useful to you, discard them when they cease to be. That’s fine. People grow and change and there’s no reason the way you identify can’t reflect that.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
If all goes well, check me on Broadway in ten or fifteen years. Until then, not much publicity out there for undergrad actors.
As for my involvement in the ace community, I co-admin an asexuality info and advice blog, www.blazinaces.tumblr.com.
Thank you, Turtle, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.