I am just coming off completing a project where I researched the life and work of playwright, activist and theatre artist, Virginia Grise, where I specifically honed in on her play, Blu. Blu is about a Mexican family living in the barrio ravaged by gang life and culture, constant police helicopters, and loss. She is a Chinese-Mexican Queer woman whose work focuses on the the latinx and queer female experiences in the United States…ah well doesn’t that sound familiar!? Look its an artist who is doing the exact thing I seek to go out and do in the world!! As I hungrily read Grises’ blog posts, interviews and her website, I realized that what I was investigating was a very real and specific roadmap example of what being successful as a latinx queer theater artist can look like. I feel as if I was given a metaphorical map and tool kit that I could reference as I make my way through this world as a professional artist. I then realized that as an artist, I get to choose what artistic legacy I want to descend from, because I choose to create the art I want to create!! The part of me that thinks about making money so that I can live, thinks about famous latinx artists like Gina Rodriguez as role models, but when I immersed myself in Grise’s world, I realized that this woman is my direct artistic descendant. This woman is creating politically beautiful art in collaboration with her cultural community and a community of artists. This is exactly what I seek to do. I then began to think about the artistic descendants before and Grise. This was very exciting because it feels really good to have a historical group of female defining artists to identify with. Sor Juana de la Cruz, Frida Kahlo, Maria Irene Fornes, and Tanya Saracho are a few that came to mind. These ladies are Latinas, women, most are queer, most have bodies that are more similar to mine than anything I ever see on TV or Film, and all possess a similar kind of intensity and passion that I do. I am part of this legacy and I move through this world with these ladies at my back.
That being said, I am excited to go out into the world and work my ass off to change it even if it’s just a little bit, one story at a time.
The Legacy continues: