When I was young I wanted to be an actress. Because that’s what they called me when I got emotional. Don’t be an actress— or fondly—oh look our little actress is upset again. So I thought okay—I will be an actress.
I was able to be an actress last year during an ARTPop event where I played Trish Trash, a dead rock star who had tons of poems about music and growing up and mortality and pop culture.
Writing my memoir helped me channel the inner actress and the trauma of being reactive in a home where emotions were not allowed. Singing and playing with my partner Jef has helped me feel the wild and free inner spirit that existed in my artist’s soul along with all of that tangled creativity and rebellious energy.
When I got my wisdom teeth out last year my wonderful oral surgeon took one look at my red roots and said: Redheads have a genetic make-up that makes them feel pain more intensely than other people. I thought: of course! Finally, I know why I remember and lived the trauma of losing my mother and losing so much more as a kid— my voice, my freedom to create from a place of authenticity without being told— calm down, be quiet— girls should be seen and not heard.
Vindicated at last by that wonderful doctor I transmute pain into fun little songs Jef and I play (and covers of our favorites). Even though I hit the wrong notes and cry when I’m happy Jef never tells me to calm down and be quiet. He loves my effusive artist self and holds me when I’m sad, not saying— don’t feel, don’t tell, don’t remember.
So here is a video of me as Trish Trash sharing my little poem/song and my truth with you. I can speak as Patty, too. Tune into http://headroomsessions.com for music and me and others sharing goodbyes. Traumatic, poignant and fierce artists speaking and singing and playing their truth.
Good Byes: 12/26
If you are in my MFA program I invite you to our panel, Language and Power where I share the power of voicing trauma in memoir, fiction, poetry and in daily life as a literary citizen. Other awesome colleagues and writers will be featured, including Ryan, Jason and Lora. January 9 230-345 bring your truth.