Hello, internet! It is time again to hear from the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Alison De La Cruz.
Who are you?
A magical fricken elf, a light, a flawed human, an optimist, a story teller, a listener, a person of multiplicity and intersections, an Angeleno, a FilAm, a daughter, an Até (older sister), a De La, a Tita Alison, a brother, a queer, a sister-friend, an energizer, a lover, a Scorpio, a Tiger, a creator, a witness, someone who loves black and brown life devoted to place. Oh. I'm Alison De La Cruz - or De La (but only if you pronounce it as day-lah). @tweetsbyDeLa or @PicsbyDeLa
What are you?
An artist, a dancer, a singer, a cultural space maker, an emotional space holder, a facilitator, a mentor, a young blood, a person of fluidity, a multi-tongued communicator, a larger bodied woman of color with multiple pronouns who is sometimes mistaken for different racial, ethnic or gendered identities but who is always trying to be the change in the world that I want to see.
Where are you?
Where are you from?
Carson, CA - part of the South Bay in LA, born in Van Nuys, moved around the So Cal basin. My parents and our peoples are from the Philippines and Ireland/England via Ohio and West Virginia. As an artist and cultural organizer I am from the AA PI NH SA SEAA (Asian American Pacific Islander Native Hawaiian South Asian and Southeast Asian American) arts and cultural archipelago in Los Angeles.
What do you do?
I'm a cultural space maker, a theatre artist, a dramaturge, a live event producer, a community gatherer, a mentor, a leader, a creator, an ally, a collaborator, and problem-solver.
Artistically I am currently devising a new theatrical event that combines cover songs that I've always wanted to sing to womyn and a tribe of AAPINHSASEA butches/masculines of center/tomboys dancing.
My day job is as Director of Performing Arts and Community Engagement at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. An important part of my work is serving as a steward for the historic Aratani Theatre and cultivating artistic and engagement collaborations between diverse Angeleno communities. I am currently getting ready to host over 100 artists and co-executive produce the Comedy Comedy Festival: A Comedy Festival, 8/25 – 8/28/16.
What are you all about?
I'm all about aligning human energy to re-invigorate our human connections, tell great stories and reminding us to BREATHE.
I am about elders and youth. I am about immigrants and queers. I am about place keeping not place making. I am about hybridity and tradition. I am about artists and cultural bearers. I am about the ocean, the sky, the moon, the sun, the wind, the trees and the earth. I am about those of us who live in the ven diagrams of identities and realities that others may only think are mythological or anecdotal.
What makes you angry?
1. Oppression, small minded-ness, imperialism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia
2. When people not from LA move to LA and then only meet other people not-from-LA who are faking-what-they-think-LA-is-like, only to complain to each other how fake LA is -- when clearly they are not FROM HERE, DON'T LOVE THIS PLACE LIKE IT'S HOME and have NO INTENTIONS OF TRYING TO MAKE LIFE BETTER HERE FOR ALL OF US. If you hate it -- stop drinking our water and leave. And if you only know the industries in LA -- then you really, really don't know where I'm from or where I stay.
3. The fact the majority of American theatre, film and TV doesn't even know that AA PI NH SA SEAAs have a rich arts and cultural eco system within LA, the US and around the world. I am tired of being angry that 'mainstream' doesn't see us. We've been here in LA making artistic work for decades. Don't trip. I will no longer sit in a conference plenary, a screening, a workshop, a classroom, or a board room and allow us to be pushed to the side, silent or pathetically apologized to because you didn't include us. I am not about asking for you to please see us and begging you to please stop doing yellow and brown face. I'm about doing what we do, cultivating our talents and treasures and amplifying the amazing voices and artistic work of our communities. I feel sorry for YOU that you don't know where I'm from, the epic-ness of my multiple communities and the change that has been and is possible because of us. I'm gonna let the uninformed catch up to us cuz frankly I don't have time to waste on catching you UP!