Today we’re joined by Imogen. Imogen is a phenomenal performance artist from New Zealand. She does a bit of everything: acting, singing, dancing, and was even in orchestra for a bit. When she’s not performing, Imogen loves to write. She’s currently writing a novel and recently, a play that she wrote and directed was performed. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated artist who loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I suppose that my art is in storytelling, or presenting. I am a performer, in all areas. I did ballet for 12 years, did singing, was involved with the school choirs and orchestra and I am currently writing a novel.
I act whenever possible, and often say that ‘I am most myself when I am on the stage, pretending to be someone else.’
Recently I wrote and directed an original play called “Evil Con!” It was fun play about a bunch of villains hanging out, and a henchman (Bob) who ruined their time.
What inspires you?
Death. Both the character (mainly the Discworld version) for his … belief in humanity for lack of a better description, and the act itself. We are all going to die eventually, and this life is all we have, so we should try and make it to our deaths alive.
It sounds contradictory, but that is what inspires me. The fact that we will one day die inspires me to live, and to do what I love – Reading, Writing, Shopping, Dancing, Singing, Acting.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
… Everything I suppose.
I’ve always loved performing, and when I started dancing; I fell in love with the discipline it requires and the freedom and emotions it allows you to express. The same with writing. You have to be disciplined to keep writing, and writing allows you to explore and understand everything that there could possibly be.
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?
I’m not sure if anything I do is unique or special, but I suppose that there are constants of my works. My writing is very character driven with simple plot-lines. My movements are infused naturally with the twelve years of ballet, I find it very challenging to NOT have perfect posture.
I also like to use and mock clichés. A friend once said “Clichés are cliché for a reason; it’s because they work.” She was right. I like using clichés because they do work, but I also like to mock clichés … because they are cliché. It makes for an interesting balance within my work.
I don’t want to mock too much to make my art into a parody, but nor do I wish o be too serious in my use of clichés as that could take away from the worlds I’m trying to create.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
The same advice that any artist gives. “Don’t give up” and “Create the Art you want”. Write the stories that you want to read, draw the images you want to look at, make the music that you want to hear, produce the shows that you want to see. And whatever else you do; don’t give up. This is the advice given by any successful artist, and it is true.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Greysexual. I think of it as – on a scale of 1-10 (0 being absolutely Asexual and also Sex-Repulsed, and 11 being Nymphomaniac/Sex Addict) I am a 2; occasionally a 3.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I am quite lucky in that I haven’t personally had ace prejudice directed towards me. I actually believe that everyone should be involved with community theatre at some point in their lives; yes, there are a couple of divas, but most people are really awesome, open-minded and accepting of everyone else. It’s definitely a place where you can be free to be yourself.
I have felt prejudice in life though.
Whenever I see those arguments online about “Girls do actually only wear make-up and form-fitting clothes because they do actually want attention – even if it’s only subconsciously.”
Those arguments are completely frustrating. They infuriate me – not just as a girl who likes to wear makeup, but also as someone on the ace spectrum. It completely disregards the fact that some of us have no interest in finding a ‘sexual partner’ but like to look nice – I don’t wear makeup and formfitting clothes because I’m “trying to find a mate”, but because I’m Vain, and I like looking at myself in the mirror! I don’t need to be interested in sex to be pretty.
I usually deal with it by trying to ignore it, and by remembering that there are intelligent people in the world who don’t share the above opinion.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Possibly the whole ‘just need the right person’ thing.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
The same advice I’ve seen on these awesome interviews. That you’re not alone and that you are definitely not broken. You are you, and as long as you are okay with that, then that is the only thing you need to be.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Unless in NZ people probably won’t be able to find my work, but I do have a couple of fanfictions written under the name ‘Aslansphoenix’.
Although if you give me a couple of years and hopefully my novel will get published and enjoyed.
Thank you, Imogen, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.