Today we’re joined by Riley. Riley is a phenomenal performance artist who does a bit of everything. She dances, acts, sings, and even does public speaking. Riley is a fascinating artist with an incredible presence, as you’ll soon read. She’s an artist to watch and definitely has a very bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I dance, act, and sing, and do public speaking! I’ve also dabbled in expanding those specific interests of mine by choreographing, playwriting, songwriting, and I’ve started a YouTube channel where I can focus my speechwriting.
What inspires you?
I always find myself so inspired by other people who can break the mold of their art forms and selves. I’m also inspired by the idea that I could fill that same role for another person.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
My mother was a dancer, but how I found a love for acting, singing, and otherwise performing, I haven’t got a clue where the passion originated. I do think that I’ve always wanted to be an artist- performing was, is, and will always be a part of my life.
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 like to bring my knowledge of acting into each of the art forms I am involved in. I think that understanding character, role, and the ability to outwardly perform that in any artistic production is an integral piece that I hope to bring to all of my work.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and never ever stop. I know how cliché it sounds, but it’s so true! If you love it, keep at it, and keep reminding yourself that you love it, even if it gets tough (and it will get tough).
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as aro-ace, but really my sexuality is just one big shrug emoji ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Grade 11 was my first onstage kiss… Or it was supposed to be, anyways. It ended up more as some weird mashing of lip corners, cheeks, and chins. My inability to properly articulate my odium and quasi-fear of romantic interactions led to an angry director and a hurt castmate, and my attempts at explanations only led to anger and confusion.
Every child has heard the “advice”: if you break a plate while washing dishes, you’ll never be asked to do the dishes again. That’s seemed to work for me- I haven’t had a PDA role in the three years since performing that scene.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
“Asexuality is biologically impossible, humans were made to copulate and procreate”, to which I eye roll so hard I strain a muscle. I just don’t like the idea of sex- and romanticism is a man-made and societally enforced idea. Nothing in the animal kingdom are holding hands and bringing each other flowers. If you like it, you do it. It’s just not really my style.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
If you want to adopt a label, do it! If you don’t, that’s cool too! Orientation is about comfortability for yourself. Don’t be afraid to chuck a label you’ve found for yourself and pick up a new one if it’s a better fit. Life is too short for constrictions you’ve set for yourself.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can find my dance videos and some of my rants on YouTube, and I have some more videos and updates on my Instagram and Tumblr! Come and chat!
Thank you, Riley, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.