Written by Victor Barreiro Friday, 11 February 2011 00:00
2011 is off to a great start for Adelina Anthony, a self-identified Xicana-Indígena lesbian multi-disciplinary artista. Well, that's because she recently sold-out her entire run in Los Angeles and is now gearing up for shows in Berkeley, California and San Antonio, Texas. Clearly, Adelina has struck a chord with audiences across the nation. Her shows include everything from personal experiences to topics directly affecting the gay community.
Congrats on the success of La Hocicona Series. What do audiences experience?
Gracias. The success of La Hocicona Series has been a great accomplishment in my solo career. Plus, it's a real historical "first" in the realm of solo performance. Three different solo shows performed back to back over three nights. We know it's unheard of in the history of Chicano Theater, lesbian and feminist theater, and less than likely in the larger framework of American theater. I am very grateful to my director, D'Lo for participating in this journey. That's the key word here: journey. It's related to what my audiences experience.
Some of the themes in your work include feminism, trauma and gender. Where do you draw material from?
From life, from imagination, from the spirits talking. It's anything and everything, but I do believe that the strongest source of information about the human experience is always one's own, especially if that experience is practically never seen or heard in any of the mainstream outlets. I value the ground that other queers of color, especially women like Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, Sharon Bridgforth, Cherrie Moraga and Celia Herrera Rodriguez have carved out for my generation.
Improvising plays a key role in your shows. How difficult can improv get?
I have to say that improv is critical to all of my comedic work and I don't find it difficult at all because I do it so much. In fact, I really love those moments, because some of my best-lines have come out of improv. My audiences who have seen my work also crave that fresh spontaneity that just happens in the room between all of us. It's what makes live performance so invigorating and risky. It's true moment-to-moment performance.
Any advice you can give to aspiring artists?
Ah, I just got asked that question by some aspiring artists at UCSB and I told them what my best mentors have told me: write your truth. Meaning, write what you're most afraid of. Walk towards that fire and come out on the other side renewed and with work that touches people's hearts because you've been willing to tackle the taboo.
Do you have any memorable fan moments that you'd care to share?
I think the funniest thing that happened recently was when I met a lesbian woman, who tried to pick me up at a bar over five years ago. Really sweet, but I wasn't there for playing the field, in fact, I was promoting my other comedy show, Mastering Sex & Tortillas! Well, she never came to one of my shows until this past November to see La Hocicona Series. I was performing La Angry Xicana when I noticed this woman texting, so, of course, I stop my set and immediately start to "punk" her and tease her and in a humorous way…"shame" her for texting during my show, which you just shouldn't do in theater anyway--period. When I saw her, I remembered her…so, of course, it became great fodder for improv moments throughout the show and I called her out on trying to pick me up at the club. She was such a good sport the audience loved it. She's a fan now for sure and I can say it has given me many a chuckle since.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
I hope to still be doing my art, but I'm most excited about being a co-founding artistic director along with Cherrie Moraga for See-What Productions. We founded it this past summer and co-produced the world-premiere of her play, Digging Up the Dirt, which got great reviews. I hope we have put See-What Productions on the national map as one of the most critical sites for queers of colors and our allies to collaborate on projects that resonate far beyond just putting up a play.