In the artist's studio with Annie Sage Whitehurst '11
Published: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 17:05
Nyack, N.Y.How long have you been performing? How long have you been involved with music/radio?
I've been involved with theatre since the first grade. I was cast as the narrator in a very transgressive, post-modern piece about outer space. I'm pretty sure we gave candy away at the end. As for radio, it wasn't until I learned about Smith's radio station that I realized my interest in broadcasting. I've had a solo radio show for five semesters so far and am currently the director of publicity for WOZQ 91.9 FM.
Tell us a little about what you are currently working on.
Right now I'm working on Las Meninas. I play La Valliere, the evil mistress of King Louis XIV. It's my first period piece and I get to wear what feels like 20 pounds of gorgeous skirts and a huge wig. In February, I'm directing Smith's annual production of the Vagina Monologues. Academically, I'm reworking my broad major in the Theatre Department to focus more specifically on acting as well as "camp" and queer performance in American theatre. As the director of publicity for WOZQ, I've been working with the Iron Horse Entertainment Group downtown in addition to arranging a number of on-air interviews with musicians and speakers in the music business.
Were you involved in the arts before coming to Smith?
Absolutely! I've always known I wanted to act and luckily I grew up in a town with a pretty strong focus on the arts. In addition to school productions - my director in high school was cruel enough to add CATS and Titanic to my resume - I attended theatre programs in the summer, vocal training throughout the year and a variety of classes in different acting techniques. While I don't plan on going back to musical theatre anytime soon, I know now that my interest in camp comes partially from my constant exposure, fascination and, eventually, disidentification with big, "classic Broadway" theatrical productions.
What inspires you?
Nostalgia, anything released on Janus Films/the Criterion Collection, outsider art, Barbara Stanwyck and exhibitionism.
Where would we find you on a typical Friday night?
After I pay my tithes to Neilson, it really depends. Although I love colder weather, dropping temperatures severely limit the weekend's adventure potential.
What kind of music do you listen to?
My holy trinity is made up of Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Khaela Maricich, with an extra seat for David Bowie. I listen to way too many different kinds of music, although recently I've fallen in love with acts like Cristina and Gina X Performance.
Where can we see you perform?
In Hallie Flannigan Theatre in Mendenhall - Smith College's Theatre Building! Las Meninas opens tonight at 8 p.m. and runs Thursdays and weekends until Dec. 12.
Are you involved in any other forms of artistic expression, even if just as a hobby?
After my senior year of high school, I created a photography portfolio on femininity and I've since created additional photographic series focusing on sexuality and nostalgia. Although currently under maintenance, most of my photos are on my Web site, www.trashensky.com. I've gotten into ink drawing recently and I'm currently working on a series of illustrations for a hypothetical anthology of queer fairy tales. If you're interested in writing one, let me know!
What do you aspire to do after graduation?
Since we're talking "aspirations" here, then I would love to pay off my student loans, be featured at the Roundabout or the Public Theater and create a queer cabaret.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
There's a little bench behind Wright Hall that overlooks the science quad - it's almost hidden by the flower garden in the spring.