Poet of The Month: Candy Royalle – Vulnerability The New Cool

Poet of The Month is our way of showcasing and sharing the unique talents of some of our artists. As we turn over into June, Poet of The Month Candy Royalle talks to us about why she’s given her life to creativity.

_0NB6772-2As a creator, my artistic ethos is this: I create in order to connect. I seek to connect in order to remove the idea of “otherness” that divides us. By removing the division of “us” and “them”, I try to highlight those things that actually bind us. Here is where our connection is found.

I identify as a queer woman of colour. I embrace those terms and am empowered by them. That being said, I have experienced first hand the mostly covert yet often overt discrimination that comes from being this human being. So how can I connect with those who do not identify the same as me?

Through the art of storytelling.

I work as both a solo artist and within collaborative projects to tell my own stories and the stories that others have shared with me. Using performance, film, music and visual art, I engage people with our shared experiences. We have been telling stories since the beginning of time — from paintings on cave walls to traveling bards, from silent films to musicals. We love stories because no matter how we do or do not identify, we all know the sensations of darkness, frustration, depression, of joy, passion, elation, love. Here are the things that bind us. Here is the art of compassion and empathy — it is a reminder that these universal experiences connect us.

In order to be able to connect, though, on a deeper and lasting level not only with those around us but also with ourselves, we must learn the art of being what I call “resiliently vulnerable” — that is, to be courageous enough to be vulnerable when what we would most like to do is hide behind walls constructed to protect ourselves from potential harm.

These walls also stop us from connecting. And so we move through life alone — no matter how many people surround us. It is that aloneness that makes us enemies of each other.

There is no doubt that being vulnerable opens us up to a whole lot more risk — and that’s where the resilience comes in. The whole idea of resilience is that we give ourselves permission to make mistakes, to fail, to have our hearts broken.  We are fallible — but we are also stronger than we think. We face adversity constantly and live on to tell those tales. True Creators are those who are willing to take risks — those who are willing to be vulnerable. Every day, I resist the urge to be an imitator and endeavor to be a true Creator.

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Candy Royalle will be headlining Spokes: Amaze! at The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter on Sunday 7 June and Jawdance at RichMix, London on Wednesday 24 June.  She will also be performing at Queer’Say on Sunday 21 June at Hackney Attic, London and will be interviewed for Resonance FM‘s Out In South London.