Out/Spoken Performer Spotlight: Andrea Jones: Educator, “Perfect Liar”, and Storyteller
In this interview with Story District Out/Spoken performer Andrea Jones, she talks about her love for the LGBTQ community, her unique storytelling experience, and how--like a true educator--her intro to Story District began with taking a storytelling 101 class!
What was your introduction to storytelling?
“I am a proud Story District 101 grad. From there, Stephanie Garibaldi cast me in her Fringe Festival show: Shit Stories: The Best of Our Worst Moments. I told a story of when I was a high school teacher and I farted in front of my class! I was so proud to be performing but also so embarrassed at the same time!”
“I tend to gravitate to stories where I am the butt of the joke because unbeknownst to me, I seem to always be the last one to catch on. I live my life in the moment. I have a yin and yang relationship with my partner Cara. She’ll say things like ‘We have to plan for retirement’ while I say things like, ‘Hey, how do I look in this funny hat?’”
Tell us about your love for educating. How does it relate to storytelling?
“I work as a museum educator at The Accokeek Foundation. I love helping people understand what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes. Working with museum theatre guru, Catherine Hughes, several years ago, brought out the theatrical side of my teaching. At my first big museum job at The Atlanta History Center, I used actors and designed role-play simulations to make history more relevant. I’ve written scripts on the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and several other historical time periods, as well as several articles on the process. Students step into the story not to get history right but to feel what it was like and to make their own decisions. Not just from the viewpoint of the famous people in textbooks, but from everyday people too.”
Specifically, how does your work relate to Out/Spoken?
“I write scripts for other actors but lately I have been craving the performance aspect. It sharpens my writing. Working with SD coaches helps me be a better coach to the actors/interpreters I work with.”
What was your first interaction with the Out/Spoken shows?
“I told my first Out/Spoken story at The Perfect Liars Club where I was voted the ‘the liar’ of the evening! I was married to a man for twelve years. But when the audience interrogated me, they did not believe he was real! So this time, I want to do him justice. He’s a great guy and I want to use more sensitivity. Everyone’s #1 question, is ‘Why did it take you so long to know you are gay?’ It’s universal really. Whatever the particulars of my story, we all have blind spots. Others see what you don’t. And then ‘WOW’ how could I not have known? It makes so much sense to me now.”
Andrea hopes to see “lots of other gay people” in the audience. “Gay people get it. When Cara and I went last year it was like a family show. Lots of shared laughter. Like a family, we all support one another.”
To see Andrea and others perform on June 4th, click below to get information and tickets for the show!