Out/Spoken Performer Spotlight: Ricky Harrison, Partner in Life, Law & Love
This Out/Spoken interview features first time performer Ricky Harrison! Work and law school keeps him busy, but he took some time out of his hectic schedule to talk a little about his story, the Out/Spoken tour, and who he hopes to see in the crowd on June 4th!
How did you get involved with Story District?
“I love Story District. I’ve been to several shows but Out/Spoken will be my first time on the Story District stage -- largely because of my partner. James is a big fan of the genre. He has twice with Story District. Once on the 2nd Tuesday stage and again in last year's Out/Spoken. James has a way of getting me to try things out of my comfort zone. He kept bugging me to audition. I finally gave in thinking they’d never choose me. And surprise, they did!”
Can you tell us a little about your story?
it started on a Christmas vaction to Europe, James and I were fooling around with his recorder. He asked me questions about my dad who died when I was nine. And for six months he kept asking interviewing me. James knew that I was carrying around a lot of baggage and wanted to help me understand. He turned it into this really great 18 minute recording with music and sound effects.
How do you think telling your story publically will go?
“I’ve been going through several phases working with Amy Saidman, Story District Creative Exec Director. I struggled with outing my dad, not because he was gay but because of how he died. I don’t want to offend anyone. Explaining what went through my head at thirteen is not the same as at thirty-three! I am also a Christian and in some sense I know my dad will be watching. How is this going to make him feel? Would he say, ‘Yes, tell my story.’ or ‘No, it’s not your story to tell.’ I understand my dad better now and love him for who he was. It’s my story too.”
Thoughts on the Out/Spoken tour to Atlanta and Birmingham?
“I grew up in a small southern town, Havana, Florida (not as much fun as the one in Cuba!). I had tons of aunts and uncles and cousins, nearly half the town! I also grew up in the church. There was a lot of judgment and ignorance in the African-American community. There’s still a lot of stigma. It’s important that these stories get told. Hopefully they’ll challenge the locals with a fresh perspective.”
Now that you’re on stage, who do you hope will be in the audience?
“Well James, of course, a friend from California is flying in, former bosses, my law school mentor, friends and their spouses, about twenty five folks in all.”
Tickets are going fast! Get yours here while they last!
Out/Spoken: Queer, Questioning, Bold, & Proud, True Stories Told through an LGBT Lens, June 4th @ the 9:30 Club