Shantha:
On that note, could you share a little bit more on how acting and spoken word fulfills your art practice?




Violet:

I got my start in performance-based poetry in my early twenties, connected to the traditional queer, spoken word, slam poetry, style of performance. The first pereson to give me space to speak publicly as a poet was a good friend, Jude Benoit, a local legendary two-spirit land protector, queer and trans artist. I was also the undergraduate student representative for queer and trans students on campus, so I would attend many different public events. For one of those I wrote and read a speech for a 2017 Trans Day of Remembrance celebration. Bernie and Gemma Hickey were in the audience, and they heard Daze and myself speak and were really impressed. They solicited us for the transversing project, which was a really big deal as we had never done anything professional before. Since then, I've never really stopped performing poetry live, as I had such a good experience on that project. Every now and then Bernie also puts in a good word with other people in the community looking for young, talented trans actors.

It’s important for trans people to be telling trans stories


Recently Terri Andrews was doing a production of The Vagina Monologues here in the city, and she wanted the trans monologue in the show to be performed by a trans actor, so Bernie recommended me. To my knowledge, I am the first trans person to ever perform The Vagina Monologues professionally in Newfoundland and Labrador history. It’s important for trans people to be telling trans stories so that’s part of why I did it.