I am what you may call an artist-activist.
Years working as a film and video editor has shaped my own style and developed my technical skills backwards as I’ve grown from post-production to writing and now directing. But it was growing up lätto (mixed) in an Indiana suburb that molded my creative mind—my stories are personal in that I am constantly trying to define and explore the experience of being mixed in America.
The experience of being stuck in the middle of America’s binary racial categories is invisible, as are its side effects. It’s in the confused frown I receive when I tell people I was born in Amish country outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s in the question, “Where are you really from?” or “What are you?” after meeting someone for the first time. It’s the feeling that you are a fraud in your own skin. Off-brand. Adopted. OTHER.
Though this imposter syndrome makes it nearly impossible for me to feel a sense of belonging to any particular in-group, this ambiguity seems to be the very subject that which defines me and my role as a storyteller. I’ve become motivated to introduce original content that pushes against archaic models of human categorization. The stories I bring to life involve people of all color, creed and sexual orientation, all of which center around an individual who feels like an outcast in order to reimagine our world in a more complex yet unifiable way.
I hope to give people who feel alienated and outcast in the constant reminders that they’re not white, not Black, not Asian, not Latino, not anything films and media that resonate with their cores. I hope to let people know that we are no longer OTHER. We all--no matter how light or dark our skin may be--are lätto/a, the men and women of the future.