Artist Spotlight: Tayarisha Poe
Profile on Tayarisha (tie-yuh-ree-shah) Poe (like edgar allen) (@tayarisha on Spotlight)
Where do you live and where are you from?
Philly philly philly.
What do you eat for breakfast each morning?
Air sandwiches. Although, if I’m feeling motivated, tea and toast and pineapple jam.
Where do you go to school or what do you do for work?
I graduated not-so recently but still kind of recently from Swarthmore College (2012) and now I teach workshops at Scribe Video Center, help run the Media Lab at UPenn, and spend nearly all of my time freelancing as a photographer and a cinematographer, while writing my own stories and turning them into movies in between.
What animal scares you the most?
Chupacabra. I know, arguably fictional, but still, everything is fictional until it’s not.
What is/are your creative talents?
Selfies in poorly-lit conditions. Speed reading. Ability to recall minutiae from the Harry Potter series. Storytelling. Photographing people.
Rice pudding, yes or no?
Why have rice pudding when you can have banana pudding with vanilla wafers smushed into it? That’s the question we should be asking.
What is your routine on Spotlight?
Post what you love, like what you love, put your phone down and have a gr8 day.
What do you do in your free time?
Chase my niece and nephew around the house alternatively threatening to tickle them and being threatened by them with tickling; read up on corrupt “first world” nations; argue down antiquated and damaging gender and racial politics; eat bacon; decipher emoji filled text messages from my mother.
If you could change three things about Spotlight, what would they be?
I want to know more about the people posting, so, more engaging profile options! Make it so that the heart next to the number of likes is only red if you’ve already liked the photo. Create a better way to allow for serialized storytelling!
Do you sing in the shower and if so, what and why?
Yes, daily. Why? Because Beyoncé. Just ask my roommates.
What will you do with the $10,000 if you win on August 31?
For three years now I’ve been writing and planning my first feature film, Selah, and the Spades. Here’s the logline: Selah used to have a gang called The Spades and a best friend named Maxxie, this is the story of how she loses both. It’s about those truly emotional friendship break ups, about anti heroes, villains, valedictorians, and cheerleaders. It’s about diversity in teenage stories. It’s about high speed chases and huge parties in abandoned churches. It’s about all of these things.
Thanks to the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change grant we received some money to make a series of vignettes this summer that lead up to the feature film, so now the cast and crew are EAGER to raise the necessary funds for the feature! That’s why I keep posting, you know, because some stories need telling and this is one of them.
$10,000 will ensure that we are able to pay a fare wage to ALL actors, extras, and crew members, as well as take care of legal things, and cover some equipment costs. It will take our film from being a wish and a hope and a prayer and bring it into this realm of reality.
It’s been so amazing working with these crazy talented teens and young adults, seeing the characters truly come to life with their own gestures and ways of speaking. If you want to know more about the film, the actors, and the characters, check out our website (it’s a tumblr, but it’s got its own domain name!) http://www.selahandthespades.com/
Heyyyyyyy. Vote! search for ‘spotlight vuid’ in the App Store and vote for @tayarisha and help Selah, and the Spades. become a feature film :) :) xx