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A person that is open to the world around him or her, strives to be themselves in the face of inevitable hardship, sees beyond what is to what could be, and pursues their goals with an inspiring joie de vivre.

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10 Feb Adrienne Dawes

“How am I not myself?” In I Heart Huckabees, Jude Law’s character poses this question to a pair of existential detectives. Until then, they have been unshakeable, but in response to his query, the two just stare at each other and repeat his words, profoundly and maniacally. 

In real life, the question of identity—where we come from, who we are, who we want or need to be—is just as complicated and all-encompassing. Adrienne Dawes, a playwright and theater artist based in Austin, would tell you it’s also more fluid than we may be pressured to believe. Adrienne’s plays, especially her award-winning Am I White, reflect an interest in and exploration of identity that has its roots in her own experience. I recently got to chat with Adrienne, who is now busy with two simultaneous productions, Denim Doves and Love Me Tinder. In a phone call that felt like a connection between two friends who had yet to meet face-to-face, we talked about her productions, her day job, her unique family, meeting the man that Am I White was inspired by, the power and necessity of loneliness, and making stuff you love with people you love.
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03 Feb Jeremy Snevil

“This is the whole thing!” Jeremy Snevil exclaims with a laugh, gesturing at his get-up after we finish our photo shoot in his bandmate’s mom’s basement in New Jersey. He’s wearing a sweater, scarf, and jacket on top…and just fishnets and cowboy boots below.

It kind of is the whole thing. By day, Jeremy works in special education, but on the nights and weekends, he dresses up in BDSM gear and gets whipped onstage as he plays bass for Pink Mass, a band he helped found that describes itself as “PANSEXUAL PERVERT PUNK GRIND, CONJURING THE UNHOLY POWERS OF SEX, SATAN AND VIOLENCE TO DESTROY THE EARS AND GENITALS OF EARTH'S HUMAN FILTH.” The band’s over-the-top aesthetic is meant to challenge and play with our expectations of sex, metal, and all the evil things in-between, but it’s also a perfect way for Jeremy to do what he does so well: have some fucking fun.
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Photo by Sam Tabet for Signified

26 Jan Chani Nicholas

“Do you want to—I mean, you don't have to do this—but do you want to tell me your rising sign?” Chani Nicholas, astrologer, healer, artist, activist, writer, and the shyest sage, asked me midway through our interview.

I told her it was Scorpio, excited that she asked and slightly self-conscious that I shouldn't get distracted by learning things about myself. I was supposed to be learning about her! But learn about her was exactly what I did, even when I was the one answering questions and watching her jot down things with a pencil and paper. When Chani learned I had a Cancer moon, she exclaimed, “Oh love! That's so sweet. That's a really powerful moon.” And hearing her say it made it both true and profound. With just a few details, she was able to determine that I was born in a night chart, with the sun just about to rise. Chani might think of herself as a student of the stars and the planets—a student of movement—but she is a teacher, too. And a moving one at that.
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