Interview: Casye Erins

Today we’re joined by Casye Erins. Casye is a phenomenal writer, actress, and podcaster. They mainly act on stage and in film. They’re currently focused mainly on stage and are currently rehearsing for an upcoming production. Aside from writing and acting, Casye also has a podcast called This is Lit, which discuses books. It’s clear she’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a writer and actress. I do both stage and film work,
but right now I’m focused on the stage. Currently, I’m writing on a one-person
musical to debut at next year’s Fringe Festival. I also do immersion theatre
and local community theatre. I just finished a production of the musical
version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
and started rehearsals for Shrek: The
Musical
. My most recent project is a podcast called This is Lit where my co-host and I drink and talk about our
favorite books.

What inspires you?

Music is definitely an inspiration for me, which is why I
love musicals so much. I also find a lot of writing inspiration in my real-life
experiences and the experiences of those around me. The one-person show I’m
currently writing could probably be described as “artistically embellished
autobiography.” I believe people are most impacted by stories that are rooted
in authentic feeling.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

I learned to read at a very young age and have been writing
my own stories ever since. My first performance experiences were also very
young; church plays and the like. I always knew I wanted to be an actor, and I
always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I was a little older that I realized that
I could write my own material. Seeing creators like Lin Manuel-Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights) and Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) who didn’t wait around for parts that they
could play really inspired me to start working on my own material.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

I don’t know that I do. As an actor, unless you’re A-list,
it’s hard to cultivate a specific type or characteristic that people associate
with your performance, mainly because you can’t afford to say no to parts that
don’t necessarily fit.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Two things. Number one: just keep working at it. I’ve been a
performer for the better part of two decades and still don’t make my full-time
living at it. If you want to have a job in the arts, you’ve got to be willing
to grind. The other advice, which kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first
piece is: if you’re able, create your own content. If you are an actor who
can’t find roles that fit you, write your own. If you’re a pianist that can’t
find an orchestra that jives with your personal style, compose your own sonata
and try to find a way to perform it. Take the initiative and you’ll be rewarded.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as biromantic asexual.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I haven’t experienced active prejudice in my field, mostly
because I’m very selective about who I’m completely out to. Most of my
colleagues are aware I’m bi, but not that I’m ace, because I don’t trust that
it would go over well. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of roles for asexual
characters that I’ve encountered, which I ascribe mostly to ignorance. It would
be nice to be able to play a character who is actually ace sometime in the
future though! I have hopes that it will start happening more frequently.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I’ve come across a lot of misconceptions, but I’d have to
say the most common is that asexuals are “frigid” or incapable of love. It’s a
very dehumanizing concept. Non-aro aces can still want and find romance, and
aroace people can still feel platonic or fraternal love for their friends and
family.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

Honestly, it’s hard. I struggle with it sometimes too, and
that’s after almost a decade of identifying this way, and while having a very
accepting and understanding partner (who is allo!). It’s okay to struggle with
your orientation, or to have doubts. But be gentle with yourself and surround
yourself with a community of people who love and care about you, and those
doubts will get less frequent over time.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

Since acting is kind of impermanent (unless it’s on film),
I’ll encourage you to check out my podcast at www.litliteraturepodcast.com.
You can also follow me on Twitter at casyeerins
or under the same username on Instagram.

Thank you, Casye, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.