THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Month: November, 2016

Ben Usie

Ben Usie

 

Date of Interview: November 21, 2016

Name: Ben Usie

Age: 31

Pronouns: He/Him

Location: Washington, DC

 

If you were an underwater creature what would you be?

Ooo. Is there a clown fish? I think I would be that. I think my spirit animal in the dry world is a rodeo clown and so… you know. It’s not about humor, well, rodeo clowns make jokes but they also like… it’s an old word of clown to me, maybe jester, they’re there to cause chaos but also in this questioning way of is it enjoyable or is it not, kind of way. And the rodeo clowns are the only ones getting real close to the bulls. They’re like stunt people and clowns ::laughs::.

Is it the danger that appeals to you?

No, I’m not even good with danger all the time. I don’t know what it is, maybe that they were the only ones at the rodeo with microphones besides the dude with the horse. It’s this weird mix of power and subversion maybe. Yeah, I used to go to the rodeo; it used to be in town for my birthday for several years in a row. So my dad would always get tickets to the rodeo and I remember knowing that the rodeo clown was like, THE job to have. I’m from south Louisiana and culture is a real thing and I would see Cajun clowns. There’s this type of person who is a Cajun clown that has a lot of the same attributes as a rodeo clown.

What are you passionate about?

Definitely music and art. Culture that brings people together but can also be subversive in like, trying to promote change without people always realizing it. Both creating it and viewing it. I love to be a creator and I feel like that is my drive in life but I love to be a viewer too. I don’t know where I would be today without all of the art that I’ve consumed.

When did these passions start?

Super young but in different ways. I don’t know. It’s hard to say exactly. So my parents were super young when they had me, so I was like a festival baby but not like festivals in the music festival sense but like, a Cajun street festival. So it is music and food and booze, right. So at a young age I saw people dancing in the streets, but then later, movies and TV and radio totally owned my attention. I didn’t know I was learning from it for a while.

What was one of the original movies or songs that stuck you?

If I remember, that is the question. The Black Crows, She Only Talks to Angels. That was the one, that was my first cassette too, I remember having an emotional connection to the music that made me feel, like it was mine to feel.

What is something you’re afraid of for the world?

So many things right now. Um, I’m afraid that we won’t get to the place where people are free to be themselves. And embrace their own cultures and embrace their own uniqueness.

Zsameria AKA Ziggy

Zsameria AKA Ziggy

 

Date of Interview: November 20, 2016

Name: Zsameria AKA Ziggy

Age: 30

Pronouns: Zsameria

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Usually… daily. Mostly in the morning, that’s what wakes me up. I’m not a morning person, so for me to get up I need that water.

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

A dolphin. I would totally be a dolphin or an emu. One of the above. Yeah. Dolphins because they’re so loving and they are very family oriented and so are emus. They’re so big, I have a big personality and I’m somewhat tall, I’m 5’6 so I can usually walk into a room and I’m noticed. But I’m such a love bug at the same time.

Are you family oriented?

I am, I am. Even my friends, they become family, very much so. Yeah.

What are you passionate about?

Currently I’m passionate about spreading more love… every where I go. We’re in this state of shock, I believe, after the elections and a lot of people are frightened, scared, terrified, but some people are also elated but in a harmful way. So every morning my, not even mantra, but what I want to put out into the world, is just spreading more love to people no matter what. And also for myself.

Does that correlate with community and family ties?

It correlates with community on the ground level, yes. Since the election I’ve spoken more to youth about what they want to do and the DC protests when it was actually broadcasted I sent it out to all of my friends who are teachers just so they could support the students on that Tuesday or Monday before. I sent it out when I found out on Sunday and a friend of mine, she works directly with high school students and she told me how they were making posters on Monday, they were really able to support the kids because of what I told her, what I sent to her. So I think right now it’s more of focusing on the youth and the elderly and not just being frustrated, but doing something about it. Yeah.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Judgement. For people to be able to judge people without knowing their fucking name. For people to be so angry with external things that they become angry with the people who are just like them but they don’t even fucking know it because their guard is up, or because they see someone’s color or someone’s gender as a weapon. Yeah, definitely.

What do you feel accomplished with?

That I can communicate with people! I have a sense of like, being strong, but I have a humbleness about me. I’m from DC so, we didn’t grow up with much and I’ve been through struggle so I can relate with a whole bunch of people. I’ve had sorrows and hardships and just like… having to grow the fuck up. So I can relate to so many people on that level, so I guess, being compassionate with people. And hopefully they’ll give me the same respect, but if not I’m still gonna have that.

What is something you struggle with?

Hmm… forgiving. Forgiving. I do have that quality of all love, blah blah blah, but once you do some damaged shit I’m like, fuck you, fuck your mother, fuck your grandmother, that whole thing. So I think forgiveness for me and moving past certain things that I have to do the forgiving for myself and not for that other being or for that energy and not taking is so personal. I think that’s it.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

What do I think of them? I think they make the world go round. I think it’s very important when you are able to be vulnerable with somebody or intimate with someone. It shows your growth. I don’t think you can grow truly by yourself. By holding on or by always thinking one way and not having that other person or other beings, not even in a sexual thing, just a friendship, having that genuine friendship is very important for growth. And in life, I think we ultimately need growth. Yeah, and each other. I’m an avid believer that hurt people, hurt people and that lovers, love endlessly.

What is something beautiful that you saw today?

Mmmm today… your artwork. Your artwork is very vulnerable and the fact that you want to help people heal and grow through it and show them in a different light and like… draw them, and you be vulnerable yourself with it. That’s beautiful, I’ve been asleep pretty much all day and I had to go to this brunch, I felt like I was rushing all day then I get here and you’re like, “No problem! Hey! Here’s my work”, that was very beautiful.

 

Andrew and Liz

Andrew and Liz

 

Date of Interview: November 11, 2016

Names: Andrew and Liz

Ages: 29 and 31

Pronouns: He/Him and She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Liz: Every day.
Andrew: Whenever necessary. As infrequently as possible.
L: Sometimes I have to ask you to do it.
A: It never occurs to me. To shower. So I usually have to be told. So I’m not thrown out by society ::laughs::.

How does it feel to be in a bath?

Andrew: This is nice.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

Andrew: Crab. Because I’m crabby.
Liz: You are very crabby. I think I would be a sand dollar. They used to be all over the place where I grew up in Maine and now they’re being pushed out by climate change. You never see them. Now, when I see them it’s this treat.
A: When people see you it’s a treat, because you’re rare? Is that the idea?
L: Sure, that’s right.

What are you passionate about?

Andrew: I’m passionate about music, about art and politics. I am passionate about playing music, writing music, performing music, listening to music. I’m passionate about other people’s art, art that is interesting, art that speaks to truth. Art that revels to me a truth that I had previously not known.
Liz: Being a part of a community that is improving the world. And I do that in a few different ways. I feel very passionate about the DC arts community. I also care immensely about social justice issues. We have so many opportunities to improve other people’s lives. I see it as my obligation to open people’s eyes however I can, through writing and photo and video, by putting stories out into the world to help people understand how simple it is to help other people.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Andrew: Letting fear dictate policy. Letting ignorance dictate policy. Lack of empathy.
Liz: Yeah, lack of empathy is a big one. There’s so many people who lack empathy and we’re so fundamentally disconnected right now. I’m really scared of how I feel disconnected from this huge portion of my country. With the work that I do I meet people who are really struggling. I’m terrified about that lack of empathy continuing to grow and grow and grow.

Do you feel, as creative types, that the two of you have created a world that you can thrive in?

Liz: Absolutely.
Andrew: That’s the goal at least. And it’s good. About 90% of the time.
L: I think that’s one of the reasons why we found each other and connected as a couple. We both have a world view where we want to contribute…
A: …in a positive way.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Andrew: They’re necessary. They’re absurd. They’re messy. They’re chaotic but they’re 100% necessary. We need each other.
Liz: They make you grow. They bring you joy. They bring you sadness and sometimes that’s a good thing. They push you in directions you don’t expect. You wind up in new places. I’m about to go on a ten-day trek through the wilderness literally at the end of the Earth, and it’s because of my relationship with a lady friend. She was like “hey you want to go do this” and I told her that I’ve never even considered that, so, okay, let’s do it.
A: I think one of the reasons I love music is because it allows you to form relationships with people that would be extremely difficult otherwise. You can connect with people who you’ve never met before. As a performer, connecting with an audience. As an audience member with another audience member sharing a passion over an artist. Or an audience member connecting with a performer. One of the great things about it is you can connect with people across social boundaries. Across race or across gender or whatever, that’s one of the things that excites me so much about it. Is the ability to connect other people and form relationships.

What is something that you struggle with?

Andrew: Excessive self-analysis ::laughs::. That’s something I struggle a lot with.
Liz: Being comfortable with the unknown. I’ve had a lot of movement in my life. I moved every year or two until I was in high school. As an adult I’ve continued that lifestyle. I think sometimes I get a little freaked out when I don’t have a plan. Or my plans get changed.

What is something that brought you joy today?

Andrew: Going to an art museum and seeing art that was interesting and from a perspective that I don’t often see. That brought me joy.
Liz: We were on our way to the art museum… just flying down the street on our bicycles and the wind was in my hair … it just felt so good. We were on our way to do something we love. And in that moment, I felt really happy.

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