Washington, D.C. based musician, artist, and performer J. Scales is bringing her talent, identity, and experiences to the stage in a one woman show that is sure to provide audience members with fun, funky, and “sometimes effed-up” look into the creative life of a young black lesbian poet/songwriter as she struggles to find her voice, heal herself, and create a community. “Mostly the Voice: A Black Lesbian Journey,” directed by Regie Cabico, kicks off Thursday, July 9, at the Eastman Studio Theatre of Gallaudet University and will feature original poetry, music, and storytelling by Scales.
“How often do you get a chance to hear a black lesbian from your own community talk about her journey, or say anything, for that matter?”says Scales. “We are not invisible. Black People are not invisible. Black lives matter for a multitude of reasons. Black voices matter! I am here to bear witness to that fact, in an uplifting, engaging way.”
Scales, who hails from upstate New York, came to Washington D.C. to attend Howard University, and notes that the rich, artistic community here in D.C. is the reason why she remains in D.C. today. Growing up playing piano, clarinet, and other instruments, she feels most at home with the bass guitar. Throughout the show, Scales weaves in her love of a wide variety of musical genres, including jazz, hip-hop/spoken word, R&B, and her experience as the “black kid” in the suburbs of New York. Scales’ is confident that her show will entertain, enlighten, and empower.
“It is crucial for folks to come together and share the People of Color LGBTQ experience, so that people know that we exist,” says Scales. ”We have to laugh at the stereotypes and preconceived notions, and call them what they are; we are not the exception”. Scales notes that perhaps, if people turned off television sets and listened to others more often, we would find that we’re more alike than different.
As part of the Capital Fringe Festival, Scales will take center stage throughout the month of July to share her poetry, short stories, and original music. Much of her content will focus on identity, and the show will strategically include women of color ASL interpreters.
“We also wanted to begin building a bridge with yet another marginalized community. We look forward to seeing the many deaf black queer folks in the room,” says Scales. For more information about J. Scales or to purchase tickets to her shows, click here.