Introducing Lisa Tejero: After All the Terrible Things I Do
From (left to right): Colin Sphar and Lisa Tejero in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of after all the terrible things I do by A. Rey Pamatmat, directed by Andrew Volkoff. Photo by Christopher Semel.
My father is originally from the Philippines, My mother from Virginia, they met in St. Louis at a hospital where he was a doctor and she was a nurse. So I am a mid-west-amer-asian gal who travels a lot & is somehow convinced that it has something to do with her DNA being so far flung. One of my travel adventures includes living in the Philippines for a year, shortly after college- during which I worked at the Repertory theatre in Manila, did voice over work, though my tagalog is extremely minimal despite taking classes & trying to learn the national language - my english was a commodity especially for dubbing - I distinctly remember "re-voicing" a pre-existing Australian tv commercial for women's deodorant. I was roommates w/ the then prime ministers daughter & found myself in the middle of a revolution & on the front lines of the peoples power movement. My career has taken me all around the country & world (most recently China) but I consider Chicago my home.After All The Terrible Things I Do is running through APRIL 10, 2016 at About Face Theater. http://aboutfacetheatre.com/productions/after-all-the-terrible-things-i-do/
WHAT'S YOUR PERSONAL STORY?
I was born and raised in Boise, ID, where I did my undergrad in theatre at Boise State University. I moved to Honolulu in 2011 to pursue my masters in Western Performance at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There, I taught undergraduate level performance classes and workshops, which was a terrific experience and one of the best things about my education at UH. Having graduated, I bummed around the country and New Zealand for a few months before moving to Chicago with my husband last March. I still feel new to Chicago, but have already fallen in love with the culture, the people, and definitely the theatre scene. I also recently adopted a rescue dog named Rosie, who brings a lot of energy and love to our lives.
WHAT'S YOUR CHARACTER STORY IN "AFTER ALL THE TERRIBLE THINGS I DO"?
Linda was born & raised in the Philippines, was raised Catholic, married out of college, to a business major, had a son & shortly after he was born they moved to the states into a smaller mid-western town. After they settled in a bit she was able to fulfill her lifetime dream & love of books by opening her own bookstore. Which by the time we meet her in her story it has become the primary focus of her life & the place that gives her opportunity to encounter other people & their stories that can help her understand & process the darker events in her life & the choices she has made.
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES YOUR CHARACTER FACE TELLING THIS STORY?
While trying to find out personal details of someones extremely private experiences which initially seem like a redemptive & healing path, Linda has to remember & relive aspects of her own painful past while still trying to retain it in a narrative that is not only palatable to the outside world but to her inner idea of herself as well. Only to find that the person she is trying to do it with is basically doing the same thing as well. So what initially looked like friendship & healing borne out of shared traumas unexpectedly ends up being a high stakes poker game of emotions- full of high stakes, raises, bluffs that cannot resolve until all the "cards" are revealed & both players have both hands palms up.
HOW DOES YOUR CHARACTER OVERCOME THOSE CHALLENGES?
She charges full force ahead - it's the only direction & nuance she knows.Even her love is aggressive.The particular challenge of this 2 person play is that the other character is the same way, so just by their sheer nature they are chemically combustible together- but simultaneously also really needs that specific other person to get to the other side & start to heal their unhealthy psyche wounds. There might have been easier and gentler ways to get that other side but she does not know them.which has been a challenge for me since it is counter-intuitive to how I meet the world.
ANY LAST COMMENTS?
It's been extremely interesting creating a narrative of a character, where the character itself is dealing with creating/understanding their own narrative --- in a fictional space surrounded by books representing reams of primarily fictional lives written by actual writers. It can get a little deep.Being an avid reader from an early age it's been Fabulous!!! being in the "hug" of so many books. & has taken discipline not to be distracted by looking at them & opening them & start reading or even to linger over "old friends" .