Artist to Artist Interview : Johanna Burwell

I first met Johanna during the launch of Blacks Ops Theater back in 2016, after that she worked with my wife Oni on a few costumes for one of her shows. We even worked together for a short time in downtown Durham. Since then we have collaborated and featured in several shows together, in the process she helped me mold the philosophy behind Undercover Lover. When I decided to start this series, she was one of the first people I reached out too!

I Think what I'm going for is the [kinda] cliche' get you a girl that can do both. I want you to listen to me when I speak spirituality it comes from a real place and not a egotistical place, but yes! I can absolutely get up on a pole.

"I'm hearing this for the first time with my own ears so I can work through it." She stated laughing out loud. "So that in the next 50 years you don't just walk up to a woman and assume that what you see her for, or what she can do for you, is all that she can do. I would like to be a part of the Revolution."

-What makes a person an Artist?

A spark within, from the Ether, the primordial soup of energy that allows everything to exist. They are open to it, when you're a kid you create

all the time, but as you get older if you are still open to it (that spark). Introducing something new to the world.

A Crafter is going to make things with the purpose of selling them, which is fine. However, an artist is almost tortured by this ethereal energy. It's the difference between: Personal vs. Authentic. Natural Creation vs. Regurgitation.

-When did you know you where an Artist?

When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, there were these things that I saw, that I experienced in the world that spoke to me. I didn't feel

like other people could see. I have been singing since I was a kid but I really started creating when I was 13 years old. For me it was never

that I needed to master a technique. It was that whenever something came up out of me; that I needed to sing it out or dance it out, or paint on

a canvas, that I could.

-What is your favorite medium?

My primary art is Performance Art, a connection of music, dance, and as part of dance Aerial dance.

I realized I needed to be on stage!

-what emotions are you expressing in your work?

It's easy for me as a performance artist because I can demonstrate them. As an artist I've learned over the past few years that, "you can't control what people feel, but you want them to feel something."

I am usually working from a place of frustration and lightness. As from going somewhere and

recognizing that something we think is so important here, is not important at all, and the frustration of coming back and feeling trapped by that specific thing and trying to get other people to see it doesn't have to be like this!

I am a professional "Live'r of Life"! I am gonna pay attention to the way people talk to me, because as an Actor I know "We all have objectives!" From every moment to moment we are trying to get something from another person. We are checking to see if our actions are working toward getting to our objectives and we are reorienting if we are not getting what we want.
I am watching the entire world.

Interview by Jaguar Perry

92 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All