Sitting across the table from a beautiful actress I must remind myself that for many, Monica Venice is considered a person with a disability. Dressed in a pink sequined hat and a beautiful black and floral print sleeveless dress, this 48 year old is ready to talk about what she loves best about performing, the applause.
Yes, honesty is not difficult for someone like Monica. You ask her a question and she thinks of just one thing, the answer. She has no time for playing it safe or wondering what people will think. This is something I love about my friends who experience life as Monica does.
She’s attends the Sprout Film Festival, every year. As she adds up the numbers in her head she says, “that makes four.” At one of those festivals she saw a movie that inspired her, or at least fanned a flame of acting that was stirring in her soul.
The movie, Up Syndrome, is about someone like her. A young man diagnosed with Downs Syndrome but see’s life as more up than down.
Now, Monica is a regular at the Cottage Theater in Cottage Grove. She creates and builds sets and props. She’s had two roles in plays such as Gypsy and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. When she’s not working or acting you will find her trying on costumes at the theater and laughing a lot. She especially likes trying on the blonde curly wigs.
Culture tends to create barriers to those who are different. Art, theater, music and dance bridges those gaps and puts everyone on an equal playing field.
Expression is not limited to spectrums or labels in fact, oftentimes you find expression much easier when you don’t completely fit in.
The Sprout Film Festival is a chance to discover a different aspect of art, a place where performing unlocks not just opportunity but puts a spotlight on prejudice and assumptions that don’t always add up.
I encourage you to get your tickets to this most amazing event coming to Springfield, Oregon March 14th.
You will be touched by what you see and perhaps you will leave the Wildish Theater with a little better understanding of what is truly possible when you look just beyond what you thought to be true.
Tickets at http://www.fullaccess.org