EPISODE THREE: JASMINE

"JASMINE" was released on January 10th, 2021. 

Featuring the story of Jasmine Joshua

Theme song by Shelby Easley

Produced by Linnea Ingalls and Francesca Betancourt

OPENING NOTES

Shelby Easley (sung):

She is Fire

She is Flame

She has a Voice

She has a name

 

She is fearless

She has seen years

And if you don’t know 

She is Fierce 

Linnea  

Hey everyone and welcome to She is Fierce!

 

Cessa  

Stories from the female and genderqueer perspective,

 

Linnea  

The podcast!

 

Cessa  

The podcast My name is Cessa (cheh-suh) and my pronouns are she and her.

 

Linnea  

My name is Linnea. And my pronouns are she and her.

 

Cessa  

And we produce the show! I'm the artistic director. That's a fancy fancy title.

 

Linnea  

Fancy girl! And I'm the artistic producer. What those two words mean, who knows. 

 

Cessa  

Yeah, we're, we were told arbitrary titles, but we produced this podcast and the show. Linnea what is She is Fierce?

 

Linnea  

She is Fierce, is a reoccurring storytelling event that started in Seattle. It's expanded from there. We are now a podcast as you are now experiencing. But we produce storytelling events that highlight stories from the female and genderqueer perspective. We match up storytellers with local artists to help bring their narrative to life. And we've been doing this since 2016. We've done like 10 to 12 to 20 to 400 shows I'm not sure. But we have a podcast and this is our third episode. Welcome to episode number three.

 

Cessa  

Episode Number Three! Ding! 

 

Linnea  

So whose story are we listening to today?

 

Cessa  

So this person is very near and dear to our hearts. This person has actually been with us for several shows, but we're sharing one of their stories from our Secrets show, which was earlier this year in 2019. But this person's name is Jasmine Joshua. Jasmine is a local actor, director and producers, the artistic director of Reboot Theatre Company in Seattle, whose mission is to test new interpretations and established work through non traditional methods. We love Jasmine - Jasmine also performed at our Haunted show. Jasmine was actually the emcee of the Secrets show and also told a story. They're a wonderful human, wonderful storyteller. Wonderful artist. We're very excited to have their story on today.

 

Linnea  

And because the theme is secrets, is there anything for you this time around Cessa that that is resonating with you for the theme of secrets, any stories that come to mind?

 

Cessa  

Yeah - I feel like all of ours are just like embarrassing things about our childhood. But the thing that came to mind is I was very secretly in love as as like a six year old, I was secretly in love with a cartoon character named Rockadoodle. And for those of you who don't know this deep cut, Rockadoodle is a he's a rooster, but he's like also an Elvis impersonator. And he like saves his community somehow, in a in a film, entitled RockaDoodle, and I'm very obsessed with him and I would like and I would like secretly pretend to make out with him in the corner while my family was like having dinner. 

 

Linnea  

You made out? 

 

Cessa  

Yes, I like I have a distinct memory. And I don't know if I was actually doing anything. I might have been doing it like in my mind because I was embarrassed but I was like facing the wall. And like imagine making out with a rooster, a cartoon rooster. But he had you know, he was hot.

 

Linnea  

He was a heartthrob. Who wouldn't to make out with him?

 

Cessa  

What does secrets bring up for you?

 

Linnea  

So I had a pretty big crush on a on a human - 

 

Cessa  

I feel bad that you have to verify that.

 

Linnea  

Uhm in like second grade and I was also obsessed with Pokemon of course. And so I decided to share my love via like making him a paper Pikachu. So I would like - I drew the front of the picture. I drew the back of the Pikachu. Then like cut it out and then stapled it together like stuffed it with like crumpled up paper. So it was like kind of 3D. And I was like I really have this really cool plan to like leave it on his desk, and I like got to class and I was like, okay, he just got up he went to go sharpen his pencil. This is my moment. I like literally crawled underneath the desks. And then I like sneakily, like put the Pikachu on his desk, and then like ran back, I scurried back and I like totally, I was like, in my chair, I was totally cool. Looked like nothing happened. And then he got back to his desk, and he was like, who left this? Whose is this? Who left this here? And literally everyone in the class was like, Linnea did it!

 

Cessa  

Oh, no!

 

Linnea  

And I was like, No, no, I didn't. No, I didn't. What are you talking about? And they're like, we literally all just saw you crawl through the desks and put that on his desk. And I was like, What are you talking about? So my secret was massively blown. My cover was blown, but uh, I tried. I tried to be sneaky. didn't quite make it.

 

Cessa  

I'm so sorry. I feel like all of our stories are just becoming really embarrassing things from our childhood. So y'all are gonna learn a lot about us.

 

Linnea  

Welcome, welcome to our friendship.

 

Cessa  

Welcome to She is Fierce.

 

Linnea  

Great, let's, uh, so we're gonna hear Jasmine's story and talk to them a little bit. And enjoy!

 

Cessa  

Enjoy!

JASMINE'S STORY

JASMINE  

So I was seeing this guy, right, and we were at the beginning of the relationship where you're not quite ready to be like 100% honest yet. And I don't mean, honest about anything serious. I mean, like little things, you know, when you're with someone for a while you can be honest about how much you really hate something. But the beginning you downplay it, like, Oh, you know, I just don't care for Michael Bay movies. And then after a year, you'd be like, fuck Michael Bay. He sucks and everyone else who likes him? Yeah, they suck too. But you don't want to lead with that. So when he asked me, Do you want to go camping on the beach? I said, Sure. Sounds great. 

 

I hate camping. My favorite part of a camping trip is eating a burger at the end. And camping on the beach? It is the worst kind of camping. But again, not fully ready to be honest yet. So I went. And at first we hiked down this vertical cliff to get to this little cove. And all I could think about is the fact that because we've gone down, well, that means we're gonna walk back up. Like that's how I think about camping. Like, the farther away we get, the only thing I can think about is man, we're gonna have to go back, far, far back. So we get there. We set up camp and he turns he looks real cute. And he says, Hey, I want to show you something. Will you come on a walk with me? *Sighs* So we're camping in this national park, okay, called, it's called Natural Bridges. It's in Santa Cruz, California. And it actually is really cool, because there are these huge stone arches that either connect the land to the sea, or just kind of freestanding arches in the middle of the ocean. And they're just at the shoreline so that when the tide is out, you can walk through them. So we're walking through them, and it's cool. And we get to this five foot plateau. And he says we have to climb up it to get to the tide pools. So he waits for the waves to go out and he scrambles up the rocks to get to the top and then says, I'll tell you when to go. And again, we're at that not quite honest phase. So rather than saying you don't know what the fuck you're talking about, instead, I was like, Yeah, absolutely. So the waves go out and I jump into the rock and I start climbing up and a wave immediately crashes against me and soaks me from the waist down. So I get up to the top of the plateau. And I look at him and he looks upset and he's all apologetic and I'm like, No, no, it's okay, we'll just keep going. I take off all my pants, I take off my wet socks, I take off my sneakers, I was wearing jeans and sneakers, like that's how much I hate camping. I couldn't even be bothered to pack the correct clothes. Right. So just rip off my socks and my shoes, my pants and I'm ready to go because not even nature will tell me what to do. So now we're picking our way across these tide pools, right. And I don't know if you've ever like been to a tide pool, but tide pools are basically jagged rocks with fetid pools of fish water that have been stinking in the sun. And this is California. So the beaches are littered with these mounds of kelp, which are basically like slimy vegetable intestines with these little balls attached to them, so that when you step on them, they explode with boiling salt water, because they've been baking in the sun for untold hours. And if you disturb any of these kelp mounds 1000s of little flies burst out and crawl over you like Hey, nice to meet you. Oh my god, this is really cool. I got a naked body. Let me just crawl all over you, all these orifices? I'm all about it. Ohhhhhh camping. I hate camping.

 

At one point I fell on banana peel style like slip and fall on my ass in this like crab hutch. At this point, I'm thinking like, man, like he had better have brought a condom because I better be getting fucking laid after all this. And finally I see what he's bringing what he wants to show me right. And it's this three storey Rock Island that's way down on the shoreline. And since the tide is out, you can walk up to it. And about halfway up there was this little cave that you could climb up and then sit in and then overlook the ocean. So I scale that rock like a drunken scarab. And I get all the way up to the cave and I sit down in triumph, like I had done it. I triumphed over nature and this bullshit tide pool and and I look out and survey the view... And I look out about 100 yards off the coast in the ocean and I see this like boat. And the side of this boat is lined with people with binoculars, which means that those motherfuckers on their whale watching tour have watched this whole fucking stupid journey across the tide pool. And then of course, the Coupe de gras me scaling ass out facing the ocean, up the face of this friggin cliff. My wet ass gleaming in the sun. And I thought, you know what, this is perfect. This is my life. This is my fucking life right here, like me running around barefoot and bare ass in nature while people watch and judge from the comfort of their sundecks. And I felt ugly. And I felt stupid and fat and inept. And all I really wanted to do was impress this guy I liked because I felt like that's what I had to do. I had to pretend that I liked the outdoors. I had to pretend that I was good at hiking. I had to pretend that I didn't care that I was dirty and smelly and hot and tired. I'm from fucking Manhattan. So then I look over, and he's not grossed out. Or disappointed. In fact, he's laughing with me about how utterly absurd it is that in the span of like, a 10 minute walk across the beach, I've managed to lose most of my clothes fall in a puddle and smell like a fishmonger. Oh, yeah, and also have attracted an audience. So years later, after we were married, I brought up this trip and said, you know, wasn't it so funny that I hid how much I hated camping? And he said, Oh, no, I KNEW you were pissed. I just thought you are wonderful.

JASMINE'S INTERVIEW

Cessa

Hi, Jasmine.

 

Jasmine  

Hi!

 

Cessa  

I want to just ask you about like your relationship to this story and developing it for Secrets, which you were also the emcee and host for.

 

Jasmine  

Yes, I was. So this story is... so I have like a... they're like my parlor tricks. Like I have just like, a cache of stories that like I tell at parties. If I hear like a key word. I'm like, Ah, there's one. Because I'm also a narcissist and like to talk about myself.  Which is why I love She is Fierce. Anyways, yeah, so but this particular version, I started writing for a solo piece that I've been working on, about my story about coming out as non binary and kind of like, what the hell that means. And surprise, surprise, it's funny. So this was kind of one of the pieces that I kind of was just like, collecting to see where it might fit in my larger solo show. And then when this prompt came up, I was like, Oh, let me just look at my collection. So yeah, so then I and actually, what another thing that's great about She is Fierce is that it kind of forced me to condense it. Because like, I can riff off that story. I mean, infinitely, right? 

 

Cessa  

And we could listen to you tell it for like hours upon hours.

 

Jasmine  

But you know, there's like other human beings who would also like to share the stage. So like, being like, you have three minutes, you're just gonna have to be funny and concise. And it's it's such a great writing exercise really to like whittle it down. So that was the journey.

 

Cessa  

What was it like to perform it with She is Fierce? And if you want to talk about like your experience with other She is Fierces because you've been with us for a while.

 

Jasmine  

It was great. I mean, it's really like, what I love about working with She is Fierce is again, like, I'm, I'm pretty predictable, like, I will always go for something funny. Even like, even for like the scary one I did, I like still kind of made it funny. But what I like about She is Fierce is that like the breadth of genre, and art style, and kinds of stories that are told are so diverse, that I don't feel like it's like the Comedy Hour with, you know, the diversity crew (laughter)

 

Cessa  

I mean, but that was our working. (laughter)

 

Jasmine  

I mean, it's a pretty good one that I might - that's another name of my solo show. But no, it's great. So it's great to be able to, you know, kind of get the audience warmed up and like have them relaxed, because I know like, some of these stories are so moving, and some of them are really hard to listen to. So I like being able to be like, you know what, like, I'm solidly gonna stay in that lane and just kind of like provide that moment of levity so that we can kind of like shake it out, and then like really listen to other people's words.

 

Cessa  

Yeah, I think that's what makes you such a great emcee and host too is because you have a real like warmth in and levity about you and you had had such like a beautiful way of, of balancing the like hard moments that we needed to like breeze through both performers in the audience. Yeah, we loved having you. But you also like made us laugh and in amazing ways. Yeah, what makes you feel fierce or powerful?

 

Jasmine  

I feel fierce when I am on stage. I feel fierce when I am telling a story and it doesn't have to be mine. But being able to... Yeah, I don't know, tell a story and and, and become other people, even if it's like another version of myself in a story that I've written and having that kind of chameleon aura. It makes me feel really powerful. Fierce!

 

Cessa  

Yeah, yes. Yes. Fierce! Thank you so much for being. For all your work with us. 

 

Jasmine  

Yes. Thank you! 

 

Cessa  

You can come back and talk about yourself on stage anytime. 

 

Jasmine  

Oh. Be careful (laughter)

 

Cessa  

We'll have a whole podcast that just the Jasmine Chronicles!

 

Jasmine  

The open mic! Thank you so much. It's an honor.

 

Cessa  

Yeah. For us too.

CLOSING NOTES

Cessa

Amazing! We love Jasmine Joshua so so much. If you want to know more about their amazing theatre company in Seattle, you can go to RebootTheater.org that's theater r-e not e-r. And if you want to know more about us and what we do we have a website as well at sheisfiercestories.org or you can find us on social media on both instagram and facebook @sheisfiercestories. If you want to know more about what we do or what's on the horizon you can look out for more podcast episodes..

 

Linnea  

And if you like us please think about donating you can donate at our website, sheisfiercestories.org or you can directly sign up to be a patron on patreon  at www.patreon.com/sheisfiercestories. We are trying to expand and pay our artists and make this you know we got big we got big dreams. 

 

Cessa  

We do have big dreams. 

 

Linnea  

And last but not least our theme song was written and recorded by Shelby Easley.

 

Cessa  

See you next time. Stay fierce babies! 

 

Linnea  

Stay fierce!

 

SHELBY EASLEY (sung):

And if you don’t know 

She is Fierce 

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