- Jade Ashekerra
- 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- The piece that stands out in my mind is one of bodily reclamation. My body was covered in horrible insults, written in reverse, to show what we see when we look in the mirror and how hurtful words can stick with us. On the stage I was applying make-up to try and cover these words and force a smile, as many of us do to get through the day. Nothing could cover the words so I pushed over my make-up and blindfolded myself, as I could bare to look anymore. Shadowe approached me, scribbled out a word, and wrote something positive instead. When they handed off the marker, I was swarmed in moments by people drawing all over me, erasing the horrible words and replacing them with positivity. I was completely overwhelmed and started crying. Someone drew something in my palm and I closed my hand around their thumb, as I was starting to feel alone and separated from what was happening to my body. They stayed with me until I let go. Once the audience had covered me with their beautiful words and walked away, I looked at myself in the mirror with admiration. Then I walked around, stopping in front of individuals to raise the mirror in hopes to put their head on my body and see these words were for them as well. One of the most beautiful things about DAMNED is the level of intimacy we get to share with the audience. All the stories we tell come from a genuine place in our hearts, and we get to be raw and vulnerable on that stage. As a performer, I have not experienced anything else like DAMNED. It has been an honor to be part of the show for as long as I have.