common ground open mic series

common ground is organized by progressive Vietnamese American community members, artists, and activists committed to cultivating a positive and safe healing space for artistic growth and community empowerment. The common ground collective builds collaborations across communities and supports the work of social justice spaces.

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Vivacious and versatile February feature (say that 10 times fast!) Quincy Surasmith shares a few words on the next show’s theme, “Multitudes of Expression”:

I think of myself as a jack-of-all-trades artist because I feel that no one medium of expression can quite capture the wonder and range of our thoughts, emotions, intentions, and experiences as individuals and as a community.

In the case of songwriting, the interplay (and sometimes contrast) of music and lyrics are such wonderful ways to allude to a wide depth of meaning. There’s a magic that comes with what you can express in something in the music that is heard but unsaid, or metaphors that are said but unexplained; there are cues that often give away deeper meanings and hidden intentions behind the words—just like in life!

As an actor, there is the potential to connect with an audience and convey truths both large and small, from the immediacy of raw emotions to engaging in the vividness of storytelling to the ability to get an audience to think about an idea in a new way, and maybe continue to carry that with them once they leave that space. Acting can do all this with but a group of people (or even a single person) simply being a conduit for and performing text and truth.

Finally, with cooking: this is the only way in which one gets to express something that appeals to the sense of taste, while also getting to also play with scents and textures. Though it’s a much less precise medium, there’s a particular experience of care, memory, and comfort that is not just conveyed, but elicited through food that is unmatched by any other form of expression. Ratatouille (one of my favorite movies) demonstrates this wonderfully!

These qualities aren’t necessarily exclusive to each form, nor do they have to be done one at a time. I think for me, it just boils down to being able to share and connect with words, actions, music, and food in a variety of ways—artistic versions of how I like to spend my time in the company of loved ones.

Catch more of Quincy via his Facebook page or through Romance of the Three Kitchens, a cooking and storytelling series. Better yet, see him in action at [common ground] this THURSDAY, FEB 2!

Tuesday Night Cafe 10/04/11 Quincy Surasmith (by TuesNightProject)