I am Nafeesa Monroe, a young woman of African-American, Haitian, German, and Irish decent, and a natural born storyteller. All my life people have asked me how I identified. I learned at a very young age that I did not fit into any pre-determined box, I had to create my own; I had to create me. In this creation of self and identity, my story telling talents found their voice. Now, I am an actress, a writer, and a spoken word artist (performing poet). My life gave birth to my art.
Through acting, writing, and spoken word, I am able to seek that to which we can all identify. In searching for the place where I fit in, I discovered a place where we all fit in. It is our stories that are recurring, through all of time, happening to all of us, defining our common humanity.
My ultimate desire is to move and intrigue an audience. Art and performance is about learning, community, and self-reflection. I choose to perform and create work that, in some way, works toward a positive audience experience. Writing and performing bring forth the ability to portray the untold stories of those before; the opportunity to reach out to strangers through story; the privilege to teach and be taught about each other’s feats and faults; and the possibility to move people to see, themselves, their beauty, and their power to change.
Through my art, I found my stories and my experiences are not mine alone, but those of each of us. In almost everyone’s life, there has been a moment when they didn’t fit in; when they weren’t accepted; when they loved but weren’t loved back; the examples are infinite. By telling my life through my art, the audience begins to see that we all relate, that we are not worlds apart.
As a performer I have performed all over the country, at numerous universities, open mic’s, music concerts, conventions, writing conferences, and on Off-Off Broadway. And though the venues may change, the people remain the same. My art intends to engage the audience, allow them to see me and maybe themselves, opening the door to a true understanding of our mutual, common humanity.