WHY SHE MATTERS:
Staceyann Chin, 43, has been challenging and shaping our perception of art since bursting onto the scene in the enormously popular Def Poetry Jam. This past December, Chin’s career took a turn, thanks to the birth of her daughter, Zuri, whose conception inspired Chin’s hit show MotherStruck! The stage memoir, which chronicled her journey to conceive as a single, lesbian woman, gained two well-known mothers as big supporters—Rosie O’Donnell as producer and Cynthia Nixon as director.
How does the Staceyann of Def Poetry Jam compare with the Staceyann of MotherStruck?
When I was younger, in my 20s, I felt like I was a sledge hammer. Now that I’m in my 40s I’m aware that some moments require a scalpel and some moments require a sledge hammer.
Many women find that their careers take a downturn during their child-rearing years. Not so with you.
That’s the thing about memoir writing—as long as you’re living you have material.
The next challenge I want to take on is:
I look forward to writing the play when I really am old. When I talk about being old now, these 60-, 70-, 90-year-old women come and they laugh in my face and they say, “Ha! You’re not old yet.” I’m looking forward to writing all those stories about what it’s like when you age. Anger is not only for the young. It just looks different when you have streaks of grey.