Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lady Terror Re - Imagined

I have been in a re- invention period in my artistic life since I created the character "Lady Terror." Almost three years ago, while attempting to write through a huge case of writer's block, Lady Terror came through. I believe it was a culmination of years of rage and a super pissed off attitude about injustice and oppression that molded Lady Terror. Soon, I was ranting and screaming poetry through a real bullhorn and on a soapbox built just for me. Ranting became the means to solve social problems. The bullhorn became the desperate symbol of voice and empowerment.

I have been writing and performing poetry for over 10 years in the traditional sense. Write poem on paper. Read it on a mic. Sit down. Repeat. I love the simplicity of poetry and pride myself on my ability to express myself through words. But, as I grew as an artist the above ritual became to neat, clean and predictable. I longed for messy and surprising. I really longed for performance, spectacle and theater. I wanted to shake up the day and shine a bright light onto the issues truly destroying my community. To date I have installed the following art spectacles into the community:

1. Poetry reading marathon at Chicago's Largest Parade, Bud Biliken. I read the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks on a bullhorn for hundreds of passerby's. The lady Terror mission believes that reading and writing poetry is a healing tool that can spark imagination and change. Check some video footage:

2. Created a one night only poetry show i front of liquor stores all over the South Side of Chicago. The South Side, like other inner city communities, are lacking in creative resources. I brought the art to us by setting up small performance venues outside on sidewalks.

3. As part of damali ayo's project "National Day of Panhandling for Reparations" I begged for change for reparations downtown Chicago on State Street. For an entire afternoon I begged for the money due us after 400 years of slavery.

4. Yoga in the hood was one of my favorite stunts. As a protest against the inequalities that exist between white and black communities, I created mini yoga studios in the lobby of fast food establishments.

As I move into the New Year. I am excited about the opportunities for Lady Terror. I'm planning a stunt in honor on MLK, Jr. Birthday Celebration, developing my current one woman show "I Will Not Calm Down" and writing a new one, participating in a Experimental Puppetry Festival, submitting a proposal for a Street Festival with Flux Projects and creating volunteer opportunities to start back collaborating with young people. More soapboxes will be built and more bullhorns screamed through. I'm ranting in 2011. What about you? What are your creative and artistic hopes for the New Year?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lets change our lives!

I have accepted my calling as a Life Coach. A friend finally gave me the title yesterday. I have always wanted to be a Life Coach but didn't know it was called life coaching. I just enjoy working with people and communities. I feel a pulling to support positive people. I want to see you reach your highest potential. I want to be better. We should all follow our passions. So as I "life coach" myself you can follow along with the exercises I assign myself. Let's collaborate!

I challenge you to create a vision board. Celebrate the Law of Attraction and read Martha Beck. I have heard good things about "Finding Your North Star" by Martha Beck. I have it on hold at the library and will start reading it over the Thanksgiving holiday break. Will you read it with me?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have always LOVED balloons. For me, balloons represent party, celebration, ritual and the ultimate way to draw attention. Balloons make anything look festive and make you pay attention. I love spectacle. I like the surprising and random tidbits of life that make it interesting. I enjoy people who dress the way they want and speak what's on their mind. I think you truly have to be courageous and eccentric and a bit of a risk taker to fulfill your goals. At some point, you think, "I'm going all out. This will work." This is when the universe will hear you. You already have the answers. Real change will happen.
Balloons are a perfect symbol for the concept of "going all out." Next time you see balloons, grab one and tie it around your wrist. I dare you to walk around town. Make a fool of yourself. Be a scene. Pop it and startle someone into listening. Live your dreams. I hope this post inspires you to buy more balloons for birthdays or any day. Everyday is a celebration. Every day a blessing!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My One Woman Show. The Lady Terror Show: I Will Not Calm Down!!

Serenbe Playhouse Solo-Works Festival Labor Day Weekend. I will perform 12 noon on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010
Check out the website for more details:

The Lady Terror Show opens the door into the world of an eccentric and pissed off female who attempted to go the regular route to make her community a better place and in the end it never worked. The crime got worse, no one cared about the inequalities and everyone just went about their daily lives unmoved by the violence. At her wits end, she decides to take matters into her own hands. In a mental daze she builds a soapbox, finds a bullhorn and stands on street corners screaming about the problems, urging people to wake up and get mad with her. Ranting becomes the only way to get people to listen. Creating a scene in public places becomes her solution. She is pissed and wonders why you are so calm? Her spectacles include creating yoga studios in the lobby of the numerous fast food, and unhealthy restaurants and that overpopulate her neighborhood. She creates one-night only theatre shows in front of liquor stores since there aren’t any theatres or other avenues for creative expression. She stands on the exit ramps on a soapbox and passes out free poetry to the cars passing by the scene of the recent murder of a teenager because poetry heals and her community needs healing.

The Lady Terror Show is a hybrid of performance and guerilla art mixed with poetry and street theatre that explores the themes of free speech, creative empowerment and rage. This one-woman show experiment is filled with soapbox ranting, bullhorn screaming, interactive poetry writing, spoken word and music. Lady Terror believes that ranting and creating spectacles outside of normal performance spaces can bring about a heightened sense of awareness and solve social issues. The show is a work in progress that is the culmination of guerilla spectacles that I have conducted all over the streets of Chicago. These spectacles have addressed the issues of food justice, inequality and violence. The soapbox and bullhorn become universal symbols for free speech and our innate desire to be heard. I created the character Lady Terror as a direct reaction to feeling helpless and hopeless about the realities of living in a high crime and poverty neighborhood in Chicago. The mission is to spark imagination, creativity and support positive community empowerment worldwide.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Down South are you ready for Lady Terror?

There is no greater joy than bringing it full circle and ranting in the American South.

"Plotting and waiting for the next moment to rant. I got something to say!"


Monday, August 16, 2010

Why I love the Soapbox?

"Dont' do that, " "What will people think?" "You should.."
"Stop being a hater," "Don't curse if you are mad, " "Don't cry," -Even at a funeral when you have lost a close relative, we in America say, "Don't cry. It will be okay."
The silencing and quieting of America....

I have always been excited by people who make a scene. The unexpected. The organic and untamed. The out of control.
Absurdity and the extreme. I mostly, deeply connect with freedom of expression. Above is a replica of a slave auction block. Slavery being the ultimate act of inhumane silencing. The need to be heard crosses all boundaries. The soapbox will be seen and the bullhorn will be heard. Be heard. Hear somebody!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Booking for Lady Terror!

Hey Ranters:

I am organizing my calendar and booking shows for the remainder of the summer and def for the fall. The "Lady Terror Experience." I offer the following:

I specialize in facilitating, interactive workshops that revolve around writing. I have taught fiction, poetry and essay for children as young as 6 all the way thru adults in their 70's. Any topic or theme can be developed into a workshop.

Previous gigs:
Guest Artist for the class "Performing on stage solo" at DePaul University School of Theatre, Chicago, IL
Guest Artist and performance for class "Reviewing the Arts" at Columbia College Chicago
National Day of Reparations Day
Guerilla Art Spectacles and protests

Spoken Word
Over 15 years experience performing as a spoken word artist
Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award Winner
Ensemble member of Guild Complex's poetry performance incubator

Email me at: for bookings, prices and more information

I LOVE colleges, universities, public schools (all ages), community centers, not for profits, alternative schools, all places of worship, street corners, barber/beauty shops..EVERYONE loves LADY TERROR! Lets rant, build soapboxes, plot on oppression, write manifestos and read poetry.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Justice for Oscar Grant!!

Google "police brutality" and this case and digest the injustice!

Then do something about it!


"Your silence will not protect you" -Audre Lourde

My favorite old blue Chevy Cavalier had this bumper sticker on the back. It was my favorite sticker and car. Both were totaled in an accident with a drunk driver who ran a stop sign. I really must research and find a replacement sticker online because it felt good to ride around town knowing such a powerful message was back there for all to see. Silence is a peculiar thing. During meditation it is the thing you aspire to. You work to quiet the mind, to simmer down all thoughts of the day and in this silence connect with a peaceful state. Silence is necessary for true growth and reflection. But, if you take that same silence and place it in a situation of oppression, abuse and injustice it can be very dangerous. It can't and won't protect you. My entire career I have worked with youth and communities to empower them to un silence, to rant, to speak, to get involved in the healing. The performance art, guerilla art and poetry I create all have a theme of action, of doing, of never being silent. Silence is a interesting space. A blessing and a curse. Today, I focus on silence. The power to be silent and the power to be heard.

Speak on!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"I am Do it Yourselfer. The Creator made me this way and has my back on all projects. Save The Hood!" -Lady Terror

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Black Liberation Theology is cool!!

I am currently reading and writing an article on black liberation theology. I am so overwhelmed with wonderful information that it has been a pleasure researching, reading and looking through my daddy's old religious study books. While I am organizing, I wanted to share my some quick thoughts on how I relate theology to my performance art:


More to come...

Saturday, May 1, 2010


The Lady Terror Show from Ashley Patrick on Vimeo.

Landed in the ATL!!!

I finally landed in ATL and our migration to the South is complete. SO, far I LOVE Georgia. It feels good here and the trees are amazing. I am looking forward to writing and seeing how being in the South will influence my art and feelings about poverty.
I am already doing recon on locations to do some guerrila art stunts and spectacles. The soapbox and bullhorn travels and are ready to be broken in. Stay tuned for my new work an experiments. Lady Terror: The Southern Fried Remix Edition. The LADY TERROR show will debut this weekend with video footage from the "Liquor Store as Performance Space" and "Yoga Studio in Fried Food Shacks" spectacles that happened on the streets of the Chi in February 2010. Chi TOWN!! I miss you already.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

After Reading "The Prisoner's Wife" by asha bandele

i wanna make 1,000 copies
by hand
cut it up in pieces
with a razor blade
run around
sprinkling handfuls of this story
dropping it softly on the top of babies heads
give a handful to an old lady
with grocery bags slowly crossing the street
whispering to her as i pass
This is a love story
i wanna mix the cut up pieces
with white wine
serve it a dinner parties
trade this mixture for the Hennessey
in my brothers brown bag
Here, drink this
this story kicks down brick walls with bare feet
its real
enough for you to grab
wrap it around you
kiss it
oil your skin
a magnifying glass held to close to the sun
i'll make confetti
stand on corners screaming
Here take this!!
See, you were wrong
We can love
We are revolutionaries

this book is a lover
it is a story that heals

Tricia Hersey 2003

Monday, March 22, 2010

Marucs Garvey inspires me! The original soapbox preacher!


I see my art spectacles as protest. On some levels its art and also direct political action, aimed at mobilizing public opinion against a particular policy. The specific policy for me is poverty and all the injustice it brings to a community. I am more enraged and motivated to protest and rant when the policies have been done on purpose.

"I'm trying to offend you. I'm putting you on blast. Get mad. Its a great starting point for change." -excerpted from the poem "Soapbox Snapping."

Soapbox Snapping

I’m climbing up
Out thru the basement
Like a cockroach
I stay
Extermination is futile
I goes on
Survivor of genocide
Warrior lady
Blood soaked hands
I’m mad
Pissed actually
Menace on a mission
Creating a scene

I complicate things
For diversity
Question what others ignore
Go against the flow
Irritate the entitled
Done being cordial
No longer politically correct
I like being a mad, angry black bitch
Nappy headed is my goal
Used to be nice
Until you flipped the switch
Until you brought up oppression and poverty
You wanna see my ignorance?
Test me

Don’t understand your stereotypes
I define myself
We can’t get along
Social entrepreneur
Building community
Providing soap boxes
So others can go off
I support the madness
Putting you under the microscope
Asking the police to pull over
Can I see your ID?
A neighborhood watching
Unapologetically me
Fuck you type lady
I got dreams
My community got goals
Still hearing racism whispered daily
People don’t even know they being offensive
I’m putting you on blast
I’m actually trying to offend you
Get mad
It’s a great starting point for change
I’m pissed
Why are you so calm?

I’m not sorry
Past being rational
This ain’t no game
Serious soap box snapping
Ranting and raving for a reason
Social justice
I’ll give my life for this
My daddy already gave his
A guinea pig
For how much stress a black man can take in America
How many times was he called nigga at his railroad job?
Twenty five years
Before it’s internalized
Terrorizing our hoods with poverty

My daddy dead
And we still debating a Universal Health Care plan in this country?
Shame on you!
Still building fried food shacks instead of grocery stores in the hood?
Shame on us!
Shame on you Whole Foods
For claiming to be a progressive company
But only building stores in upper class areas
I guess poor people don’t wanna eat organic?
Shame on you
You elitist assholes
For judging us
For judging me
Shame on us
For thinking they can solve our problems
We can solve our own shit
Lady Terror in the building
Menace on a mission
Terrorizing for a cause
I’m pissed
Why are you so calm?

Lady Terror

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why Install art in the community?

Inner city communities are always healing. Surviving in an environment of high crime, lack of resources and high unemployment causes stress. Art is healing. We need more art on the South Side. For every shooting we have there should be a theatre performance to balance the scales. We can create our own art. We can produce and present our own stories. My community needs healing. More poetry shows in front of liquor stores. More poetry marathons in hallways and on street corners. The street is our soapbox. We must rant.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I am so inspired to continue the mission of Lady Terror whenever I share my work with others. Last night, I spoke to a "Reviewing the Arts" class at Columbia College Chicago. The students asked great questions about the implications of the work on a global level, volunteered to help do a huge yoga stunt and seemed interested in the mission. With my move to Atlanta coming soon I am energized to explore a new region of the country and spread the ranting and education for others to feel empowered for change.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to create a spectacle

Step 1
No matter what you must not show fear or ego.

Step 2
Develop the ability to ignore anyone who stands in your way.

Step 3
Learn how to scream like you mean it. If you need a bullhorn I have one you can borrow.

Step 4
Study the art of improvisation. You will need it to get closer to your goal.

Step 5
Create a quick one sentence response to the question: “What are you mad about?”

Step 6
Pick the perfect location and get the timing right.
Note: the best spectacles are the ones that are organic and catch everyone off guard.

Step 7
Don’t be afraid to use curse words. People need to know that you are pissed and not playing around. This is not a game nor anytime to be shy. Stop holding back!

Step 8
Start being okay with people calling you crazy. Embrace your out of control behavior for a cause.

Step 9
Read poetry daily. You will need it for your mission.

Step 10
Find an opportunity to get community members involved. The end result is true social change. Real change comes from the people.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

History of the Soapbox

From Wikipedia

A soapbox is a raised platform on which one stands to make an impromptu speech, often about a political subject.
The term originates from when speakers would stand on a wooden box meant for holding soap. The term is also used metaphorically to describe a person engaging in often flamboyant impromptu or unofficial public speaking, as in the phrases "He's on his soapbox", or "Get off your soapbox." Hyde Park, London is known for its Sunday soapbox orators, who have assembled at Speakers' Corner since 1872 to discuss religion, politics, and other topics. A modern form of the soapbox is a blog: a website on which a user publishes one's thoughts to whoever reads the page.

Malcom X and Marcus Garvey were also known for being soapbox preachers.

My one woman show! "I Will Not Calm Down"

I am very excited and a little nervous for my first solo show. I am still in the writing and developing process and it is going live for one night only on Saturday, March 27, 2010. It is an experiment and a proud moment for me to be able to install and perform art on my South Side community. I hope you will come out and support.

Tree Pose in the Hood

Last Friday, I was able to go out with Ashley from Blame it on Ashley Productions and Aaron, from One Shot Photography to began filming for the "Lady Terror Show." The show will be footage from the spectacles I perform in the community, poetry and social commentary. Lady Terror deals with very serious issues in her work but the concept of her character is meant to be comedic and ironic. What better way to really get attention and encourage involvement but to create a character that loves to rant and believes the best way to solve social issues is to scream like a fucking lunatic until someone listens? She is a reaction to the apathy and disconnection in our communities. A desperate but empowered woman that doesn't want to calm down because she already tried that and it didn't work. Poverty is still killing her people. People usually pay attention to someone causing a scene. Someone who likes to curse and be out of control. The unexpected. There is nothing more dangerous than a person who gives a damn. When you get in touch with your rage you can make space for joy.

The guerilla art spectacles include:
Yoga classes in fried food spots
Turning liquor stores into performance spaces
Poetry therapy marathons at parades, on off ramps of expressways, on street corners, etc.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Social Justice starts early!

I just finished a 13 week arts residency at Crown Community Academy. I was collaborating with my favorite poet friend, Amanda Lichtenstein and Luke Albrecht, the 8th grade math teacher. During this arts integration program, we collaborated to create curriculum that blends math and writing. The 8th graders studied the math concept of statistics, averages and graphing while writing rants and exploring the concept of social justice. I had the opportunity to present the questions, "What are you mad about? What is worth getting mad at? What is civil rights?"

The young poets wrote about violence, single parent homes, Haiti, guns, family and used a bullhorn and soapbox to perform rants. The final class was filled with a poetry performance filled with poems that included statistics and percentages to fuel the rant. Our final performance project was a poetry marathon on report card pick up day. While the school was filled with parents, students and guests, the 8th graders took over the hallway and read poetry on a bullhorn for 2 hours straight. The concept: poetry is therapy and the very act of hearing poetry read aloud can be healing to the listener. The Westside community where the school is located needs healing. Chicago youth need healing from the violence. So we will bring the words to them. We read selected poems from Ruth Forman, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Tupac Shakur, Lucille Clifton, Maya Angelou and they also read their own original rants.

The principal and two teachers also got involved and caught the poetry spirit. Dr. Jackson, the principal, read a powerful piece about black men after hearing us read. The students were so proud, fearless and amazing. They read for the whole two hours and probably would have read for 2 more hours if asked. Social justice can start very early. You don't need to wait until they are in senior year of high school to introduce the concept of community service and social justice work. We must start early.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stunt #2

Lady Terror is a performance artist and poet.

She lives on the South Side of Chicago

She creates spectacles

She is a social justice activist

She is raising awareness around the issue of inequality, poverty, violence, food justice and education.

The South Side needs more art. The street is our theatre. I will be performing poetry in front of liquor stores all over.

There are 2 yoga studios on the ENTIRE South Side

There are over 30 on the North Side of Chicago

In a 20 block area of the South Side there are over 15 liquor stores or fast food spots

African Americans die from more preventable diseases than whites

Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can all be prevented with diet and exercise.

There are none or very few organic grocery stores, fitness centers or yoga studios on the South Side

Stunt #1

Lady Terror is a performance artist and poet.

She lives on the South Side of Chicago

She creates spectacles

She is a social justice activist

She is raising awareness around the issue of inequality, poverty, violence, food justice and education.

To prove a point and raise awareness I will do a mini yoga class inside a fried food establishment

There are 2 yoga studios on the ENTIRE South Side

There are over 30 on the North Side of Chicago

In a 20 block area of the South Side there are over 15 liquor stores or fast food spots

African Americans die from more preventable diseases than whites

Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can all be prevented with diet and exercise.

There are none or very few organic grocery stores, fitness centers or yoga studios on the South Side

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lady Terror Rants

Wonder Woman ain't coming to save us
This becomes an emergency
A real life and death situation
Sound the alarms
Do what you gotta do

Artist Statement

I create art for the ones who lost their voice a long time ago. I believe that impromptu spectacles can bring awareness to social justice issues that paralyze our communities. Lady Terror examines the relationship between public space and performance space and also explores ranting as a medium to address social issues and as a tool to empower communities. My art is local and neighborhood specific in its execution but global in its ideas around poverty, injustice and violence.