We had the good fortune of connecting with Antonia Crane and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Antonia, how do you think about risk?
I think risk is a fundamental aspect of everything I do that is worth doing. I have had many moments where I’ve asked myself what is the scariest thing to do right now? And that is the thing I know I must do. I am not implying that when I take risks, I win something or that everything turns out perfectly. But I am saying that if I am afraid to do a thing, then I must really want to do it so bad that I’ve been afraid to risk failure and have refused to try. So if I want something so bad that it feels risky, I need to do that thing so I will surrender the thought that I can’t do it and walk through those feelings. This step is important, not only as a writer, but as a woman and activist. Being socialized as a woman in this society, one can be crushed by certain gendered expectations to be complacent, slavish, quiet, friendly, sexy and also to be a seated maternal figure whose primary purpose is to care for others, so taking risks, getting angry and aiming high is revolutionary.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I don’t think of myself as an artist, but as a worker among workers. I tend to write stories and make films about sex workers and people who are on the more disadvantaged and stigmatized spectrum of the sex industry. I am most excited about stories that show acute humanity and love and humor in my community of queers and sex workers and that connect people in surprising ways. I like to show clients who are goofy and romantic, but also selfish. I like to show sex workers who are passionate about art or music and have a spiritual practice and many sides to their character. I keep learning new tools about how to write stories and I am less and less interested in churning out a product or a brand. When I teach memoir at UCLA extension, the first thing I tell my students is that writing a memoir is ridiculous and impossible. That said, let’s get to work.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
That’s easy. I’d take them to the Getty. It’s free and so gorgeous. We would go to the Cat Cafe on Melrose one day. I would take them for a jog around the reservoir to see the sunlight dance on the water and the Canadian geese hang out inside the gate. We would go to Mason’s Dumplings in Highland Park for lunch one day and Homestate for breakfast tacos. I would take them to Cuties on heliotrope because the vibes of that place are amazing.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am just loving this whole idea of giving shoutouts. I have a crew at Antioch University where I got my MFA that deserve praise and kudos. First, my beloved cohort the Citrons. We write to each other every Sunday and they constantly churn out beautiful work and provide inspiration, laughs and huge support through thick and thin. And people like Kate Maruyama who make Antioch even possible by making sure the whole social justice thing actually happens on the ground and who always provides opportunities for writers as well as just being a fantastic human being and a creative powerhouse in writing, teaching and in life. Also, I high five Melissa Chadburn for too many reasons to list here but go read her work right now. Cheryl Strayed for teaching me how to cut my heart open on the page and trust the writing and Roxane Gay for articulating anger, atrocity and pain in new and delightful ways with a shy giggle that will disarm you for life. Shout out to Jill Soloway and the folx at Topple and 5050by2020 for being ambitiously intersectional and making space. I want to shout out to director Lizzie Borden for being such a brilliant, loving mentor. Also, my coordinator and head organizer at Soldiers of Pole, A.M. Davies who is a queen and exemplary leader and friend. There are so many more that I am forgetting right now. We need to do this ten more times.

Website: http://www.antoniacrane.com/, https://soldiersofpole.com/
Instagram: @soldiers_of_pole_, @antoniacrane
Twitter: @antoniacrane
Facebook: antoniacrane

Image Credits
Flyers by A.M. Davies and the Soldiers of Pole All photos by author Antonia Crane