Amanda Poise & "The War on High Heels" 
By: Shay Lopez
Amanda Poise is a multidisciplinary Puerto Rican and Dominican artist born and raised in the Bushwick/Ridgewood area of New York City. Poise describes herself as a “Universal Creator and Destroyer,” which means she creates metaphysical art that is based on the collective consciousness. While she is 23 years young (Cancer Sun, Pisces Moon, Virgo Rising to be exact) Poise lives up to the word “multidisciplinary” with her extensive background ranging from actor to astrologer to writer and journalist to photographer and the list continues. 
While she is constantly juggling multiple projects, it was shared that she is most proud of her project “War on High Heels.” After graduating with a Bachelors in Theatre, she found herself developing this project, “I found myself attending Burlesque shows weekly. I was infatuated with this surreal, sexy, seductive performance art that nearly happens every single day of the week all across New York City,” said Poise. While regularly attending the shows, thoughts generated in her mind, “ ‘Why don’t more people know about this?’ Suddenly, I found myself picking up my film camera and began attending shows, mingling with performers, and discovering more and more about NYC nightlife.” The inspiration for this project was born, “I like to think that this project found me. It chose me as a catalyst to help tell stories of Burlesquers all over the best city in the world.” 
Poise admitted that “War on High Heels” has been a fun, wild, and delicate journey. “On one hand, I am learning so much. Not just about Burlesque but about people, art, community, LIFE. It’s so refreshing to hear different perspectives from all sorts of unique individuals.” But on the flip side, there are also boundaries that Poise is sure not to cross as she develops her photo project each night she visits the Burlesquers. “I never want to cross someone’s boundaries or assume that just because they’re taking their clothes off that it is an invitation that they want to particularly speak about it. I am always asking for consent to post their photos, or before entering the dressing room if they even want me to be there,” she shared. The sort of storytelling Poise is engaging in with the project “War on High Heels” requires her to take “no’s” not personally and “yes’” with gratefulness, “if it’s a no, I don’t take it personally. The nightlife is always in survival mode. Many of these performers rely on tips to catch a cab ride home. I just want to be as polite and supportive as possible. That is one of the main things I like to keep in mind.” 
As artists, we know we face a bunch of moments full of reflection and learning more about ourselves and our processes. For Poise, she was able to learn more about her nature and how she functions as an artist, “I’m not afraid of diving headfirst into a new artistic medium. I could have zero experience in something, but if it’s what I want to begin learning how to do, I somehow manage it well.” Poise also finds excitement in researching, studying, and trying new things, “I want to know how to do it all. I want to be everything when I grow up.” 
When asked to look forward and reflect on where she hopes to go next with her artistic career Poise shares some hopes, “I feel I’ve spent enough time behind the scenes. I am capable of doing both, behind the camera and in front of it. I look forward to showing myself more when the time is right. I see myself taking more performative gigs, whether it be Burlesque or acting or spoken word poetry.” We have much more to see from Poise, “I thirst for the stage, and I know it’s been calling me for a while. It wants me up there too. But soon, when the time is right, soon. And I know things will skyrocket from there.” 

Since the development of this piece, Amanda has actually taken her first Burlesque class and deemed it a success! Be sure to follow her on Instagram as @poisonamanda and be sure to follow her project @waronhighheels

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