I am an artist. A writer. A singer. An actress. A teacher.
And over my 30 plus years devoting my life to this, I noticed I was continually greeted by a mysterious disbelief by most men in the entertainment industry. Their first suspicion was always that I was a groupie. A fan. Never mind you, it was okay for them to find women attractive and even be motivated by nearly everything but their art, and still taken seriously, but I digress. And no matter how dedicated or passionate I was about any subject, medium, or discipline, I always had to fight through this shield of disrespect first. Many a day I found myself shocked, startled and disappointed to find out men were not only interested in what I had to say, or wanted to create. They felt entitled to more and it was usually personal and selfish. So I left the industry and became a full time teacher. And this was a great gift. Teaching children saved my life. It kept me linked to what is pure in life and also created a somewhat stable and nourishing world for me to to survive in. However, as any artist knows, this thing has you by the throat, and so I never stopped creating. Not one day. Even days I had the flu. Yup. Art is an amazingly relentless little bugger.
So eventually through wonderful serendipity of circumstance I ended up with a cool entertainment lawyer. He insisted I “brand” myself and come up with a name for myself as an artist (since I did not want my students to find me. I thought it better they focus on themselves and their own path.) And after much resistance on my part, a book that some random engineer’s girlfriend gave me during a recording session, fell off my book my shelf. Literally. It was entitled “The Princessa.” And I thought, “Well that’s as a good a name as any.” What I was yet to find out, is that this book contained the narration of much of my own personal journey in the arts. I’m not saying I’m Joan of Arc, but nobody believed her either. In fact, no one really believed any woman, until - she did it. And we often do. And I thought “How cool. It’s a thing. I am part of a legacy. A long line of women who were not, could not be, taken seriously, because the world was, just plainly, misogynistic.” “Okay. Ok. Well, what now?” I read on. It seemed that what the author was proposing was that women could love without apology and tell their truth. They could also stay soft and feminine. And, then just have their way. They didn’t need men to agree with them. And they certainly didn’t need their permission. They just needed them out of the way or at least helpful. A teammate.
And so, I took on the name Prinxessa. I added the “X” as my own personal “x factor” because I am still not 100% on board with the ideology or feminism or “women’s rights.” I believe all people deserve the same rights. And I have definitely been the victim of sexism. However, I am pretty traditional in this aspect of my life and am not so stoked about having had to explore the wild feminine space in order to not die a soulless domesticated slow death. I wish there was a way to be married for life and still 100% alive and awake. That’s why I wrote the song Mestengo, about wild horses who do not want to be rescued. It’d be cool to be free IN love. I am patiently waiting to see if that could be an option. I actually like surrendering to a man. But, a, you have to find one you can trust to lead you, and b, surrender is not the same thing as dimming your light or dumming yourself down.
And, so, you find me here, somewhere in between, but well on my way. I earned every stripe to get here. And it hurt. It was hard. But it was worth it. At least I know who I am. And I know what matters. I know its my dogs. And little shoots of grass. And starry nights and soft winds. And being kind to one another . And living in tenderness. Being gentle, and real. And most of all, love. Loving whomever crosses your path as best you can and then doing better. And, yes, telling the truth, which cuts like a sword and leads you into mighty and fierce battles. And staying soft and vulnerable anyway.
I didn’t say it was easy. Worth it.
So hold on. Hold out. The best is yet to come. Seriously. It's why Prinxessas rule the world.
- Jennifer Appel