DENNIS: We’ll start with the easy. Just say your name and then how do we find you on Social Media?
AUDREY:My name is Audrey Elaine Hailes. I’m on Facebook, Audrey Hailes, and Instagram as AudroHeylow. Which is spelled Audro H-E-Y-L-O-W. Silly, but you know, that’s what it is...umm and that is it.
D: Cool. What does storytelling mean to you?
A: Uhhh...storytelling. that’s a curious question. Storytelling is our first, last, and most essential form of education...umm and, our like, yeah. Storytelling is our blood, you know? as far as DNA and spirit umm...transcends time and space. Storytelling is...storytelling is the way we are all connected to each other. the way we all stay connected to each other...um yeah.
D: What story or stories do you want to give life to?
A: Well, I’ve been working with young black girls... umm... on some shit. umm...yeah on some really dope shit...uhh with Camille A. Brown, choreographer. She’s got a dope initiative called Black Girl Spectrum.
anyways, so we have been workin’ with some 7th and 8th girls around social dancin’ and empowerment, and they have so much to say about how exactly fly they know they are. And it is a beautiful thing to watch them be like “Yeah, I know I’m not perfect but in this moment I think that I’m perfect so, you just gon’ have to deal with it.” I would like to spend more time highlighting those truths. umm those...those um...those everyday powers and BRILLIANCE...yeah.
D: In a few words, what is the term “the new black to you?”
A: Yeah, indeed. everybody’s talkin’ about it. The new black? I dunno...the new black...? If anything that, you know, I’m interested iN; is just the true Black. I feel like the "new black" for me ... umm is a way to just uhh...what’s that word? Strip away umm all of the the oppressive ass constructions that blackness has...uh... was created to mean and just get back to uhh...what the fuck it actually is... umm so...the new black, hashtag - the true black. (Laughs) That’s what I think.
D: And then this monologue. what is it? why is it important to you? what does it mean to you?
A: Shout out Aziza! Aziza Barnes! Umm...yeah, the monologue is kind of...I dunno...I feel...Uh...I have felt workin’ on this, connected to...uhh connected to this --this .. story. I mean, there’s a chunk where shes like, “(sigh) I dunno and I keep saying I dunno and expecting instant knowing to descend upon a bitch.” Like, that phrase is something...umm...(Laugh) I’m not sure a lot of people struggle with, but it’s definitely something I struggle with. like, I just don’t know and not being able to move until you do know. but, that shit doesn’t happen like that. you just have to move not knowing, and love not knowing, and trust not knowing. yeah, I feel like that’s a really fucking important umm...important idea -- is to love; even if you don’t know.