I don’t have a TV, I rarely get out and admittedly, I’ve never been to a book reading… but it was quite special getting my listener’s cherry popped Wednesday night by one of ChinaShop’s own Teresa Jusino as she read some of her work at The Talking Stick in Venice.
Teresa, a talented New York based writer and activist from Queens, is in Los Angeles for a limited time in support of her contribution to the recently published book Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon By the Women Who Love Them.
Reading to an attentive room of fans and strangers, Teresa first unveiled an enchanting original sci-fi short entitled “How to Be Ignored at Parties” (inspired by Neil Gaiman’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties). I was instantaneously sucked into the world she created with her prose. The quaint venue is a Venice art hub on Lincoln Blvd. that hosts live music, poetry, art, and other expressions 7 nights a week and it was the perfect forum for the reading and is in general a great place to soak up some espresso and inspiration.
The story was acknowledge with boisterous applause and followed by Teresa’s reading of her Whedonistas essay. If you don’t know who Joseph Hill “Joss” Whedon is, as I didn’t, you surely know his work as he is the creator of cult favorites Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse. If there is one thing I took from Teresa’s reverie on Whedon, it is that the man “gives voice to the voiceless” creating works where the underdog, minority, and outcast are the hero.
Teresa has a certain Whedon-ness to her. She uses her voice to mobilize the GeekGirl community and bring awareness to causes close to her heart. She genuinely loves writing about and supporting geek culture.
Teresa’s love is reciprocated by her fans. When she was invited to be a part of the Gallifrey One Whedonistas Panel, Teresa reached out to some key players in the geek girl community to help her raise money to get to LA. She invited fans to buy her chapbook and spread the word through her blog and twitter, creating the hashtag #sendteresatogally. People answered the call with overwhelming response raising the funds necessary to facilitate the cross country trip.
Teresa is grateful for the support and values the community of which she is such an integral part. For her they are not mere fans, but more-so friends, community, and movement.
Catch this self proclaimed “Writer, Badass, GeekGirl” this weekend at Gallifrey One and be sure to check out her blog The Teresa Jusino Experience. You can also read her ChinaShop contributions here and see what she’s up to in LA on her twitter here.
Words and photos by Mike Bucher