A Texas native, Tina Vernon is all too familiar with what it means to forge new frontiers. Her debut EP, Flight Risk, pays homage to this self proclaimed gypsy child’s early beginnings by mixing folk, soul, jazz and rock like you’ve never quite heard them before. Defying any true classification, hers is a sound that borrows from everywhere, yet finds distinction in the unique quality of her voice and lyrical perspective. Vernon is adept at penning portraits of humankind with piercing emotional accuracy, and delivering them vocally with all the candor of someone who makes no apologies for who she is or what she’s seen.
An interesting collision between small town warm and city dweller sharp, riding the line in between most things is where Vernon considers herself most comfortable. It is the governing philosophy of her life. “Truth is relative. It lives in the middle for me. Because the middle can hold contradiction, tension…contrast. I feel that way about everything: religion, politics, sexulity. I guess it’s another way of being without definition. It’s freedom. If you’ve spent anytime locked up, you know how important that is.”
Flight Risk melds Vernon’s music, for the first time, with her theatre work (Vernon is also an accomplished playwright and actor) by serving as the score for WANTED, a solo play exploring freedom, desire, and the question of belonging and identity. Inspired by Vernon’s time spent in a juvenile detention facility as a young child, the piece fuses music, poetic narrative and multi-media to tell the story of what it means to be silenced by the circumstances of one’s life and the absolute necessity of reclaiming one’s voice. First read in New York as part of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival and then developed at the New York Theatre Workshop, WANTED had since been produced in Seattle in a co-production between the Hansberry Project, Theatre Off Jackson and Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas. It will be presented in Dallas, April 2013.
“I don’t feel like I have to choose anymore. All of the things I do finally seem to fit. I feel like a mom with triplets. Stressed as hell some days. But loving the experience of watching them all grow up together.”