Alicia “Vida” Ortiz has a powerful voice, whether she’s leading a rally on a bullhorn, delivering a speech, reading a poem or singing sweet melodies and belting strong harmonies. Although Alicia has been musically inclined her whole life (6-year-old Alicia asserted that she wanted to be a singer, and 12-year-old Alicia started piano lessons in preparation for studying music in college), she has only been seriously focused on developing herself creatively for a short time. She publicly performed her first original song the summer of 2010 and stepped onto Albany’s Urban Guerilla Theatre scene that winter. She credits her powerhouse soprano vocal range to the years spent in her college gospel choir. Alicia ended up attending SUNY New Paltz and studying sociology. Her firm social consciousness led her to pursue a variety of career paths and community engagement activities ranging from union organizing, to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer rights advocacy, to facilitating women’s self dense classes. Upon moving back to the Albany area in 2009, she began performing regularly with “Taina Asili y La Banda Rebelde” as the latin-fusion band’s secondary vocalist. Little by little, Alicia pushed herself to write poetry and song lyrics more often, fiddle with various instruments, take on new singing and collaboration opportunities and lighten up on her creative self-criticism. Most recently Alicia has blended her social activism and creative expression, performing at area labor rallies and the Empire State Pride Agenda’s 2012 “Equality & Justice” advocacy day. She is focusing on her piano and songwriting skills, and has reignited her childhood aspirations of attending music school. Her process of unblocking herself creatively is ongoing and has involved developing a deeper spiritual relationship with herself. She is thankful to “The Artist’s Way” book, and Unity Church in Albany for helping her remember that infinite creativity exists within all of us, and expressing that creativity is part of our purpose on this planet. She invites you to join her on her journey.
I determine my happiness today.
At least that’s what I say-
To shift the attitude of analysis & paralysis
Allowing my confidence to waiver,
My brain to repeat every word after petty word,
…to affect me.
The you that flows from you when you don’t want it to.
The tears that spill from your eyes even though you tell them not to.
The lower lip that trembles when you’re embarassed that you did something you weren’t supposed to…and now someone’s hurt, and you’re too ashamed to. . .
you’re too ashamed to…
You’re too ashamed.
Ashamed to admit a mistake.
Ashamed to admit you broke off more than you could take, and…
you didn’t know how to give it back.
Ashamed that you’re YOU.
Raw flawed human.
Beautifully imperfect creation.