My name is Tahiris and I am of mixed Caribbean heritage. Tahiris is a Taino name (indigenous Caribbean) that I have claimed to decolonize and reclaim my identity. I am a trans femme actor, deviser and director, and bartender just to pay my bills. My pronouns are she/they.
On the perfect day in Soho:
I have a hard time with the concept of “the perfect day” as my life is always more about finding the balance in the storm and maybe some glimmers. But the ideal would be to get two pastel de nata (one classic with custard cream an one with strawberries) from a local Portuguese shop, and then sit in a corner of Soho and people-watch.
[I’m struggling with] surviving. From both a financial point of view and mental point of view. This city has become extremely hostile for people from working class backgrounds, and doing work that is not related with my acting craft, or allows for my self expression, really makes me feel miserable.
On surprising others:
[People are often surprised to find that] as much as I am a very hedonist and loud-laughing soul, I value silence a lot – or, rather, quietness. I love to almost hear what’s underneath.
The audience reactions I had to my self-devised, solo show about my Identity [keep me hopeful]. Seeing white people and people of colour, together, being emotionally hit and stunned by my first work (that is autobiographical) was proof that I am on the right path. I just need to trust the process and my craft. There will be that one person that will fall in love with my show and will want to produce it.
When I was 17, I was living in a small town in Italy, and me and my mum were at the end of our moving-out process (we were actually pros at moving between places). As we got in the car, my mum was looking very tired and I half-jokingly asked her “Mum, do you want me to drive?” and she said yes! I drove all the way to our new place without a licence. When we arrived, I asked her “Why did you let me drive? How could you trust me?” and she said “Trust is a precious gift. If you never give it to someone they will never trust themselves.”