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Joe Hutchinson

f80366769849bbd696ef23f5c698beaeWhen I turned 20, it didn’t occur to me that when my father was that age, I had already been born.  Perhaps it was because, at the time, I was preoccupied with things like how to clear up my acne and tell my parents that not only was I no longer interested in community college, but that I was definitely interested in my friend Rick.  I turned 39 last week.  And I had a very present awareness that when my father was that age, he was busy dealing with me and all the things I mentioned above.  Needless to say, my year as a 39-year-old will probably be quite different than his.

074eea16edd230f39fa5b52312065a7aI realize now, as many of us must have along the way, that it’s not the aging process itself that I fear.  I do my best to only fear things which I have a moderate amount of control over, like icky spiders and abdominal fat.  But I realize it is the stigma of age that I fear most.  When people ask my age, it’s not the number that scares me, but their reaction.

“Oh.  Wow.  Well, you don’t look 39,” they say reassuringly, as if I should be grateful not to look like what I actually am; as if they are really saying, “Oh.  Wow.  You don’t look like you’re basically just about half way through your life.”

575155_3954128652060_1805545781_nWhile I have not let this cause me to lie about my age, I have taken to speaking about it in a fashion which some may call convoluted.  I was happy to turn thirty.  And it was always easy to say I was in my early thirties.  So easy that I did it until I was 35.  I was then forced by sheer mathematical logic to claim my mid-thirties.  I continued this for a few years.

f81ac9604ea8dc1a607b687fa61a5062At 37, I began to refer to myself as being in my “early-late thirties”, which is not too far a stretch of the imagination: if your late thirties are from 37 through 39, then 37 is obviously the early part of that period.  Following this logic, 38 was obviously my “mid-late thirties.”  The logic, however, has turned against me this year.  I’m not terribly fond of the way “late-late thirties” sounds.  So I think I’m just going to say 39.  It’s a good number.  Divisible by 13, which everyone knows is lucky.

2eebca452523cc645914e05c8a33b78bIt’s a milestone. Or rather, it’s the eve of the milestone of turning 40.  It’s the last year before officially embracing being called “middle-aged.”  I think I might like the sound of “early-middle aged.”

 

 

 


9958ca31ae0fcc033354e791a1c1d8fbJoe Hutcheson is a writer, actor, teacher, and solo performer living in New York City.  Raised in California, Joe received a BFA in Theatre from Cal State Fullerton and an MFA in Acting from the University of Florida.  He also spent a summer in London studying Shakespeare and the classics at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Since moving to New York City, Joe has written and produced several solo plays, including Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown (FringeNYC 2010 Overall Excellence Award, Critics’ Pick of the 2011 Cincinnati Fringe Award) which has appeared in several theaters in and out of NYC including the Times Square Art Center, the Cherry Lane Theatre, and the Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

356d7a2c1315ec8df8eac632a0d75a6aRecently, Joe’s solo show Son of a Hutch ran at Stage Left Studio NYC as part of the 2013 Left Out Festival, a festival for emerging LGBTQ theatre, and enjoyed two extensions over the summer.

More information and reviews about these shows can be found at www.JoeHutcheson.com.  Joe has taught for Rosie’s Theatre Kids (NYC), the Professional Performing Arts School (NYC), Red Mountain Theatre Company (Birmingham, AL), and Borough of Manhattan Community College.  Joe is also a certified yoga instructor.

 

 

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Carl Green

35508_3953503036420_636498624_nI now think in decades.  What a downer when that fact hit me like running into a brick wall.  It was about the same time the grocery store clerk began calling me “sir” and 50 was quickly approaching. After a period of sulking and grieving my perceived loss of youth, a new awareness emerged . One where my past brings a perspective that is freeing and empowering.

561568_425545957521798_1188919974_nGrowing up in a small North Carolina town I didn’t have the words, role models or concepts to understand who I was.  The internal struggle of knowing there was a difference but without an understanding created internal havoc. Grappling with this internal tension through childhood and teenage years coupled with a fundamentalist religious environment brought internal pain, social and personal repression. I grew into adulthood  feeling stymied, not living, but getting through life.

222430_1035753061631_4549_nAfter a long journey and finally embracing my identity as a gay man in my thirties, it was shocking to learn how heavy a burden I carried and how much of life i was missing. With that weight removed, I was able to gain internal peace, and experience greater happiness and love by living freely and fully.

That new realization empowered me with a  determination to embrace life and to make up for lost time.

522238_3706531342282_1500340786_nAs my birthdays come faster and the double digits climb, I have made a choice to continue this journey of living life fully with an even greater intensity.  My appetite for loving life continues to grow. My energies are focused on those things that bring positive vibes or serve a greater good. I am thankful to have a partner, Keith, who celebrates my desire to make up for years past even if it means playfully trying a new experience or considering a crazy idea. He encourages me to follow my dreams and to dream bigger.

221944_2047074335315_8010454_nPart of my embracing life is giving back by motivating others to full living.   In addition to local community involvement and promoting inclusion in all facets, I encourage others to honor their spiritual side. I seek to provide an alternate voice to the subculture that has been promoted as Christianity. The negative perception of the Christian faith in our GLBT community has been rightfully earned by those that hijack its tradition with right wing politics and fear based teaching that has crowded out the actual teachings of Jesus. My hope is to help others realize, within their own faith tradition, that embracing spirituality or being part of a community of faith are not mutually exclusive.

544206_350221515083593_1869486955_nLife is short. I will intentionally embrace, sample and savor new experiences and  confidently walk through open doors.   I see life as an hourglass placed on a table that I cannot turn over.  Each of those grains of sand are precious and I am determined to honor each one.

 

282830_534501506574648_1301062110_n  553004_356684244437320_2001984115_n 575155_3954128652060_1805545781_n  179024_10200327239321914_1553515537_n 64609_10200251860639601_1580695055_n  64604_10101168622019175_619055539_n