(Eva Tenuto, on stage sharing a true story)
Basic bio: Eva is a Gen-X storyteller who co-founded and leads TMI Project, a non-profit that helps people divulge the “TMI” parts of their stories that they usually leave out. She also co-hosts the TMI Project Podcast, which features true stories by people from historically underrepresented populations often overlooked by mainstream media.
Beyond the bio: One of the most rewarding parts of doing the work I do is seeing what storytellers look like when they step off the stage. It often looks like they’re floating out of the theater. They look taller; lighter. It’s as if something has truly been lifted. To be able to witness that repeatedly fills my spirit. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
What makes you a grown-ass lady? I finally make life choices based on what serves me best and what I’m actually capable of, rather than based on what I expect I should be able to do, or what I think others expect from me.
Here’s her TueNight 10:
1. On the nightstand: Phone, lots of jewelry I haven’t worn in nearly a year, empty vials of Omega 3 infused with melatonin, my glasses (progressives, of course), water, and possibly a puppy harness.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: I won’t stop working with people to share the stories they need to tell in order to free themselves of the burdens of shame and stigma.
3. Jam of the minute: I’m obsessed with a dance class I take a few times a week; it’s my middle-aged way of going clubbing. My current favorite song to dance to is “Cunanga” by Os Paulatinamente.
4. Thing I miss: Hugging my nephew and holding my niece.
5. ’80s crush: Prince.
6. Current crush: Prince (and Lizzo, but it will always be Prince forever!).
7. Latest fave find: This Zyllion Shiatsu heated back and neck massager! It’s helped these months when bodywork has been hard to come by.
8. Last thing you lost: When I’m stressed the first thing I lose is word retrieval.
9. Best thing that happened recently: Dr. Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins (Audre Lorde’s daughter) read “The Mother”, a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, on a recent segment of Inside Black Stories Matter, a quarterly TMI Project program. I was in awe and it was an honor to bear witness.
10. Looking forward to: Hugging people I love and seeing their unmasked smiles.