Staff videographer and social butterfly Aurea Astro is something of a staple at Inferno dances. Her cheery disposition and enthusiasm for everything Inferno combine to form a potent cocktail that will get just about anyone in the spirit of things – perhaps we need a drink special called the Astro! You will be hard pressed to catch her without camera in hand as she is always looking to record you and your peeps sharing good times. We are pleased to have a Q & A featuring Aurea in Scene On The Scene, as she will be out and about at many of our upcoming dances. Many of you know she is regularly on the prowl at our Seattle location and now she is headed out for more. We couldn’t be more excited to have her at our 8 year Anniversary Party in Portland January 28th with a visit to San Diego on February 4th to top it all off! Be ready because she will be looking for you!
1) You are quite passionate about the Inferno-Hot Flash dances – what exactly is it that has you dedicated to these events?
I feel confident, loved, and special when I’m at Hot Flash. I didn’t have positive feedback growing up, my self-image as a young adult was abysmal. Hot Flash was my first sustained taste of positive feedback – and it’s constant and reliable. Hot Flash is my bimonthly taste of the state of being secure, self-assured, and in love with life. I feel like I reach self-actualization every time I attend. It’s the only space and time where I feel like I can truly be me.
2) How long have you been interested in photography/being a videographer?
For the last 2 years. I asked my graduate school professor whether I could do something alternative to writing a paper for a final project and he suggested making a video. I picked up an old video camera and took to the streets to ask people what they thought about economic development in Rainier Valley (a particular part of Seattle). I had so much fun meandering around and talking to strangers, and then with the subsequent editing process, that I was hooked. I went from a dreary state of feeling like a wannabe banker who would never be, to a hopeful product of discovering one’s passion.
The face of happiness and confidence among people who didn’t grow up with it.
4) I read somewhere that you love documentaries, why?
I love eccentric people and the ugly side of reality, and want the wallflowers of the world to be aware of what exists beyond the four corners of their lawn. Video – documentaries, specifically – can bring all that exists /out there/ in here. I think they’re a great tool for opening the minds and mindsets of those who write the rules I have to live by. I don’t like many of those rules, and I think it’s because the drivers aren’t aware of what’s going on at a basic level of humanity. Documentaries often magnify these quarks in people and expose them for all their similarities to the greater community. I like digging into the dark closets of the human psyche and showing the “happy normal people” how they’re no different than the homeless crack addict or sexaholic; privilege and chance set them on a different path.
5) Do you have any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for and is there a website where people can view your work?
The Hot Flash Documentary!!!
6) If you were a cartoon character who would you be?
The head of Goofy on the body of Eore.
Yes; tis my birth name. Aurea Amanda Sari Marie Astro, to be specific. My parents were hippies. My twitter handle is @ItsReallyMyName because everyone asks me that same question. Aurea is gold in Latin or something, and Astro was shortened by my grandpa legally from Astromovich.
8) Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is on it?
I’m going to infer what “bucket list” means but… in 2012 its to submit a feature-length documentary (hence the Hot Flash documentary is full steam ahead), and a short film (there’s a few in the works at the moment). In addition, before I die I want to:
Influence local public policy by way of film
Be mutually in love
Be confident in front of arrogant straight white rich men
Avoid any prolonged time in a cubicle
Learn to fry eggs
Go surfing in Bali
9) Do you have other hobbies or interests that you are passionate about?
Like a good lesbian, I really love my dog and animals in general. Beyond videography, video editing, and documentaries, I really love surfing and skimboarding.
10) Do you have a favorite memory or story from an Inferno-Hot Flash Dance that you would like to share?
The 7th anniversary of Hot Flash was epic. Joyce proposed to Pauline and I remember standing on the stage with my video camera and scanning a crowd of over 400 women whooping and hollering when Pauline said “yes.” The sense of communal affection among strangers so overwhelming I had to stop filming and wipe my eyes.