Tessa Mize – Interview for I Am Me – TRD Photography
Several years ago, if you’ve followed my work with TRD Photography, you may remember a magazine project I worked on entitled I Am Me. Recently, I decided to reinvent the concept behind I Am Me to use it to share stories of people and what makes them who they are today. We all have a story and my goal is to share these stories of what makes us who we are, hopefully when we see others for who they are behind the surface, we can move to a better place in humanity.
I actually met Tessa several years ago when I had the concept of the first launch of I Am Me. We have become pretty good friends since and I asked her to be a part of this debut sharing her story of her passion for music and how it has helped to shape her. I hope that you enjoy it…
IAMM – You’ve been involved heavily in music since I’ve known you, what
about music caught your attention in the beginning?
Tessa – It was happy. It was raw emotion. Music says everything that
no one even can in any other way. Before I could walk I would crawl
into my aunt’s room and sit captivatedas she played her flute. I sang to
forget problems. It felt like the most important possession I had. It still is.
I think if you are a music person you are just born obsessed with it.
IAMM – Musically, who has been your inspiration over the years?
Tessa – Amusingly I am all over the board. There can’t be only one. Rush
is a huge deal to me. My dad’s favorite was Rush so I began at a young age.
Ian Anderson, Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, Evanescence, Halestorm, A Perfect Circle, NIN, Tool, Floyd, Zepplin. All of these artists have hit home more than a few times, so I draw from them all. I don’t want to be one genre. I want to be most of them.
IAMM – Do you play any instruments or do you mainly sing?
Tessa – Actually I can play flute and piccolo. I have been attempting learning guitar here & there. I was a band geek from 6-12th grade so I made everyone I was friends with teach me a little of their instrument. So I have toyed with oboe, trumpet, drums, and stuff.
IAMM – If you could do anything in the world that involves music, what would you want to do?
Tessa – I would be in a band. Singing my heart out. Touring. Making albums. Getting paid to do what makes my heart sing. All I have ever wanted to do is sing. Dj/kj’ing is doing the trick for now. But a stadium full of people is what I really want. Dancing & singing along to my music.
IAMM – What’s the best part about doing DJ work?.
Tessa – The best part is getting people on the dance floor, and all the
reactions when I do a karaoke song. I once had a girl stop me on the way to
the restroom one time, and say man you are a tiny little thing. I never expected a voice that big to come out of you. (We became close friends later too) You get to meet all kinds of people. It is a blast.
IAMM – What has been the most adversity that you’ve faced with music?
Tessa – There will always be negative people. Luckily the worst I have come
across is that most rock groups want a male lead. They still underestimate
women. And that’s okay. One day though…
IAMM – As a mom, how important is it to you for your kids to see you really
going for your goals?
Tessa – I am two semesters away from my associates in English. I want
them to see that you can chase your dreams AND have a contingency plan for the during. I am very hard on them about the word can’t. I think it is one of the words that makes me twitch most when it comes out of their mouths. I want themto do whatever they dream. Kira wants to be an artist. Vincent is still at the agewhere he’s like, mom I want to be Batman,
& I’m like, dude if you want to be Batman I am all about it. Batman is awesome!
IAMM – A lot of people have dreams when they are younger, they want to be rock stars or ballplayers or movie stars or astronauts or whatever, then as they grow older, they put them aside and work in a factory or office
somewhere. Yet here you are, not necessarily living your dream, but you are working in the industry you love, and you still are holding onto your dream. What has allowed you to keep hold of your dream where others have let go of theirs?
Tessa – I am stubborn like my nana & determined like my pop. I don’t let go of things that are important to me very easily. My grandparents on both sides were so incredibly supportive of my music that if I gave it up I wouldn’t just be letting me down. I would be letting down my support group, and allthose I love. I owe them success, or at least I feel like I do.
IAMM – In previous conversations, you’ve talked about your writing. Who inspires you at a writer?
Tessa – My first literary love was Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. I still adore the book, though now I view the meaning very double edged. I also love Edna St. Vincent Millay & Poe. & I am big into Ayn Rand. Philosophy is stinking awesome.
IAMM – I’m a huge Poe fan myself. To wrap things up, what is a final thought you’d like to share with those of us that may have put our dreams up on a shelf at some point?
Tessa – Other than your family, debt, beliefs, where is your passion going if your dreams are sitting on the shelf? I just feel like if you give up on them, then you have given up the thing that makes you you the most. I am finally at a point where I like me. That is part of the package. I am lucky that I have a guy that helps instill that in our kids. & that supports it in me. Giving up isn’t an option..In the words of my favorite blind melon song, keep on dreaming cause when you stop dreaming then it’s time to die.
I truly hoped that you enjoyed reading Tessa’s story. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment below.
Thank you so much,