• Emily DeForest

Vol. 5

The 5th Volume.

This volume's Featured Artist is the stunning, warm, thoughtful, prolific, mulithyphenated, courageous, hilarious- I literally could just keep going- CASSIDY WINGATE!

Cassidy inspires me daily with her constant care and service to the artists in her realm. As an audience member, Cassidy's presence on stage and screen is an experience that equally sucks me in and lights me up. I'm excited to share her honest words and experience.

This Volume once again holds a lot of heart. Real grateful to this building community. Give it a scroll <3 Em



A poem thing by Hannah Myers

I’m holding a red balloon.

I’m sure it was.


Green Mountain Darling,

Top of the heap,

Mama said bye-bye, baby.

Alone now, so

Where’s my sister,


No, not the one still squatting in


I’m talkin’ about my sister.


You know.

Don’t pretend.

The one you promised me,

In the scribble juice

Pictures on the fridge.

You pointed, and said,

There she is.

Cookin’ up a storm.


Where is she?

Timer went off,

Roasted and rotated,

Soaked and cooled,

It’s about time she

Came on out of the oven.

Ain’t it?

I whisper into the red balloon,

And she grows up with my secrets.

“I miss you.

I miss you.

I miss you.

I wish.

I wish.

I wish we could have

Built mascara forts together


Borrowed all the tank tops

Or mistakes

Or both,

And visited each other on a late night bus,

No wifi,

When the heart needed its

Oil checked

Or the mind needed a


But really,

What I’m trying to say is.

I will miss you all my life.

Even though

We never met.

Sometimes I wonder

If you had all the answers to the pop quiz,

How to Woman in this World,

That I lost the cheat sheet for.

Somewhere at the bottom of my

Backpack, turned

Inside out.

Sometimes I wonder

If you could have protected me

From the scary boys

And the mean girls

And the green gum stuck on my sneaker.

Oh yea,

Did I tell you?

There are holes in my sneakers.

So when it rains,

It pours.

The river rises

And floods my feet with

Tears or tales of sisters long ago.

A land before time.

Some promised land of


Everyone eats the granola

And downloads the app,

To help them walk a mile

In someone else’s shoes.

But listen.

I can’t even seem to find my own.

Because of these


In my sneakers,

Lettin’ all the ghosts in.


I used to say…

“I got a song in my shoes.”

But the

Real deal


Tells me I have not aged

A bit.

Click, click,

No place like home.

Click, boo-bop,

No place ‘cept you.

Shoo-wop, bee-boo.

Tornado traffic

During rush hour

Tells me

This may be

All we get.

This could be


I released the balloon 4 feet from the ground and watched it navigate to Heaven. Attached to the string was my letter for Sarah, containing questions such as,

“What is life, and why are we here? Do you miss grass even though you’ve never touched it? Also, why does dad yell at mom when he brings home a Little Caesars pizza? Can you confirm that all dogs really do go to heaven? If so, do you think you could shazam one down to me to learn some basic responsibilities of animal care and cuddling?

Cool. Thanks. Please write back. I will no doubt need your help with some other projects in the pipeline.

Your sister,


p.s. if a rocket ship would expedite delivery, we can try for that next time... Lmk”


Rachel Esther Tate

I want to bathe in the sounds and be abducted by the light.

loneliness feels like freedom

or does freedom scream lonely?


Tyler Hathaway- i do try

I do try most every moment judging mistakes blemishes developing unforgiving expectations perfectionist philosophies unavoidably disappoint merciless constant eroding myself never okay why am I


How would you describe your current practice/passion in art?

I’ve been in the practice of learning to live and in the practice of letting go. Last year, I felt I was making strides. Signed with my first reps, made good work connections, some exciting auditions, but I still kept hitting walls. My self worth, energy exertion, attunement to my feelings and needs, my intimate relationships -- all these things were in a constant state of wavering stability and I would use my exterior accomplishments to distract myself from those problems, but that isn’t a system that works long term. You know that parable about the guy who built his house on sand and the one who built it on stone--the guy who built his house on sand did a quicker job and the house was beautiful but then when the first storm came, it all crumbled. The other builder made sure to build his house on rock, he took his time, and his house withstood the storm. I’m coming to realize that the first step is to get good with myself and give it due time. I have to create a strong relationship with myself and lay a foundation from which I can build up all other aspects of my life in a way that lasts. And then, regarding my work as an actor right now, I am practicing surrendering a lot of what I think I know about it. How can I come to it with a looser grip. I now understand that each project is a new process all together and that it is in process. We can allow the understanding that our responsibility to all of this just to show up, as we are and with what resources we have, and that’s it. It’s not my job to impress, be perfect, or achieve some merit--my job is to just be inside of the project and the process, give it my attention and my commitment, and see what happens.

What were your baby steps as an artist? In other words where and what do you come from?

I started as a classically trained singer in high school and college. While at uncsa, I began to be exposed to other disciplines and when I started learning about the acting school, that was it. It makes me think of those cartoons where there is a pie in the window cooling, and there is a dog sneaking up because it’s being lured in by the delicious wafts of hot pie smell. That was me, while majoring in singing and not knowing much about acting, but feeling intrinsically drawn to it and wanting a *taste*. Once I finally got some opportunities to try it, I found acting to provenly be the most therapeutic,unencumbered thing I had ever participated in. After my second year, I dropped out and moved to New York (still proud of a younger me feeling brave enough to make that decision). I focused on Physical Theater my first two years here (mask/clown/mime gigs, and assistant teaching in movement/mask at NYU and Suny Purchase), and loved it because physical theater it is a universally translatable form. But now, I’ve found there to be so much power in written text, in narrative, and the accessibility that forms like film and theater have to larger audiences (therefore allowing the widespread of ideas and connection). So, now I found myself here, focusing on that--but very grateful for all the things that got me here.

What is Sprout Works? Sprout Works is a theater company here in New York founded by and comprised of Actor-Producers Moni Bell, Tony Jenkins, and myself. We are a non-profit that focuses on developing new work, fostering community growth, and providing professional opportunities to early career artists. A big part of our values is to collaborate closely with the playwright and as much as possible/is helpful, include them in the step by step process of having their work brought to the stage.

What is something you’re really proud of? Sprout Works is one of the things I am most proud of, no question. To work with Tony and Moni is to feel fully safe, respected, motivated, inspired and genuinely enthusiastic about whatever lies ahead. I’m proud of the resources and platforms that we provide ourselves and others. I am proud of the subjects and stories we choose to endorse, and the quality of the work we’ve done thus far. It’s a constant privilege and joy to be a part of.

How do you balance the business of running a theatre company with the sensitive nature of being a growing artist?

This is such a good question, because I am still very much on the journey of figuring it out! 

To run my company is to have a space where my artistic opinions matters in an immediate and tangible way. It’s where I have the power to directly manifest opportunities for myself, where I can learn from new and diverse groups of collaborators, and where I can be educated about running a business. To do all of this takes a kind of applied focus and work unlike anything else I’ve ever done, which can take away from me spending more time with my work as an individual artist. Often too, my appetite is satiated enough with the work I do with my company, that I don’t feel the same urgency I did pre-company to focus on my development as a professional actor. But, in my heart, acting is my first priority. This has been on my mind a lot lately: how to balance the workload between Sprout Works and the efforts/attention that I want to give to my individual acting career.

Who are some artists and what works of art that inspire you?

So many! Sarah Paulson always. Kenny Leon’s direction of “Much Ado” for Shakespeare in the Park was one show I remember recently that took me on a full ride, top to bottom, feeling every emotion in the gamet (I was literally sobbing and joyful squealing the entire walk to the subway after) . Michael Urie’s performance alone in the Torch Song revival did the same thing for me, I feel like there was no stone left unturned. We felt everything! Like the funniest, the saddest, everything. I think people who do that are geniuses. Pleasure and Pain sensors live really close together in our brains. And I think we’ve long understood that comedy and tragedy walk hand in hand, so when I see actors/directors/shows that accomplish all of it in equal measure(like the ones listed above), I couldn’t ask for anything more. That’s what I’m here for.

What are some goals you have and what steps are you taking to get there? Man, creating stability in instability is a big goal. Like, have my daily rituals and routines locked the fuck down so that come what may, I’ll feel stable and secure. I’m taking baby steps with this one. I also want to start working with more people, find my way into rooms I’ve yet to be in and have entirely new conversations. Steps I’m taking is just trying to show up to everything and ask to join in, even if the asking feels scary. OOO and, I want to be making more money as an artist in the coming year! Steps I’m taking is to conduct myself as a business and remember that my work is work, and has monetary value.

Current mantra?



No WiFi-Rob Mcfeeley

Sugar dusted on a communal table,

idle chatter from these able-

bodied remote workers—“I’m more of 

an Instagram-er myself”—

and Lo, everyone’s iPhone announces

at the same time the rapture.

It looks exactly like a killer sale,


the milk and its thin crust,

the spin teacher’s gathered lust,

the child and his practiced moaning,

the barista’s pale eyes foaming:

All of it whirling and burning 

in a small glass cup.

And after, all that’s left of us is our eyes. 

We roll around the city 

swept only by a dry wind. 

Everyone likes it.

Dust and sugar and ash 

from the burnt streets and crust 

of unfinished errands embedded in 

in what was the whites of us. 

Everyone shares it—

a deliberate pile seems to be forming, 

is forming at what any tourist 

would call the center of town.

We a great ordered billiard rack of eyeballs 

now packed together and tightly

positioned by a newer wind. 

We a field of overripe eyeballs 

as far as anyone can see, 

bloodied and dented by endless looking; 


To look upon a crowd 

is to be both a part and apart from it. 

Prepare for the break with 

a fading memory of 

unpredictable glands and 

moods and gods. 

All of the energy of the universe 

gathers to will a decent end 

for our souls bound up 

in their windowed cages.

“You, Optometrist. I’ve got to know—

What did you have for breakfast? 

What year is it? Am I again 

the President? 

Am I again my eyes 

rolled back and straining 

to see from where inside me 

this endless ringing comes, 

what pieces of this machinery 

do not fit? 

What horrorshow vitamins

am I missing? 

Forgive me, 

I am not myself 

this morning. 

‘Physician, heal myself,’

and all that.

How are the ads performing?”

May all beings know peace,

or at the very least 

a thousand likes

on a peaceful post on the Great Wall.

Did you know you can see 

Facebook from space? 

Did you know I’ve been googling

for 15 years and all I have 

to show for it is erectile dysfunction?

Swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe,

my day a gutterball of delight,

a user experience wound tight

and singing.

“As you might have guessed, Lil, 

I’ve given up coffee 

and swapped in Victorian romances—

the idea of rapture, 

me a pretend Virgin in a garden, 

the air metallic with the smell of manure, 

me touching myself rudely under my dress, 

the dew seeping upward 

onto the paper beneath, 

my hero at the gate 

erect and entrepreneurial.”

Let all the clicks I’ve earned 

be turned to sudden gold, 

my blood in my veins 

shocked silver and 

I fixed finally into 

a filtered Star.


Emily DeForest- Naked Poem

Lately I’ve been feeling some kind of way.

 I enjoy this mania.

This mania being super productive...and slightly unstable. 

This mania that makes eating weird and decisions eratic. 



I give you my hands- nails bitten, scars glisten, deep heart lines.

Scars from dog bites, cat scratches, little burns

 (proof of cooking abilities)

(or lack thereof)

Left handed witchy wannabe

 that gets in a lot more trouble 

than anyone really should.

I’m real angry

Anger unfelt 

Turns to



Tense shoulders.

The relationships we have with our parents.

Turned trauma

To be the blueprints 

Of relationships to come.

Picking at scabs of zits past.


These are some lessons I’ve gathered

Meditated on


Moved through recently-

I realize that the way i fuck

Reflects how I don’t trust you.

Don’t trust men.

Unpacking to do.

It’s a slow unpeeling.

How I feel really into rap lately.

I wanna bump, I wanna grind, I wanna shout.

How I’m feeling my boundaries burn away

My vision clear.

This is how I give myself nutrience.

Blueberries, kale, passionate masturbation in the morning time.

Thoughts of quitting cigarettes for lunch.

Smoking 3 more for dinner.

2 for dessert.


BAD DREAM A dialogue with silence for one actor By Matthew Van Gessel 

LOCATION. Anywhere public. 

Mark is mid-twenties and sits on a stool. He is dressed plainly. He is polite and confident when he speaks yet there is something about him that seems like he may collapse in to himself at any moment. 

MARK. You know, babe, I’ve never really cared about hearing other peoples dreams. 

Generally I find it so uninteresting. 

Yeah cuz like, people will be talking about what happened, ya know, like, it was my mom but not my mom, ya know? Like they’re telling you what happened even though that may be totally nonsensical and has like no real resonance with you as a person. AND it’s boring and totally impossible to follow. Because whats really important is the way a dream makes you feel. Right? At least I think so. Do you know what I’m talking about? 

No go ahead, answer it, it’s fine. 

So, like I was saying, the only reoccurring dream I really have ever had was about- 


It wasn’t about anything, really. Anything except the feeling. 

Sorry, this is a little harder to talk about than I thought. 

Ok ok, so the dream is this. I’m laying in bed. Lying? Laying, whatever. Like, the same bed that Im sleeping in in real life. Which was a bunk bed by the way. So already super meta dream. And I’m almost asleep, like I am in real life and I have this understanding of my circumstances. Like, all the givens are already implanted in my head. And the the circumstance. The past. I’ve murdered this guy. Or kid, or whatever. But thats like, not an event in the dream. I just know somehow that I have done this horrible thing, for what reason I don’t know, I just know I’ve done it and its all my fault. I’ve killed this jock, this buff, blonde haired, letterman jacket wearing douche type. He’s like a character from an Archie comic on steroids. 

Um or, he’s like Biff from Back to the Future. Got it now? A bully. And I don’t know how, and I’m not sure why, but I’ve killed him. And his body is under my bed. Oh right, I forgot to mention that, for some dumbass reason I’ve hid his body under my bed. 

No don’t worry, you gotta do what you gotta do. 

Everything Ok? 

Well anyway, that’s the dream. Like, thats it. It’s just me sitting in that feeling. Of those circumstances. 

I don’t think after all the times I’ve had more or less that same dream anything really happens. 

I have never before woken up so relived as when I woke up from that dream. Well, nightmare I guess. I would wake up and it would take longer than usual for that feeling of relief, the feeling of knowing it was all fake, for that feeling to set in. 

Wow you are blowing up. 

Who is it? 

Hm ok. 

Like I was saying, even though the circumstances were always the same, the dream would manifest itself differently. 

Like, I’d be thinking about what will my parents think. What will they say when they find out. I first started having this dream pretty young. Like middle school or something. Maybe even younger. What would my friends think when they find out? What would this guys parents think when they find out. The huge amount of shame felt like it was literally weighing me down. The immense disappointment that my family would probably feel. The future. Futures I had carelessly squandered. Including my own. 

The dream always felt so real, because it basically was. Except I had killed a guy. 

Which I‘ve never done by the way. 


But anyway I haven’t had that dream in years. 

Except for last night. 


And all I could think about this time was how guilty I would feel if you found out. Found out that I had killed someone. 

And when I woke up this morning I was going through all the different things it could possibly mean. Because like, I’ve never cheated on you, you know that. I never would. I’m a pretty honest guy I think and thats why 

This is a little hard The dream made me realize something I think I’ve known deep down for a while now but I finally have to let it out. 

I think we both know. Chloe I don’t- 

You getting a call? 

It’s ok take it. 

Oh no no never mind. It’s not important. 



This one is wild. Shine Fu and I met on a Friday night on 2nd Ave-E 3rd st, and everybody was out to play.

Her fire single LIT LIKE SUNSHINE was being played over some speakers outside the bar I was at. There were a crowd of dancers beep bopping and having the best time. I started dancing too, I couldn't help myself.

I asked who's song was playing, the man with the speakers pointed to her.

I fan girled.

Check her single out on her website and give her a follow on insta.


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