Aolani ‘Lani’ Tagle is an orb of gentle chaos and also a multidisciplinary artist. You can find her chipping off her freshly painted nail polish or on the hunt for pickle chips. She is graduating from the International School of The Americas and has been a student with SAY SI for almost 7 years; 3 years exploring WAM and 4 years concentrating in the Teatro ALAS studio. Lani’s humble beginnings at SAY Sí mainly took form as written poetry and movement based work.
Now as Lani continues to explore herself as an artist, she follows the path of performance and visual art. Lani’s time at SAY Sí has exposed her to the value of taking up space. A once-shy middle schooler with stage fright has blossomed into a Liaison and Mentor who freely explores her passions. Lani’s highlight of her time at SAY Sí was Napako, a movement based show inspired by the Lower Pecos River Valley Rock art that depicted an origin story of our ancestors, a map of South Texas, a timeline of the stars that repeats every 4,295 years, and the colonization of the San Antonio missions. This show has inspired Lani to embrace her own roots and develop the personal essential question: “What does it mean to be human?”
Lani is inspired by music and art that explores the fundamentals of this essential question. She believes that art should be used to seek gratitude for being able to live on such a beautiful planet despite its flaws, as well as speak about ways humans can solve the problems we have given birth to on Earth. After graduation, Lani will be studying studio art at the University of Texas at San Antonio and wishes to get involved with permanent body art.
My growth in becoming an actor coincides with my growth in learning what it means to be vulnerable. Throughout my 7 years in the theatre studio, I found myself becoming extremely confident on the exterior, but with slow interior growth. I had to repeatedly learned how to remove myself from the characters I portrayed in order to fully embody their full potential so often, that I felt that I lost myself in the process. I found myself needing a “script” in real life; planning what I was going to say word for word during improv, school presentations, or conversations with close friends.
When I would act as a character, I found myself the most successful at performing. But when I was delivering a presentation about a chosen country’s chance on nuclear radiation as myself, without fail I would turn bright red and shake even long after my presentation. I could not be vulnerable as my authentic self. I felt like a child with no depth. Even I did not know who I was.
My last four years allowed me to experience things that broke down the walls that made me hide behind a script, things such as grief, the ups and downs of mental health, practicing mindfulness and spiritually, and romantic love. In realizing this, I want nothing more than to recognize who I am as a raw spontaneous human being with no connections to what I consume.
During high school, I participated in a small zine-club and fell in love with the art of these independent mini magazines. From information on activism to stories about flatulence, you can seriously do and say anything through zines. This form of expression, lighthearted or serious, is accessible and diverse. After a lot of scrapping ideas of what this senior thesis was going to look like, I’m very grateful that I am here honoring my love of zines.
In this zine, I explore what it means to be vulnerable within the human experience through original art, audio clips, music, poetry, and collage material. This piece touches on topics such as love, growth, mental health, and just being human.
Vulnerable is the most human anyone can be.