On the Couch with Ty Autry

Ty-Autry-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Ty Autry?
Ty is many things, but primarily a Southern Queer creative, taking bits of my past, culture, and history to blend them into beautiful stories. I grew up in the Deep South part of Georgia, where it touches Florida and Alabama. Cotton fields, pecan groves, and peanuts surrounded me on the daily, and dirt roads were common where I was growing up.

In 2011, I left for the big city of Atlanta and pursued my degree in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech. After graduating in 2015, I turned down a job or two and decided to go after my real dream of performing.

Since then, I graduated from Atlantic Acting School in New York City, even taught there for a time, and started to write and produce my own work. My passions also expand to cooking and to eating good food, playing board games, and reading when I have the time.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Relax more into the work. I can put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, produce, and get it right. This idea of “right” that doesn’t let me trust myself fully. It is still a learning process, learning to trust myself and the work.

Who inspires you and why?
My close group of friends and family inspire me every day. Many of them didn’t come from much and are forging their own path. Many of them, if not all, blend a creative side with a logical side. They know what they are passionate about and aren’t afraid to learn new skills to go after their dreams. They are my solid foundation and my support.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe I already am through the stories I’m telling. In order to make a difference in the world, we need to touch a few souls with our art, and we don’t have to go mainstream to make a difference with it. That is the pure joy of performing at fringe festivals, and you get to engage with an audience hungry for art, change, and story.

So, I would and will keep doing what I’m doing to make a difference in the world. Telling stories that unearth trauma that needs to be healed, dismantling faith and reconstructing it for the modern age, and asking questions of our current ideological structure.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I recently got the chance to visit Barcelona for the first time, and I cannot stop thinking about it. Every single person who lives there loves their city, so when you ask them about Barcelona, they gush over it like a lover. It is intoxicating! Not to mention, the food is probably some of the best I’ve had in my travels.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Atlanta is the heart of the South, and the greatest attraction is food in the South. Let’s be real, y’all. A few of my favorite spots in Atlanta are The Lawrence, Fox Brothers BBQ, Après Diem, Babs, Wa-Ga-Ya, The Optimist, and Victory Sandwich Bar.

What are you currently reading?
Gay Bars: Why We Went Out by Jeremy Atherton Lin. A beautiful book on the rise and fall of gay bars from London to San Francisco. It is a lovely exploration using personal stories of why queer spaces for queer people matter.

What are you currently listening to?
Midnights (3am Edition) by Taylor Swift, Dirt Femme by Tove Lo, BIG! by Betty Who, Special by Lizzo, and Dance Fever by Florence + the Machine.

Happiness is?
Contentment. Point blank.

What does the future hold for you?
Outside of the Australian tour I’m doing right now, I’m currently producing and writing a few new plays. One of which, At Birth, I’m taking on a European and North American tour in just a few months. Hopefully, a lot more writing, performing and traveling.

Ty performs his one-man-show, A Southern Fairytale at The Butterfly Club as part of the 2023 Midsumma Festival (30 January – 4 February), before playing at Perth’s Fringe World (16 – 19 February) and Adelaide Fringe (16 – 18 March). For more information, visit: www.jtyautry.com for details.

Image: Ty Autry (supplied)