Written by Zach Dalton
This issue’s Folk of ‘Noke is doing some really spectacular things both at the college and outside of it. Everyone give a friendly Maroon welcome to Lambda’s very own and cockatoo enthusiast: Aspyn Totten! They are a senior from Tazewell, Virginia. Aspyn is involved with many things on campus, but most notably are with Theatre Roanoke College, Lambda/RC Pride, the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, and Roanoke Review. On top of that they are also a Diversity Peer Educator.
With Theatre Roanoke College they have worked on costumes for shows including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Enemy of the People, Gods Are Fallen/All Safety Gone, and Appropriate. The most recent show they have contributed to is Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky which is a challenge in and of itself being done entirely in period clothing. The costuming experience comes from their notable thing done in their free time: drag performing.
Aspyn was one of the main planners in the Drag Ball Lambda was planning on hosting with CAB. “My first time in drag was at the Drag Ball my freshman year,” Aspyn told us, “So 2018. After that, I started performing at the Park in Roanoke.” This passion has led to Aspyn’s very exciting opportunity coming up: a drag pageant happening at The Park. “I am competing for Miss Gay United States Femme Fatale. It is a drag pageant for people who were assigned female at birth and perform as a queen in drag,” Aspyn told Brackety-Ack. They are also partnered with Mister Gay United States MI (Male Impersonator). That one is meant “for people who were assigned female at birth but perform as kings in drag,” they explained further. For those interested the pageant will be held at The Park on May 19-20, for more information visit The Park’s Facebook page.
Near the conclusion of the interview Aspyn was asked about some fond memories they have here at RC, to which they simply said, “there’s definitely a lot,” and upon further thought said, “I think my trip with OMA to NOLA is definitely up there, specifically the ghost tour.” Once they are done here at Roanoke College they plan to head off to Richmond, Virginia and pursue a Masters in Social Work at the Virginia Commonwealth University. With that Aspyn plans “to become a therapist and continue to do work in the LGBTQ+ community.”
As with every Folk they were asked about any shoutouts to give. Aspyn said, “there are so many shoutouts. Wes Brusseau, Jimmy Whited, Dr. Myers, Dr. Rosenthal, and Natasha Saunders have helped me so much while here. And of course, my partner in crime, Charlie Fry.” Which triggered a memory for Aspyn and they excitedly said, “I think my absolute favorite memory is when my roommate and I found a playlist of early 2000s meme music, and we literally laughed for an hour.”