Alicia Porter Smith

City of Residence: Salt Lake City

Age: 32

Length of time in the scene: 16 years

Occupation: User Interface Designer

Education: I graduated Davis High School in 1994. I attended college on and off for four years at the University of Utah with a Philosophy major and English minor. I was a National Merit Scholar, and I had the Honors at Entrance scholarship. I stopped going to college and pursued a career in web design in 1998.

  I have no arms! Heh.
Photo © Chad Michael Ward

Musical taste: Mostly Darkwave and Industrial. My top favorite bands are Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Human Drama, black tape for a blue girl, Skinny Puppy (and related - Tear Garden, Download, Rx), The Cure, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, Love and Rockets (and related - Daniel Ash, Tones on Tail), Swans. I must also admit to really liking Faith and the Muse, Wumpscut, Switchblade Symphony, Lycia, Snog, Legendary Pink Dots, Apoptygma Berzerk, Covenant, VNV Nation, Sol Invictus, Current 93, Soul Whirling Somewhere... and so forth.

Distinctions in appearance: I love the vintage glamour look from the 1940's. Sometimes I like to wear chinagirl outfits -- anything with frog closures or a mandarin collar. I dress for comfort during the day, usually I'm in Dana Scully-esque business casual wear. When I go out, I like to dress up. I shop almost exclusively at thrift stores, and I attempt to put a little creativity into what I wear. I try to have a unique, sometimes eclectic, style.

Hobbies, activities, interest: Music is vitally important to me. I can't create it, but I like to listen to it -- it moves me. I love dancing at clubs. The things I like to dance to tend to be the slower tunes that have many layers of sound rather than just a fast beat. I sometimes get very into it when I dance. It becomes almost an art form for me... Writing is my first and last passion. I write poetry, a few short stories, and a whole lot of journals, ideas, thoughts and ramblings. I've been published a few times, but I haven't pursued it much... Philosophy, religion, and human nature are my other main interests... I used to self-publish a zine called Eklectique. I also DJed for the gothic club nights Submersion and Sab@t in addition to guest spots in San Francisco and New Orleans. I am now retired from DJing at Sanctuary/Area 51. I worked in a variety of ways on concert promoting for several years, including pitching in on the Dark Arts Festival committee, and am now managing the Goth Rock band Redemption... I've done a little bit of speaking and fielding questions about Gothic to a small group of social workers, to the press, and the Utah Gang Council. I enjoy this informal speaking and would like to continue to help get realistic information about Goth to the public.

Spiritual/philosophical/religious affiliation: Agnostic. I don't believe in organized religion, and I think it has done a lot of harm throughout history. Eastern religions fascinate me though. I think spirituality is an important human need, but I haven't found a specific way to express mine. I'm a romanticist, idealist, and pessimist when it comes to humanity. It makes a strange combination. I believe that love is the most powerful force that gives life meaning and that people should not interfere with or harm each other. My ideal picture of humanity is never going to happen, so usually I just try to get by. Existentialism is my pet philosophy, and I especially like the writings of Sartre, Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky. I live by a personal code of conduct which resembles the Golden Rule. I think it is more important to be a decent, ethical person than a religious person.

Goals, dreams: I am pretty content with my position in life right now, but my main goal is to continually strive to make myself a better person, learn new things, treat others well. Life is a journey of self-improvement... I am currently doing what I wanted to do professionally. I'd like to be self-employed, doing something that I find challenging and that I'm passionate about... Among other goals: to keep my marriage strong and happy; to do something that impacts others' lives in a positive way; to have my writings published on a broader scale; to help Redemption achieve the success they deserve; someday in the future to have kids and teach them to be good people.

Do I consider myself Gothic?: No, for reasons that I babble about in the Am I Goth? section. I enjoy gothic culture because of its creative energy and aesthetics, but there are a lot of stupid things about it as well. As a classification and a term, I don't find it to be useful for myself. I resist labeling myself a Goth for various reasons; though it's become more of a joke than anything else now. I much prefer the term Darkwaver.

updated 03.14.09

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