We’re entering the fifth month of 2019, and I’m stepping into the month of May feeling dangerously as if I may have gained some wisdom. April was a bumpy month. On a personal level, our family was rocked when my father-in-law passed away. As a result, I made a last-minute cancellation of plans around Celebration 2019, the annual event that Paisley Park hosts to celebrate the life of Prince. That sad event, combined with the challenge of facing down insecurities I never knew I had, makes me feel as if I have emerged battle-weary, yet wiser, from April.
Still, the experience of replacing my name with a symbol in April was exhilarating, and as the month continued on, my new identity led me into what felt like an organic exploration of other sides of my personality. The experience inspired me to level up this month by cultivating an alter ego. I want to explore a side of myself that’s braver, more assertive, and more captivating than every day Laura.
Prince was a pro at expressing multiple sides of his personality through his alter egos, from the characters he created on film, such as the Kid in Purple Rain or Christopher Tracy in Under the Cherry Moon, to developing the personas and music for groups including The Time and Vanity 6, to the persona of Camille, who you can recognize whenever you hear sped-up vocals in stellar songs including “If I Was Your Girlfriend.” Finally, Prince used pen names to write music, such as Alexander Nevermind, the writing and production alias Prince used from 1981-1983 and to pen songs including “Sugar Walls,” sung by Sheena Easton. The man took the concept of an alter ego and refined it until it was an art form.
There’s a long-neglected side of myself that’s sly yet fierce, mysterious and sassy. She struts around in sky-high heels. She wears satin trench coats and dangles a Prince love symbol from a chain behind her back. I bet a lot of women have an alter ego like this, hibernating in a Rip Van Winkle-esque slumber. It’s time to wake up and embrace the side of me that I’ve repressed. This month, I’ll use my imagination to push boundaries and comfort zones and channel the power of my alter ego.