Eric Dorsa graced the TEDxSanAntonio stage in 2014 bringing us his heartfelt tale of how his craft has set him free. A San Antonio native, Eric has been a drag entertainer for five years and currently works with many non-profit communities as an entertainer and fundraiser. Check out how TEDxSanAntonio changed him and what he’s up to now:
What was your experience like working with a TEDxSanAntonio curator?
Eric Dorsa: Working with a TEDxSanAntonio curator was such an incredible and rewarding experience. Being selected to give a TEDx talk can be overwhelming and exciting. It is hard at first to even know where to begin. Working with Angelica I feel was vital in being able to fully execute my talk. In so many ways I had to walk the walk of my talk, in and out of heels. Working with my curator Angelica helped me to stay focused. She was able to bring out the best parts of my talk when I felt lost or uncertain about what to say or how to say it. And, most importantly, working with Angelica helped me to believe in myself and believe in my message. Giving a TEDx talk is an amazing experience. I am so glad I didn’t have to walk through it alone. I even made a best friend out of it.
What first brought you to TEDxSanAntonio?
ED: About 2 years prior to giving my talk, I first discovered TED and TEDx. I felt like I had found a secret society full of amazing people and experiences. Listening to TED talks was a very healing experience for me in my journey towards self acceptance as a gay man. I was able to plug into a world full of vulnerability, achievements, and even failures. It wasn’t long until I discovered that TEDx existed in my own back yard. I attended my first TEDx in 2013 and it was one of the happiest days of my life. That is until I gave my own TEDx talk the following year.
What tips do you have for future speakers?
ED: Don’t intimidate yourself. If there is anything I have learned from my experience as a TEDx speaker it is that I am my own worst critic. Always remember why you made the brave steps to put yourself out there and share your message. The world needs what you have to say no matter how big or small you think that is. Listen to your curator and know that we are an audience of fans not critics!
What’s your favorite TED talk?
ED: I feel like this is not a fair question! There are so many amazing talks I can’t just pick one. Of course I would have to say Brene Brown. Her talk helped push me over the edge and find the courage to be myself in a world with so many opinions. I also am in love with Maysoon Zyid. She was one of the first talks I ever saw and it is so amazing, I highly recommend you check her out.
How has your life changed since doing your TEDxSanAntonio talk?
ED: In so many ways everything has changed, because TEDx changed me. Before I gave my talk, I was still holding onto so much of my armor that I had learned to build living a world that didn’t accept me. Being the gay child of a Latino, Italian, conservative, republican, catholic, South Texas family was not easy. TEDx gave me the biggest gift in that it showed me that there really was a whole world out there that believed in me and believed in what my experiences could offer the world. I’ll never forget the moment when one of the curators told me in a practice session that she hopes that I allow myself to feel how much I am loved. Since TEDx, I went back to school, I’ve held the lead role in a few plays, and I’ve become a National Recovery Ambassador for Eating Recovery Center. I get to travel on behalf of ERC and spread the message of eating disorder recovery. It’s my hope to continue speaking in the future.
Where/how can we keep up with you now? What projects, etc. are you working on now?
ED: Well, I am now a National Recovery Ambassador for Eating Recovery Center , and currently pursuing a career as a drag queen and actor. I am also currently working on a memoir about my life in and out of recovery from my eating disorder.
For more from Eric
Watch Eric’s TEDxSanAntonio talk How Dressing In Drag Made Me Uncover Myself from the 2014 Ideas In Action event.
Join the TEDxSanAntonio community and previous speakers at this November’s Now You Know event. Buy your tickets online now. >>>>>> tedxsanantonio.com/2016-fall-speakers/