So, friends, let’s just get into it. You may have seen another version of me running around on the interwebs – “Rebecca Weaver” – and you may have pondered to yourself, “Who dat?”
Well, it’s me.
Since I was a teenager I knew I’d be using this as my stage/pen/artist name. Weaver is my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. Her name was Mary Weaver – Mary Yost now. My full name is Rebecca Mary Livengood, middle name after her.
It’s complicated to go about explaining this, I suppose. Here are the facts: I will never legally change my name, even if I get married somewhere down the line. I’ll be Livengood until the day I die.
I used to hate the name. It felt goofy. It drew attention (the LAST thing I wanted – and still kinda don’t, oh the irony). I wanted to be serious and artistic. I took myself very, very seriously. Jeez, just look at that baby’s face up there…
But now, not so much.
A little bit older, I’ve come to love being Livengood. It makes people laugh, it makes strangers friendly. I carry it down from my dad, who lived up to the name every day. I’ll hold onto it forever.
But the complication is that I’m still on a path where, like it or not, I’m most likely going to be doing the serious thing. Drama over comedy more often. It’s just my nature. And hearing the question “Are you living good?” over and over again for the rest of my life in what I hope will be a relatively public life as a filmmaker and artist in any form I choose…yeah, I don’t want to hear it. It doesn’t fit me.
Weaver feels closer to me somehow. It’s as simple as that. It works. And I’m going with what works. And it’s a strange kind of freedom to put art out there under a different persona. I’m still unbearably sensitive about everything I do – so it’s a little bit of a cushion between me and the world and I like that.
And yet there’s also pressure to use the name well. I asked my grandma recently if I could use Weaver and in her sweet voice she said, “It would be an honor.” It’s really an honor for me. I have a lot of grace to live up to.
Now I’m walking around with two names. It’s strange. An awkward transition. I expect sometimes I’ll introduce myself with the wrong name. It feels like I have two coats and whenever I’m wearing one the other is always tucked under my arm and I might have to do a quick change at any second. It’s a little unsettling. But it works for me.
So there you have it. Call me Livengood any day. Because I am. :-) And keep a look out for Weaver.