I’ve only recently started going by Coco. I like the way it makes me feel.It was one of the best birthday presents. One of the guys in my Second City class posted on my Facebook wall, “Happy Bday, Coco. Yes, that is a nickname.” I loved it!
When I told someone later, they said, “Coco? Like the gorilla?” I said, “No, like Chanel.” If it was spelled with k’s, I’d say like Taylor.

I don’t know if I’ll publish with it, but it’s fun. I’m proud of my last name because it’s my family and my heritage. We’re American Indian. Our last name isn’t verb plus an animal. So I’d get asked, “What about your last name?” It’s from a French explorer who intermingled with the Ojibwea.

I feel very serious when I say my last name. My voice drops. People then perceive me as serious and stand on their best behavior (which I appreciate).

I feel like Coco lets my personality out. People say, “I didn’t peg you as funny,” which is my fault; I have a tendency to be quiet.

There’s a certain responsibility with a nickname like Coco: be warm, be sweet, and wink.