Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gwenevere Anne Sisco

Gwenevere Anne Sisco, 28, Actor/Stage Director, Brooklyn.

What's the story behind your name?

When I flew into my babygirl body, my parents picked out Jennifer Anne Sisco. The middle bit was after my Maternal Grandmother - I like that bit. She was a great woman. But since I was a little girl, I was frustrated with my first name. It didn’t quite feel like it was mine. It sounded like someone else’s. Jennifer. I was seven when I first found a book of baby names and looked up the name, Jennifer. “See Guinevere” was the answer. I was trying to understand why on earth, if the two are supposed to be the same name, WHY my parents would pick Jennifer. It seemed to me to be some sort of ridiculous clerical error. They got the wrong one. Then it turned out that every year in school I was one of about eight Jennifers. Apparently, the top name given to baby girls from 1970 to 1985 was Jennifer (according to the SSA). Not only was it overly complicated to be one of many Jens, Jennys and Jennifers, but it just felt horribly wrong. I knew at a very young age that I would not be Jennifer forever.

When I was eleven, and decided I was bound for stardom, I started deliberating over stage names. But I had nearly settled on just being called “Jen” forever until one day when I was fourteen. I was doing a guided meditation, and part of the grounding process was to state your name, and when asked - without a moment's thought or hesitation, Guinevere came out. Nothing had ever felt truer. Afterward, my friends in the room agreed that it sounded right, and started calling me Gwen or Gwenevere from that day on... and it spread slowly but surely, and then... it stuck.

Only family and very old friends still call me Jen. But she feels like a lifetime ago.

My last name, though - I don't ever want to change. There's not much left of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi (Native Americans from Northwest Vermont), but my name, Sisco, comes from that history. Not that I feel I have the right to over-identify myself as Native American (I don't go around calling myself Gray Morning Star - which is the Indian name my father chose for me when my birth was the shiny point of an ugly foggy day), but I do believe in the power our ancestry has... and I take pride in having Vermonter blood that goes back beyond colonization.
So, with this highly Celtic first name, Gwenevere, the majority of my heritage is represented, and my Surname covers the rest - with homage to our family Matriarch in the middle. Perfect."


  1. Naming a baby is very important and crucial decision taken by the parents. Family members start suggesting names for a little baby and even parent do indulge in internet researching to look for a particular name according to their choice.

  2. Indeed an informative article. I admire baby names. You know what i even visit baby names sites and suggest names to my friends and family,I think your article is unique. i am also a regular visitor of and have found ideas like this. Even i am quite pleased with your baby names explanation.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.