Trey’s Words

In Interview on August 29, 2013 at 2:40 am


Trey Penton is a talented photographer, ambitious creative, definite conspirator, and future pediatrician. I was Googling for images of Old Tampa Book Company because we didn’t have many to choose from, and came across Trey’s blog. He’d posted a photo he’d taken in the store, and a lovely one at that, on his blog, ‘Who Painted the Lion?’. I messaged him to see if he’d be interested in taking some more, he said yes, and now we have a trove of beautiful images and I have a new friend. I’m pleased to present you with Trey’s words.

Who are you, and what are you up to?

Trey Penton. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Photographer. Budding pediatrician. Currently, on a plane to Nashville to see my good friend Ali get married this weekend. But besides that, I’m working a lot at the hospital this month and helping to set up and run this new art label/modern day printing press called The Two Keys Press. I’m super excited about it.

What’s the first thing you created/made that you were proud of?

Probably something out of K’NEX when I was a little kid. Then maybe some sappy poetry in middle school. But if you’re asking about the first thing that I created that I’m still proud of, then I would have to say an album’s worth of songs I wrote with my buddy Paul Tran toward the end of my undergrad days at USF for my honors college thesis project. The album was about Florida history and we played the whole thing live in the Oval Theater with a small orchestra.

When was the last time you felt very inspired?

I was up in Boston and New York City working on a screenplay back in March. My friends took me in and allowed me to live like a writer with no responsibilities other than crafting a good story. I usually gain some inspiration whenever I travel but something in particular about the pace and people and atmosphere of those two cities really inspired me. What I realized was that in a place like NYC, you really have to slow down to understand and digest the meaning of things. But in a place like Tampa, you really have to energize and speed everything up in order to make something meaningful. I came back from my trip ready to hit the ground running and excited about speeding things up.




What was your most recent obstacle? What happened and did you overcome it?

A couple months ago I was stuck writing the final stanza of a new album I’ve been working on. My friend and roommate at the time, Kevin, came in my room and suggested I try to write a couple songs that aren’t a part of any project just to get my creative gears turning again. I took his advice and wrote a song that I’m pretty happy with and I’ve been working on a couple others here and there. I haven’t gotten back to the final stanza on my initial project yet, but I’m confident it will come to me when I need it to. In the meantime, I have a few new things that I wouldn’t have had if I had just kept myself in that place of frustration.

[Click below for the full interview]

What do you see when you think of Tampa? Also, how about a treasured memory?

It sounds sad but I often label Tampa “The Land of Missed Opportunity” because there are a lot of really cool old buildings and interesting spaces where amazing things could happen, but it’s rare that they are ever utilized. I’ve always believed the best thing about Tampa is the incredibly talented, creative, kind-hearted, genuine people who live here; I just wish more of those people were given the opportunity to breathe new life into some of the great spaces around here that are going unused. Favorite Tampa memory? I know it’s recent but I have to say that I completely loved Zine Fest! Can we do that every month please?! I’m not even joking.

What’s something you hope to accomplish in the next year that’s career-related?

I’m hoping to get into a good pediatric residency program so I can learn how to better take care of these awesome kids I meet every day.

How about personally?

I’ve been working on how to better incorporate some internal spiritual disciplines, like prayer and meditation, into my daily life so I’d like to get better at that.

What’s something that you have to remind yourself often?

To not let my mind become captive to thoughts of the past or receive false hope from visions of the future, but just to live in today, like, just stay focused on these 24 hours.

What can you be spotted doing on a Tuesday afternoon?

As a physician in training, my schedule changes every month, sometimes dramatically, so it’s hard to answer these. But I’ll just say generally you can find me running around the pediatric wards of the hospital checking up on all of my patients who have a penchant for being adorable.

Friday evening?

Catching a show at New World Brewery, being amazed by the slam poets at Heard ‘Em Say, grabbing a drink at Mermaid Tavern, playing pool at Tiny Tap, watching a film at the Tampa Theatre, scheming with the rest of The Two Keys Press artists about how to fill this world with more beautiful things. Any or all of the above really.

Sunday morning?

Praying, worshiping, and generally having a fantastic time with all my brothers and sisters at Watermark Community Church in Seminole Heights.

You’re having a sleepover. Who are you inviting, dead or alive?

1. Jake and Finn from Adventure Time
2. Mark Twain
3. My friend Nick. We’ve been having sleepovers for about 14 years now.


Finish these sentences:
I love when: I’m writing a song and things really start to flow and before I know it there are a few verses written on the page that I really like; it’s probably my favorite feeling in the world.
I’m not a fan of: tomatoes.
I’m always looking for: good Mexican food and new music.
I’ll never: be able to finish Catch 22.

  1. […] friends, etc. making work I’m proud of. Also, I’ve been working with fellow Vessel interviewee, Trey Penton on the art label, The Two Keys Press. We’re at an exciting point getting all sorts of local (and […]

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