Friday, March 27, 2009
As an actor and an artist its been a great growth process for me as well, giving me the opportunity to hone some of my writing, figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t, and what do I need to be able to tell a story clearly, AND stylistically. Its been dope, its been real, and I am excited to see where we can take this show- around the country, festivals…the sky is the limit.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
So yes, it is absolutely living the dream in so many different ways, and thank you so much to everybody who’s come out to support the show – it means so so much! We’re having convo’s right now about the future life of the show, so hopefully it will be in a city near you – and if you are a presenting organization or school that would like to bring us out – most definitely let us know! I know the words, thoughts, experiences, and post-show discussions evoked by the show will be staying with me and my art for a very long time
Friday, March 20, 2009
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"this is one helluva show. Three writer-performers occupy the stage like they're standing on the ledge of a building...it is entirely about the here and now." - New City Stage
"a new, unexpected and inspiring experience...It's very smart. It's very moving." - Annabel Armour, Actress and Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate
"The writer-performers ... are clearly aware of the complexities involved in viewing modern media through this lens..." - Brian Nemtusak, TimeOut Chicago
"The profound sketches...did cause me to reflect on some of my own ideas about the topics ... It was enlightening." - Katheryne Lumous, Remy Bumppo patron"It's Cheap. It's Unexpected. It's Great. Go." - Karen Aldridge, Actress
Did you know you can listen to all American Ethnic post-show discussions from your home?
Log on to ChicagoPublicRadio.org and search "Chicago Amplified Archives" for all of Remy Bumppo's programs.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I moved to
We have just finished our tech weekend and are jumping into tech/opening week. Tech week is my favorite week...I get to be "hands on" with the production, helping to pull all the pieces together and watch it take shape. This collaberation, has been extremely rewarding for me - to work with such talented individuals and produce something that can cause change, it's a rarity (though not at Remy Bumppo :).
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Well the weekend was grueling. A ten hour tech on Saturday and another 5 hours on Sunday, but it was well worth it. The show is in great shape, the lights and sound adding a great deal of color, vibrancy and immediacy to the production. It’s great working with sound expert Nick Keenan, and lighting wizz Stephanette. Under the guiding eye of stage manager Amy Bertacini and director Nick Sandys, tech weekend was unusually relaxed but efficient at the same time.
As for the performers, we are getting a little antsy, ready to put this show up in front of an audience! I can’t believe opening is so soon, and the nervous energy is getting the better of me! I am ready!
Shameless plug: Sunday evening Kelly and I will be at the Green Mill’s Uptown Poetry Slam this Sunday the 15th of March.
Then catch us at Café Mestizo Wednesday 18th March.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
What's up RB family? 10 days until opening night, and I'm SO excited. I'm really proud of the work that we're doing and seeing the possibilities, the borders and boundaries of the work and how to collaboratively and collectively lift text and performance from these humble pages in the 3-dimensional space of the theater. Something that Nick told us in rehearsal last week really resonates with me -- He mentioned how in the UK -- actors are trained to explore what emotion the character is going through and then hide it, since that's what most people do in real life. For me, as a spoken word artist, this totally flies in the face of what I think we usually do as spoken word artists.
Nick and I were talking how poetry (and particularly spoken word) is more often like music -- The performance is written into the musicality of the work -- you become the instrument through which the emotion is played as opposed to the ways that text and performance and emotion play out in theater. It's been a good exploration for me through the poetry and monologue work and rudimentary character development. I'm looking forward to fleshing out more and more the layers of what we've written into the work. Making all those discoveries that we maybe did not even know ourselves about race, gender, and media in
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
For a Pakistani seeing images of gunman firing at cricket players in a bus is one of the saddest sights ever. Cricket is a more than a national pastime for my people. Its something that binds us all together, and is in fact an obsession. Pakistani treat cricketers from all over the world like royalty, amazed at the talent, aggression and intelligence they show on the field. It is hard for an American to fully understand how the term "aggression" can be used in the same sentence as cricket, and because of the terrorist attack today, the word term has found a new, completely disgusting connection with our sport.
Pakistanis love aggressive bombastic cricket, but we love to see it on the field. We love to see a batsmen thrash a quick bowler who has been sending the ball down at him at over 99 Miles/hour.
We love to see the wickets smash when that bowler has got his revenge, chest thumping and being mobbed by his teammates. We blow horns in the crowd, we dance, we sing, we taunt the opposition. The andrenaline is so powerful.
As someone who played the game competitively for many years, there was no better feeling than winning a trying, tiring test match.
We love cricket. We love cricketers. We even love cricketers from other countries. We huddle around televisions and watch, and for a moment all the rest of the hardships of life, the suicide bombings, the taliban, the political instability, all of it doesnt matter anymore.
So, when cricketers are the targets of attacks by fanatical idiots, we feel outraged, ashamed and at total despair. This attack will kill cricket in Pakistan, and the biggest step to the death of our people. I am thankful that our friends the Sri Lankan cricket team were saved from serious harm. But now, no teams will tour Pakistan, and the stadiums will remain empty.
Its interesting watching these images on the screen from here in the states, so far away from the devastation, and then hearing my fathers voice on the phone lamenting the death of all civilization in Pakistan. He has a tendency to be melodramatic, but I have heard him say this over and over again this year and the last. This coming from a man who only a few years ago would never have said something like this about his own country. Pakistan is being slowly overrun but a small minority of nutjobs, who are unfortunately misrepresenting the entire population. How much can I really blame the media representations of me, when I see this violence by my people against my own people. How often can we shift the blame, pass the buck.
Over there bombs are going off, over here I'm writing a show about how unfair it is to be an actor of color. Sometimes, our perspective is so out of whack.
But, I know that just because things are worse somewhere else doesnt meant our own country should be immune from criticism. Voices of dissent, and outrage are what separate us from crazy nutjobs....both the Taliban types, and the ultra nationalists here in America.