Wednesday, 26 December 2018

2018

Despite its tumultuousness almost globally, 2018 was a year of accomplishments for me. I earned my master's from NYU Tisch this year, after a lightning-quick program of only nine months. I've applied to two Ph.D. programs in hopes of continuing that study. I've been working enough to survive in New York City, which is a great feat alone. Some of this work has put me in front of the camera, an avenue I'd like to explore more going into the future. I've been directing and teaching, singing and playing, acting and writing—using all of my skills to put together an artistic and academic life.

In 2019, I'm launching Rogue Pedagogy to further explore that artistic and academic life. As I wrote in my recent application essays:
Rogue seeks to exploit the primary relationship that defines theatre, according to Jerzy Grotowski and others. An example of this definition can be found in Tadashi Suzuki’s essay “On Acting”—theatre is the specific space where the actor and spectator interact. The actor-spectator relationship is explored by a number of artist-theorists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Augusto Boal, who writes about turning the spectator into an actor through his interventions such as Forum Theatre. By utilizing performance strategies from these and other artist-theorists through the lens of [Diana] Taylor’s work (and others’), Rogue hopes to produce theatrical and workshop experiences which can foster learning. Learning is especially important given the current political climate, where so much of the discord between people can be found in educational disparity. (Some of this has to do with the will to learn, following Rancière, who rightly notes that learning can only take place if the learner has the will to learn. Where there is no will to learn, there is no learning.)
Through learning, we learn about each other. By learning about each other, we become more tolerant of each other—not the sort of tolerance which allows bigotry and hatred to flourish, but rather the sort of tolerance which understands difference as merely a part of the human experience. Learning encourages curiosity, which breeds understanding. This is why, for me, there is no greater contribution which can be made to humanity than the fostering of learning; and this is why I feel it is so important to share performance’s power to change minds—as both a cure and a warning.
I'm starting 2019 off with a stage show, The Buddy Holly Story at the Engeman Theater in Northport, N.Y. I'll be continuing my work with American Immersion Theater and singing with Calvary-St. George's Parish in New York City. And, of course, Jade Rosenberg and I are still writing a musical we hope to have finished in 2019.

So, may the new year be filled with abundance, peace, and hope—for you, for me, for everyone!

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