Still alive and kicking and touring….
April 9th, 2007 → Leave a comment
Hey everyone! No worries, I’m still alive. I’m in Philly again rehearsing for “Edge of the World” (a show that goes up in June at La Mama in NYC) and leave for Chicago tomorrow. And Chicago, thank the lord, is the last stop on this Asian Pacific Islander Nervous Breakdown tour! Woo woo!
Last week kicked my ass and it was actually supposed to be a more mellow week. Not sure what happened there. But I was in Urbana Champaign doing a week-long residency at Unit One Allen Hall (that’s “the hippy creative cool kids dorm”) where I was so exhausted most of the time I couldn’t even put the energy together to take pictures. I did the residency before and swear I had a lot more time to relax before. I taught two workshops a night and did FOUR daytime events, giving talks at different classes and a presentation for their brand new Asian American Cultural Center. They really had me working a lot. But it’s exciting to intro new audiences to your work. Especially out in the middle of Illinois where they wouldn’t hear about me otherwise.
I also found myself getting all this anxiety before teaching. People don’t realize this but I can get really nervous. I think because I was trying to do new things with my residency that I had not really taught before I found myself getting really anxious and worried during the day.
The highlights of my residency at Allen Hall (the second time I’ve done this residency, btw…)
* Starting my own BIKE FRAT at Allen Hall and riding around the streets of Urbana Champaign at midnight with a bunch of kids, and the dorm’s residency director, who were blowing horns and yelling at the drunk kids on Green St that we were a bike frat. And screaming from the back of a tandem bike through a megaphone to all the frat houses about how they should rush OUR fraternity.
* Our live karaoke party where we sang karaoke to a live band. It’s been so long I tell you. I sang some new stuff, including “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. The kids where so amazing on the mic, singing Pink Floyd and stuff, and what’s crazier is they were all born in the late 80s.
* Visiting a local yarn store in Champaign, Needleworks, and not buying anything. I had all this yarn in my arms and everything, but put it down at the last minute. Good Kristina!
* Getting to have tea every night with great people.
* Setting up this awesome WISH TREE!
Anyway, this workshop I’ve been part of in Philly is really kicking my ass. We are learning a lot of the “Neo Futurist” aesthetic of “non illusionary theater” (ie “no pretending” and “no lying”). It’s really kicking my ass and is totally mindblowing. It’s so nice to be around artists from all over the country and actually making work instead of worrying about touring details etc.
We are doing a show tonight. Here’s the info if you are around.
EDGE OF THE WORLD
a work-in-progress performance experiment
Featuring Regie Cabico, John Castro, Royd Hatta, Robert Karimi, Traci Kiriyama, Dan Kim, Michelle Myers, Gary San Angel, Anula Shetty, Ryan Suda, F. Omar Telan, Kristina Wong. Conceived and directed by F. Omar Telan.
Monday, April 9, 7 p.m.
Asian Arts Initiative
1315 Cherry Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia
215-557-0455 for info or reservations
$5 donation requested at the door
All proceeds will support the artists to travel to New York to perform in the first-ever
National Asian American Theater Festival, June 11 – 24, 2007: www.naatf.org
Part cabaret, part objet d’art, part truth or dare. In a night of all new 5-minute-or-shorter “speed plays” asking and addressing the question of what Asian America wants, a rotating cast from around the country throw their lives onto stage full tilt and take you on a roller coaster ride of comedy, drama, serious reflection, and pure theatrical entertainment.
The Edge of the World is a great big art experiment. We invited a dozen of the decade’s most inventive artists and dared them to go beyond the traditional identity piece while creating a show that’s grounded in personal experience. No pretense. No characters. No lies.
From the diverse and intersecting worlds of spoken word, comedy, writing and performance we’ve found unique ways to ponder: Are you what Asian America is looking for? So, what don’t you want people to know about you? What meaning do you find in a piece of bread? And, are you going to bother to vote?
Through a process involving chance meetings, telecommunications, and good old-fashioned time in a room together, the artists in the Edge of the World collaborate for an evening of performance art that will make you laugh, should make you mad, might make you proud, and no matter what will challenge your expectations of Asian American theater.