Monday, September 22, 2008


Up in Troy, NY on the campus of Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute, a state-of-the-art performance facility is about to officially open and the folks up there have planned some really exciting stuff*. The venue is called EMPAC - experimental media & performance art center.

They're throwing three weekends of free performances starting in October which yours truly hopes to go and see.

About EMPAC:

The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is a place and a program where the arts, technology and science will challenge and transform each other. Founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the nation’s oldest technological university, EMPAC draws strength from being part of a great research university. It will offer artists, visiting scholars, researchers, engineers, designers, and audiences opportunities that are available nowhere else under a single roof, providing unsurpassed facilities for creative exploration as well as for research in fields ranging from visualization to immersive environments to large-scale interactive simulations. EMPAC operates nationally and internationally, attracting creators from around the world, and sending new artworks and innovative ideas onto the global stage.

Rensselaer is the nation’s oldest technological university, offering degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, the humanities and social sciences. It is pre-eminent in research into biotechnology, nanotechnology, IT, and the media arts and technology. In addition to its MFA program, RPI offers bachelor degrees in Electronic Arts, and in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication – one of the first undergraduate programs of its kind in the United States. As a facility, the new 220,000 square-foot center is like no other, boasting unrivaled presentation and production capabilities: a 1200-seat concert hall designed to the highest acoustical standards; an intimate 400-seat theater; and two highly flexible studio spaces, configurable as traditional black-box theaters or as fully immersive environments. Linked to a massive supercomputer, EMPAC’s potential for art and science spans the physical and virtual worlds and the spaces in between.
*some of that really exciting stuff include:

The Wooster Group's THERE IS STILL TIME.. BROTHER, a commission for an installation that consists of an interactive projection for a 360° screen.

Verdensteatret's LOUDER, a collaborative performance installation featuring loudspeakers, shadow puppets, video landscapes, and a huge mechanical spider, activated by actor-musicians.

Elevator Repair Service's GATZ, a six-hour performance marathon of a verbatim reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatbsy.

dumb type's VOYAGE, a multimedia performance which examines the uncertainty and dislocation of the modern world through a combination of intense sound, movement, text and projected images.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sintesi Dogpile

I'm putting something together for the Ontological Hysteric Theater's Sintesi Dogpile with Teddy, Katie, Chase, Mary and Ollie coming up in October. Keep checking for more details!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 years ago

I was a senior in high school and I was heading to my Pre-Calculus class when the hallways were buzzing with news that terrorists were attacking NYC. At first I thought it was some stupid prank made by the juniors (who were notorious for causing mayhem). But when I got to class and our teacher was very quiet and still for a long time, I knew there was truth to it. Then our principal made an announcement on the PA system. "The World Trade Center has been the target of a terrorist attack. The details are unclear but school will remain open. We will notify you of any changes immediately." And then everyone was very very quiet. It was one of those rare times when you were in a high school classroom and it was dead silent and no one was taking a test or gossiping or laughing. Everyone just looked at each other, confused, scared, isolated.

The school day continued on (I went to Middletown High School which is 70 miles outside of NYC). There were fears that terrorists might attack Indian Point which held the closest nuclear power plant (40 miles from Middletown, 30 miles from NYC). Some students had parents who worked in the city and immediately left school to be with their closest relatives. Some of us stayed in our Electronic English classroom (the only place in the school where we could watch TV) and watched CNN.

And that was the day terrorism became a household word.

KIOSK @ The Japan Society

I just spent the morning/afternoon helping to build the set for a piece by the ARICA Performance Company entitled KIOSK.

Known for its Beckettian absurdity and stark aesthetic, ARICA Performance Company presents its critically acclaimed KIOSK. In this highly conceptual and visually arresting one-woman show, the narrative follows a day in the life of a woman working in a humble train station kiosk. Perched in her rolling chair, the woman sells newspapers and water. This simple premise is explored through fierce, physical repetition and live electronic music that unfolds the complex layers of the human body's relation to labor in this surreal landscape. ARICA Performance Company is a collective of artists from a variety of disciplines founded in 2001 by designer/director Yasuki Fujita with actress Tomoko Ando, musician Osama Saruyama, poet Shino Kuraishi and producer Keizo Maeda. Since then, the company has collaboratively created site-specific works in unconventional performance spaces. ARICA was awarded Best Solo Performance at the 2005 Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival for Parachute Woman.

It's playing for three nights at The Japan Society: (9/18 thru 9/20 @ 7:30). And if you're interested, you can see the show for free by ushering the show. E-mail me if interested.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Buisness Cards

Here is a look at the all new ETG business cards. Come to a show, meet one of us, and maybe you will be lucky enough to get one!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pic of the day

Teddy at the Binge Olympiad..

balancing act

I did mind numbing manual labor ( which I actually sort of like doing in a weird way) at my part-time day job for the past two days. But as a result, I fell behind on an article that I'm supposed to be writing for Discover Nikkei about the specificity of race and parenting.
I hate falling behind on work.
Yet, I'm procrastinating right now by writing this blog instead of my article.
Someone hit me in the face.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Day in the Life of an Off-Off Broadway Stage Manager

Before I go into this post, I have to preface with the fact that I really dislike the terms Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. These labels and terms not only categorize and demean most theatre, it actually puts people off and encourages a way of thinking that's very limiting.

This morning I woke up to discover that all of my actors and crew have sent me their bios for the program (almost on time too!). It's really lovely when you get people to do something on (or as close to on) time because it gives you an awesome sense of power. You say, "Can you please get this to me by Sunday?" And when they do it, it's amazing!

Compiled all the bios in one Word document and sent to House Manager. He shoots me back an e-mail asking me if we'd like credits and a thank you section. Have to consult with the director about this. Having only been on board with this show for 6 days, it's been kind of whirlwind wham-wham-here-we-go! Luckily, I'm the kind of person who performs really well under a lot of pressure, especially when thrown in the middle of something. Throw me into a production the week of tech, I'm like, SURE! OKAY! LET'S DO IT! (no joke)

After having done all that, I get an e-mail from the producer of the other show I'm SMg, asking me to gather all the bios for the program for the show that's not until late October. I'm thinking to myself, "That's way early but better way too early than way too late." Get an e-mail from one of the actors asking about the schedule which we don't have assembled yet. Have to get in contact with director about it ASAP.

Today start tech on the other show. A friend of mine has graciously accepted the role of Assistant Stage Manager and I must train her while training myself in the process. Must organize all props and costumes, finish tracking props (hopefully we'll have them all!) and make sure tech goes as smooth as possible.

I needed an ASM because not only am I SMg two shows simultaneously but I'm an extra in a big-budget Hollywood film shooting in upstate NY and I am called in to shoots during performances. Actually, my first day of shooting starts tomorrow and we're still teching then. Haven't told director (having just discovered early today) but hopefully he won't stress out too much about it when I assure him that my ASM is not only the most amazing person in the world but able to fill in for me as well.

It's kind of stressful but it's very rewarding. Beats folding shirts, stocking shelves and making coffee.