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Issue 1: Newsletters aren't my thing
...so let's just pretend this is a letter, except you're being spared my handwriting.
Dear Friend, Stranger, or Possible Fan (I wish),
I’ve unsubscribed from plenty of strangers’ newsletters.
I’ve wanted to –and to this day haven’t managed to– unsubscribe from acquaintance’s newsletters, annoyed because I don’t find their activities interesting, but scared to make my annoyance official by clicking “I Don’t Want To Keep Receiving These Emails.”
Then there are people whose newsletters I do read, even enjoy reading, but while reading I find myself thinking, “wow, they’re doing so much, they have so many things going on and it’s all so much cooler than what I’m doing. What AM I even doing?!?”
So I never wanted to write a newsletter myself. I don’t want to annoy anyone by obnoxiously listing all the stuff I’m doing, and I don’t want anyone to feel as anxious or insecure as I do about everything I’m not doing.
But my friend, Ryan (whose newsletters I quite enjoy!) said to me very kindly and tactfully what I will paraphrase here in my own words:
“Get over yourself, Divya.”
So I’ll tell you what’s going on in my artistic life, but I’m going to try to do it in a way that’s honest, interesting, and hopefully unpretentious. It won’t always be ^ this long, but it certainly won’t be a one-page pamphlet full of ticket links. I’ll start with a TL:WR (Too Long, Won’t Read) for you:
I’m currently in New York doing stuff from now till September 1st
I’m in LA doing stuff from September 2nd - November 27th
I’m in New York again from November 28th - February 4th
For the rest of you, here we go:
Hans Christian Anderson’s THE SHADOW by Mixed eMotion Theatrix
(Act I Workshop - July 13th & 14th | L.A.)
It’s been exactly a year since Mixed eMotion Theatrix approached me about writing all the songs and parts of the score for their dance-puppetry-hybrid-musical THE SHADOW. (The other parts of the score are written by my dear friend Anthony Lucca who has honestly given me more breaks than he knows. Behind every female composer is a really busy, successful, male musician who recommended her for something she would have never otherwise been seen for. Anthony, you’re a f**king gem. )
This week MeMT presented a gorgeous, staged workshop-version of Act I with puppetry, costumes, and choreography at UCLA’s Kaufman Hall. Below you can see the fabulous Kay Sibal and Nicholas Texeira rehearsing my song “Support You” as the Princess and the Shadow. The disembodied hand to the right of the puppet belongs to puppeteer, David Roston.
(developmental rehearsals: now-August, 2023 / performances: January 10 - February 4, 2024 | New York)
Heather’s doing another very “Heather” thing in New York and I asked her if I could weasel my way in there. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, I can’t possibly describe it to you. What I can say is that Heather is most recently known for marrying medieval sacred masses with modern secular philosophy and setting the result to her unique blend of punk-gospel-Heather-music. When I perform Heather’s work, I feel like I fell into a witch-doctor’s brain with only a key-chain flashlight to light my way, but also somehow like I’m doing the most natural thing in the world. It’s pretty great.
Holdtight Company’s CHIMERICAL RAINBOW BRIDGE
(workshop presentation: August 13 & 14 | New York)
I met Gwen Gussman, Holdtight’s Artistic Director, because of a Facebook video our mutual friend and musician Johnny Butler reposted. Whenever I see someone whose art moves me, I find them on instagram and send them an effusive DM telling them how cool I think they are. Most of the time, I get a polite ❤️ back or a “thanks that means a lot!” and that’s the end of the conversation. But Gwen met me with 100% the same energy and enthusiasm. Her piece Chimerical Rainbow Bridge will eventually be a multi-day, immersive, experimental dance-music-story experience, and I will be a performer/collaborator in it, along with (my) Daniel. We’ll be developing one of the CRB pieces during this August workshop and will present a rough version for a small audience on the 16th and 17th. More info will appear here.
Singing in a Bike Shop with my friend Margo
(July 29th | Woodstock, NY)
Although I released THE MARKETPLACE – a collection of songs inspired by the subjugation of the female body over the last 10,000 years– in 2022, I haven’t performed any of those –or other– songs in public in ten years.
But I’m trying something new now. If you’re in the vicinity of Woodstock, New York, on July 29th, you can listen to me sing a few of my songs at a bike shop (I don’t know which bike shop; text me and I’ll let you know when I find out.) I’ll also sing backups for Margo (a.k.a. Julia) if she needs me to…TBD. If you’re not in New York, you can listen to my music here or here.
There. That was really long. I half-hope the next one is even longer because it’ll mean that things are happening. I have nightmares all the time that nothing is happening and my career is over. If you felt intimidated by any of the above; don’t be. Every single thing above happened because a friend thought of me, mentioned me, or responded to a plea for help.
It’s the real secret to success: have friends.
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