Please continue reading below to learn how I came to be involved and what you can look forward to on Saturday!
Early this year, I caught wind of a new arts festival to be inaugurated in the summer. The Higher Ground Festival was to showcase brand new collaborative and interdisciplinary performance pieces by artists in my neighborhood, listed among the Uptown Arts Stroll events taking place throughout June.
Being a performance artist myself, I jumped at the opportunity to share my work and collaborate with other artists in uptown Manhattan. At the artist meet-and-greets, I spoke with an actress named Meghan who wanted to put on a performance of a play called Under Construction. It consists of a series of scenes with all different characters and settings, but each scene speaks to the idea that the world is always under construction. Since this performance would take place in uptown Manhattan (at the Anne Loftus playground, northeast corner of Fort Tryon park), as part of the Uptown Arts Stroll, she thought it fitting that the play show how Uptown Manhattan, in particular, is always under construction.
This seemed a cool concept to me, so I offered to help in any way that I could. My own proposals -- originally to screen a new music video for GioSafari and then later to stage a performance of my Rite Of Spring arrangement for guitar quartet -- had fallen through, so this play presented my only other opportunity to participate in the festival. I thought I could help as an actor, even though I don't have any other theater experience. Meghan graciously allowed me to fill some roles.
One of the characters in the play is an iconic figure of 20th century avant garde music and philosophy, John Cage. I've always been a fan of his ideas and writing, so I happily took on the role which includes two key monologues in our rendition of the play. In another scene, I'll be playing the part of a subway musician, singing one of my original songs Vagrants & Vagabonds, Outlaws & Thieves. I'll be playing other minor roles throughout the play as well.
We'll be rehearsing all week and tying up loose ends, to give a solid first (and probably last?) performance on Saturday. But it will certainly be a very cool and memorable performance, so I hope you all can make it out!