Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Visions. Are. Legendary. // Circus Returns to National Queer Arts Festival

On Friday, June 20, Topsy Turvy Queer Circus returns to the Brava Theater as part of the National Queer Arts Festival. Thanks to the overwhelming demand for last year's show, another performance has been added; there are two nights now instead of one.
I'm housemates with a performer and the amount of work that is going into this thing is no joke. Rehearsals, travel to rehearsal spaces (finding rehearsal spaces!), sweat, tears, exhaustion, endless stretching, training, choreographing, costume design-- these performers are working hard.

The acts last year ranged from flat out physically incredible to poignant to playful to jaw-droppingly hawt (and often, some combination thereof). Tidbits from last year's show:

Tickets are available on a sliding scale basis ($15-20) here or via the links below. 

And if you, like me, made a critical online-ticket-purchase error
last year, fear not-- no more drop down menus in this year's ticket buying process!
Topsy-Turvy Queer Circus: Visions. Are. Legendary.
India Davis and Indi McCasey

Brava Theater
2781 24th StreetSan Francisco, CA 94110

Friday, June 20th at 8pm: Buy TicketsSaturday Matinee, June 21 at 2pm: Buy TicketsSaturday Night, June 21 at 8pm: Buy Tickets

I just double checked my confirmation email. Yup, I bought a ticket for the right show. Phew. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

American Revolutionary at Laemmle Pasadena this month!

In 2010, I was fortunate to become connected to American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs as a transcriptionist. I got to listen closely to quite a bit of raw interview footage as well as interviews with some of the people whose lives she's touched in her long, long involvement in civil rights and community organizing in Detroit.

I missed the Los Angeles premiere last year because I was in the midst of my transition from LA to Cambodia to Oakland. I finally had the opportunity to see the film when it came to the Bay Area as a Gala Presentation for CAAMFest 2014.

Having done quite a few hours of transcription, and knowing that it was only a small portion of how much footage there was in total, I have a new depth of appreciation for the amount of work it takes to produce such a film. I enjoyed recognizing some of the bits that I'd transcribed, and was astounded at how much is left on the cutting room floor. 
Before my involvement with the documentary, I had little awareness of Grace Lee Boggs beyond knowing vaguely of her from the Blacklava "roots" shirt on which she appears alongside Philip Vera Cruz and Yuri Kochiyama (I got to share some Asian American history with the Executive Director of GirlVentures recently when I wore the shirt in honor of Yuri Kochiyama's recent passing). 

American Revolutionary provides a glimpse into her early life and her journey, the evolution of her ideas, but still left me with similar questions that her autobiography Living For Change left me with, this yearning to get a sense of who she is beyond the theory and practice of activism, her emotional life. I don't think she is intentionally evasive to those questions, though; she has been a student of philosophy all her life, centers her thoughts around activism and the theories behind them, and her discourse is framed around that. 

And ultimately, perhaps that is what makes her such a compelling subject-- the thoroughness of her commitment to social change, that she seems to live and breathe movement, that she seems constantly consumed with gathering and synthesizing ideas to create revolution. It is a way of being and way of living that I respect deeply; by the amount of critical and community acclaim the documentary has received, I am one of many. 

If you are in the Los Angeles area and didn't get to see American Revolutionary at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest, see it in its theatrical run June 20-26 at Laemmle Pasadena