The word that comes to mind as I reflect on 2018 is full. The year was full of amazing and unexpected opportunities for my creative projects. My contact list of other artists around the country has grown full. And my heart is full with gratitude for what came to pass and anticipation for what's next. Here are just a few of the highlights from the year:
Recording sessions for The Four Immigrants cast album
Tagged along on Brad Erickson's Djerassi Winter Retreat to work on Kinda Home
Invited as a Guest Artist to speak to a class at SF Conservatory of Music
The Four Immigrants received 6 SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards
Inside Out & Back Again opened at Bay Area Children's Theatre
Story Explorers school tour began
Austin & Min Write a Musical launched
Developed Kinda Home at the TheatreWorks Writers Retreat
Joined the TYA/USA Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
Visited Charleston, SC to do research for Kinda Home
Calafia: A Reimagining developed at The Ground Floor
The Four Immigrants cast album released!
Reading of Act I of Kinda Home with Playwrights Foundation
Story Explorers received a Safeway Foundation Grant
Attended CAATA's ConFest in Chicago and met a lot of really cool people!
4-week residency at Djerassi where I also met a lot of really cool people!
Invited as a Guest Artist at Harvard University
Workshop for Gold: The Midas Musical at Bay Area Children's Theatre
Joined the Just Theater Play Lab 2018-2019 cohort
Awarded a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in March 2019
Calafia: A Reimagining recevied a Theatre Bay Area CA$H Grant towards a workshop in 2019!
Onward to 2019!
Last week, I was in Chicago for ConFest 2018 - the bi-annual gathering hosted by the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists (CAATA). Upon returning, I set out to write a blog post outlining my experience at ConFest, but found that words fell short. Randy Reyes of Theater Mu recently wrote an article for American Theatre magazine, and it seems he faced the same issue. He writes:
How would I be able to summarize the experiences of attendees who used adjectives like “inspiring,” “incredible,” “exhausted,” “life-affirming,” “breathtaking,” “amazing” and “life changing”?
So similarly, I'll just post his article here in lieu of a blog post. And if you're really curious why ConFest was so "inspiring," "incredible," etc., you can ask me in person next time you see me! ;)
After two days of recording in January, followed by six months of squeezing in studio time, the original cast album for THE FOUR IMMIGRANTS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL MANGA is finally here! On Monday, we celebrated with a release party at the Opal Nightclub in downtown Mountain View, hosted by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Of course, I have had access to the album's files for a few weeks now, as we were waiting for the CDs to be published. But the excitement from folks at the party was so invigorating and uplifting, I was filled with gratitude. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey of THE FOUR IMMIGRANTS so far. Now, with this album, more people will be able to experience the music of the show. And hopefully, it will help us get to a second production soon enough!
Last night, at the Potrero Stage, we presented our first ever public reading of KINDA HOME... kinda. We only presented Act I, because there is no music written yet for Act II. Brad and I learned so much through the process and working with director Leslie Martinson. And Playwrights Foundation graciously let us crash their Festival venue since it wasn't being used this particular evening. As always, having actors embody the characters brought so much clarity to their relationships, as well as honed our understanding of the pacing and flow of the piece. We had a great turnout last night as well (thanks to all who attended!), with many remarking they couldn't wait to find out how Act II plays out. Neither can we!