For the last 16 years I have been a member of Big Art Group, a NYC theater company dedicated to building culturally transgressive and challenging new works through using the language of media and blended states of performance. In my time with the company, I have worked in various capacities: Performer, Assistant Director, Videographer, puppeteer, and miniature set/prop builder. In addition to my work with Big Art Group, I have written, directed and performed in my own works: PIGGY 1.5 (2006 NYC International Fringe Festival), Machine World Gospel (2007 Philadelphia Fringe Festival), and since 2011 I have developed and performed several modern toy theater works in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and The TBA festival in Portland, Oregon.
My work is an attempt to give form to an unutterable force that spills past the boundaries of thought into a dark, confusing place without expression. The drive behind this compulsion usually deals with concepts like ‘us and them’ and the idea of living a life that is ultimately meaningless. I like to use technology, language and structure that can expand and contract to accommodate ideas that straddle the logical and the abstract. Since it is more adaptive to this environment, I often use elements of puppetry in my shows. I typically use pre-fabricated toys, such as action figures or dolls, to bring a quality to the characters that feels uncontrived and beyond my control. I tend to think that choosing the appropriate toy is a process of ‘casting’ and shouldn’t be tailor-made to my exact specifications. Relinquishing this control allows a world of surprising characteristics that is more organic and unintentional. I would like to think that I’m not fully in control of what I make. I hope to channel into images and situations the energy that is held in that most internal space; where the entirety of being is fused together.
Photo by Ned Stresen-Reuter.