My creative process utilizes methods and values from postmodern dance, experimental music/noise, performance art, and social practice.
As a solo performer, I create emotionally jarring juxtapositions of text, experimental voice work, and somatics-based movement practices. I dive into ethical quandaries and critical dialogue about complex social histories at play in a given performance space. I often respond directly to the history of a theater, its location, or the social milieu of its audiences. I seek to trouble and uncover what is unsaid and untouched, but often shared and understood.
I also dive into my family history—a blend of heritage from Germany, East Texas, Armenia, and Lebanon—to ask critical questions about ancestry, migration, and social privilege. My sense of self is carved out by multiplicities that do not synthesize: I am the descendant of both refugees and conquerors, blue-collar criminals and community educators; I experience white privilege as well as the challenges of being first-generation and working-class. This social positioning fuels the personal and collective scrutiny and healing that are central to my work.
As I wield difficult truths through humor, I oscillate between charm and desolation. Along the way, I surprise audiences with close interaction and spontaneous collaboration, as a means of highlighting every interstitial tension present. I invite them to recognize the fraught and difficult through the familiar and intimate; I utilize irony as an entry point to the vulnerable and sincere. By enabling these multiple dimensions of felt experience at once, I destabilize myself and my audiences, and embrace the unknown and unplanned emotional and social aspects of performance.
As a workshop teacher, collective facilitator, and installation artist, I translate those explorations into meditative work with body and voice that foments openness and play. Then, I encourage participants to ask questions about their identities and histories, through improvisational physical practice, reading, writing, and discussion. I place equal value on all of these practices, and the range of responses from participants, whose agency I encourage. Rule-breaking, risk, and intentional subterfuge are all available and applauded tactics.