The Long Hallway: Third time's a charm.
Last Saturday there were over 60 people crammed into our Brooklyn apartment. We had the entire living room space full and the hallway was packed as well. We have a long hallway, but apparently not a large enough living room! My roommate Noelle Ghoussaini and I arranged our third Long Hallway arts event at our apartment and it was a phenomenal experience.
We had several different performances that presented a unique blend of live music, live performance and film all enveloped in a really warm, electric social experience. I think one person described the night as Magical. Yes, magical it was. I was shocked and impressed with the talent throughout the evening. I knew all of the performers, but for some reason the performances all seemed new and shiny. Like Sullivan's experimentation with Catherine Brookman's unearthly live and recorded voice via the loop machine. It was transcendent. Or Noelle's beautiful piece, phoenicia flowers, interrogating the relationship between the human and the Godly experience. Or Kirya's brave piece on gender bending. Or Lily's hilarious political satire. I could go on.
On a personal note, I was extremely moved by how well by piece was received. Be Black Baby is an immersive, site-specific theater piece designed to give an audience a particular view of what it's like to "be black." Sometimes it's fun and games and sometimes shit gets real. I got the idea from Brian DePalma's film, Hi, Mom! Inside the film lies a little gem of Black radical theater called Be Black Baby. I've been terrified if unveiling Be Black Baby for over 2 years. I didn't want to offend anyone or be too aggressive. But this time around I was so busy prior to The Long Hallway that I didn't have time to obsess about it, I just didn't have that luxury. I almost didn't do it. That resistance is strong. Boy am I glad I did it. The piece was honest, it was true to my voice as a person and as an artist and it was FUN! It really showed me that in dissecting complex issues about race, privilege and the commodification of black cool can also be fun at times. There was something really empowering and enjoyable about subverting the roles of power that I seek to upset on a daily basis. I am going forward full force with this piece. If anything, I have learned to go towards fear, discomfort and the things that trouble you. It pays off.
If you want to know more about the piece hit me up. Shelah@shelahmarie.com
Until next time,
OH! The best part... I got a song with my name in it (other than "Oh, Shelah" by Ready for the World). THIS SHIT IS GOING VIRAL I PROMISE!