Sunday, May 17, 2015

Call for "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability" - share your photo!

Youngblood member Zhu Yi recently published a book named “Alien of Extraordinary Ability”, edited by another Youngblood Kim Davies. The book is a collection of Zhu Yi's short plays that have been performed between 2008-2015, but WHAT A STRANGE TITLE, isn't it?

Alien of extraordinary ability” is an alien classification used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The United States may grant a non-immigrant visa to an alien who is able to demonstrate “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.”

Inspired by the experience of her friends' and her own in struggling with such a visa, Zhu Yi is planning a party/event tributes to her fellow international artists in America. And here is a small but important favor she wants to ask you – a photo:

She says,

“I put together the book while I was endlessly collecting supporting materials and waiting in the limbo for this visa, called O-1. I was so lucky to have support from numerous peers, mentors, patrons, and friends in all kinds of ways. And I'm forever grateful.

But during that process, I also realized that even though O-1 is a mountain that almost every international artist in America has to climb over and over, it's rarely heard of or understood in the wider community, as if the O-1 visa is a secret (and expensive) religion among the international artists, too boring, complicated and irrelevant to bring up in a conversation with any American. And that makes our visa applications and careers even harder. And gradually, the burden becomes a stigma, especially when an artist's talent is not approved by the immigration office through their mechanical evaluation system.

On May 31, 7pm, a party will be held at Dixon Place under the theme of "Alien of Extraordinary Ability". It's a celebration for the releasing of the book, and also a tribute to my fellow foreign artists in the US.

And here I have a request.

If you yourself, or any friends of yours, are working in art and entertainment industries in the US and have ever applied for, 

are applying for,
will apply for,
have been granted,

have been rejected,

have been granted and are renewing,

or have been rejected and are applying again for -
an O-1 visa, 

I humbly ask you to send me 1-2 working photos of yours/his/hers, along with information of name, profession, and nationality. I will make a slideshow of those photos and present it at the party. And I will not ask for or indicate anyone's visa status, because no matter it's an approval, a rejection, or pending, the scrutiny an artist must stand up to are the audience, the critics, the market, and time, instead of the immigration office. 

With your help, I hope to raise awareness about how common it is to apply for such a visa, what a vulnerable position that the current visa policy has put international artists in, and how important it is to support people who have to deal with this visa, because as you will see in those photos, we are not strangers but part of the community.

The "working photos" can be a photo of you in a rehearsal, giving a performance, receiving an award, writing in a cafe... or simply an art piece of yours. You can send them along with the information to:

Thank you.

Zhu Yi”

Monday, March 09, 2015

Unfiltered '15 *SISTERS IN BLIZZARD* by Emily Chadick Weiss

March 5-14, 2015

It is New England's biggest blizzard yet and two grown sisters are snowed in alone together when the house is frozen shut. This is their chance to finally get closer or finally kill each other.
Directed by Liz Carlson
Featuring Diana Ruppe*, Mike Smith Rivera*, and Molly Ward 

Artwork by Youngblood's own Patrick Link
First Reading in Youngblood's Reading Series, Bloodworks, June 2015
My older sister and I love each other to death and find each other infuriating. Our family friend, Jessie, told us that she thinks one of us is actually going to kill the other. But good news, we're both still alive and well (as of today) and I even wrote a play inspired by our trials and tribulations and our shared love for Thanksgiving. SISTERS IN BLIZZARD is a climate change sibling pregnancy comedy. If you have someone in your life you can't stand//can't live without, come on down and see the play. March 13 and 14 are the remaining performance dates for 2015. And I wrote a promotional rap.
Stay tuned for the rest of Unfiltered featuring:
By Lucy Teitler
March 11-21
Directed by Danya Taymor 
Everyone is getting married and Lauren wants it to stop. In a summer of engagements parties, she tries to be supportive, but ends up being subversive -- and an idyllic season takes off like a mad, broken roller coaster that no one can control. 
Featuring Brad Anderson, Madelein Bundy, Katherine Folk Sullivan, Layla Koshnoudi and Jonathan Randell Silver*
by Leah Nanako Winkler
March 18-28
Directed by Morgan Gould, A.D. Jae Kim
Hiro is a self-made single, almost 30 woman making it in New York while estranged from her dysfunctional family who lives in Kentucky. When her sister, a born-again Christian, decides to marry at 22, Hiro decides to do whatever she can to stop the wedding and salvage her sister's future. The themes of identity, religion and love collide in this unique coming-of-age story. 
Featuring: Satomi Blair, Curran Connor, Merissa Czyz, Sasha Diamond, Lucy DeVito, Lynnette R. Freeman*, Alex Grubbs, Marcia Haufrecht*, Emily Kunkel, Christine Lee, Allyson Morgan, Jay Patterson, Ronald Peet, Samantha Sembler, Amir Wachterman and Virginia Wing 
by Christopher Sullivan
March 25-April 4
Directed by John Giampietro
On an L Train that moves throughout time, Harry and Martina fall in and out of love along with the people around them, in an increasingly changing and unaffordable New York.
Featuring: Denny Dale Bess*, Tommy Crawford, Brian D. Coats,  Christine Farrell*, Alex Herrald, Ethan Hova, Zac Moon, Diana Oh, Abby Rosebrock,  Brian Quijada,  Lili Stein

Friday, February 20, 2015

"THE SULLY'S" Top 20 Films of 2014

There's a little award show on TV this weekend, but here you'll find the most esteemed awards in the biz, THE SULLY'S!

Below are my top 20 films of the year.

20. Inherent Vice

19. The Skeleton Twins

18. Obvious Child

17. The Babadook

16. Top Five

15. Gone Girl

14. Selma

13. Last Days in Vietnam

12. Whiplash

11. The One I Love

10. A Most Violent Year

9. Listen Up Phillip

8. The Unknown Known

7. Foxcatcher

6. Life Itself

5. Boyhood

4. Guardians of the Galaxy

3. Only Lovers Left Alive

2. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

1.  Citzenfour 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top Albums of 2014: 10-1

10. Hamilton Leithauser - Black Hours

9. Clark - Clark

8. Kevin Morby - Still Life

7. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

6. White Lung - Deep Fantasy

5. United Nations - The Next Four Years

4. Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right

3. Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again/Joyce Manor

2. FKA twigs - LP1

1. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

Monday, December 22, 2014

Top Albums of 2014: Honorable Mentions

Here's a few records that didn't make it into my top 30 but thought should get a mention. Some of these lean more towards the electronic, experimental, metal, or lesser mentioned rock.  Here's ten, in no specific order.

Arca - Xen

Ben Frost - A U R O R A

Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

Aphex Twin - Syro

Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues

YOB - Clearing the Path to Ascend

Steve Gunn - Way Out Weather

The Weaks - The World is a Terrible Place and I Hate Myself and I Want to Die

Mitski - Bury Me at Make Out Creek

Legowelt - Crystal Cult 2080

Friday, December 19, 2014

Top 30 Albums of 2014: 30-11

It was a weird year for music. There weren't a lot of GREAT albums, but going through what I listened to this year there was still quite a bit to like. Here's 30 I found in frequent rotation.

30. Whirr - Sway

29. Old Man Gloom - The Ape of God

28. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness

27. Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

26. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

25. Todd Terje - It's Album Time

24. Nothing - Guilty of Everything

23. Tigers Jaw - Charmer

22. Fairweather - Fairweather

21. Mr Twin Sister - Mr Twin Sister

20. Moodymann - Moodymann

19. Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

18. The Antlers - Familiars

17. Tourist - Patterns

16. Alvvays - Alvvays

15. Woods - With Love and With Light

14. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

13. Amen Dunes - Love

12. Mutilation Rites - Harbinger

11. Caribou - Our Love