I am filled with gratitude. I have a play that I wrote, produced and am starring in running in New York City. How wonderful is that? We have 2 more performances left - on Friday 3/1 at 7:10pm and Saturday 3/2 at 3:40pm. I hope you can attend and share in the magic.
For tickets and info press here.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL...
You guys, I'm having my circus debut with a Jewish musical is Yiddish!!! It's like Christmas for me (no pun intended), all my favorite things in one show! I'll get to act, sing, dance and fly on my silks - all in Yiddish, revolving around the tale of Purim. I am ECSTATIC!
I will play Zeresh, Haman the villain's wife - a Lady Macbeth style woman who plots and plans destruction for the Jews. I LOVE being the villain (so much more interesting than ingenues!), I'm thrilled to do circus (and for the first time get paid for it), and I'm honored to be on an Off-Broadway stage with amazingly talented actors and team members, many of them have worked on Broadway.
Check out this page for dates, ticket info and video teasers!
Exciting news aside, I've been having some interesting thoughts about this whole Off Broadway show thing. When the show's director offered me the job he said "You can get my Equity card, you know?" I thought about it for a sec and said - "No, thank you."
He was a little shocked. You see, when you're an actor (especially in NYC), an Equity card is every young actor's dream. You can't be on Broadway without an Equity card. You can't book any "major" job in any major theater without an Equity card. BUT, and that's a HUGE but, WITH an Equity card you can't do anything smaller without permission, and paperwork, and jumping through hoops. Meaning no circus, variety, cabaret or burlesque. No fringe, no underground cool events, no off-the-mainstream performances.
It was such a strange moment, to realize that I came to the USA 5 years ago with Broadway dreams and now, unless the show is truly inspiring and unique, I have no interest in going there. I LOVE New York's underground community, I love the strange offbeat performances it nourishes, I love the creativity and willingness to try just about anything and everything.
I'm very happy I booked this show cause of its content and style, cause of working with people I like (The Yiddish Theater Folksbiene and I have been collaborating for nearly 4 years), not because of having an Off Broadway credit on my resume or cause of being eligible to join AEA.
To put it simply - I'm grounded in knowing what I want and what I don't give a damn about. It makes me happy to know that I am so confident and comfortable in my own performance skin.
A bientot, mes amis!
I remember being 16 and angry and heartbroken (as only teenagers can be) and lying in my twin sized bed listening to the Dresden Dolls roaring in my ears, shouting along with them that "I'd like to do more than survive, I'd like to rub it in your face!"
I remember being 18 and confused and anxious (as only fresh high school grads can be) and taking off my make up after playing Elphaba in the Israeli premiere of the musical Wicked, and in goes Neil Gaiman telling me he saw the last few minutes of the show and that I was marvelous.
Now I'm 24 (minus a day), no longer angry or confused, and last week I had both Neil and Amanda as audience members in the show I'm in - Speaskeasy Dollhouse. WOW.
I remember being 12 and dreaming of faraway lands (as only kids can), and watching Princess Bride a million times and learning every single quote.
I remember being 15 and dreaming of Broadway (as only theater majors can), and watching the video recording of the Israeli Production of Les Mis, jealous of its leading actor for receiving an invitation from Cameron Macintosh himself to play Valjean on Broadway.
Now I'm 24 (minus a day), still dreaming but mostly living, and last night I shared a Broadway stage with Mandy Patinkin (AKA Inigo Montoya) and Dudu Fisher (AKA the Israeli turned Broadway star Jean Valjean). WOW.
It's my birthday tomorrow. I keep getting birthday presents all year round from the universe in the shape of friends, collaborators and amazing events. I am so blessed.
On this birthday I am also honored and thrilled to announce that I joined together with two artist friends and we have founded a productions company - Petite Mort Productions.
We have a really exciting seasons ahead of us, and I would like to kindly ask you for birthday gifts in the shape of DONATIONS! Please, any dollar helps, and it would really make my birthday a lot happier!
From Neil Gaiman's recent speech: "The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It's Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police."
These days I keep waiting for the Fraud Police to come knocking on my door and drag me over to immigration and ship me back to Israel... I am surrounded with and immersed in good stuff and great people, and I'm so grateful to be exactly where I am, doing exactly what it is I'm doing. In fact, here's what my chocolate wrapping told me this morning:
Jeez. So much is happening. So much excitement. I can't contain!
Since last writing to you I've had the chance to perform on different stages and on the streets at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with my Shakespearean Ukulele act "the dUKEss of Rock". the dUKEss had some fun later in New York the Gemini and Scorpio's Masquerade Macabre and Anachronism Steampunk NYC IV.
The act has been getting AMAZING responses all over and I am so happy to be doing something that is so unusual yet so faithful to the kind of art I enjoy making and performing. YAY!
I've also had the honor of joining two WONDERFUL FAMILIES!
The first is the family of the Circus Warehouse in Long Island City. I've been taking lessons 10-15 hours a week for the past 4+ months, and I'm loving every minute. I sprained my ankle in November but have since recovered and classes are kicking my butt but I'm seeing improvement every week, as do my amazing teachers. I can't emphasize enough how supportive and warm the CW people have been - both the staff and other students - and my hear soars every time I walk into that warehouse.
I hope that a year from today I would be doing some kind of circus related gig, hopefully a traveling one.
Yes, I'd like to run away and join the circus. So sue me.
My other new family is that of the Speakeasy Dollhouse.
This started as a kickstarter project by Cynthia Von Buhler - a graphic novel based on the true story of her family, including murder, speakeasies and a birth. The story was told in the book through hand-made dolls, and in turn the story became an immersive play, the dolls became live actors, and me amongst them.
At first I was Catherine Spano, the red-haired Italian Catholic sister of Frank, the main character. We had two sold out shows, and added another on Halloween night, which was also sold out.
Then we decided to make this a MONTHLY EVENT! Yes, every first Monday of the month the speakeasy opens its doors to audience members who dress up 1930's style and come to enjoy cannollis and cocktails and witness the events of Cynthia's family. Now I am Anna Spano, the black haired Jewish woman who's married to cousin Frankie and bosses everyone around.
The audience loves us. And I love my cast member. Each and every one of them is an amazing artist on their own - Katelan Foisy is a tarot reader and painter, Katrina Galore and Porcelyn Dalya perform with Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, Russel Farhang plays in a jazz band, Syrie Moskowitz has her own production company, and the list goes on and on and on... Even our audience members kick ass, and have included Michael Pope (longtime director of most of the Dresden Dolls videos) and Penny Arcade (a NYC Burlesque legend).
I feel so blessed, and inspired, to be working with these people. They are phenomenal, and the show will blow you mind. Come see us, seriously.
To see what else is cooking in Stav-land, check out the news section.
Much love :)
Hello all you anonymous readers,
This is weird. I've never written a blog in English before.
And the blogs I've written before were all on a more personal platform, while this would probably be the first google result for any peeping tom...
But nonetheless, here we are.
Why do I choose to have a blog - which to me is such an intimate thing - on a public website?
Simply - because I am an artist, and an artist creates from the raw emotions and experiences within their soul. And there nothing more intimate than baring yourself on stage, therefore - baring myself here should compliment any stage exposure.
I would like this blog to be somewhere on the fine line between professional updates and personal experiences.
I wish there was a comments area, but since there isn't, you're always welcome to email me comments to email@example.com
Welcome to my website, welcome to my blog.
WELCOME TO MY WORLD.
Much more is to come, so sign up for the mailing list.
Adieu... A bientot...
© 2020 Stav Meishar