Performing artist – Michael Dorf http://michaeldorf.org/ Wed, 06 Oct 2021 13:49:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://michaeldorf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/default1.png Performing artist – Michael Dorf http://michaeldorf.org/ 32 32 Meet a software engineer turned entertainer who keeps traditional folk arts alive in America https://michaeldorf.org/meet-a-software-engineer-turned-entertainer-who-keeps-traditional-folk-arts-alive-in-america/ https://michaeldorf.org/meet-a-software-engineer-turned-entertainer-who-keeps-traditional-folk-arts-alive-in-america/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 13:49:52 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/meet-a-software-engineer-turned-entertainer-who-keeps-traditional-folk-arts-alive-in-america/ Sivasankar Subramanian and his team have been a driving force in the revival of Tamil folk arts and are encouraging school children to embrace it. As musicologists and folklore experts worry that this generation has only recognized a handful of styles of music and dance when performed on various occasions. We have already lost over […]]]>

Sivasankar Subramanian and his team have been a driving force in the revival of Tamil folk arts and are encouraging school children to embrace it.

As musicologists and folklore experts worry that this generation has only recognized a handful of styles of music and dance when performed on various occasions. We have already lost over 30 different types of percussion instruments and 40 styles of dance since the Sangam era; generations past have seen one of the worst mass extinctions of traditional performing art forms in the form of globalization and the technological handicap of the so-called conservationist and revivalist in this field.

This is where Sivasankar and his team at the Washington DC-based Kombu Performing Arts and Research Center play a major role in archiving the skills and knowledge of artisans. This group is led by Siva who is a software engineer and now proud to identify as a Nagasuram artist. Being in a contrasting professional background, he also kept various forgotten musical instruments such as Pambai, Urumi, Chendai, Thiruchinnam, Kombu, Udukkai, Thamukku, Chinnamelam, Periyamelam, Parai, Thavil and Nadaswaram. Besides musical instruments, his job is also to obtain costumes and props for performing arts such as Poikkalkuthirai (false-legged horse) dance, Kavadi, Karagam, Mayilattam, Oyilattam, Puliyattam, and the list goes on. These folk dances are performed by people to express their zest for life at every possible event or occasion, such as the coming of the seasons, the birth of a child, weddings, festivals, etc. In the United States, his team interacts with various Tamizh cultural organizations and encourages them to purchase these artifacts directly from artisans so that they can continue to produce crafts and pass their skills and knowledge on to others. According to Siva “Creating awareness among the South Indian diaspora would be the first and important step towards the resurrection of these art forms” He is very convinced that he achieved this goal until pre-covid . During this time, Siva toured all over the United States every weekend for carnivals, local galas and various other cultural events. Likewise, his performance won several accolades at the Tamizh International Conference held in Chicago and the Periyar International Conference held in Washington DC.

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to preserve these art forms, COVID-19 had a devastating impact on his efforts when he saw the popular arts community those who strove to keep the tradition alive. lives were now suffering financial setbacks due to the lack of social events. In early October last year, Siva partnered with international cultural organizations from Singapore, Australia and the UK to launch a major online fundraising campaign. They have partnered with AIMS Seva, a nonprofit organization, and ValaiTamil Web TV to deliver weekly programs aimed at Affirming the livelihoods of performing artists and helping unemployed artists. According to Siva, the COVID chaos has also provided a huge opportunity to reassess its strategy; this has improved more international visibility for his team and immense time outside of the weekly performances. He undertook extensive research on old manuscripts while interviewing families and descendants of artists to obtain the measure of various wind instruments. Siva is also the author of his findings in several international magazines and research journals. One of his major works includes his “Study of the Acoustic Principles of Nadaswaram” – which is the first and only thesis available on a scientific platform that speaks extensively about

sound impedance, Helmholtz resonance, and wave theory, making it one of the first strongest brass-less double reed instruments known (More info here). According to Siva “A musical instrument, like any other scientific invention, goes through the same process of trial and error before being standardized for general use.”

“Instruments with a strong adherence to scientific and acoustic principles are gaining in importance among the rest, as they undergo minimal structural changes and Nagasuram is one such instrument.”

“Nagasuram is reputed to be 5,000 years old and mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures, it remains steeped in religion today.”

As an conservationist, he understands the fact that this story of renewal does not bear fruit when no younger generation is ready to take up the tradition. Yet even in this neglected area there are practical and cultural challenges as some of these art forms are still associated with specific communities. Therefore, Siva is hopeful of passing the baton on to the next generation in the United States, as they have more immunity from the differences in caste and religion, which are associated with these art forms. There is no doubt that preserving the art of performing and its performers is essential and failure to do so erases the multicultural history that serves as a mark for future generations. For any community, folk songs and their dance style serve as a time machine to bridge the past and present, helping us understand how our world – and we – have become. But his efforts have surely won the highest accolades among emerging South Asian immigrants to the United States.


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Warner and Hagerty Introduce Bill to Update Performer Tax Credit https://michaeldorf.org/warner-and-hagerty-introduce-bill-to-update-performer-tax-credit/ https://michaeldorf.org/warner-and-hagerty-introduce-bill-to-update-performer-tax-credit/#respond Fri, 01 Oct 2021 20:45:42 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/warner-and-hagerty-introduce-bill-to-update-performer-tax-credit/ Posted on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 4:45 p.m. Join AFP’s 100,000+ followers on Facebook Buy an AFP subscription Subscribe to AFP podcasts on itunes and Spotify News, press releases, letters to the editor: augustafreepress2@gmail.com Advertising requests: freepress@ntelos.net (© rottenman – stock.adobe.com) U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced legislation to […]]]>
musical concert
(© rottenman – stock.adobe.com)

U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced legislation to provide much-needed tax relief to working artists by updating the Tax Deduction for Skilled Performers, which allows some performers deduct the cost of expenses incurred in the course of their employment.

The Act respecting fiscal parity for performing artists would update the thresholds for the QPA deduction to ensure that more low- and middle-income artists can benefit from the tax relief.

The Performing Artist Tax Parity Act is approved by many organizations defending the rights of emerging artists, including the Department for Professional Employees, the AFL-CIO, the Actors’ Equity Association, the Theater Communications Group, the Recording Academy and the Nashville Songwriters Association. .

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for performers and artists,” said Senator Warner. “Even if the generalized vaccinations allow the reopening of the rooms, many actors, musicians and entertainers are still struggling to recover. I am happy to be working on a two-party solution to help alleviate some of the burden on working artists during a very difficult time. “

“As a son of Tennessee and my state’s former commissioner for economic and community development, I appreciate how vital our entertainment industry is to Tennessee’s rich culture and economy,” said Senator Hagerty. “I am pleased to present and work on a bipartisan basis with Senator Warner on this important legislation that will help Tennessee’s creative industry and the performing artists who truly make it thrive. Under our legislation, low- and middle-income entertainers from Mountain City to Memphis will be able to keep more of their hard-earned wages, as it updates a Reagan-era tax deduction that helps performers record the costs of work-related expenses. and adjusts it to the damaging effects of inflation.

The Tax Deduction for Qualified Performers has not been updated since its inception in 1986 and is currently only available to those earning less than $ 16,000 per year, meaning very few artists qualify. . The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act will update and increase the income limit to $ 100,000 for individuals and $ 200,000 for married spousal filers, allowing more performing artists. low and middle income scene to receive tax relief for work-related expenses.

A copy of the invoice text can be found here. The accompanying legislation was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

“I want to thank Senator Mark Warner and Senator Bill Hagerty for drafting and introducing this important legislation. These are great champions of creative professionals who make our industry successful, ”said Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA. “We are fighting for this legislation because it will allow working class entertainment and media professionals legitimate deductions so they can keep more of their hard-earned money in these most difficult times.”

“I am grateful to Sens. Warner and Hagerty for their leadership in their fight for tax fairness for performing artists as the industry goes through a historic crisis, ”said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association. “The overwhelming majority of Equity managers and actors are working class people who work hard to make ends meet, and unlike other workers, they often have to spend 30% of their income on business expenses. Our producers can deduct their business expenses, and so should we. The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act will put more money in the pockets of working artists when they need it most as we work to recover the arts sector.

“Ensuring that union building professionals can once again deduct labor expenses is a top priority for the DPE and our affiliated unions in the arts, entertainment and media industries. We congratulate Senators Warner and Hagerty for bringing this important legislation to the Senate, which will put money back into the hands of hard-working, middle-class professionals, ”said Jennifer Dorning, President of the AFL-CIO.

“As the Senate Finance Committee wraps up its deliberations on its tax proposals for fiscal year 2022, it should be noted that the more than 80,000 professional musicians of the American Federation Musicians have long used the provisions of the Qualified Performing Arts. IRS Code Tax Parity Act to recover usual and necessary expenses that employers in this industry have refused to reimburse for decades, ”said Ray Hair, president of AFM. “Active musicians continue to struggle while recovering from the loss of much of their income from live musical performances due to the COVID19 pandemic. The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act is a sane piece of legislation that we can all agree on. It will restore those deductions and help musicians and other entertainment professionals recover from the ravages of the pandemic, which has crippled our industry, while helping working artists and their families regain their integrity. “

“I congratulate Sens. Warner and Hagerty for joining Reps Chu and Buchanan in putting aside partisanship to help thousands of backstage entertainment workers and creative professionals, ”said IATSE International President Matthew D Loeb. “The inability to deduct labor expenses hurt our members long before the COVID-19 pandemic ended our work and erased our salaries. Now, with a full return to work in sight, Congress should pass this bill, establish tax fairness, and ensure our workers come back stronger than before. “

“The Theater Communications Group is pleased to approve the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act, a much-needed tax fix for performing artists, especially now when their lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19,” said Laurie Baskin, director of advocacy for the Theater Communications Group. .

“The RIAA strongly supports this bipartisan effort to make the tax code work for artists and musicians. This legislation will strengthen our music ecosystem and create new jobs and opportunities in touring, recording and more, while opening the door a little more for the next generation trying to break through. We congratulate Sens. Warner and Hagerty to fight for tax fairness for working artists and musicians, ”said Mitch Glazier, CEO of the RIAA.


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Actors’ Equity Association applauds Senate introduction of fiscal parity law for bipartisan performing artists https://michaeldorf.org/actors-equity-association-applauds-senate-introduction-of-fiscal-parity-law-for-bipartisan-performing-artists/ https://michaeldorf.org/actors-equity-association-applauds-senate-introduction-of-fiscal-parity-law-for-bipartisan-performing-artists/#respond Wed, 29 Sep 2021 20:21:14 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/actors-equity-association-applauds-senate-introduction-of-fiscal-parity-law-for-bipartisan-performing-artists/ Association for stakeholder equity applauded the Senate’s introduction of the Performers Tax Parity Act (PATPA), introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN). This bill would correct an unintended consequence of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which resulted in tax increases for many performing artists who could no longer deduct […]]]>

Association for stakeholder equity applauded the Senate’s introduction of the Performers Tax Parity Act (PATPA), introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN). This bill would correct an unintended consequence of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which resulted in tax increases for many performing artists who could no longer deduct the cost of their unreimbursed regular and necessary business expenses.

While tax reform has not hurt high-income artists, many other players in the industry have reported massive tax increases because they lost the ability to deduct their professional expenses. Professional actors, stage managers, and musicians, for example, typically spend 20 to 30 percent of their income on expenses necessary – like paying for travel to auditions or a performing arts agent – to stay with the business and procure a use. performing artists while the industry is in a historic crisis, ”said Kate shindle, president of Association for stakeholder equity. “The overwhelming majority of Equity managers and actors are working class people who work hard to make ends meet, and unlike other workers, they often have to spend 30% of their income on business expenses. Our producers can deduct their professional expenses, and we should be able to do that too. The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act will put more money in the pockets of working artists when they need it most then that we are working to take over the arts sector.

The bill would update the bipartite Deduction for Qualified Performers (QPA), which was originally enacted by the President Ronald reagan. The LPQ allows an above-the-line tax deduction for qualified performers, but has been limited since it was enacted to an adjusted total gross taxpayer income of $ 16,000. PAPPA would update the deduction to $ 100,000 for single filers and $ 200,000 for married artists filing jointly. The in-house version of the Performing Tax Parity Act was introduced by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) in July. With the introduction of the Senate, there is now a bipartisan bill in both houses of Congress.

“Despite their influence and disproportionate contributions to local communities and economies, Americans’ struggle in the arts has been recognized for years,” Representatives Buchanan and Chu wrote in The hill when the bill was first introduced. “Most of the actors and directors who belong to Association for stakeholder equity and SAG-AFTRA members who work in television and film are hard-working middle-class taxpayers – often struggling to get by. They’ve slipped through the cracks of an imperfect system. “To build support for PATPA, Equity has partnered with arts and entertainment unions, working in partnership with each other to meet with congressional offices. Since PAPPA’s inception in June 2019, unions have held dozens of meetings with Congress staff. Equity and SAG-AFTRA also submitted a testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the need for tax fairness for actors and managers.


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Mentor. Performing artist. Contractor. And ‘a cool young woman’ https://michaeldorf.org/mentor-performing-artist-contractor-and-a-cool-young-woman/ https://michaeldorf.org/mentor-performing-artist-contractor-and-a-cool-young-woman/#respond Tue, 28 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/mentor-performing-artist-contractor-and-a-cool-young-woman/ Madeline “Maddie” Bates is a sixth grade student at Warwick Valley Middle School, where she enjoys the peer mentoring opportunities she obtains through her school’s Multi-Age Classroom (MAC) program. MACs include a mix of fifth and sixth graders, and sixth graders often take the younger ones under their wing. “It’s good because you have a […]]]>

Madeline “Maddie” Bates is a sixth grade student at Warwick Valley Middle School, where she enjoys the peer mentoring opportunities she obtains through her school’s Multi-Age Classroom (MAC) program.

MACs include a mix of fifth and sixth graders, and sixth graders often take the younger ones under their wing.

“It’s good because you have a lot more responsibility in sixth grade and helping fifth graders,” Maddie said. “Like the first week of school, we helped them get around the school, find their classroom, access their Chromebooks, that sort of thing.”

‘She’s just a really cool young lady’

“Not only is Maddie nice and friendly, she does very well academically and among all the things she loves and is great at, she even runs her own jewelry business on Instagram,” Georgianna Diopoulos said. , Principal of Warwick Valley Middle School. “She’s just a really cool young lady!”

Maddie’s favorite subject is math because it gives her new and different problems to solve all the time. She has also been playing the violin since elementary school and says she was inspired by music by her father, a musician who keeps an extensive collection of instruments in his home.

“It’s fun to be on stage”

Maddie has also been active in the district’s talented performing arts community for almost four years now.

“I entered a theater club in third grade, as soon as I could start,” she said enthusiastically. “It’s fun to be on stage. I like to sing, dance, play comedy; for me it seems natural to do so.

Maddie has appeared in three productions so far, including the video production of “Annie Kids” last year. She said the highlight of her stage career so far has been starring in her fourth-year production of “The Little Mermaid”.

“I was more than excited to have been able to play Ariel,” she said. “I loved all the songs from the Disney movies when I was young, and I had a costume for all the Disney princesses.”

Beyond the classroom and the stage, Maddie enjoys jewelry design and has become an online entrepreneur. She launched Maddie’s Jewelry Shop, with adult tips, on Instagram last year.

“In my 40s I got bored really quickly,” Maddie said with a laugh. “I was looking at social media and I could see other people shopping. I love to wear jewelry, so I just went to Amazon, ordered some supplies to get started, and now I have an Instagram store!

Business has gotten off to a good start, and Maddie also says her sales increased when people started placing orders for their back-to-school accessories this year. Maddie jewelry store offers earrings, anklets and bracelets.

There are plans to expand the product line on the horizon.

“I recently bought a lot of pearls, so I will be making pearl necklaces, and I will also make wire rings and key chains,” she said, adding that custom orders are always. welcome.

On weekends, you’ll even find Maddie running her pop-up shop at her grandfather’s laundromat in Warwick, the Forester Avenue Express Laundry Center.


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Performer and survivor Dawnn Lewis to attend 2021 CFJ Speaking of Women https://michaeldorf.org/performer-and-survivor-dawnn-lewis-to-attend-2021-cfj-speaking-of-women/ https://michaeldorf.org/performer-and-survivor-dawnn-lewis-to-attend-2021-cfj-speaking-of-women/#respond Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:51:00 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/performer-and-survivor-dawnn-lewis-to-attend-2021-cfj-speaking-of-women/ Dawnn Lewis, stage and film star, philanthropist, and domestic violence survivor, has been named keynote speaker at the 24th Annual Speaking of Women Luncheon Benefiting the Center for Family Justice. Lewis, a versatile artist known for her role in the 1980s sitcom A different world and more recently in Broadway’ssmash Tina: The musical Tina Turner, […]]]>

Dawnn Lewis, stage and film star, philanthropist, and domestic violence survivor, has been named keynote speaker at the 24th Annual Speaking of Women Luncheon Benefiting the Center for Family Justice.

Lewis, a versatile artist known for her role in the 1980s sitcom A different world and more recently in Broadway’ssmash Tina: The musical Tina Turner, will be headlining a show scheduled for Tuesday, September 21 at noon at Waterview in Monroe.

Presented by the title sponsor United People’s Bank, Speaking of Women is CFJ’s annual fundraiser, providing essential support to the programs and services of the Bridgeport-based nonprofit organization, which provides crisis and support services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and of child abuse in the communities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.

True to her tradition of choosing Talking Women speakers who have a strong connection to her mission, Lewis was chosen to headline this year’s event because of her willingness to share her own experiences of abuse in the interest of supporting others. In addition to her award-winning career as an actress, singer and songwriter, Lewis is a dedicated philanthropist whose Foundation of the new day focuses on helping and mentoring disadvantaged young people. This year, Lewis was part of the first class to be inducted into the Female Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“Dawnn Lewis is a dynamic and inspiring woman, and an extremely talented creative artist who will bring her passion for promoting the hope, safety and empowerment of fellow survivors on the Speaking of Women podium,” said Debra A. Greenwood, President and CEO of The Family Justice Center. “We are incredibly happy to have her with us for what we are sure will be an inspiring, meaningful and very entertaining Speaking of Women event.”

Anna Zap, co-host of the syndicated show Anna & Raven which originates locally from Star 99.9 radio, will return to Speaking of Women for her fourth consecutive year as host of the event.

This year Speaking of Women is co-chaired by Patti Masarek from Milford and Sofia Goncalves, CFJ board member, from Trumbull.

Last year, CFJ provided services to more than 7,000 people, including more than 4,300 directly affected by domestic or sexual violence and child abuse. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the association has seen an 18% increase in demand for global services and a 25% increase in its clients who are victims of domestic violence. Proceeds from Let’s Talk Women will directly support these essential, life-saving services.

This year, Speaking of Women is returning to an in-person format after switching to a virtual event in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to tickets sold for the lunch program at Waterview, CFJ also offers a virtual ticket option for those who prefer to participate in the event in a socially distant way.

Tickets for Speaking of Women are sold for $ 175 each for the in-person event at The Waterview and for $ 125 for the live broadcast on the day of the event.

CFJ is also looking for Let’s Talk Women sponsors and advertisers for its event program guide. To discuss sponsorship opportunities or ticket purchases, contact Lisa Labella, CFJ Director of Development and Community Engagement at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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The performer | Columns https://michaeldorf.org/the-performer-columns/ https://michaeldorf.org/the-performer-columns/#respond Wed, 25 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/the-performer-columns/ Being an entertainer or any type of artist is both a blessing and a curse. You experience the depth, breadth, ups and downs of life in extraordinary ways, but your lack of practical real-world skills often condemns you to the category of starving artist. Acting is a living art, whether on stage or in the […]]]>

Being an entertainer or any type of artist is both a blessing and a curse. You experience the depth, breadth, ups and downs of life in extraordinary ways, but your lack of practical real-world skills often condemns you to the category of starving artist.

Acting is a living art, whether on stage or in the cinema. The actor brings words to life and lives in characters who had previously only lived on paper. It is an exciting, mysterious and always new experience. Being an actor is like never having to grow up. You get paid to play and go on an adventure. This is why these jobs are so hard to get and keep.

Stage fright is something you have to overcome if you really want to be an artist. Some people have it worse than others, but I believe we all have it to some extent. With me, it always helped to have rehearsed with a casting for several weeks, because it was like already having an audience. Also, when you are performing on a pre-stage stage, the audience is in the dark while the stage is ablaze with lights, so you can pretend the audience is not there. Cold auditions in front of a group of strangers are the most nerve-racking acting experience.

When playing in a play you can get attached to your characters since you spend several weeks developing them, but with fast paced movies you don’t jump into the character sooner than you say “goodbye” to him. role. There isn’t enough time to really develop your character.

Cinema is a unique art that has the ability to capture a perfectly orchestrated performance from a multitude of artists and present it to one audience after another for centuries. The performers and performers may all be dead and gone, but they continue to perform and entertain us.

The novelty of “moving pictures” never fades to me. I am just as thrilled to watch a magic lantern show as I am to watch finely crafted movies. Even creating flipbooks and animating basic drawings can be a lot of fun.

Even though acting is my all-consuming passion, singing is probably my most natural talent. I resisted it, however, and tried to focus on the classic game, making it hard to find an audience. Nevertheless, I have been inspired by singers, Shirley Jones, Jane Powell, Deanna Durbin, and also many movie musicals, including Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical “Pirates of Penzance”.

My first big debut as a solo artist took place at my cousin’s wedding at the age of 14. I was to sing “The Lord’s Prayer” (the high soprano version). It was the first time that I realized that in the vocal arrangements, the pianist was playing something different and the singer was supposed to sing the main aria which had to blend with the notes of the arrangement. It was difficult to learn this new style of singing.

On D-Day, I was petrified, (even if, throughout my career, “stage fright” has never prevented me from finishing my performance and doing an adequate job). I was terrified of dishonoring myself, ruining and ruining the marriage. As soon as I started singing all the nerves seemed to rush into my mic clenched hands and numb them completely, but the performance went well.

Most recently I had an episode during a performance that tested my skills as a performer. It was during the Easter Sunday service at Hawthorn Presbyterian Church. I signed up to sing. At the last minute my dad told me to take one of his desks, so I did, thinking, “What could go wrong?” Well, it turned out that something “could go wrong” that I wasn’t expecting. Halfway through my solo, the music stand started to sink in front of me. I ripped out my music as the grandstand lowered. Our speaker tried to help set up my booth, but in less than 30 seconds it sank again. All the while, I continued to sing without missing a beat or getting out of sync with my CD accompaniment. Finally, I dropped the music and finished on a high note. We later found out that there was a small groove in the metal music stand that had not been properly secured.

The skill of performing on the piano is useful, especially in churches. I’m not the most gifted musician, but my pianist skills are good for most everyday events and are in reasonable demand.

Dancing has never been one of my strengths. At first, I struggled with all kinds of stage movement. I was stiff and awkward. I am extremely slow when trying to learn choreography. I have to watch the dancers in front of me and reflect their actions. In a dance class at the university, I had the chance to learn an insight into the world of dance. Ballet was pure torture (I prefer pantomime), tap dancing was a chore, but jazz and modern dance was kinda fun, because you made it up as you go. Maybe one day I’ll improve my dancing before I get too old.

When you become the MC (Master of Ceremonies) of a program, you automatically become a bit of a comedian. Audiences are eager to laugh and be entertained, so any comic commentary is likely to cause a wave of laughter from the crowd. My brother and I have done a number of gigs over the years and someone had to speak between songs to tie the program together. I was the logical choice, so I became comfortable with public speaking. Little behind-the-scenes jokes are the audience’s favorite.

When you get into show business, you end up dabbling in everything on and off stage, right down to baking cookies for the intermission concession stand. To endure all of the headaches and chaos that come with the performing arts, you have to really love acting.

In conclusion, too many people make the mistake of thinking that “talent” is all that is needed to be successful in the performing arts. Talent is only part of success. The amount of time, hard work and determination that an individual is willing to put into their dreams is the best way to measure their potential for success.


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Performer and choreographer Krystal Kiran agrees to be part of the “third culture” straddling India and Canada https://michaeldorf.org/performer-and-choreographer-krystal-kiran-agrees-to-be-part-of-the-third-culture-straddling-india-and-canada/ https://michaeldorf.org/performer-and-choreographer-krystal-kiran-agrees-to-be-part-of-the-third-culture-straddling-india-and-canada/#respond Wed, 11 Aug 2021 11:21:25 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/performer-and-choreographer-krystal-kiran-agrees-to-be-part-of-the-third-culture-straddling-india-and-canada/ Actress, dancer, singer, choreographer and producer, Krystal Kiran knows what it’s like to feel fragmented. As a self-proclaimed child of the “third culture” – the daughter of Punjabi immigrants – she didn’t feel quite comfortable growing up in the largely white world of Penticton with her brother in the 1980s. and 1990. Now a resident […]]]>

Actress, dancer, singer, choreographer and producer, Krystal Kiran knows what it’s like to feel fragmented. As a self-proclaimed child of the “third culture” – the daughter of Punjabi immigrants – she didn’t feel quite comfortable growing up in the largely white world of Penticton with her brother in the 1980s. and 1990.

Now a resident of West Vancouver, Kiran defines Third Culture as a space where people feel they don’t belong to any dominant cultural group because their parents came from another place with different traditions.

“We were born and raised in Canada, but our parents are Indians, for example,” Kiran said in a telephone interview with the Right. “So when we also go back to India, we are not considered Indians. We are considered foreigners.

Like many of South Asian ancestry, she was marked by discrimination in the 1980s. In her case, a dance teacher told her that another student’s mother did not want her in the same class. because of his Punjabi Sikh heritage. This prompted Kiran to quit for an entire year. She told her mother that she suffered a shoulder injury.

But Kiran was so lacking in dancing that she returned the following year, more determined than ever. As she looks back today, she believes this experience was a factor in her drive and dedication, which propelled her to amazing professional successes.

“I also cannot deny that the feeling of effort and accomplishment is also linked to racism and, therefore, to trauma,” Kiran added. “As I reflect on my career over the years, I am able to look back and see where and how it played out, both positively and negatively.”

This image of Krystal Kiran was captured in Kolkata, where she spent a lot of time learning classical Kathak dance.
Sid gosh

From PNE to Broadway

Three years after performing at PNE in Vancouver, Kiran made his professional debut at the age of 19 in the dance ensemble of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway production. Bombay Dreams. The legendary of Bollywood Farah khan choreographs the show.

Kiran has heard of Bombay Dreams when it was performed in London, and she jumped at the chance to audition when it came to New York. In addition to dancing, she was chosen as an understudy for the main character. The production also featured the music of the Indian composer AR Rahman, whose songs Kiran loved since he was a child.

“It was the first time I met him and I told him I was a big fan,” Kiran recalls.

She was later invited to perform in the Toronto theater production of the Lord of the Rings, in which Rahman teamed up with a Finnish folk group, Värttinä, to create the music. Rahman was at the piano while Kiran and other cast members sang songs in workshops.

Since then, Kiran has starred in Western movies and TV shows, and starred in major South Asian productions on and off Broadway. These include Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical, Mira Nair Monsoon wedding, and the Shaw Festival production of The orchard (after Chekhov), which was written by Serena Parmar. The latter was an adaptation of Chekhov The orchard, featuring a South Asian family from the Okanagan in the 1970s.

She was also a singer and soloist on Rahman’s Jai Ho World Tour, which was named after her 2009 Oscar-winning song composed for the film. Slumdog Millionaire. Laughing, Kiran said she felt she had really arrived when she was in a Skype conversation with Rahman and saw the letters “AR” flashing across her screen.

“It was really a monumental professional experience for me: working with him a few times, but above all being able to tour with him,” Kiran said.

Dreams on Fire Video / Latika Theme – Krystal Kiran

Video: Krystal Kiran sings “Dreams on Fire / Latika’s Theme” by Slumdog Millionaire on AR Rahman’s Jai Ho World Tour.

Welcoming the diaspora

While on tour, she sang in different languages, including Hindi and English, which sparked this familiar sense of fragmentation. Sometimes Kiran worried if her Hindi was too accentuated and if she was not Indian enough to sing Rahman’s works.

But after performing in places like Texas, which has a large Indian expatriate community, she had a revelation: there wouldn’t have been a world tour without the Diaspora. And this diaspora must be cherished, whether in Singapore, Europe or Vancouver.

“Feeling ‘thirsty’ or ashamed that we weren’t enough… I was like, ‘You know what? No! I’m going to call some bullshit on this and say that the fact that we can straddle two types of cultures is our superpower. “

Kiran plans to bring this post to a free song and dance lesson on Zoom as part of this year. Monsoon Performing Arts Festival. It will be based on a piece by the British composer Nitin Sawhney.

“It explores these classic Indian sounds beautifully along with other forms of music that you wouldn’t necessarily think of putting together,” Kiran said. “We’re going to do an introduction to the voice work and learn the actual lyrics of the song, which are in Hindi. Then we will also merge the movement with that.

Kiran enjoys Bollywood music and movies, but she also feels that many westerners don’t always appreciate her many layers. For example, some Bollywood films, like that of Sanjay Leela Bhansali Devdas, present a classical Indian dance, like the Kathak movements that she performs. Not all flashy modern line dances performed in wacky settings. And Bollywood films helped to help him connect with his Indian culture in his youth.

When David Adams, Krystal Kiran and Shawn Ahmed starred in Of marriage and men, which was directed by Philip Akin in 2018, was the first time a Shaw Festival play has featured a South Asian cast without denying their cultural heritage.
Emily Cooper / Shaw Festival

Parents gave their support

Kiran admitted that she would never have been able to pursue a career in arts and culture without the strong support of her parents. Her father, Malkit, grew up in Kolkata, a center of art, culture and progressive thought.

Her mother, Jas, was nine years old when she left a village in the Punjab for Canada. According to Kiran, her mother wanted to take dance lessons but never got the chance.

“She put me in ballet in Penticton when I was three, which was completely out of the community standard,” Kiran revealed. “So I feel really lucky that my parents, in their own way, enjoyed the arts even though they didn’t necessarily practice it themselves. “

his company, Kiran’s House, is in partnership with the South Asian Arts Society, which produces the Monsoon Festival, on an ambitious educational project next year to help children of South Asian descent in the Lower Mainland reconnect with their roots. According to Kiran, this will take a third culture approach to dance movement and wellness.

The goal is to create programs that help people from different backgrounds forge connections between mind, body and emotions through movement and “shameless cultural expression”. And that, Kiran hopes, will help them deal with unresolved trauma in a safe space, regardless of race, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

This is not Kiran’s first foray into education. She produced, choreographed and starred in an evocative dance short, “Thy Beauty’s Doom,” in honor of Maple Batalia, an artistically talented 19-year-old Surrey student who was murdered by a former boyfriend.

Video of your beauty’s Doom

Video: In “Thy Beauty’s Doom”, Krystal Kiran offers an artistic tribute to Maple Batalia through dance.

The film was inspired by the paintings of Batalia and two sonnets by Shakespeare, and if people pay enough attention, they will spot an image of Guru Nanak, the equal-minded founder of the Sikh faith.

Profits went to Maple Batalia Memorial Fund, which offers scholarships to students of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Kiran said her professional experiences have put her in a good position to share her ideas with the next generation to help them appreciate their heritage. She even plans to offer a week is going (service without waiting for reward) class for seniors where they will sing and dance old Bollywood hits.

For her, it is important to remember that all of this is taking place on unceded indigenous lands.

“When we move away from colonized approaches, I think we really have the opportunity and the capacity to heal,” Kiran said. “While I have some ideas on how to approach this, I also know and understand that the learning process will be continuous and evolving. “

Video of Khwaja Mere Khwaja – Jodhaa Akbar | ARRahman | Hrithik Roshan | Aishwarya Rai

Video: Enjoy one of AR Rahman’s Sufi-inspired classics, “Khwaja Mere Khwaja” from the 2008 epic film Jodhaa Akbar.

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Performer Kylie Morgan Shares “It Matters What We Do” Message | New https://michaeldorf.org/performer-kylie-morgan-shares-it-matters-what-we-do-message-new/ https://michaeldorf.org/performer-kylie-morgan-shares-it-matters-what-we-do-message-new/#respond Wed, 04 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/performer-kylie-morgan-shares-it-matters-what-we-do-message-new/ MOORE – A room full of enthusiastic, wide-eyed students watched model Kylie Morgan as she strummed her guitar and gave an anti-bullying speech at Oakridge Elementary in Moore on Wednesday. Morgan is a national artist who has been on tour with Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, and she is a peer spokesperson for PACER.orgNational Center […]]]>

MOORE – A room full of enthusiastic, wide-eyed students watched model Kylie Morgan as she strummed her guitar and gave an anti-bullying speech at Oakridge Elementary in Moore on Wednesday.

Morgan is a national artist who has been on tour with Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, and she is a peer spokesperson for PACER.orgNational Center for the Prevention of Bullying, which engages and educates communities nationwide to address bullying with a focus on teen-to-teen participation.

Morgan shared her post “It Matters What We Do” and the students watched her music video for the song “Phobe”, which she wrote in memory of Phoebe Prince who committed suicide in 2010 after months of bullying. Morgan said she started her campaign when she learned that so many kids are skipping school because of bullying and that she wants to make a difference.

The lyrics of the song include:

“Fifteen shouldn’t be that difficult. Always be on guard. Walk alone to school. Sometimes children can be so cruel.

“Phoebe, I wish I knew you, I wish I could tell you. I’m telling you everything would be fine. It’s only a phase of life. Phoebe, I know you’re in Heaven and now Your pain is over Now that you can fly on angel wings and smile again Can you hear me, Phoebe?

“Now it’s just an empty office. And all that heartache since you left. I guess you didn’t have anyone to call. Maybe a friend changed everything.

“Phoebe, I wish I knew you, I wish I could tell you. I’m telling you everything would be fine. It’s only a phase of life. Phoebe, I know you’re in Heaven and now Your pain is over Now that you can fly on angel wings and smile again Can you hear me, Phoebe?

“You are more than just a picture in the news. You are part of us, there is a part of us in you. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s what we do matters.

“Phoebe, I wish I had known you, I know I could have told you. I’m telling you everything would be fine. It’s only a phase of life. Phoebe, I know you’re in Heaven and now your pain is over. Now that you can fly on angel wings and smile again. Can you hear me, Phoebe? “

Morgan then answered students’ questions. A student asked Morgan if she had ever been intimidated by her family.

“My family, I was very lucky to have a family that supported me no matter what, in every way, so I never had to deal with it at home,” Morgan said.

Another student asked Morgan what she does when negative comments are posted about her online.

“I’ve learned that fuel is never good. That means if you let people see that it bothers you enough to react and comment, it gives them what they want. I make sure everyone see I’m not paying attention and don’t comment, “she said.

Morgan then grabbed his guitar and performed some of his songs for the students during his visit. One song in particular, “Heartland,” Morgan said was very special to her.

“I lost my house in the tornadoes of May 20. I was in my safe with my mother, my sister and my dog. After the tornado, only our safe was standing,” she said. declared. “To express how I felt after we lost everything, I wrote this song.”

“You don’t know what you have until he’s gone. You don’t know what you need until you have nothing. Even when we couldn’t have less, the life is always full of love, here in the heartland “are some of the thoughtful and moving lyrics of” Heartland “.

Morgan will perform at 4 p.m. on October 18 at the OU Pre-Game Fan Fest, located off Jenkins Street near McCasland Field House.

Morgan is a 19 year old singer and songwriter from Newcastle. When she was fifteen, Morgan went to Nashville to start her career. She works with Russ Zavitson. For more information on Morgan, visit kyliemorgan.com, twitter.com/kyliemorgan33, instagram.com/kyliemorgan33, youtube.com/user/kyliemorganmusic Where facebook.com/kyliemorganmusic.



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Actors’ Equity Association applauds reintroduction of bipartite fiscal parity law for performing artists https://michaeldorf.org/actors-equity-association-applauds-reintroduction-of-bipartite-fiscal-parity-law-for-performing-artists/ https://michaeldorf.org/actors-equity-association-applauds-reintroduction-of-bipartite-fiscal-parity-law-for-performing-artists/#respond Wed, 28 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/actors-equity-association-applauds-reintroduction-of-bipartite-fiscal-parity-law-for-performing-artists/ Association for stakeholder equity applauded the re-introduction of the Bipartisan Performers Tax Parity Act (PATPA), presented by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL). This bill would correct an unintended consequence of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which resulted in tax increases for many performing artists who could no longer […]]]>

Association for stakeholder equity applauded the re-introduction of the Bipartisan Performers Tax Parity Act (PATPA), presented by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL). This bill would correct an unintended consequence of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which resulted in tax increases for many performing artists who could no longer deduct the cost of their unreimbursed regular and necessary business expenses.

While tax reform has not hurt high-income artists, many others in the industry have reported massive tax increases because they lost the ability to deduct their business expenses. “People sit with me and burst into tears because they didn’t know what to do”, Sandra karas, tax lawyer and secretary-treasurer of Association for stakeholder equity, told the Los Angeles Times, which was covering the devastating tax increases hitting performing artists. Professional actors, stage managers and musicians, for example, typically spend 20 to 30 percent of their income on necessary expenses – like paying to attend auditions or a talent agent – to stay with the company and find a job.“I am grateful for the leadership of Representatives Chu and Buchanan as they fight for tax fairness for performing artists as the industry is in a historic crisis,” said Kate shindle, president of Association for stakeholder equity. “The overwhelming majority of Equity managers and actors are working class people who work hard to make ends meet, and unlike other workers, they often have to spend 30% of their income on business expenses. Our producers can deduct their professional expenses, and we should be able to do that too.The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act will put more money in the pockets of performers when they need it most as we work to take over the arts sector Performers Deduction (QPA), which was originally enacted by the President Ronald reagan. The LPQ allows an above-the-line tax deduction for qualified performers, but has been limited since it was enacted to an adjusted total gross taxpayer income of $ 16,000. PAPPA would update the deduction to $ 100,000 for single filers and $ 200,000 for married artists filing jointly.“Despite their disproportionate influence and contributions to local communities and economies, Americans’ struggle in the arts has been recognized for years,” Reps Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Judy Chu (D-CA) wrote in The Hill when the bill was first introduced. “Most of the actors and directors who belong to Association for stakeholder equity and SAG-AFTRA members who work in television and film are hard-working middle-class taxpayers – often struggling to get by. They have slipped through the cracks of an imperfect system. To strengthen support for PATPA, Equity has partnered with the arts and entertainment unions, working in partnership with each other to meet with congressional offices. Since the creation of PATPA in June 2019, the unions held dozens of meetings with Congress staff. Equity and SAG-AFTRA also submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the need for tax fairness for actors and managers.


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Fiscal parity law for performers reintroduced in Congress https://michaeldorf.org/fiscal-parity-law-for-performers-reintroduced-in-congress/ https://michaeldorf.org/fiscal-parity-law-for-performers-reintroduced-in-congress/#respond Wed, 28 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://michaeldorf.org/fiscal-parity-law-for-performers-reintroduced-in-congress/ Today, the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act was reintroduced in the United States House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation would update the Qualified Performer Deduction (APQ) to correct an unintended consequence of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which drastically increased taxes for creative professionals in the arts. middle class by preventing the […]]]>

Today, the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act was reintroduced in the United States House of Representatives.

This bipartisan legislation would update the Qualified Performer Deduction (APQ) to correct an unintended consequence of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which drastically increased taxes for creative professionals in the arts. middle class by preventing the deduction of their business expenses.

AFL-CIO (DPE) Department of Professional Employees Chair Jennifer Dorning released the following statement on the reintroduction of PATPA:

“We applaud the reintroduction of PATPA and urge the Senate and House to pass this critical bipartisan legislation so that the President can sign it.

Middle-class creative professionals have suffered greatly from the significant tax increases that resulted after losing the ability to deduct their business expenses. Actors, stage managers, dancers, musicians, cinematographers and many other creative professionals spend 20-30% of their income on the expenses needed to get and keep a job, including travel for auditions, performing arts agents, and filming. shooting equipment. Without the ability to deduct these expenses, many middle-class professionals struggled to make ends meet even before the pandemic began, when many creators still had incomes. PAPA will restore tax fairness and put more money in the hands of creative, hard-working professionals. .

Righting this unintentional harm created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has been a top priority for the DPE and our affiliated unions due to the devastating impact the change in the QPA deduction has had on employees. union members. We thank Representative Chu and Representative Buchanan for reintroducing this important bipartite piece of legislation, and we look forward to PAPPA becoming law. “


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