s o o t h s a y e r
what is it?
soothsayer is an ongoing work in process inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and each project is intentionally different in its subject matter, the form of exploration, and purpose for existing. The current format of the show is a “live-performance podcast” featuring dance, film, and spoken word.
Through the lenses of Dante’s various realms of the afterlife, we create a theatrical experience where the audience gets to engage with the artists as we unpack & explore the seven sins and their relationships with ourselves & our communities and how we can address current social issues and find a better way forward, collectively, for the betterment of ourselves & each other. This is done by presenting a character-driven, multi-medium performance encompassing dance, live storytelling & conversation, and pre-recorded film & animation.
Each iteration can be catered to the specific needs of the community and the presenter and can be performed for audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience/interest in art & activism. Dante's version of "life after death" serves as a magnificent narrative for the current-day individual, regardless of how anyone identifies via gender, age, nationality, sexuality, politically, etc.
The show's origins were initially inspired by what I consider to be the Four Fundamental Questions of the universe:
1.) Where did we come from?
2.) Where are we now?
3.) Where are we going?
4.) What does it all mean (if anything at all)?
With this serving as an underlying theme in the work, the ideas addressed topically with each episode (e.g. greed & money's effects on the world around us, wrath & the importance of practicing gentle awareness, etc.) give a fresh look at lessons regarding Positive-Sum, Nonviolent Communication, and improving ourselves in order to help improve the world around us. Similar to a collection of cautionary tales, soothsayer is intended to fill the audience & participants involved with laughter, tough love, resources on how to contribute, and an opportunity to demonstrate the lessons learned by extending itself far beyond the limitations of a performance space.
how is it?
soothsayer is born from personal happenings in my own awkward existence. every iteration or "episode" is different than the last, however, recurring characters & themes find their way into every one, maintaining a "long con" in both story & character development while allowing the observer to jump in & out of the universe at any time without needing to know hardly anything about previous episodes. ranging from adventures in falling in/out of love to coping with death to commenting on the feeling of the crushing, soul-stealing void that is not knowing anything about anything, these stories are chopped up & spliced with similar stories/experiences contributed by collaborators and framed through various pop culture references of which i personally find interesting/perplexing/relatable.
recent iterations of the work include a solo inspired by the desire to go deeper than one's skin, a duet exploring the murky waters between sweet love & toxic co-dependency, a short film exploring dating culture framed as a kung-fu movie, and a group work exploring the process of traveling through purgatory while unpacking the intricacies of love, desire, and consent.
all episodes & installments of soothsayer reside within the soothsayer universe (purgatory) and characters within are inspired by the actual artists that portray them.
why is it?
soothsayer is meant to be a vessel for both the artists involved as well as for the audience & observers. whether it's a live performance, a workshop, a short film, a graphic novel, or any other form of creative sharing, this project is more than just a piece: it's a lifestyle.
all artists involved are seen as human first before their attributed skill set, and each artist is encouraged to be vocal & contribute in the capacity of their choosing to the project. when you join the soothsayer universe, you join the "positive-sum" movement:
"positive-sum, in game theory, a term that refers to situations in which the total of gains and losses is greater than zero. a positive sum occurs when resources are somehow increased and an approach is formulated in which the desires and needs of all concerned are satisfied. positive-sum outcomes occur in instances of distributive bargaining where different interests are negotiated so that everyone’s needs are met."
- encyclopedia britannica, britannica.com/topic/positive-sum-game
positive-sum is incorporated into the entire process of soothsayer from brainstorming to production to execution & sharing, and all artists involved perpetuate these ideas into their own personal lives. in addition to the creative process, these ideals are the foundation of all iterations & phases of the project, and everyone involved works vocationally: we focus on serving others, contributing our skill sets, and helping to make our community a safer, happier, healthier place for everyone. one way to think of it: we are the intersection where wu-tang clan, greenpeace, and artistic storytelling culminate into an idea that permeates the universe, crosses thresholds, makes real change, and becomes something bigger than the sum of its parts.
soothsayer is all of us, together.
willing or not, you're already part of it.
welcome to purgatory.
enjoy the ride.
u p c o m i n g :