A few years ago, a good friend of mine suggested that I should see her friend’s solo show. It was about her own life and experiences as a young Asian actress living in New York City. It was done so beautifully that it left a lasting impression on me. I was inspired to see more solo shows. I was always blown away by how remarkable it is for these artists to share their stories, and their willingness to expose their lives to complete strangers. This made me think about writing a solo show for myself. I have always known that I have a unique story that I wanted to share for a long time.
Most of the writing I’ve done has been academic papers and I was lacking experience in creative writing. I decided to take a few playwriting classes. I came across comedian Judy Gold’s Solo Performance class at ESPA Primary Stages. I wrote my first scene for the class and worked on an outline for a full-length show. Eventually, my piece began to take shape. And now, I am presenting my story at one of the biggest theater festival in the world: The New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC.
For those of you who are familiar with me, you may already know that I was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Hawaii right before I started middle school. I am also a pianist who first trained in the Philippines, and eventually found my way to one of the most prestigious classical piano programs in the world, Indiana University. I have performed and competed as a pianist around the US and abroad. Most recently, I have found acting, which has become a significant part of my artistic identity.
This show follows my journey as an artist. Watching cartoons was a huge part of my childhood and that has led me to become a concert pianist. Along the way, you’ll meet some quirky characters like my family, piano teachers, friends, and some interesting ones in between. There will be scenes and monologues, as well as images, videos, and live piano music!
This story may be unique to me, but there is something for everybody in this show. If you were once a kid, you’ll relate to this show. If you had struggles growing up, there’s something for you in this show. If you like music, nostalgia, comedy, or anything else in between, you will love this show.
– Jeremy Rafal, Writer/Performer
The Boy from Bantay Press Release