Johnny Darlin and the Queer South are proud to present the WORLD PREMIERE of Johnny Darlin: In the Closet as part of the 20th annual New York International Fringe Festival running from August 12-28!
Growing up a fan of the massive arena pop spectacle in the age of Britney Spears and *NSYNC, multimedia artist Johnny Darlin has spent hours wondering what his version of this art form would look and sound like. Not quite a musical, not quite a concert, Johnny Darlin: In the Closet is his reckoning with this life-long question.
What follows is an abstract, cerebral retelling of Darlin’s southern Baptist coming out story from first celebrity crush of childhood, to falling in love for the first time. This story, however, is broadened by the coming-of-age experiences of the wider queer population. Live music, dance, video projection art, music videos, home videos, monologues, prose, and poetry by closeted and out LGBTQ people from all over the country take center stage and help relay the story of Johnny Darlin’s modern pop catalog. The end result is a cohesive, inclusive, yet complicated tale of identity and growth focused on growing up an outsider with secret desires and loves. It infers that everyone has something they’re hiding and begs the question: “What does it take to come out?,” while Johnny Darlin does this exact thing live on stage.
Johnny Darlin: In The Closet features music from Johnny Darlin, Francis Steakknife, Brooklyn punk trio Gandor Chorale, and Pincha Jones. It is choreographed by Pia Vinson, fresh off her work with Samantha Urbani. Live video art will be performed by Johnny Darlin and JPEGSTRIPES. Storytelling will be presented by over fifteen writers and dramatists collectively known as “The Queer South.”
Johnny’s music has been called “the perfect…synth pop cry for a lover lost” by 50thirdand3rd, and “super clubby, edgy, and pop embracive” by Homoground. For more information, please visit: johnnydarlin.com/in-the-closet. You can listen to Johnny Darlin at soundcloud.com/johnnydarlin.
Where You Come In
The amount we are attempting to raise has been meticulously calculated to pay for venue rental, rehearsal space and time, proper advertising and promotion, promotional materials such as CDs and T-shirts, festival fees, and the ability to pay creative contributors for their time and craft. If you are interested in seeing a more extensive budget outline, please let me know!
Meet The Team
Johnny Darlin (Music, Visuals, and Concept) Michael Doshier is a multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, devoted to infusing pop music with an much-needed shot of queer love. Raised in the southern suburbs, his musical foundation exists just as much in the hymnals of the Baptist church as in the queer punk artists he worshipped online in secret. His music and short films draw from the spiritual southern culture from his youth, as well as the unique intersection of queer and online spaces. He released his debut visual EP Mr. Monogamy in 2014, and is expected to release his follow-up this year in conjunction with the world premiere of his show "Johnny Darlin: In the Closet" at the New York Fringe Festival.
Francis Steakknife (Music) Steven Zemanian is a sound designer, music producer, drummer, electronic musician, occasional dog walker, and rabbit enthusiast from Norfolk, Virginia. He lives in New York now. He has worked with Johnny Darlin on many projects. Steven currently records sounds - both abstract and organic - for Sunhouse Technologies, the company that makes Sensory Percussion.
Pia Vinson (Choreography) was born and raised in France where she began her studies in tap dance and ballet at the age of 4 years old. While attending the National School of Tarn, she studied with Dominique Thouroude and worked with Agnès Nolténius (William Forsythe Company) and Marie-José Redon (Paris Opéra Ballet) among many others. By the age of 18, she was working for the National Opera of Montpellier as a dancer/mime in La Traviata, Manon Lescaut and other productions. In January of 2012, Pia received a scholarship for the Professional Training Program at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, with focus on establishing herself as a choreographer. On July 20th 2013, she shared the stage with the Joffrey Ballet and Ballet Jazz Montréal at the Festival "Danses en Place" in France to present her choreography "The Edge" interpreted by Lorenzo Pagano (Martha Graham Dance Company). Since, her work has been performed at Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place, the Martha Graham Studio Theater, New York Transit Museum, West Fest Dance among other venues in New York and France. In June 2015, Pia started a year long but life changing internship at the Mark Morris Dance Center with the Dance for Parkinson's disease Program. In January 2016, Pia choreographed singer Samantha Urbani's "U know I know" music video which was produced by Milk Media and Urban Outfitters. She has also been working on Urbani's live shows.
JPEGSTRIPES (Visuals) Jordan Bortneris a Brooklyn-based glitch artist and musician. He frequently performs as a visual projectionist/VJ around New York City as JPEGSTRIPES, and creates music videos. He has worked with a wide variety of bands and electronic musicians, creating improvised visuals using both analog and digital techniques.
Alberte Nilausen (Dancer) began her dance training at the age of 10 in hip-hop and lyrical dance in her hometown Holbaek, Denmark. Later on she started her training with Copenhagen City Ballet (Astra Sterns) and Christianshavns Ballet School (Inge Christensen) and from 2009-2011 she was a member of the Copenhagen based contemporary modern dance company Juniorkompagniet. She moved to New York City in 2012 after being accepted to The Ailey School’s Certificate Program where she graduated May 2015. During her time at Ailey she worked with choreographers such as Matthew Rushing, Hope Boykin, Earl Mosley, Darrel Grand Moultrie, Amy Hall among others. In 2012 she was picked as one of The Danish Stars of Tomorrow by the Danish American Society and performed at their annual Gala Celebration. Alberte also travelled with Kimberly LaRue Artistic Director of NYC Dance Collaborative, a project based company, to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico twice to dance and perform. She is now working as a freelance dancer/artist and has been dancing for NYC Dance Arts Professional Company, choreographer Pia Vinson, SammyJDance and Keiko Fujii Dance Company.
Quenton Stuckey (Dancer)
The Queer South refers to the over fifteen individuals who provided testimonies, poems, prose, and spoken word pieces for this production. Their original voices relaying these writings will be broadcast throughout the production. Their locations range from Conway, Arkansas to Los Angeles to New York City and broaden the perspective of the show immensely, while connecting the Johnny Darlin musical catalog into a cohesive story.
Risks and challenges
The challenges we could face after our project is successfully funded include making sure each piece of the puzzles falls together properly. This includes choreography mixed with live vocal and musical performances, mixed with video projections being completed and the technical aspect of them being fully supported. These challenges could intensify when given our specific venue if there are limitations there. However, with the proper funding, we will be more prepared to meet these challenges, and as they say, the show must go on!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)