My friend and colleague has an upcoming event for her long-running project Live? Die? Kill? in Beacon, NY, April 25-27. This one focuses on Native Americans in the Southwestern US. Should be a great show. Any NYC/Hudson Valley folks want to join me? Details below. Both evening performances work for me. -Mia
LIVE?DIE?KILL?: 4 CORNERS
A Performance Documentary
by Karen Michel
Exhibition and Fundraiser: Second Saturday, April 12, 2014: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Performances: April 25 – 26, 2014: 8:00pm
Matinee: April 27, 2014: 3:00pm
All events take place at Beacon Yoga Studio, 464 Main Street, Beacon NY 12508
Exhibition and Fundraiser is open to the public
Performances: $15 suggested donation includes a glass of wine or seltzer
Two evenings and one afternoon of text, sound, and visuals primarily from Native Americans in the Southwest of the United States, reflecting on issues of life and death.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Karen Michel woke up in her Brooklyn apartment to the sound of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. “As the sky blackened, I was sure the world had come to an end. And I was acutely aware, for the next days and weeks, that I was breathing the DNA of dead people.” In the weeks that followed, the country began the long and difficult process of healing, seeking answers to questions for which there was no one or right response. These are the questions came to Michel, in what she refers to as an “aural vision”:
What do you live for? What would you die for? What would you kill for?
For the following decade, Karen Michel traveled from urban Los Angeles, New York and Boston, to the rural Southwest, Florida, North Carolina, Montana and the Badlands asking strangers these three questions. The simple syntax belies the pinpointed directness. The questions ask much more than “what” and answers reveal even more. In 2010, Michel visited Navajo, Hopi and Ute Reservations in the Four Corners region of the Southwest to discover what answers might be there. Her performance will speak of the consciousness of a people and how place and family ties affect a community. These form the basis of her April 25, 26, 27 performances in Beacon, NY.
In radio programs and live performances, Michel weaves a story-documentary of the places she’s traveled to and the people that agreed to answer the 3 questions. She has an innate talent of pulling the words, the truth, out of the interviewed. Most are curious and willing. Some answer with surprising depth in a poetic voice; some unwittingly fall, crying, into stories of personal tragedy; some, become forcibly angry at the very thought of engaging with a stranger. Or themselves. Michel curates all of this information into an entertaining and thoughtful performance: an anthropologist’s collection of detritus and treasure, images of places, people, and the sounds of someone’s voice intertwined with Michel’s astute observations.
The Exhibition and Fundraiser on April 12, Second Saturday in Beacon, will display archival “mug shot” prints of those she has interviewed. Prints will be for sale.
Karen Michel is an award-winning radio producer, documentarian, artist, and educator. A long-time contributor to NPR's daily newsmagazines, she got her start in radio at the age of 5 as a guest on Art Linkletter's "Kids Say the Darnedest Things." She honed her adult skills on Alaska Public Radio. Before moving to the Hudson Valley, she lived in Brooklyn; after 9-11 she began the project that's become the radio and performance documentary series/obsession: "Live?Die?Kill?: 3 Questions in Various Geographies." Karen Michel currently resides in Pleasant Valley, New York with her husband, Bob, and their dog, Yomo.