Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello! My name is...

Hello, gentle readers,

My name is Aya, and I am honored to be joining Show Showdown as a contributor/reviewer.  Thought I would write a few introductory words...

Who am I? (24601)  I am a recently minted Ph.D. candidate in Musicology at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and hoping to successfully navigate the edges of the black hole called the dissertation within three years or so.  My main area of research involves musics created by participatory science fiction fans.  My secondary research area is musical theatre.  Strangely enough, these two areas have a surprising amount of overlap.

I have always been a huge musical nerd.  Often, I break out into song and dance in public places, to the chagrin of my friends.  You remember when Facebook used to have that bumper sticker app?  I think I received the "I wish life were a musical" sticker eight different times from FB friends who did not know each other.

For a long time though, I did not know that musical theatre studies was a legit area of research inquiry until I took a grad seminar on the rock musical by my now mentor and Show Showdown writer Liz Wollman.  It opened up a whole new world.  I'm particularly fascinated by how musicals function as vehicles for the performance of personal identity.  My main work-in-progress is an article on Bill T. Jones' FELA!; I'm also interested in recent new media musicals like Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Smash, and Nashville.  (Sorry, Glee jumped the shark for me midway through season three.)

While I mainly channel my nerdy energy into academic pursuits, I am lucky enough to live, work, and hang out with several people who are involved in the theatre industry.  My two roommates - one of whom is a professional stage manager and the other an actress, general manager, and producer - keep my head from getting too inflated with academic pondering.  I also volunteer with a community theatre on Roosevelt Island and have had the opportunity to work with some crazily talented teens and children, some of whom are currently starring in film, Broadway, off-Broadway, and web serial productions.

I am so looking forward to writing for you all.  Bonus points if you caught all my musical references...Till next time!

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