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Thursday, April 17, 2008

pressed, part deux

On my way to first rehearsal with Steven Vanhauwaert, I picked up the SF Weekly and was crestfallen as I thumbed, backward, through the paper and reached the beginning of the film section without seeing the item about Grace Cathedral. Then, there it was, with grayscale hollering Eisa Davis - the second of three events promoed in the Night & Day section on page 19. What is the opposite of crestfallen? Me when I saw this placement.

I was further cheered in Union Square when I saw, at the TKTS booth, a stack of the San Francisco Arts Monthly, with its front-page mug of blue hollering Eisa. Steven and I had a very good first rehearsal, not good enough to be unlucky, but plenty promising. Then we dropped his things off at the Huntington and tromped around the city for the next four hours - Mario's Bohemiam Cigar Store for sammies, Washington Square Park to eat them, the adventure of the 30 Stockton, the 14 Mission back to my place where we picked up Ziggy and Grover and brought them to Dolores Park.

Fast-forward past Steven's departure for the Huntington spa, my two-hour early evening nap, solitary dinner, reasonably careful practicing. And then, as I was putting the violin down, I felt James's presence at the door, and I had this overwhelming and uncanny sense he was going to tell me I had more coverage in the Chronicle.

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Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”The New Yorker; “Stunning”Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des R├ęcollets.