On Location: Big Sexy, The John Oliver Show, & Formosa

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last week, I had the amazing privilege to cry, laugh, and learn at three amazing events throughout the city - as I wrote about on Monday, my staycation allowed me to really savor the opportunities of NYC again, and these were three of the best ways I knew how. Here's the recap!


Big Sexy with Tiffany Bank
The Thursday before spring break really kicked off for me, I was helping introduce the fabulous Tiffany Bank of Big Sexy fame at a Well Woman event where she was to talk about plus-size modeling, weight bias, and her fabulous life. Little did I know how engaging and wonderful this talk would be - I was literally tearing up when she answered the audience question "what would you tell your 16 year old self?" Tiffany talked about her struggles with body love, her career, and (most importantly in my mind) how she overcame the many obstacles presented to a large woman in our American society. Apart from her talk, the audience engagement was wonderful and lighthearted and very supportive (as opposed to much of the response that you see online about fat people, etc). I can't wait to invite her back to Barnard for another talk - and model walk demonstration!

The John Oliver Show
I have a confession to make - I am a stand-up junkie. I don't normally watch TV anymore, but when I have access to one, stand up shows will be playing non-stop. So, when a friend of mine recommended that there were free tickets to a show taping of The John Oliver Stand-up Show, I jumped on it! I went for two nights and I laughed and laughed and laughed. And not just because the magic of television requires that the studio audience be engaged throughout the taping, but because the show was legitimately hilarious. John Oliver himself, usually someone I see as a correspondent on the Daily Show, was particularly amazing when doing his stand-up. The show is airing in summer on Comedy Central, so if you have access to a TV, you should definitely look for it.

Image via MOCA

Formosa by Kelly Tsai
This work in progress show by slam poet, Kelly Tsai, was an exploration in issues affecting Taiwanese and Taiwanese American people. Performed entirely by Kelly, the show was a mix of intense emotions: dark-hearted comedy went side by side with struggle and historical drama, making this show a fascinating experiment in connecting all those aspects of identity. The show is still being tinkered with, but it will definitely be coming to the stage in the near future, so check it out if you get a chance!