Toussaint Jeanlouis

What I Create is: Where, When, and How I Live.

Actor, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Boxing Instructor.

"I yank down my shorts and shit." When it hits you 'AFTERWARD'

There are many questions I'm asking myself now. But something I've learned is, sometimes, no matter how hard it is, the best you can do is just listen. Most times there isn't a hero; there are loved ones. Let them know you love them.

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'but i cd only whisper' U.S. Premiere at The Flea Theater

I'll be playing as Beau Willie Brown in the U.S. Premiere at The Flea Theater. Previews begin Thursday February 18. Tickets are currently being sold for $15. We have just completed week two of rehearsals and I can honestly say you won't want to miss it! Kristiana Colón has written a powerful work of art that demands your complete attention - even in fragmented memories. Already there is so much I have learned and am indescribably appreciative to star the New Year off with such a powerful team.

Synopsis: At the tail end of the Vietnam War veteran Beau Willie Brown attempts to return to the family and life he left behind. Inspired by and including extracts from For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, but i cd only whisper moves through time and space fusing the physical and the poetic to explore the affects of trauma, society, and self.

but i cd only whisper is a beautifully sophisticated play, which combines monologues, fantasies and flashbacks to tell the story of black Vietnam vet Beau Willie Brown…As Beau opens up, a murky picture emerges of a man at battle with himself and society.” – Time Out London Review

"a strong, dark and challenging new play" - The Multicultural Politic

Devising New Work: Have we Enslaved the Good & Incarcerated the Bad? Whom is We?

Beginning:
Monday night was the first night I spent time with fellow artists devising new work in the DevisingHub at Ping Chong + Company led by Performance Artist Ryan Conarro. I met interesting people and am excited to feel the results of the next five weeks! I've already learned so much. I'll be presenting an excerpt of new work by December 10. While the process of devising can be daunting, I'm thrilled to be vulnerable and begin a conversation about subjects that have been on my mind for a few years.

One question I aim to answer is "What am I in search of as an Artist?" I have to remember that we grow and it is always a good idea to ask yourself that question again because our artistic statement can change from day to day. In regards to this new work, I have many associations based on the material and research I have done for my current work, and knowing what I'm in search of as an Artist will lead me in a direction as to how I can develop the work to be most effective. Where do I begin?

Meditation 1:
I want to know how an individual [can] transcends the physical self and lives spiritually [blind faith]. I am interested in creating a new way [news waves] of sharing humanity for the purpose of growth - reaching Our (Humanity's) full potential. We are inescapably caught in this garment of destiny - tied together*. If We are touched - opened, what can we accomplish then and together? How do you destroy competition, specifically the practice of stagnant opposition?

I am not wholly interested in what "ties us together," rather "Why are we disconnected? Why do you / have you refuse(d) to open your parachute?" There must be bad in order to recognize good. What is Good? What is God? What is Bad? What is Hell? Who is Lucifer? I am fascinated that we are circling around the same questions and behaviors that were presented thousands of years ago. Is progression a theory? As long as we "know" what this "bad" is, we can manage It, but if It is new, that's frightening - uncontrollable; a Virus. Have we enslaved the good and incarcerated the bad? Whom is We?

Discovery:
I want to be in Awe. Mouth agape; feeling every emotion and sensation at once. It's not a question of what I'm watching. I am experiencing something intuitively personal [by associative qualities] - my insides are stirring, then to realize We are all experiencing it by a single thread pulled from Us; that which had no name.

Example: The Starlit Night Sky. A Shooting Star Falling. There are many ways to see this event. "I ask that you lie down on your back." How will I guide you towards the least affected perspective: Shavasana. What does that fleeting moment feel like? Nirvana. IMAX Cinema.

In Meditation 2:
Awareness is not sufficient. It is for few who would commit to action, others are happy / content / immobilized and remain disengaged; especially if they cannot see how it effects them - they must be affected. What story am I informing with? Even if the information is "fact," everyone moves forward at their own pace. What is Trust without the suspension of Belief? "Pull the string to open your parachute."

Knowledge versus Violence. Violent Knowledge: "I learned about gravity while pushed out of bed."

Discovery:
I intend to Explore by Creating Violent Knowledge. Wisdom is ... Settled  ... Digested ... Wisdom is the Embodiment of Knowledge. Habit and Ritual form because of Wisdom and Desire. I Am Because I Believe ... I Believe in What? Do I Fight ... Who do I Fight to Believe? Who Am I?

Meditation 3:
Water flowing. Winter is coming. Frozen. Nutrients will be preserved. Make them Thirsty. Make it Hot so they Beg for Water. Violent Nature. But with Oil Spills is my Value decreasing?

Discovery:
I Desire to be Comfortable. What is Comfortable? [ a long list ] What is Naked? What is the opposite of Comfortable? What Makes me Not Comfortable? Restrictions.

Am I creating this new work so that I may be more comfortable in my skin? In what?

What excites me is the possibility to Transvalue Cotton and Human Beings.

* "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." - Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail

 

DevisingHub with Ping Chong + Co

Tonight is the first night of a five week workshop with Ping Chong + Company and Associate Artist Ryan Conarro. I will be among ten creators - interdisciplinary artists, who are all devising new works as individuals and/or groups. I've already gotten the readings for the first day and it's like I'm back in grad school which is exciting!!! 

My Project:  

HOME B.A.S.E.

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." - Martin Luther King Jr.  Art and creation is the network of mutuality that saved my life, helping me realize who I am and what I can be while living in a world that would tell me what it thinks I should be. I am a Creator. I build skills and create situations to help others create. What I Create comes from the essential realization and acknowledgment of How, When, and Where I Live. Working with Casita Maria's Bronx community I would implement a series of generative community workshops built from my creative model of HOME B.A.S.E. combining Acting Training, Martial Arts, Dance, Writing, Visual Arts, and Music to Build Artists through Somatic Education. Through this series of workshops I would guide participants in exploring the rich theme of COTTON, this elemental and earthy thread that builds the garments that bind us. "How do you want to dye/die?  What is the history of this fabric, this essential crop that unites and yet divides us? What legacy do you want to leave behind on this thread of existence?” It is our duty to shape, stretch, color, and fashion our world. Through an exploration of COTTON, I hope to indirectly examine the racial, social, economic, sexual fibers of our contemporary lives, working with the community to arrive to build a stronger fabric of creative sustainability.

Brooklyn Web Fest

BrooklynWebFest.com

BrooklynWebFest.com

So this has been the most amazing last two days I have spent listening, viewing, and speaking with fellow Artists, Producers, Writers, Actors, Filmmakers, (gasp!) the list goes on and it's just so fantastic! This was the inaugural year for Brooklyn Web Fest, bringing together Artists who have created web series, and panelists who can speak about marketing and producing content.

I came to view the screening of my CalArts Alumni Ian Verdun and his first ever webseries he has written called Life Is A Drag Series - he won Best Premiere Web Series! I was also able to watch other phenomenal web series - all have inspired me! The panel discussions were informative, from how to promote content through social media and how to sell your content in a market(s) that will support you! My head hurts from all the information it was filled with and I could not be more thankful to the founders for creating such a dynamic community! I will be back next year!

JITTERBUG - A New Play!

JITTERBUG written by Emma Stanton and directed by Marina McClure. November 4, 2015 @ 7:30 in Dixon Place.  

JITTERBUG written by Emma Stanton and directed by Marina McClure. November 4, 2015 @ 7:30 in Dixon Place.  

I am so happy to be a member of this cast and work on this brilliant work! I get to dance on rollerblades - maybe.

I have been asking questions non-stop!  Call it character work, but I think it's Me work! - which is great that a work can make you ask so many relevant questions!

When I begin working on a new project and it's in alignment with every thought, insecurity, and feeling I say "Thank you. Thank you for understanding we all have questions without answers. Thank you for letting me see my own potential. Thank you for letting me do the work necessary to be a better Human Being. Thank you for helping me to understand so that I may communicate in and navigate throughout this world. Thank you."