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list price: $18.95
edition:Paperback
category: Drama
published: Feb 2021
ISBN:9781551528427
publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

How to Fail as a Popstar

by Vivek Shraya, foreword by Brendan Healy

tagged: canadian, gay & lesbian
Description

The first play by multi-media artist Vivek Shraya, about fame and personal transformation.

Described as "cultural rocket fuel" by Vanity Fair, Vivek Shraya is a multi-media artist whose art, music, novels, and poetry and children's books explore the beauty and the power of personal and cultural transformation. How to Fail as a Popstar is Vivek's debut theatrical work, a one-person show that chronicles her journey from singing in shopping malls to "not quite" pop music superstardom with beguiling humor and insight. A reflection on the power of pop culture, dreams, disappointments, and self-determination, this astonishing work is a raw, honest, and hopeful depiction of the search to find one's authentic voice.

The book includes colour photographs from the show's 2020 production in Toronto, and a foreword by its director Brendan Healy.

About the Authors

Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. Her book I’m Afraid of Men was heralded by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel” and her previous picture book, The Boy and the Bindi, was acclaimed by critics including CBC, The Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed and Book Riot. She is a seven-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary, and the founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books, which supports emerging BIPOC writers.


Brendan Healy is a theater director whose credits include the premiere production of Vivek Shraya's How to Fail as a Popstar at Canadian Stage in Toronto in 2020. He is a regular instructor at the National Theatre School of Canada.

Editorial Reviews

A funny, warm and honest show by a rare, 360-degree talent. -Denise Balkissoon, executive editor of Chatelaine Magazine


Shraya may not have reached the top echelon of pop stardom, but sharing her persistence and self-discovery just might be a bigger gift. After all, these are the stories we rarely hear told. -NOW Magazine


It's a moving tale that any person who's struggled to achieve their dreams can easily relate to, and Shraya has a certain magnetism to her performance that keeps the one-woman show moving fluidly. -Broadway World


Vivek Shraya's How to Fail as a Popstar is a maguffin - a demonstration of Shraya's virtuosity as a performer, a songwriter, and writer, and is anything but a failure. It is a cutting and hilarious look at the spark and afterglow of any musician entering the industry - the adolescence, adulthood, and moribundity of this creative life-within-a-life. She claims to not "have the range," but Popstar demonstrates the opposite - a multi-disciplinary artist at the height of her powers. -Owen Pallett, violinist and composer


An important show from such an important artist. Everyone should see How to Fail as a Popstar! -Bif Naked, recording artist


The work of radical self-acceptance is so challenging I never want to do it. In this piece of art, Vivek's fearless vulnerability, steady gaze and sure hand creates another way in, an opening, and all I have to do is show up. Now it's your turn. Lucky you. -Elvira Kurt, teacup butch, comedy legend and writer for Canada's Drag Race

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