CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – For Islander alumnus Daniel Mirsky, hard work, persistence and a strong supportive community paid off as Mirsky, has been cast in the New York Neo-Futurists’ ensemble as a writer, performer and co-artistic director since 2014.
Mirsky, who graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is in the midst of his longest personal run of 15 uninterrupted weeks in the New York Neo-Futurists’ show, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.” The show is performed at the Kraine Theater every Friday and Saturday night, 50 weeks a year. When Mirsky is not onstage in New York City, he also tours with the New York Neo-Futurists nationally and internationally, finishing with their most recent tour in India.
“It takes a lot of stamina to keep up with all of this,” said Mirsky. “It’s funny that my two biggest projects mostly deal with short-form content. I can’t wait until the New York Neos tour Texas again!”
In addition, Mirsky works for a film company called Twist, producing TV and Web commercials. However, it was the New York Neo-Futurists that started it all for him.
“I unsuccessfully auditioned for the New York Neo-Futurists for five years before finally being cast in the ensemble,” said Mirsky. “I am very fortunate to be able to call the New York Neo-Futurists my artistic home.”
The Neo-Futurists are an experimental theater movement, founded in Chicago in 1988 by Greg Allen. Actors of Neo-Futurist groups portray themselves onstage rather than an intended character and focus on elements of speed, brevity and honesty.
Created by Allen, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” is a show that attempts to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes.” Audience members are given a “menu” of play titles that are numbered. At the end of each play, the audience selects the next performance by shouting out the number of the corresponding play they wish to see executed. The first number heard by the cast is then performed. Every week, between two and 12 plays are removed from the “menu” and replaced with new plays.
Mirsky was introduced to Neo-Futurism when he was cast in a college production of “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” during his freshman year at Texas A&M University-College Station. The plays and their meanings connected with Mirsky so emotionally and intellectually that he became determined to join the Neo-Futurists after graduation.
Mirsky praises the faculty of TAMU-CC for his current success and his more personalized style of performance.
“I played characters that did not relate to me in most ways, but I played them like most method actors take on roles,” recalled Mirsky. “That changed when I began to study under Kelly Russell and Terry Lewis, who directed me to portray more of myself than other ‘characters.’ I had a lot of fun doing that and the art form started connecting much more with me.”
As a student, Mirsky represented TAMU-CC when he developed and performed short performances for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition in 2008. With faculty encouragement, Mirsky won the tournament, advancing to the national finals that culminated in a performance at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C.
“The faculty trusted and believed that I knew what needed to be done,” said Mirsky. “But more importantly, they taught me how to take responsibility for my own art, to make it my own, to risk everything for it and they gave me the confidence and skills necessary to embrace the chaos of what comes next.”