dDamien - monologue/storytelling
Shari Berman - filmmaker
David Belmont - poetry/prose
& music with Norman Salant
Derek O'Connor - singer/songwriter
Mary Abrams - dance/performance
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dDamien, native New Yorker and descendant of the oyster farming families settling in Sandy Ground, Staten Island 1850, experienced his very first stage performance at an elementary school health fair playing a pillow to emphasize the importance of sleep. In 1995 dDamien came in first place eight consecutive weeks as Devotion, bringing what hallelujah feels like to a secular audience, lip synching Black Gospel music at Mona Foot's Star Search in Chelsea. These performances led to many liberating years as a drag performer in the tri-state area and as backup dancer at WIGSTOCK New York with Lady Bunny. In 2001 he was cast to play Erasmus the Jin, and a beautiful fainting goat in H.M. Koutoukas’ Off-off Broadway production of The Man Who Shot His Washing Machine (Tom O’Horgan, director). “Learning to bleat on cue was the key to drawing in the audience”. Although not professionally trained, he has studied acting technique with Mary Boyer (MTB Studios), low flying trapeze with Julie Ludwig (Fly-By-Night Dance) and Butoh with Ko Murabushi. dDamien is beyond thrilled to be part of MB Salon.
Shari Berman is a filmmaker whose features include
My Life As Abraham Lincoln, Sugar!, Act as If and Detention 101. She edits all her films and began editing as a child by cutting puzzle pieces to make them fit as she thought best, creating some very strange pictures. Shari knew even then that she was on to something and has embarked on a life of making one weird picture after the next. She grew up in the Bronx, enjoys mentoring artists and strives to eat as much sushi as humanly possible. It’s suspected that she has mercury poisoning… her favorite character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has always been the Mad Hatter.
Derek O’Connor (center) is an Irish singer/songwriter from the wild North of
England who grew up on Jim Reeves, The Clash, Enrico Caruso and Irish rebel songs. He has been living in New York City for 25 years. He writes and plays for the UK folk-punk band The Hillbilly Troupe and for an independent theatre company, bringing to life local histories. His songs are grounded in a strong transatlantic tradition while mining personal experiences with a painterly abstraction.
is a mixed media artist and community organizer, writing poetry, memoir and short fiction. World Gone Zoom: Notes from the American Epicenter, his debut poetry collection, was published by The Poetry Box (2021). Other writing has appeared in The Poeming Pigeon, Wildflower Muse and FishFood Magazine. A professional musician for over 50 years, David produced 26 albums. WindWater Excursions spent 8 months on the New Age Voice Top 100 Airplay List and in heavy rotation on syndicated radio Echoes. He is currently on faculty of the East Side Institute, an international center promoting alternative radically humanizing approaches to psychology, education and community building; and lives on the UWS Manhattan with visual artist Kim Svoboda and their labradoodle Penelope.
is a NYC songwriter and singer whose songs reflect the most moving elements of life. Melodious, intricate, lyrical wordplay, large themes, poetic imagery, abstract impressions; above all honest and somehow modern. Norman’s songs are deceptively complex, seeming to reconstitute all the music he’s ever heard and played, inclusive even of his former saxophone career (appears on The Residents and Romeo Void albums), from the Beatles to Coltrane, from Dylan to Philip Glass, from Byrne to Bowie, and turning it into something fresh and new. Pop, yes, folk, yes, avant-garde, perhaps; radically different than any particular genre might produce. As we emerge in this post-pandemic world, Norman’s music is particularly worth listening to. www.normansalant.com
Mary Abrams dances, writes, draws, dreams, and runs a business inside-out, outside-in, all around, and through life. Her 35-year tour living in NYC includes choreography and performance at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dia Center for the Arts, Dixon Place, Ethnic Folk Arts, Movement Research at Judson Church, other venues she can’t remember, streets around the downtown financial district, the waterfronts, and most currently Salons at MBR. Starting out with tap, jazz, & ballet in Mason City, IA, Mary holds a BA in Dance from St. Olaf College and for 27 years has been immersing herself in the fluid breath/sound movement inquiry of Continuum and other somatic movement practices.
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