For content related to Dr. Zebrovski visit ZEBROVSKI.COM
At one point, I convinced myself that to succeed as an artist, I needed my artistic practice to generate my primary source of income. This thought paired with my loves of magic and the paranormal (along with a zebra Snuggie) birthed my dance psychic character Dr. Zebrovski.
Dr. Zebrovski is one part Pee Wee Herman and one part Miss Cleo. It doesn’t matter that Dr. Zebrovski is specifically Russian, just that he is foreign – “othered.” It doesn’t matter that he’s not the best dancer or even that his act is a complete fraud – just that audiences try to derive meaning from his improvised “psychic” dances.
Dr. Zebrovski was created while I was participating in The Garage’s AIRSpace program and premiered during the 14th annual National Queer Arts Festival in June 2011. The video introduction I created in collaboration with video artist Joe Pickett was also posted online after it’s premiere and received over 25,000 views after it was posted on the Cheezburger Network’s Picture Is Unrelated blog.
The live component of the premiere called upon audience volunteers to come on-stage so Dr. Zebrovski could read their fortunes through improvised dance. I have since performed “dance readings” at large-scale festivals, galas, nightclubs, theatres and on the streets.
In November 2012, I expanded the world of Dr. Zebrovski with Director Beatrice Thomas and collaborators Baruch Porras-Hernandez and Maryam Rostami by creating Dr. Zebrovski’s HOUR OF POWER, an hour-long performance that merged theatre, dance, improvised and sketch comedy, storytelling, performance art and drag to expand the world of Dr. Zebrovski in an entertaining and interactive experience. The performance was received well and had a sold out two-night run at The Garage in San Francisco’s SOMA district.
On July 26-28, 2013, a new, expanded Dr. Zebrovski’s HOUR OF POWER played to full houses at CounterPULSE as part of the Summer Special. Working again with Thomas as well as with a larger cast (Baruch Porras-Henandez, Ben McCoy, Nahid Elgadi and Rotimi Agbabiaka) and increased technical support from video artist Ericka Sokolower-Shain, the next evolution of HOUR OF POWER took components of the prior show and advanced them – including a live song and dance opening, a séance finale and references to the Home Shopping Network and reality TV shows.
Both versions of HOUR OF POWER would not have been possible without the support of individual donors through online funding platforms. Those that gave to my 2012 Kickstarter or 2013 Indiegogo campaigns allowed me to create these performances.
Most recently, I have received a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission to support the next iteration of HOUR OF POWER in early 2015. More details will be posted online as the project develops. Until then, be sure to visit ZEBROVSKI.COM or visit Dr. Zebrovski on Facebook.