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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Holm

XOXO, Your Faithful Reader



“Everybody, deep down, has something they want to share…

a story that lives in them that needs to be told.“

-Miriam Wasmund


Hi! It’s May and I’m not sure how that happened - wasn’t yesterday January? I guess time really does fly by…!


To pick up where I last left off: after some much needed R&R in Nebraska with the fam, I came back to New York in January and hit the ground running. It’s been a busy first part of 2023 - from battling a terrible allergy season to choreographing and theater projects, all while hustling and holding down an admin job, it’s been a whirlwind of calm, chaos, projects, and a million things happening all at once. Not gonna lie, I’m pretty sure that by Wednesday of every week, I’m exhausted. Maybe I’m just old and cranky? Or it’s my schedule? A bit of both? Who knows :) But thankfully, I’m also getting to be involved with projects and artists who have helped keep me energized and motivated, and I’m finding some pockets of time for rest.


So, I wanted to delve into some of the recent projects I’ve been involved with here in the city, starting with Your Faithful Reader, an experimental theater piece produced, directed, and choreographed by Miriam Wasmund.


Miriam being artsy and cool

Photo: Daryl A. German


Miriam Wasmund is an Alvin Ailey trained dancer, choreographer, personal trainer, producer, and all around warrior woman, whose work revolves around bringing people together to find common ground and create community. Originally from Chicago and the daughter of professional dancers, Miriam moved to New York at 18 to train at the prestigious Ailey School, and has been working professionally in New York artist ever since. In addition to producing Your Faithful Reader and her other choreographic works, Miriam works as a personal trainer and is the Artistic Director for the Dreamstreet Theater Company, a non-profit theater company for adults with disabilities. I first met Miriam at a choreography showcase back in the fall, and when I heard about her Your Faithful Reader project, I knew I wanted to be on board!



Miriam still being artsy and cool

Photo: Daryl A. German


Your Faithful Reader began as a letter campaign, started by Miriam in response to the passing of her mother and brother, with whom she used to exchange frequent letters and snail mail. In the aftermath of immense grief and loss, Miriam put out a call to her friends and community to send her letters – to loved ones, to their younger selves, words they never got to say but wished they had – that she would then take and use to create a new dance theater piece. Her pain and grief of losing those she loved the most became the impetus to create work that held and honored others, and thus Your Faithful Reader was born.




The response to her call for letters was overwhelming. To date, Miriam has received hundreds of letters from all over the country and the world: letters to loved ones, inanimate objects, best friends, annoying coworkers, pet rocks, even letters about corgi butts! Once she’s narrowed down a series of letters and outlined a rough draft of how she wants the show’s narrative to unfold, she brings actors, dancers, and musicians together and choreographs the show based on and around these letters. Through this process, Your Faithful Reader has taken on a life much greater than Miriam could have ever imagined.



Photos from the 2019 Your Faithful Reader Shows

Photos: Eric Jacobson


Your Faithful Reader came to me at a time when I really needed to be reminded about WHY I was in New York. As one of the show’s letters aptly put it, “New York can be tough.” To be a part of the Your Faithful Reader ensemble is to join a community of like-minded artists who are committed to creating, performing, and exploring the stories of our everyday lives in affirming and empathetic ways. In a city of millions where it’s so easy to feel small, finding that sense of community has made this big city seem a little more like a home.


A new season of Your Faithful Reader will be coming for 23/24, and I cannot wait to be a part of this creative community again.


If you’d like to learn more:

  1. Visit https://www.yourfaithfulreader.com

  2. Hear more about the project in Miriam’s own words (with a cameo from yours truly): https://youtu.be/_h2_3vp3blI

  3. Follow Your Faithful Reader on Instagram @YourFaithfulReader

  4. Send in a letter! You can reach out via Instagram or the website. You never know, your story just might end up in the next Your Faithful Reader show :)


‘Til Next Time,


XOXO,

Melanie



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