Sylvia Toy St. Louis

Sylvia Toy St. Louis

  • Malice of Forethought, a performance art movie

    1,171 views 1 year ago
    A 1 and 1/2 minute neo noir.

    Shot on a Vixia and IPhone in San Francisco's Civic Center neighborhood and Hayes Valley. Show less
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  • Popular uploads Play

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  • I ♡ Nanomovies Play

    These videos, each less than 2 minutes long, are discrete works, including several that were created as part of series. I use shorts to explore character, practice my storytelling chops, and perfect visual experiments; and also to save ideas for a later date. It is good exercise for me as a motion picture artist to make a whole story happen in less than 2 minutes.
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  • Existential Performance Art Video Play

    Exploring "being human" through improvisational acting means finding my throughline as a character forms and tells its story on camera. It is boggling how often that character is not who I planned for it to be before I turned on the camera. That speaks volumes about "what is humanness."
    • before chill - Duration: 2 minutes, 8 seconds.

      • 8 months ago
      A video poem about aging/the changing of the seasons. Inspired by the signs that winter is about to happen here in this town that "has no seasons." Just like everywhere I've lived there is a pungen...
    • Denial: The Dream - Duration: 68 seconds.

      • 1 year ago
      A woman is angry with her brother and dreams that she murders him. The dream is so vivid, she cannot be convinced that she didn't murder him.

      Since this is a dream sequence, my instinct was to add...
    • THE OTHER SIDE, Monologue (out of sequence) - Duration: 5 minutes, 22 seconds.

      • 1 year ago
      This is the second monologue for this character that has come out, but I imagine there will be one or two that fit between this monologue and Monologue 1.
      This a new project about a woman who meets...
    • Sylvia Toy: THE OTHER SIDE, Monologue 1 - Duration: 10 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      A new character. She has been trying to push through for about 3 weeks. She is completely and totally NOT what I expected as I waited for her to materialize.
    • Origins: The First Human (Experiment 3) - Duration: 5 minutes, 9 seconds.

      • 1 year ago
      "Sketching" for my next project, "Origins." "Origins" is a creation myth about the first entity (The One) in the Universe, who, suddenly finding itself in the void of space (like the Big Bang popp...
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  • Blogging A Movie: THE BLUE LADY Play

    In-progress movie entitled, "The Blue Lady." It is a period piece, which happens over the course of late afternoon into the middle of the night. The movie will be naturally lit with daylight, candles and oil lamps. The sets are simple interiors with minimal furniture. The art direction of this movie was inspired by 17th & 18th century Northern European painters and Ingmar Bergman's "Cries & Whispers."

    The Blue Lady is a story is about what happened the night Master died and the relationship between two slaves in 1830 South Carolina, LaLi, Elizabeth, and The Master's wife, their mistress, Missy.

    This is a revisionist tale about slavery from a female point of view about how three people with a blood connection - The Master, The Master's & LaLi's mulatto son, and Blue, the mother of their grandchildren - wound up dead in the space of a night. At least one of the dead, Blue, was murdered. The Blue Lady finally is the story of how guilt was assigned that night without anyone taking responsibility.
    • THE BLUE LADY: New Storyboard (rough cut) - Duration: 33 minutes.

      • 9 months ago
      [ This movie can be watched by all audiences and there is no nudity. - Sylvia Toy ]

      "The Blue Lady." It is a period piece that happens over the course of a day. The movie will be naturally lit wi...
    • The Blue Lady: New Storyboard, Scene 1 - Duration: 3 minutes, 6 seconds.

      • 1 year ago
      I am not sure where this goes - probably right before "Dawn, Prologue." Backstory: in the 1820's, it was a capital offense in South Carolina for slaves to know how to read. As a child, LaLi, unbekn...
    • The Blue Lady: New Storyboard, Scene 2 - Duration: 4 minutes, 48 seconds.

      • 1 year ago
      Rough rough.

      Reworked opening scene happening in the morning of the long day during which this story takes place.

      The Blue Lady is a story is about what happened the night Master died and the rel...
    • THE BLUE LADY: New Storyboard, Scene 3 - Duration: 6 minutes, 17 seconds.

      • 9 months ago
      "The Blue Lady," a revisionist story (in-progress) about African American Slavery, told from a female point of view, about what happened the night Master died and the complicity between two slaves ...
    • The Blue Lady: New Storyboard, Scene 4 - Duration: 3 minutes, 19 seconds.

      • 9 months ago
      "The Blue Lady," a revisionist story (in-progress) about African American Slavery, told from a female point of view, about what happened the night Master died and the complicity between two slaves ...
    • The Blue Lady: New Storyboard, Scene 5 - Duration: 11 minutes.

      • 9 months ago
      Family secrets often cause more harm than telling the truth does. We keep those secrets not only to maintain the appearance of conventionality, but also, sometimes, ironically to keep the peace in ...
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  • Nena St. Louis, Sculptor (1982-2010) Play

    I have always had a day job. For 25 years, I regularly made, exhibited and sold sculpture. During that time, I also toured as a solo theater artist, founded a theater company and had about 15 plays produced. Since 2006, I have been a video artist as "sylvia toy." Artists are good mentors when they show by example that art is a 24/7 emotional commitment that has to be cultivated and earning a paycheck in a field that is not your bliss does not prevent you from being an artist.

    In 2010 I developed one of those deadly allergies to sawdust from which the only going back you're going to do is in a Hazmat suit - it was my own, personal environmental disaster, as woodcarving was my best friend and I became quite bereaved. Woodcarving was not just about expressing myself, asserting myself as an artist - it was my anchor, it was the way that I learned to reach a meditative state, and it was my backup when I started to look my affect in the eye. That staredown will never end, but everything being a sculptor taught me will always be with me. Hemingway: "Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it - don't cheat with it."
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  • Plays by Nena St. Louis (Playwright, 1990-2007) Play

    Performance art, live that is, is an acquired taste. As a theatre artist, I was not evangelical about getting my work out there (well, maybe in 1994), trying to make converts. I chose solo performance for the same reason that I was a paralegal instead of an art teacher or living off grants: if I got money in a part of the world where I couldn't really even talk about what I did as an artist, I was isolated but I was free. It's okay for people to tell me how I might do whatever it is better, but not how or WHAT to do. I did not want to be beholden to anyone - I would rather be at the end of the pecking order and get nothing than be beholden to anyone.

    I also thought it would make me feel polluted to make art any other way than the way that I saw it inside my head. That's why I have never cared for my play SCHOOLS except for two factors of acting that play.

    One is easy: playing 20 characters was showing off as well as a great acting exercise for me, especially since playing the main character of my mother, was playing way way way way against type for me. I was taught at a young age by someone, maybe my father, that if I wasn't stretching, I wasn't working hard enough. Besides, people who thought I sucked stopped saying that out loud enough that it got back to me after SCHOOLS.

    The second factor is not easy, and not easy to make clear. Telling the truth is my own most basic rule as an artist - if I catch myself telling not the truth, the sculpture goes in the dumpster, the play literally gets cut up and sorted into good stuff, maybe stuff and trash, and the video gets erased or put on the shelf until the rest of the truth shows up (no matter how long that takes). Telling the truth is as searing as a knife that's red hot. Talking about race is neither red hot nor pointed for me; it's room temperature and definitely dull as a knife that you cut meatloaf with.

    SCHOOLS was only interesting for me and justifiable for getting paid to do it without feeling like a whore because I made my bigger-than-life mother the main character, not because I got to talk about all the rotten things white people and America have done to me blah blah blah.

    I care about holding my own in society as a person who has adapted well enough to earn most of my money in a part of society that might as well be foreign country to me (the American legal industry). I care about being able turning myself into a human being in spite of struggling with bipolar disorder since I was a toddler. I care about having been a professional artist (read: exhibited, produced, paid). I care most about being in charge of my own self and my own life, and I would rather be alone and isolated, or dead if necessary, than not to be in charge of myself.

    I check my "stats" several times a day. It gives me no small amount of sheer joy that so far, the most-watched videos of my old live theatre shows that I've put up on Vimeo in the past couple of weeks are ESSAYS ON ANGER AND CUSTARD PIE and JUMP, not SCHOOLS. That fact is meaningless to anyone who doesn't know me pretty damn well, I know. But it gives ME no end of satisfaction. NO end.

    Done. Really done - "consider my ass retired."
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  • Bipolar Peer Vlog

    • Writing While Manic - Channel

      • 30 videos
      This channel is a big step for me. I have just begun to talk about mental illness candidly on camera after participating for 20 years in the community as an independent peer presenter, using my autobi
      • CHANNEL
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