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Still from Edoheart's video Sugar in a Plum, 2011
Still from Edoheart's video Sugar in a Plum, 2011

STUDENT VIDS FROM KALUP LINZY'S NYU CLASS

Dec. 22, 2011

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Kalup Linzy has made a career out of his soulful gender-bending kitsch-soap-opera drag act, and now he’s inspiring a new generation to follow his lead -- and putting the results up for the world to see on YouTube. For a course on “Music, Melodrama and Performance Art” at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Linzy’s students turned in final videos that involved no shortage of high-key singing, shoes and shirtlessness.

Linzy, of course, rose to fame with All My Churen (2003), his daytime TV soap with a queer story line, for which Linzy wild-tracked all the dialogue. He developed and starred in his own drag lounge act, and collaborated with James Franco.

He drew lesson plans for his NYU course from the material he knew best. “I presented work and music that played up melodrama such as the history of daytime soaps, the evolution of music videos, my work as an artist as well as my collaborative work with James Franco,” he said. “Male and female melodrama was highlighted by watching James Dean and Bette Davis movies.”

His seven students were charged with devising a character and exploring a plot point in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero's Journey, the celebrated scholar's famous deconstruction of the myth of the hero. Campbell's series of dramatic literary tropes included, for instance, “Woman as Temptress,” in which “temptations may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest.”

The students are Sung Yeon Park, Edoheart, Catherine Leavy, Sewitt Sium, Shannon Vinson, Daniel J. Sander and Stiven Luka. Watch them now -- and know the stars of the future.

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