A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Resilient AF – Rising to the Occasion!” written and performed by Kamakshi Hart, and directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Kamakshi Hart is a 30- year veteran performer in both L.A. and New York. Her show “Wild At Heart: A Tale of Trauma & Triumph” was in the Whitefire Theatre Solofestl a couple of years ago and I was lucky enough to see it.
She is a bold and fiercely compassionate performer. She writes from deep experience and with an innate ability to share.
As she walks us through her stories of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and abortion, her sweet strong face shines with power, it’s as if she can literally imbue her audience with her triumphant warrior spirit.
Karachi’s story is a tough one to tell in many ways and one that seems to have been a long time coming for her. It’s truly inspiring to me that a person with so much trauma from such a young age can not just survive it but thrive in spite of it. There’s really not an ounce of self pity in her and as she tells her story the emphasis is not on the pain but on the strength she found to move passed it. Abused as a child she repeated a cycle, in one relationship after another with abusive controlling men. It wasn’t until she found herself spiritually that she was able to let go of the past and find her life.
She fills the play with characters from her own subconscious. Shame is amongst them of course, but there are others too. However, one central to her recovery that is more like herself than any other, a superheroine, complete with a cape and red boots. This story ebbs and flows, like life. Her ups and downs and her long winding road to where she is now and who she has become is laid out on stage effortlessly.
Kamakshi is a wonderful storyteller, she paces this performance beautifully, never giving us too much darkness, always lacing every experience with light.
“Resilient AF – Rising to the Occasion!” is also absolutely hilarious. Always quick to smile and laugh and see the comedy in the chaos, Kamashi has created this beautiful play from her own very personal fight for survival. She brings grace to what must have been quite terrible and at times unsurvivable. But here she is. More than surviving, thriving, embracing her journey, and hoping that by sharing it with an audience she can shed light on the path to freedom and contentment, even when life is at its darkest.
I loved this show, but then I challenge anyone not to. How can you resist this magical creature and her lovely fiery hair taking on the world, facing every adversity and setback victoriously with her glorious feminine mystique. Bravo Kamakshi!!!
“Resilient AF – Rising to the Occasion!” plays on Sunday, June 19 at 7PM
The Zephyr Theatre
7456 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046