Pop-Up Magazine

By Rachel M.

Imagine a highly styled magazine come to life. That’s what a Pop-Up Magazine experience is like. Authors read their personal pieces and animations or photographs are shown on a large screen. Quoted sections, like in an interview, are played as recorded audio. There’s musical accompaniment and live advertisements from sponsors. This past week the winter issue of Pop-Up Magazine was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The evening included ten “articles” with a wide array of subjects covered: music, history, politics, sports, and autobiographical pieces. All were told with a sense of humor and well-timed delivery. Many were esoteric, niche interest stories that were interesting because you were hearing them and not reading them. The ninety-minute show moved along at a fast pace and kept the audience’s attention.
Contributors included Sophia Nahli Allison who told a tale of seeking justice (“For Latasha”), and Vann R. Newkirk Ii speaking about the environment and its connection to race relations (“Tar River Refugees”). Laurel Braitman’s personal tale of finding love in Alaska (“Lonely Island”) and Will Butler’s family story (“Alvino Rey & His Singing Guitar”), along with Josie Duffy Rice baring her soul about being a selective eater (“Notes from a Picky Eater”) were first-person compelling narratives. James T. Green reflected on the history of ringtones (“Requiem for a Ringtone”) and Jason Hanasik regaled the audience with his piece on a determined athlete (“The Olympian”). Rounding out the evening was Sam Green (“For Life!”), Sam Harnett accompanied by Cappella Romana (“Sacred Sounds”), and Francesca Mari (“Susie, the Accountant”).
The talented artists and musicians who worked on the show: Shane Beam, Erin Brethauer, Devin Farney, T. Griffin, Michelle Groskopf, Jaedoo Lee, Clay Rodery, Jacqueline Tam, Angie Wang, and Lynsey Weatherspoon and the house band, Minna Choi and the Magik*Magik Orchestra add the color and tone to the narratives. The visual narrative show was really interesting and entertaining.
One of the most amazing stories was from a sponsor. Gitanjali Rao, a 13-year old inventor and scientist, who has been profiled in the film “Positive Current”, is an unbelievable inspiration. This story is part of Google’s “Search On” series of films that tell inspiring stories of people using technology to solve big problems and answer hard questions. You can explore the eight-part film series at g.co/SearchOn.
Pop-Up Magazine’s winter tour continues in Washington, D.C., Austin, TX and Atlanta (already sold-out). They will be back in NYC in the spring.