La MaMa Blogs: 6 Questions for Leah Ogawa of JUMP START

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

6 Questions for Leah Ogawa of JUMP START

Leah Ogawa is a mixed-race artist, puppeteer, dramatist, self-detective, and model based in New York City. Raised in Yamanashi, Japan, Leah has worked with puppeteers, artists, and companies including The Metropolitan Opera, Phantom Limb, Dan Hurlin, Tom Lee, Nami Yamamoto, Loco 7, and others. Leah is a recipient of the Jim Henson Foundation’s workshop grant for her original piece, Growing Not Dying, which will be as part of Jump Start: A Presentation of Works in Progress. There are only 4 performances at La MaMa, so get your tickets now!

1. Do you have a favorite puppet in your performance?

I love the feet/legs that I've created for this piece! Some might say they are not exactly a "puppet," but the way I can animate and move them is special to me. I love seeing them move gracefully. Please come see the performance live!

2. What draws you to work with puppets?

Puppets and objects can tell stories that no human actor can do. The puppet can convey a different feeling or meaning depending on how a puppeteer animates them. I see so many possibilities, qualities, and surprises in working with puppets; therefore, my work naturally draws puppetry elements to it.    

3. What have you learned from creating and performing new work during a pandemic?

It made me stronger by helping me to realize that I can create my own work. Before the pandemic, I was part of other people's shows as a collaborator and puppeteer.  The pandemic naturally forced me to become more introspective and inspired me to want to share my own story even more. It gave me the space to go for it and really own my craft. 

4. What should audiences expect from the performance?

(No expectations!) I would like the audience to come in with their own story and interpret the visuals as they so desire. I hope the audiences will be surprised by my performance. 

5. Who and what has inspired you?

Everything and everyone is a source of inspiration--nature, people, objects, emotions, etc.. For this piece, and all the shows I create, I am always searching where the vulnerability lies in the story. That emotion, both personal and intimate, inspires me to go deeper into what I truly want to create. 

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
La MaMa is the first place I performed as a professional puppeteer. It was for Tom Lee's show, Shank's Mare (It was also for the puppet festival!). La MaMa has always supported me in my career, especially during the pandemic, providing me the space to continue developing my work. I am forever grateful for the love I receive from this community of artists. It's a special place where I can take risks, challenge myself, and keep growing as an artist. It is truly a magical place, and I am appreciative of this opportunity. Thank you Denise and Federico! 

La MaMa Presents

Jump Start: A Presentation of Works in Progress

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, Charlotte Lily Gaspard, Tom Lee, Leah Ogawa, Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins

October 21 – 24, 2021

The Downstairs
66 East 4th Street, basement level
New York, NY 10003

Oct 21, Thursday at 7pm
Oct 22, Friday at 7pm
Oct 23, Saturday at 7pm
Oct 24, Sunday at 2pm

Ticket Prices
Adults: $25
Students/Seniors: $20
Multi-Show Puppet Packages Available

No comments:

Post a Comment