STAGE & SCREEN
I perform as an actor under the stage name, Shyla Idris. I am a native New Yorker of Trinidadian-Indian and German-American descent, often taking on racially/ethnically ambiguous roles. I dreamed of being an actor since I was thirteen years old and started acting in high school plays. I studied acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, HB Studio,The Linklater Center and The Juilliard School Extension Division Drama in NYC. I also studied at The Patsy Rodenburg Academy and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art online in The UK.
I am the playwright/performer of the solo play, 'RUN. HIDE. BE QUIET.', the director of the documentary short, 'RELEASED' and the author of the asylum photography book, 'Inside Outside'. 'Inside Outside' was on view at the NYC Outsider Art Fair with Fountain House Gallery in 2022 and 2023.
'RUN. HIDE. BE QUIET.' Play Synopsis:
A woman finds herself confined to a seclusion room on an inpatient psychiatric ward. Here she will have to wrestle with her sanity, her family, a dark secret, and her future, if she can get out.
History of 'RUN. HIDE. BE QUIET.'
I started writing my solo play, ‘RUN. HIDE. BE QUIET.’ in 2009 within the confines of a psychiatric hospital, with a crayon. There was a ‘no sharps’ rule. You could hurt yourself or someone else. I would steal crayons, tear papers off walls in the hallway and eventually acquired a pen from the nursing station.
I found solace in walking into the seclusion room as the door remained open one day. The seclusion room was a place I once feared. Now, not being forced in and without the door being locked behind me, I started writing the noise that was in my head.
Full Performance with Downtown Urban Theater Festival at HERE Arts Center, SoHo NYC 2015
Works-In-Progress Full Performance with Artistic New Directions, Directed by Kristine Niven Shetler Studios, NYC 2014
'Go Solo Festivals' Artistic New Directions, Directed by Kristine Niven Theater 54, NYC 2013, 2012
The Hurricane Sandy Relief Benefit at Manhattan Repertory Theatre, NYC 2012
A Few Favorite Past Performances & Gigs:
I was the main subject of the 1999 HBO documentary feature The Living Museum. I also appeared in the L.A. Times Article and interview with host Mark Williams for Bravo's 'Ooh La La' Network, until I withdrew from the film, moving to the beat of my own drum. For the record, I got along great with HBO, but decided to pull out of the film for personal reasons.
Hosting 'Open Mic Night' at Urban Justice Center for the formerly incarcerated and mentally ill populations, NYC 2015-2016
Writing and Performing Solo Work for Story Telling Event with The Moth, Urban Justice Center NYC 2015
Storytelling at the police academy- training the NYPD in Crisis Intervention on calls with "emotionally disturbed persons", Flushing, NY 2017-2018
Writing and Performing Solo Work for 'Poetry Electric' at La MaMa Theater, SoHo, NYC 2017
(My father died two days before opening night. I dedicated these performances to his memory)
Writing and Performing Solo Work for 'Mushroom' Exhibition & Storytelling Event at Fountain House Gallery, NYC 2023
Writing and performing Solo Work for 'Truth Tellers' Exhibition & Performance Event at 'The Factory' LIC Arts, LIC, NY 2023
Playing and directing myself in 'RELEASED', (2014) an autobiographical documentary short film. Featuring the song I wrote lyrics to and sang, 'I Was Trash When You Met Me'. Video on Shyla Idris YouTube Channel.
'RELEASED' Film Screenings...
2015 RELEASED Film Premiere (APA) American Psychological Association Film Festival and Conference Toronto, Canada