101 BIPoC performers feature in ‘I Need You To See Me’
101 of Australia’s BIPoC and CALD performers aged 18-25 have joined forces to feature in a song, ‘I Need You To See Me’, by critically acclaimed performer and composer Vidya Makan. The song is an explicit invitation to our entertainment industry by the talented artists it habitually marginalises to be seen and to create change.
The ‘I Need You To See Me’ lyrics talk to the much-needed inclusion and visibility of voices who have for too long, been either underrepresented, misrepresented or completely erased from our stages and screens. The video clip features incredible emerging talent, as well as some of Australia’s leading musical theatre performers including Shubshri Kandiah, Marty Alix nd Jayme-Lee Hanekom.
“All musicals have songs that address “change” or a “new day” in some way or another so I think it is about time that, as an industry, we started practising what we preach. Visibility of a truly diverse range of artists on our stages is essential,” explained creator Vidya Makan.
“I wanted to create a project that proves to the wider public what we already know: an incredible array of diverse talented and deserving artists exist here in Australia. So I made a call out for BIPoC and diverse artists aged 18-25 and within a few days, I had such a huge range of diverse performers apply, all eager to be involved. It wasn’t complex and there was no shortage of talent.”
“We hear the same rhetoric repeated over and over again when casts or projects are announced and there is a continued absence of diverse representation. It’s always pushed back on the marginalised communities themselves. We ‘aren’t out there’ or ‘didn’t show up’ – a common refrain that gave rise to last year’s #justnotthatmany visibility campaign. Or worse still, the suggestion that we are not good enough.”
Having most recently starred as ‘Catherine Parr’ in Six: The Musical (Louise Withers), Vidya Makan is a critically acclaimed actor, singer and composer/lyricist. She is currently working in collaboration with Hayes Theatre Co, writing Straya: The Lucky Country; a song cycle exploring Australian identity. As a composer, she has also been commissioned by the likes
of National Gallery Victoria and Chips & Gravy Films.
Vidya is proud to be a panelist in the inaugural year of the Artists of Colour Initiative, championing emerging BIPoC musical theatre artists.
Vidya’s other performing credits include as ‘Dot/Marie’ in Sunday in the Park with George (Watch This) which garnered her a Green Room nomination for Best Performance in a
Leading Role, ‘Lady Capulet’ in Romeo and Juliet (Australian Shakespeare Company), Green Day’s American Idiot (shake & stir theatre co), Air Race (Arena Theatre) and the lead
role ‘Maria Krish’ in the feature film The Colour of Darkness.