Rock WILK: HOME
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BROKE WIDE OPEN "New York is integral to his being: it's in his words, his writing, his thoughts, the way he walks, talks, even breathes... With an electrifying stage presence and a grace that escapes many a seasoned Broadway performer, he tells of his life search for identity and home simply and eloquently. Like the piece of scaffolding he pushes, climbs on, and spins, he builds his life up only to have it tumble back down. Then he simply picks up the pieces and builds again, each time searching, hoping, and experiencing life with a resilient bravura. Ever-changing, ever-building, ever-reaching. That's scaffolding. That's New York. That's Rock Wilk in Broke Wide Open."- Lisa Bernier, Huffington Post These words below to close the year, from Rock Wilk, whose poetry is like Spike Lee's most unadorned and most beautiful musical score (by his father, Bill Lee) in "She's Gotta Have It", spun by Earl Monroe (or, Black Jesus be praised, better yet by Earl Manigault or the teenage Lloyd Daniels), observed across a Whitmanesque canvas in the manner of Alfred Kazin in "A Walker in the City", but perhaps through the eyes of a Michael Harrington or a Dorothy Day, or as if Billy Crystal had lovingly remembered his 700 Sundays down to one, on the graciously compulsive roundtrips between Coney Island and Bedford Park on the D train through which a New York poetry for the ages can be born. But don't take my word for it, go see Rock Wilk. "Sometimes keeping your options open is a good way of avoiding committing to that which could provide you with unlimited possibilities, which might just be your best option, and don't you deserve that kind of grand opportunity? Get in there and be brave enough to build." (Rock Wilk performs through January 11 at The 45th Street Theatre, west of Broadway, in his tour de force solo piece "Broke Wide Open").-Thomas Rome, manager for Youssou N'Dour ------------------------------------------ "a deeply human journey.... the beginning of conversations we all need"- Carol Smaldino, Huffington Post "This show is AMAZING, is LIFE, is THEATRE! THANK YOU!!" 500 NAMES means I want BROKE WIDE OPEN to be a play that people WANT to see, that they WANT to be a part of, this story was born on the subways and streets of NYC, then spread across the country and eventually navigated overseas to London, and so I feel like BROKE WIDE OPEN is about COMMUNITY, and even though this story is ”all about me”, it has really become EVERYBODY'S story, BROKE WIDE OPEN is about ALL OF US Rock WILK is... ANTICIPATION, a BELIEVER, a SEER, a blank passport, is EVOLVING URBAN LORE, a seatbelt on the most beautiful, turbulent flight, a Brooklyn cyclone taking you to Washington Heights, is INDEPENDENCE DAY SKY, is OPPORTUNITY, is OUT OF THE BOX RENEGADE, not part of the club, without invitation & so he is THROW HIS OWN PARTY, he is THINK it PLAN it DO it FEARLESS, watch him FLY. HIGH. HE WON'T STOP. He's ALL A THAT!!! The Medicine Show Theatre performance was one of the most profound stops along this journey, a night that will never be forgotten, we celebrated 5 years of traveling from the beginning of this project to the beautiful shared theatrical experience that BROKE WIDE OPEN has become, it was an amazing night, and everyone who was there will forever carry the magical energy of that performance with them for a very long time, perhaps a lifetime, and now it's time to move forward, and so we are off and running, we need 500 NAMES to contribute to the next place, a commercial run of BROKE WIDE OPEN in 2012, be a part of it, and let's keep this progression a collaborative one, it takes a village, a community, ALL OF US, IF WE BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME, A NATIONAL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO MOUNT THE FULL PRODUCTION OF BROKE WIDE OPEN WAS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS, WE ARE 589 STRONG, AND WE ARE FOREVER CONNECTED TO BROKE WIDE OPEN!!!! WE DID IT!!! UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL an EPIC success, another full house, so much so that audience members were placed on stage with me, THANK YOU NYC for another beautiful shared experience!!! Some feedback from the show..... "I was enfolded in your ever more evocative Art! What a True Gift BROKE WIDE OPEN is to Humanity!" "What An experience! Thank you for sharing your art with us! " "You are a true artist, a true poet, a true soul!" "your words make me tear. You are one of a kind with it." "Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent and life story. It was truly moving. ♥" "After viewing inspiration personified last night at Rock Wilk"s show, today I dedicate myself to saving the world, one word at a time" "Wow. you. so i went to the show alone. But i left feeling accompanied by a spirit that truly empathizes with the human condition. As a seeker.searcher. I am broke wide open with you. your craft is a gift. Peace." "Oh man you are so dynamic" "That was awesome & inspiring!" "OMG..My wife and I had the most amazing, inspiring time watching you from the front row......It was such a success," "I saw you, with your 718 shirt, double silver earrings, and spark in your eyes, you reminded me of a modern day warrior, you shined Yo." "Rock you brought it home. Truly it was a delight, so much that I was thinking about it on the bus, on the way back. The joy of your set was getting to meet people, people like your grandma, ralph, maureen, mother, father, biological mother, even biological father, what i'm saying is your "everyman" delivered. I replayed a few scenes in my head thinking "maureen didn't understand that he's an artist, but then again maybe he didn't understand this himself and needed to go through this...how else would he know?" This was a show about identity. And what a touch you have with voices and the nuances of physical expression, the pacing, and time. Beautiful, inspiring, all of it." "It was great to meet you and see your show last night. I was truly moved, shaken and shocked, it was like a journey, so raw and true. It made me understand many things like my friends (who have gone through similar experiences), my love for NYC (in particular Brooklyn). I'm happy to see how you've taken your story and like a true artist have made it universal. Thank You!" "what can i say.,,,words cannot begin to describe the energy i still feel from being honored, blessed and humbled by being in the front row at a once in a lifetime performance.....after seeing what you do for two hours....YOU WILL BELIEVE A MAN CAN FLY...thank you for a night i will never truely forget" "must be a very vulnerable experience to bare your self like that.. just put it all out there.. it's admirable. Your grandmother and parents seemed beyond awesome.. thank you again for sharing.. " ***High energy, honest, and unforgettable, BROKE WIDE OPEN is a poetic and orchestral unveiling of truth with Rock WILK as both maestro and menace. In BROKE WIDE OPEN, Rock WILK, fostered three times and finally adopted as a baby, takes us on a journey where he recounts and relives life changing consequences and decisions. Like martyr, like savior, like rebel without pause, Rock WILK is insistently fighting to enlighten and protect anyone and everyone in his path. A force, a hurricane, a cyclone of well intentioned chaos, Rock WILK is a tempest of love; he is valor and destruction all wrapped up into one. Testing the limits of every relationship in his life, Rock WILK’s journey to explore cause, and find home, becomes both incessant and reluctant. Emotionally gripping and spiritually giving, BROKE WIDE OPEN is also hopeful with pockets of laugh out-loud, comedic revelation. Rock WILK’s transgressions and triumphs throughout BROKE WIDE OPEN inspire unsolicited introspection; like a mirror and milestone, this theater piece compels many to face themselves and transcend to that which they are open and willing.*** At The Camden Fringe Festival in London England, one night after the riots, one brave soul showed up to the theater..."I am that sole audience on Monday. The show is very powerful and inspiring too. Well, you are from a great city and have an unusual past. Under your art, the result is phenomenon. I am looking forward to seeing it also in theatre, musical or full scale movie. But, I feel very very honored and lucky to be the one in that one-to-one performance."- Xavier...MY HONOR AND PRIVILEGE, XAVIER.... "BROKE WIDE OPEN might just be that WHOLE NEW THING we didn’t even know we were looking for; that place we’re being drawn to for the first time as things warp and splinter, as our notions of how anything at all is CONCEIVED or CREATED (or delivered, distributed, owned and consumed) gasp their last, and we try to figure out WHAT JUST HAPPENED and WHAT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO DO NEXT, and wonder just WHAT or WHO is going to come along and make perfect sense of (and in) this new context."- Tom Chesek, Upper WET Side "How often do you get the chance to experience an amazing piece of art? The kind that gently takes you by the hand, leads you to a tunnel heading towards the unknown, swoops you up into a tsunami of emotion before gently lulling you to serenity? How often does one get to witness a stage in the metamorphosis of an unpolished masterpiece? Not many can say they have. If you are amongst them, you certainly owe it to yourself to find out."- Bernice Sosa-Izquierdo for Pa'lante Latino "Rock solemnly refuses to release you back into your comfort zone until he’s good and finished — until his words have cracked open your ribcage and slipped into your beating heart and his ...face is forever embedded in your mind — then, and only then, will you be set free." " I’m not saying you gotta believe in God or anything, but go see Rock WILK perform and then tell me if you didn’t feel the heavens shift slightly."- AUTOSTRADDLE.com DENVER WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!! FULL HOUSE AT THE ART GARAGE AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SHARED EXPERIENCE! "tonight...something special happened, I think everyone here is gonna go home and hug somebody they love for a long time"... "this play is like a cross between a Woody Allen and a Spike Lee Film, your characters... I was SEEING them, like angels floating over the stage"...TRULY, DENVER, I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU! I'LL BE BACK!!! SEATTLE!!!!!! One of the most intimate experiences since I've been working on BROKE WIDE OPEN, I don't think any of us will ever forget tonight, "....I felt like we all took this ride together, like we were on this roller coaster together and I didn't want it to end", SEE YOU AGAIN, SOON, BEAUTIFUL SEATTLE! YO, OAKLAND!!!! Damn, I'm just sayin', I'M the one who is forever changed, THANK YOU Lisa Marie, & The Joyce Gordon Gallery for making my stop in the Bay Area an experience I will never, ever forget. The road has truly been paved with gold for me, my performance tonight was something I will keep forever in a very special place. Thanks to EVERYONE in that house tonight, I miss you already. LOS ANGELES, you were an experience that will be in my blood forever now , pure love, you embraced me like family, I am SO moved by this moment, THANK YOU, and so I am saying it out loud ...I LOVE LA. See you again soon! CHICAGO!!! You feel like HOME now, THANK YOU to The Gorilla Tango Theatre for having me, it was a beautiful, intimate experience, my HONOR to perform in the shadows of places like Steppenwolf & The Goodman, the perfect ending to this BROKE WIDE OPEN "unplugged" tour, & so to Denver, Seattle, Oakland, LA & Chicago, THANK YOU ALL! Time for me to go home & prepare for the next place... "a shower of words and sounds washes over the viewer, then drains away, leaving their skin pulled and tight with the slippery realization: "no one came lookin' for you ever." i think going to a show like mr. wilk's redefines the experience of going to the theater. i can't imagine "seeing' this show. what i can do is imagine living it with him as he breaks it off, one piece at a time, leaving a trail of existential bits and crumbs for his audience to follow him with. bravo, sir, bravo!"- Michael Raysses, NPR commentator SOMETHING'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN! "This man has energy and commitment on stage that I have rarely seen.." ***WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING*** "my first time experiencing you perform, I am struck so deeply... Your TRUTH, your LOVE, your PASSION infuses every word, ignites skillfully crafted sentences, leaving me trembling, tearful, and strengthened in my own truth." "Your painting of vivid images via direct exposition, multi-character portrayal, poetry, prayer and song amounts to a uniquely layered performance all the more impactful as it's delivered straight from the heart, directed at and then residing within our own." "Without a doubt, the most poignant, moving show I have ever seen. It moved me to tears. I am forever changed." "You are utter and pure inspiration...I want to live life like you" "An AMAZING, THOUGHT PROVOKING & MOVING PIECE OF ART....." "I was blessed , humbled and left in awe just by being in the same room as you ...your words will travel with me eternally" "Having had the privilege of seeing Mr. Wilk's Los Angeles show, I had an epiphany: Though I already knew the show to be a theatrical tour-de-force, I always thought the title referred to Mr. Wilk's journey. Though it may, it most directly applies to the state the fortunate audience member finds themself in as they walk out having just shared life with this wrecking ball of a performer. To anyone who reads this, you have been forewarned: don't see this show unless and until you are prepared to be BROKE WIDE OPEN in the best way possible." "Good performances captivate you for that small moment in time but great performances, great performances stay with you forever because of how they make you feel. Your performance was great Rock. Thank you for sharing your life so openly and honestly." "What you've crafted, and what you so viscerally put forth, is an "open" love letter as "open"ly expressed." "I was under a spell and didn't know if 20 minutes had passed or 4 hours." "BROKE WIDE OPEN is a sad, funny, tragic, inspiring, angry, forgiving, and hopeful metamorphosis!!!! The show was everything I ever dreamed it would be and much more. If this is not the best one man show I've ever seen it's definitely in my top 2 ROCK!!! You are the effin' man!! I will see it once more on your workshop tour and on Broadway when it gets there. Yea, I said it!!! BROADWAY!!!" "Passion, power, energy. Living Life out loud, opening eyes and hearts making a shift to all who are willing, leaving people in a better place. Thanks!" "You. On stage. By yourself. Telling your story. Like that. It was so powerful. Really beautiful. It felt like Broadway" "Delicious. You are delicious, your play is delicious, you are so generous" "What you have done with BROKE WIDE OPEN is remarkable. Funny, intelligent, entertaining, heartbreaking... I just loved it and you." "It's like God sent you here to see us, this feels important."- Anthony, Student at The American Sign Language and English Secondary School 47, NYC [special thanks to Kat Dudina for helping me to communicate my story to these kids] "Rock Wilk's "Broke Wide Open" is incredible. I have no words." "A Masterpiece!" "Electrifying" "saw BROKE WIDE OPEN last night and I'm convinced Rock Wilk is a Brooklyn superhero." "Speechless. The only person to ever hold my attention so that I stopped taking pictures. Rock WILK and BROKE WIDE OPEN...Classic." "Last night can best be defined as a mesmerizing ride on the W train! All the parts were there... engineer, conductor, throttle and brakes and enough electricity to power all 5 boroughs! Thank you Mr. Wilk!" "just came from Rock Wilk's Broke Wide Open. heavy & beautiful. heavy & beautiful." "I can't get rid of this sensation of sadness... but is a good sadness. Can't stop thinking about today's performance. It was so powerful! You are a talented man, man you are! Thanks." "I went to see a Very Talented Actor, Writer, and Singer today....Rock Wilk in "Broke Wide Open". All I have to say is....Broadway Watch Out, A Storms-A-Commin! And I'm gonna be Front&Center;!" "After watching rock wilk be BROKE WIDE OPEN I am speechless!!! What an amazing journey!!!" " yo man, saturday night was awesome!! your story is crazy/revelaing/pain filled, your passion and perforamnce was powerful. I give you a lot of props for sharing your story, most people wouldnt. You definitely have something special inside you and no one can ever take that away. Look forward to seein you again." " You are so brave, so powerful, and so wonderfully vulnerable... it was a riveting, electric performance." "not only can you fly, you are invincible! Fantastic, emotionally charged, energetic, heart wretching, intelligently performed show!" ---------------------------------------------------------------- "WILK is the Muhammad Ali of hip hop and spoken word...floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee. looking into his eyes when he mans the machine gun of his tongue is like looking into a bunker, only to watch the tracers he dispatches as they light the sky around him, for all of us to see. thanks for the light, WILK!"- National Public Radio “… He’s that guy sitting across from you on the G line, suddenly shouting out not in subway-craziness but in epiphany. Think much-maligned Eminem in his most devastatingly personal moments… This is a guy who knows words and music and the ways in which they either cooperate or compete… The Wilkman cometh…”- Red
Bank Orbit “We caught a preview of Rock WILK’s show last week at SICA’s “Eclectia” and highly recommend catching this intense, emphatic performer”- The Tri City News GOT WILK? BROKE WIDE OPEN "inspiring"..."honest"...."compelling"..."truth"..."difficult"..."entertaining"..."moving..." "Rock WILK— actor, playwright, singer, poet, producer, and compelling performer whose own personal quest for a sense of identity has resulted in an arresting body of work that’s raw, confessional and way beyond the realm of “Journey to Me” jackoffery. BROKE WIDE OPEN illuminates and transcends the personal stories within. Make a note to investigate the work of this rare artist wherever and whenever you can in the future."- Red Bank Orbit BROKE WIDE OPEN "You walk, you think, let it in, begin, you work, stay open, you learn, you speak, you do, you give, you get, be grateful, there's more, work harder, each day, each moment, every bit, all of it, keep going, don't stop, it's yours." "...IT WILL CHANGE YOU." photo credits: Serge Cashman