I love to perform. From singing to playing the musical saw to dancing, delivering a performance that evokes the audience's emotions is absolutely exhilarating. The way I see it, performing, when done right, is one of the most selfless things: it involves countless hours carefully crafting an experience with the audience in mind, much of which goes unnoticed, culminating in one short-lived but spectacular exhibition. It's all about what you can do for the audience, how to touch their lives for those short minutes (or hours if you're lucky), and how you can move them emotionally or physically or spiritually.
"Sometimes, I just start singing!"
"No Larry, sometimes you stop singing."
On campus, I sing in the shower, in the dining hall, while biking, and with a group called Side by Side. We regularly go to elderly nursing homes and senior residences to sing songs exclusively from the 1920s to the 1960s in hopes that the music from their era will bring back fond memories and have a therapeutic effect, improving their quality of life and remind them that they are young at heart. They often hold our hands, sing along, and share stories and wisdom that they've gathered through the decades. In our spare time, we also like to go caroling or have flash singing mobs on campus and in nearby locales. We've performed for non-profit organizations like Relay for Life. Our song recordings are available here!
Musical Saw and Guitar
When it comes to musical instruments, in the past I've played piano and cello, but now I only play the musical saw and guitar, both of which I'm teaching myself. I chose these two instruments because they are more portable, so I'd better be able to share music with the people in my life.
I first came across the musical saw at a performance by the Seattle Theatre Group, where Reggie Miles played the musical saw to Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now." I went home and immediately had to try it on a woodsaw I had in my garage using my cello bow, and I've been refining the skill since. I've been invited by Natalia "Saw Lady" Paruz to play at the annual NYC Musical Saw Festival multiple times now, starting in 2013.
Musical Theater and Dance
I've recently discovered a love for musical theater and dance, and I started dabbling in their respective communities on campus. Since coming to campus, I've taken social dance (swing, waltz, tango, salsa, cha-cha), hip hop, and contemporary dance classes. I joined the Basmati Raas team in their annual community showcase event at Mela 2014. I also performed in my first musical theater production in Gaieties 2014, a show intended to stoke the flames of rivalry between Berkeley and Stanford during Big Game week.
I am a professional Tetris player. I started playing Tetris when I was 6 because my mom insisted that it would stimulate cognitive development. I hated it at the time, but I started playing competitively in high school after winning some prize money in a tournament hosted by the Hard Drop Tetris community.
I currently hold the world record in blindfolded Tetris, and am the highest ELO player in turn-based Tetris variant King of Stackers, on which I'm the reigning champion from winning the inaugural and second King of Kings tournaments. In competitive Guideline Tetris, I made it to the round of 8 in the international Tetris Tournament Online 2, losing to the first seed and eventual winner.