How to Fail as a Popstar is Vivek Shraya’s debut theatrical work, a one-person show that chronicles her journey from singing in shopping malls to “not quite” pop music superstardom with beguiling humour and insight. This astonishing work is a raw and humourous reflection on the power of pop culture, dreams, disappointments, and self-determination.
This print edition of the script includes colour photographs by Dahlia Katz from the show’s Toronto production in February 2020, a foreword by director Brendan Healy, and an afterword by Vivek.
- Cover photo by Heather Saitz
Shraya may not have reached the top echelon of pop stardom, but sharing her persistence and self-discovery just might be a bigger gift. After all, these are the stories we rarely hear told.
It’s a moving tale that any person who’s struggled to achieve their dreams can easily relate to, and Shraya has a certain magnetism to her performance that keeps the one-woman show moving fluidly.
An important show from such an important artist! Everyone should see How to Fail as a Popstar!
A funny, warm, and honest show by a rare, 360-degree talent.
The work of radical self-acceptance is so challenging I never want to do it. In this piece of art, Vivek’s fearless vulnerability, steady gaze, and sure hand create another way in, an opening, and all I have to do is show up. Now it’s your turn. Lucky you.
Vivek Shraya’s How to Fail as a Popstar is a McGuffin—the play is a demonstration of Shraya’s virtuosity as a performer, a songwriter, and writer, and is anything but a failure. Popstar is a cutting and hilarious look at the spark and afterglow of any musician entering the industry—the adolescence, adulthood, and moribundity of this creative life-within-a-life. She claims to not ‘have the range,’ but Popstar demonstrates the opposite—a multidisciplinary artist at the height of her powers.
- New Books About Music