Zelda (aka Judith Miller)

Zelda is a multifaceted artist who lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe. As a feminist Jew who studies shamanism, she is inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition as she explores the themes of connection to the Earth, spirituality, sexuality and gender. Zelda has recently developed, under an Individual Artist Commission awarded by Arts Mid-Hudson,  Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) as is currently producing ZELDA’S Happenings, a series of black-light, body-painting, percussion dance parties that will produce original wearable art for a new UpState Artists Clothing Collection representing artists of the region.  Zelda co-founded The Fine Line Actors Theatre in Washington DC and performed at such venues as Source, GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Kennedy Center in DC, in NYC at WOW Café Theatre and Dixon Place, at the Lace Mill and with the TMI Project in Kingston. She published in Inside Arts magazine, The Washington Post, and American Theatre magazine. Keep up to date on Zelda's Happenings, the development process of Que Será, Será, or visit her healing website: Zelda's Body Breathing.

Spiritual Self Portraits: The Creative Process of Embodying Oneself

At some point in our lives, being Queer forces us to engage with negative messages from family, religion and the larger culture.  Many of us are not taught how to gain access to or trust our deepest emotions and intuitions that might shed much-needed light and healing. Without validation, those negative  messages can make us question our desires and identifications — and, sadly, sometimes we ingest that negativity. Although the ways in which we seek our truths are different for each of us, many of us spend a lifetime discovering who we are, what we have to offer the world and how to express that best as Queer creative, spiritual, human beings. Here I share a portion of my journey via the interaction of art with my own body and how that brings up new questions, pathways, and creative expression. 

30 years ago I clip out a photo of this powerful sculpture from a magazine.  But I neglect to include the artists’ name or its title*, so I don’t know anything about the image — except that it speaks to me. 

Four jesters, adorned with only striped body-art and tasseled hair are in various poses; I see each has a different body position, gaze and perspective. It seemed to me that while searching, each jester feels at ease and content in their physical body, with an inner secret, a wry sense of humor — and an open, curious nature.

A Chorus of Female Voices

This piece was first debuted as part of The TMI Project: MHI in Ulster County.  Visit The TMI Project’s website to learn more .


Que Será, Será, is Zelda’s (aka Judith Z. Miller’s) humorous, sobering, hopeful multimedia one-person revelatory performance that chronicles her personal story of the joys and challenges of navigating non-binary Queerness from childhood during the 1950’s to adulthood. Zelda is the recipient of an Arts Mid-Hudson Individual Artist Commission to develop the show to premiere in Kingston, NY at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center on December 7 & 8 as a workshop production. It will include an adapted version of “A Chorus of Female Voices” as well as the previously published “Sheitlestock”. You can learn more about Que Será, Será and support its development here.


TRANSCRIPT:

I’m 8 years old. My parents take me to see the movie “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe. It’s a fancy theatre with plush red seats. We’re in the very front row of the balcony, high over the orchestra.  

A thick shiny brass railing protects us from falling onto the people seated below. Marilyn is singing ​“I’m through with love, I’ll never fall again,” ​and as she​ ​breathes in deeply through her pouted lips to enunciate her words, I can see the details of her full breasts through her tight-fitting, completely sheer gown. I’m standing up, gripping the bar, leaning all the way over the top as far as I can, trying to climb​ into​ the movie — to immerse myself between Marilyn Monroe’s breasts.  

SheitleStock

This piece was first debuted as part of The TMI Project: RUPCO.  Visit The TMI Project’s website to learn more .


Que Será, Será, is Zelda’s (aka Judith Z. Miller’s) humorous, sobering, hopeful multimedia one-person revelatory performance that chronicles her personal story of the joys and challenges of navigating non-binary Queerness from childhood during the 1950’s to adulthood. Zelda is the recipient of an Arts Mid-Hudson Individual Artist Commission to develop the show to premiere in Kingston, New York in the fall. It will include an adapted version of “Sheitlestock.” You can learn more about Que Será, Será and support its development here


TRANSCRIPT:

It’s 1999 in NYC. I’m on my way to an annual celebration I look forward to all year long: a party especially for Orthodox Jewish women who are attracted to other women, sponsored by the Ortho-Dykes, and playfully named “SheitleStock,” after the “sheitle,” the wig that married Orthodox Jewish women wear to cover up their real hair.  

Although I was raised fairly secular, every year I anticipate being with a whole roomful of “Ortho-Dykes” sneaking secretly away from their cloistered homes, downtown, to a great big rented room, where the lights are low and the music blasting.  This is supposed to be my first time “packing” in public. Packing a dildo, that is. Tonight I’m feeling good in my male body. And convincing too, in my genuine faded-green Air force flight-suit with a neck-to-crotch zipper pulled down to show off my naked hairy chest. Plus I have my scruffy moustache, both created by gluing on my just-trimmed pubic hairs — totally realistic.