Omari Soulfinger (b. 1986 in Brooklyn, NY) is a comedic performing artist dedicated to creative advocacy. Since 2001, Omari has worked with under-served families and their communities in various capacities, including as a classroom teacher, social worker, and advocate. Omari is a member-organizer with Brooklyn Movement Center, a facilitator with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, Ramapo For Children, Mankind Project, and All Kings. Adjacent to his social change work, Omari has performed stand-up comedy, improv, storytelling, puppetry, musical, forum, street theater, mime, clowning, and burlesque.
"Performance is a requisite skill to meet the norms of status-quo society. The lived experience, physical movement, and impermanence of performance are strictures of our identities. Comedy happens when a strained expectation (like identity) transforms into nothing. Through all my performances, I intend to satirize the expectations we have of ourselves and each other. I enjoy the absurdity of the expectations that keep us comfortable and predictable. Are these expectations, also oppressive and unrealistic? I am inspired by vulnerability and “cringe” moments. A “cringe” is a somatic fear of experience, fear of self, fear of imperfection, and failure. My clown is a failure artist, asking funny questions about subjects that are no joke.
Through immersive staging and audience involvement, I remove the unseen expectations of the invisible wall and instead build an invisible bridge. An invitation for the audience to co-create an experience. My social work background is vital in creating the space and capacity for this. Practice in relationship building, group work and sparking intrinsic motivation is the backbone of my performances. Overall, I’m asking the audience to find the determination to get involved and re-imagine all of our presumptions about what is possible.”