Blogging a new eBook: The Backstory of Artifice


Sylvia Toy THE BLUE LADY-rehearsing Missy b Ⓒ 2014This pdf, The Backstory of Artifice, is my writings about acting, improvisation and performance art, illustrated with favorite stills from my performance art movies. I am having so much fun making movies, that I do not have time to make it eBookable. I have decided not to sell it and to make it free and downloadable  here, instead.



DERMALIAN: Character and story research


The potential for conflict in the story is fascinating.

DERMALIAN has as its pivotal character a recently deceased alien artist-anthropologist from the future, who was famous for being one of the first explorers of the now dead planet, Earth; and whose groundbreaking discovery was the work of the ancient human called “Shakespeare.”

In this alien’s culture, babies’ brains are installed with wireless at birth; and a Person is not declared dead until his wireless fixtures stop functioning and all references to him on the “Web” (Yes, they really like the Earth term and adopted it; it made into the Aliens’ official book of words in less than a year) are archived by the Web as “no longer active.” So the alien and its ego, spouting bits of the Bard, haunt the institution he founded.

A major part of the education of children by their parents and in the rest of this alien culture is learning to control privacy over their own thoughts.

Conflict conflict conflict. That’s the heart of the story: fighting for one’s own mind, knowing the difference between oneself and everyone else.

The ghost of the alien anthropologist (who discovers an ancient Compleat Works of William Shakespeare in a still intact vault under the ruins of the New York Public during an excavation of the long dead planet Earth) is a metaphor for the core conflict – oh, and the comic relief, since he hasn’t got a clue about acting Shakespeare.

This movie will be scripted from the monologues that I will be blogging in the coming months. I am casting myself as the Librarian, an administrative enforcer employed directly by The Academy (the government). I will be looking for two Shakespearean actors, one male/one female, of any age. The male actor needs to know tragedy hands down, especially Lear or Macbeth.

My video (The sound of being) selected for the 2014 edition of Magmart


My video (The sound of being) selected for the 2014 edition of Magmart

I am very happy that this video was selected for Magmart’s F.I.V.E. – Feelings International Videoart Experience, which “realizes a collective work on five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.”

Magmart is a wonderful venue that I enter every year and heartily support because of the opportunities for exposure that it provides artists. Every artist’s submission is maintained on the website throughout the year of the festival – as an independent artist, I do not have enough words for how beneficial the Festival for individual artists and how much of a contribution Magmart makes to the growth of video art and video artists.

I know with certainty that participating in the Festival has already benefitted me in the past from this generous showcase. I am thrilled that I went to the “next level” this year.

HEP2013 – Human Emotion Project “Love & Hate”


Very happy to be part of this show. Much thanks to curator, Alison Williams.

HEP2013 – Human Emotion Project “Love & Hate”
A Selection of Artists: Love & Hate screens at Artreview on 19 November
Time: 7 pm
1 Honduras Street
London EC1Y 0TH
+44 (0)20 7014 8054


Recommended: Bootleg Film Festival

Nice folks who seem to care whether your work ever gets into a film festival, even if it’s not theirs. I told them I was a video performance artist who’s often straddling genres, and that I wanted to share this awesome & helpful rejection letter. If you are shopping your film next year, please consider Bootleg.

Hi sylviatoyindustries. Okay, so as a filmmaker entering festivals myself, I always want to know the information straight up: Did I make the cut or not? Unfortunately, on this occasion, we decided not to programme your film Indigo Lady. I know it sucks (I’ve been rejected from a ton over the years), so I don’t want to pretend with you – we’d love to programme everything, but it’s just not possible.

However, as a filmmaker (and the guy who started Bootleg), I want to give you some insight into our process, and offer up some information that may or may not help going forward. I’m not saying I know it all, I’m just saying I know how bad it sucks, and sometimes it’s good to get some insider details on how it all works when you send a film off.

So here goes: First up, we screened everything. And there was a lot. We pushed for two screenings from different screening members, more for films where scores were controversial or just wildly different (there were twelve of us all together) and we scored everything out of 10.

The scores varied a lot on some films, and on others, they were all around the same. But we scooped the averages and picked from there. We can’t give you your score – that’s just not how we work – we’d rather just say whether you made it in or not.

However, this year was the hardest year to select (and yes, I know I’m meant to say that, but it’s true). The quality was immense, but with only a certain amount of time allowing in our schedule, we had to be brutal about it.

Factors we focused on – good acting, good sound, good directing, and mostly, a great, well-told story. Things we don’t focus on – expensive equipment or big names. If the opening was slow or had problems with sound, we tended to score films low. Anything with copyright infringements (sadly there were a few) were instantly dismissed. Even if we were informed that it was an unfinished film, we didn’t accept films with copyrighted music. This is a big part of T&C’s, and if you submit your film like this to other festivals, please be careful. Nobody wants to deal with the hassle. ​Again, anything that was controversial or sexually explicit, we had to be careful as our venue has very specific standards of screening, so again, we have to respect that. ​

Advice going forward to other festivals? Best thing I can say is that whilst nepotism is rife in the industry, we rejected a lot of films from people we know, simply because we wanted to hold true to everybody. However (and completely against what I’ve just said), get to know the festival well, and contact the organisers if possible, just to get an idea if it’s the right fest for your movie. Make sure it’s compelling, well acted, well told and the rest is up to luck and scheduling.

Of course, if you happen to be in NYC next month around the fest, come and say hello and I’ll happily chat away with you. But otherwise, genuinely, good luck, and thank you for sharing your hard work with us.

Best – Tom, Bootleg Film Festival Founder. @BootlegFilmFest 

Your Skin is the Fourth Wall, Featured Artist: Danny Germansen


Your Skin is the Fourth Wall, Featured Artist: Danny Germansen

Still: Danny Germansen in Alison Williams’ 2013 film, Tea in a Thundercup

A screening of video art that has strong roots in performance, postponed until a later date to be announced in 2014.

The artists include Pedro Alba, Camille Escudero, Francesca Fini, Danny Germansen & sylviatoyindustries.

Danny Germansen (Denmark). Mr. Germansen is showing INNER PROJECTIONS FROM A BROKEN MAN, a collection of video and film from the last 12 years of his life. This body of work was inspired by Danny Germansen’s own life with disability, depression, and mental breakdown.


As an ongoing problem in the industrialized world the human race gets more and more lonely and alienated. The world turns faster and faster and people are more busy than ever working, making career, making family, making money and having all the right material stuff and doing all the socially acceptable things that are the norm of society!

It is in this world where the sick and weak humans go under the radar and live outside society. They live on the edge of society in isolation, loneliness and alienation!

These film and videos by Danny Germansen show the humans who are down and out in society without the possibility of saving themselves! It is the mentally ill and physically challenged who are not able to follow the fast modern society!

No one thinks about these people. They are on their own, sometimes caught in a life full of pain. Some choose suicide as their last resort.

It is with inspiration in his own life that Danny makes these videos/films that sometimes might seem embarrassing and ruthless. But these only are true emotions that all humans would capable of feeling if they were in the same situation.”