I wound up selling streaming video because I don’t have the disposition to wait to see what someone else “can or will do for me” – partly from nature, partly from experience. I had already learned what happens when your sculpture is selling – you have to keep doing that over and over even if you’ve got better work in you or just want to experiment. I already knew what happens when you are a black performer with a play about the Civil Rights Movement – you have to keep doing that over and over even if you’ve got a lot of other stories in you.

When I started entering film festivals, I expected to be treated like a business person. For the most part, that did not happen – in my opinion, filmmakers are treated like beggars in much the same way studio artists and small theatre artists are. Artists, who very possibly were progenitors of entrepreneurship as creator-purveyors of magical images and gods, are now expected to be supplicants who have to wait to see what someone else “can/will do for me.”

When I began to think like the former theater producer that I was for 20 years, I realized that not all film festival organizers are organized enough to be businesslike or businesslike enough to be organized. People who start film festivals likely are motivated by frustration with The Business/wanting to take charge of their own career paths; or motivated by the intense passion of wannabes; or sometimes by a bit of both.

I am not sorry for my tantrums about lack of communication from so many festivals (poor communication may be understandable, logistically speaking given manpower issues but not excused). I have seen so many art and theatre projects NOT happen over the years because available manpower did not match the size or structure of a project. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”

However, I am sorry, considering how many shows I arranged without even being in the same town as the venue back in the days of dialup, for not putting myself in the shoes of festival organizers, who are only human and probably most of them not obsessed overachievers who don’t sleep.

Amazon changed its online video business a few months ago to aggressively sell streaming minutes rather than individual rentals and purchases. What can I say – most of the people on this playground know that art sells by the piece. Duh. I am not being paid by the piece by Amazon. It’s not about much money. But the content is mine. I would rather give it away.

What the hell – it is about time for my tantrum / protest / action / installation on Amazon to end, anyway. I am taking most if not all of my videos off the streaming market and making them available on signed DVDs – by the piece.

THE SPINSTER, final version, will soon be available on signed DVDs on Etsy. THE SPINSTER is a performance art movie about an office worker who lives to draw in the classical style. She is obsessed with the Mannerist painter, Jacopo Pontormo. ‘Pontormo’s Diary’ is the only thing she has on her IPod. She lives alone with art supplies and rolls and rolls of paper. She mostly eats eggs & salad, just like her spiritual mentor, Pontormo.

“Sylvia Toy St. Louis is a true artist, struggling the same struggle every artist has fought. I’m right there with her. Her characterizations are true to heart and she fills the screen with words that hone toward the truth that she finally reveals.” Review by Tess Collins Ph.D.

LOOK AT ME I CAN’T HEAR YOU by Sylvia Toy (Color/Stereo 10’30” USA 2016)


An exploration of plotless dramatic conflict based on the most fundamental obstacle to human communication, i.e., the simple fact that each of us lives in a different skin.

VOICE, a performance art web series & movie

As bipolar Psyche Lyssa Echo Smith enters therapy so her estranged husband will come back home, her psychoses begin traveling in outer space.

VOICE is a comedic, science fiction fantasy. Psyche Lyssa Echo Smith has entered therapy to “fix herself” so her estranged husband will come back home. All three characters want the same thing – control of Psyche, who is the Self . The conflict intensifies when Echo, the psychotic voice, discovers her personal star and pursues it into outer space. Each episode of VOICE is approximately 15 to 17 minutes total and includes at the end a 3 or 4 minutes long pre-production rehearsal as a special feature. By award-winning African-American filmmaker Sylvia Toy. Selected for TIME is Love Screening 10 (2017), HearteartH, Berlin (2016), International Video Art Exchange Program, Marrakech (2016) and Chemcraft Exhibit, CM Projects, London (2015

VOICE, a performance art movie is a 02:40 hours long feature film that is available on DVD on Facebook or Etsy.

VOICE a performance art movie COVER

VOICE, a performance art web series, Episodes 1-12, each contain extras and are available for streaming on Amazon.

VOICE Episode 1 The Status Quo 850005349

VOICE-Part Two 850007987

Voice Part Three 850013436

Voice Episode 4 FINAL poster.jpg


Voice Part Six.jpg

Voice Part Seven.jpg



Voice Episode 10.jpg





THE CAPE EXPERIMENTS by Sylvia Toy: The Body The Mind (Color/Stereo, 2’57”, English/No Subtitles, USA, 2016)

I am particularly pleased with this latest piece.

VOICE, Director’s Statement by Sylviatoyindustries (Color/Stereo, 09:57, 2016 USA)


Still, VOICE Director’s Statement

VOICE, A PERFORMANCE ART MOVIE was 3-year long project. Pre-production began the summer of 2013 after my homeless neighbor George’s middle of the night arguments with his voice named “Robert” woke me up every night for weeks. I cannot get back to sleep in the summer because summer is bipolar season for me and I go manic.

While I wondered as I always do by the beginning of July whether I would ever get any sleep again or instead would feel 125 mph forever, I started listening to what my neighbor and Robert were saying. Robert was angry and aggressive; George would plead with him to leave him alone and often cry, then try to fight back, and finally, as the arguments grew shorter over the passing days, by morning George would be saying over and over, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” George had won. He had coped with demon Robert and won himself back. It was a powerful lesson.

Proposal for live performance of “THE HARPY TRIBUNAL” 

The Harpy Videos By Sylviatoyindustries

Returning to occasional live multi-media performance seems to be on my path, though I enjoy all the aspects of making movies not to continue to spend most of my time making movies.