Details

Biography
Topics
Art & Politics
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders
Comedy
Film & Video
Hip Hop
Immigration
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer
Media
Performance
Poetry/Spoken Word
Programs for High School Students
Racism/Racial Justice
Storytelling
D’Lo​ is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian whose work ranges from stand-up comedy, solo theater, and plays to films and music production, poetry and spoken word. He is a co-producer for DisOriented Comedy, a mostly female Asian-American nationally-touring stand-up comedy showcase.

Rooted in social justice, D'Lo brings the fierce with the funny through his stories and stand-up comedy about being a queer/trans person raised within an immigrant family and community, as well as his stories about being an artist who was schooled by hip-hop, feminists, and queer artist elders. With almost 20 years of teaching in writing and performance, D'Lo is available for class presentations, lectures, keynotes, and facilitating workshops.
While touring the university/college circuit in a post-Trump election era, D'Lo loves to engage the students in dialogue around issues that matter to them. D'Lo's time on campuses as a great opportunity for the Asian/South Asian, Women/Queer/LGBTQ, Creative Writing and Theater/Performance departments and other performance/comedy/hip-hop communities to come together in the same room. When campus audiences are comprised of different departments and student organizations, a 2-hour time slot with D’Lo allows the students to, first -  sit back and have a good time with stand-up and storytelling, and second - engage in a conversation through his post-show Q&A with other students from different departments/walks of life (it sounds serious, but D'Lo keeps it light while talking about the heavy).
The documentary by Crescent Diamond based on D’Lo’s life/work, Performing Girl, won the best short documentary award at Outfest 2013, and he was part of the Emmy-nominated mini-doc series THIS IS ME produced by Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker. D'Lo's tv/film credits include co-starring in the HBO series LOOKING as Taj, on the Amazon series TRANSPARENT and the Netflix series SENSE 8. This year he is featured in Sundance Fellow Adelina Anthony’s feature-length film BRUISING FOR BESOS in the supporting lead role of Rani. He also appears in various Buzzfeed videos, on the web series EASTSIDERS and DYKE CENTRAL and the upcoming Issa Rae/Project Greenlight produced MINIMUM WAGE. His own web-series PRIVATE DICK is in post-production and set to be released this fall.
D'Lo's writing has been published in various academic publications including Nitasha Sharma’s book Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia and the anthologies, The Austin Project: Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics and the new release of Monologues for Men of Color.
He is also the creator of the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series which has taken place with South Asian and/or Immigrant LGBTQ Organizations nationally, providing a transformative space for workshop participants to write through their personal narratives and share their truths through a public reading. These workshops are specifically designed to provide emotional and spiritual support for individuals working through the complexity of their intersecting identities.
 
Testimonials

“D’Lo delivered an extraordinary keynote presentation at the Gender Studies Symposium last year. Poignant and funny, personal and political, reflective and provocative, D’Lo’s talk was the perfect conclusion to our three-day event. He told moving stories, shared amusing photos, spoke from the heart, made us laugh, and helped us to think. D’Lo delivered exactly the kind of address we’d hoped for when we booked him.  We appreciated his willingness to craft a presentation that worked for our needs.  We couldn’t have been happier!”
— Kimberly Brodkin, faculty director, Gender Studies Symposium, Lewis & Clark College, Portland OR

“D’Lo is an absolutely phenomenal host/MC. He is by far one of the greatest that I have had the pleasure of working with at Grand Park since it opened in 2012. His ability to read the moment and know just what is required is unsurpassed. He utilizes a perfect balance of humor and physical comedy along with sincerity and graceful eloquence to connect deeply with audiences and to guarantee that everyone involved shines. Staff and artists love working with him as well which makes not only the product but the process a pleasure. I simply can’t recommend him highly enough.”
— Julia Diamond, Programming Director, Grand Park, The Music Center, Los Angeles CA

“Thank you so much for all your help. Over the past few weeks, we've been hearing such wonderful reflections on the event, and people really got so much out of laughing with and listening to D'Lo.”
— Eesha, Northeastern University South Asian Student Organization, Boston MA

“D’Lo’s humor, pathos, and d’lightful d’meanor keep the audience engaged at all times.”
– Mike Ward, Bay Times

Speeches

Born Queer into a Tamil-Sri Lankan Hindu family and raised by Hip Hop, D'Lo's presentations go beyond mere lectures - they combine stories, spoken word/poetry, and solo-based theater. Check out his most popular campus offering!

D'LO presents D'FAQTO LIFE
A show by an infiltrator who lives underground, conspiring ways to make you think and laugh in no particular order.

De Facto (de fac·to):
in practice but not necessarily ordained by law. actually existing, esp. when without lawful authority existing in fact, whether legally recognized or not

Using excerpts from D’s different solo shows, D’FaQTo Life (pronounced De Facto) is a roller-coaster ride of emotions with stories executed through comedic theater and storytelling. D’Lo shares from the perspective of being raised a child of immigrant parents and trying to negotiate how identifying as “queer” intersected with a passion to create political art in America.

Some topics include: art as a tool for social justice, making art a regular practice, comedy as spiritual medicine, navigating a cis/het world as a queer gender non-conforming person, the lengths queer people of color go in order to find their path in a queerphobic society, his journey struggling with being an activist and self-care, his ongoing relationship with his ancestral motherland and the important role the connection plays with the madness/conservatism/bigotry that has surfaced with vengeance post-45.

Ideal for the College/University/School circuit because of low technical requirements, easy load in/out. Option for a post-show Q&A/talkback available depending on travel logistics.

 

Media
D'Lo, one of the keynotes at NCORE 2018.