My name is Paola Pilnik [pronouns: daddy/daddy’s] and I'm a gender-bending, accordion-playing, theater maker and storyteller. As a performer, musician, writer, and director I aim to provoke audiences through satirizing current politics and subverting the norm.
I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where the coffee is strong and so are the women. My mother was a ballerina and my grandmother was a pianist, so I have been on stage my whole life.
I attended the National Theater Institute (Fall '12) and graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Acting and a minor in Creative Writing (Class of '17). For my graduating thesis, I created a solo performance, Ithaca, which had its premiere in December 2017 at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA. I have worked with several theater companies whose work I admire, including Double Edge Theatre, Eve Doe Bruce from Théâtre du Soleil, Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Complicite, Divadlo Continuo, and Song of the Goat. I am a recipient of the 2017 Tim Disney Prize for Excellence in the Storytelling Arts for my original play People Who Love Move Mountains.
In 2018 I relocated to Europe: first to the Czech Republic and then to Berlin. In 2020 was in the ensemble of the Political Voice Institute at the Maxim Gorki Theater and received a flausen+ Young Artists in Residency fellowship. With support from Fonds Darstellende Künste, I'm developing my solo performance 27 Club, and will be in residency at Goyki3 in Poland later this year to write the pilot of an original dystopic queer Spaghetti Western TV series. You can also see me performing regularly in bars and clubs as Mojo, the Sword Swallower of Switzerland - part of the Drag King collective Venus Boys.
Check out my upcoming performances here.