Vidya Makan: I Need You To See Me

101 of Australia’s BIPoC and CALD performers aged 18 – 25 have joined forces to feature in a song, I Need You To See Me, by critically acclaimed performer and composer Vidya Makan.

The song is an explicit invitation to our entertainment industry by the talented artists it habitually marginalises to be seen and to create change. The I Need You To See Me lyrics (see below) talk to the much needed inclusion and visibility of voices who have for too long, been either underrepresented, misrepresented or completely erased from our stages and screens.

The video clip features incredible emerging talent, as well as some of Australia’s leading musical theatre performers including Shubshri Kandiah, Marty Alix and Jayme Lee Hanekom.

“All musicals have songs that address change or a “new day” in some way or another so I think it is about time that, as an industry, we started practicing what we preach,” explained creator Vidya Makan. “Visibility of a truly diverse range of artists on our stages is essential.”

“I wanted to create a project that proves to the wider public what we already know: an incredible array of diverse talented and deserving artists exist here in Australia.”

“So I made a call out for BIPoC and diverse artists aged 18 – 25 and within a few days, I had such a huge range of diverse performers apply, all eager to be involved. It wasn’t complex and there was no shortage of talent.”

“We hear the same rhetoric repeated over and over again when casts or projects are announced and there is a continued absence of diverse representation. It’s always pushed back on the marginalised communities themselves.”

“We aren’t out there’ or ‘didn’t show up’ a common refrain that gave rise to last year’s #justnotthatmany visibility campaign. Or wors still, the suggestion that we are not good enough,” said Makin.

Having most recently starred as Catherine Parr in Six: The Musical (Louise Withers), Vidya Makan is a critically acclaimed actor, singer and composer/lyricist. She is currently working in collaboration with Hayes Theatre Co, writing Straya: The Lucky Country – a song cycle exploring Australian identity.

As a composer, she has also been commissioned by the likes of National Gallery Victoria and Chips Gravy Films. Vidya is proud to be a panelist in the inaugural year of the Artists of Colour Initiative, championing emerg ing BIPoC musical theatre artists.

Vidya’s other performing credits include as Dot/Marie in Sunday in the Park with George (Watch This), which garnered her a Green Room nomination for Best Performance in a Leading Role; Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (Australian Shakespeare Company); Green Day’s American Idiot (shake stir theatre co); Air Race (Arena Theatre) and the lead role Maria Krish in the feature film, The Colour of Darkness.

For more information about Vidya Makan, visit: www.vidyamakan.com – or checkout the video clip here!

Image: The Cast of I Need You To See Me (supplied)


I Need You To See Me

Music and Lyrics by Vidya Makan

You don’t see colour
You don’t see me
You don’t see the value in our faces when you say
“we don’t see don’t see race or ethnicity”

You see, now I’m other’d
You other’d me
But in this quarter
This daughter
This son,
non-binary kid
Is sharing the solution.
Time for revolution
I need you to see me.

If you could see me win the game
I could be the next Australia’s own.
If you could readjust your frame,
I’ve got talents to be shown.
I’ve got a world to conquer,
I’m getting stronger,
I’m holding to my destiny
I breathe the air of this land,
And I need you to see me

To be- Free at last.
Let’s step into tomorrow
Let’s not repeat our past
No longer will I rub rub rub off my skin.
No longer do I scrub scrub scrub to fit in.
We know you’ve got to be taught to hate,
But also you’ve got to be taught you can be great.
Despite it all, I still believed
Though your world never saw me.
Look what I’ve already achieved
I won’t let you ignore me
I hear the voices call
From crowded halls of too much potential unseen
I breathe the air of this land,
And I need you to see me

I am emanating light
I’m feeling my own might
I’m a national treasure site.
The world is changing,
it’s rearranging ,
My future is in my reach
Enough campaigning,
time to get training
Why should I have to preach?
I hear the voices call to stand so tall
In a world that doesn’t fairly compete.

(A breathe. You’re about to do your audition take)

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men
Make them hear you.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
God I Hope I Get It
Defying Gravity
Let me be your star
It’s Our time, breathe it in
Worlds to change and worlds to win
And I am telling you I’m not going
I will never go back to before
Wouldn’t it be loverly
To be part of your world

A whole new world
That’s where we’ll be
Waving through a window ooh
It’s time to rise above Woah Woah
Rise up Rise up, Rise Up, Rise Up
Careful the things you say, children will listen
Children will learn
Look, a A new day has begun
We can build a beautiful city,
yes we can,
I want to be in the room where it happens
I want to be in the room where it happens
Yes we can
Yes we can

Something is stirring
Hear what’s happening
I need you to see me
Me and You (x2)
I need you to see me (x5)
Me and you
I need you to see me

Comments are closed.