"Up With the Birds" by photographer Simbarashe Cha. Jan. 2020
Lio Mehiel is a gender-queer, transmasculine, Puerto Rican and Greek actor, filmmaker, and conceptual artist based in Ridgewood, Queens. Together with creative partners, Dulcinee DeGuere and Russell Kahn, Lio is a co-founder of Voyeur - a multi-platform storytelling hub at the intersection of film, TV, and immersive.
As a gender-queer artist and deeply spiritual human being, Lio exists fluidly across multiple categories of experience, or often, somewhere in between. Lio’s work explores how we confront the fractured existence of our day, and proposes a queer understanding of time and space as a way to embrace the full range our aliveness. They employ techniques of surreal cinema and movement-based performance to create immersive, celebratory, and unflinchingly intimate works.
Lio directed and performed in Arcade Amerikana, a multimedia, immersive performance event, which premiered at Industry City in 2018. Arcade was voted 10 Best Immersive shows in NYC by TimeOut and Gothamist. After a successful run, Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Productions attached as Executive Producers. The team is now pursuing pre-seed financing for a permanent installation in Los Angeles.
Lio wrote, directed, produced and acted in their first short film, Disforia (password: eclipse), which they are now developing into a feature length psychological thriller. The short film screened at HBO’s Outfest Film Festival and NewFest Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, as well as 10 other film festivals across the U.S. and Europe in 2018. Disforia won Best Thriller at the Manhattan Film Festival, as well as the Audience award at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival.
Lio’s primary passion is performance, but they also produce, direct, and write across mediums. Additionally, they offer headshot/portrait services, and classes/coaching in devising original performance, scene study, and the "business of acting" career development.
Lio lived in Puerto Rico until the age of 5. Upon moving to New York City, they began dancing salsa professionally, performing at Salsa Congresos in Toronto and Los Angeles. They then switched to acting, performing on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof directed by Anthony Page, and The Miracle Worker directed by Marianne Elliot.
Lio received a B.A. in Theater at Northwestern University along with a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications.
Performance research at the WorkCenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy.
Practical Aesthetics at the Atlantic Theater School in NYC.
On-camera training with Bob Krakower and Jon Shear.
Devising Performance with Steven Hoggett - The Frantic Assembly, and Kelly Maurer - Siti Company.
Scene Study with Adam Rapp, Scott Freeman, and Brad Calcaterra.
B.A in Theater from Northwestern University.
Lio was a participant in EMERGE NYC 2016 through the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. They attended the Sass-Fee Summer Institute of Art’s 2019 Residency on “States of Consciousness in Cognitive Capitalism” hosted at Performance Space NY.
Lio Mehiel is formerly known as Isabella Mehiel.