Friday, December 1, 2023

December, said in a haunting way


November put the wraps on a couple of things! Including one that started in June of this year!

I've been lucky enough to work with folks at Lyngblomsten Apartments, specifically a group of hard of hearing and deaf ladies, and they just had their storytelling performance today! IT WAS SO LOVELY! I am so grateful for each and every one of them, for Holly, Annette, Sue, Marlaine (previously of COMPAS) for setting the whole experiment up, and for Asher who came to watch! Thank you! 

November also marked the opening of Cold Planet Warm Heart for Fortune Fool's Theater. People said nice things; the cast was fantastic. Huzzah!

Bring Your Kids had it's HUGE Theater debut and sold out!!! GASP! Here's our amazing house band (double-gasp) Mug Cup Can Straw!

You know that feeling one gets when a big project rolls up, and then suddenly, you no longer have the excuse you did a mere day ago? Indeed. 

Other things that wrapped up... Improvathon was a delight: thank you all who donated to HUGE! I played the White Squirrel bar as part of the St Paul Songwriter Rounds, which was awesome, and also surreal (my little punk ukulele will continue to punk, whether or not it wants to or not. Also, go see the Tennessee Stiffs, goddammit.) Glorious Humans continues into December with the silliest. Literally. The silliest. 

December December! 2023! WHUT. 

I'm in Family Dinner at HUGE. Saturdays Dec. 16th & 30th, 7:30 p.m. show

Bring Your Kids rides again at HUGE! Saturday Dec. 9th, 4 p.m. show, $5 kids/$10 adults. 

Glorious Humans present Anthology. Wednesdays through the end of December, 7:30 p.m.. HUGE

The online musical improv class I've been taking through Open Your Mouth and Sing in Brighton UK is having our performance on Monday Dec. 11th, 12 p.m. Zoom link here!

And I get to play Gigi's with RJ Vocal on Friday Dec. 8th, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.. Bring a friend, have a snacks, and relax to it all. 

There's a little bit of teaching, a little bit of rehearsal, and a little bit of potentially driving to Sioux Falls for a gig -- fingers crossed. Then it's off to visit very lucky holiday things and everything sort of restarts in its own way. 2024 2024. I was born in 1975, so it's all sort of mind-blowing, by the numbers alone.  



Sunday, November 5, 2023

November, if a bit late

 Hi! We made it. 

October was taken up by directing a musical for Fortune Fools Theater and it opened last night! Lucky to have worked on it, and happy to have it in others' hands. The cast is so so good! The crew is amaze-balls. I hope it's the best run. 

I didn't schedule much, performance-wise, for October (cuz #musical),  EXCEPT for MONSTERPALOOZA at the Bryant Lake Bowl with the Rev. Matt Kessen, which was a goddamn delight. So many thanks to Matt, Duck Washington, and Elora Riley for making it so. 

For COMPAS, I finished up a Memory CafĂ© for the Jewish Children and Family Services (just wonderful), a one-off improv workshop for Dakota County Libraries (they were so good!), the shortest ice-breaker for MSS... All very lucky. I'm still working with an awesome group of Deaf Ladies at Lyngblomsten Apartments: they'll be doing a storytelling sharing at the end of the month. 

I got to go back into the studio for a bit: this sort of recording is the longest game, but so excited. 

I love October, and I'm sad to see it go, weirdly. It was a very responsible and busy month, some lessons were learned, and WE DID IT! And... we need some make-up October please. 

November, performance things pick up!

HUGE stuff! Family Dinner returns to HUGE! Right now, I'm scheduled to be in November 11th, 18th, 26th, and December 16th. Glorious Humans presents Anthology at HUGE Wednesdays through December, and Bring Your Kids makes it HUGE debut on November Saturday 11th! New stage! New excitement! Hold onto your butts, indeed!

Improv-A-Thon is HAPPENING! Please support Adorable (Butch and me) and Five Music Videos (my solo improv silliness) in raising funds for the best damn long-form improv theater around. Adorable at 10 a.m., Five Music Video at 11 a.m., Thursday Nov. 16th  at HUGE

I recorded a bit for the Out Cold horror podcast; the listening party is Wednesday Nov. 9th at Soft Cult Studio. #fancy

And finally, I'll be at the White Squirrel for Twin Cities Songwriters Rounds on Sunday Nov. 12th. 

Exciting! Cool stuff! Weird! Ope!

Something cool: Balls Cabaret returns (look at the old facebook pandemic times of it all)! The long-running open mic INSTITUTION, run by absolute angel Leslie Ball, begins again. Strike Theater, 2 p.m., Sundays... I'm so delighted. Many happy returns, Balls. <3 <3 <3 

Saturday, September 30, 2023


It's almost here. October is my birthday month, and I dig it. Is it also the internet's favorite month? PERHAPS. It's somehow around the corner...

I've been lucky enough to get back into the studio; Matt Patrick at the Library is so so good, and it's amazing to work with him. Fingers crossed for an album out by the end of the year? That would be so very very cool. 

COMPAS has started up, with two memoir-ish classes... 

And, gem of gems, I was able to play Mary Jo Pehl's Garage for the Performing Arts again. Is it the loveliest? IT IS! So many thanks to Mary Jo for the opportunity! (And for Sam Baker-Harris for joining me Saturday!) 

OCTOBER! It's almost done looming. 

I'm directing Fortune Fool's new fall musical, Cold Planet Warm Heart; we start rehearsals next week. What will that look like? WHO KNOWS. The cast is awesome, the music director is lovely, the scripts and the songs... Right now, being a director is 7 parts admin assistant and 3 parts project manager... I'm hoping the majority of it will be getting out of everyone's way, and REALIZING (hioooo) the project. And take care of everyone involved. Once it starts, it's starts... so here we go. 

Otherwise, Family Dinner rehearsals at HUGE start up again. I'm still writing songs. Performance-wise, things get sassier in November. Made it through the start of school, soccer, and prepping/worrying over things starting. Very lucky for it all. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Fall is coming... September?

Most of August was spent away from the Twin Cities, visiting family.. and also running away from family, which was incredibly incredibly lucky too. 

Learned bits:

 - I learned I like to walk! In nature, specifically. Without any agenda, and no desire to drive, I will walk around by myself in the pretty for hours.  

Example of pretty. 

 - I learned to drive on the left side of things! It was in general fine.. ahhhhh.. insanely skinny roads climbing up mountains, into tractors and giant buses, was bracing. 

 - I saw truly funny and beautiful people. So many thanks to Heather, Jules, and Joe of AndAlso Improv in Brighton, UK... To Carmen for showing me beaches. To Ruby for lunches under trains. To Willem for BarbieGirl. 

Lookit these dreams! 

 - I taught the AndAlso drop-in in Brighton, UK! Our focus was emotions, and everyone emoted beautifully. They were incredibly generous with their playtime and energy, and we had such fun.

 - I saw Joe Bill in Lyon, France, at the Lyon Improv Fest! WUT. <3 He was teaching Improv in Mixed Languages, and listening to improv scenes in other languages is just about the prettiest thing. Am I forever grateful for Joe Bill, and being able to take classes from him? (even if it's only been three workshops over 20 years? Isn't that strange too? I love what he teaches and him.) 

And these dreams too!

I'll try and type up a travel-thingie. It was a special trip and I am truly grateful. 

We flew back into Minneapolis on Friday, and on Saturday, I taught a session on Listening at HUGE's Summer Intensive. So grateful for the time and everyone there! (Thank you, Jill!)

And now, easing into at least September, if not the idea of fall. I have a COMPAS residencies with Lyngblomsten Apartments and one with Jewish Children and Family Service's Memory Cafe, both starting in two weeks. 

That being said, October loooms. Which I kind of like for October. Don't stop, you. 

Sending so much love. 

Monday, July 31, 2023

August - - shhhhhhhh

 Hi! On the quiet side of things... 

July was summer-camp-focused. I have been teaching some form of summer camp over the last 20ish years. And it's okay to be done. Right? (I have a hard time quitting things.) 

My expectations on summer camp are lowwwww. Safety! Fun! Try to avoid Exhaustion! ... exhaustion always comes. It's always a mixed bag, you never know what you're stepping into (on a daily basis), ever changing, ever tired, ever reminding students to listen to each other and celebrating them... (Plus, there's been this pandemic. We're all trying our best.) And watching the students do a better job socially than my generation has ever done.

The kids are alright. I'm just tired. 

 - Children's Theatre Company middle school... The theme was Holes. They DID SUCH A GOOD JOB. (And, was there one student who was too young for the class? Who I didn't learn was too young until the last day, after my teacher assistant and I wrangled and wrangled and reminded? BECAUSE HE WAS THIS MANY YEARS OLD? BECAUSE IT WAS HIS FIRST SOCIAL THING IN THREE YEARS? Who's parents were so happy and grateful and just lovely folks... The energy.. it goes.) 

Lesson: next time, do a grade check of the kiddos. The front office was also surprised when I told them on Friday, and shared how difficult it would be to avoid this. Which, honestly, bummer. 

See? Summer camp. 

 - Bakken Museum Young Makers for two weeks. 2nd - 3rd graders. Makin' stuff. (And yet, again, was there a volunteer the first week who seemed to be actively working against me and my teaching assistant? GAHHH! First week, a panic. Second week, new volunteer, and it was a lovely time.)


The only way to avoid this is, honestly, to stop teaching summer camp. As it's always, for me, been this Chutes and Ladders experience, as humans are humans, and it's a bit of a crucible. 

Also, now, I have children of my own. Who are summer camp age. This is probably making a difference in the spoons I have for this these age groups. The patience expands and contracts like lungs. Mix in some wild fire smoke, hot hot days, and some medical issues on my own kids' side... In many ways, July was a lot. 

Performance-wise, I've hit a couple of music Open Mics. Shout out to Zachary Scot Johnson and Minneapolis Cider... what a dream. Bring Your Kids had a performance for Eden Prairie School's Eagle Zone Junior (YAY!), and I head down to Mankato today to teach an Intro to Improv workshop for a summer library program through COMPAS

News: HUGE is buying a theater! GASP!!!! This is incredible. All the news here. No shows til mid-October, which is a bummer, but ALSO MAKES COMPLETE SENSE. 

We visit family out of town for a good chunk of August, and then September rolls out, and the year resets again. Rehearsals for Family Dinner begin, and the count down to October starts to tick. Not in a bad way. Just what's ahead, lovely and busy and challenging and also hopefully joyful. 

Hoping the summer has been lovely for you! 

Sunday, July 2, 2023

July month seven of twelve

It's summer-ing the summer. 

Twin Cities Improv Festival 2023 was joyous and lovely. We are the luckiest, and thank you so to those who work so incredibly hard to make it happen. Holy crap. I performed with Give the Drummer Some, and got to see some incredible incredible folks. 

Summer is officially begun: the first summer camp of the year has been taught (Sketch comedy for 7-12th grader... AHHHHAHAHAHAH. Did you know that the Lorax was a formative movie for those currently aged 13-18? I DID NOT.). 

Our list of sketches:
note the two about funerals and old people

Hopefully July will work! Teaching summer camp in a pandemic/post-pandemic era is a moving target. 

Performance-wise, there ain't much, and that's okay! Got to do an open mic this last week, and might try for a couple more before August hits. As once August hits, it's nothing, and then September comes thumping in with all the things. #school #show? #directing #allthethings

Hoping your summer months are beautiful, that the fireworks are not too loud, and that this country expands the Supreme Court because ALLTHETHINGS. 

Love and onward. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

June Spoon

Will I start this blog with a "Hey oh no I missed the 1st!" I WILL! As the 1st of the month was eaten up, and that's okay! 

May had stuff. There was a week of almost nightly (and very fun) performances and a week at an elementary school, making newscasts with 3rd graders. (Thank you, COMPAS!) I finished up my Wednesday run at HUGE, which finished with a group called Lads and I'm still giggly about it. 


I got eaten by editing said newscasts (16 tiny videos), helped chaperone my 4th grader's class at an art museum, had meetings, got a haircut, and got spit back out the other side. Bring Your Kids at the Bryant Lake Bowl! A solo music set at Gigi's! A one-off Mystery Cafe show! Adorable! I ate a lot of Tacos Johns. 

June, performance-wise, is pretty quiet. The Twin Cities Improv Festival is around the corner: it's our last one in the original HUGE building, and will be a gd party. 

I'm working on cleaning up what got pushed aside: mostly house stuff, laundry stuff, basement stuff. We have lived hard in this little house, and it shows. The stasis of the pandemic, and suddenly one kid is ten and one kid is five: the house could use a bunch of love, and I'm trying. Moving things out of the house. Giving things away. Throwing things away. It's a start. 

June/July is pointed at work: teaching a couple of summer camps at Children's Theatre Company and the Bakken Museum, and holidays will force everyone to slow down? And then August. And then fall. 

I've been very very lucky to be going into the Library Studio with the incredible Matt Patrick and recording. It feels like creating an album is like parenting: it's a long process. I want it done now, but it's okay that it's not. It's probably good that these things take time. But oh man. Matt is amazing, and I'm the luckiest. 

Onward indeed.