Sunday, September 11, 2022

Hove, Actually

I've been thinking of this song since leaving Hove. Dedicated to every member of the Open Your Mouth and Sing cohort, students and teachers. What a dream! 


Sunday, September 4, 2022

MADNESS! MADNESSSS! SEPTEMBER 2022

Oh hey. 

We are mostly un-jetlagged. I got food poisoning. I am still recovering. FOOD POISONING IS DUMB. It's been over a week, and things are still not quite right

But what about September? 

Performances

 - Friday September 30th! There's a Crack in Everything returns! Featuring music by Daniel Bonespur, storytelling by Spencer Retelle (the Other Jeannie Retelle), and myself. It should be so lovely. Bryant Lake Bowl, 7 p.m. show. 

 - Wednesdays at HUGE Theater: The Unnamed Jill Bernard Project. We take a look at kids' jokes, talk about them, and improvise off of what we discover. The group and form are full of joy. Part of HUGE Wednesdays, 8 p.m. show!

 - Saturdays at HUGE Theater: Give the Drummer Some. Josh Kaplan is a honest to goodness genius, and has gathered a dream. Josh provides the soundtrack and we provide the (mostly silent) movement. 7 p.m. show!


Teaching

Oh my goodness, this has changed a lot in the last week.. HERE we go!

 - Circus Juventas theater classes start up. 

 - HUGE Theater! I'll be teaching Amplifying Voices Improv 101 - - so excited!

 - Coming back for Children's Theatre Company's Radio Drama class... 

 - As school returns, so does touring at the Bakken Museum

 - COMPAS! Facilitating Memoir classes for residents at Walker Highview Hills. 

 - COMPAS! Teaching some improv workshops at Anoka Middle School. 

 - COMPAS! Helping devise and direct a show with Partnership Resources Inc, who supports adults with mental and physical disabilities. My manager is calling this a 'mega-residency': 6 weeks, four days per week, for two hours. So incredibly curious. 

What was once a quieter looking month, has become a month of stuff. School starts up.. hoping to get more Penny and the Bandits out there... preparing for some October things. (and honestly, still processing August in so many ways.) 

All the things! Hoping things are good. <3


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Before September hits

THE SOLO ADVENTURE! 


 - I arrived in Brighton on a Sunday, and was immediately whisked by dear friends through Brighton Pride and walked through the Lanes, along the beach, and then fed blackberries and stuffed peppers for dinner. Already, I am in love. 

  - The Open Your Mouth intensive taught by Heather Urquhart and Joe Samuel was as incredible an experience as one could ever hope for. Dreamy new friends, so much laughter, so much seafood, full moon fish, much adventure, and 5 a.m. seagulls that just don't stop. It was grown up summer camp, and I had such fun. Singing together is a special thing, and singing improvised songs even more so. So incredibly lucky, and so incredibly sad to leave. (and, as the amazing Jules Munn reminds us, "Unclench your assssholllle".)


- I stopped in London to see friends I hadn't seen in years or a friend I've only seen in a tiny square on a screen. It was beautiful. The British Museum is incredible, and they should probably give all that stuff back. Very lucky to have seen so much! (also, London is awesome by rental bike, if I could only figure out a right turn. I truly have no idea how those work.)

 - EDINBURGH. Charity shops and gyoza, beautiful vintage and following crowds around theater spots. AMAZING. They stick performance everywhere! In shipping containers and under bridges, stuffed into every castle-like building one could find. (Except for the actual castle) If you have a Pimm's cup in the afternoon, you'll miss literally two shows. 

 - Chris Gethard's beautiful new solo show, front row, close enough to give me COVID. 

 - Baby Wants Candy was a goddamn dream.

 - Good Grief... a weirdly linear exploration of death and grief, as told by a bunch of hyper talented Xennial clowns. Lovely! Fine! and I really don't like Cowgate, for whatever reason. 

 - Unfortunate... the musical origin story of Ursula the sea witch. It was hilarious, hilariously done, and unexpectedly filthy! Dicks! (The pre-show music was WAP.) 

 - BriTANik is not British. They are American, and I love them. Fervently. So. Goddamn. Funny. 

 - The Tiger Lillies. I went, because if you have a chance to see them, you should. AND, the content (duh, Jen) was not for me. All expertly executed, perfectly on brand, possibly an approach I could try and emulate... Just needed a story with less rape and murder. 

 - Atsuko Okatsuka! So funny. Also, got to hang out with her and her husband Ryan for a bit, and that was so very nice.  

 - Show Stoppers! Improvised musical theater done in the style of three musicals. THERE WERE A BILLION PEOPLE AT THIS SHOW. It's a very very clever format, almost short-form-y (there's a 'director' to make sure everything moves along)... And funny. AND, oh man, do I prefer the manic freefall of Baby Wants Candy? I THINK I MIGHT.  

That was a lot of shows for less than three days. Lucky. 

I also walked up to Arthur's Seat, walked through the Old Town, cried over street musicians, adored my hotel room, stood amazed at the vintage offerings, and ate buttered chicken.  

Would I go back to either Brighton or Edinburgh in a heartbeat? Immediately and absolutely. 

London, I would go to give my laundry to the nice man and King's Laundrette and eat vegan Indian for 7 pounds around the corner from there. I would visit the British Museum again, and stay away from the center city. I would hop on the tube, and not worry about wherever I end up. Next time. 

So incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Certainly more to say later. We head back to Minneapolis on Thursday. WHAT ADVENTURE THEN???

Monday, August 1, 2022

August 2022... As it's almost fall.

This picture is not filtered and I'm very proud of it. 
It's really not. 

I think our seasons currently go like this:

 - Winter: November - April

 - Spring - Mayish

 - Summer - June - September

 - Fall - Octoberish. 

That's it. There it is. Tornadoes have shifted to spring. Winter is 6 months long. Summer is what you get, and fingers crossed for nice. 

July got chopped up into little pieces by COVID, but was also fine. There were lovely lake days, some park days, some early birthday parties, a wedding filled with so much joy and love, and more candy than anyone should consume. So much candy.

I finished up a half day camp at Children's Theater Company, where the coolest group of teens devised an awesome (and funny) horror short. Truly, the kids are alright, if not more so. 

We also saw the Circus Juventas show on Friday, and my body responded to the spectacle by immediately crying. Don't mind me. It's incredible. (It's an expensive ticket, AND as far as "getting your money's worth", GOOD GOB. That 3 hour show just don't stop. Fire! Flying! Unicycles! Spinning a small person around on roller skates! Jumping and rolling! Boom! Smash! GAH! IT'S A LOT AND IT'S AMAZING.) 

The youngest and I also saw the Goodyear Blimp. I'm still talking about it. 

Performance-wise, Nudge had lovely sets at HUGE Theater, was part of the loveliest group called Some Friends, and I also got to guest with Jennifer's Lawn, which was just as 'bout as dreamy as can be. <3

August-wise, what is happening? Travel. We are very lucky. I hope it works. Grandma and Grandpa and extended family live outside of the states: we've been so lucky to visit, and this year, I'm lucky to do some solo traveling #gasp. 

I'm planning on attending the Maydays' Open Your Mouth and Sing in-person musical improv intensive in Bristol, UK. #AHHHHHHHHH I am excited, and I hope all transportation bits do what they're sort of supposed to do.  Some visiting in London, and then a quick look at Edinburgh for the biggest of Fringes. 

I've never been to the UK. What's going to happen? I HAVE NO CLUE. I'm hoping to be charmed, and not to catch another variant. That'd be cool.

And truly, between packing and getting through jet lag, that's August.

If in the Twin Cities, YOU should attend the Minnesota Fringe Festival, as it's truly filled with talent and energy and joy. (Self-hype: I think I still hold the record for most Fringe performances in one festival year: 36. I was in 36 shows in 2007 during a ten day festival. Somehow true.) 

Wish us all luck and can't wait to see you in September, if not before. <3


Friday, July 1, 2022

July 2022: Summer in the City

Oh hey July. 

Oh hey summer. 

We are summer-ing the summer. And I got the plague. 

Two nights ago, I was in rough shape. Last night was much better, and I'm at 65-75%. 

I'm mostly just sad. And weird about it, as this was always the thing that could 'mess everything up' and now has 'messed some things up', but very very lucky for us, will be okay and fine. It's weird. 

(I'm also so mad. This horrible thing that has killed so many people. A horrible president who politicized masking and killed so many people. And now, as it steps into our house, and reminds us all that it's still real, and thankfully, gratefully, we'll be okay... this stupid beast that comes and hangs out with us for a couple of days and then sludges away.)

I'M MISSING MY SHOW TONIGHT. I'm so incredibly sad. Luckily, the show is in incredible hands and will be f-ing delightful. https://www.bryantlakebowl.com/theater/theres-a-crack-in-everything-a-performance-of-music-and-storytelling-from-here

In spritelier news, the Amplifying Voice 101 had an AWESOME sharing, Camby MN spoiled me beyond belief, as did dressing up like a Golden Girl for Pride, the Twin Cities Improv Festival was a thing of joy and possibly of disease (Nudge and Adorable performed, and I got to play keys for Here: The Improvised Musical #dream), took Tara and Rance's Pretty Flower workshop, and I taught almost-exactly half a week at Children's Theatre until Plague. 

Oh July, what is up? 

The kid-version of the imaginary band Penny and the Bandits marches on! I'm at Midtown Global Market from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Friday July 8th for Family Fridays! Come join us! Mug Cup Can Straw headlines with the grooviest kids' music one could hope for. 

(Look at what happens when Remi plays! Adorableness!)

I think I am doing musical improv in Minneapolis! Saturday July 9th, 9:30 p.m. show with the amazing Hannah Wydeven at HUGE Theater. I'll also be playing piano for this show #bwahahahah

Beloved Nudge is up at HUGE Theater, Saturday July 16th & 23rd, 8 p.m. show for Summer Potluck!! 

On July 23rd, I'll also be guesting with Jennifer's Lawn, a troupe that is near and dear to my heart. It should be so lovely!

I'll be teaching one last camp (if I don't get the plague again) at Children's Theatre, doing a little work at the Bakken, and working to get everything set for August AND THEN IT'S SOMEHOW SEPTEMBER OH I DON'T KNOW. 

I'll share about August, as, barring more plague or more things we can't control, we're scheduled for adventures. It may not all work, but that's okay. Expect much news!

Time is weird. Having a Supreme Court dedicated to killing its citizens is actually, you know, quite weird. Having an actually f-ing coup almost happen is weird. I'm grateful to all who did the research, who testified, who... oh heavens. All of it. 

So.. How are we going to restore abortion rights before more lives are lost or futures squashed? Or, you know, bodily autonomy taken away bit by weird legislative bit? What is screaming into the void? What is movement? 

I am sending so much love to you. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

We did a thing! Canby MN SW Minnesota Arts Council Residency

I was the luckiest duck and was sent to Canby, MN through COMPAS for a Theater and Storytelling residency. 

Joyce of the SW Minnesota Arts Council was my keeper, and just the best person you could ever hope to have in your corner. We did improv in the park with elementary and middle school kids, curated conversation with the residents of Sylvan Place (an assisted living facility in Canby), theater-based play with the preschoolers at the Connection, all wrapping up with a performance by the improv students in the Central Park, kicking off the annual Hat Daze celebration. 

I was told to check out the Rock Room in Gary, SD, was absolutely included in the community of Madison, MN by Kris at the Madison Mercantile, I ate taco Tuesday from Jim's Market, had Dairy Queen at least three times, and truly enjoyed Barb's Potato Salad from Jim's (after Barb at Sylvan let me know that it was her recipe.) 

It was a beautiful week, and I'm so incredibly grateful for it all. Really really cool community-based stuff is happening in SW Minnesota, and I was honored to experience just a bit of it. 


































 

We did a thing! Poppa Pia at Strike Theater

So so so very lucky. 

If wondering if we were having fun... we were having such insane fun. 



























Such insane fun. Zero chill. All love. 



Will the ABBA jukebox musical return? OH MAN WE HOPE SO. So many thanks to Our Town Improv for putting this new family together.