Sunday, May 1, 2022

Where I acknowledge that it is, indeed, May

Look! Look what the internet made! 

Happy May Day! I JUST REALIZED WE CAN DO MAY DAY BASKETS TODAY! Forget you, internet! (Minnesota doesn't really do May Day baskets. Iowa does. The mission here is clear, even if my nine year old wants to call it Ding Dong Ditch.) 

May Day in Minneapolis used to mean a lot of things. The May Day parade, an incredible thing, has transformed. I don't know what's exactly happening, but I know that the Southside Battletrain will ride, which is sort of one-part anarchist bike shop, one-part Mad Max, one-part Pryo, and one-part Community care. 

Weather-wise, it's still wet, if not cold. April should never mean spring here: we are a cold, crappy, pandemic-y Seattle, and the sun doesn't believe in us for a long time. 

Folks are experimenting with removing masks, and naturally COVID rates are going up. Theaters are still thankfully requiring proof of vaccination. I've been to restaurants. Is it the best? Probably not, and also, we are all so hungry for joyful connecting things. 

The world is ending in horrible ways every day. We are so grateful to be together. 

The nights I produced at the Bryant-Lake Bowl were a delight, and THAT is because of the incredible and generous energy of the artists in this town. This is not a humble-brag: putting up a show is a whole bunch of futzy business (Do I like making a show poster? I do! Sending press releases? Sure! Does any of it work?  BWAHAHAHANOONEKNOWS) AND it wouldn't fly, in the least, if amazing artists and performers and friends didn't give of themselves. 

Nudge: I would Nudge forever. I love what we do, and just wanna do it more. And there is no one better than James Rone

There's A Crack in Everything: A whole bunch of people who don't know me very well said yes to giving, and them recommended their friends. I am so incredibly grateful. It was a beautiful night. 

Bring Your Kids!: We sold out! All the kids said jokes! Jugglers juggled, singers sang, and people were really really funny. Also, I would watch Samantha Baker Harris as a swol supervillain being interviewed any any day. Also, Rita Boersma improvising a children's book. Levi deftly and gracefully handling dozens of kiddos. Benjamin and Sarah loving what they do. OH MAN. THIS WAS SO VERY MUCH FUN. 

And now, we're onto May! We might start wearing shorts or something. How strange. 

Teaching, COMPAS, etc:

 - I finish up with my seniors at Walker Place this week, and I don't know how I'm going to process that. They're the best, and I'm so incredibly grateful. 

 - I head to Chohasset, MN to run a workshop for the Minnesota Library Association

 - Get to do some work with Opportunity Neighborhood

 - Circus Juventas' summer session starts soon. 

 - HUGE 101 starting also! 

 - For me taking class, the Musical Improv Genre Rollercoaster from the Nursery Theatre starts up again, and I'm so grateful. #joy











Performances:

 - I'll be singing kid songs as Penny and the Bandits at Midtown Global Market, a Friday per month, starting in May. This was all initiated by Remy Chacon of MugCupCanStraw - - please check out his stuff, as it's truly the catchiest. We're up May 27th, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., June 24th, and then every second Friday after that!  

And that's it for May, which is honestly nothing to shake a stick at; it's just not the weekly vibe of April.  

Hoping to get some music recorded and released into and onto the wilds of the internet, do some writing, and tend to things that need the tending. 

June should have some ridiculousness: more on that later! Much love!  

Friday, April 1, 2022

Sometime's in April, it's SHOWS. Ehh??? Nudge, There's a Crack in Everything, Bring Your Kids!

Hi loves... 

March was a journey. The Minneapolis Teacher strike cut through most of it; I am so incredibly grateful and indebted to the kindness of fellow parents, the strength and the flexibility of the teachers, the clarity of the students... A LOT HAPPENED. It was exhausting for everyone (as much as my kiddo enjoyed the break.)

Work was stressful, as how do you manage anything? Minneapolis parents and teachers, we got very tired. And mad. (The District pulled, and continues to pull, some very gross and enraging tactics. Were these tactics actually tactics? Were they incompetence? IT WAS ENRAGING. And here we are.) All of Minneapolis needs a goddamn nap and funded public schools, please. 

And work was there, and I'm so grateful for it! Much goodness!

COMPAS ARTS: 

I got to go back to Stillwater and work with Family Means again, which is just the loveliest.

 I'm in love with my group at Walker Methodist. So much goodness!

IMPROV: 

My 201 had their showcase and IT WAS THE BEST. <3 <3 <3

The Unnamed Jill Bernard Project was a dream, and I hope we can dissect kids' jokes again soon. 

HEAR HER STORIES AT MILL CITY: 

It was the loveliest night!!! The storytellers all shown like diamonds, they brought their beautiful families and friends, there was a full audience, I will sing about this show from the rooftops. HOW LUCKY ARE WE??

My oldest kid also turned nine years old, which is pretty cool. We've spent a lot of time together the last three weeks, and he's pretty great. <3 

There is much happening in April! 

CHICAGO AVENUE PROJECT - I was the music director of CAP for over 12 years, and this year, I get to act (!?). We'll be performing on Sunday April 24, 4 p.m. show: the scripts are ridiculous, the kiddos are awesome, the show is free. Please come see!









NUDGE MAKES A MOVIE - We are Nudge. We love grounded, slower paced, improvised monoscenes. We are going to do one for you, and record it like a movie. James Rone is going to open. It's going to be great. 6 p.m. Doors/7 p.m., Fridays April 15th & 22nd, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Tickets here!

THERE'S A CRACK IN EVERYTHING - Musicians Silversmith, Daniel Bonespur, and myself share a stage with poets Diver Van Avery and MirĂ© Regulus. It should be stripped down and lovely! 6 p.m. Doors/7 p.m., Saturday April 16th, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Tickets here!









BRING YOUR KIDS! - A Comedy Variety show for Kids and Their Grown-ups. This should be ridiculous. We've got clowns! We've got juggling! We've got music! We've got jokes! 6 p.m. Doors/7 p.m., Saturday April 30th, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Tickets here!

THAT SEEMS LIKE PLENTY. 

It should be fun though. Producing shows is a lot of hustle hustle hustle, and I'm looking forward to the actual act of MAKING A SHOW if front of people and all. Although I am unreasonably proud of my dumb posters. I like my dumb posters a lot. 

Sending so much love!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Hear Her Stories: A Celebration of Women's History Month at Mill City Museum!

Join Mill City Museum and Story Arts of Minnesota for an evening of storytelling in recognition of Women's History Month.

Hear true stories–funny, poignant, and inspiring–from contemporary women inspired by history and women of the past. Storytellers are:
Iris Altamirano, “Becoming Madame Presidenta,"
Beverly Cottman,”Charlene and Beatrice: Two Edward’s Girls of Kansas City”
Christine Jenkins, "Wanda Gag: artist, author, and New Woman"
Jean Loyd, “The Pink Hallway Pass”
Carol McCormick, “Spiritual ROI: U of MN School of Nursing"
Pam Schweitzer, “Dorothy Molter: The Root Beer Lady”
Dawn Tomlinson, " Living in Minnesota: One Mixed Race Korean Adoptee story"
Shayla Walker
Wisdom Young, “Hotcombs and Hardtimes”
The evening is hosted by Twin Cities performer Jen Scott.
Doors open at 6:30 pm. Seating is general admission. Cost is $10-12; MNHS members save 20%.
Please note, the museum gallery will be closed during this event.


Sunday, March 6, 2022

March 2022 - 'hup!

 Oh goodness, love. January was hard. It bled into February, which unexpectedly more sun, a little more warmth, and globally, more than can be expressed by someone so removed from it. 

 - Childcare started again, and then NOPE! I was lucky enough to finish up subbing an art class at New City Charter, and then had to cancel everything again. And, incredibly lucky to be able to cancel stuff and still be okay. 

 - Got to do a staged reading of Don Juan by super-dead playwright Moliere, and goodness, was it the most fun one could have in a darkened theater on a Saturday afternoon. Ham, you ask? SO MUCH HAM. Thanks to Philip for the opportunity! 

 - Butch and I got to Adorable twice at Improv A Go Go, which is the best thing for the soul. 

Photo by @adamiversonphotography

 - HUGE Anniversary Show! 11 years!?!? Got to duo with Denzil, and DELIGHT. 

 - I've been lucky enough to play with the Jill Bernard's Unnamed Project at Improv A Go Go - - Oof. What an incredible group Jill has collected, and what ridiculous joy. Thank you, Jill!! Two more Sundays, March 7th & March 14th, 8 p.m., HUGE Theater.

 - Got to coach at the Friday Night Stage Match at Strike, and it's been a while. So great. 

 - Last but not least-ly, I got to accept an award for Sir Stephen Fry at the Rev. Matt Kessen's First Annual Monster Award show, and it was buzzy and happy and holy crapnuts, that was fun. I LEFT MY GODDAMN UKULELE AGAIN. 

 - If looking for panic, follow two under-six-year-olds through corporate-created ice castles filled with snow-bound Minnesotans at a dead run. It was fun. They are fast. 

 - Take on February while also selling a house. If looking for an awesome realtor, Travis Sagedahl of Sagedahl Reality is who you are looking for. I'm so incredibly grateful: he helped me so much. 

BUT WHAT DOES MARCH BRING?

 - Continue to teach an amazing Level 201 class at HUGE!

 - Still at Circus Juventas... so much love. 

 - I was back at Family Means in Stillwater when I could, and should be back in March. I'm now also at Walker Methodist with an absolutely fantastic group for memoir work. Ask me about five year olds flagging down trains. Holy what. This is all through COMPAS, and I'm so grateful.

 - Genre Roller Coaster Musical Improv Online Class with the Nursery Theatre has started up again. The sound you hear is a continuous squee. 

- I'm curating a storytelling show at Mill City Museum on March 26th in recognition of Women's History Month. More information to come!

 - CHICAGO AVENUE PROJECT! It's the loveliest of programs, and folks at PH+T have kept it going through a pandemic. 12 years of music directing, I get to act! GASP! More info to come!

 - Stuff coming in April too!

 - Stuff in May?! 

Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools are about to strike for all the right reasons. Here's to a quick resolution, supporting those who have done such an incredible job caring for and educating our kids. Here's to Minnesota giving some of its 9 BILLION dollar surplus to support those who, you know, risk their lives, hearts, and now, their livelihood. 

It's been such a blessing to be in theaters, doing joyful things with incredible people. So incredibly lucky.

January was hard. It bled into February. Here's for things. <3



Monday, January 31, 2022

February 2022.. what is actually happening?

 Hi!

What is actually happening? We, honestly, actually, don't know. All support systems are sand dunes, and shoring up is not happening nor possible, it seems. 

Day by day is possible. Planning out is not. Everyone's tired. Everyone's struggling. Everything's hard. 

Also, don't live in Minnesota during a pandemic. As half of the year, it will be actively uncomfortable to be outside. 

As much as it's given me, I question this location on the regular. I am grateful and, removed from so many things that made it okay (Museums! Seeing friends! Performing! Indoor play spaces for all!), it's not great. AND MY SITUATION IS INCREDIBLY LUCKY. 

Also, here is my love song to childcare givers. Teachers, babysitters, those who find backup for you, those who bring you aid, those who check on you, unexpected, unasked.. whewwwwww. Thank you so!

How we doin'?

What is happening this February 2022? This, possibly. Again, everything's made of toothpicks and wood glue, and the wheels come off really easy. But this is what's on the calendar, and I'm lucky for it!

Teaching!

- Teaching for COMPAS over at FamilyMeans in Stillwater, and will start teaching at Walker Methodist in a couple of weeks! Woohoo!

- Classes at HUGE will hopefully start in a week or so. 

- Continuing to teach at Circus Juventas

- I'm subbing a couple of days at New City Charter again, this time in art with 5th and 6th graders.  

Performances! 

-  I'll be at Improv A Go Go with Jill Bernard's Unnamed Improv Project starting February 27th! 8 p.m. Sundays, HUGE Theater. 

- I'm doing a reading of Don Juan by Moliere, as produced by Maximum Verbosity, at Strike Theater

Back on my BS! 

- Penny and Bandits! I continue to put out music; right now, I'm working on cleaning up songs for release on Bandcamp and Soundcloud

It'd be more fun with live folk, and that's not really possible right now. So, 'grateful for magical digital musicians filling in. It's a similar vibe to using Adobe or Procreate vs. hand drawing or oil painting. Different tools for different times. All very cool, all very lucky.  

And YOU. 

If you have found yourself here, there's a very good chance that I miss the crap out of seeing your face and hearing your laugh. JEBUS.  I hope to see you soon. <3

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

January don't know

Hi! Happy 2022. I just typed 2021, and had to change it. 

Minnesota is currently riding out, as much as we can, a viral blizzard. (Oh, Dr. Olsterholm.) And many many things are rightfully pausing, shutting down, or sadly, there aren't enough well people to do the things.. like healthcare or school bussing. 

There is grief, and there is always, a cloud of uncertainty in doing anything: the back ups are gone. 

(Negative double-digits have not helped. Again, Minnesota. I am lucky enough to own long underwear: I move from my sleeping long-underwear to my dress?? long-underwear.. My professional long-underwear? ... And yet, here we are.)

We're supposed to peak in the next week, and then hopefully the storm will pass. Peak sounds something to get over, and weirdly, And above Dr. Olsterholm says endemic maybe around Christmas? UNTIL THEN, we will continue this strange terrible tango. 

Okay.. soooo...what's happening now? 

 - Penny and the Bandits! I'm still releasing songs on instagram. And, piecing together fuller audio-only versions, to be released on bandcamp and soundcloud when finished. Woohoo! In my brain, Sylvan Esso is so cool (even though I'm not the biggest fan): does my stuff sound like Sylvan Esso? ... Nope. Absolutely not. But I'm having fun, and I'm grateful for that.

 - I'm back to taking voice lessons with the amazing Brianna Lane. I've said it before, but it's so lovely to having someone telling you to breathe. 

 - I'm back at Circus Juventas. HUGE classes will start in a couple of weeks. 

 - SHOW X had it's last Monday-run Show X... BOOOOOOO! It was lovely and I'm bummed. 





 - There is future stuff on the calendar! Will these future things happen? WHO KNOWS. Classes for seniors through COMPAS... A remount of the Bungalow Loft at the Bryant Lake Bowl... Some Improv A Go Go... I'm still yelling at fourth graders at the Bakken. Maybe something cool at Mill City Museum

I hope you are as well as can be, as healthy as can be, and sending so much love!

P.S. If interested in watching some awesome middle-schoolers perform in a horror short, here are some awesome middle-schoolers in their them-devised me-scripted short. 

If interested in listening to some awesome middle-schoolers perform a serial high-fantasy them-devised me-scripted radio drama/podcast, why listen here! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?

<3.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

December's a thing

It snowed! 

It snowed. 


It's fine. 

Spiked 3! was an absolute hoot, and dang the talent. Many many thanks to Jim and Dennis for letting me play a couple of songs!!

December:

 - A couple more Family Dinners at HUGE. 

 - Some Monday Show Xs.

 - And then suddenly, it's December 19th, and it's off to family. And then it's the END OF THE YEAR AND HOW STRANGE. 

- I'm subbing for a charter school is NE Minneapolis. It has me busier than I've been in literally years: I can feel it in my nervous system. I'll finish up (my last day is the 17th), and wheewwwwwwwww. 8th grade, you're practically teenagers. 7th grade, you are something unto yourself and life is so damned hard. It gets better, but oh man. 

They're funny though. Sometimes. Often. 


Something dear and sweet and also a bummer: Show X is coming to a close. After 10+ years, the every Monday celebration is finishing up. I understand it, and it's also, truly, a bummer. Show X was an indulgence of the best kind: playing with mind-blowing folks, many of whom happen to be old friends. The connection, and laughing to the point of tears. It felt special to be a part of it, and I'm sad to see it go. And I understand why. 

Last week, it was Butch, Tim, Rita, and I, and we had ridiculous fun. This week, it was Butch, Nels, and I, and I'm still riding off of that. Love and so many thanks.