Monday, June 7, 2021

June-y June June

 IT'S JUNE!!??!

I'm going to start every blog with being absolutely astonished at day it is. Seems fair. 

What's happening?

The 401 I was teaching at HUGE Theater finished up, had their sharing, and rocked it so hard. 

I'm doing a little memoir cultivation (curated conversation?) at Abiitan Mill City with their memory care folks.  

That beautiful online Musical Improv Genre Rollercoaster class from the Nursery Theatre in London continues! We are the luckiest jerks! This week was opera, last week was ska, the week before that Gregorian chant. So incredibly fun. 

It makes one wonder, and grateful for, a blank-ish slate, filled with talented strangers (soon friends) committing hard. Would we commit so hard in our home contexts? I hope so, but it is forcing us to jump big. And that's awesome. Dreamy. 

We go to visit family far out of town soon, just as Minneapolis is opening truly up. Alas. 

In the meantime though, I've started to release songs as Penny and the Bandits (there are currently not bandits, so the name's a straight up lie). Check them out here, and someday I'll get a decent enough recording to be all BandCamp fancy. 

I don't have much in the way of screen shots or photos, but please enjoy this video.. even though it's hot hot hot now, we've had some beautiful days. 


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Every May pun you could hope for...

 Hi. I'm someone who was born in 1975, and have no idea what song "It's gonna be May" refers. 

"Just so typically May", I can follow. 


It is May, and May in Minneapolis means it actually might be spring. Finally realizing that we truly have 6 months of winter here. Period. Enjoy. 

Teaching: My Children's Theatre class ends this Saturday!

My HUGE 401 thankfully has a couple of weeks to go. 

My Memoir class is getting the gang back together! GOOD GRACIOUS. Report to come. 

Taking: I've been taking an Online Musical Improv Genre Rollercoaster class from the Nursery in London. It finished up yesterday and IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING. 

The last genre we completed was New Romantic, and if you'd like to see a bunch of mostly-Brits lose their collective beautiful minds, tell them we'll be doing New Romantic. And then tell them that costumes are encouraged. 

I love them all and feel so lucky. Screen shots of Zoom windows won't and can't tell anything. Just know. They're great. 

Still taking Voice Lessons with Brianna Lane, and you should too!

I started taking a one hour Improv Puppet class with Josh of the Josh and Tamra Show. I am so far delighted. The other two in the class are younger, and have very specifics questions about puppetry. I have come to realize I'm in it for the joy (and the bounce)

Performing: Please join us for A Little of Show X every Monday at 8 p.m. CST, or forever on youtube

And that's about it... Starting the slow decline to summer. 

I'm all fully vaccinated, and have begun to see beautiful loves and actually strained my introvert early this week. I got cocky, and sort of just recovered. GREAT KID, DON'T GET COCKY, indeed. 

Love and miss you all!

P.S. I never listened to New Romantic music... and Adam Ant's Prince Charming lives now, happily, rent free in my head. You probably need to watch it. Right?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

April on 420

Black Lives Matter. Daunte Wright. 

There's not words, as words can be merely performative. 

Everything hurts right now, and we have to work for change. Have to. We can't, anymore, this way, whether blindly complicit or well aware. 

Please show up as you can, whether that's by donation, or in person, or by writing your representative. 

 - MPD150

A very incomplete list, but places to start. 

Life update: 

 - I've started back at Abiitan, doing memoir work with memory care. Very lucky. 

 - I'm also doing memoir work through COMPAS with an organization called Family Means.. again, so very lucky. 

 - I finished a week of MADZOOMING with Foundary10 out of Seattle, WA, and was lucky enough to get paired with the most incredible group of teaching artist nerds. We had so much fun. 

 - Started with a 401 with HUGE Theater, and they are most beautiful. <3 

 - Starting taking an online musical improv class out with the Nursery Theatre in London, England, and boyhowdy... Is it the most ridiculous, most charming, hard laughing thing ever? Might be. 

 - I got cast for a commercial thing. That was loveliness. Here's the spot... I'm at :36 and at 1:02... It's a hot second of a moment, but so much fun to do. 

We love and miss you. We look to the future and work towards hope. We try. 


Thursday, March 25, 2021



 - I got my first vaccine shot. Feeling many things about it. 

 - I finished up an online music recording class with She Rock She Rock. They are a fantastic organization.. go!

 - Finished up teaching a beautiful level 201 improv class online with HUGE Theater

 - Overview Effect competed in a 3 on 3 International Improv tournament through Queen City Comedy! We did not win, but I am proud of what we did (it was very different from what the very funny other teams brought). Plus, we were all cold and felt badass about it. Check us out starting around 01:06:00.. <3

 - A Little Bit of Show X continues to fill the soul. 

 - The Bakken Museum is now offering online classes! I've taught some sound and some Mary Shelley. 

 - Got to coach the second iteration of HUGE's Duo for a Day! 

 - I went in and had my first in-person memoir session in over a year, with memory care residents at Abiitan Mill City. Incredibly lucky. 

 - My eldest kid turned 8! We were blessed with an incredibly warm Saturday and people with nothing to do! I should have made more cake!?

 - I am doing an at-home practice. It involves a ukulele, songwriting, and singing. I write to have songs to sing, and then I practice singing to sing those songs better. It's cyclical. I'm figuring out how best to share these songs, while pausing the practice enough to record them in their not-perfectness. 

(The songs are *mostly* based off of prompts from the wonderful Laura Vier's cards.. I hope she makes more soon!)

The current goal with these songs is a porchfest. But to have the songs online so when/if a porchfest happens, I can say something sly like "check out my soundcloud" or "here's my bandcamp" or "MY GOD HAVE YOU WATCHED STEVEN UNIVERSE?"

That means recording the songs. That means.. a lot of things. But mostly it means singing and playing ukulele. 

Does it sound like a 45 year old who maybe has watched a LOT of Steven Universe the last two months? MAYBE. Hey Jen, how's that finger picking? NOT THERE I'M HERE FOR STRUMMING THANK YOU. 

Anywhoo. The beginning of April looks busier than I've experienced in over a year! WHAT WILL HAPPEN? 

Love and miss you, as always. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

February 2021

Hi friends! 

 Teaching online with HUGE Theater was resumed! An incredible group of 201's! 

 Teaching online with Children's Theatre Company has also resumed. Here we go! 

 Got to direct a group for for Duo for a Day - - check out the beautiful results here! 

 Got to be a part of the HUGE Theater 10 Year Anniversary show.. What an amazing thing. So lovely to play (and also lovely to chat with the always incredible Tom Reed).

 Show X is back, digitally! Please check out a Little Bit of Show X, every Monday, 8 p.m. CST.

 Please check out HUGE's youtube channel for updates!

Strange times. 

I've been working on the art of practice. I LOVE THE ART OF CREATION. Boy howdy, that's a hoot. But, actually practicing what you've made into something consumable is another thing entirely. Luckily, I've been enjoying what I've been making, and it's nice to have these little friends running through my head. I'm also way more invested in practicing them as they're my shit. Anywhoo, I don't know if anyone else is interested, but I'll post some videos soon. (Warning. They're mostly on ukulele. As I have no emotional connection to ukuleles. They are a tool, and that's really cool, rhyme not-withstanding.) As my bff told me, "You don't need to have a good voice. You need to have an interesting one." and I'm standing by that forever... <3 

All love!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Overview Effect rides again!

 Oh hi. 

Mid-pandemic, Damian got Overview Effect into an online showcase with Unscrewed Theater in Tucson, AZ and they were the absolute most welcoming. We had a blast. We are dumb and grateful.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Big performance times into shhhh

Hi loves! It's a week in November... any fall class are closing, or have closed up. WHAT DOES DECEMBER HOLD? RIGHT NOW, NOT MUCH. 

 - My 201 with HUGE Theater finished last week, and they are all heroes. The best.

We met outside to have class, after weeks of Zooming. Look at these beautiful, cold friends!

I got to coach two of them for IMPROVATHON 2020, as 1+1=Jew. They played at 1:30 a.m.. They are incredible. 

 - My last class with Children's Theatre Company is today. It's been delightful, and I will miss their faces, and I hope to see them again. Maybe in person sometime? That'd be awesome. 

 - And I've been taking a class with WGS, the Improvised Play as taught by the fantastic Brandon Gardner. Folks in LA! Folks in New York and DC! Folks in Johannesburg! This part of the future is fascinating. 

Our final performance was yesterday. WATCH OUR DRAMA. 

Fortune's Fool Theatre asked me to be a part of their COVID-safe storytelling show, "To Breed or Not to Breed." I'm grateful for the opportunity! It was so lovely to be backstage with such beautiful people, and amazing to feel such support. (Also, someone please give Aaron a million dollars for not only music, but support laughs.) We just closed this this week, and... 

IMPROVATHON 2020 also happened! 28 hours of Improv, for Give to the Max Day (A Minnesotan day of fundraising) in support of HUGE Theater. When have we done multiple shows in a day, how long has it been? When have we concertedly gotten together online, and played? IT WAS JUST WONDERFUL AND THNAK YOU EVERYONE! 

 Nudge got to play!  

Adorable got to play! (As the Brits I think would say, Butch and I were chuffed at figuring this out. It was Butch. It was two minutes before showtime. So dumb!)

And Nimblicity too!

A really really wonderful run of stuff. 

What does December hold? Erm... As previously stated, not much. And it feels like anything that comes will probably be self-driven.. 

I've been using these lovely Kaleidoscope Creativity Cards to write and record some music. Trying to get into as much of a daily practice as life allows, and will share eventually. 

I will also be tending to a sore back (PT is amazing. Grateful.), and hopefully focusing on some physical stuff too? 

Hopefully making December and early January more than just waiting for the 20th. 

Love and miss you all.