Sunday, August 1, 2021

This might be a two-fer.. August 2021


We are still traveling. 

<--- Considerate ghost follows mask mandate. 

 - Ham. We've eaten so much ham. Ham is abundant. My kids have been served a plate of potato chips with a slice of ham next to the chips. This is amusing to me. 

 - Big city is full of characters if you actually have the chance to slow down and not be run over. This is great. Nothing is simple in said big city, and it's a lovely place at times. 

 - Went on a large ferris wheel. Confirmed my fear of heights. 

 - We're traveling with an almost four year old, which means peeing on parks. Fancy parks with sculpted trees. Possibly a hammer/nail situation. 

 - We've gone through moist weather which molds your clothes, to getting punched in the skin by the sun for five days, and back to.. moderate? I worry for Minneapolis, am ready to get back, and am also anxious for the return... which is a strange thing to work around. This travel has felt like an extension of COVID lockdown, and not seeing people feels almost natural. And it's certainly not. 

This fall, there is (tentative?) stuff!

 - The Bungalow Loft! Produced by Fearless Comedy, written by Shanan Custer, directed by Dawn Krosnowski, and featuring Ambrosia Jasmine Webb, Angela Fox, Sarah Broude, and me! Playing Fridays and Saturdays, October 1st - 23rd at the Mounds Theater! The scripted is wonderful, the people are wonderful - - please come to haunted St. Paul!

 - Storytelling for Fortune's Fool Theatre, September 16th - 18th, at the Crane Theater. The title is currently You who I always/never/once loved, and the collection of storytellers is lovely.

 - The Twin Cities Horror Fest 2021! Taj Ruler and I are creating something.. more news to come!

 - SHOW X at HUGE THEATER MAYBE IN SEPTEMBER!?!?! OH YES PLEASE! (I honestly don't know if we start in September, but I'm just going to send some love and hope out for this..) 

 - I'm still making and sharing music at Penny & the Bandits... Hoping to figure out some sort of actual recording situation soon. :) 

Love and miss you, and seeing you face would be the best. 


Saturday, July 10, 2021

July - A certain je ne sais quoi

 Hi. hi hi hi. 

I am currently not in Minneapolis. We are HARDCORE visiting family.. for two months in another country... with two children under 10. 

You might be thinking: oh, how lucky! or perhaps, oh, how stupid! And you would be right on both accounts. 

It's an incredibly privileged thing to do. We are incredibly tired. 

Things I've forgotten:

 - If you go to a big sprawling city, start drinking water. Pre-game the water. Big sprawling cities steal all hydration and leave only headaches. 

 - Remember to eat a vegetable. (I really haven't.)

 - Travel is all transitions. 

 - Nothing is convenient. America, you convenient jerk. Giant coffees and granola bars. And sometimes some convenience is really really nice. 

Everything's sort of ground to an understandable halt, but...

 - I brought a pink $20 ukulele that sounds like it's being played through a radio. I've got at least one new song up here

 - Got to see one of my classmates from the Nursery's Musical Improv Genre Rollercoaster class. The future is wild. 

 - Reading N. K. Jemisin's The City We Became, and it's so damn good, spooky and fun. If you've been in NYC, or lived in NYC, or been stunned at NYC... Plus it's one big chunk X-Men and one very meta-chunk taking eldritch horror from Lovecraft. 

And mostly, I've been eaten up by traveling with tired children. 

But, you're great. And can't wait to see you (in person!? GASP!!!) soon. 

Until then, look at this goddamn couch and wall!! LOOK AT IT. 

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!