Sunday, September 11, 2022
Sunday, September 4, 2022
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?
PerformancesThere'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!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!
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
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.
- 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
|This picture is not filtered and I'm very proud of it.|
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
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.
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
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
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.
Friday, June 10, 2022
When your friend Carolyn reaches out, wondering if you can dress up like a Golden Girl, hang out with old dear ones, and then yell at lovely lovely strangers at an open bar, you say yes as quickly as possible. <3
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
It might be spring/summer here. Flowering tree season landed beautifully in MN, and then disappeared just as quickly. Tornado warnings and thunderstorms and festival season. Here we go!
Our first Midtown Global Market Family Friday happened! Remy Chacon of Mug Cup Can Straw is FANTASTIC. Wanna see some good kids' music? Wanna eat an arepa? Have we got the show for you? I played my kids' music, and I liked what I played, and it was also fine. BUT COME SEE REMY. I'll be there too. June 24th, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., FREE, at the Midtown Global Market.
Strike Theater! I'll be at the Friday 8:30 p.m.. Saturday 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows. Honestly, this show is driving on desperate joy and INSANITY. A hoot, I tell you.
I won't be there for the Thursday show, as I'll be dressed as Dorothy from the Golden Girls at the 2022 Grand Marshal & Pride Awards. Wut. Yep. Speaking of, I need a gd wig.
Teaching-wise, I'm lucky enough to be finishing up an Amplifying Voices 101 at HUGE Theater. I'll also be heading to Canby, MN for a week-long residency through COMPAS: it should be lovely! (Although I'm missing Hat Daze.)A bit of summer camp teaching that I hope will go well, and a bit of summer wrangling. COVID + strike late school ending = a mishmash of a schedule. Somehow, July makes more sense, but that could also be a lie. I'm working on getting stuff our of the house, while doing the summer-house things that we're supposed to do.
Wishing us all luck, patience, and grace. Love!
Sunday, May 1, 2022
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.
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
- 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
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!
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!
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 Miré 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
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"
Wisdom Young, “Hotcombs and Hardtimes”
Sunday, March 6, 2022
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!
|Photo by @adamiversonphotography|
- 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.
- 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
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 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.
Back on my BS!
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.
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
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.
- 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?!?