2015-01-01 10:41 pm

2014 amber awards

all the awards come from what i experienced in the year, so if there are any movies, books or else that come from previous years, you can suck it, for the amber awards are about the things i experienced for the first time this year in top five form, alphabetical order.

MOVIES.
Guardians of the Galaxy
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Interstellar
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Wind Also Rises

TV.
Adventure Time: Seasons 3 &4
The Clone Wars
Doctor Who: Season 8
Sherlock: Season 3
Venture Brothers

BOOKS.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Vinter's Luck by Elizabeth Knox
Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: a no-bullshit guide to mythology by Cory O'Brien

POP SINGLES.
lack of itunes meant little downloading, so chvrches wins the day.

THEATRE - FRINGE
Crime and Punishment - Live Action Set
Edgar Allen - The Coldharts
Jumpin' Jack Kerouac - Electric Otter Productions
Littler Women - Bouyant Group
One Arm - Petrostroika

THEATRE - NON-FRINGE
The Big Show - Theater Forever
Cartoon - Heart of the Beast
Mrs. Charles - Freshwater Theater
Nature - Tiger Lion Arts
Star City - Four Humors

THEATRE EXPERIENCES
Elephant's Graveyard
Marie-Jeanne Valet Who Defeated la Bete du Gevaudan
Silkworms
Solitaire
Twelfth Night
2015-01-01 10:15 pm

2014 year in review

it's that time again. it's my favorite of all posts.


1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?

bought a bike. made scones. won a national grant. wore a habit. present a show to the playwright that wrote it. had my own plays directed by other directors. ate fois gras. performed shakespeare in the park. triple whammy of performing with TLA/at the southern/in the horror fest all in one show. bought a smart phone. learned how to be a comptroller and work the quickbooks. scored a job i'm proud of and don't know how i deserve.


2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

i didn't make any. i probably won't make any this year. i can already see what my life holds in store for the next few months....possibly into the summer. just accomplishing those things in way that i can be proud of myself will be good enough.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

noe and ben made evie, steph and ryan made gemma. there were a few more in outer circles as well.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

no. thank goodness.


5. What countries did you visit?

england and scotland. kind of. i mean we went to universal studios and rode the train from kings cross to hogsmede... i say that counts.


6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

i would like a cuddle date with a red panda, same as last year. this answer refuses to change until i get one. i would like to be debt free and am super close--i know i said that last year, but i am closer now. i would also like more free time (which i'll probably get) and the opportunity to travel (also most likely to get, since my job allows for it).


7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

elephant's graveyard. marie-jeanne winning the encore. winning the knight challenge grant. the night jeff offered me the job at fringe. walking into diagon alley.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

elephant's graveyard, marie-jeanne, knight grant, new job.


9. What was your biggest failure?

my bad attitude got me into a couple of uncomfortable situations this year. it may have hurt some chances of working with some artists i respect. i worry.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

i was downed by viruses 7 times this year. my birth control was giving me aura migraines and put me at risk for stroke or blindness, so it was switched out. in the hormonal flip, i lost a lot of hair and gained some acne. it may also have been responsible for the aforementioned attitude...i'm monitoring that.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

kantele. touchscreen laptop. smartphone. bike.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

my parents. i will never be the daughter they really deserve. derek, for being more wonderful than he lets on and loving me more than i deserve.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

i will not mention names, but there's a theater maker in town that is making some choices that make me want to tear my hair out. and then there's my own behavior. i can be a little bitchy. just a little.


14. Where did most of your money go?

paying off debts. and harry potter vacation. and parking at my old job.


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

elephant's graveyard. silkworms. marie-jeanne. solitaire. knight grant. new job. harry potter vacation. new bike.


16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

anything from the chvches album. and pharell's "happy."


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? sadder.
b) thinner or fatter? a little fatter.
c) richer or poorer? a little bit richer all the time.


18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

working out. reading. spending time with friends. learning to cook.


19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

procrastinating. seeking isolation.


20. How will you be spending Christmas 2014?

i was able to be home with my family. all the boys. and some of my aunts and uncles and cousins i haven't seen in a while.


21. How will you be spending New Years 2014?

derek picked sarah and i up from the airport after our orlando adventure. then we went to ikea for meatballs and kitchen hardware before going to a private dinner party and having home-made french foods. we wrote down the things we were saying goodbye to on flash paper and burned them away.


22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

i stayed in love. i fell in love with a new doctor. i fell in love with a new form of butterbeer. i fell in love with a new instrument. and i stayed in love with lev grossman.


23. How many one-night stands?

same answer every year: zero.


24. What was your favourite TV program?

doctor who. adventure time. master chef. venture brothers. clone wars.


25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

no. i added people to "i'll never direct that person" list. but no hatred.


26. What was the best book you read?

the magician's land by lev grossman. i re-read the first two books in the series as well, so really, the full trilogy wins this year.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

i didn't really get into much new music this year. just "the bones of what you believe" by chvrches.


28. What did you want and get?

kantele. smartphone. bike. new job. harry potter vacation. to work with certain people.


29. What did you want and not get?

red panda. hurdy gurdy.


30. What was your favorite film of this year?

probably interstellar. followed by guardians of the galaxy and how to train your dragon 2.


31. What did you do on your birthday?

i took the day off work and derek and i went first to stillwater. the people who run music makers gave me a tour of their workshop while my new kantele was being strung, and i got to play a hurdy gurdy. then we went to the zoo. we probably went out for a nice meal too...i'm not sure.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

i'm not sure. it was pretty good. perhaps not being sick as often?


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

skirts with tights. boots. color play.


34. What kept you sane?

pinterest. quitting my old job. not having to commute anymore.


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

luke evans is very pretty. and peter capaldi is my new favorite doctor. i am still all about RDJ and ewan though.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?

net neutrality?


37. Who did you miss?

brigid and jesse because they're gone. sarah and kris because they're here and i don't see them enough.


38. Who was the best new person you met?

it seems like i always meet a million people. this year's hall of fame: ethan bjelland, joy dolo, sarah broude, emily dussault, taous kazem, lyndsey harter, elliot drolet, and ann erikson.


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

don't throw your hat in unless you really mean it...you just might win, and then you have to live up to it.


40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through-ough-ough
2014-12-07 03:56 pm

well shit.

the last time i posted to livejournal was the beginning of this year...to review 2013. the only reason i thought to check back was because i got an email telling me that my automatic payment was about to come due. and i should change my payment option because i've changed my debit card not once but twice this year, thank you to both target and home depot and their hacker failures.

i don't hold it against them though.

and the payment is never the same time every year...it seems the site goes through issues and they credit me with free time, so the annual payment gets pushed back further and further.

do i really want to keep up with my livejournal? there was a time it was my world. then came facebook. and then there was a time that was my world. then came pinterest. that is my current world. what happens if i let my livejournal payment lapse? my journal doesn't go away. it's always there. i just see ads and go down to a limited number of icons, right?

still. it is an old friend. i feel kind of responsible for it.

and oh my lordies. how this site has changed.

perhaps...perhaps i keep it going. perhaps i find a new way to use it. how can it hurt???
2014-01-02 11:46 am

the 2013 amber awards

all the awards come from what i experienced in the year, so if there are any movies, books or else that come from previous years, you can suck it, for the amber awards are about the things i experienced for the first time this year in top five form, alphabetical order. (i saw enough good theatre this year that top fives must be extended to top tens.)

MOVIES.
The Conjuring
From Up On Poppy Hill
Gravity
Iron Man 3
Wreck it Ralph

TV.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (complete series)
Adventure Time: Seasons 1 & 2
Louie: Season 3
Mad Men: Season 5
What Not To Wear: Seasons 9 & 10

BOOKS.
The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margot Lanagan
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
The Ordinary Acrobat by Duncan Wall
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

POP SINGLES.
this category is N/A this year. lack of computer means i did zero downloading.

THEATRE - FRINGE
Fallsway - Shelby Company
Fashion Risk or the Accidental Nudist - Natalie Rae Wass
Four Humors' Lolita: A Three Man Show - Fat Bottom Jones Productions
Hello Stranger - The Newton Theatre
The Legend of White Woman Creek - The Coldhearts
The Nose - The Piltdown Men
Now and at the Hour - Beyond the Mountain
Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves: The Musical - The Jansonowicz Players
These Old Shoes - Transatlantic Love Affair
The Vindlevoss Family Circus Spectacular! - Animal Engine


THEATRE - NON-FRINGE
2001: A Space Odyssey - Green T Productions
The 7 Person Chair Pyramid High Wire Act - Der Vorfuhreffekt Theatre
Barebones 20th Anniversary - Barebones
Cul-de-sac - Loudmouth Collective
To Kill a Mockingbird - Park Square Theatre
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Walking Shadow
Muy Very Authentico - Theatre Forever
An Outopia for Pigeons - Swandive Theatre
Red Resurrected - Transatlantic Love Affair
This is a World to Live In - Sandbox Theatre

THEATRE EXPERIENCES
Adventure Theatre: Suitcase
Family Five Fifth's of the Sorcerer's Stone
Fringe Orphans 2: Orphan Harder "The Sound of Food"
Theatre of the Tiny Clandestines
Turn Signals
2014-01-02 11:27 am

2013: the year in review.

it's that time again. i always like this post. i cheated in that some of the answers didn't really change from last year. most of them did.


1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

wrote, created, and performed my own work. applied for grants for my own work. directed for a company that was not my own. performed at jon hassler (RIP). everything about producing/making tiny clandestines was new. worked on two (or more) shows at once; worked on two fringe shows in one season. worked with sandbox theatre. had a major accident. paid off my school loan.


2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

i didn't make any. i probably won't make any this year. i can already see what my life holds in store for the next few months....possibly into the summer. just accomplishing those things in way that i can be proud of myself will be good enough.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

my sister had her 5th boy, vince, in august. anissa had a boy, joe had a girl. quite a few people in my outer circle birthed people as well.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

no. thank goodness.


5. What countries did you visit?

the country of stress and crazy. i really need a vacation.


6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

i would like a cuddle date with a red panda, same as last year. this answer refuses to change until i get one. i would like to be debt free. i'm working on it. very close. i would also like a vacation, some more down time, and some savings, obvi.


7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

theatre of the tiny clandestines. 5 5ths. walking into fringe central and having a whole table shout "THE SOUND! OF! FOOD!" at me. joey and jenna's wedding. seeing barebones for the first time. moving in with derek. labor day weekend with derek, isabel and diogo, and gemma and mark.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

theatre of the tiny clandestines. the sound of food. 5 5ths. the boyd girls. paying off my school loans.


9. What was your biggest failure?

getting into a car accident and totaling my car.



10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

i was down with flu/cold business in february and may, i seem to have developed some plantar's faschitis around october, and my accident caused me some serious guilt and heartache, but otherwise fine.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

bowed psaltery.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

my parents. i will never be the daughter they really deserve.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

my old apartment building manager was kind of a cunt.


14. Where did most of your money go?

school loan and theatre of the tiny clandestines.


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

theatre of the tiny clandestines. auditions for elephant's graveyard. fringe--like always.


16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

i spent the entire year listening to my songs in alphabetical order, so nothing from my own playlist jumps out. i would probably have to say some of the songs from turn signals: "thrift store," madonna's "holiday," "if you don't know me by now," abba's "take a chance on me," "bringing in the sheaves," "your love keeps lifting me."


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? same
b) thinner or fatter? a little fatter.
c) richer or poorer? for the moment, poorer, but soon to be richer.


18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

seeing my family. working out. playing video games.


19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

stressing out. working.


20. How will you be spending Christmas 2013?

thanks to a snowstorm and derek being in IL, i spent it alone. but it was nice and quiet and i saw my family later in the week.


21. How will you be spending New Years 2013?

i wanted to go to my parents, but we're both exhausted (and possibly getting sick), so we stayed in and cooked for each other and watched stand up comedians on netflix.


22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

i stayed in love.


23. How many one-night stands?

same answer every year: zero.


24. What was your favourite TV program?

doctor who. what not to wear. avatar: the last airbender. louie. adventure time.


25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

no.


26. What was the best book you read?

ready player one.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

i didn't really get into much new music this year. but i did just hear of smith and westerns and i'm checking them out now.


28. What did you want and get?

a computer. a nintendo 3DS XL. a wii. to do my own work.


29. What did you want and not get?

red panda.


30. What was your favorite film of this year?

that's hard. because nothing really blew me away. there were certainly a lot of GOOD movies, but many that were the best are not ones i could watch again. like gravity. and those that i would like to own were not the best ones, like hobbit: desolation of smaug.


31. What did you do on your birthday?

i literally didn't get to celebrate much. i went home for father's day and then i took my birthday off. carin, kit, and cari met me for lunch at sen yai, and that was the nicest part. and then we held callbacks for good woman of setzuan that night. but i was in the middle of four different shows and derek was in the middle of a couple. there just wasn't time for anything.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

maybe a little more downtime? idk. it was a pretty satisfying year, actually.


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

jeans took a backseat this year, since i gained enough weight to make the ones i had uncomfortable. i wore a LOT more dresses and skirts this year, especially jean skirts.


34. What kept you sane?

plowing through. knowing that i was doing good work. i'm not actually sure that i did stay sane, actually.


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

i switch back and forth, but this year was mostly ewan.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?

the legalization of gay marriage in MN!!! go #12!


37. Who did you miss?

sarah. brigid and jesse, once they left.


38. Who was the best new person you met?

it seems like i always meet a million people. this year's hall of fame: brian columbus, mame pelletier, topher pirkl, joe swanson, maggie sotos, derek ewing, dana bye, laura mason, rachel flynn, andrew troth, karen bix, molly pach, paytie mccandless, foster johns, stephanie foxen, gemma irish, and sean mcardle.


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

it only takes a split second for you to be very lucky.


40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I'm a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go go go
There's no stopping me
2013-12-23 03:46 pm

stuff, monday before christmas edition

i am the only person i know who got the email from target saying my information was compromised. but i went to my friendly bank teller who knows my name by heart and she's going to order me a new card. i get to keep the old one for now and everything. she's nice.

my colorado manager send me a really nice gift card. i pretty much cried at my desk because she's sweet to me and i never feel like i deserve presents from my coworkers because i am a bitch. but here it is. and then i realized it is for a store i can't use because i'm allergic to their products. sad. this is where i teach you the wonders of cardpool and trading your cards in for amazon cards. no, i won't get 100% of what's on the card (more like 84%), but hey. better an 84% gift card i can use than a 100% one i can't. i did think about using it for gifting to others...but eff that. MINE. SEE? BITCH.

but that reminds me that i forgot to get gifts for my coworkers. i know they'll have something for me. and here i thought since i had my family taken care of i was all good to go. i'd get a quiet evening at home. nope. to the stores with me and all the CROWDS.

a week from today. school loan payoff day. guys. GUYS.

omg. this day went by like mayflies.
duchess_of_pie: (kiki)
2013-12-20 12:32 pm

this is how i kill myself for a week in a world away.

a coworker asked me what i was doing for christmas. was i going with derek to illinois? no. why not? because we only get one day, you know that, you work with me. she then pointed out that i haven't had a vacation in two years and maybe i should take one. that was a very knowing and advice-laden "maybe i should take one."

i mean, she's right. i've been needing one. i've been burning out in tiny, daily increments and even my boss is like, "there's a reason you get off time, you know, and it's not supposed to be used to go do other work, amber bjork." but i have to admit, that as my vacation time accrues, i feel more like scrooge macduck, letting it pile so i may swim gloriously through it.

i let it build mostly because i know good times are ahead. i am T-minus 10 days to paying off my school loans. and while i still have a minor credit card balance, need a new computer (AFTER HOLIDAY SALES AHEAD), and owe my parents for the money they lent me to cover the overage on a new car after the accident, i am about to become hundreds of dollars richer per month in the new year. it is a real possibility that i could be completely debt free by my birfday. (unless i get into fringe...since i am an unapologetic self-funding producer. :P )

i have so many plans that i really can't afford all of them. home improvements. upgrading my dumb phone from 2009. a hurdy gurdy (squee). a dozen other selfish--and mostly electronic--things i want, on top of this idea of building up my savings. i am like the person that wins a million dollars and thinks she can just quit her job with stars in her eyes. too many possibilities for reality. but two things trump the list: the aforementioned computer, and a real vacation.

derek and i have been talking about going to iceland. i figured a long flight would require that i take at least a week off for it to be worth it. and sarah and i want to return to hogwarts, so there's a few days. i still want to join the sandboxers on their retreat, so there's another week. and let's not forget the tech days, the sick days, the half days of the iveys (afternoon the day of for getting pretty and morning of the day after for recovery), and emergencies. if i want to make my new-found financial breathing space a place i can play in 2014, i needed to save up time as well.

but is it worth it? i feel like working two years straight with only the occasional day off here and there (for throwing up or doing work in a theater) has exhausted me to the point that a vacation might not refresh me all the way again. but then again, nobody knows how to take delight in everything on a vacation like i do. nobody.

i think the key to this is also learning to say no. this is not working out so well since i just agreed to give away the last week of my downtime to write for the one-minute play fest. but it's only two one-minute plays. it can't be that hard, right? RIGHT?

amber. fail. tsk.

in the meantime, i think i need to set some fast and hard dates for said going away. make it a reality. iceland may have to wait for a while until derek decides he wants to go back to work. but tofte and hogwarts are still possibilities. and even though i have a boyfriend, it doesn't mean we HAVE to travel together. all the research i've been doing on circus and nunneries has made me really hungry for paris or florence. why not....
2013-12-03 04:02 pm

it is time to return.

it's been a while. i've been up to my ears. a rundown of this year's projects:

JAN - FEB

THE SHOW: neighborhood 3: requisition of doom | theatre pro rata | assistant director | at gremlin theater.
THE CHALLENGE: i didn't really do much other than sit there. i didn't even get paid. but it was worth it to observe another director, pick up tricks, make mental notes on another person of similar position--the actor gone to helm. it was our last show in the gremlin.... ah, gremlin. come back to us.

THE SHOW: suitcase | sandbox theatre | writer/creator/performer of "the boyd girls" | at bryant lake bowl.
THE CHALLENGE: the first time writing for the stage. creating my own piece. with special effects. and putting it up for performing with little to no feedback. and finding time to do it while i was in production for another piece. also, i was sick for most of the performances.

MAR - APR

THE SHOW: freshwater goes back to high school | freshwater theatre | robin in "alien love triangle" | at nimbus theater.
THE CHALLENGE: keeping my mouth shut. i was working with a fledgling director who would often let good choices or opportunities slip through her fingers. and while i knew what *I* would do with the script, i was not there to direct or be an associate. i was there to act. in the end, i met some really awesome people and had a lot of fun. and hey, ivey winner.

MAY - JUN

THE SHOW: family five fifths of the sorcerer's stone | winding sheet outfit for mn fringe fundraising | writer/director/ensemble in the third fifth | at stepping stone.
THE CHALLENGE: short notice, schedules, directing AND performing while in the middle of a million other things (we were already into rehearsals for tiny clandestines and workshops for turn signals, plus putting things together for summer suitcase).

THE SHOW: summer suitcase | sandbox theatre | writer/director of "the morrigan" | at bryant lake bowl.
THE CHALLENGE: same as five fifths above; we actually had to not perform on the first date because of five fifths.

JUL - AUG

THE SHOW: turn signals | freshwater theatre for mn fringe | director | at theatre in the round.
THE CHALLENGE: working with the playwright, scheduling, and directing in the round for the first time...where half the scenes are in a car. also, all sound and songs provided by cast.

THE SHOW: fringe orphans 2: orphan harder | navel gaze productions for mn fringe | creator/performer in "the sound of food" | at theatre in the round.
THE CHALLENGE: getting theo to trust me (boy, did he, finally) and then make sure he was taking care of himself (he was doing three shows in the fringe). also, fringing while lugging around a cooler full of food.

THE SHOW: suitcase | sandbox theatre for adventure theatre festival | performer in "by the time you read this, i'll be in idaho" and writer/creator/performer in "the boyd girls" | at jon hassler theatre.
THE CHALLENGE: finding time during fringe to rebuild "boyd girls" AND develop a clown routine for ryan's "idaho" script without 1) guidance or 2) disgusting ryan out of his head.

SEP - OCT

THE SHOW: theatre of the tiny clandestines | winding sheet outfit in conjunction with irrigate and springboard for the arts | producer/writer/director/performer/designer | at iris park and demming heights park.
THE CHALLENGE: everything. getting the grant, the permit, bedecking the tent, building the shows, publicity, schedules, heat, cold...IT WAS HARD, YO.

THE SHOW: good woman of setzuan | theatre pro rata | the family, also mask construction | at intermedia arts.
THE CHALLENGE: building masks. late music. eight characters at once.


in all, i worked REALLY hard this year. i did too much. but i learned a lot, worked with some of my favorite people, built lasting partnerships and mentorships, acquired new skills and confidence, and created a LOT of work i'm proud of. in my worries of letting my quality slip because of quantity, i did all right.


2014 is coming. i'm already set for directing elephant's graveyard starting in january, and i'm building a show with isabel nelson after that. i hope to be involved in a june touring production, and i'm actually going to a meeting tonight to talk about ideas for fringe. i'm not really thinking past that right now, as that gets me through more than half the year doing one project at a time and being able to breathe.

but things will pop up. opportunities will arise.

they always do.
2013-03-26 10:52 pm

hippy things have begun

i was a grouch at rehearsal tonight. i like that a cast member gave us a fun warm up to do. i really needed that. why don't people do group warm ups any more? i like them so much. they're the great equalizer. they file down everyone's thorns. i think i am going to implement that for elephant's graveyard.

i just now realized that--for the first time this year--i am doing more directing than acting. that's a surprise. i mostly prefer acting. acting, you have to like the role and be charming/funny/dastardly/part of the background/whatever. directing, you have to like the entire play. and like, LEAD people. it's weird.

and it's hard. even if you love the project. when you're working so hard and people give you guff...yeah. now i feel even worse about being a shit tonight.

let's just promise, just you and me, right now, in our private little circle. let's hold hands and bow our heads and say together, "i promise not to be a shit anymore as much as i can really help it. it's only a play. it's make believe. hallelujah."

and then let's take a breath and say, "and i promise to not be a shit anymore as much as i can really help it just in general. 'life is short. don't be a pants.'" and then we can play beer pong. but with lemonade.
2013-03-01 09:49 am

dumping it here and walking away lighter.

here's the thing. i recently saw a show i was called back for and REALLY wanted to do. the rejection hurt, but i will tell you that i was really proud of that audition. it was for someone i've been wanting to audition for for a long time and had been putting it off out of fear. i wanted my first audition for them to be "who's that girl" rather than my second audition being "oh. her again."

not long after, i did a workshop with this person and not only learned a LOT (both from a performance and a creator/director perspective), but they have reached out to me and told me i could call on them if i needed a resource. all at once, someone untouchable had sat down next to me and had a beer. and the relationship changed and my fear went away and i saw that i could start to do what they do.

okay. here's really the thing. so i want to do brilliant shows like this. there are certain people and companies in this town i want to work for. and i see my friends working with them, i see my "little brothers and sisters" (artists i actively gave a leg up to) surpassing me and landing jobs with my dream collaborators. it is hard not to be jealous. or feel inadequate, really.

i know that comparing myself is not the best way to be creative, but i try to always be a modest artist... and insecurity is a part of that. and i also realize that these are new goals i am yearning for, i have not had these goals forever (although it sometimes feels that way), and that the people i am working with and the work i am doing now is actually me completing old goals i forgot i had made. so it's really just a case of always wanting more. and that's okay. it's the comparison that is not. and i have to get rid of that shit. put the blinders on. realize that this is not a race and everyone's on a separate path.

because if i step back and look at it, i am doing good work and i am actively growing my skill set and my experience. my 2007 self would be pretty proud, actually.

i need to take this perspective right now. because i am about to step off into another void, another level of being an artist i would never have anticipated. i need to stop trying to find other similar artists to compare myself to and i need to stop thinking "what gives me the clout to do this? how have i earned this?" because i have earned it. if i'm doing it, i've earned it. i have to stop saying "i want to be the next so-n-so" and just start saying, "i am myself and this is what i've got."

the time has come for me to just shut the fuck up and make.
2013-02-27 11:30 pm

i do it to myself.

neighborhood 3. status: closed. what i learned: lots. nothing that i want to share here.

suitcase. status: closed, with option to use the piece i made for my own. maybe i will stretch it out later. what i learned: lots, and i could share it here, but it's nothing surprising. i am happy with the results and got out of it exactly what i needed to.

off book. status: performed. i like a good challenge. what i learned: people are awesome.

next.

remember when i was doing the 44 gallery and making a fringe show and i said never two shows at once again and then jumped on another show the day after closing and then january and february came and i was assistant directing a show and making another show during my cranny times and was all like, i'm taking a break and i'm never doing that again? and guess who's about to take on a one-act festival while developing her own traveling theatre and then immediately jumping on coordinating musical talent for her company's summer show while getting ready to participate in the making of not one but possibly three different fringe shows and then planning on jumping in feet first on her company's fall show while getting ready to direct again? currently booked a year out. how did that happen?

i have a full time job and friends and family, promise.

i remember sleeping.

for now, i am getting rid of some craft items and glorying in the power of raw, grab-n-eat foods. how is it already march? oh yeah. february's short. still.

and i was thinking of taking up crochet. what a silly ninny.

some day i will be sitting around and stitching and complaining about not having enough theatre to do. gotta soak it up now.
2013-01-25 03:43 pm

next day with free time: february 15

watching movies
working out
organizing embroidery floss
paring down/cleaning out
modifying clothing
reading
stitchery
computer repair/replacement
eye doctor
writing proposals
learning the dulcimer
playing alto recorder and mandolin
shopping
making tasty foods
traveling
going to shows

burnout setting in. must create light or the tunnel will close. starting march, i am taking a break.
2013-01-24 10:34 am

dumping disappointment here so i can move on for the day.

i just lost an artist on my next project and i kind of want to kick things. i had the perfect cast and now i have to find a replacement that fits this group and it's hard. i'm so afraid that i'm going to get my grant and that everyone will be too busy to finish the project and i'll be the only one of the grantees that fails.

however. i am starting. i am making it go. nothing worth having is easy. and if it all works out in the end, it will be worth it. i promise.
2013-01-23 12:04 pm

when you live so hard even death cannot kill you.

i was catching up on some magazines the other day and read a list of entertainers that died in 2012. some people--like whitney houston or andy griffith--had big write ups. then there was just a list of names and dates. i skimmed them, and the name davy jones stuck like a hook in my eye.

after a bit, i was able to remember talking about his death with a co-worker when it happened, so i know that this was not new information to me. but in the moment i read his name, it felt new, and i had that sharp intake, and that pain.

you see, for some reason, my mind is like a wonky computer that will accept the line of code, but cannot compute it. davy jones not being in the world seems wrong. contradictory. improbable. he wasn't even my very favorite monkee, mike was. and i would probably pass by mention of mike's name in the obituaries and not be surprised. but for some reason, the cheesy energy box of davy jones still exists somewhere in the world and i cannot erase him from my registry of living inhabitants.

just the morning upon re-reading his name, i was struck by "girl, look what you've done to me. me. and my whole world" singing through my head in the shower. i didn't question it, shower time is random "remember this!?" time. i figured i would have to excise the earworm by going back to my room and looking it up on youtube. by the time i got dried off and toothbrushed and back to my room, i forgot.

and then that night, there he was in the dead list. and i was shocked and dismayed all over again. not a great sorrow, just a bewilderment in my mind that it refuses to sink in.

so live on, davy jones. if it means i can picture you touring state fairs and acting like the teen idol you no longer are, i will gladly lose arguments and trivia challenges because my brains will not admit the truth.
2013-01-15 11:37 am

bigger on the inside.

i tend to get on here and talk about how i'm busy a lot. that is not that post. i only mention it because i realize that it is in my busiest times that i daydream a lot. i don't really meditate and i know i should probably do that. i should have some downtime. but i think my mind retaliates by using my sleeping time to just...not do anything. which is why i don't seem to have exciting enough dreams to remember. and then to make up for it, i drift away to dreamworlds in my waking life.

oh, i create whole stories for myself. i was--like all kids--pretty effing imaginative. but i never really grew out of that like everyone else seemed to. i can be put in a room without anything but a wall to stare at and entertain myself really effing well. i am never bored, either at home or out at a party with failed conversation. i think it must be like any other muscle--physical or mental--the imagination muscle. use it enough and it's quite effortless whenever needed.

and gods, i love being told a story. so my brain has me there. "stop working for a while. slow the fuck down. no? well then i'm going to tell you a story. thaaaat's right. just sit quietly and watch. excellent."

but neither do i allow myself to live in dreams. oh no. life is too exciting for that. i have good friends and a wonderful boy who is nice to me and i do things that keep me happy and fulfilled and the world is full of really fascinating and beautiful stuff. i like living very much.

but sometimes it would be nice if i could bend the laws of physics to be able to control wind or breed unicorns. or if you could just travel to interesting time periods or fictional settings like middle earth. and sometimes it's nice to be someone else for a while. the internet is good for all of that. but my mind goes faster.

not growing up. not never.
2013-01-10 10:37 am

something very strange happened to me last night.

carin and wade and i were talking about doctors and inoculations. wade mentioned that he knew he had had the full regimen when he was a baby because he had the scar to prove it. how odd, i remarked. usually people our age in america don't really have inoculation scars. carin has one on her shoulder, but she was a baby in saudi arabia. and i remember seeing scars on the shoulder of every woman in a tank top in korea. i figured it was something the u.s. had perfected in the 70s.

and then it happened. wade pulled up his pant leg, and showed us his scar on the inside of his ankle. just a brown dot, the size of a pencil end eraser.

and my jaw dropped. *I* have an identical mole on my ankle. at least...i always thought it was a mole. my only mole.

now, it may not seem like the biggest deal in the world, mistaking an inoculation scar for a mole. but it is when it's on your own body... a body you've known for 36 years, every flaw and freckle and non-symmetrical quirk... it's weird to learn anything new about a trusted landmark. this dot you've had on your ankle all your life, which you've kept an eye on just in case it changes shape or gets scaly...after 36 years is no longer anything to think about. at all. in fact, it is now proof of your middle-class upbringing, the mark of an era. it also signifies that you were born with almost flawless skin, since you have no other spots other than a freckle or two. and that's a fucking weird thing to realize too.

i mean, what's next? if i wake up tomorrow and find out my boobs have always been bagpipes, i'm going to be mad that i wasted so much time.
2013-01-08 01:09 pm

i feel gross. i need a time shower.

i have been treating myself horribly. taking on too many projects, eating like a douche, not letting my ankle heal (yes, 4 weeks after spraining my ankle, i still cannot go without wrapping it and i still cannot point my toe). i look in the mirror and i'm all pale and gross. i've been living off fast food because it's what's fast--obviously--and the thought of making a lunch and dinner to take with me for my days of toil just seems like more effort than i want to handle.

my head is pounding. dehydration and back knots and not getting adequate sleep will do this.

there's a show i really want to audition for that goes up in the spring. it's a fun show with a director i want to work with. there's no guaranteeing i'd get in...but i don't even think i should chance it. because i'd never turn it down if i did. i'm working on two shows at once right now, and it's really hard. once they both go into performance, february will let up a bit. but i'm starting up another project in the spring and i've applied for fringe. although i probably won't be involved in pro rata's summer show, i'm sure i'll be doing something artsy for it. on top of all of this, i will be moving. and going out of state for a wedding. and my sister is birthing another person. AGAIN.

i think i need to have some break time. i think i need to learn to recognize when i need some break time. i think it might be nice that i can get to a place where i'm working enough that i can actually have too much happening and should be planning break time.

remember when i used to embroider and learn a bunch of instruments and read and shit? sigh. january's just starting. but. it will be worth it. in the end, both shows will have been worth it.

now. off to mcdonalds.
2012-12-24 11:19 pm

the 2012 amber awards.

all the awards come from what i experienced in the year, so if there are any movies, books or else that come from previous years, you can suck it, for the amber awards are about the things i experienced for the first time this year in top five form.

MOVIES.
5. tucker and dale vs. evil
4. the avengers
3. the woman in black
2. moonrise kingdom
1. the hobbit

TV. (must have completed in 2012)
5. louie: season 1
4. downton abbey: season 1
3. sherlock: season 1
2. doctor who: season 6
1. sherlock: season 2

BOOKS. (i'm cheating a little. sue me.)
5. room by emma donoghue
4. the age of miracles by karen walker thomas
3. TIE: the girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making AND the girl who fell beneath fairyland and led the revels there by catherynne m. valente
2. TIE: the magicians AND the magician king by lev grossman
1. the night circus by erin mortgenstern

POP SINGLES.
5. "a cause des garcons" - yelle
4. "firework" - katy perry
3. "somebody that i used to know" - gotye
2. "swell window" - zee avi
1."call me maybe" - carly rae jepsen

THEATRE - FRINGE
5. sneak thief - the international league of diamond thieves
4. candide - four humors
3. the mysterious disappearance of the second youngest sister - RE|Dance group
2. dance money grind - MOVE
1. ash land - transatlantic love affair


THEATRE - NON-FRINGE
5. spring awakening - u of m / latte da
4. the oresteia project - hamline university / sandbox
3. compleat female stage beauty - walking shadow
2. flesh and the desert - workhaus
1. servant of two masters - yale/guthrie

THEATRE EXPERIENCES
5. five fifths of the princess bride
4. jon ferguson's clown
3. birds of passage
2. t bone n weasel
1. lovers & executioners
2012-12-24 10:33 pm

the year in review.

it's that time again. i always like this post. it's been a bit more exciting than last year, and a bit more satisfying.


1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?

directed a full-length production. produced a fringe show. entered a chili-making competition. participated in a dance performance. wore a massive purple wig and kissed noe's face off. backed kickstarter projects. took a clown workshop/auditioned for ferguson. watched cash cab.


2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

i didn't make any. i probably won't make any this year. i can already see what my life holds in store for the next few months....possibly into the summer. just accomplishing those things in way that i can be proud of myself will be good enough.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

laura had a little girl. miss shiny penny of the woods. it is time to invest in princess dresses and fairy wings...for myself. i need to be a respectable fairy godmother.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

no. robert left us, but i haven't been in a show with him in years. and of course, carin's dad flew off into his next life; i know him through carin's adoration of him and that is formidable.


5. What countries did you visit?

skyrim. and middle earth. and a few other good places through entertainment means.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

i would like a cuddle date with a red panda, same as last year. this answer refuses to change until i get one. i would also like to pay off my school loan for good and be debt free for the first time in my life.


7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

opening night of t bone n weasel. closing night of lovers & executioners. five fifths of the princess bride. the arrival of the shiny penny. the week i read the night circus.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

birds of passage. t bone n weasel. and constance.


9. What was your biggest failure?

spraining my ankle during clown workshop.



10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

see number 9.



11. What was the best thing you bought?

hammer dulcimer. no, i haven't learned to play it yet.



12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

derek and sarah for being unconditionally encouraging and supportive. the board of pro rata for the same reasons.



13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

there were a couple of friends that disappointed me and dropped the ball, but not anyone who did anything truly horrible. i suppose i must mention the sandy hook massacre guy. anyone that shoots children is a monster.


14. Where did most of your money go?

fringe and school loan.



15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

t bone. fringe. skyrim. clowning. L&E.


16. What song will always remind you of 2011?


"call me maybe" by...i don't know her name. but i like the song.


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? same
b) thinner or fatter? same.
c) richer or poorer? same.



18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

working out. stitching. playing instruments.



19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

being on the internet at home.


20. How will you be spending Christmas 2012?

downhome with my folks and my sister and my 4 awesome nephews. same as last year.



21. How will you be spending New Years 2012?

i'm not sure. derek may or may not be home by then, and happy MN may or may not have another merry happy new year show. i would be just fine staying home, frankly.


22. Did you fall in love in 2012?

i stayed in love.


23. How many one-night stands?

same answer every year: zero.



24. What was your favourite TV program?

doctor who. the walking dead. downton abbey. sherlock. master chef.



25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

no.



26. What was the best book you read?

the night circus.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

i didn't really get into much new music this year. but i do like glasser's album.



28. What did you want and get?

i finally got to direct t bone. a fringe success. constance.



29. What did you want and not get?

red panda.



30. What was your favorite film of this year?

it was by no means the best film of the year, but i'm going to say that the hobbit was my favorite, because it was the one i was looking forward to above all others, and i enjoyed my return to middle earth.



31. What did you do on your birthday?

i called my dad (it was father's day), attended 4 fringe producer workshops, and megan's wedding reception. i believe derek took me out for sushi a week later, but for the most part, i didn't really get a birfday this year.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

having a computer that didn't break all the time. and maybe like, 4 extra months in the year when i wasn't doing much.


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

skirts and tights at work, low-neck t-shirts and jeans on off-hours. lots of yoga pants and rehearsal gear.



34. What kept you sane?

derek.



35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

RDJ! fancy!!!




36. What political issue stirred you the most?

the marriage amendment.


37. Who did you miss?

laura. marta. michelle. david.


38. Who was the best new person you met?

it seems like i always meet a million people. this year's hall of fame: theo langason, neal skoy, brian o'neal, josh swantz (technically, i knew him before, but this year's activities put him on my list), jeff larson, jon ferguson, andi cheney, alex hathaway, lauren anderson, andrew pudas, tim cameron, suzy kohane, david darrow, alyssa stafne, amy bouthilette, jennie caweles, and mike the fringe tech. OH!!!! also!!! heather meyer, kelsey meyer, dan and nancy linden, corrinna troth, ursula bowden, and, of course, the incomparable tony rydberg.


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

if others aren't providing you with a way to create, do it yourself.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

do you know that there's still a chance for you
'cause there's a spark in you
you just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
just own the night like the 4th of july.
2012-12-04 03:38 pm

ow. ehnnnn. eh. eh. ow.

this is why i am sore.

1. i am 36 years old.
2. i am taking a clowning workshop.

this is pretty much all that is necessary to know. i could add that i'm way out of shape and i live a mostly sedentary lifestyle thanks to my job. but really, this workshop is kicking my ass.

it's only been a day. i have 9 more left. give me until wednesday and i'm sure i will feel better.

things i am looking forward to: learning more, and using this as an opportunity to re-start my workouts again. this last bit is key, because things in my body are starting to malfunction and i need to understand that time does not go backward and now is the time my body stops being the one helping me...i must be the one to help IT.

meanwhile, so happy to be getting back to clown. (we are talking simple clown, not circus clown.) there are a few things i think every actor should learn on top of their regular retinue, and clown and improv are up there. clown just strips everything down, abolishes fear of making mistakes (and teaches you how to learn by allowing yourself to make them), and strengthens your connection with the audience: you learn what they like, and they see themselves in you. it's not forceful, it's not "clowny," it's just a bright and honest openness. any role can be enhanced by it, because it is the very essence of being a real, wonder-filled human, unafraid of judgement and welcoming to those watching. it's why luverne was the iago we hated but wanted to be friends with in othello, and it's why tim hellendrung won us over in sneak thief, and it's why we all cried for mr. boban. it's beautiful. and it's easy if you let it be.

well, easy as a technique. painful if you're in your mid-thirties and have fallen off the workout wagon. ug.