WHY: A touching exploration of motherhood. The playwright/actress invites the audience to share moments of humor and tenderness, highlighting truisms about millennial parenting, such as “your heart lives outside your body.” Developed with & directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, the production highlights an appreciation for the challenges of being a parent in an entertaining and engaging way. This one woman show demonstrates the actress’s ability to provide richness to multiple characters.
Shari’s story will sneak up on you and blow your heart away. You’ll find her ability to smile and persevere – through obstacles that no child should face – to be more than inspirational. It will cause you to take action.
I love that Shari is not only an actress but an activist who has something that needs to be said in a theatre. As you go on this journey with her, you’ll see how she gained such a contagiously bright laugh, despite her trials and tribulations. You’ll find that pain can be used as fuel, that what makes us angry can also be released through love and support, that anything is possible if you give yourself a chance to thrive. Shari has done just that and has become a resource and beacon of light for the foster care community, using her voice to create change on a Federal level. Go support this persistent young lady!!
Yokko’s work onstage is nothing short of riveting. She’s created a spare, text-light piece that follows the events of Macbeth in a way that’s both highly physical and mostly focused on Lady Macbeth’s interior life. Honestly, it’s chilling. I’ve seen more than my fair share of Macbeths, and I still couldn’t look away. If Butoh excites you, go see it. If Macbeth turns you off, consider going to see it anyway.
WHERE: Assistance League Theatre 1367 N. St. Andrews Place
As soon as you walk in the theatreyou feel a contagious energy – you are bearing witness to a special performance where actors and non-actors share the stage to honor the promotoras who’ve fought for their community, the safety of their bodies, better working conditions and have built a union connecting janitors across the state of California. Written and directed by Jeanette Godoy, this play is powerful and full of urgency as it gives insight into the battles endured by immigrant janitors who fought to protect women working late night janitorial shifts. This fight for women, led by women, redefined how immigrant women were seen in the workplace. It is a testament to the power of coming together and sacrificing by any means necessary. Go see this show – by the end of the show you’ll be shouting YA BASTA, Sí Se Puede!
A great gift is to be reminded of the power of stillness. The show opens with a live cellist, violinist and pianist while Anabella stands looking at the audience. This brave moment seems to last an eternity; you begin to feel uncomfortable and immediately know that this show will not spare your heart. Through her use of ballet en pointe, song, multiple characters (all performed by Anabella) and modern dance, Anabella captures the heart of the audience with her penetrating eyes and daring ability to share painful truths with intense intimacy. She has a keen sense of humor, and takes us on a journey of youthful innocence, trauma and survival. Tackling issues that many don’t come back from, Anabella shows us that art is a constant saviour; it will always give us new breath, a new life on our own terms. Go see this show and hope you can get in!
WHERE: Studio/Stage 120 N. Western Av, Los Angeles 90004
We are living in times when – now, more than ever – it is vital that we share experiences that can save lives. For too long, mental health has carried a negative stigma and a stamp of shame, discussed behind closed doors. Jessie refuses to live this kind of life and brings the audience into her personal experience of living with bipolar and schizophrenia hallucinations. Her fearless humor and directness draws the audience in, not through pity but hope. The original songs brought to life with Jessie’s beautiful voice, and her dancing, are gifts to the audience as she reveals how she’s been able to thrive and live her best life! GO! This is a celebration of the mind, body and heart. A yummy example of how much you can bear even when you think you can’t keep going. Keep going!
WHY: This is an amazing show! The music, the talent, the script make this one of the shows you don’t want to miss at the fringe this year!
Written by Terri Weiss, directed and choreographed by John Coppola, composed by Geraldo Herrera Benavides with lyrics by Bill Berry this musical brings the challenges of a young girl coping with loss who though music finds harmony and family. This uplifting musical brings the audience to their feet as they celebrate the ability of the human spirit to recover from tragedy. This is a show for the whole family.
These past few weeks have kicked my ass. I didn’t want to write that. I wanted to be able to write that I’m going through a personal transformation, and embracing life altering changes, and transitioning to the person I always wanted to be. But no, truly, my ass is kicked.
As an artist, a playwright, a writer of blogs, I relied on my “straight job” to provide for me and my partner, and to subsidize a life of inquiry, printer cartridges, and medical insurance. That changed this past month when I was “Let Go” from my job. I’m doing all the proactive tasks to reassemble my life support system. But I wake up in the morning and my life is different and – odd. That’s a word I use a lot these days. Not driving to work: odd. Not having to worry about work: odd. Not knowing what I do with that part of my identity: odd.
And I found this very interesting article:
And at the bottom of this article is a link for a 2-evening online course for designing your dream job throughout the University of Toronto.
“In this class you will learn how to articulate what you want to create in your ideal next opportunity before you go out and look for it. You will define what you want, who you want to work with and what kind of contribution you want to make. With the knowledge of what your dream job actually entails, you’ll learn how to apply it to your job search and to display it in your resume and cover letter.
During week two, you will learn to smash the assumptions that keep you from creating your dream job and learn the tools that will take you from where you are today to a life where you get to live your legacy at work.
In the first half of this two-part workshop, you will explore why so many of us aren’t happy at work and learn a new and effective philosophy of career design that will help you create work that is fulfilling and engaging. You will use elements of design thinking to prototype your ideal future and what happens if you keep living life exactly as you are today (default future).
Take two evenings to free yourself from 100-hour workweeks, meaningless Excel models and office politics, while exploring your phenomenal potential.“
I wondered how I would reinvent myself through an online class like this. I imagined all the characters I could become – lion tamer, pastry chef, tarot card designer, advocate for political action. But at the bottom of the description of this course, I found this caveat:
“Thank you for your interest in our course.
Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry below so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.“
(And yes, I had to look up the word enrollment, because I couldn’t believe they would misspell it. And I was wrong. There are two versions: enrollment or enrolment . See what happens when you don’t have a job?)
I’m looking at my life, story telling, identity, financial stressors, and time to clean out the linen closet. So I will end my blog piece with this wonderful interview with Yo Yo Ma, and he talks about story telling:
“Culture tells a story that’s about us, about our neighbors, about our country, our planet, our universe, a story that brings all of us together as a species.
I believe that culture is essential to our survival. It is how we invent, how we bring the new and the old together, how we can all imagine a better future.
I used to say that culture needs a seat at the table, an equal part in our economic and political conversation. I now believe that it is the ground on which everything else is built. It is where the global and local, rural and urban, present and future confront one another.
Culture turns the other into us, and it does this through trust, imagination, and empathy.
So, let’s tell each other our stories and make it our epic, one for the ages.”
WHY: This lovely one woman show explores in an articulate, humorous and entertaining performance the inner workings of Stacy Dymalksi’s mind and heart when it comes to self identity and relationships. Although definitely female focused there were men in attendance laughing and acknowledging that finding ones true self in a relationship is hard – but satisfying.
I think I have always been a writer. From the angsty teen poems that I would submit to the slew of teen magazine without a second thought to the angsty adult ruminations that will never see the light of day. I started writing years ago when a friend wanted to write a play. We called ourselves “writing partners” and met once a week for hours at a time. We sat around the dining room table discussing our latest thoughts for the week, then would set the timer and just write. I miss that. I miss the accountability of sitting with a someone, anyone and writing. I don’t really have to share my work, I just want a place to write with others, and no going to a local coffee shop where other aspiring writers are working doesn’t count. I want the possibility of being able to discuss a thought and I don’t think that would go over well in Starbucks.
My writing partner moved away, yet we still meet once a week via Skype. We catch up on our week, then set a timer and write. Having someone to write with is a gift. Sometimes I just need to say things out loud, to a person, so I am not losing my mind. The person doesn’t necessarily have to respond, because sometimes at these moments, my thoughts are like fragile pieces of glass that will break with the slightest breeze, yet I say them all the same. I guess I’m not that afraid to share. Sorry for that, I just had a moment of clarity while I was typing. If you’ve read my other posts, you get it. But if I can say things out loud to someone who actually supports me without worrying what they have to say, why should it stop my writing. Yeah! Heck yeah. Sorry again, more epiphanies of courage.
You see my writing partner is a long time friend, but we share differing opinions, and sometimes I feel my opinions may hurt her feelings, so I don’t say them. But when I do share them, yes I sometimes regret them because my thoughts…whoa, that’s another post, we have a deep thoughtful conversation about it and it helps round out my opinion, even if at the end of it we don’t agree.
So verdict in. I need a writing partner. Or even a writing group. I need a place of accountability every week, aside from checking in with my local barista. So if you know of one, please share!