Friday, December 12, 2008


I finally did it. I made these little tags with messages that mean something to me and hopefully to others. In true guerrilla fashion I did them quickly and surreptitiously. Then the scary part was actually putting them out in the world. Yesterday I went out shopping and took them along with me. I went down deserted aisles and placed them where they could be found. It was fun. Like leaving little presents about. I can't worry about how my "art" will be received because I'm not there to see what happens. It really is about just doing it and them releasing any attachment to it. It was fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Books, Books, Books

I spent the evening tonight doing one of my favorite activities - browsing Barnes & Noble - well, any bookstore for that matter. Julia Cameron suggests artists dates, an hour stolen away for just yourself once a week. Browsing bookstores is always my go-to artist date. I always come out inspired and stuffed full of ideas. Tonight I greedily bought three books. But, the one I'm most excited about is The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith. I'm getting ready to unleash some guerilla art on my environment. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Music Notes

Last night Judy told us that as she was sitting at Marshall's desk paying bills she kept coming across post it notes with pieces of music scribbled on them. Ideas for songs. I hope she saves them. I love the image of those little yellow sparks of Marshall's creativity still here to brighten our lives.

Monday, November 17, 2008

November 2008

The sun bounced off the brilliant red leaves of the sugar maple
And I thought, “I should photograph them.“
my friend, Marshall, died
And the leaves of the sugar maple lay crumpled on the ground.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Dancer Dances

I'm always on the look out for things that inspire me and just recently I learned something about a friend that touched me and sparked my imagination. My friend, Brian, works in the corporate world but I know him as a dancer, one of the most talented dancers I know as a matter of fact. I've always wondered about my pal with the soul of a dancer trapped there in the corporate world with no outlet. But, I found out that Brian discovered an unused conference room on the 31st floor of his building and dances there on his lunch hour. It's a room full of windows so the surrounding buildings can see him - but he doesn't care - he dances. That just makes my heart sing!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Obstacle Is Actually the Doorway

As I prepare to tackle Lilli in Kiss Me Kate I've been working hard to get myself into shape vocally. I've been concerned (read OBSESSED) with "I Hate Men" because it seems to require a more "belty" sort of sound and I'm a more legit sort of singer. I've spent hours working on my sound trying to produce something that might pass for belt. Yes, I was breaking one of my own rules - bringing expectations. I'd become so absorbed with the sound that I had completely forgotten that my true goal was communication. I was imposing a certain sound on the song and myself - leaving little room for innovation. It was my voice teacher, Forrest, who brought me into the light. "You just need to tear this whole thing apart and make it your own whole new creation." DOINK!! Of course - and then the ideas came in droves about how to make this wonderful song my own and how to use it to show off MY vocal skills - not try to imitate someone else. What I had perceived as my obstacle was actually my greatest gift. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't see this myself but it's a perfect example of how we block ourselves from creating. We make up stories about how something NEEDS to be. We invent these phantoms that keep us from our art and if we're lucky a smart, joyful voice teacher (with the energy of a spider monkey on crack) will show us that our phantoms are not real and will then gently lead us back to our work.

Monday, September 29, 2008


At a cast party for On Golden Pond tonight we entered into a conversation about acting. I tend to wander away from these types of conversations. I tire easily of the cerebral exercise of trying to compartmentalize something that is essentially inexplicable. But, tonight there was a young high school student there who was trying to make sense of all she had been hearing about acting technique. The actress who plays Ethel had the courage to say, "It all comes down to one thing - Listening. Listening, REALLY listening and being in the moment and then responding to what the other actor has said. Just listen and be in the moment. And, I'm not sure anything other than that really matters - backstories, motivations, blah blah blah - LISTEN!" I thought how true this is of any creative endeavor. Just listen and respond in the moment. Don't bring expectations, don't impose something on it. So often we want the security blanket of the intellectual work behind what we do. It takes courage to be in the moment, listen and respond. But, there's nothing quite as exhilarating or satisfying.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Beginning To See The Light

Ironic - isn't it?
Now that the days
are getting shorter!

Ebb and Flow

Wow! It's been a long time since I've been here. The ebbs and flows of my creative life tend to be drastic. The fallow periods are so long and inactive that I often fear my creative life has left me for good. Although I posted some this summer and was in rehearsal for On Golden Pond I still can't say it was a particularly productive time for me. I've tried to come to peace with the empty spaces. I think they are inextricably linked with a low grade depression so it's hard to feel positive about them. I'm always desperately relieved when the fog has cleared (like the Claritin commercial) and I feel alive again. Thomas Moore wrote a beautiful book, Care of the Soul that has helped me immensely with my perspective on depression. I am slowly coming to see it as a gift. Just when I have my life neatly wrapped up, depression comes along and pokes a hole in it, blowing it all to smithereens. It leaves me empty, which, when the dust clears, leaves - POSSIBILITY. Still, I grudgingly accept the gift, wishing that I could just be happy and full of energy all the damn time even as the leaves fall from the trees and animals get ready to hibernate. In order to have what you want you cannot push against what you don't want. Is it all about "loving what is"(the phrase and book that has made Byron Katie famous)? I do know that as I stand here ready to tackle Kiss Me Kate with all of its particular challenges for me there is a deep solidity to my center that wasn't there just 3 months ago. The emptiness, questioning and soul searching of the past several months has led me to a place where I am ready to learn ALL the lessons from this experience. I think I started out as a singer/actress for the same reason many do - I loved it and I needed it and it was all I knew. Now, I think I'm pulled here because this is where my life lessons are.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March Twelfth

The flowering trees
reach branches with tight new buds
to the sunless sky

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Untitled II

A dozen cut roses.
Delicate pink children
severed at the knee for my admiration -
Beauty on demand.
How differently each responds to its destiny.
Some cling to their bud-like form as if frightened sacrificial virgins.
Others rush into full-bloom and death
with an abandon only the condemned can know.
Yet, some still take the time to open slowly,
with purpose.
Indifferent to the fact that they have been cut off from their life force,
they draw from within into bloom
with dignity and defiance.
Fulfilling their life's work
despite what they know
or because of what they know
but without hesitation or excuse.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Standing single file,
like druid prisoners of war,
the suburban trees line the streets.
Quietly rebelling in their allotted plots
roots buckle cement
and limbs stretch out across the roadway
to tangle themselves inextricably together.
These are my comfort,
these ancient survivors
clawing toward the sun
and cradling the moon in their branches at night.
Like me, they pass for ordinary here on Sycamore Street
but for those willing listen
they share their secrets
in whispers hung with moss.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I've been feeling panicked and edgy and, ok, angry. It has seemed like I'm in a fog -not knowing for sure which direction I'm going. And, when you're in the fog, it's probably best to just stop until you gain clarity. At first I was pretty pissed off about the fog forcing me to stop. But, as I examined the fog I started to remember all the old fairy tales and how the fog or mist surrounded a place of great knowing. You just have to find your way through the fog. That's given me hope. Perhaps somewhere in the fog of my life there is a tiny beam of light leading me to a place of greater wisdom and understanding. So, I'm going to try to summon what little patience I have, still myself and look deep into the fog for whatever answers and light might be there.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Forced blooms,
tiny daffodils live their kitchen table existence
green stalks straining awkwardly toward the window
not aware or not caring
that beyond lies cold, snow, and death.
Even days later,
the delicate petals dry, brown and withering
still reach with heart breaking determination toward the sun
perhaps no longer for survival
but for joy.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Still Pondering "Success"

It occurred to me today that I am thinking about this in a dualistic way. Either I'm a success or a failure. I'm both - the two co-exist within me. When I look closely at each artistic endeavor of mine, I can see that there is a bit of success in each failure and a bit of failure in each success. They are inextricably intertwined. It's only my judgement that causes something to be one or the other. This is why it's so much easier to just let go of the judgement and let the music, painting, character flow through one. The art is what it is. The judgement is what others will place on it. To the artist, judgement is irrelevant. Art remains, perception changes.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Thoughts on Success

I think I've always been a little bit afraid of success. I've felt that if I did well, people wouldn't like me. I've also been afraid of the stress and responsibility that can come from success. But, it has recently started to sink in at deep level that we all are connected. When I don't succeed that also effects everyone. Lack of success comes with it's own responsibility. It may be less obvious but it cetainly more insidious. My shrinking from success serves no one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Today I was having a conversation with a friend about the limitations we put on ourselves without even being aware of our behavior - the mistaken beliefs we still carry around with us despite all the therapy and self-help books. Such as - you can't be successful AND have people like you. You carry that around for awhile (like until you're 46) trying to stay under the radar and keep everyone happy. Then something happens to bring you to the startling realization that you don't really have that much control over what people think. You COULD spend all of your time and energy making sure you're not so successful that you make people uncomfortable or you could just go ahead and live your damn life because no one cares that much anyway!! In fact, you COULD be UNsuccessful, too, by conventional standards and still be happy as a fat old clam. I think that's me - I'm not sure my life would be called "successful" by most. But, you know what? - I do what I love, I have family and friends I love, I'm happy and I have a very rich life. Can I call THAT success and stand in the center of that truth without wavering whenever I run into someone who makes more money than I do, or has won an award or published a book? Could I, for once, stand with my cup overflowing with an embarrassment of riches and NOT say, "Um, her cup looks cooler than mine - I want THAT one."????

Monday, January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008

It's been quite a while since I've been here. I've been busy with rehearsals trying to apply my new attitude. Today it was hard because we were dancing. In the past, I've tended to constrict - close myself off with thoughts regarding my inadequacy as a dancer. As if my lack of skill isn't enough, I feel I must keep reiterating the point verbally "I'M NOT A DANCER!!" I've been on the receiving end of this kind of mind set and I know how exasperating it is. I always want to say, "Just shut-up and DO IT!! Stop making excuses. You're just wasting time. " So, I said it to myself and tried to keep the demon voices at bay. It worked. I had fun and I caught on much more quickly than I have in the past.

I have two pages gessoed in my art journals but my body is tired. I don't know when I'll get to them. I've been coloring mandalas to stay visually stimulated and spiritually centered. I find mandalas very soothing and I frequently get great ideas about poems, acting choices or even what to make for dinner while I'm coloring. I own several books but I also found a great site that has lots of free mandalas to color.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I called this "Bendings" because I don't know if this is the beginning or the end of this piece. I'm not sure it's finished but what's next still hasn't come to me. So, I'm going to let it sit for a little while. I'm going to bend in the wind, go with the flow (and all those other cliches) and not strive for an answer. Maybe it's just an experiment, something from which to learn and grow. Life is full of experiments. They don't all have to be highlighted and labeled. They are what they are.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


It occurred to me as I drove to rehearsal tonight that as I "stayed open to possibilities" one of the possibilities could be that the director might say, "Do the line like this..." and if he did I could try it to see what might happen without being attached to any desired outcome. ZOINKS! It worked. My ego got out of the way, gone was my needy people pleasing side, I went with it just to see what would happen. Such a small change in perception made a HUGE difference!!



They are confident they have me in the box
but slowly,
in the dark
I nibble at the edges
spitting out what I can
but swallowing what I must to remain
I want to be so far into the light and wild
that when they discover
my escape
there will be no chance of
In their hands they'll hold
their righteous indignation
and an empty box
in mine I shall hold

Monday, January 7, 2008

Expose Your Roots


Hard to remain open to possibilities when you have a director actually say to you, "Say the line like this." I know directors do this sometimes just to expedite the process but once it happens I find I'm almost immediately pulled back into that black hole of trying to please the director and MAKE something happen. It wasn't until I was in the car on my way back home that I slowed down enough for it occur to me that after I'd delivered what the director wanted, I could have put my focus back on the other actor, the energy in the room - ANYTHING - and remained open to the possibilities. So simple and yet so hard!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Want II

I fix my eye on it
as the tide fights to take it back
rain on my face, waves wash into my boots
dozens of others tumble by
but, still, I must have THIS
white, ocean kissed


I've had two little serendipitous moments while reading recently that have caused me to re-evaluate my approach to creativity. I was perusing one of my favorite catalogs (Isabella) and came across a book that intrigued me, The Trance of Scarcity by Victoria Castle. I haven't read it yet but it's about the myths of "lack" and "not good enough" that pervade our culture. Later, I was reading The Viewpoints Book by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau. I'll quote a little here: "In a culture governed by commodities, consumption and the glorification of the individual, we are taught to target what we want and then find a way to get a hunter after prey, our vision is narrowed down to a preconceived series of possibilities."

It's got me thinking about how my of my time and energy is given over to pursuing what I want. I evaluate my creative work by how successfully I've manifested what I "wanted." Does that photograph capture what I wanted to say, am I satisfied with this poem - is it what I wanted, did I give the director what he wanted...! Think of the rich possibilities I haven't even noticed because I was so focused on what I wanted. What a relief it would be to put down all that DESIRE and just see what's here now in this moment.

There is such beauty in fragility

I'm creating this blog in an effort to be more authentically myself. If I post who I am and what I think - there's no denying it, altering it, softening it to suit the situation. I don't think that anyone else will find this even remotely interesting. That's not my purpose. My purpose is to be who I am here - out in the open for anyone to see. To stand in that truth and say, "It's enough, it's OK"

My own little place to explore my creativity and imagination