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TOUGH LOVE

summer 2014 solo performance tour

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England: Isle of Magic & Mystery

Posted by [email protected] on January 14, 2015 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I have just returned from a 3-week pilgrimage to the United Kingdom.   I initially wanted to visit England to retrace my early childhood roots from the age of 1 to 6 years as a part of my LifeCoaching.   I spent the first week in Hackney Central and walked about the boroughs of Shoreditch and SoHo in search of some incredible street art!  This is a country that embraces both enthusiasm and full expression.  I also felt quite at home in this melting pot of international people, food, and culture.  I love diversity and each day I must have overheard at least a dozen different languages being spoken.   

My 2nd week was in HighGate and I was most impressed with HighGate Cemetary and the Victorian Era Gothic burial grounds.  It would be a perfect location for a film shoot, particularly a vampyre music video.  I was most impressed with the angel tombstones and with the honor of visiting the grave of Karl Marx.  The wheels are turning....  

I attended a Full Moon ceremony in Brixton Hill that celebrated communal healing via sacred sound, chanting, crystals, and Ecstatic Dance via the 5 rhythms.   Some ideas are starting to formulate for the next Ecstatic Dance session I am to lead in the Mohawk Valley.  This is some powerful medicine!

My favorite physical theater company has been https://www.dv8.co.uk" target="_blank">DV8 as I first discovered them in the late 90's for a Dance For Camera class at the University of Utah.  They had the production "John" at the National Theater of London and it was utterly serendipitous that I was also able to attend the artist chat between DV8 Director Lloyd Newson and Nat'l Theater Curator Nicholas Hytner.   I took frantic notes for my "experiential PhD" and am inspired to continue asking myself the following questions as I create: 

* How do we bring meaning to movement?

* How do we as artists go beyond skill to express what lies underneath?

* Why are transitions so important?

* How do we keep a performance truthful?

The last 5 days were spent by the sea in Brighton, UK.  The weather was actually sunny and there was a brisk, cold fresh wind the entire stay.  The magic came alive when I found my way to 7 Sister Country Park in Seaford, East Sussex.   This is where I want to shoot the music video for the song I wrote on the North Kohala coast of Hawai'i "7 Sisters."  There was a winding snake of seawater with swans, loons, and other waterfowl playing in it.  There was also a nearby campground called "FoxHole Campground" that would make for a nice homebase for the film crew.  It's time for me to get serious about some fundraising to shoot these music videos for my songs.  I'm excited about getting back into film again :). After singing to 7 Sisters I was blessed with a rainbow........

This journey was a powerful one indeed.  I understand now how this beautiful island upbringing has contributed to my enthusiasm and necessity to express creatively. Thank you England!

Minnesota Catalyst for Change!

Posted by [email protected] on September 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The 2014 MN Fringe was a catalyst for action!  Important transformation happened for this Siren in the land of 10.000 lakes.  I met with family,friends, and artistic mentors after each performance of "Tough Love."  I saw students from AVHS graduation class of 2004 - 2012 and was honored to share my latest artistic creation with them.  I embraced my role as teacher, choreographer, performer, and humble pilgrim in this community.

Luggage was lost between San Jose and Minneapolis.  After checking with United Airlines and the car rental company, items lost included: COSMOS WINGS!!, ONE-OF-A-KIND unitard designed by Isobel Bliss, designer jeans, running sneakers, and make-up kit.  During tech rehearsal on Wednesday, I had to make a choice to keep "Tough Love" going.  I re-choreographed quite a bit of the show.  

My dear friend Sharon Picasso attended the tech rehearsal and asked important questions regarding the transformation from bird to bat and the emergence out of the bat sack.  What does rebirth really feel like? What am I wearing? A rebirth is really naked, vulnerable, raw, and authentic. Consequently, I performed the last scene "Bat Cave" and "Liberation" nude.  Sharon also talked about the environment of "Tough Love" with the vocal processor and fim projection/soundscore.  What would it be like to give myself permission to improvise inside of this travelling bat cave? As such, I incorporated a pre-show meditation by the vocal station with the tibetan singing bowl and microphone to music by Scorn.

In downtime, I went hiking with mermaid-muse Autumn Compton from Puna, HI and Minneapolis, MN down to the riverbank of the Mississippi and Minnesota River just near my favorite stomping grounds of Pike Island.  I wrote a new song "Lady Madeline."  Brother Bill and I recorded it in his studio. It's due for release Fall of 2014.

The MN Underground community loved this shift! My favorite art critics Caroline Palmer (Star Tribune) and Camille LeFevre (mnartists.org) attended the performance and shared important observations.  "(Wright) spread her creative wings and ventures into the realms of music performance and film creation. She is, no doubt, a singular talent and performer." 

All this support and academic talk confirms that I'm heading in the right direction with my artistic expression.  This feels right! Welcome to the Bat Cave!!



Santa Cruz Magic!!

Posted by [email protected] on July 26, 2014 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

From the moment I arrived to Santa Cruz, everything fell into place.  The path opened and I was welcomed with open arms and warm, sincere smiles.  This is a community of ecstatic dance, ukulele jams, rainbow leg warmers, spiritually-minded karma, and busking street fun!   Dixie Mills and her assistant Jennifer Radakovich have got this Fringe thing down!  And it's only their 4th year! Bravo! Here's what worked:


* two daily fringe art chats at the Tannery Art Bar and Cafe with interview extraordinaire and Shakespearian delight Gregg Paroff!  Fringe folks mingled and it was always a good time :).  I even found myself improvising with Lucia from Slovakia in the courtyard one night!

* Text communication was always accessible and Dixie and Jennifer responded almost immediately!  

* Rob, tech director at the 418 Project was awesome! He even gave me some spacing tips as I was adapting the show for the new space and I like the changes.  Ana, who was in charge of all Fringe tech direction, stopped by the theater several times to check in and offer a hug.  She is an amazing woman I'd like to get to know more.

* billeting was stellar! I stayed at 4 different places (including 2 differnet caravans, just like the ole days in Europe :P)  and felt totally welcome.  Super generous hospitality.  They shared everything!

* SC Fringe provided their own photographer, Cliff Warner, and he is damn good. 

* I was given an afternoon ditty on KSCO Santa Cruz radio.  I was honored to perform 7 sisters and Ho'o pono pono and jam with MC Hager and his son on drums.  We also laughed the afternoon away with Greg, Dixie, and special guest Orlando.

* Shout out at each Fringe performance for folks to plug their show.  This town really understands the beauty in SHARING!  We are all in this together afterall right??

* Most important was the Santa Cruz community support at the Fringe Festival.  Local folks come out and saw everything! There is a curiosity that shows so much courage.  Some feedback I received included: "The purity in you revokes and refines the purity in me."  "Desire too has kept me form my potential."  "Visually stimulating to say the least."  "You shared your soft heart and we met you there!"  "The fringiest of fringe."  "You rock!"  "Your show really moved me."  "You have a beautiful voice."  "This is a show you can take to healing centers across the globe. Get this message out."  

* All the fringe shows I attended were top-notch! These include Kachuzzi Presentare! A clown how-to for modern womanhood.  The three-person collaborative team called Humbug Outfit shared some important messages on female objectification and unrealistic standards portrayed in the media.  Kachuzzi herself could make the audience laugh, whimper, and clap along.  I shared the evening with Mindy Dillard's How to Survive a Poison Apple which also shared a heartfelt message on eating disorders as an epidemic.  Mindy has some serious rockstar powah!  I took in Randy Noojin's Hard Travelin' with Woody Guthrie, which featured his stellar musical talent on the guitar and a slideshow about labor during the dust bowl and union rights.  Interesting parallel to the economic divide our country is currently facing.   Emily Faulkner Dance's Default had some innovative and sophisticated choreography, and FuturPointe Dance from Rochester, NY (holla!) had some visually fun dances and exquisite partnering and chemistry.  I'm definitely driving to Rochester for a workshop with these guys!  The Slovakian troupe Fero Kiraly & Zuzana Zabkova shared a technologically daring performance titled To (be) follow(ed).  Zuzana was connected to these elctrodes which fed into a sound synthesizer and her movements created a new soundscore each night.  Fero played on the piano.  It was a stark, European aesthetic that was necessary for Fringe goers.  Ya!  

* This is a fringe first to share that I truly enjoyed each performance.  Dixie did an outstanding job in selecting which shows were involved.  There was a variety of aesthetic draws (comedy, dance, music, circus, theater, experimental technology).  What's learned? Perhaps adjudicated selection is the way to go.


Oh, and one more thing.  When I sang to the sea..... a pod of dolphins, a sea lion, and a sea otter appeared amidst the kelp at SeaBright.  And then I stumbled upon a 150 person ukulele jam.  And then a walk through the 8 verses to the largest prayer wheel on all of the West Coast at The Land of Medicine Buddha in the Redwoods (more to come on this.............)    Santa Cruz really is paradise!  



Portfringe and experiential learning

Posted by [email protected] on July 17, 2014 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Greetings! It's been awhile. I've been reflecting on my Portfringe experience and taking time to find an eloquent way to share some satya (truth) about my week in the beautiful city of Portland, ME.   First off, some gratitude for DJ Silas Maximus for stagemanaging, Flow for running the lightboard, and for my new friend Lindsay for housing me.  Portland had amazing food, stellar house dance parties at several clubs on Congress street, and an impressive art scene.  I also got to say hello to the sea and swam for 20 minutes (until my digits went numb) at old orchard beach ;)


I'm grateful to have run Tough Love three times in a new city and in a new venue, which becomes a beautiful problem solving game!  Space Gallery was stellar and a perfect match for the intimacy of my show.  I attended 5 Portfringe shows including NYC-based Dungeon, which impressed with its brilliant limitation of flashlights, 4 performers, a ladder, and human-made ambient soundscore of  whispers, gasps, shrills, and thought-provoking questions.  It was an awesome blend of light, dance and theater. Bravo!  Dungeon was also super-smart to have shared the bill with local Portland troup Figure of Speech Theater's Walking to the Moon.  I especially enjoyed the live accompaniment by an Oz-like character on synthesizer, cello, and percussion. Wow!  These two acts were a double-feature for the price of one ticket, and their aesthetics were beautifully matched.


Tough Love's audience was small, but enthusiastic.   "Great show!" "I loved the Bat Cave part." "That one song about relationships was hilarious. Do you have it recorded?" "Your songs are still in my head days later."  "Volcano scene was awesome!"  "You really moved me."  I am grateful for the freedom of expression and to be doing what I love: which is to share a message of facing fear to find self-worth, and then to generate love, kindness, and compassion between us all.  The path of Bodhichitta is a "tough" one: when we open ourselves to soft heart, we experience a huge array of dynamic emotions in life, including the joyous and the humbling..........


As a seasoned Director and performer, Portfringe was indeed humbling.   Local Portland Fringe acts were totally sold out.  Tough Love's small audience consisted of locals, but not Fringe-goers nor Fringe performers.   When I asked how they heard about the show, the most common response was that they had seen my picture that I taped on the streetposts and were curious.  I also invited an old student of mine.   There was no mention nor picture of Tough Love in the local papers.  This is important information.  Why didn't Fringegoers attend Tough Love? Why didn't other Fringe performers attend? Especially when I enthusiastically enjoyed their shows and took time to introduce myself and invite them?  I am also disappointed that the 2 PortFringers that graciously offered to assist me, and had established connection at first, did not respond to my text messages at the end of the week.   There has also been no follow up nor survey from the festival as of yet. hmmmmmmm...........


Thanks to a boost from my conference call with the brilliant and talented Candy Simmons of sunsetgundproductions, I'm inspired to keep plugging away.  My conclusion is this: as an out-of-towner, we have to work 3x as hard to generate audience attendance, and as such, what can Fringe Festivals do to support out-of-towners?  Here are my suggestions (a few inspired by wonder woman Dixie Mills, who runs this years Santa Cruz Fringe Festival):


* have an out-of-towner showcase and preview the week of Fringe

* have an artist gathering place at the end of the evening where we can meet, talk, share information, and network

* have a special little blurb in the local papers on "welcoming out-of-town acts including......" one paragraph. one picture. super easy ya?

* have "The Welcomer," a local volunteer, with the only specific job of welcoming and communicates with all out-of-town producers, someone super friendly and outgoing like Jennifer R. in Santa Cruz ;)

* at the end of each Fringe show, have performers ask "are there any other Fringe acts in the audience? Step up and introduce yourself!" (This is the beauty of sharing.  We are all in this together folks!)

* artist chats at local coffee shops, pubs


Again, I'm super grateful for my experience at Portfringe.  I think I'll try again in a few years.  I've been doing this performance thing for 20 years, and I'm getting to a place in life where I believe it's time to make some money doin' what I do best, right?  As such, I need to sell those tickets.  Money aside, I know I'm blessed to have the opportunity to perform and share a message!  Thanks for reading. more soon.......


1 down....

Posted by [email protected] on June 23, 2014 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Premiere was awesome!! Small, but amazing crowd to ring in the summer solstice and my birthday! Lots to reflect on..... unexpected costs.  I am continually questioning why artists have to starve.  We bring people together, celebrate life and culture, entertain folks....  I believe my next focus will be on how to get artists to make money doing what they love.

Moody Blues

Posted by [email protected] on June 19, 2014 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm kinda sad today..... Crazy intense storms last night during rehearsal.  Power went out and I was alone in the warehouse with the bat :o

Premiere is in a few days. Sharing a preview tonight in The Bat Cave.  I've come to understand that "Tough Love" is indeed a spiritual journey.  Ahhhhh! So many folks I know cringe at the thought of that word- gotta stay strong and honor the muse.  Here is a link for Premiere tix: http://www.oncenter.org/event/tough-love.   Performing a creative process is like giving birth.  Some mamas dont' want to let go.

One Week From Today

Posted by [email protected] on June 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Premiere is at OnCenter Bevard Studio one week from today!  Tix at 315-435-2121.   So grateful to Upstate Flux, http://www.upstateflux.com  a Utica art organization run by March-Anthony and Julie Angerosa.  They are housing me for my rehearsal stage.   Cosmically, there is a bat living right in the warehouse! I'll try to get some footage.   Here's a pic of the "Cosmos Wings" for the 6th scene: Liberation.  Meghan is kicking some serious faery ass on my costumes. Pow! Pow!

Hey stranger!

Posted by [email protected] on May 14, 2014 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Listening to Beirut.  Been as incredibly busy as a bee!  Shadow puppetry filmshoot last night was magical.  My yogi students were open, expressive, and stunning in the light.  Music done for 4 of the 7 scenes.  Costumes underway.  Meghan Milligan and I are collaborating and fusing our 2 styles into some kick ass Pele wings! woot!  Kyle Reicker is manging both the DJ afterparty and the poster for the premiere in the homenest of central NY.  B-luv and I had a ukelele lesson via facetime tonight....  I love my life! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.:P

Put the pedal to the metal!

Posted by [email protected] on April 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

ALOHA!! I'm filled with gratitude today!  I spent yesterday's workday on graphics in Photoshop for postcard and flier distribution.  I love how it's like collage art, but on the computer ;).   Music is underway.  Dan Solomon has finished the closing scene "Liberation" and Jerry Dee and I have just one rehearsal left for scene 6: "The Bat Cave."  Meeting with Silas Maximus tomorrow to hear his DJ magic for scene 4: "Pele."  I am done with Scene 1: Anahata Song and still need to get editing on Scene 2: Transition Over the Pacific and Scene 3: Somewhere Over the Rainbow.   Just signed on friend and Yogi student Meghan Milligan who has done costumes for productions at the Stanley Theater in Utica.  We're keeping it simple, but definitely need flight and are exploring fun options for wings for Eu (little bird).  Sydney of VS Event Nightlife is workin' her awesomeness on the Syracuse NY premiere on June 21st.  I am honored to share the show with the Mohawk Valley community of friends and family.  It's approaching........... breathing, trusting, and honoring the muses.  Mahalo nui loa!!!

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