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Top Eleven Sources of Inspiration in 2009 and Resolutions for 2010.

Top Eleven Sources of Inspiration in 2009 and Resolutions for 2010.

1. "Ghostwritten," by David Mitchell.

2009 was not a reading-intensive year for me, I think I made it through just over a dozen books (compared to the over 40 books I read in 2008). This one book, however, has stuck with me. I loved Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas," and while this one isn't the piece of epic literature that "Cloud Atlas" is, it's haunting (and we know I like being haunted). I've only read it once, and it needs a second reading at the very least (as does "Cloud Atlas"), and its post-apocalyptic nature isn't apparent until the very end of the book but that's part of why the ending has so much impact.

On the subject of post-apocalyptic fiction, I'm stuck on it lately.


2. Leslie Jarmon, aka Bluewave Ogee.

Leslie knew how to make Second Life real, fun, accessible and useful for educators and artists. She was so inspirational in getting me to move…

Bittersweet

This has been a difficult fall - not only did we lose Henry, but I lost two women in my life who have had a positive effect on me and on my work.

One was my grandmother who gave me an incredible gift a few years ago when she dug out tons of family photos, her family back in England, her parents, her aunts, her grandparents, and told stories about them all. I love those photos and hope at some point to really research my family. She was also one of the to-be-participants in "Omission," which is a lesson on not putting things like recording your grandmother telling her life story off until a more convenient time.

The other was Leslie Jarmon, who worked three floors below me in the tower and who I was just beginning to know and connect with on the "Eurydice" project. Apart from crossing paths with her frequently in the tower elevator, I met with her maybe three times, but her energy and love for Second Life was hugely inspirational for the project. Again, should…

The Loss of Henry

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On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, our 13 year old pain in the ass cat Henry died. He'd had cancer, and it got bad pretty quickly. We had him for three years, and he was well-loved by our friends as well as by us because he was so obnoxiously outgoing. If he wanted you to pet him, dammit you would pet him if he had to stand there and rub himself against your hand. He was also a great paperweight, doorstop, and world-champion at sitting.

In 2008 Henry became a fervent supporter of Barack Obama:



Henry firmly believed that black cats everywhere should be able to aspire to the presidency.

As evidenced by my previous entry, Henry loved to sit on random things. He was VERY adept at figuring out just what piece of paper was the most important thing you were working on at any giving moment. This is Henry sitting on the in-progress script for "Intermission" from 2007:



Just a couple of weeks before we lost him this video, called "Henry Drinks a Glass of Milk,"…

Light Plots Henry Has Sat Upon

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Henry on "Holes:"


Henry on my thesis notes:


Henry on "Trouble in Tahiti:"


Henry on "Black Snow:"

Goosebumps.

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I don't know what it is about Antony Gormley's work, but it always gives me the chills.

B. Iden Paynes!

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I won for my work on "Ophelia," which was kind of surprising as I thought *if* I won it would be for "Black Snow." And I wasn't expecting to win, really.

Congratulations to everyone but most especially to my friends and co-collaborators with TUTTO Theatre Company (Outstanding Production of a Drama for "Ophelia," Outstanding Director of a Drama for "Ophelia," (Dustin Wills), Outstanding Production of a Comedy for "Black Snow," and Outstanding Set Design for "Black Snow," (Lisa Laratta)) and also Rubber Repertory (Outstanding Ensemble Performance for "Mister Z Loves Company" and Outstanding Theatrical Event for "Casket of Passing Fancy," which I didn't work on and seriously regret not getting to experience).

Full list of winners can be found here.

Currently I'm swamped (ha ha) in "Murder Ballad Murder Mystery," but I hope to have something to say on the process of that show as well as som…

Aesthetics and Uncertainty

I've worked with people in the past whose work would spontaneously take shape upon moving into a performance venue. No amount of meetings, planning, research, rehearsal, blocking would lead them to the same artistic product that being in the actual space and making it work would produce. I never thought I'd be one of those people - I am usually another type of person who plans out all meals a week in advance and creates ridiculous excel budget spreadsheets for herself. But working with Misha and Divergence Vocal Theater so far has been an exercise in being patient with myself and my apparent need to "make it work" next week in the space.

So many unknown factors come into play for this show. The space is a church, not a theatre. There is some lighting in the church but I don't know what / how much and we can't refocus it. I'm renting some stage lights, and I can get a general "plot" going for this but really, it will be a "these lights …

B. Iden Payne Nominations!

Just a quick post to say - last week the B. Iden Payne Nominations were released and I received two for my work on Ophelia and Black Snow with Tutto Theatre Company. The B. Iden Paynes are annual awards for Austin theatre given by Austin Circle of Theatres. My collaborators Dustin Wills, Lisa Laratta, Kim H. Ngo and a whole bunch of actors were also nominated...between the two shows, Tutto garnered 13 nominations! This is especially exciting for me as it marks the first (and second) nominations my work has received in Austin circles.

Other nominated shows I worked on: Cambiare Productions' Orestes, including Best Production of a Drama, which hopefully means my husband will get to make some sort of speech as the producer / artistic director of Cambiare, and Rubber Repertory's Mister Z Loves Company!

Full list of nominations here.

Longer actual blog post on the process thus for for Autumn Spectre is on its way.

Everyone wears a mask...

In the moments of my life where I have stuff to actually write about here, I don't have time to write it. My creative-thoughts-and-energies blog must make me look like I have the creativity of a toothbrush (most days we all feel like that anyway).

It looks like I'm going to be spending the next two months playing with shadow puppetry and LED's, dragging unsuspecting female friends of mine into the woods, tying them up and burying them in leaves and filming the whole thing, watching "True Blood" and figuring out how to build jars of fireflies (that are electric and not actually flies).

Wait. Do we actually have falling leaves in Austin?

OK, so I'll be de-leafing a few trees in the name of art.

Haunted.

I just finished watching the entire four seasons of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. I didn't watch it at all while it was airing, so my experience and investment in its characters is probably different. BUT. I *loved* the ending. It was nearly perfect, if they hadn't had the silly robot montage and the "maybe this time will be different" preachiness.

I loved Kara. I loved her ending. I've read a lot from people who watched the show in the past week, and a lot of people really hate the way she was handled in the episode - simply vanishing, without explanation as to who / what / why she was. But I like being haunted. The lack of answers is what keeps me obsessed with something. These things keep me stuck forever on the work. Answers lead to closure, and some things are better without closure, forever circling through my brain, revisiting the emotions I was feeling at the time I first experienced it.

Other hauntings of mine:

1. Many, many Haruki Muraka…

Make me a day, make me whole again

Two things today prompted this post.

1. Recent flash mob at Whole Foods in Austin. Well actually, the comments under the youtube video prompted me more than the flash mob itself. I always get sucked in to reading comments on sites like this (imdb or aicn would be the other main ones) and it always gets me riled up. As though I had never come into contact with the vast quantity of dumb people posting stuff on the internet. I'm about to make a bunch of assumptions about one of the posters, and I just want to say, this isn't actually about that poster. It's about people and their reactions to what other people call "art." I've heard that cynicism before, that something, whatever it is, that people are calling "art" is not art - and an awful lot of the times that I hear that complaint it's coming from someone who doesn't do anything they themselves would call art. I wonder how many people spend their time and energy tearing down the stran…

Happy 2009!

20 things that inspired me in 2008 and 3 resolutions for 2009:

1. Synecdoche, NY. I can't even fully explain the affect this movie / experience had on me. I left the theatre sobbing, wanting to embrace life wholeheartedly, create anything that was true to myself and never look at another human being as a bit player in my own life.

2. Cloud Atlas. I've been delving an awful lot into postmodern literature in the past couple of years, and a lot of it is silly and pretentious. This one is not, it's beautiful.

3. Anne Sexton. Specifically, "Rapunzel," since it was that poem which launched "Transformations."

4. Noe Venable's song "Eurydice." Sometimes I discover songs in I-tunes that I had forgotten completely. When I found this one again this year, I listened over and over and over, trying to mentally build it into the Eurydice project.

5. Terami Hirsch's album "A Broke Machine." I didn't like it at first. It was…