One year later, we have met for three weeks in Florida and created an installation and a performance. You will be able to watch the livestream Jan 5 at 5:30pm EST (3:30 pm MST) here:
As 2017 comes to a close, I am in Florida working on an artists residency with Callous Physical Theatre. It has been by turns exciting, frustrating, tiring, overwhelming, stimulating, and all around awesome. I am working with a group of people I absolutely adore. We finish up with a performance installation this Friday at the Florida State University campus in their beautiful dance building.
You can follow that adventure here:
Expect more pictures and a year in review post when I am back in Idaho in another week.
Dancers! I am currently looking for 1-3 women dancers in the Pocatello area for a dance film project (titled "Path") to be screened at the Going Dutch Festival in Elgin, Illinois this summer!
I need strong improvisers who are also willing to do some movement creation work independently, and enjoy a collaborative process. We will be shooting outdoors (probably mostly in the Caribou National Forest area) so a tolerance for a certain level of dirt, mud, bugs, weather. and other general outdoor stuff is required. (I will provide transportation.)
Dancers and movers of all ages, sizes, shapes, and levels of experience are encouraged to apply!
Interested? Send a short writing sample around the theme of "Path" to Julie@CreativeMoves.com, and I will schedule an audition appointment with you from there.
There will be a stipend for performers.
EDITED TO ADD: For the writing sample, it can be poetry, prose, stream of consciousness, etc. I am looking for creative expression, not perfect academic writing.
Definitely not my most subtle work, but something that I needed to get out.
I have been remiss in getting up a post about my final Fringe Festival experience of the year - Scranton PA! Pictures! (There are a LOT! Between the fest AND traveling by train...well, it was a well documented trip!)
Okay, first things first - if you ever have the opportunity to travel across the country via train, I suggest you do it! I saw amazing sights (The Rockies viewed from the train observation car are STUNNING) and met some amazing people. Australians, Brits, a Scottish gentleman, a formerly Budhist monk in training who had decided that life was not for him, and of course folks from all over the US as well. Including one older lady who was also traveling by herself. Traveling by yourself is fantastic. You should really try to do it at least once. Also met an awesome musician (Hello Heidi!) who was playing her guitar, and started a lovely friendship! (Mostly via facebook, but in this day and age, that counts, right?) We bonded over worrying about the French kids who got thrown off the train in Provo. (I still don't know what happened to them. I hope they ended up being all right.)
Now, have I mentioned that Fringe people just tend to be awesome? Because Fringe people tend to be awesome. When they realized my bus was arriving a day before out of town performers were going to be able to check into the hotel, co-founder of Scranton Fringe Elizabeth took the time during a franticly busy time for her to pick me up at the station, and co-founder Connor's family opened their home to me so I would have a place to sleep for the night. I am very grateful! The Scranton Hilton was serving as a sponsor and venue for the festival, and they put up out of town artists. It was nice to be able to take the elevator down a floor to catch some of the events. In fact, the entire festival was extremely walkable - which was good, since I had taken the train and did not have access to a car.
After a multiple day train trip, and arriving late at night, I of course said. "SUUUURE...let's get up at four in the morning to go do the Ryan Lachey show with a bunch of other artists. (I am glad to report that Connor shares my philosophy that asking theatre people to do anything before noon requires feeding and caffeinating them!) It was great fun, a nice way to meet other perfomers, and also opening night festivity host Molly Balloons! She makes these incredible dresses out of balloons. And if you think a person who makes a living from balloons seems like they would be super duper fun to hang out with? YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!
We had the opening night party, and the next morning Cody and I checked out Steamtown National Park. If you are ever going to go to a train museum? Try really hard to go with a train fan. It makes it so much fun, and you can ask them a bunch of questions! (Cody was also performing his train themed kids show as "Conductor Cody" as part of the festival.) We were also lucky enough to be there when they were doing rides on the steam train. I wasn't sure I wanted to add more train riding to my schedule, but how often do you get to ride a steam powered train? Check out Cody's website here!
A teen playwrighting workshop was having staged readings as part of the festival. Elizabeth called me, wondering if I would be interested in stepping in to read for it. YES, of course! I have such a soft spot for teenagers, especially the theatre babies. I walked over to the cutural hall to meet and rehearse, and then that was my first performance for the festival the very next day. These kids are writing some good stuff, and it was an honor to help bring their words to life. Keep an eye out for some good theatrical writing coming out of Scranton in the next decade or so!
WHAT I SAW
"The World Will Stop if we Make a Mistake"
Sarah Stachura Regan and Patrick Holmes
So delightful. The programs were also coloring books, there were puppets, animation and film, so this show was already right up my alley. Charming and fun, but also touching and hopeful.
"The Hugging Army: a meditative journey"
Vanessa Leigh White Fernandes
Oh, how I needed this one. Vanessa has been offering free hugs to the people in Scranton for a while now, and this was a reflection and meditation on her experiences. With many many hugs at the end. And after many days of traveling solo, well, it did not take long for me to tear right up. Some of my hugs tended to be extra long, but they were all generously returned. Humans can be so lovely to each other.
Gaslight Theatre Co.
A play made up entirely of online reviews, mostly of a toaster. It sounds a bit bizarre. In actuality, it was hysterically funny and oh so very human.
"I'm Still Standing"
Sharp, witty, wry, passionate storytelling from Maggie Nutall. There seems to be a lot of storytellers attracted to Fringe scene. And there's something just really nice about the simplicity of just taking the time to sit and listen to another person tell you their story.
"Happy Birthday Mr Lunesta"
Cabaret, burlesque, and sideshow/variety shenanigans! Also, I have now talked to two different accordian players whose answer to "So, how did you come to be an accordian player?" was essentially to shrug and say, "Well, you see, there was this accordian sitting in the closet..."
"Retrospective: a journey to the center of a pop icon"
New Vintage Ensemble
I'm just going to borrow my own words from my facebook post right after I saw this one:
The kids are alright, y'all. They are speaking out, they are creating, they are passionate and they give me hope. Their voices are important. What a wonderful way to end Fringe.
As always, first: the pictures! Hover over them for captions.
I did it! I drove a roughly 3,000 mile round trip to perform "Shedding Skin" at the Elgin Fringe Festival. What a wonderful experience! Wonderful because it definitely built my confidence (That is a LONG trip! and I did it by myself! Also smartphones are amazingly helpful things!) and wonderful because I met the most amazing people.
It's no secret that part of the reason why I LOVE Fringe is the chance to see other people's work. I took in:
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
by Olive Juice Theatre
Fun, well-done participatory children's theatre. I'm still singing the songs. Also, I got to play:
by La Groove Fatale
Gorgeous belly dancing. The a capella zills opening piece was captivating! (The whole show was captivating.)
IMPROVISED MYTHOLOGY: an interesting experiment in long-form comedic improv. Long form improv scares the snot out of me, so I'm always impressed with people who have the balls to do it as a performance.
It was modern dance. It was humorous. It was feminist. It was visceral. I FREAKING LOVED IT. Also, the women of Titterglitz are awesome, and I was so happy I got to hang out with them.
EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU'RE GAY DAVID BOYLE
by David Boyle
Warm, humorous, wonderful storytelling.
A LIFE AMONG SECRETS
by William Pack
It occurred to me that this was the first time I had actually attended live, in-person a magic show. MUCH more compelling than seeing the glitz and glitter I used to see on TV as a kid. (I mean, it's kind of disturbing and gross to see "The Human Blockhead" in person, but...also really cool.) I don't know much about the history of the art of magic, but William's entertaining and knowledgeable storytelling made me want to know more. Also, lots of really well done audience participation.
by Imaginez Ensembles
Delightful. Acrobatics and clowning and aerial silks wound into a story about taking risks and following your dreams.
by Captain Ambivalent
Sparkly boots, an inflatable T-rex, great storytelling...and giggle-worthy songs. On an accordion. My pun and wordplay loving friends would have ADORED this.
A DIFFERENT WAY OF THINKING
by Cody Clark
Whole-hearted, heartwarming, enthusiastic storytelling and delightful magic!
by Madeleine Hicks
Charming stop motion combined with storytelling
THREE DAUGHTERS WHO ARE NOT DAUGHTERS
by The Group Project
I'm still processing this one. Complex and layered, passionate and compelling.
by Debbie From
This. This is the one that made me cry. Lovely storytelling. Honest and intimate and raw.
Kelly Bolton is a goof and I love it. So many great characters. So many giggles.
In his persona as "Diagnostradamus," he told my fortune using a combination of cootie catcher and diagnostic manual. In a teeny tiny (kinda creepy) closet. It was awesome.
So, was it worth the three very long days of road tripping to get there? Well, I am already trying to figure out how I can make it again next summer.
Inspiration and connection
First, some pictures!
Recently returned from our second year participating in the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival! I am continuing to fall in love with the whole Fringe Festival scene and vibe. I got into a bit of a discussion about what the appeal of Fringe Festivals were on twitter, and it boiled down to:
1. Innovation. Risk taking. These are encouraged rather than pushed to the side in service of ticket sales and the almighty dollar.
2. Accessibility. It may take planning and saving, but the entry fee and venue costs are do-able even for small (tiny!) companies. Far more within reach than it would be for me to secure a venue, pay rent, technicians, insurance, etc.
3. Structure and promotion. Even though it is up to each individual company/artist to promote their own shows, having the structure of the festival does give the shows a level of visibility that individual shows might not otherwise have.
4. My favorite: CONNECTION! Meeting other artists, getting to see their shows, talk to them, etc.
Aside from performing "Shedding Skin" four times to small but appreciative audiences, I took in the following shows:
- "Behind These Walls" from Act Risk No More Theatre Company. Raw and honest, these kids had important stories to tell.
- "Stories of Uncreation" from Theatre Dojo We were so very glad to get to experience Theatre Dojo's storytelling and music this year. (Last year we had identical performance schedules.) Wisdom and warnings from stories from our past, and hope that we can work together in community to make the world better.
- "Hamlet and Ophelia go Swimming" from Brabble Arts. Such a very human take on these two characters we know so well. A show that makes you remember that they were just teenagers at the time the events in Hamlet took place.
- "Filament: from Cat and Fish Dances was beautiful full-bodied modern dance.
- "Resolved" from Company of Cohorts promised a party, and delivered. With all the fun, ridiculousness, and drama that parties can bring.
- "An Oak Tree" from Sackerson Theatre Company was utterly fascinating. An exploration of the power of suggestion, of loss, and mourning. We're going to be talking about this one for a while.
- "Apt 404" from Who's Louis was an interesting experiment in non-linear, overlapping storytelling.
- "Innovation" created by Jared Larkin was an evening of physical theatre storytelling with clever use of minimal props and some absolutely lovely and moving moments. (That's Julie Speak for "It made me cry.")
- "People from the Future" from Jaron Hatch was an evening of skillful physicality, enthusiastic storytelling, as well as audience participation and a refreshingly optimistic point of view.
- "Aerial Odyssey" from Arial Arts of Utah was an absolute thrill for my inner five year old who wanted to be a trapeze artist! I'll be honest, 42 year old me was pretty thrilled as well. I found a surprising preference for the trapeze bars and hoops over the aerial silks, just because it felt there was more of a continuous flow with the movement that could be performed.
- "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" from Youth Theatre at the U was the last show we took in before heading back to Pocatello, and it was an utter delight. Fast paced, funny short plays with social and political commentary performed with enthusiasm and abandon.
(And if I didn't include a link, it was because I couldn't find one, so leave a comment or email me if you have one for me, or if you'd prefer a different one from the one I used!)
BEHIND THE SCENES:
One or two stories from our experience
-Getting there: How long does it take to get to SLC from Poky? Oh, about two and a half hours. And we took off with just enough time to get there for our tech rehearsal, and...forgot about that whole "road construction" thing. Which, living in Idaho, we should DEFINITELY know better. Still, we made it just in the *nick* of time for tech. I am spoiled in that Glenn usually does the tech for my shows, so it's a minimum of fuss for me. I am going to miss his help and support terribly when I do my next two festivals and he can't be there.
-What's a show without at least one technical difficulty, right? Preparing for the first show:
"Hey Glenn, how's the projector set up and focusing going?"
"Don't ask me that." (Bless his heart, he was doing everything in his power to not let me know that he was panicking at this point.)
Turned out his computer had decided to update at the WORST possible time and got stuck in a weird loop. Of course I had decided to leave my Mac at the hotel to make our bag a bit lighter, since we had "everything we needed" on Glenn's computer. (Yeah, don't do that. Backups. ALWAYS have backups.) We hauled out my Ipad since I had the sound score on it and hooked it up, but it was looking like I just might not get to have my projections. (Which aren't *absolutely* necessary to the piece, but add a nice texture and dimension. And I had also spent many many hours filming and editing, so I was bummed to be missing them.) Luckily, we were able to have a five minute hold and get all the tech working. Hurray!
-We took a few hours to visit some USU theatre friends who we had not seen in too long, and hung out with them while they built their delightful five (and a half!) year old kid a playhouse. There is something very amusing about watching someone you hung out with in your twenties Dad-ing it up. (EMBRACE the middle-agedness.)
- After seeing "Behind These Walls" I gave many of the kids hugs. They then came to my first show that evening. Glenn has been teasing me ever since about my new strategy of "hugging people into the audience." Which, take note, Pocatello - if that's all it takes to get you into the audience for original shows, I am ALL OVER THAT.
Hello, I'm Julie and Dance owns my soul
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