Sunday, July 29, 2012


Right after Less Miserable finished, I went down to Penland, NC to take a 2-week course on alternative methods of woodcarving at Penland School of Crafts. We used chainsaws to start pieces and then finished them with angle grinders, dynafiles, and power sanders. I made a bowl in the shape of a butt. (A bowel?) (Thanks Maureen!)

Aside from the above image, I don't have any pictures of the bowl or of anything else at Penland, because I still haven't gotten my disposable camera developed. I will do another post with those. Penland was awesome and magical, and my (fun!) work study position was really crucial in making it all happen. I went swimming in mountain rivers full of mica, shared scotch and grapefruit juice cocktails with Paulis Berensohn and my friend Zee, and met so many wonderful, talented people. Summer 2012: making art with awesome people in the woods!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

after the play!

(The pictures I have posted are all pretty much by Jori, an awesome awesome person from Providence. Here is her Flickr!)

I wanted to post a couple of bits of writing that people did about Less Miserable:

-a nice review HERE

-and here is the body of a super sweet email to the cast:

So I got to see the show in Providence, even though I'm from Philly, and before the show those of us in the audience were having all kinds of reunions--some of my favorite Philly people and others that I've met in New Orleans or Maine or elsewhere over the years. In the totally packed warehouse, I had a sense of being amongst extended family even though I only knew a handful of the hundred or so folks there.

My friend Emily said after the show, "Wow, I was coming prepared to be forgiving. But that was amazing." 

Not only did y'all pull off a difficult piece of theater with masterful aplomb--y'all were also casting a deeper spell. Being in the audience was like being part of a ritual--being offered something magical from our community, for our community. To see what you all pulled off reminded me of all the things we are able to do collectively that we often get too pessimistic to try for, or fail to celebrate when we do them. It filled me with love for all of us in the creative, radical struggle--and hope for what we can still accomplish and discover ourselves capable of.

Y'all gave us a huge gift. I've been thinking of moving on from Philly and worried about losing my amazing community there; seeing Less Miserable reminded me of how broad our community really is--how many of us there are. It also did what I think DIY art needs to do: astound, astonish, and inspire us with what we can pull off in unorthodox manners, collectively, for the love of it.

I used to do theater a long time ago and I remember the let-down of after the play, going back to normal life...I can't imagine what it feels like for each of you individually to have been part of something so magical and now be back in some other identity, but I want you to know from someone who saw what you all worked so hard on--and I could see people working against their strengths, taking huge risks, exerting tremendous amounts of energy, and making us all love you and cry for you--that what you offered us was transformative and important. As important as all the work we put into fighting the system and caring for our friends. Art like this provides a forum for us to become who we are collectively through sharing experiences of joy and grief. Where else would I get to cry publicly with hundreds of people about the injustice of the world, about our dead friends, about failed love--all the pieces of our own stories that the play reflects back to us?

Thanks for casting that spell for us. With mad respect,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

best month ever!

I am sitting in an airport waiting for a ride (thanks Andrew!) to Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Andrew and I are both taking a woodworking class there that involves chainsaws. I am so excited. A few hours ago, I was helping strike our last Less Miserable show in Philadelphia. The past month has been completely amazing and transformative. Pooping in buckets! Singing everyday! Skinny dipping! Living in the woods! Making a musical! Going on my first tour! Seeing old friends and making new ones! All good things.