Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winding down/Winding up

The holidays seem to slow everything down. Places are closed. People are busy. We are asked to reflect on the past year, make pledges for the new and enjoy our time with friends and family. Once again, I could not go home this year but had my first holiday with my partner and some friends. New friends, new places reminding me of old friends and old places. I suppose it really is about the company you are with, rather than where you are.

A year ago, I wrote some resolutions or things I wanted to do in 2011. It is hard to read that list currently and see how abysmally I have failed. But failure is relative I suppose, and not only relative but very personal. I have dealt with some deep seeded feelings of failure this year. The good news is I did graduate, my thesis did not suck, I traveled a bit to Montreal and Toronto and the first half of the year I was practicing Spanish. In the summer, I went from not owning a bike, to riding to Coney Island, a trip that is 14 miles round trip. I know a few more words in French and Portuguese and I wrote more, performed more and was more active than any other year. So why the talk of failure?

I still didn't get what I wanted. I wanted it all. I wanted a full time job, New York City and my long distance love. It was impossible and the universe knew it. I tried so damn hard. For two months straight, I beat myself up and drove myself crazy. The cooling my temper and worrying about money portion of last years resolution is sadly still way off mark. Some days are better, some days I feel like giving up.

How can you accomplish everything you want when you don't have everything you need?

Before I get too woe is me, I must do some privilege checking. I am pretty damn lucky. On good days, I can step outside of myself and see the wonderful world around me in all its beauty and decay. Most of the time I am short sighted and wonder why my life isn't better. Why can't I help others more? Sometimes the desire for internal change or the desire to change the world is so big, it turns happy thoughts into depressing insurmountable tasks.

2011 had a lot of great things to it-- love, adventure, performance. It also had a lot of downs. Unemployment, massive debt, loneliness.

I am not setting any more resolutions (hell, didn't I say I was going to break them?). I am giving myself a break. However, I do have a goal. A goal to make these big insurmountable ideas into small, palpable, workable things. I can't learn a language in a day. Or train for a triathlon in a month. I need to slice all my big ideas into small things that I CAN DO.

My advice: give yourself a break. No one needs anymore mental torture anyways. Think about what you really want. What do you need to do to get there? What can you do every day or every week to get there eventually?

And also, keeping some perspective.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Closeness beyond belief
a feeling of home
knowing someone so well
better than they know themselves.
Secrets that are kept between two mouths.
Trust that is always held up by hope,
but lives in the murky waters of
To know exactly what to say to make one melt.
To know exactly what to do to make one hurt.
Love can be a weapon, so many people use it for evil.
I ask myself to take my guard down. To love completely and without question.
To accept the flaws and idiosyncrasies my love has and for those I possess myself.
To look in one's eyes and see yourself. To accept fully and continue on.
Togetherness is lived love.
leveraging imaginations to create futures.
That which is sewn together by the ingredients of our past. Those crumbs never quite dissolve do they.
Moving on, moving to, moving with
An intimate body.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cold, Wintry Portland

The world is asking so much.
Trying to stay afloat.
Clipped wings, trying to break free.
The spell of negativity must be broken.
I will not brainwash myself any longer.
The capitalist demons who want to buy my life, must wait in line.
I would say life is priceless, but we can see in our world that that is not true.
Swimming in a creative space, fueled by ambiguity.
Jumping on rocks, between creeks, hoping I don't fall.
Relishing in ambiguity.
Holding on for dear life to everything that is real.
But is it?
Mirages of the imagination.
Dreams and nightmares dancing together on the same stage.
Embraces remembered in the body far after they occur.
Imbalance, breaking bodies.
Breathing bodies.
That which is living
and full

Friday, December 2, 2011

Retracing 3000 miles back; Hello Portland

It's been a week since I left NY. I realize how much of NY is still in me, or perhaps how much of myself is still there. The car arrived to pick me up at 4am. I carried the two large suitcases, the same amount I arrived with and placed my worldly belongings in the car. I said goodbye to my lovely apartment that is no longer mine, but a replacement in someone else's future. The car ride to the airport was rough. It was cold, I was tired and weepy the whole way there. It seemed so surreal. Didn't I just arrive in NY? Did I really spend the past year and half in this crazy city, doing crazy things? The finality hit me. The driver asked me if I was staying in the states or going abroad. I suppose he assumed with such large bags, maybe I was going on vacation. I told him I was moving. He sensed the bittersweet tone in my voice; he said, "New York will always be here. Sometimes you need to go away to come back and be really successful'. If only the feeling of failure could be expunged through my tears.

I did not fail. I just didn't get what I set out for. I tried. I had fun.

I slept the majority of the 6 hour flight to San Francisco. I kept daydreaming of all the things that happened in NY, trying to happily close that chapter of my life. I arrived in SF at 10am, with my love picking me up to start our new adventure. Luckily for my sake, San Francisco is the one city besides NY that drives me crazy. I am in love and madly so. It has the wonders of NY but with the majestic beauty of California. It feels like home although I've never lived there. Home is not a place, but a feeling of belonging. 72 hours in SF and a 10 hour drive later laced with pitstops in the middle of nowhere, I arrived at my final destination.

Portland, Oregon

The good thing about Portland is that it has its own majesty. Nature abounds. The people are friendly, the rent is cheap and its great for artists. The bad thing is there is an amazing lack of diversity. Coming from NYC and previously Los Angeles, I feel strange being in a city with so many white young people. I can't help but notice it and feel it. It makes me uncomfortable and I suppose for now there is nothing I can do. I truly celebrate diversity and miss the different cultures ever present in LA and NYC. I know Portland is not permanent. It's an adventure, a pit stop. I enjoy it here for its quiet and stillness, but sometimes I feel spooked by it. The buzzing of NY contrasted by the silence here is eerie. Something to get used to. Also, friendly strangers talking to you! There is still so much to learn, discover and open myself up to. For now I am trying to get to know the city, find a place with my bf, and luckily I have found a part time gig for now. I yearn for creating again, but when you are wondering when your next paycheck will come, or where you will lay your head, it's hard to stay focused.

Another test. So many tests. A test of the will and character. A(nother) test of our relationship. Closeness circumvented by confusion. A lack of anything concrete, but a place full of dreams and desires. I will create a garden of our futures and plant our seeds. Mapping out past, present and future. Settling into time and place.

An adventure I must be open to. Opening myself up to possibilities and questions. It is frightening and exhilarating to not know one's immediate future-- to go with the tide, to hustle, to create flowers out of cement. My time will come and I realize I am blessed in so many ways.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


find their way
hollowed out in unkept promises
words that meant nothing
a fleeting thought that was never that serious.
Commitment and its counter part.
with motion
dancing lavishly upon the worlds stage
forgetting others have troubles worse than yours
Nina, the voice of the goddess
bellowing blues out of the beguiled
Nobody loves you when you're down and out
Finding out the hard way
(more than ever)
nothing is simple
or exactly what you thought
re-imaginging possibilities
as finite hope
turned into action
and promises that can be married
in a union fitting of a king and queen.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Birthday Party

He called the young lady at 11pm, so his wife would not hear his phone call.
She was asleep, dreaming of a different life.
The message asked if she could stop by at 9am.
The young lady awoke. It was her birthday. 27 years old and stuck. A scorpio with a heart of gold and a temper.
Sensitive. Moody. Jealous. Passionate.


She called him back. "Yes, I can come over. See you soon"
She walked the four blocks in the crisp, cool morning.
She arrived at his house at 8:58am. Punctuality was her strongest trait.
He opened the door, smiled widely and said, "Good morning" and greeted her.
She smiled back, hesitantly. He was almost a stranger. Those eyes, so intense and peering, unnerved her. But she needed to be there.
She walked in slowly and carefully, assessing the house and feeling the discomfort all over again.
So many feelings washing over her.
There was a moment where they acted like nothing happened.
He gave her orders and she followed.
She started by cleaning the dishes. Old espresso cups, crumby plates and stained forks.
She stayed silent while washing. His presence was there, watching over her.
After the dishes, he complained about the tub.
"The tub is not clean. Maybe to your standards, but surely not mine".
Her stomach sank. Tied in knots.
She muttered an apology, half out of pain and half out of shock.
She went to his room to put away his clothes.
"Remember, don't put away socks that don't have a match. I have no use for single socks"
She saw his shirts with the names of all the exotic cities he had been to.
The picture frames of his wife, and four lovely kids were placed all over the room.
What an intimate little venture.
She thought about what his life was like before. What his life was like now.
What did he do? He was like her, but he had the power.
Money can buy you anything.
She moved to the bathroom to deal with the dirty laundry. His stained underwear and sweaty shirts disgusted her. All in a day's work.
After getting lost in the maze of the house and dizzy with the work, she became numb.
No one knew it was her birthday. It was as if she were hiding a secret from the world. To keep inside of her everything-- to share with no one. She wanted to be alone.
Instead she was cleaning his house. He complained some more. Things were not good enough.
Her OCD which had been a source of amusement for all her friends, was not enough to please him.
He was no longer happy with her. With a look in her eyes, tearing up at the non-existent future she saw for herself, she uttered with all her might, the words that barely came:
"I don't think I'm right for you"
She got her money. $40. He wanted 5 bucks in change, but she lied and said she didn't have any money. She thought to herself, "what a fucking cheapskate"
As she left his building, the avalanche of emotions caved in on her. The tears were unstoppable. She walked home, past the stay at home moms and the dog walkers. Picking up some vodka on her way home, she decided to create her own birthday party.
To celebrate what, who knows.
The day was drawn out, in long intervals, interspersed with waiting and watching.
The sigh of relief came, once the clock turned 12.
The birthday party was over.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ant-Bird with Rob Andrews

A case study of endurance and commitment.
An exchange of voices among chaos.
Pushing more, with fear unfolding.
Crescendoing to the future.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Collaboration and Magic

I honestly believe I can learn something from everyone. I've worked with many different people in a variety of different settings over the past 10 years, and believe because of these meetings and collaborations, I have become a richer person for it.

Sometimes as adults, we get caught up in routine. We get caught up with thinking we know how the world works. Our days play out through mechanical motions, our minds rarely ever breaking above water to complete consciousness. The world becomes insular. Collaboration actively disrupts this solipsism.

Today, while in my collaborative theatre project in Red Hook, a moment of magic occurred. The group, which is comprised of three adults and three youth were talking about the idea of protest.

What does a protest look like?
How do protests occur?
What sparks the action of protest?

We agreed that to protest, is to say that we wish for a different world. A world in which things are better. We agreed that to protest, is to fight against something that we want to change which usually occurs from an inciting action. After discussing for a while what protests look like and how they are presented in the world, the eleven year old next to me paused and said, "What we are doing right here (motioning to the circle, the group) is a protest. Writing our play about our ideas and what we want to change in the world is a form of protest".

I was taken aback. I started to tear up (apparently, I'm really sensitive). I spent 60k studying arts and activism and performance as protest and here this 11 year old girl blew my mind with how articulate and thought provoking she was. After relishing in the enjoyment of having such a beautiful moment and exchange, I realized this is why I love collaboration. Sometimes magic occurs. Age, race, sex, and difference create opportunities for genuine exchange. A dialogue that puts each person at the forefront of his or her own experience.

Between my experiences at Occupy Wall Street and my work on this theatre project, I am humbled by the beauty of people, ideas and collaboration. Sometimes there is no substitute for a life of exchange and collaboration. A book, a lecture, or school cannot compare.

I am reminded of how much we can grow if we only let ourselves.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ritual with Rob Andrews

On Saturday, I performed in the Art in Odd Places festival with Rob Andrews. In the piece, I was asked to wear a black cloth over my face which covered most of my body. I placed two jars full of water, gauze and some postcards at my feet, while standing barefoot on a grass mat. The postcards invited audience members to wash my feet, hold my feet and pray. The symbolism was strong and intense.

Initially, I had mixed feelings about the piece. I wasn't quite sure how the piece would make me feel or how it would affect the audience, but it was something I wanted to do regardless. I arrived in Union Square at 3pm. I was able to see the other cloaked figures with passersby gazing at the mysterious ensemble. Slowly and carefully, I placed my materials on the ground. For some reason, I decided to face the sun, to look directly at the audience. I covered myself in the cloth, and was still able to partially see through the black veil.

The first 15 minutes were a challenge. The sun was beating down on me and I couldn't quite find my place of peace. I centered my breath and started focusing. I saw the collection of eyes and cameras (meta eyes) peering at me, trying to make it all make sense. The echoes of voices, "what is this about?", "what does it mean?", "who would want to wash someone's feet?" swam about in disembodied voices. I could only see directly ahead of me and sometimes people with cameras came frighteningly close, trying to get the perfect picture.

I stood still. As still and silent as possible for two hours. I was unsure if I could actually accomplish this feat, but I was able to do so. The main problem was the heat, but I was able to meditatively focus on my presence and the actions of others. I got my feet washed about 8 times. I believe most of them were by my other performers, but at least two were outside viewers. It was interesting to feel the differences in people's touch, energy and action in washing my feet. Some people had such tenderness it was moving.

At one point, Rob and his son came to wash my feet. Rob's son said, "I'm making art with dada!" and I started tearing up it was so beautiful. The interesting part for me, was that I thought that this piece would make me uncomfortable, or feel degrading for me or the audience. But I had a completely different reaction. I felt peaceful and meditative--I felt a connection with those washing my feet, the touch of another human. We could not exchange glances, but only exchange energy and this was powerful to me. Hearing the comments and watching the spectators helped me focus. I enjoyed that the piece made people uncomfortable, made people question and made some participate.

About two-thirds of the way through, there was another attraction behind me. From what I heard, there was a nearly naked black man behind me. I wanted to look. I resisted the urge and stayed focused. It was interesting to watch the shift from me to him in a matter of seconds. To hear all the commotion, but not be a part of it. This portion of the performance tested me in my ability to 'stay in the moment'. After the other performer left, most people went off with him. A few more people wandered by, some taking photos, others hesitantly walking back and forth, deciding on inaction rather than action.

After two hours, I took off the cloth. The sun was still so strong and the air, and my breath and the ground felt different. I was in a haze-- something between being disoriented and being at peace. I walked home taking it all in trying to focus my feelings on the moment and in the intense beauty of the experience.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A case of love

A case of love for me and you.
I will wrap myself beside you and be present with this present.
I follow you, love, out of my own failure here.
The ghosts of turbulence will no longer linger, but provide only a shadow of what was.
We will become something great. What I have been wishing for. My fears will be assuaged by your sweet breath.
I am leaving everything behind for you.
To let go, without looking back and never questioning why.
To grow older in your arms, to know that it is you that has my caress.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What makes a life

and what makes it worth living?

Is it love or work?

The workless, unemployed statistic, down trodden by debt overload. I am young on the verge of old. Any minute now, my stress will appear on my face in finely lined wrinkles. I will call it wisdom. The mistakes of tripping on one's own decisions.

Decisions, decisions. Collapsed in mortal fear and despair. An emptiness that is becoming of my sullen face. This is not what I wanted my life to be. My OCD is driving me mad. I have no control and I sell myself everyday to people who want to parcel me out. Some buy the passion, others buy the sex, some, though infrequent buy my brain. A tickle.

To fancy yet nothing that will come. A waiting and stillness. Silence for the first time. Risks, choices, love, life, money, and what? What else? what else? what else? what else? what else?

I am letting my fingers talk. I need more discipline. More. More. More. Discipline. Focus. I need to live my own life and not be jealous of others. That green monster envy lives in me somewhere and I try to expel her. There is not enough room for the two of us. Someone someday will figure this out. That I am worth it. Or so I have to tell myself. The stories we tell ourselves-- how fascinating it is to create our reality. Fractions of identity, looking for the whole pieces.

If someone could just notice. Please. To sincerely see what is in me and make a move. But my struggle is wrapped up in your struggle and we will not be set free until we find our way out of the maze.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trains, time and transitions

On Monday, I took the train from Penn Station to Montreal's Gare Central. The ride was about 12 hours. Who knew the rest of NY was so green? I have adored trains for a while now, and even though many people complain about Amtrak's delays, smelly cars and average customer service, I find trains to be so relaxing. My life is always controlled by the clock. I am always close to being late, or way too early. I'm at the mercy of life in the city. Appointment, meeting, class, ellipsis on the scale.....on a train, time is halted. For hours, my mind wanders in the luxuriousness of having nowhere to go. I am stuck....in the most positive of ways. Being able to observe, pontificate, ruminate, while watching the beautiful landscape pass me by provides an insurmountable pleasure.

Slow down. I've heard that many times, but never do it. In times like this, when everything seems to be moving so fast, but not fast enough, I have to remember this. I have to remember that the most important things in life are punctuated by moments.

I am in Montreal enjoying the fresh air, the friendly people, the beautiful french words falling so gracefully off of Quebecoise tongues.....My life outside is relaxing. A change of scenery, of pace. To not be at the mercy of time, to exercise some free will....but my inner turmoil is poisoning.

One decision will change the course of my life.

Decisions like this complicate everything because they make you re-evaluate everything in your life. What is important? What is at stake? How will my action or inaction affect me? Others? Now and in the future? So many questions, but the answers are buried in rubble. I want to have everything. Does that make me selfish?

As cliche as it sounds, only time will tell.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Working Hard (for the money)


Effort transforms labor into product.



fingers crossed, things will go my way.

Eye to eye, hands held, a moment is shared. A moment of understanding. To level the field that is always unbalanced.

And to sit with friendly ghosts in chairs. The perilous past invading the present.

Tempo Auralities


Time baking in the sun. A Dali painting.

Originality is only believed because it came to my mind as a new idea. Recycled from something else. Mashed up, blended mix of pomo ideas. Diet.

The lo-cal post modernist, pastiche lifestyle.

Trying to find my niche.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Good Vibrations

This week has been so rewarding, surprising, and uplifting with sprinkles of hard work and enchantment. Experiences and conversations, opportunities, questions to be answered, facts to become routines.

Good Vibrations.

Radical Positivity.

I taught my first Theatre class at the Women's shelter two blocks from my house. I was nervous. Who wants to do theatre? Who cares about theatre (especially if you are homeless)? The negative naggings kept popping up. I convinced myself otherwise. The brain is a powerful tool of destruction. 2 people showed up. It was close and intimate, revealing and silly. My actors for the day provided me with much inspiration, insight and clarity. They were so bloody brilliant and creative. And they have no freaking clue. They thought they were being silly. They felt challenged. I wanted to put myself in this situation because I am looking to challenge myself. To give back to my community and learn symbiotically. Theatre is about storytelling, masking and unmasking identities....this was the perfect foray into a new creative experience. I will be working with them every Friday evening and I couldn't be more thrilled.

I am always thinking of how I can challenge myself and how can I learn with and through my community: I think I found my answer.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Home is not a place, or a location but a series of feelings. An intricate binding of thoughts from the present, the past, and the desired future. Home is a place of comfort, of nostalgia, of pain and pleasure permeating the mundane.

Where is my home? Can one feel like they are from somewhere they are not? Home is the placement of memories on the canvas of my body, the conversations that appear in past lives, only to be remembered in subconscious dreams.

Home is not a place, but a desire. A desire to be accepted, to feel wanted, to feel loved. Home is neither here nor there, but everywhere I have laid my head to rest and found joy and love.

Home is a work in progress.

Home alludes the present tense.

My home, my heart, is scattered--from the west, to the east, to the south to the far north. Friendly cities and intellectual continents, fading and surpassing, waxing and waning just like the moon above.

Home is the desire to belong.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thoughts from a recent graduate: On education, the economy and big business

I went to an event called "Rebuilding the Dream" a couple of nights ago. The dream in reference was none other than the "American Dream". One quote from the evening resonated with me and fueled my inner turmoil:

"We are graduating our students off the side of a cliff"

The three year old recession, which some say (erroneously) is over, is still looming and looks bleak as ever for recent graduates, especially those in the arts. Students are graduating with Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D's to find an economy that doesn't need them or want them.

We've been told our whole lives that if one just works hard, goes to a good school, then one can succeed in life and do anything one wants.

Unfortunately, this simply is not true.

The sad truth of it is that the unemployment rate has only gotten higher. The sad truth of it is that the national student loan debt has only gotten higher, creating astronomical debt which many of us will never be able to pay back, or will struggle immensely to do so. It is not out of laziness or incapability that our generation of graduates are not getting calls left and right for employment. It is simply because there are not enough jobs. Students kill time by spending more money on school, spending more money on "great" schools until something changes.

I think it is high time that we have a student loan bailout. Wall street got bailed out and is more successful than ever. When did education become BIG BUSINESS? I am a huge advocate for education and believe in the power of it, but I am starting to get down on it. We no longer live in a society that makes education a viable or even desirable option. Education is just a business like anything else. A machine to create more workers. The education system that is currently in place is not sustainable. Soon the majority of the nation will be educated, and the jobs still won't exist.

I just hope that for my sake and others that student loan and education reform comes sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Observations from a train

8:20am. The F train is running on time. I enter the train and the one half empty seat is occupied by a much older man who is sleeping and taking up most of the seat. I decide to stand. I can't quite tell if he is homeless, drunk or just down on his luck. With each passing stop, more people come on the train than leave. I watch with close eyes, everyone who enters eyeing that one empty seat. Nobody takes it. The old man adjusts himself and is leaning forward, holding his stomach, sleeping as if he was in pain or sick. The seat next to him was now free. I was tempted to sit, but kept standing.

More people entered the train, the fullness of the train manifested by a cornicopia of bodies. Bodies touching, breathing, feeling. Energies exchanged and glances taken in and given out. The women in high heels and the bored kids all eye the empty seat, but quickly look away definitively and decidely. I wonder why no one will sit next to him. I was so tempted to sit down just to prove something to myself, but then I thought he might be sick and I didn't want him to throw up on me. Everyone is standing, looking for a seat. No one moves. No one gets off in Brooklyn. People glance over to the seat, as if they are considering if they should take it. The answer is always no.

The old man sleeps in peace. His long, white beard frames his long wrinkly face. I want to see if he is ok. New Yorkers are accustomed to acting like they don't care. Nothing phases anyone anymore. I'm standing in front of Korean girl. She takes out a piece of gum. She starts chewing as if she has something to get out of her system. Her angry, rhythmic chewing alarms me. It is lound, unnatractive and pointed. Her jaw opens and closes rapidly and with each succession becomes slightly louder, until it becomes a monotonous crescendo.

I'm at my stop. I leave the old man and the gum chewing to everyone else. I'm walking up the stairs and there is a guy laying on his back at the base of the stairs. He looks like he could be dead, but I'm pretty sure he is just sleeping. At least that is what I tell myself. His shirt inches up to his chest, exposing parts of his stomach. I can't imagine such exhaustion. We all pass by as if nothing happens. I was more inclined to ask if he was ok, but if he was sleeping I didn't want to bother him. The trains take people from one place to another, but it is clear some people are stuck. Stuck in a moment, and we are all passing by with rapid motion, blurring any sense of calm.

But then again, it's just another day in New York City.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

'Roof Piece' by Trisha Brown

A little over a week ago, I went to the Highline to see Trisha Brown's recreation of her 1971 work, 'Roof Piece'. I am not a dancer (sad to say) and was only introduced to her work a year ago in an experimental dance class I took at NYU. Knowing that she was/is a huge part of dance history, especially in the downtown New York art scene, I was excited to finally witness her work. I decided to do little research on her 1971 piece and go see the current recreation of it as is. The title gives away the location, but not much more.

(What's in a title?)

My friend and I arrived at the Highline approximately 5 minutes before the expected showtime. It was pouring and I was curious to see how the dancers would incorporate the rain into the piece or if the piece would be cancelled altogether. Just then, as in an almost divine intervention, the rain stopped. 10 dancers were placed on various roofs in the Chelsea neighborhood. The dancers all wore red, which was an interesting color choice, but also very utilitarian in that it aided the audience in increased visibility in the darkening sunlight. Most of the dancers were visible from anywhere on the Highline, but some of them needed to be found, hidden away like obscure objects. The dance commenced and my eyes couldn't focus on one dancer. The improvisations bounced off each dancer, informing the other. The dancers similar movement was interesting in that the movements reminded me of labor- the mechanization of movements in capitalism. An odd reading, I must admit, but with all the bodies doing the same thing, and doing it in such a way where movement, rather than emotion was at the forefront of the piece, this is what entered my mind. The piece was only 30 minutes, a perfect amount of time for such an improvisation. The bodies flowing movement, against the landscape of the hard, concrete city and beautiful New York skyline created a wondrous moment of beauty. Freedom. To be dancing on the rooftops of Manhattan!

Body v. Concrete
A molding of
an added
of living, breathing

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time for transition

Changes come as quickly as they go. Things that take a lifetime get accomplished in a minute, by adding two letters to the end of your name. Thoughts get reproduced by the body in a daily activity called routine. A desire to stop this routine. Ru-teen. Time is made important by the labor of work.

Found objects provide nostalgic memories of places not yet been, but ubiquitous in dreams.

Longing and desire seep through the river of blood coiling at each nerve ending until organs are on fire.

to be
I want to be
a body
a body without

how free we could all be
without this judgement

to wander free and mercilessly into the forrest of heaven, wherever that may be in our place of solitude, the imagination.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Secret Survivors

Secret Survivors, a show with the Ping Chong Theatre company is about the secret lives and stories behind Child Sex Abuse survivors. The show is presented with 5 men and women who tell their stories onstage in an interconnected web of details recited from each of the individuals. The success of the show is that instead of focusing on trauma from an individual perspective, the story focuses on the collective trauma that arises from all people who have experienced CSA. The ensemble cast creatively tells all the stories of the survivors, with each person taking on different roles in parts of the stories- in this way, the retelling of the story allows them to be the victim and perpetrator, oscillating between points of power, reliving and retelling their stories in all angles. The stories are compelling and uncomfortable- tales of incest, or pedophile teachers, or friends that don’t know boudnaries. The show highlights the pervasiveness of CSA in an attempt to let the voices of the silenced victims be heard and to acknowledge the ubiquity of this problem. CSA is something most people are too ashamed to talk about, because the victims are most often led to believe it is their fault. Secret Survivors does a wonderful job at demonstrating the stories and complexity of CSA.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I was lucky enough to go see 2boyz.tv at HERE arts center, for their show Phobophilia. I was even luckier to have worked with them over the summer in Chiapas, Mexico for the Art and Resistance course I took.

In the workshop over the summer, my mind went places that I hadn't felt in a long time. The 2 boyz took us and blind folded us-- put our hands on someone's shoulder in front of us, and made us walk the streets of Chiapas, for what seemed like an eternity. At first, my thoughts raced-- I was scared I was going to fall, I kept kicking the person in front of me and everything seemed so strange without being able to see. After maybe 15 minutes, I relinquished those thoughts and became free. The experiential evidence that I was able to walk blind folded, the trust we all felt holding on to each other and the intensified sounds and sensations were intoxicating. My mind seemed like a blank canvas, in which I could place anything or anyone. I felt unstoppable.

Without the forced imagery of vision, imagination took over.

When I read the synopsis of Phobophilia (the love of Fear) I knew it would be somewhat similar, but definitely not the same.

Entering the theatre, we were all asked to wait in the lobby. We were then escorted to the basement where ushers took our coats and jackets. At this point, I was already happy at the subversion of the audience-performer relationship. All of us were then blindfolded, and put our hands on the person in front of us. Except this time, we were all strangers. It felt weird. The feeling of fear, tripping, not knowing where I was going consumed me again. When I got to my seat, I felt relieved. I was also a bit sad, it didn't last longer, which made me think, do I love fear too?

Fear does have somewhat of an intoxicating, pressing, teasing feeling to it.

In the the theatre we see a male, his head covered in black cloth and his arms extended out, like that of Abu Ghraib. He is wearing plain clothes. He is visibly uncomfortable, wavering back and forth, the tension in his arms physically weighing him down.

I empathized with him as a performer. It looked uncomfortable and painful.

After everyone was seated a mirage of images and sound flooded the stage. Helicopters, screams, dogs, doors, lovemaking....one could never be quite sure, the cacophonous sound blending into unknown zones of discomfort.

Video images were projected onto a black box. The brilliant, adept and creative use of projection proved intensely watchable.

A voice questions in the background in French....the performer answers in French and English. It is reminiscent of the interrogation methods we know too well.

Phobophilia was definitely an experience not to be missed. An innovative, questioning look at ourselves and relationships with fear. A comment on the politics of modern day and the encapsulating fear we face in our daily lives.