I have had the joy of spending most of the past month co-directing Much Ado About Nothing with my husband. As we move toward tech week and opening night, I wanted to share a few things about what it’s been like to direct this play, in this time, particularly with someone I love so much by my side for the process. Continue reading
I have to be honest with you, I started writing this post a LONG time ago. I almost posted several times but each time I got a bit self conscious and sent it back to the drafts section. But since this first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week, AND last month I hit my pie in the sky, didn’t think I could do it in my wildest dreams goal of six months breastfeeding, I thought it was finally the right time to publish these thoughts on my nursing journey. Continue reading
I wanted to bring you a bit of a fun post in honor of International Women’s Day so here are just a few ways I feel like my 6 week old is already rocking some feminism: Continue reading
Crafting is good for me in many ways. It feels good to have a tangible accomplishment at the end with so many things in life right now that are electronic or transient or completely impalpable. (Or, as is the case with most of my “mom” related activities- a seemingly endless cycle that doesn’t go anywhere at first or second glance.)
Crafting is good for me because not only is the end product tangible, but it requires me to be in my body and working with my hands. So many of the other things I enjoy allow me to live in the “fire in my head” to steal a line from Paula Vogel and to ignore or forget about the rest of me.
Crafting is good for me because, thanks to some very smart work of fellow artists and classmates of mine, I have come to think of it as a feminist action. Let me summarize: Sewing, embroidery, crafting of all sorts have long been looked on as “feminine” pursuits. While they used to be the basis for necessary ways to run and beautify the home, continued industrialization and mass marketing of clothing and art, and now digital art, etc. have led to many people looking on these pursuits at frivolous. I think they are still extremely valuable though and the gift of something handmade is huge. The work of handmade arts or crafts is significantly greater than if you can use a machine (not that they aren’t handy. I’ll certainly be talking about my sewing machine in future blog posts. But even in that example, imagine the labor that went into hand stitching before sewing machines were available) but in a world where machine made products are readily available for low cost, people are quick to scoff at the prices of handmade objects or the time invested into them. To me, it feels a little like a personal revolution to value making things with my hands, that take time, that are traditionally feminine. It makes me excited to model them for my son and offer to teach him if he is interested.
But perhaps more than anything else, crafting is good for me because it directly confronts my perfectionism. It is a one in a million shot that you can hand make something “perfect” no matter how experienced or high quality it might be. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be beautiful. Even if it is far from perfect and not even necessarily “good” in terms of something that would be marketed or sold, it can still be beautiful.
Example: when I got pregnant with my son, I decided I wanted to learn to knit so I could knit him a baby blanket. I’d already crocheted several blankets and scarves and could have crocheted one more with no problem, but I’d been wanting to learn this new skill for a long time and I knew that odds were good once the baby got here I wouldn’t have the time to do so. I found the perfect, softest yarn and started working. I knit squares to sew together
later into a full blanket. They were kind of lumpy. Sometimes I’d forget whether I’d just completed a line of knit or a line of perl. There’s strange patterns in the blanket that reflect that and some people would look at it and see a hot mess. I see so much joy. I see something that won’t be replicated that I made my child. I see something I kept adding to as he grew out of the baby blanket size and needed to be a toddler. Actually, it was working on adding to that blanket that inspired me to work on creating and crafting for one of my themes for the year.
Or I think back to my wedding- I had a bridal brigade filled with excellent artists (the perk of getting married at the tail end of an MFA program…) who crafted with and for me which resulted in beautiful, high quality pieces that made the day so special.
They look better than any mass produced or machine made product because there are small, beautiful variations or mistakes. Each individual piece of bunting wasn’t exactly symmetrical. Each flower wasn’t specifically designed, but came out of a gorgeous organic process. The hours spent Doing It Together were lovely wedding gifts and left me with pictures and mementos of the day I treasure far more than any pre-packaged “perfect”.
So my hope with crafting more is that the way I think about things when crafting might translate and start to encompass the way I think about things in life. The mistakes can become beautiful additions. The imperfections can make the end results unique and better for not perfectly matching the worldly, marketable expectations. The work is never wasted. All that good stuff I’m hoping will translate from my hands to my heart.
So I already wrote about the books my son is currently reading… here are my (current, I’m sure it will grow and change) list of 7 books or series I can’t wait for us to read together. A fun and potentially frivolous post… These are just a sampling of what I look forward to… there are SO MANY I could name but it would take much more time than I have to write about them. I can’t rank them either, they are just listed in the order that seemed to flow for me. Continue reading
SO… we’ve closed a few Shakespeare shows recently after some great runs. Now I’m down to one last show for the year and it is VERY loosely based on Shakespeare (mostly the names but a few lines here and there) but funny enough, I think it has more in common with another play I gushed about recently…. Continue reading
What’s Shakespearean about Hamilton… or why I’m Fangirling over this musical… Continue reading
A week or two ago, one of my blog posts was shared on the Brelby blog to help their audience understand some of what I was going through as a female theatre artist working while bringing my baby to the theatre. Today, I am sharing a blog post my husband and I wrote for their blog. And because that’s the only blogging I had time for since the move… that’s what you get cross posted. here. Here’s my favorite excerpt:
There are many fantastically talented women in our local theatrical community and we don’t want to contribute to the frustrating statistics of how women are underrepresented in this business. We are trusting that the audience has enough imagination to accept that the actress playing Prospero is playing a man just as they are willing to accept that the actress playing Prospero is playing someone who has magical powers. So we aren’t changing the gender of the characters to match the gender of the actors.
I wanted to write a post to chime in with some of the shows I am particularly excited about around the valley during the 2015-2016 season. There are honestly too many to write about in the time I have (ah theatre life- rehearsals, performances, writing the next show, oh my!) so to help me narrow down my list, I’ve decided to focus on something I’m obviously passionate about: works written by women! They exist and they are being produced here and I think they have the potential to be some of the most interesting productions this season. So without any more ado, here’s just a few I’m looking forward to seeing: Continue reading
This is a bit of a follow up to the post I wrote in January. And since yesterday was national Women’s Equality Day (though I’m not convinced we’ve quite achieved that yet…at least if we are talking about equal treatment…) it felt like as good a time as any to give an update of sorts. Continue reading