Tuesday, January 23, 2007

rehearsal pix

From last night's rehearsal. We leave tomorrow.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Puppeteer entertaining a handicapped child. Drawing by Michael Hsiung



Fri, 26 Jan; Sat, 27 Jan
20.00 hr (8:00 PM)
De Appel, Amsterdam NL

My Barbarian - Voyage of the White Widow

The LA-based performance collective My Barbarian debut Voyage of the White Widow, a site-specific spectacle developed for de Appel. Since its founding in 2000, the exuberant group My Barbarian has created a furore, presenting unusual shows with a high camp and rock content. Voyage of the White Widow may be interpreted as a 'play' of the kind described by the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga in his influential publication Homo Ludens (1938). A number of 'sailor personages', the crew of a nameless ship, express through play-acting and song their attitude towards a patchwork of historical events. They refer both to the Dutch Year of Catastrophe (1672) and to what My Barbarian calls the recent 'Catastrophic Years' in the United States. In this way the troupe seeks to de- and remythologise the consequences of European colonial expansion, economic phenomena such as the trade in marihuana, ecological disasters past and present, such processes as immigration and tourism, and the value, both artistic and monetary, of Dutch art of the Golden Age. Against a backdrop featuring Jan van Wijckersloot's Allegory of the French Invasion of the Netherlands in 1672 (1672) and Willem van de Velde's Gust of Wind (1650) - from the collection of the Rijksmuseum - the performers present themselves as 'fools', facetiously commenting on numerous historical and present-day trends and events.

Ticket sales (9.00 EUR) via the ticket service of De Brakke Grond: 31 20 626686, www.indenes.nl or at the door from 7pm on the evening of the performance


Catching the Big Fish

Went to see David Lynch and Donovan last night at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Bizarre event but pretty great. Donovan's voice still sounds good-ish. I can't get past his affected, narcissistic stage persona and his stream-of-consciousness beat poetry about hanging out with the Beatles in India was a bit too much. Yet the songs were familiar and he seemed like he was having a pretty good time, so hooray for Donovan. Oh yeah, he brought his daughter (not Ione Skye) onstage to sing with him which was absolutely ghastly.

The lighting design was beautiful.

David Lynch was hilarious and very entertaining. Laura Dern was onstage with him as a sort of moderator, asking questions that were supposedly taken from the audience. They claimed to have set up a box in the lobby for people to put their queries into, but I think it was a lie. The questions were way too grammatically correct and geared towards what he could easily talk about. In between questions, a guy played improvisational piano. It was absurd.

David Lynch has a foundation set up to bring Transcendental Meditation into schools to help high risk youth. I think it's a pretty cool thing to do. He seemed a little kooky, talking about absolute bliss while twiddling his fingers in the air, but it did spark my interest in meditation. We'll see if that interest grows or disappears in the months to come.

I have an audition for some new TV pilot this afternoon. The script is interesting-- sort of. It's about a chemistry teacher who finds out he only has two years to live and decides to make some money for his family by creating a crystal meth lab. Very today, I guess. I'm supposed to read for two roles, both equally small and boring.

Tonight, MB is doing a dress rehearsal at our studio in Boyle Heights. We're inviting a few friends to watch us before we take the "White Widow" to Amsterdam. It's always helpful to have a live audience. I'm still not completely sure when the puppet comes in to speak, but if I keep her near by I can grab her when I need her.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dreamgirls or Mermen?

Lovely, no?

Art Bears.

Socialist progressive rock.

Also members of the group, Slapp Happy.

Dagmar Krause is on the right. I love her.

I think this might become my new obsession...

OK, I think I'm way too into this whole blogging thing. One more way for me to stay addicted to the computer. Right now I'm off to the studio for a day of rehearsing, we're terribly behind. Today I'll be focusing on my puppetry skills and learning, "I Love You, Pym", the Eurotrash love song a la Ace of Base. I've also got to make time to swing downtown to the Garment District to pick up some cheap blue tights. Busy!


For our new project/performance, Voyage of the White Widow, I made WWI-inspired sailor costumes for the three of us. I'm also turning the guys into "Mermen" by fabricating fish tails out of of stretchy purple sequined material. I'll be the masthead of our vessel, wearing a blue sparkly gown reminiscent of something Joan Collins might have worn had she starred in a 1980s stage production of Titanic. We're performing next week at De Appel in Amsterdam.

Alex made a funny bird puppet that will be voiced by our Dutch artist friend, Lara Schnitger.
See link...

Shelley Duvall, awkward genius, makes weird pretty.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

experiment in cultural context

This blog will be an ongoing description of projects I'm working on and subjects I'm interested in. I'll include photos of objects, friends, or groups that influence or inspire me. I'll try to explore my own practice and performance strategy by looking at myself in relation to other artists, theatre people, or musicians who "exist on the fringe of the art world".