KILLER JANE takes a hit on the festival circuit

My first (and only completely finished) novel was rejected by 65 agents. I had no intention of either quitting writing ​or waiting for my writing to go public. Briefly, I decided to turn my writings into performance pieces and finally committed myself to studying acting (which I should have done in college instead of studying art) and simultaneously committed myself to playwriting classes for almost 8 years. For me, workshopping – i.e., putting my in-progress plays on their feet in front of audience – is at least number two in importance to my development as an artist (living the long road of developing as an actor definitely being number one). I was a professional and very prolific theater artist for almost 20 years and being so in the habit of workshopping, have used YouTube, Vimeo and other venues for that very purpose – progressing on a project through a process of creating and uploading pre-production story and character development videos.One of the reasons why I never tried to get any kind of Actors’ Equity standing is that most of my work – solo performance of my own one woman plays – was presented in alternative and or small theater that could never afford to get an Equity waiver for one solo performance run that probably was not going to bring in a lot of cash for the theater – i.e., I might not have been able to perform my own plays if I’d been in the Union. So perhaps it’s understandable that I find unreasonable and archaic that so many film festivals turn their noses up at microbudget/no budget arthouse movies made by self represented artists who’ve released their own work or made it viewable on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Source: KILLER JANE takes a hit on the festival circuit

And so I said …

An improvisation inspired by the claustrophobic experiences that I often had when I regularly auditioned, usually feeling a good deal more intimidated trying to keep my sanity in the waiting room than I was auditioning for people who often seemed disappointed before I even opened my mouth to read or give my monologue. I also used this as a composition exercise to further explore the problem of creating depth in the background of a greenscreened scene.

Source: And so I said …

The Power of Three

This new video is entitled “VEILED”: three mysterious, partially obscured women, who are apparently oblivious of each other, simultaneously and incoherently address an invisible audience. Triads of magical females with power over life, death, fate and men- have haunted mythology and religion throughout history. Humans have worshipped, revered, feared, loved and hated mysterious female energy:Gorgons, Norns, Moirai, Charites, Erinyes, Morrígan, Sirens, Heliades, Muses, Hesperides, Fates in Western culture; Iyabás in Yoruban religion; Tridevi, Devi Shakti and Pussa in Asia.

Source: The Power of Three

Lucy, the First Human

This movie was inspired by the Australopithecus afarensis female skeleton discovered by Donald Johanson in 1974 and named “Lucy.” I originally improvised in front of greenscreen in 2013; and the original version of Lucy, the First Human has streamed on Amazon since 2014. I love this character and am happy she will have a new life in this remastered version.

Source: Lucy, the First Human

A video about a tape measure

In early January this year they told me there was an asymmetry (or “shadow”) on my mammogram. Five days ago, my husband and I went to the Breast Health Center at California Pacific Medical Center, for my mammo follow up / tomo / ultrasound / and a biopsy. Of course not owning a planet killer (i.e., car) anymore, we took the bus. I hate going to the doctor. But I looked around me on the bus getting a reality check about how fortunate I was to be middle class going to a clean, well lighted place full of dedicated women who would be empathetic, polite and kind, and try to make everything safe for me – and I could afford it. I felt grateful and reminded myself that it’s not fair that medical care is not clean, well-lighted, polite, safe and decent for everyone. After a long day at the clinic, less than 24 hours later, a lovely lady named Patricia called to tell me the lump is benign and I am fine.Apparently, a breast cancer scare is was what it took for me to be able to make this video essay about breasts, which I repeatedly have tried and failed to do for over 10 years.

Source: A video about a tape measure

About a 4 Year Old T-Shirt with a Hole in It

This is a video essay about how privilege and disadvantage begins with tracking school-aged kids, and how that leads to disempowerment and disenfranchisement in adulthood. Last year I added my National Merit status to my LinkedIn profile. That sounds like a no-brainer, but I am retired from dayjob where I worked mostly as a paralegal and was told by more than supervisor that I shouldn’t talk about being an artist at work, let alone have “Art” on my resume. As soon as I knew I was not going to be a paralegal anymore, I stripped my CV of any references to dayjob and filled it with my 40+ years of arts related experience and education.Because I associate being a National Merit scholar with overachieving and ambition in the dayjob world – and have not wanted other artists or curators to associate that with me – I was embarrassed about it in the art world. After I retired and had some perspective on the fact that I did what “they” can do and what I can do too, I felt more integrated.For the first time in my almost 30 years of marriage, I started telling my husband about what it was like to be one of the smart kids who received special treatment; and watched other less gifted kids get classified, sorted and marginalized. I was very aware of that happening. I thought it was wrong then and I think it is part of the reason that our culture now is so fractured.Banner: Still,VOICE, A PERFORMANCE ART MOVIE (2016) by Sylviatoyindustries.Originally published on LinkedIn.

Source: About a 4 Year Old T-Shirt with a Hole in It

Ravens and Love in Point Reyes

This Little Plot

20170214_143825After weeks of work, I was thrilled by a recent hike B. and I took to Point Reyes National Seashore, a spectacular stretch of the California coast and a very special place for us. After winding through woodlands of rushing streams fresh from winter rains, the Bear Valley Trail meets Arch Rock. Here, the North American Plate meets the Pacific Plate, and juts out into the Pacific Ocean.

A flock of White-crowned sparrows came out of hiding in some nearby manzanita bushes, to explore the bread (and wine) that we brought for our picnic. These tame birds were clearly used to human visitors. A spout, then a slash of back, signaled a whale out at sea.

20170214_145414Ravens, two clearly paired, softly called to each other on a nearby rock outcropping. They stood close together, groomed one another, and fed each other. “With such affectionate behavior,” B. said, “There’s…

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