embracing self + other: dzieci’s FOOLS MASS begins this wk

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it’s december, friends..!!!

and at a moment in which i am working through much forgiveness towards myself for past actions, compassion for myself and others, seeing and being seen, no matter how painful– there is nothing more honest than donning the grody teeth, sooting yourself up, and embodying a fool in dzieci theatre‘s long-running production of FOOLS MASS. it allows you to look at yourself differently, point blank– and at others, the idea of ‘otherness’ and the judgment and repulsion directed towards those in that category– what we feel is grotesque, crazy, abnormal, be it differently abled people, body types and abilities, mental illness, deformities, the homeless, addicts, outcasts.. and the dark or unruly or nontraditional or seemingly shameful parts of our own selves. there’s a place for everyone in fools mass, because there’s a place for everyone in dzieci– and it’s hugely transformative to partake in. please join us this holiday season, SHOWS START THIS WEEK in bklyn, nyc, queens + upstate <3 you literally won’t forget a dzieci performance. i guarantee this! .. did i mention we are performing at st. john the divine??!! #holyshit #dreamcometrue

more info (including many more testimonials/reflections):
http://dziecitheatre.org/the-work/fools-mass/

quick link to 2019 date listing: HERE

“Fools Mass is such a rich exploration of human nature and our spiritual search. There is the constant flow between control and chaos, aloneness and togetherness, creation and destruction, the absurdly mundane and transcendent simplicity. The search for true contact without an intermediary leads us into a true spiritual connection within and between one another. It’s a rich experience worthy of multiple viewings.” ~ Matthew Purdon ~

“By the end of the Fools Mass, I was in love with every character. I no longer saw their teeth, or the dirt on their faces, or their stooped and spastic forms. I saw only human beings in love with the sacred, in connection with spirit. I saw brothers and sisters. I am still in rapture. It was magnificent, and deeply moving. And I can’t stop thinking about it.” ~ Dave Klaus ~

IN OTHER NEWS:

as i am embarking on my 4th move this year and 8th or 9th move since 2015– i’m honored + excited to have been invited to exhibit new work in The 2020 Southeast Queens Biennial: WRITING HOME, which will be on view in two venues: the york college fine arts gallery AND the miller gallery at JCAL, from mid-february through early april 2020. i’ll share more info as we get closer– i always treasure the opportunity to stretch from page into three dimensions, especially on a subject (HOME) that is so deeply pertinent at this moment. molaundo, my old friend from queens council on the arts– thank you for Seeing me <3

“Statistics document the impressive ethnic and cultural diversity of Queens but, for those who live here, numbers appear hollow and rhetorical. What is it like to live/work/play within culture-fluid communities? How do neighbors communicate without a shared native language? How can one remain true to self, family, ethnicity and fit in out there? The 2020 Southeast Queens Biennial invites artists with a significant connection to Queens to visualize these and other questions that address literacy, identity, and environment.”

AND SPEAKING OF ART:

my wonderland of public programs at socrates sculpture park is in hibernation for the winter BUT our OPEN CALL DEADLINE FOR PROJECTS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO DEC 8! and the theme this year is: MAKING MONUMENTS (!!). more info on the socrates annual fellowship HERE.

ALSO; WHY NOT:

we are nearing the one-year anniversary of my first alchemical theatre work, PROVENANCE, which debuted at the plaxall gallery last december. you can watch the piece in its entirety HERE, or if you need a shot of spirit in these early waking hours, open to this DRUM PRAYER…

it’s also coming to me to work on a new piece:
liar + a truth-teller: a performance/discussion on things we don’t like to talk about.’ more on that soon..

it has been a helluva year from start to finish. i’m always posting reflections, vulnerabilities, news + updates from the road on my INSTAGRAM. don’t forget, folks, that we are nearing the END OF A DECADE. what has happened in your life from 2009 until now? what have you created? what have you kept in? who were you then, who are you now? these questions have prompted rapid change in me in the last few months. looking forward to creating where 2020 will take me..

hope to see you out there– all best + happiest holidays to you + yours

XXOO

a.

17.

hello, my friends and loves and wild kindreds. here we are.

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i wrote this at the end of 2016:

many things have happened to me this year, i have caused many things to happen this year. some of the greatest triumphs, some of the deepest lows. this is what i learned: each day we are asked to hold a candle up against the things and people we love, in order to truly see them. to remember how to see them. but it is a definitive action, a powerful choice. an interaction, not passive. this is how the light works. sometimes our habitual or learned choice is darkness. we cannot always resemble the decisiveness of fire or the horizon or blades of grass. or soaking rain. we must make a choice, a conscious choice. for what we want to be, what we want to bring. to choose to heed or ignore the question posed to us, everyday. because whether or not we listen, the question is always there. will you hold up your candle to see things as they are? things and people worth fighting for. you, yourself, worth fighting for. it takes action. and i wish your body and soul recognition of that eternal, inherent movement, and the power in it. that no matter how much we recede into the darkness- hide, seethe, recoil, hurt. there is always potential to return the pendulum swing, call back the eternal question. back to the light. #happynewyear

**

what else?

the debut of reliquary: the body was my last performance of 2016 (you can read the full piece HERE), with amazing fotos by geo geller below…

it was something totally different for me, edges i need to continue pushing and playing with.

i cried when this was over and i cried into the mirror before it started. everything screamed in my head not to trust. i was more nervous than i can remember being for a performance in so, so long. i released the deepest and darkest. the cracked doorways and red sheets. it was done. and i just lost myself inside it. i seldom memorize my work, get stuck on perfection or fear of forgetting words, and just forget what’s possible in the visceral. this is what’s possible. to just give it, fully. and let it go. thank you with my whole heart to edjo wheeler & LIC-A and everyone who watched me debut ‘reliquary: the body.’ everyone who was moved. it was beyond me. i know that through everything, i just have to continue pushing. #thankyou

this is the video by bill hopkins which i feel so lucky to have…

and this

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1.1.17 first day of the world:

some days you ride with the current. swiftly, effortlessly. the earth seems peopled with feelings, with presence. walking alone is not walking alone. it is not being afraid. not feeling the passage of time. i remember, now, walking this bridge under delicate slice of crescent moon, cars roaring. how it felt to walk the woods alone. stand on the edge of the road at night. sit in the field, watch vultures circling. i fear again and again i will be robbed of myself. but it is just a matter of slipping back into the stream. nothing gained, nothing lost. resuming, pulse of the infinite. onward, and on.

**

find me, here [upcoming events]

including- something very close to my heart:

HOW WE CREATE/HOW WE COPE:
intersections of art & mental health/mental illness

Friday, February 10th, 6:30-8:30pm
at Queens Council on the Arts’ LAB space in Astoria [Facebook invite]

Queens native and poet/curator Audrey Dimola hosts a panel and performance evening aiming for safe space, honest talk, and open presentations about the too-often stigmatized topic of mental illness, particularly in connection to the creative experience. Throughout our cultural history, many of the legendary artists we know today grappled in this way- yet it becomes a passing line in their bio, a tragic footnote; and their brilliant work remains. In the present day, an increasing number of individuals of all ages are struggling in similar fashion, frequently in silence and shame, for fear of judgment and unanswered questions. How much of how we suffer makes us who we are and results in the art we create? How much of these feelings are the natural experience of the artist, and when is it time to seek help? What do those forms of help look like? A variety of local featured artists will present their stories, poetry, music, visual art, and more, in addition to facilitated discussion, Q&A, and sharing of resources/experiences on these topics. All are welcome, your voice is encouraged.

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1 is the year of completion,

(with gratitude for you always)

XO

a.