Songs for the Struggling Artist

Songs for the Struggling Artist

I blogcast about Artist stuff. And Arts Related stuff. Also feminism. *In each episode, I read a post from my Songs for the Struggling Artist blog and play a song at the end.

Episodes

May 17, 2022 20 min

My theatre company is over twenty years old. We started in 2001 and we’ve seen some things.

For our first show, we raised funds by writing a letter – yes, an actual paper letter – and we mailed it to anyone we thought might write us a check. This worked pretty well. I’d have to double check the numbers but it’s not impossible that it was the most effective fundraising we ever did. There are a couple of reasons for that, I imagine. ...

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The minute I met the artistic director of that Shakespeare company, I thought “Oh he’s an egotistical douchebag.” Then I saw his show. I did not want to like it but it wasn’t terrible. I mean, the thing with doing Shakespeare is, the text is always interesting so as long as you don’t get in the way too much, it’s possible to put on a decent show, even if you’re an egotistical douchebag.

To read more of Should I Try to Work with Ego...

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May 3, 2022 15 min

Despite having written and created an audio drama podcast made up entirely of monologues, before now, I’d have told you I hated monologues. When casting actors, I would never ask for a monologue for the audition. I felt sure they could tell me nothing about what an actor would do in a show. I know I have delivered a few rants on the subject before. I could not fathom why preparing one classical and one contemporary monologue became...

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April 26, 2022 15 min

This one's about grief. 

A few days after my brother was killed, I was scheduled to give a Feldenkrais lesson to a new client. We’d been planning it for months and I hadn’t had work in ages so it seemed reasonable to keep the appointment. I figured it would be good to have something to do as I was mostly just walking around crying. Despite my best efforts, it did not go well. We did not connect and a few days later she wrote to...

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As I surely have said before, I am not fond of tooting my own horn but only a handful of others will toot their horns for me so if my horn needs tooting, the task generally falls to me. I have to seek out the milestones, keep the markers in sight and just generally seek out opportunities for self horn tooting. It’s tooting time again. I’m writing this in anticipation of my Three Hundredth Episode of the podcast version of this blog...

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If it’s not entirely obvious, I’m a THEATRE person. I am not a THEATER person, not really. This is partly a silly distinction of spelling and partly a really serious long-standing American problem.

And before I go any further with this, let me acknowledge that I now think I’m on the wrong side of this divide. It’s a side I’ve fought for, one that I reinforce every time I spell my company’s name or website or email address, and one ...

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April 5, 2022 24 min

In the first couple of minutes of the film, the character of famous theatre writer, Jonathan Larson, introduces us to the year (a pan shot of a Calvin and Hobbes calendar that reveals it is January 1990) and a lot of his stuff. He tells us about his two keyboards, his music collection and his Macintosh computer. My brain did a little record scratch of “Huh?” at this but I had a movie to watch so I watched it, occasionally squinting...

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March 29, 2022 17 min

There’s a great Thai restaurant in my neighborhood where we would always get the same thing – the Sukhothai soup with wide ribbon noodles. They used to, before they brought the soup, bring out a little caddie with various toppings, a bottle of fish sauce and a container of peanuts and every time, they’d say, with exactly the same tone and phrasing, “Have you ever used this before?” We’d say yes and proceeded to enjoy the soup with ...

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There’s a little bit of a conversation happening in feminist circles around the movie The Lost Daughter, written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. I felt it was my duty, as a feminist on the internet, to watch it. I didn’t really think I’d have anything to SAY about it necessarily but I like to be informed and it turns out I do have something to say. Funnily enough my thoughts are probably more Gen X related than feminist related,...

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March 15, 2022 19 min

I guess I never imagined a dystopia would be so dull. Dystopian novels are full of marauding bands and dramatic battles. This is like sitting in the waiting room of a corporate marketing agency, waiting to join a focus group you really don’t want to join but are hoping they’re going to pay you enough to make the trip worthwhile. Just sitting here. Waiting for someone boring to call your name. In a mask.

When the pandemic hit NYC in...

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Last week, I took us (mostly) to Spain, Italy and Turkey.

And now it’s on to France, Germany, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and beyond.

To read this Pandemic Guide to International TV, visit the Songs for the Struggling Artist blog. 

This is Episode 294

Song: Se Essa Rua Fosse Minha

Image via Pixabay

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My guess is that international TV got its hooks into me these last two years because there’s something about getting so far away from the world I live in, they don’t even speak my language. Or maybe the extra “labor” of reading subtitles kept my attention when it was inclined to wander? Or maybe it’s like traveling in a period where I mostly just saw the kitchen table? Whatever the reason, the various streaming platforms have affor...

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February 22, 2022 19 min

Rebecca Solnit recently posted this essay that Mary Beard wrote back in 2014. It’s about women speaking in public and the ways classical culture was built around telling women to shut up. Also about how that trend has continued.

It’s brilliant for all the reasons Mary Beard is often brilliant but the thing that feels like new information for me is the bit about women generally only being allowed to have a voice on matters that pert...

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February 15, 2022 24 min

As winter approached, I freaked out a little. The idea that we were looking down the barrel of a third pandemic winter just zorked my feelings up. (Yes, I know that’s not a real word. I had to make one up; That’s how zorked up my feelings were.) I wanted to run but there was nowhere to run to. The pandemic is freaking everywhere. You can’t escape it. It’s better in some places (a lot better!) but those places sure as hell don’t wan...

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February 8, 2022 18 min

When I walked up to check out the booths at Open Streets (the program that closes down/opens up a couple of blocks to give the neighborhood more public space) I wasn’t prepared for a show.

When I approached the second block, I saw a crowd and a truck and then I saw some clowns getting the crowd fired for their circus. Their performance style was so familiar, I almost just walked away – feeling an habitual “I know what this is. I do...

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February 1, 2022 22 min

Ladies and Gentlemen, Whales and Snails, Lobsters and Crabs, Crayfish and Crawlers: I have something of a reputation for keeping going in the face of difficulty. I am a self-proclaimed shark and I swim ever forward. I hold space for people who once stood where I stand and need me to keep going as a sort of beacon. That is a responsibility I take very seriously and I hold that beacon high, my squids and octopi. But I have to confess...

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January 25, 2022 15 min

In the year or so of going to this café, I have only ever seen the owner in mask – until yesterday. Yesterday, he was outside working on his shed and he was without his mask. For the first time, I saw the lower half of his face and if he hadn’t greeted me warmly and started chatting, I would never have recognized him. I am fascinated by this trick of my brain.

Put a piece of fabric over this guy’s face, I could easily pick him out ...

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My favorite café closed and it was really the only choice in this particular neighborhood, which I pass through with some frequency. In the interim, someone has opened a chain café that has some decent outdoor seating on a spacious sidewalk so I’ve ended up there a few times when I’m in the area. The place is called Joe and the Juice and it’s important that you know its name as I tell you about it because its name is the key to thi...

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January 11, 2022 13 min

I just remembered this absolutely genius idea for a book I had about 25 years ago. When you hear it, you’re going to be like, “Yeah! What a brilliant idea! What a shame you didn’t put that together! You’d be a millionaire already!”

Here it is: A guide book of cafes around the country, with reviews and photos and maybe little drawings and scraps of writing I’d done in them.

Can you believe I missed out on this golden opportunity?

To...

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January 4, 2022 18 min

The one I can’t stop thinking about is the person who called 911, the person who witnessed the accident that killed my youngest brother. I feel enormous tenderness for that person, even though I know nothing about them. The only thing I know is that they saw the accident and called 911.

They will likely have the image of it in their brain forever. I have an imaginary version of it in my brain that will likely be with me for as long...

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