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.


May 29, 2023 21 mins

When I was at the height of my Teaching Artist powers, I kept an extraordinarily erratic schedule. One morning I’d have to be in Jamaica by 8 am, the next day, I didn’t have a meeting in Manhattan until 4. The following day I’d be in the Bronx from 10 and some days, I’d have gigs in all three boroughs. Some days I’d have no gigs.

I woke up at a different time every day, ate at a different time every day and was rarely in the same p...

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This Part Two of a Two Part Series on my viewing of The Power. You can read Part One here. Here’s Part Two:

Since I started writing this, I’ve watched more episodes – which hasn’t really improved my opinion of the show, though I am grateful that it has shifted out of exposition and into stuff happening. But as stuff happens, characters keep saying, “This is going to change the world.” And while I understand that people really ...

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For years now, I have been hotly anticipating the TV version of the novel, The Power. I would occasionally search for it on IMDB or Google, just to see when we might get a televised version of this book that kept me going in some difficult years. I was advised to read The Power by a friend around about the time dragons came into my life and I feel a kinship with Naomi Alderman and the world she created in her book. In case you have...

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May 8, 2023 21 mins

My friend suggested we both apply to this artist residency in Greece. When I looked at it, I noticed there was a fee to attend and I almost didn’t apply – but then I thought about how much I’d love to be on Crete with my friend so I went ahead and submitted for it, hoping to maybe get one of the few fellowships they offer.

About a month or so later, I got an email saying I was accepted to the residency and then another saying I had...

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May 1, 2023 17 mins

For a while, I thought my interest in International Television was coming from a desire to escape, to be so far from my own world that I couldn’t even understand the language or the norms. That may still be a factor, but lately I’ve found that watching these things has revealed things about my own culture, the patterns that were underneath that were previously invisible to me because they were just the air I breathe.

Of course a TV...

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April 24, 2023 18 mins

Once upon a time in New York City, my friends and I started a theatre company. We’d have readings and rehearsals at our apartments. We made molds for masks in my kitchen. We had snacks and drinks and a generally lovely time. We wrote our first fundraising letter at Yaffa Café in the East Village and rubbed one of their buddha statues’ bellies for luck. The bumps in the road were quickly smoothed and we threw some fun post show part...

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April 17, 2023 24 mins

At the end of the year, Spotify sends everyone (with an account) a summary of their year on the app/website. They’ll tell you your Top Song and your Top Artist – that is, the stuff you listened to the most. Sometimes it’ll assign you a personality based on this information. One year they told me I was Adventurous because I “listen to non-mainstream artists 100% more than the average Spotify listener”.  Aside from the suspect percen...

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April 10, 2023 16 mins

Last year, I wrote about my experience of giving blood for the first time. I read it again in the process of preparing the 2022 zine – and it made me think about what has happened since. You may remember how genuinely terrible the blood donation folks were at welcoming me, a newcomer. It was clear they were set up for regulars. As soon as I donated, the one time, it was clear that I was now a regular in the system’s eyes. Whereas, ...

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When I was going through the Great Medication Refill Denial Crisis of 2022, very few other people were aware of it, or involved. The receptionists and the pharmacy consultants knew I was struggling. Some friends and family heard about it from me. The doctor who denied the refill may have not even been aware of the repercussions of her actions. There was enormous drama happening in a very dark corner.

Then I wrote about it. And I le...

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March 27, 2023 18 mins

Well – I paid $175 to be considered for an Ambie award for The Dragoning (in the DIY category for low budget productions). The Ambies are the podcast awards that the entertainment business seem to take seriously. They’re discussed in publications like Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. Was it a smart investment to spend $175 to try and get nominated? If we’d gotten selected for the finals, it definitely would have been. But for a ...

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Probably because I have now written TWO pieces about Fleishman Is in Trouble, my friend sent me Lizzy Caplan’s interview where she talks about the show, and her role as Libby. My friend figured I’d be interested and he figured right! Lizzy Caplan explains that the writer (Taffy Brodesser – Akner) created the novel as a kind of Trojan horse, a way to trick people into reading/watching a story about a woman. (Tricksy! Didn’t I tell y...

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March 13, 2023 17 mins

Can anyone introduce me to film critic, Amy Taubin? I discovered her awesomeness when I went searching for some sensible criticism about the much lauded film, Tár, and found her on a podcast talking a great deal of sense. She said, “It has to be one of the stupidest movies I’ve seen in many a long year” and I could not have agreed more. I said something similar, out loud, multiple times, as we watched it (at home, don’t worry. I wa...

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March 6, 2023 15 mins

My artist friend was in artistic crisis. We all of us have them and the crises are so clever, they seem to always give us new takes on the theme. There seems to be an endless variety of artistic crises to be had. Knock one down, another, slightly re-framed one, will pop up to take its place.

This one my friend was in was a hobby crisis. It’s one where she asked herself something like, “Is my work just a hobby? Other people seem to ...

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February 27, 2023 14 mins

I was full of fury. I had so much I wanted to sort through, so much I wanted to unpack and so much to say. Normally, this is a recipe for a white hot blog post that comes streaming out of my pen. But I was entirely jammed up. I didn’t know where to start or how to dive in and I was frustrated, not just by the medical situation that was driving the post but also the struggle to write about it.

In talking about it with my friend, he ...

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February 20, 2023 16 mins

The thing about Zoom for me is, I usually end up on the floor crying after the meeting is over. It’s either that or a migraine. I couldn’t tell you exactly why. There are a lot of reasons a human mind might respond negatively to this experience. Could be the cognitive load, the slight asynchrony, constraints on mobility or the many other documented reasons Zoom can be challenging. But all I know is, taking part in any Zoom, be it p...

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This is going to be a regular thing now, isn’t it? This thing where Millennials play Gen X-ers now? This is going to happen a lot from here on out, I’m starting to realize.

I’d already watched seven episodes of Fleishman Is in Trouble but it hadn’t been bothering me much. I was too pre-occupied with how it compared to the book and what had changed and wondering if I felt differently about it as a TV show. But then, Lizzy Caplan’s c...

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A week before my scheduled appointment with the woman who was to be my new neurologist, I found out that she explicitly refused to refill my migraine meds. I’d been having trouble getting the refill for weeks and finally got word that it was intentional. This medication significantly reduces the numbers of migraines I get and is a key component to my maintaining a decent quality of life. Refusing my access to it was essentially gua...

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January 30, 2023 19 mins

Sometimes someone you love makes a work of art of which you are not a fan. You wish you liked it but really, you think it stinks. If it’s a piece of performing art work, like some theatre or some dance or some music, you might sit through it trying to understand why this person you love has worked so hard on something so terrible. This feels bad. Sometimes we don’t go and see the work of people that we love just to avoid the feelin...

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January 23, 2023 16 mins

It was the publicity photo that filled me with rage. In it, star reporters, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, stand like bookends around actors, Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan, who are leaning on a ladder. I’ve got nothing against ladders or any of the people involved but still the photo made me mad. Here we have two of our Gen X heroes, two women who heroically chased down a thorny story, putting themselves at risk and for no reason at ...

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Finally, after three more endings, I have finished this book. In addition to the last chapters, I also read the acknowledgements. If I’d known how furious the experience of reading all this would make me, I would not have read it before bed – but alas, there I was at 3:18am, raging at the ceiling.

The book itself turned out to be pretty low impact. The sister turns dragon and wins a Nobel Peace Prize. The dragons put an end to war;...

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