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"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus"
~ Mark Twain

Happy May! - May 2018

I'm looking out my window, enjoying the fresh green leaves on the maple and fluffy off white blooms on a tree I don't know the name of, dance in the breeze. Rocky Butte is a dark blue shape in the distance, seen between tall, strong, pines.

I have three projects coming up, I would love to see you at. Two of which use my "new" Tony Fuemmeler masks.

First up, I am joining this month's Oddville: A New Vaudevillian Tradition which showcases light-hearted and comedic work of all disciplines, hosted by The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven. Focus is on polished short pieces from our thriving clown, circus, music, and alternative performance communities in Portland. I will be sharing some new mask work that I started in the Coho Lab this past October. RSVP here: rsvpdx.com/oddville as you need to be on the list to get in. It's a very underground arts scene. :-) There will be creepy nuns.

Sunday, May 13th
Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm
$10 suggested donation (no one turned away, all money goes to performers)

Next up is Cabaret with Fuse Theatre Ensemble and the OUTwright Theatre Festival. We open May 19th at the Funhouse Lounge. Yep, Cabaret in a cabaret. :-) This has been a sight specific dream of ours for years and it's unfolding beautifully. Rusty Tennant is directing, I'm choreographing, and you can see all the supremely talented, generous souls working on it here. The whole of the OUTwright Theatre Festival is strong this year. I hope you'll attend and support one of the largest (if not the largest) celebration of LGBTQI+ theatre in the US. Tickets can be purchased here.

And finally, for now, I'll be offering three mask play dates next month, June 10, 17, and July 1st at the Yoga Refuge from 6 - 7:30pm. $10 drop in $25 for all three. I debated attaching the flyer for it and decided against it. If you would like it, please let me know and I'll share it individually. :-) One of the things that was stolen with my former masks was the egregore of energy and experience from the hundreds of people who wore and explored them over my years of workshops. I realized I really wanted that for my new masks. This is a first step, and I hope you'll join me.

May this light half of the year illuminate your Joy! And may you ever take active measures for this fulfillment and connection.

As February nears completion,...

I have celebrated my twelve year anniversary in Portland, with Tall Matt Haynes, the reason I stayed. If this statement confuses you, let me explain. We are both DAI alumni. I asked if there were any Dell'Arte alum who would be willing to meet with me and talk about theatre in Portland. He said yes to having coffee with me at the Stumptown on SE Division and 47th, told me about the pdxbackstage yahoogroup and PATA, along with his experiences with theatre in Portland. After our meeting (on Feb 17, my mom's birthday!) I joined the yahoo group, saw a job posting I could do in my sleep, applied, and was accepted. I thought, "yay, some pocket cash!" as I was still planning on heading back to Seattle or Chicago. But What Mad Pursuit with Classic Greek Theatre, led to another gig with Insight Out, then I decided to submit my application to I.A.T.S.E. Local 28 who contacted me a week later needing a wig person for the Portland Opera's Nixon in China, and now I have enjoyed a twelve year affair with Portland. Which is appropriate, as I actually landed in Portland on Valentines Day. I didn't remember that at all until I started trying to find old emails between Matt and I! I thought I landed here closer to Imbolc, but I misremembered.

So, here are some photo's from my twelve year anniversary coffee with Matt, commemorating the event. Maybe next year, for my 13th anniversary, I'll do something a bit bigger. :-)

Next up - look for me in Fuse Theatre Ensemble's Cabaret at the Funhouse Lounge May 24 - June 2, 2018 as part of the OUTwright Theatre Festival. Some exciting mobile plans are also solidifying... there will be a diesel school bus running on grease, decked out like a Vardo wagon... stay tuned.

Welcome 2018! - January 2018

As I posted on my Tarot page, "I have been feeling the Moon more than the shift out of 2017... I think this is partially because, as a witch, my new year was Samhain... ​"

The Moon in NM has been beautiful. I have enjoyed Her on multiple evening walks, seeing the changes in the neighborhood and listening to the land which is loosing it's wild spaces alarmingly quickly. Yep, I am in the midst of a regular visit to Albuquerque, looking forward to reconnecting with friends, Fusion Theatre Company, Tricklock, the contact improv scene, ​​​Sunflower River and the pagan community - which started at a lovely open house on the first. Hopefully, this visit will also include my mom introducing me around at the local zoning meetings. At some point, this will be my home too, and it's never too early to start bringing up sustainable policy - especially as I'm not seeing any. But, I'm also a visitor. I would love to be surprised learning local green initiatives I am currently ignorant of!

In the face of global uncertainties, I am focusing on what I can effect, what I am building, and just as importantly *how* I am building. There is a new business venture on my horizon... I have been gathering information, artists, designers, builders... making sure they share my vision... and soon I will share more here.

In the meantime, I will enjoy some family time, look forward to facilitating a retreat to assist a friend writing her autobiographical children's book​, and continue my coursework. Yep, I'm back in school, taking an online certificate program through Cornel University, courtesy (as long as I pass) of I.A.T.S.E. International's LEAP funding. It's interesting being back in school, especially in a program which is geared towards women in corporate leadership. Our worlds are vastly different, however there is still valuable information and framing to learn. Not the least of which, is corporate women seem to have to modify their behavior ​a lot more than stagehands and artists. For which I am grateful!​

May you have the tools to craft 2018 into a vision of your soul.

May you have the bravery to ask for help and share your vision with the world.

May your creativity surprise and delight you and those around you.

May we find comfort in failure.

May we be ok with baby steps.

Working together, we can dream, create, and manifest a sustainable, just world, with systems that recognize the value of all life; all genders, abilities, ethnicities, religions, spiritualities, orientations and species.

As we said when I was an activist with Not In Our Name - "Another world is possible and we pledge to make it real."

Welcome 2018.

Masks and Mrs. Claus - November 2017

Happy November friends! It's almost my birthday!!! :-)

Thank you to all those who came out to the Coho Lab. I am really pleased with what I learned about the new mask's stories. It was painful to learn, even though I planned for and anticipated, the new masks do not all want to tell the old Suburban Tribe. However, some of the original characters are VIBRANTLY alive in the new masks - Stella, Brian & Tracy. Consequently, any future performances of Suburban Tribe will be unmasked, but in the amazing magick skirt. And a new piece, ...After France, is gathering material with the new masks.

So, in this NaNoRiMa month, I have submitted Suburban Tribe to two publishers. May it get a new and different life! I will let you all know what happens!

The date hasn't been set yet, probably Feb.2018, I will be taking two of the new masked characters and creating a short piece to share in Oddville: A New Vaudvillian Tradition. I'll let you know when we decide which month works best.

Also, to make it easy for folk to find my performance and workshop offerings online, I have started an Instagram: @theatricalkate.

Facebook will have everything, politics, unionism, environmentalism, activism, witchcraft, and of course, theatre.

Lastly, once again I am working with Red Shoe Productions in Mrs. Claus' Storytime from 11am - noon Mon - Thurs through Nov. 30, at Washington Square Mall. This is appropriate for children of all ages, and has been crafted with special needs kids in mind. As the picture shows, (thanks Mae Klinglove-Waldo!) there's a song break as well as stories.

Happy Waxing Moon!

I am so grateful. - October 2017

Over the course of the last 10 days, I have had space, time, accountability and support to play with my first-time-performed-in Tony Fuemmeler masks. Saturday, you'll get just a little taste of what's bubbling up. I have learned so much about the new masks; the stories they want to tell, don't want to tell, and their personalities! I want to give a huge shout out to Jamie M. Rea who has been my outside eye, director, questioner and note taker on this SUBURBAN TRIBE ...AFTER FRACE journey. Also, costume designer & fabricator Jessica Bobillot, Kayla Lian Lohman (Zoomed in from Africa!) who asked wonderful questions throughout Lab sessions, and Craig Bidondo. Dancing to his piano was exquisite. It's only taken 10 (?) years to happen! I hope you'll join the Masks, and some incredibly talented folk brought together by Jennifer Rowe and Philip Cuomo. See you tomorrow at Coho Theatre 2257 NW Raleigh, Portland OR.

I will be offering one of my favorite theatre workshops to teach! - September 2017

The Grand Emotions of Commedia Dell'Arte, through a different lens - and only an hour! - for Columbia-Willamette Pagan Pride Day at Oaks Park.

A bit more about my upcoming workshop, Saturday Sept. 17th at 10am:

Grand Emotions:

As a witch, you know your emotions are powerful. That they charge - or change - spellwork. You also know how important it is to be in the right frame of mind and body before energy work. Easier said than done sometimes! Especially when that rage is really fuming! Or when your sorrows feel too overwhelming. In this greatly shortened version of my favorite workshop to facilitate, participants will explore Rage, Joy, Sorrow and Fear, moving and transforming these emotions physically. Wake up your body, heart and soul to be open and malleable for Pagan Pride and beyond. Suitable for all abilities, ages 8 and older.

Workshops are free and facilitators donate our time.

Two of my dear Pagan brothers lost everything in Hurricane Harvey. I am compiling care packages to send them and will be accepting donations at my Grand Emotions workshop.​

Eclipse! - August 2017

I'm gently reentering Portland life after multiple festivals and my spirit centering experience of the Eclipse, seen in the umbra in Eastern Oregon.

All of the fears purported - Gas will run out! Traffic will be horrible! There will be no ice for coolers! Small towns won't be able to handle the volume of people! - wasn't a part of my experience at all. Nor of the experiences of many of my friends - some of whom drove back roads on Monday at 4am for 90 minutes and back the same day, to be in the umbra. Here's my story...

I left Saturday night around 6pm to drive just under 6 hours to Bates State Park in Eastern Oregon. I hit no traffic, nor animals - although while doing my final top off of gas in Dayville, OR (because of scheduling and many other life things with friends unable to attend, I did end up in a borrowed car for this adventure. Thank you Jim!) I was told about the masses of elk between there and the state park. Having already had a close run in with many quail families during my sunset drive, I took their warnings to heart and drove exceptionally cautiously. I was in no rush. I saw no elk. A cat did run across the road, safely.

I chatted with gas attendants everywhere I filled up. They were seeing a rough $2000 increase in gas sales ($3,000 - $4,000 was an average day, $5,000 a busy day and during the Eclipse lead up days, $7,000 on average) and a much higher volume of people passing through. But nothing they weren't prepared for. And some of the locals I talked with wanted it to happen again sooner! One shop owner in Prarie City wished a reunion could happen the following year where everyone comes back to share their stories, videos and the like. Dayville created some great bumper stickers - which I bought - and Prairie City also had a full on Eclipse store with t-shirts and other swag. I got there on Tuesday for their 50% off sale, but I definitely didn't need another shirt. I did get a home made Moon truffle from the local store next door which was delicious!

I got to camp at Bates State Park around midnight, just as Saturday turns into Sunday. Friends were out watching the stars and I joined them, seeing some of the last falling plumes of the Perseids. It was cold! The "bring lots of warm layers" advice from friends who were there earlier (and what I was planning for given the high desert) was spot on.

Sunday was adventuring around the area, finding Greenhorn - the smallest, highest elevation incorporated city in Oregon - and swimming in a lake I don't know the name of, then ending up in Baker's City for dinner before heading back to camp for another night star gazing.

Again, no crazy traffic, gas at all the stations we passed, and ice too!

Monday, I was the last one up in our camp. The dog owners, Emily Horton, Maud D. Craig, MJ and Jonathan stayed at camp, while I went up on a ridge with Rayn Jacks, Brandon Hoguet and Marty. Brandon had "Flight of the Valkyries" playing as it began. The eclipse beginning, not totality beginning. When totality began we were all whooping and hollering, howling to the Moon - the dogs joined us. :-) As I watched the Moon come perfectly in front of the Sun, I felt something click in me. Very simply. Very clearly. It's like I can see and feel Their alignment in my body, just below my sternum, strong between my thoracic vertebrae and the undersides of my breasts. There with me to find whenever I need it.

Unlike many of the others at Bates State Park who started packing up and hit the road 30 minutes or so after totality, I watched until the last little bit of Moon slid off the 7 o'clock portion of the Sun.

I did see more folks on the road Monday after the Eclipse. They were still all easily going 55 mph or more (55 being the speed limit on that portion of Hwy. 7).

We however feasted on waffles - thank you MJ! After feasting and cleaning up, we found a swimming hole, playing the rest of the day before coming back to camp, making a pasta feast, enjoying a fire, company and more stars. The burn ban was lifted in our State Park.

I headed back to Portland Tuesday, again around 6pm, after adventuring. Marvelous rocks were found on randomly turned on dirt roads, and swimming as afternoon waned at Unity Lake.

I hit no traffic on my way home, going through Baker's City again and then taking I-84. I stopped in Pendleton for dinner, a couple rest areas. It was lovely. Leisurely.

I have many take-aways from this Eclipse. The one I want to share here is fear mongering is bullshit. We are all capable of excellent planning - even in small towns. The little I ingest mainstream media, this portion of their fear mongering reeks to me of disgusting classism. In my experience, we are much smarter, kinder & sociable than we give ourselves credit for. Well done all. We are more thoughtful and wise than some group's perceptions of us.

My first foray into casting... - July 2017

...was an excellent success for a fantastic organization, The Children's Center, in Vancouver. They specialize in children's mental health needs and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Yep, that is me in it as well, finally getting to work with my friend & kick ass actor Brandie Sylfae.

May is only halfway through...and it's been a roller coaster! - May 2017

I was officially elected and sworn in as the Vice President of I.A.T.S.E. Local 28.

I am grateful for wonderful auditions and callbacks.

The very poignant closing of Tomas and the Library Lady was hard for me. I want to continue telling this story! Tomas Rivera is a fascinating individual.

In personal news, one of my dearest friends was handfast to the love of her soul and I had the great honor & privilege to be a part of their ceremony both as giving the blessing of Fire and singing Loreena McKennitt's No Journey's End. It fills my heart with such Joy when people celebrate such luscious, supportive, curious, accepting LOVE. I sang with the exquisite accompaniment of Yvonne Payne of Ebony Notes. Vancouverites of Washington take note! ;-)

And something a little different! May 6th marked the Second Annual Train Day, and I was their Emcee. I had a blast! We had perfect weather, fantastic musicians (including a cameo of one of my friends & favorites, Nikole Potulsky) dedicated speakers & volunteers, raffles to support the ORHF, food trucks, and of course, LOTS OF TRAINS! :-) Thanks to everyone at KLiK Concepts for their organizing, State of Sound for their excellent - you guessed it - sound, and of course the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. Maybe next year I'll get to share some of the rail history I read up on! Right now, I am still on a rail kick and reading Marching Together, Women of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters by Melinda Chateauvert. It is on a topic and time of which I am woefully ignorant. One of my favorite things I've learned thus far is the quote, "A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits" which I was quite familiar with, is the motto for the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters.

Here are some pictures from #pdxtd2017

Happy April! - April 2017

This weekend I opened Tomas and the Library Lady with Oregon Children's Theatre, performing at the Winningstad in downtown Portland. (scroll down in the link to see the promo shots and a lovely video about creating the piece.) Especially in a time where the US is cracking down on immigrants, this story shows love to migrant workers and Spanish speakers, which feels so important. As well as celebrating literacy in many languages! When you go to purchase tickets, mention "Friends & Family discount" from Kate Mura and get 25% off.

On another side of things, I have been sworn in as the interim Vice President of I.A.T.S.E. Local 28. I am quite proud to represent my union internationally and listen to our members locally.

Tomas runs through April 29th. I hope to see you there!

For those of you in New Mexico... - January 2017

Happy Full Moon and Almost Yule! - December 2016

What a roller coaster of a few months!

I would be lying if I said the political climate hasn't effected me, it has. Doing a delightful gig with Red Shoe Productions as Mrs. Claus was the only thing that got me out of bed Nov. 9th.

Reading to so many children and adults was a balm for my soul.

Currently, I am in the throws of The Nutcracker with Oregon Ballet Theatre, and soon will be heading down to Albuquerque, where I may be offering a workshop in The Grand Emotions of Commedia and Viewpoints. But more on that soon...

In the interim, I have been mulling over a new workshop, which I will facilitate for the first time in Portland OR, Feb 25 & March 4th. Space is limited, so reserve your space promptly and feel free to pass this on!

Neutral Mask Workshop

Recently, I became aware that my prior mask studies have a subtle bent towards European - not surprising given the French and Italian history - however I do not feel it is necessary, nor fully neutral.

So, in this two day workshop, we are going to experiment. Participants will make and explore two neutral masks, each made on their own face, one white and one of what neutral looks like for you. This work is suitable for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Theatre/movement work is not required, it is but one wonderful pathway. If you are bringing children, know that they will be treated as equals in this class, anyone under 16 will need guardian consent, and if you are bringing young children, you are responsible for them.

This is an experiment. My facilitation lies in a woven cradle of Lecoq, Michael Checkov, Viewpoints, Laban, Rasaboxes, the Grand Emotions of Commedia Dell’Arte, yoga, magick, Boal, and Betsey Hamilton. Blending all of these, participants will explore their unique, vibrant physical life while opening their awareness to how they consciously and unconsciously view themselves and others.

Saturday Feb 25 & March 4, 2017
2 - 5 pm
Performance Works NW
4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland, OR 97206

Holiday’s Special - $50.00
Pay in Full by Jan 25, 2017

$25.00 deposit required.
Cancellations by Feb 15, 2017 will receive a full refund.

Regular cost: $75.00. Family cost: $150 for 2 adults, 2 youth (under 21)
Check, Cash & PayPal (kate@katemura.com) accepted.

All materials are included. Students keep their masks.

Scholarships and barter opportunities available! Email Kate for details.

Class Size Limited to 25

Feel free to pass this on!

Happy Holidays!

Blessed Mabon! - September 2016

As we round into the Second Harvest, Witch's Thanksgiving and Autumn, I'm making bread. Peach bread and zucchini bread with zucchini fresh from my friend's garden. And peach pie? cobbler? It's how I remember my mom making a graham cracker crust with the rest of the peaches and bourbon infused ginger with caramel crumble on top. We'll see how it comes out! The breads are delicious!

I am thankful for having my needs met and some space to bake! It was sad to see Lion King head on to San Diego, after having such a wonderful run with them in Portland (I had the Young Nala track, same as I had six years ago. It was a mini reunion, as many of the same wonderful faces are still on tour.)

Now, I am deep in rehearsals for Richard III with Post5 Theatre. If you're in Portland or are planning a visit Sept 30 - Oct 22nd, you can purchase tickets here. Playing Lady Anne is literally a dream come true. One I didn't even remember...

Earlier today, I unpacked one of my straggler boxes and inside I had one of my beautiful pottery Dream vessels.

Out of curiosity, I opened it up to read what was inside...

There were multiple pieces of paper, folded in many different ways, some seeds, magickal herbs, a "Peace" button. Most of the dreams were from 2003 and 2004. And one of those charged, comforting pieces of paper had the most surprising manifestation: to play Lady Anne. If ever I needed proof I have manifest my dreams in many ways, I got it! Most of what was written for that dream has come true, just not in the way I wrote. I did do paid summer Shakespeare in 2004 - I was Angelo in Comedy of Errors with Theater Hikes. I have added weeks towards my Equity card and now I am playing Lady Anne. I didn't do all of those things the summer of 2004, but dreams have their own flow. I didn't even remember I dreamed of playing Lady Anne and yet here I am...

As an artist, although I think everyone has this to varying degrees, it's hard to measure personal success when there isn't a multi million dollar movie gig or Broadway debut. It's something I frequently think on, what does success look like for me? And when I reach that goal, what's the next one? It's an ongoing meditation.

What does success look like for you?

Happy August! - August 2016

It is hot out! Even here in Oregon, heat is getting into the triple digits. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest 12 years ago, if there were three days breaking 100 degrees that was amazing. But for the last three years they have become more and more prevalent, much to my dismay. It's not much, but I'm planting a handful of plants and trees to help with cooling shade and munching some carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

My mask unveiling that some of you made it to was wonderful. A combination of ritual, socializing and performance, our group said good bye to the old masks.

Photo credit to Meg Titian Stephens

Which now live in our memories and art. This photo montage, and other beautiful photographs of the original masks, were taken by Meg Titian Stephens in Avignon last summer. She is a wonderful digital artist in Australia, and this photograph particularly reminds me of my grandpa's work. He loved experimenting with multiple exposure photography, and I'm sure would have tested working digitally as well.

After saying our good-byes we said hello to the new masks and each gave a moment of gratitude to Tony Giuseffi, my adopted grandpa and an inspiration to the mask of Tony. At 101 and a half, I learned of his passing two days before the unveiling. He lived a remarkable life which his obituary doesn't really cover, but this article gives a fuller bite. I'm shocked his home made lasagna's didn't come up! Maybe those were only reserved for close friends and family.

Here are the new masks:

Welcome. And thank you.

Happy Summer All! - July 2016

I thought I'd get an update in around the Solstice, but with Annie, Sweeney Todd, lots of yoga, Motown and NEW MASKS, this is my first chance.

You read correctly, new masks.

A year and a day after the theft in Paris, I will be unveiling and introducing the public to seven new masks and new dreams for Suburban Tribe.

If you're doing some math and sifting through your memory banks because seven doesn't seem like the right number, I applaud your memory! Six masks were stolen at the Charles de Gaulle airport. When going through Tony Fuemmeler's studio for new masks, and discussing his commission, a seventh mask just called out to me. So, I said yes.

New journey, new mask. :-)

For those of you in the Portland OR area (or those of you needing the *perfect* excuse to come visit) I hope you will join me:

Tuesday July 26, 2016
7pm - 9pm
Outdoor Stage at Post 5
1666 SE Lambert St. Portland OR 97202

There will be light refreshments and strong fellowship and celebration of creating beauty out of tragedy.

I hope to see you there.

Blessed Beltaine from Chicago! - April 2016

In celebration of the season - and my new page for people to easily schedule tarot readings with me - here is one of the photos from my recent shoot with Gary Norman:

We had a wonderful day of shooting with Janet Price, make-up goddess extraordinaire, and here are my new head shots, all ready for Chicago auditions:

It's wonderful reconnecting with friends and colleagues I haven't seen in three years, clearing the last of my things from a dear friend's basement, and making a large donation of scripts to my alma mater.

May the fertility of the season fill all your desired projects!

Happy March - March 2016

​/almost April​! As we ​pass​ Ostara, so many seeds are growing and beautiful flowers blooming​,​ both literal and metaphorical. I have a new Facebook page dedicated to tarot reading, Kate Mura Tarot, ​and open​ed​​ ​​D​avita's​ ​H​arp with the Jewish Theater Collaborative March 19th. The​se​ shots below were beautifully taken by Gary Norman​ at a dress rehearsal​:​​

I know many of you reading this are union members and ​labor​ activists of many different stripes​.​​ March​ 25th and 26​th performances have a union special, a​ small thank you for your work. Email me for specifics. As you may guess, ​D​avita's ​H​arp is a very pro-labor show.

My healing is coming along well and I am thankful to be able to say I am getting better everyday. I have become very thankful ​to​ quiet healing time and walks in the surprising Portland sunshine​,​ and allow​ing​ parts of my life to have a leisurely pace I have never allowed for previously. I've written more in my novel​/​short story​;​ not sure which it will turn into. The squirrels and birds and daffodils are currently in abundance at my home and I've tried planting some herbs from seed. We'll see if any of them take.

May this spring offer you joyful inspiration and truthful deep listening. And daring. It feels like it's time to be daring​ and burst forth from the seed gloriously, maybe not knowing what flower will emerge because it is so drastically different from the seed you were​.

Full Moon and Imbolc (belated) - February 2016

2016 is starting off with more regular updates! Yay! :-)

As Imbolc passed, so did my ten, that's right, TEN year anniversary living, breathing, rooting, creating, magicking, dreaming, working and building in Portland. Who knew a road trip with a 1-2 week visit would turn into this! Certainly not me, and it's thanks in no small part, to many of you reading this.

On a rare other than work/creativity related note, I had surgery the end of January. Thanks to *many* beautiful, generous souls, my healing is going incredibly well. Community fed, drove, cleaned, visited with puppies and music, me at my home and the hospital. I am humbled and grateful for their time, energy, resources, love and healing. My doctor, upon my two week post op appointment, declared, "you have amazing skin!" Where the laproscopic surgical incisions had been made for the robotic fingers, camera and air pump (yep, had to pump me full of air to get all the cysts out!) are healing so well and fully they looked better than most of his patients did two months after surgery, let alone two weeks. :-)

Unsurprisingly, part of my healing is art! I am currently in rehearsals with a glorious group, on Davita's Harp with Jewish Theatre Collaborative. This marks my third (Kindertransport and Charlotte Salomon: Life or Theatre?) and last performance with this intelligent, insightful company. After eight years, they are closing their doors, which is vastly unfortunate to me for many reasons. However, as I always try to find the silver lining, Sacha Reich may now be more available to direct work with other companies! And she is one of my all time favorite directors. Portland theatre and other companies worldwide, take note! I've also been doing more writing. What started off as an essay really, is now short story length and continuing...

In mask news, Tony and I met. Many different masks were tried on and we're moving forward with our collaboration/replacement/new emergence... I still get teary eyed...

As I look out my window at the rain, I'm reminded of a chant we sang in the Goddess Choir I was a part of in northern CA... Sadly, I do not remember the author. The internet yielded me a beautiful rendition by Alice Di Micele, however she may only be the singer... Regardless:

Celebrate the rain coming down
Celebrate the green things growing in the ground
Celebrate the new paradise we've found
Celebrate the rain coming down

Happy Winter! - January 2016

The entire Autumn and Witch's New Year passed without an update! And I left you all wondering about the outcome of my unmasked fundraiser...

My six masks will definitely be replaced. However, mask work is somewhat mysterious, so there is no guarantee the new masks (regardless of intent) will want to tell Suburban Tribe's stories. One of the surprise outcomes of Suburban Tribe Unmasked, was realizing how well the show lives without masks. The new masks may have their own stories (or an Act 2) to share. When I receive them, we'll see. New incarnations are being born...

To replace the stolen masks, I'm talking with Tony Fuemeler, fellow Dell'Arte alum, Portland colleague, and the maker of two original Suburban Tribe masks. When I though about making them myself again, I was filled with sadness, sorrow and melancholy, which I do not want infused in each mask. I would rather spread the wealth and invest in another passionate, skilled mask maker to rebuild, or really, build anew. As you can see from the link to his work, our contemporary commedia mask styles are very similar (probably thanks to our shared teacher Bruce Mars.)

Part of my inability to write an update since August, was touring with Tears of Joy again. You may remember my time with Pinocchio or The Reluctant Dragon. This time, Inga Wilson and I set out to Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California with When Animals Were People.

I was swept up in travel & puppetry; averaging a show a day, five days a week for ten weeks. With an average of 300 kiddos per show, that's around 15,000 kids we performed for! And I don't want to do the math for how many miles we drove in the puppet van. A lot. Consequently, when I had down time, I preferred to explore new locations, than sit typing on my computer. Here are a few highlights:

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Driving the entire way of Historic Hwy 20 and much of Hwy 30, reading every marker and discussing western expansion, genocide and the seemingly racist differences between a "massacre" label vs. a "war" label. Many of these conversations were had in hot springs. Soooo many wonderful hot springs were visited throughout the weeks. Time was well passed.

Being in McCall, ID before Samhain (Halloween) meant we enjoyed hundreds of jack o'lanterns as well as public shows and library workshops

Imagine all those jack o'lanterns lit up at night! They're amazing!!!

And it all ended with snow. And ice while flooding happened my my home city of Portland.

(That's the puppet van in the background.)

Good thing I like snow, and that Inga is an amazing driver in icy conditions!

There was so much more, like finishing the tour jumping back into Reluctant Dragon for the first time in eight years with less than 32 hours notice, but this update is already getting long. :-)

I am incredibly grateful. And as I look out at the small snow drifts at my parent's home in New Mexico, sipping coffee from my favorite dragon coffee mug, I want to share my gratitude with you all. Friends and strangers alike, connected by words, energy, dreams, curiosity. Thank you. Thank you for following your dreams, expressing your curiosity and listening deeply. We are powerful creatures of change and connection.