Friday, December 29, 2006

Goal 4, 566...

To create something like this by Ljudbilden

If you know what software they use...let me know! I'm still researching it.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sleeping Soundly.

I’ve been taking improv classes in the evening at The Groundlings twice a week. The drive has been daunting, but two days ago I had an extraordinary experience. George Clooney let me stay over at one of his apartments in Hollywood. I met his assistant, a tall and striking Asian woman in her late 20’s at the apartment complex. She helped me with my luggage and opened the door to a modest one bedroom apartment. It looked a little haphazard, but she explained that the cleaning lady had not been there to clean since the last guest, Eva Hesse. Holy Crap I thought, Eva Hesse, wow! As she gave me the tour, she pointed out an orange and yellow patterned comforter that was shoved under a bench and said “Don’t use is dirty...from the time with Molly.” She opened the closet with some of George’s clothes shoved off to the side. I noticed a couple of brown v-neck sweaters and something particularly peculiar. There were about 20 pairs of men’s white underwear hanging on pant hangers. She pushed them aside and said I could hang my clothes there. I couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could call my friend Alicia! She handed me the keys and her card with the added note to call if I needed anything.

All I can say is afternoon nap dreams are vividly specific!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Melissa Borders-Stevenson

I’m standing on the edge of a retreating lake, a wide open mouth with blackened, jagged stumps as teeth. I’ve walked into a crowd of people who know and love each other. I’m seeing the hippy youth behind the character lines of hugging, crying and laughing people. I see Tim, the only one I know...I walk up to him, hug him and re-introduce myself. It has probably been two years since I’ve seen him and only briefly at that. He’s wearing a leopard print beret and a mimosa stain on his shirt. I hug him, look in his eyes and weakly say, “I had to come.” He tells me to grab a red nose out of the box on the beach.
I do, and self-consciously put it on my nose. Draped over two tall mannequins made of PVC pipe are the costumes of Sojourner Truth and Amelia Earhart. These two famous women in history were brought back to life by another famous woman in history, Melissa Borders-Stevenson. I was standing on the beach of her memorial. Her life was brought to an end on October 15, 2006 in a car accident.

She is the new “famous women” in history. Melissa, an actor, performed 39 diverse women who made an impact on history and women through what she called, Biologues. She researched a women like Sojourner and weaved the woman’s history, accomplishments and thoughts into a monologue as Melissa put on the character of this women. Melissa, a tall, slender blonde in black leotard seamlessly slipped into the great woman of Sojourner for children, adults, corporations...anyone that wanted to see and hear a one-of-a-kind experience.

Melissa is the new famous women in history because she took her passion for women who made a difference, her art of writing and performing and her need to educate and made it her life’s work. She, as all women, have come far since the 20th century when most nations first won the right for women to vote. Most importantly women fought for the reevaluation of their traditionally viewed role in society. It wasn’t until as recent as 1963 that the Equal Pay Act required equal wages for men and women doing equal work.

I remember when I first met Melissa. I worked with my company to hire her to perform for our celebration of Women’s History month. She stood in a bland, gray blue room in her black leotard in front of a sedate group of office workers and blasted us with her energy and passion. She made us weep and laugh. She did the same for thousands of children and adults throughout the United States. This was the first time I truly felt hope as an artist. Melissa showed me more than just my need to know my own history. She inspired me, by living the fact that I had the right to choose my own creative path.

I’m standing there on the beach of a mountain lake when a smiling women walks up to me with her arms outstretched. She introduces herself as a childhood friend of Melissa’s and wants to make people feel welcome. It was the first time I could share my grief with someone that also knew and loved Melissa.

Tim walks toward the center of the crowd and rings Tibetan style bells. The crowd stretches out wide in a circle while Tim’s Sister, Prairie Flower and Brother-in-law, Cactus Bob strum their banjo and fiddle and sing. About 250 of us grow quiet and I turn to Melissa’s childhood friend and we grab on to each other. My throat grows tight, and tears run freely as 250 of us, with red, sponge noses honor the memory of my hero, Melissa-Borders Stevenson, a famous woman in history.