So much to tell!

OKKKKKK  Where ever do I begin?! Warning: this is a long post with a lot of updates.

It's during months like this that I feel like a screw might come loose. First of all, the Summer Solstice is fast approaching and all this fiery energy from the springing up plants and the shining sun is bombarding me with more stimuli than my little body can handle. Second, I'm assistant teaching full time for the month of June, taking a summer class, planning a 2 month trip for July and August, driving to northern New Jersey once a week, AND creating and producing a show at the end of June... Lets just say when it rains, it pours. And lets just say I'm holding on for dear life this month.

Now that I got that out of my system... Despite my big load, everything happening is super soul enriching, intellectually stimulating, ultra fun, and transforming me into a huge geek. Here are the highlights:

+ I'm producing, creating and performing in a show as part of the Philadelphia Solow Fest with super hilarious playwright David Jacobi! Click here to find out details about the show we lovingly call David & Oliver: Mystic Masters. It's June 23rd and 24th at 7pm. David dabbles in Chaos Magick. I dabble in Eastern Philosophy and Shamanistic modalities. But make no mistake...we are MASTERS. Join us in my lush garden and let us feed you spirituality, the occult, and vegetarian grub...

+ I'm assistant teaching for world class theatre educators Quinn Bauriedel, Sarah Sanford, Aaron Cromie, and Aram Aghazarian as part of a summer clown intensive at the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. I'm so grateful to be in the room with these master teachers as they ignite the participant's imaginations, expand their observation skills, and push them to find their own creative voices. I've been geeking the F out over the pedagogy for teaching this material. I almost pee my pants with excitement when I witness lightbulbs go off in the students minds after a teacher has geniusly (I decided its a word...) guided the students towards discovering the lesson of the class themselves. I LOVE THIS STYLE OF TEACHING. Yep, Im a geek.

+ I'm taking a music theory class and expanding my skills in the realms of performance. Don't expect me to be composing something sexy for my next performance piece, but I am expanding my understanding of music and slowly learning my way around a piano. I'm really excited to have a greater understanding of music so that I can better communicate with my musician collaborators. This is going to come in handy when Amy and I start to dive into Untitled Stevie Nicks Piece (working title that is my nod to my art-lady crush Young Jean Lee).

+ Speaking of the art-baby love-child Amy and I are incubating... I will be whisking myself away to Maine in July to participate in the Hamilton Project at the Barn Arts Collective. I will be mingling with artists from all over the east coast, helping them workshop pieces they are trying to birth, and devoting time to workshopping Untitled Stevie Nicks Piece with new collaborators. I'm hoping some fresh eyes and ears will help me dig deeper into the material to find the heart beat of the piece. Just so we are clear: the piece is not a biography about Stevie Nicks, rather it is an exploration of fan-girldom, female role models, how exaggerated femininity can be used to empower, and how femininity is perceived and valued in the American landscape. Its also about how, as listeners, we find ourselves in popular music; how it can enrich our lives, how it can allow us to indulge in our inner experiences (for better or worse), and how it can aid in building intimacy and community. Some of my research consists of me singing songs written by Stevie Nicks at Karaoke, and adorning myself in pounds of chiffon and lace in public. I love my job!

+ During the second week in July I will be in Chicago taking a workshop with the Sorjourn Theater to help me address a question I had in my last post: How can I use my skills as an artist to give back to my community? The workshop will ready me for a potential collaboration with the team at the North Philly Peace Park. The collaboration is intended to serve their needs, so what we end up doing could be so many things. Will we make a play that tells their story? Will we do free workshops with the children in the local community? Will we help them gain visibility in Philadelphia and spread their vision to other communities? Check back to find out.

+ Last, but certainly not least, I will be living with Toronto-based theatre performer and director Maria Wodzinska for the rest of July and all of August. While I enjoy my time away from Philly and do an inhuman amount of Kundalini Yoga and Hatha Yoga, Maria and I will be experimenting in the studio together for our first collaboration. Together we hope to theatrically address our questions about connecting to greater consciousness, how the wild woman archetype fits into the spiritual seeking narrative, and where we locate our own inner wild women. There are more questions, but I'm still searching for the words to articulate them. To give you an idea of where we are headed here is a list of books I've been reading for this particular exploration: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories by Angela Carter, The 5th Sacred Thing by Starhawk, Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man by Gopi Krishna, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa, The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin, Become What You Are by Alan Watts, and The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga by C. G. Jung. 


Oliver Jane