Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Holistic Theater

There is a great movement underway in the theater and simultaneously in the healing community. It has been a long time coming, yet in essence returns us to our deepest community roots from our ancestral egalitarian societies. We are reclaiming our roles as storytellers, as Hero’s on a journey home, as social justice commentators, as jesters and shamans. In the contemporary theater, we are doing this through the vehicle of “The Solo Show”.

The Solo Show that I am speaking of is the one person show that is conceived of, written by and performed by one man or one woman. It is a show that is the most holistic form of theater as it is born and manifested from one person’s deepest vision. It goes beyond conventional theater in terms of intimacy because the story, experience and perspective is created by the performer.

For me, it has been the richest and most empowering journey I have taken in my lifetime and I have devoted my lifetime to the exploration of this form. I have written and performed my own shows, directed and produced countless other solo shows and been a teacher and coach in the development of solo shows. There is no form that I have found that has the possibility of being a more powerful testament to the human spirit that the solo show. On a profound level, it is about the willingness to show up onstage and reveal our humanity to one another.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's All About the Soul....

Tonight I was reading a post from the wonderful Los Angeles based writing and acting coach, Sea Glassman. Sea and I have a lot of crossovers in our work. We are both long time students of a Course in Miracles and we both approach our creative work as a spiritual practice.

Here is what I want to ask of you, as you ponder creating your solo show: "What does your Soul want to say? What does it want to say to you? What does it want to say to Life? What does it want to say to this world, others, God? What story does your Soul need to tell for your awakening? Because following any other pass is a lesser path...Following your mind, ego, a clever concept without taking into account the Soul's longings is like fast food, temporarily satisfying but ultimately empty.

I have been pondering my own creative work lately. It has been several years since I have performed my own solo show. My time has been spent teaching others as well as directing and producing.

Last year, my mind started pressuring me and I almost put up a show that just wasn't quite right. I knew that it was a viable concept. I knew that the script I had written was strong. But, something inside of me just didn't want to do it. In retrospect, I see that it wasn't a creative avoidance. It just wasn't what my Soul wanted me to have an attachment to and an association with at this time in my life. (It was called Scorpio Rising: a monologue of sex and death)...Nothing at all wrong with that and those are not topics I shy away from. It just wasn't the right timing and the energy behind it was murky.

Now my Soul is rested and emerging with a new personal vision for me in my personal art. It is a 7 year project with one performance a year. The performances will be monologues that are much more improvisational in nature (terrifying to my ego) and freer than the tightly written scripts that were hallmarks of my style in my younger years.

I am 46 years old. My memory is not razor sharp as it was. I cannot live my life with as much "pushing" intensity and my Soul's performance would like me to reflect this...And so, I move into a new time in my work, letting go of lots of character driven pieces, sharp and sometimes biting humor, perfectionism around every scripted word... into a new realm. A softer story wants to be told that, yes, will include sex and death...but also the quieter realms that I used to have no patience to explore. And a new kindness that I never used to show myself will be embodied.

Also, I am looking to develop a new, inclusive relationship with my audience as we go on a journey that will, if my vision unfolds, be different every night. As I open to trust my body, Soul, memory and the poetry that lives inside my every cell to show up new, fresh each night, a once only show has the opportunity to unfold....

What is your Soul calling you to share? Go deep....deeper still.....Find it in Silence....and bring it back to this world as a story....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Training Therapeutic Monologue Facilitators and Solo Performance Coaches

Wow! It has been such a long time since I've been on this blog that I almost forgot that it existed.

I just wrapped up several shows, including working with Deb Heikes on her one woman show "White Trash Monologues. It was a humorous and poignant look at growing up in a very wounded family. It was the classic "Hero's Journey" as Deb opened that world for us to have a look inside. As she embodies her racist father who was also a WW 2 Vet, who helped free the prisoners at Aushwitz, and her Bible thumping mother who beat the kids but also( we learn in the show) had to dance on the table as "entertainment" for her step-father when she was 4 years old we learn about the emotional complexity of the world she grew up in. When she speaks in first person monologues we were able to see through the eyes of a girl growing up in a factory town with-out much hope or vision. Deb herself broke free from the family story and left factory work at age 30 first, got sober and then become a therapist herself who helps recovering addicts here in Santa Fe. (

Currently, I am about to embark on an entirely new journey to support others in becoming facilitators and coaches/directors. This summer, I will be beginning offering trainings for others to learn to make a living through Professional Therapeutic Monologue Facilitation and in Solo Performance Coaching and Directing. This process has been a long time coming for me and I am thrilled and excited. Since I performed my first one woman show, and then directed others in the first performance of "The Cancer Monologues", I have known that it was my destiny to support others in taking this process to other communities to serve growth, passion, expression, vision and love....