Easter Fools Day

Happy Easter. I remember happy Sunday mornings waking up to discover an Easter Basket full of jelly beans, Reese’s eggs, and See’s candies. Matching Easter dresses were all the rage in those days for mother and daughters. Today I ate a toasted buttered English Muffin for breakfast. Daydreaming late this morning, five hours before the hail pounded east-facing windows, I remembered this film I made a few years ago. So glad to share it with you today, this April 1 Easter Sunday.

Banner Image Credit: Jack Smith Archive / Gladstone Gallery

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One Reel IED Job

One Reel is a deep experience, man. This job makes me reflect on the fact that I produce lovely events ever since serving up full-capacity nights of fine dining at Le Palmier Bistro in San Diego and The Fishwife at Asilomar. Since then, the events are arts-focused, varied and fascinating, and often fund-raising. From six years of the Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction, to three years of the Northwest Folklife Festival, my initial production of JCCCW’s signature Bunka no Hi now in its 12th year, any number of Pecha Kucha Nights, artist salons and other to do’s in between, I produce events.  Tomorrow, we have 30+ music and arts industry professionals lined up to inform and inspire young people ages 16 – 25 who have an interest in a music career. Not to mention lunch and Table Fair. Tomorrow, my team and I will produce City of Music Career Day.

Of course, all of these events tend to be a side note in the job description.

IED in this case means Interim Executive Director. It is a temporary gig in which I have been tasked to advance the search for One Reel’s next Executive Director while holding the organization’s priorities together in forward momentum.  I have gotten to learn about Seattle City of Music in this position. In addition to City of Music Career Day, I was on the team for Literary Arts Career Day and Visual Arts Career Day , too. Seattle is a capital of art, artists, and social equity in the arts. The beauty of One Reel’s Career Days is validating arts careers to high school and college-age youth.

Arts Save Lives

Someone recently said to me “we don’t save lives” in the arts. I firmly believe that we do save lives in the arts. Strong arts education, landscape, and eco-system provide for a community that develops artists of all ages, cultivates opportunities for artists to present, and offers up audiences who see artistic works with an open mind. A strong arts community is about inquiry, not so much critique. In a healthy arts eco-system, we give people opportunities and options for using their creative voice early enough that they may go forward in a mode of self-expression. Why wait until someone is on the operating table of despair to consider that the life-saving moment?

One Reel’s Multi-Disciplinary Programs

One Reel events happen with fervor and passion. The last three months, I have worked on Career Days for Literary Arts, Visual Arts, City of Music Career Days, Essential Character Programming for Bumbershoot 2018, and Pianos In The Parks with Classic Pianos. There is a synergy there.  I know it.

City of Music Career Day 2018

Meetings Downtown

Working with One Reel, I get the opportunity to attend meetings with various program partners downtown. After our meeting with Visit Seattle, we stopped in at Specialties where this culinary tool display was unexpectedly delightful. Specialty’s Café & Bakery makes some of the best croissants in Seattle.

Bakin’. Music Makin’.

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Hidden Coast Scenic By-way

The Peabody-Essex Museum is my inspiration for my involvement with the Museum of the North Beach. Looking to the day where Salem, MA sailed under the international flag of its own port, I wanted to see a cross section in time. What was happening in Moclips, WA? The roots of the Peabody Essex Museum date to the 1799 founding of the East India Marine Society, an organization of Salem captains and supercargoes. Lewis and Clark Expedition was in 1804 to 1806.

Timber SuitsTimber was growing in the North Beach in 1799 – 1806. On February 2, 2011 at the former Top Foods in Aberdeen, WA, I saw this photo of these two suits next to Timber circa 1936. Something like the tranche pictures of a guy in the cut, these suits stand next to the tree whose epitaph read ‘began life in the year 511AD.” The tree was felled in May 1936.

They didn’t know what they had in terms of natural resources. And Timber had Baron – Robber Baron? – written all over it.

The upper left coast is these days a vibrant community with native American residents, settlers from way back, newcomers, and plenty of history. WACoast’s North Beach is about as far away as you can get on the continental USA. The beach is sandy and wide. The forest is home to Sasquatch. An outsider invented a best-selling vampire colony some ways north around Forks. A train once came here all the way from Seattle! Its depot is about to become the new Museum of the North Beach. ~ http://www.moclips.org/

Join us on the Hidden Coast Scenic By-way

VUCA BABY

Today’s world is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Discover the VUCA world.

Not that worlds of the past were any less so to the people living in them.

VUCA is a military assessment.

The field of Cultural Competency came from the American drive to do business internationally.

But we don’t talk about Cultural Competency nationally as Americans, even though peoples’ practice of it could help build social equity.

In business school, we practiced letting Japanese ‘save face’ in negotiation.

In life, I see we all want to save face.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T 🎶
Find out what it means to me (Aretha Franklin)

Respect for people and 🌍 natural resources is wanting among us.

These days, you use tiny plastic spoons for one bite of sample at Trader Joe’s.

Your one-bite sample costs the Earth millenia in plastic.

Can we change our ways?

 

Beach or Bust 2018

Beach or Bust 2018

The joy of life comes through peace, which is not static but dynamic. No man can really say that he knows what joy is until he has experienced peace. And without joy there is no life, even if you have a dozen cars, six butlers, a castle, a private chapel, and a bomb-proof vault. Our diseases are our attachments, be they habits, ideologies, ideals, principles, possessions, phobias, gods, cults, religions, what you please.

Henry Miller
The Colossus of Maroussi (1941)

Resolution: more beach walks, peace, truth, and beauty in 2018.

daydreamcottage.us

Late Nights of Christmas

Every year, Christmas seems to be over before I know it. Short days filled with gloomy skies and lengthy rain storms take over. In this season you are glad for 45F.

Luckily, people start wanting to get together. This year, my Christmas kitten pin was tucked conveniently in my jewelry case at the ready. I accepted many invitations. This year, Christmas would not escape me!

Carols and Comedy

Heather’s annual Champagne and Shopping event led to Elizabeth’s Feuerzangenbowle Holiday Party. We sang carols from a songbook to piano accompaniment. It is a wonderful thing to feel such good will and companionship.

The next main event was the Dina Martina Christmas Show at Rebarsh. To me holidaysh are all about the nightlife. Here’s a secret for you.

The most surreal and hilarious chanteuse you’ll ever find – “The Second Lady of Entertainment” – DINA MARTINA! Accompanied on the ivories by Stranger Genius Award winner MR. CHRIS JEFFRIES and armed with truly legendary songs, stories, costumes and audience gifts, Dina Martina will give you one of the most festive, invigorating and ingeniously funny evenings you’ve ever had!

Holiday Triple Header

Dancer & Prancer All Ages at Skylark West Seattle was first. Doing Chrishtmash right, we danced to the World’s Greatest Christmas Surf Band in the World. Tiny children, natural dancers, flocked to the stage. Some were shy. Others went all out, possibly having consumed sugar plums. Many were rewarded with candy canes and the invitation to sing.

On to a Play

Unexpected Productions’ A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol gave the audience a funny and great show. I was looking to see simplicity in improv storytelling and the cast blew me away. Of course it was funny too! Go see it! So fun.

Pièce de Résistance: The Smith Tower

We walked from Market Theater at Pike Place to the Smith Tower in Pioneer Square. City streets were wet again with rain. The golden doors swung open to the ornate lobby where greeters handed us a date-stamped post card souvenir.

Comedy continued on the narrated ride up to the Observatory of Seattle’s original skyscraper inside the original, though updated, 1914 Otis elevator. The highlight of the Observatory is the 360-degree view and outdoor walk-around deck, not to mention the speakeasy-style bar and gorgeous period decor.

It has been a fortnight to remember!

Here is the gorgeous ceiling. Calling it The Chinese Room in 1914 — that is worth some study.

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas.

Improv is for Everyone.

This August in full summer, I went home to see my future. The Applied Improv Network conference in SoCal at University of California Irvine gave me a whole new idea on how to create a Culture of Philanthropy for arts nonprofits who want to develop strong support for their purpose. The AIN17 experience was positive and mind-expanding. The day I returned I gave notice. I had seen a future that was possible, drawing on the very art form that has served me as a form of personal therapy and creative retreat since 2009.

Improv is for everyone.

Social anxiety is all about inhibition and self-censorship, and that is exactly what improv helps flip around. Flow and play for creativity, imagination, and intuition all contribute to these benefits of improv:

• Think and act beyond assumptions
• Spontaneity
• Become a better listener
• Approval/Disapproval Syndrome
• Communications Skills
• Connect Authentically
• Spark Creativity
• Ignite Imagination
• Recognize thought patterns
• Face self-critical thoughts
• Concentration and memory
• Laugh
• Lighten Up

“There are people who prefer to say ‘Yes’ and people who prefer to say ‘No’. People who say ‘yes’ are rewarded by the adventures they have. People who say ‘no’ are rewarded by the safety they attain.” ~ Keith Johnstone, author of Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre.

My new path toward creating a new way to develop a Culture of Philanthropy has involved many visits to the Library.  Reading up on current thinking in management, I found that my old favorite Daniel Pink has been writing a lot since A Whole New Mind in which he recommended practicing improv to develop your right brain and left brain collaborations.

In his newest book, To Sell is Human, Pink reveals Atlassian Corporation, a company that requires its employees to read Impro by Keith Johnstone. Impro is a rich tale of the socialization and individualization that we go through in school and learning acceptable behavior in general. In To Sell is Human, Pink even provides some games and tells of his own insightful experiences in improv classes.

In Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink tells of ‘the oxygen of the soul’ which is ‘flow’, a place of purpose, autonomy, and mastery. Flow can come in practicing improv, and as we explored at AIN17, we knew more than ever that improv can be used for good in building organizations.

“Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible,” Dan Pink writes.

Exploring the polarities of engagement and compliance, algorythmic and heuristic kinds of work, evolution and the status quo, Dan Pink gives us answers explaining the dysfunctions of the workplace. Drive’s central idea is the mismatch between what science knows and what business does. Pink calls for us to “listen to the research, drag our business and personal practices into the 21st Century, and craft a new operating system to help ourselves, our companies, and our world work a little better.”

Folks, we need to Fail Better. Click here for my article on The Failure Chronicles: Learn to Fail Better .

Me

Balboa Back-Bay, Newport Beach, and Balboa Island, Oh My! All gave that taste of beautiful summertimes past when these parts were my home neighborhoods. There I am on the Balboa Pier.

Resource Strategies

Self Devised Work

Taking the class Self Devised Work at Freehold Theater Lab with Paul Budraitis, we had a writing assignment to observe someone and write a description followed by a stretch of the imagination.

SB17

She is petite in every way: short, thin, tiny voice, and small movements. From behind the bar, she invites me in to the restaurant with her breathy welcome, placing a carafe and glass of ice water and a menu at the bar stool I choose to occupy. Her delicate features are finely painted over, accentuating each one as it actually is with eyebrow and lip pencil. She wears a tiny diamond on her face in the manner they call a Monroe. Her fine brown hair is pulled back. She wears a black t shirt, black jeans, and black sneakers. She is in control of the dining room, moving about efficiently. She visits each table to take an order, inquire about another beer, answer questions about how busy the beach town is now that it is fall. “It’s still busy on weekends!” Her miniature voice is in a frequency that carries. Her chef is hefty, working the grill as most people are ordering hamburgers. She makes two cocktails in pint glasses, measuring carefully then pouring in a big slosh before attentively decorating their salted rims with celery leaves. “Is the new lunch hour 2 in the afternoon?” she squeaks. “I guess so” says the burly cook. She picks up the cocktails and makes her way out from behind the kitchen’s swinging doors with a thump of her hip. Taking mincing steps through the restaurant, she goes out the front door to pick up in a sashay across the deck as she delivers her creations to a couple with a dog. She picks up all of their lunch plates, balancing and stacking them along her arms and hands. Her petite frame looks even smaller as she carries this elaborate load. Upon my request to sit at the table looking at the ocean, she takes that in stride, picking up my huge carafe of ice water with a broad stroke, placing it on the table with a view, glancing her permission at me, and swiftly moving on to tend to newcomers.

 

After her shift Model SB17 is at 20% power. She goes to her quarters in the main house where she pulls up her sleeve to plug in right where most people have a vaccination scar. Her brain function scans every action of the day to find the optimized path for improvement. Her AI filter indicates a need for increased facial expression variety. Her internal visual scan review has indicated that humans have more variations of their facial expressions throughout the day. Suddenly, her face rapidly takes on a great variety of facial movements. Once these facial movements have been repeated 20 times each, her program filter takes her through every interaction that she had that day to re-experience it with a new and more refined response.  Her AI filter gives her a few vocal exercises which extend her range into the lower registers. Systematically going over the day incident by incident, a report is generated for HQ. There is a new unknown Model in town: 2pm, grilled chicken on camp salad and ice water, deficient in facial expression with 70% inaudible vocal variety. HQ does not like this kind of surprise.  An inquiry will be launched to locate this interloper ModelX in a red jacket for re-education. Fully powered, Model SB17 goes to her night job as a caterer.

I do speak French

I had the most extraordinary experience walking on the beach yesterday. It had poured rain in the morning only to become blue skies at Daydream Cottage. It was a little misty on the beach at 4pm. I was barefoot. The sand that had been pummeled by rain was a rough texture in tiny mounds. The tidal sand was smooth and patterned in the silt. I found myself talking aloud to myself describing the scene in French! Quel surpris sur mon promenade. I credit DuoLingo. It is a fantastic language drill app. Of course it credits itself. “You have learned x words.” More like, “you have remembered x words.” I have not only remembered words, DuoLingo, apparemment j’ai fait des connexions neuronales. C’est magnifique! Merci beaucoup!

Et puis j’ai oublie le mot pour le sable mais j’ai cree ‘les granules de plage’ comme expression. Merci a google satellite, on a repondu a mon question sur le mot de vocablaire tout de suite.  Et puis on pense aux sables de Normandie.

Quand j’ai fais mes etudes de francais, je n’ai jamais utilise ni ordinateur ni machine à écrire pour cela alors qui sait faire les accents sur les letters?  Op – voila. Plus d’excuses. Couper et coller de la recherche.

Encore et toujours quelque chose a apprendre, n’est-ce pas?

Carkeek Path on the Studio Wall

The poster printer at Bartells passed my test. Looks great! Was not sure how appropriate the gold frame would be for the image. But it was available in the garage .  Turns out the photo has many golden highlights that are brought out by the gold. This photo was for the B/W Challenge. It shows how well the poster printer portrays the forest path’s shadows and contrasts.

Carkeek Path in the World

ARTS + BEACH + CREATIVITY

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