And what I learned was: anytime my hands were busy, I could think the thoughts I needed to think instead of having my smartphone dictate what I should think and feel.
For my birthday today, I recorded a quick episode of the story I performed on the stage at Spiderhouse Ballroom on Thursday, October 24th for Testify (a monthly storytelling group in Austin) for October’s theme, Craft. My story I recorded tonight (which is better audio than I captured on my camera) is about this podcast, so if you want a 16 minute sampler of what Chatty Crafties is all about, have a listen.
I think arranging in pop music is like so underrated. I think that’s the whole reason why people like pop music; there’s not like lots interesting chord changes or melodies happening–-it’s all about production, which, production is arranging. and it’s just all about the choices of tones and instruments you make and creating an atmosphere that gives you a feeling.
That’s Chad Raines, sometimes known as Rad Chains, but it depends if you find him on the divine stage or in real life. His artistic lens is aimed at the juxtaposition between giving a rough edge to the prestigious and elevating the overlooked. He swings between between musical theatre to performing in spandex with his band The Simple Pleasure. He arranged and played the music to my wedding, and even more importantly to Matt and me, he made the “Egyptian Lover” music video of our friend Basil Malaty. Having something so precious to look at when my friend was no longer around eventually lead to me to creating this podcast, so I can give stage to the essence of people I hold dear for posterity.
I want to try acting for the rest of my life so I can become one of those actors that are really good. I want to just keep on acting until I feel like, you know what, too much! I don’t feel like I’m enjoying this anymore; I’m just doing this for fame and money, not for my enjoyment.
That’s Eloise. Child actor, big sister, and my incredible daughter with a memory like a steel trap. She spent the summer working on her first professional play with Different Stages Theatre Company in Austin, Texas. I wanted to capture her pure connection to playing characters when playing pretend was still an instinct instead of a distant, adult memory.
A question to our listeners: What should we do with the memorabilia from her performances? Does anyone have a scrapbook they’ve done to give us ideas on how to showcase all of her programs, thank you notes, etc? Tag me @chattycrafties on Instagram and Twitter!
And that was the first time I started to realize that from a creative process standpoint, I really love getting teamed up with other people and their ideas and helping them see how great their idea can actually become and sort of take it beyond what they had even envisioned.
That’s Graham. As a musician and sound engineer, then as a producer of film and television, and now as general contractor and home builder, Graham has taken the puzzle pieces, flipped them over, and made sense of the big picture in order to tell the story. He is also an occasional visual artist (if the occasion was to propose marriage to Amanda, who was my guest in episode 26) and woodworker if a project tells him it needs to be made. He finds the creative process of collaborating most rewarding, and spends his down time from building houses with his wife and their three kids, oftentimes playing board games like Dog.
To learn more on Graham and Amanda’s Austin-based home-building company, Curate, go to www.curate.com. You can also scope out his film and TV projects as a producer and sometimes director, including the award-winning independent films Chalk and The Aviatrix, A&E’s Shipping Wars, TLC’s Quints by surprise, Discovery Channel’s Texas Car Wars, and TNT’s Marshal Law Texas (with Jerry Bruckheimer).
It’s just such a nice feeling when you’ve made something – you know, you’ve created an edible piece of art. And you know, when others try it and they’re enjoying it, I don’t know, it’s just a really nice feeling. It’s like I accomplished something and everybody likes it and is raving about it.
That’s Lisa. Over-achieving baker, busy commercial real estate attorney, and my best friend slash cousin. There’s no cake too crazy for her kitchen and she’s passing on her love of making excruciatingly beautiful baked goods to her six year old daughter – from scratch—with a few tweaks until it’s just right.
She talked about the sugar substitute, Swerve. She’s saved so many recipes on www.allrecipes.com but is going to send me recipes for egg bites, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate pie when she gets a moment free from work. *look for an update soon*
Photos of the amazing cakes, cookies, and pies mentioned in the episode are included below. You can find Lisa preparing a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for her whole family every year, pies in hand. Don’t ask her for your own pie because she’ll probably say yes and my girl needs someone to help keep that list short.
What’s your favorite pastry to bake? I get a kick out of strawberry bread and oatmeal cookies myself, but I do delight in a good pie because they turn out so pretty when they’re crispy and glazed. Let us know on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #chattycrafties.
Thanks for understanding about my 2-month hiatus from recording these sweet podcasts. I had a couple of baby blankets that needed to be quilted on the nights I record, and I had to pick my poison.
Because I really feel like movement is healing. Physically, for sure it’s good for you, you know, because our bodies are meant to move in those directions and not just very linear. But I think, too, it just awakens something. And I’m not saying you have to have like me, like a love of dance, but I think to set something a little bit free.
That’s Angie Obermeyer, née Johnson. Semi-professional dancer, reluctant advertiser, wife, and mother of three. She’s a factory sleeper – you wouldn’t know she was a sucker for technique while chatting on the playground afterschool but once you get her talking about it, her passion for dance becomes immediately apparent, as is her drive to make dance performances more accessible to the general public.
Angie wants more people (YOU!) to see local dance performances, so if you’re in Austin, look into Frontera Fest, Fusebox Festival, and aerial shows with Blue Lapis light. There’s also the Austin Dance Festival coming up in April. A couple of her favorite choreographers are Sharon Marroquin and Ellen Bartel – the latter of whom has a piece in a show in February at First Street Studio. Check out their online schedules for upcoming shows, where you might happen upon gorgeous photos of Angie in action.
And it’s real, and I can’t lie, but, when I’m being someone else – that is real, you know, that’s is like the truth, so it’s not lying to me. So when I’m in front of people and I have the mask of someone else, I can do anything.
That’s Kelsey. Actor, lover of musical theatre, grad student in psychology, and my emotionally mature office manager. She pressed pause on acting until it felt fun again, and now has her heart set on starting theatre company and opening a space sometime in the future. Her positivity and drive are contagious, so I’m thankful she keeps us organized while she spins so many plates of her own. I’m Angelica; stay tuned for my weekly chat.
If you’re looking into getting your child into acting in Austin, look into KidsActing Studio programs – my daughter does this in her school and it’s been wonderful; they have multiple summer shows as well.
As a professional actor, some companies to audition for are:
It’s a release, it’s a distraction, you know…it’s not day-to-day life. If there’s actually people there, then the immediate gratification of, ‘oh people like me, or like what we’re doing.’ Yeah, it’s the performer’s high, you know, which you always keep chasing, but also learning how to balance that with real life.
That’s Floyd. Bassist in a punk band, park event coordinator, dutiful dad and husband–and my older brother. We had a chat over the Christmas break at our Mom’s house about our shared creative influences growing up and explored the overlay of being a performer that also produces various events at Discovery Green in Houston. We also took a moment to put his 10-year-old daughter on for a quick dip into her artistic interests.
I love to paint twelve hours a day. I will work on a painting three days in a row–that’s why I can finish a painting in three days because I spend twelve hours on it– I’ll start in the morning and paint till almost midnight.
That’s Sharon. Multi-media artist with a penchant for acrylic paint, landscape photographer, and my sweet mother. She knew from a young age that she had a gift and was hungry to learn anything and everything about art. This creative appetite was genetic, so it was a delight to sit down with her to explore her path from being a talented child and a career student, to teaching art, to ongoing exhibits at galleries in central Texas.
I’d been cooking for a long time and then I started the farm so I think both recognizing and engaging in that ends up in some aspect of life being healthier and happier and…kind of heading in the same direction: the ultimate destination is learning how to cook and prepare your food is very closely related to growing and taking care of the land around you. And that’s kind of a fundamental part of life that in the modern day we’re kind of detached from.
That’s Sean. Musician, culinary scientist, and cook of much the food he lovingly produces. He officiated my wedding, is a godparent to my girls, and teaches us all the connectivity between food production, cooking, and renewable systems all while prototyping generative communities of the future. Stay tuned for our chat – with special guest, Matt Norton.
His mushroom farm Hi-Fi Mycology (with business partner Cory Nellisson) has a delightful Instagram page with all sorts of delicious and photogenic fungi that can be purchased at farmers markets and local Austin restaurants. His other business, a hydroponic lettuce farm called Francis and Thatcher can be found a grocery stores like HEB and Whole Foods in Austin.
Mushrooms from Hi Fi Mycology
Mushrooms from Hi Fi Mycology
Sean sorting mushrooms for dinner
Sean holding greens from Francis and Thatcher
Sean and business partner Wes Kenner at their hydroponic farm