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!
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.
It’s important what we do, and it’s important how we do things, it’s important that we are creative when we do things–it matters, you know? It matters that we do things well and we do things with intention and love. It matters to our families, and our friends, and whatever random person we interact with in commerce, too.
That’s Amanda. Mother of 3 and family caregiver, soulful singer, and appreciator of imperfect art–when she can steal a couple of hours to herself, that is. Amanda sat down with us to explore melding old and new and what it means to be dipping her toes back in the creative world though interior design with her business, Curate Homes.
Amanda and Graham named their residential construction company Curate (‘kyur-ət) because that’s the person in the church who’s the caretaker of souls. Find more online at www.curatehomes.com or on Instagram. The songs played in the episode were, in order of appearance: “Going Somewhere,” “Teaching me My Name,” “Minnie Catherine,” and “Under the Earth.” One of her albums, Home, is available on iTunes HERE under her maiden name, Amanda Leggett.
Amanda’s laundry room/workspace
Interior design project by Amanda Davidson through Curate Homes
Interior design project by Amanda Davidson through Curate Homes
All of life is like a gigantic improv scene, right? You never know what the person next to you is going to say next, all you can do is approach it with a positive attitude and do your best to be a supportive person in their sphere. Overall I feel like it’s made me a more competent communicator and I think there are very few people in this world who would not benefit from taking at least one improv class.
That’s Rose. Actor, improvisor, and instructor at the Hideout Theatre, communications professional, and beacon of positivity. Rose joined us to talk about her full, happy life, telenovelas, and nurturing participation in everyone she meets.
I think i like more improvising and just kind of going with what feels right, sometimes the kids will come to class and they may have had a day of testing; they really don’t want one more structured thing to do. They need more freedom, and so we have to be spontaneous in that way.
That’s Ms. Dexxi. Dance instructor, aspiring motivational speaker, and mom. She stopped by after class to chat about the mental relief of dance, the art of self-development, and encouraging the bloom of kids’ creative self-expression–in-and out of the studio. You can find her on Facebook on her Yoga Sign page and find her dance and yoga classes offered at the East Communities YMCA in Austin, TX.
Parents, do you let your kids curse? Have you thought about it? Michael Adams has.
Find some inspiration to try on some costumes with Amber’s tried and true Halloweemixon Spotify. ………..Or if you’re into the 80’s, and dark, synthy horror-prog try these by Ryan M. Todd. We’re still collecting images of homemade Halloween costumes for our Costume Parade. Send them to us at our email or tag us on social media with #chattycraftiescostume
Genevieve’s office blessing sacred objects
Amber burning sage around our office after we reorganized
If your work or creative space feels stagnant or heavy, find some sacred objects around the home and think about a ritual to set your intention for the space. You can find meaning in anything, and sometimes we just need to be reminded that we’re on the right path. Our old plan Genevieve at Passageway Arts reminded me that all is well (that was our closing affirmation) and she talked more about how she picked the sacred items on her Instagram page. Gen was one of the original 5 producers of the monthly storytelling show Testify, which we talked about at length on Kate’s episode and we brought up to Dexxi that she might enjoy.
Intro is a sweet sample from one of Ms. Dexxi’s classes; our outro music is by Berm and Swale, who has more HERE.
You know, I want an audience to go in and experience a good time but also learn something, be affected by it. Let’s try to make ’em laugh so we can make ’em cry, because you’re just more open to really feeling something deep if you’ve laughed a little bit.
Artistic Director/Producer/Puppeteer/Actor/Story Creator/Director and Mom, who dropped in to share her vision of storytelling, rendering theatre into subtle PSAs for social and environmental justice, and her liberation from actor to puppeteer. She even made a marionette dance for us here in the studio, reminding us that nothing dies like a puppet dies; isn’t that chilling?
Caroline Reck in The Orchid Flotilla (Courtesy of Glass Half Full Theatre)
Caroline Reck in The Orchid Flotilla. (Photo by Stephen Pruitt)
Caroline Reck (Photo by Julia M. Smith)
Don Quixote confronts Y (Caroline Reck). (Photo courtesy of Glass Half Full Theatre)