044 Inner City Dreamer: Kendall Angelle

It can be both.  Most artists do it for selfish reasons.  But when you’re putting it out there for people to, you know, experience  – some judge – but mostly just a general experience.  It adds an aspect that’s not selfish anymore.  It’s just the nature of art.  You can’t help it.  I don’t care how money-driven a creative is, at the end of the day, it still lends itself to the people because you’re putting it out there for people to interpret to appreciate.

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That’s Kendall Angelle.  As a Black creative with his finger on the pulse of art, music, fashion, and culture, he curates and shares incredible artists and ideas on his website, Fresh Aesthetic.  We were good friends in high school back in Houston and the early years of when we both moved to Austin after graduation.  In support of Black Lives Matter and protests against police violence, I wanted to use my platform to elevate voices of color, so I reached out to my old pal.  And it seems especially appropriate to support someone who is going out of his way to support other creatives.

Links from our convo:

The Neil deGrasse Tyson essay Kendall mentioned: Reflections on the Color of My Skin

The Business of Hype is the podcast by clothing designer, Jeff Staple

Refashionista is the website on thrift store finds I mentioned that are tailored, dyed, and reworked to reduce clothing waste

Shameless Plugs:

Kendall’s website: ¡Fresh Aesthetic!™: freshaesthetic23.com.  Find him on Twitter @freshaesthetic, Facebook @freshaesthetic23, and Instagram @freshaesthetic23.  I’ll update when his Culture Fresh podcast is back up.

043 Handbag Poetry Night

But I think I stopped writing poetry as much just because when I would come back to it, I was like, what was I even trying to say?  It was just too vague.  It was too vague to get the meaning later.

Well hopefully it’s like protecting itself from getting burned.  If it weren’t so vague, you wouldn’t be able to stand it, maybe, you know?  That’s why I wrote that way, why I still write that way.

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This week on a special Handbag Hangout Poetry night, I’ve rounded up Amber, Diana, Sara, Maria, and Genevieve to read poetry with me.  Our friendship was cultivated while writing poetry and furiously journaling in high school in the late 90’s, which bound us tightly as very close friends over the past 20 years.  Since becoming adults, we have made a point to meet monthly (to reinforce and celebrate our identities before we became partners, spouses, mothers, or professional people), which came to be known as Handbag Hangouts as a dirty joke over beers.  Since COVID-19, we’ve upped our Handbags to a weekly Zoom meeting to dish out our love and support for each other.  (Please do forgive the quality of the recording since we weren’t able to meet in person.)

Order of poems:

Angelica: Title redacted a poem about restlessness found in an old journal (Feb 8, 2001)

Genevieve: “What is Never Lost” by Cynthia MacDonald from I Can’t Remember (1997)

Maria: “A Callarse/Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda.  English translation and in the original Spanish (1958)

We mentioned “the great pause” and referenced the incredible article, “Prepare For the Ultimate Gaslighting,” by Julio Vincent Gambuto.

Amber: “Sensation” by Arthur Rimbaud. French and English (March 1890)

Diana: “I’m Nobody, Who are You?” by Emily Dickenson from Poems, Series 2 (1891).

Sara: A saying probably by Lao Tzu (?) from Zen Garden Book of Meditations

Angelica: “As Far as Masks Go,” a poem about COVID-19 (April 20, 2020)

Amber: Rhyming Poem, a poem about haircuts or a hangover maybe (2001)

Sara: “We shape clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want” from Zen Garden Book of Meditations

Genevieve: “If” a poem about being a therapist, in a series she wrote called Termination Poems (December 2019)

Diana: Two nature poems from a journal while being a summer camp counselor at Camp  Arrowhead (June 14, 2003)

Angelica: “Friendliness is Not the Car Ride it Once Was” in my portfolio used to apply for landscape architecture grad school (April 3, 2000)

Angelica: “Song of 3 Days Sad” A poem repeating the phrase Techno Glazes/Inspiration (July 14, 2000)

039 Word Alchemist: Ryan Dilbert

I started thinking about why I like it so much.  And then I thought, you know, it’s storytelling; I love stories.  Especially strange stories.  And pro wrestling is just a series of strange stories that are acted out in the moment…and some things are improvised and there’s a little bit of chaos because someone broke their nose.  Like, go with it. So it’s just a very weird world; it’s very easy to write about.

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That’s Ryan Dilbert.  As a creative writing teacher of 4th graders, he lovingly shapes young writers by utilizing all the other facets of his life: as a father of two young girls, husband to Julie, published author, pro wrestling journalist for Bleacher Report, stand-up comedian and performer, and tattoo artist and illustrator.  In his summers off, he’s hungry to do more, like developing screenplays, writing another novel, and trying his hand at graphic novel.

Ryan grew up in Cayman (we used the local inflection – in the States it’s often referred to as the Cayman Islands) before moving to Houston for high school.  We met in sophomore year and became student directors of a performance poetry group, Playwrights and Players, for our senior year.  Because our friendship included writing and editing together in this formative time, Ryan helped shape my own creative expression.  His biracial identity is something he has struggled to explore in his writing, and feels more comfortable creating his own worlds where he can confirm the validity of the character’s experiences.

You can find more of Ryan’s work at www.ryandilbert.com and his Twitter @ryandilbert.  This includes his novel, Time Crumbling like a Wet Cracker (No Record Press) which was published in 2011; the cover and visuals were illustrated by Shawn Callahan.  His website has links to his pro wrestling columns at Bleacher Report as well as to literary journals of his flash/nano fiction and prose.  He mentioned an article where he took his daughter, Lucy, to WWE Raw after sharing tweets of her experience.  And he participated in Austin’s Funniest Person Contest in 2008.

Ryan’s daughter, Lucy, age 6, sat down for a short interview at the end of the episode.

Shameless plug: His upcoming chapbook with a collection of flash fiction about pro wrestling, called Mat Burns, is set to come out in Spring 2020.

We mentioned Ira Glass’s concept of The Gap – when our taste develop more quickly than our craft.  Here’s a delightful video with his quote.

THE GAP by Ira Glass from Daniel Sax on Vimeo.

Hey Crafties!  What is the term for a juicy quote that is pulled from an interview?  Like the kind of quote that I pull for the intro teaser, or that he uses to shape his wrestling columns.  Ryan and I both use this and calling it a “money shot” feels wrong)!

037 Manic Maker at Testify: Angelica Norton

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.

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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.

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028 Generative Farmer: Sean Henry

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.

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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.

We mentioned his wife Yasmin Youssef again this week, who’s art is produced in a studio in Cement Loop, which is where Sean is taking piano lessons.  Follow her on Instagram  @thegoldcurrent as well.

My weekly inspo is my mother, Sharon Loy Anderson‘s art show at A Propos Pop Up Gallery by Zeina and Bob Cook.

018 Metaphorical Magician: Billy Moreno

Everything we do with language and communication is all metaphors. It’s all somewhat ambiguous and it’s all alive in the moment, after that it’s a different thing; before that it’s a different thing.

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That’s Billy, a.k.a.  _Bill_Nice_.   Rapper, Game Designer, imperfectionist, incorrigible wordsmith, and long time husband of our producer. Billy chatted about the wondrous opportunity of personal vocabularies, meditation, his methods for world class deck building and stage fright.

Billy’s music is open for interpretation at https://soundcloud.com/billy-moreno.

Find an open mic night near you and go stretch your legs.

 

017 Hacksaw Poet: Mitchell Crooks

I totally believe that I have, and everybody who’s creative has, the right to write songs from a totally different perspective. So I have songs that come from nothing that I’ve personally experienced, and that’s kind of a cool exercise to try and write something from somebody else’s perspective.

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That’s Mitchell, singer, song writer, Applications Engineer, and handy dad. Mitchell stopped by and shared some of his signature Americana with us and waxed a little poetic about collaborating.

Mitchell’s first album, Forces of Nature, Follies of Man, comes out in late 2018.  Find out more on his Instagram and his Facebook, and soon, at http://www.mitchellcrooksmusic.com.  He recorded his album in Austin at King Electric Recording with Justin Douglas, the sound engineer.  His upcoming show is at Brentwood Social House on Friday, August 31st at 7pm.  Bring your kids!

His wife, Sarah, and their kids, Lily and Oliver, have had their own Chatty Crafties episodes as well.  We love hearing about families that inspire each other to make art, perform, and explore their creative instincts.

QOTW: How do you introduce more diversity into your subject matter?  Tag #chattycrafties on social media to let us know and share your work!

015 Visionary Vivifier: Caroline Reck

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.

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That’s Caroline.

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?

Upcoming Shows:

Sept 14–21, 2018: El Cucuy project

May 2019: Once There Were Six Seasons

Glass Half Full links:

Social Media: FacebookTwitter  (except they never use our twitter), Instagram, and Vimeo

Caroline’s Press:

Caroline Reck updates ‘Peter and the Wolf’ with music by Mother Falcon – 2015

Review: Cenicienta, at Zach Theatre – 2015

Once There Were Six Seasons – 2014

Review: Once There Were Six Seasons by Glass Half Full Theatre – 2014

010 Privately Prolific: Ian Ragsdale

I think of my notebooks as a cognitive prosthetic.  I don’t always have time to think about everything in the depth that I want to,  so I put it on paper and it helps me kind of work through it later.

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That’s Ian. Dad, drummer, writer, and half-baked boy scout. A Mortified performer and former teacher’s pet, Ian stopped by to chat about his proprietary blend of absurdism and anonymity.

Check out his band, Ain’t Nothins album, “No Regerts,” on Instagram, iTunes, and Spotify. He also develops products like scented powders and lip gloss for his wife and mother-in-law’s sex doll company, Real Love Sex Dolls (as discussed in Episode 6). They also work for humans!

Ian’s music tips: If your song isn’t long enough, just say more words!  Don’t wait to learn an instrument as an adult like he did (but it’s possible!). Play a metronome in the car and practice one-handed exercises while you drive.  Are you fidgety?  Drums might be for you!

Question of the Week: Is there a craft, performance, or activity that you have been waiting to try or always wanted to try?  Tell us on Instagram and Twitter using #chattycrafties or answer our query posts.  We’d love to discuss it on next week’s episode!

009 Manic Maker v. The Harmonizer: Angelica Norton and Amber Moreno

 

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This week on Chatty Crafties: Angelica Norton: Landscape Designer, Mother of 2, and binge-crafter vs. Amber Moreno: career-averse Personal Organizer, Mother, of 1 and serial procrastinator. Will one out-craft the other? Will questions and answers clash in a heated discussion while the a/c remains off to minimize background noise? Will it all end up on the cutting room floor? We’re pitting host against producer this week for a very special episode.
YOUR HOMEWORK THIS WEEK: make TEN of something, or scribble out 3 morning pages.  
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Do you ever go back to read, listen to, or watch your old work?  Also, show us pics of your personal workspace.  
Let us know on Twitter and Instagram using #chattycrafties or reply on the QOTW post!  We like to incorporate your answers in our interview.  Shout out to Mortimer Ex for her “music to create to” playlist idea.  On that note, check out our Chatty Crafties Spotify playlist.  While you’re at it, Amber’s blog, Morenovision for some wildly cute baby pics.