Amphibian Stage’s production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit is never the same experience twice.

One of the most beautiful aspects of the White Rabbit Red Rabbit experience is that it’s never the same show twice. The delivery of Nassim Soleiampour’s “experiment” written during the period he was prohibited to travel outside of Iran depends entirely on the actor invited to the stage for each engagement.

One could observe them all and each observation would be much different. It’s as much about the possibility of permutation as it is about uncovering specific aspects of humanity.

In her Thursday night performance, everything Sarah Clarke brought to the stage was her own, and in some aspects, it was quite beautiful.

The most we can say about all of it is that Sarah’s ostrich/cheetah hybrid performance was phenomenal, and her delivery of a challenging script was as playful as it was entertaining, and was a distinct, but not unwelcome change in mood from Xander Berkeley’s  more serious Wednesday night performance.

Her choice in how to navigate the two glasses on the signature table was also interesting — and showed great trust in the process, as she held them in her lap expectantly.

I look forward to seeing more of Sarah in The Maestro and Short Straw, and hope to have the chance to engage with her again someday in the future, as she takes on ever more challenging work.

Amphibian Stage Productions’ run has three more engagements of this wildly absurdist peek into a space that explores the thoughts of a playwright struggling with his culture and a desire to see more of the world than he could reach.

Liz Casanova, actress and film journalist extraordinaire lent an excellent performance of the “White Rabbit” in this rendition of White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Check out her Cafe Con Cine film journalism project here: http://cafeconcine.com/

Advertisements

On Body Positivity, A Healthy Egoism and Surviving Cipro

The body, for many of us in Western Society, is a site of fragmentation and trauma. Events, over the course of life, transpire upon it, and we sometimes have a strong sense of memory about them. We often decide things must be permanent when they aren’t always, necessarily. This statement is true for me about healing, and true for me about gender, because as a genderfluid person, I flow between the boundaries of masculine and feminine identification often.

When it comes to physical or emotional trauma, many of us must, of course, work through our sites of pain using the resources we know and understand. Sometimes, a specific resource that once worked begins to fail us. It might be our sense of superstition, a specific system of medicine, or our ego boundary that cannot be permeable in a sense that is holistic.

I’ve found that when this happens, it means it is the perfect time to work through something, let go of my past, and look inward, outward, and forward to the good that is all around me — at every moment, in an ever-present, ever-unfolding way. This recognition of good is not always, necessarily a panacea, but it makes the load lighter when we must bear a heavy burden, and can help us navigate to places where healing is possible, in terms of the healing that transpires spontaneously and the type that requires harder work.

It’s been a long period of unpacking the pain dynamic in my life, as of late. It’s culminated in a submission to an anthology — and I’m proud to say that the letter I wrote and an altered photograph of an art sequence I created and submitted has been accepted for print.

Enough/Enough Anthology is still looking for excellent submissions, so if you are interested in making peace with your body or domestic/sexual assault in a non-binary way and care to turn a pen, this is an excellent opportunity to do so.

When it comes to my journey, the past few years of healing have been a wild ride. I’m a floroquinolone toxcity survivor who didn’t learn what had caused her strange health problems until the FDA updated its black box warning on Cipro a year after I experienced my symptoms.

My transformation in gender began when I was at my peak academically and physically — several months before I succumbed to the proven dangerous combination Cipro and steroids, as I was dealing with a divorce from a religious husband who actively translated Hebrew from the Old Testament to defend abusing me.

In that period, I remember having a strange dream. In it, I was surrounded by sumptuous things I had loved all my life. They were lovely. I appreciated every single one of them. Warm places to sleep. Companionship. Enough of everything I could ever need.

As most memorable dreams are dramatic, in some form or fashion, my thoughts took a dramatic turn. Suddenly everything I ever loved was taken from me. It was a struggle to watch the life I knew turn to dust as I tried to keep the pieces together. It was all in vain. All that was left after everything crumbled were some newly-formed translucent pebbles that I held in my hand.

In my dream, I learned to love the pebbles I still clutched as they multiplied all around me. When I was angry for what I lost, they’d explode, and they’d cut me, like glass. When I was angry at an injustice that someone else built and threw them at a structure, even when that throwing was done in justified anger, they’d explode. The debris would always come hurtling toward me.

Surprisingly, though, in my dream, when I learned to speak with more love than anger, things would change. And things would grow. The good, when I nurtured it, would ripple, fan out, and become, kind, tall, loving — wise old trees with great capacity to bear fruit.

This dream proved meaningful for me. I look back on it when I reflect on my life that has been difficult to bear after being mostly ignored by the medical establishment and embraced by people who actually believe that things that terrible can happen to people — the freaks, the geeks — the people who have experienced great trauma themselves. The problem with that crowd though, when it’s the out-group, is that we all lean on each other for support while none of us is getting exactly what we need. We’re prone to cut one another on our rough edges unless we’re willing — and that’s really willing to take the time to work on smoothing them out.

And so, after all the anger involved in a life filled with periods of achievement despite marginalization, here I am, in this present space. I am working on feeling secure and confident in myself, and who I am — while leaving plenty of room for others to be the amazing people that they are.

I am planting seeds for kind, loving trees, and reminded of the poem that got me out of bed and inspired me to pass my M.A. Exam when I was trying to find a way to heal from a gallbladder surgery I waited months for a surgeon to schedule me into, one that I could never afford even with health insurance– and haven’t been able to bounce back from financially:

13309573511112670181decorative-lines-2_large

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything the drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!

13309573511112670181decorative-lines-2_large

And as I walk in today’s wisdom of the heart, I know that a healthy sense of self that can be touched by others in love, even after life’s great trials is vital. It’s what keeps me going, even now.

Charlie Chaplin’s words are still true for me as we persist in an age where serious materialism seems to be in competition with post-anthropocentrism, and as I embark on the fabrication of a more eco-friendly sense of spiritualism/relationship to the modes of production. I hope to maintain my healthy sense of egoism.

 

 

Journeys and destinations are based on choices. Don’t miss the new CollabFeature film “The Train Station.”

TrainstationPoster

CollabFeature, as studio and production house has a serious aim to create work that is representative of many viewpoints within the same narrative structure. Its latest offering, The Train Station, is best described as a cohesive, yet non-linear romp through concept and time that leaves the viewer with a sense of how all the threads in a narrative work together to take a person to a final destination.

A man is not sure whether to wait to board his late train, or to go home. We see many permutations of his decision. A woman stands in the street flinging a suitcase around after getting locked out of her home — after being stalked in a restaurant. A car swerves to miss her. It crashes. But suddenly this woman is a man walking on a golf course — and the narrative flows together like the threads of a life lived with great regret tinged by some joyful moments. What’s surprising is that the person the narrative follows is actually, no matter how they have been conceived by one of 40 directors, the same exact character, which is a refreshing take on the fluidity of gender and its perception.

The Train Station is more than a film that details the inner dialogue and narrative related to travel, or the Bergsonian circular nature of time that inspired many writers and filmmakers of the modern era.

This film is more than an ambitious project involving 40 directors, pastiches that reconceptualize similar bits of narrative from different cultural and narrative perspectives, and pastiches of critical favorites of the past with sequences involving red balloons and trains.

It depicts how all of our choices add up to one singular narrative and are aggregate of one complete and total reality. It’s about how we’re all different, and yet, in some ways very much the same.

It’s also an excellent film made on fewer resources and with a more interesting structure than most. It’s won awards at seven festivals and is soon to break the Guinness World Record that CollabFeature already holds for a prior film, The Owner, which had 25 directors, the most ever involved in a feature film.

Don’t miss it.

Daniel Montoya’s film, TRAIN STATION by CollabFeature (http://www.collabfeature.com/ ), written and directed by an unprecedented 40 filmmakers from 25 countries, follows a single main character played by different actors from different countries, will be screening at the Latino Cultural Center of Dallas (2600 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75204), for free for one night only on March 22 at 7:30 pm (with reception at 6:30 pm.)

Check out these photos and clips with filmmaker Daniel Montoya, and actors actors Bob Coonrod and Paul Douglas as they talk more about their unique section of the film which features slapstick comedy stylings.

On feeling especially androgynous on International Women’s Day

Trying to wear a single gender is like trying to envision the world in black and white for me. #androgyny

A post shared by Kate Morgan (@filmwillneverbedead) on

The gender dysphoria I have felt all my life reached a ridiculous peak yesterday. I mean, it’s not that I don’t agree with standing for all the things I am being asked to stand for on International Women’s Day in my own space. Fair wages, less violence, less Trump. Yes. All the things.

I just literally couldn’t identify with being asked to stand in the “brain-space”  shoes of “Woman,” for the first time in a long time. Not since puberty has my gender dysphoria felt this strong — even when I was ducking into the “Men’s ” single-occupant bathroom to relieve myself at the Unitarian Universalist church I attended when the “Family” one was occupied.

But you know, I was a child who asked her grandmother at age 5 why I couldn’t grow up to be a boy, and was very disappointed to learn why despite having been educated about sex and all its function at age 3 via elaborate picture books printed in the 70’s at the height of people practicing free-love in a world without cognizance of HIV.

Sometimes when women feel empowered as a collective, I can feel a bit more marginalized, if there are excessive or essentialist prescriptions on the construct of “woman.” I am usually okay with the label as a catch all category of people who choose to identify. I’ve been running into a lot of people on Twitter lately who see it differently, demanding that I be afraid of genitals I can’t see in bathrooms. I find it absurd.

But that doesn’t mean women shouldn’t be empowered by any stretch of the imagination, even if there are essentialists in the ranks. I’m glad people who strongly identify as women felt it in the air yesterday.

The motive of this blog, and my focus is changing, however, until my gender flows in whatever direction it means to take. Right now, instead of “feminism” we are working on “psychological androgyny.”

It’s about the space we feel most comfortable in. I’m still very much a feminist.

I’m not really understanding what the big deal is between Sonalytic and Spotify.

Especially if they’re not going to pay artists enough.

It’s industry standard, but not doing what I want by the way of artists, in terms of prospering them. That’s a real problem.

So Spotify. It’s fun. I’ve enjoyed it despite its problems generating income for artists.

I generally pay for it, but I think I am going to just stop, and spend the amount on purchasing content directly from a local artist every month. And I say this even though it just took on Sonalytic — a four-person (or fewer) company that made the technology for DJs to upload their own mixes quite possible for the platform that has been dubious at best to get sufficient income to established artists.

So does this innovation have a lot of potential? Unless they fix the pay structure, I don’t really think so.

Not as much as each individual contributor makes to Soundcloud, or a band of quality, established DJs looking to make good on their mixes of content.

I am still truly waiting for the kind of revolution that brings artists and writers their fair share of the income quality content created without executives should provide an author.

I’m still loving Conduit, the same way I love local radio, local bands, local food, and personal relationships that are neither long-distance nor exploitative because of a power imbalance.