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Monday, February 1, 2016

Five Years Down.

Hey.

In writing, like in all messy, heartfelt things, the key is not to worry about the perfect beginning. Don't be so goddamn precious.  Just start moving.  You'll spend far too much time fretting about how precise the initial efforts should be instead of actually creating some ordinary, kinetic magic. Some lasting, positive change.

Your life's work.

When the time's right, it's vital to take stock of growth.  To once again thank the tribe of loved ones all across this world who've supported me, shared their lives, and enjoyed my odes and nonsense.

So here I am, lapping coffee from a thermos, grazing from a bag of carrots and a tub of dry roasted almonds.  Looking over the gratitude I've charted from 2012 to 2013 to 2014 to 2015.

Let's break it down.  What I've done, what I've learned, and my upcoming goals:

WHAT I'VE DONE

Joined Actor's Equity - A super big deal for me. Been doing theatre professionally for over twenty years now, and being able to hold that card and audition for AEA shows puts a kindness in my heart.

Expanded KING OF THE HOBOS and produced a full-length version of the show -  That's been the bulk of my efforts this year.  Collaborating with Abigail to draft out a more character-driven, authentic piece with two new songs, to form my own production company in this town (Odes and Nonsense Productions) and to do an AEA showcase run of the one man musical.  I'm extremely proud of the work we did.  You can check out the complete soundtrack on iTunes and Bandcamp.

Wrote five new songs -   New music for King of the Hobos, a song for Alan about my last year in Orange County, a love song about color theory, and my most favorite song ever about dealing with lifelong depression (and gardening) .  

Got to finally work with Joe Raik - Ever since I met him in the dead of night during a Facing Page Productions Company Marathon (where all of Shakespeare's plays are read over the course of several days, nonstop) I knew I had to collab with this wild-eyed, wonderful guy.  Sure enough, he rang me up and gave me a chance to do so this year, playing the Prince for the wily Occupy Verona (street theatre versions of Romeo and Juliet) Met some wonderful, passionate people, and it was riches.

Posted daily artistic content on Patreon - Since March 2015, I've set up a paid account where I've shown up daily to give people songs, stories, poems, tales.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED 

 - Don't be afraid to make friends with new artists. I know it's not like grade school anymore where the friend-making process comes easier.  But if your buddy Robin tells you about this amazing singer-songwriter named Angie, don't think you'll be a creeper by going to check out her show and befriending her.  She just might well rock your face off with her work and become a really wonderful friend as well. Take the risk.

 - Don't be afraid to go a party where you don't know anyone but the host.  Be willing to be uncomfortable and banter with the pretty woman with the hazel eyes.

 - It's no fun being prayed to by a homeless man keyed up on heroin during the last two minutes of Romeo and Juliet when you're screaming the final monologue down upon him to snap him into silence.

 - You can't control everything.  Sometimes a homemade guitar's gonna be out of tune.  It's live theatre.  Sing out, Louise. Ghost the odd notes.  Keep the story true.


GOALS

Here's three for this year (along with Self-Care, Self-Love, and Self-Respect, which are still paramount)

 - Send Old Soldiers Home.  There's still remnants, artifacts, scattered in my apartment, my mind. Past behaviors or items which once served a purpose.  To protect me, or hide me.  But the war's over. There's no need to fight, to struggle.  Let's make some room.  Clear out the old, baggy clothes.  Learn that anger's a valuable, healing emotion, not just a precursor to abuse. 

 - Ask for more help.  Across the board.  There's many things I don't know how to do.  Business related steps for acting. Mentorship.  Fear creates ego.  Time to be open and clear, make the ask.

 - Have at least one feature film/TV audition - time to get serious about this.  I'm losing weight. Feeling better. Focusing more on meeting casting directors who would hire character folk like me, 


Thanks to the following people:
(in no particular order)
mi mama   
Jelina Seibert and Dave Seibert  
Jeric Jones and Stephanie Girard 
Bekki Doster 
Mark Kinch
James Cobb

Tess Suchoff
Mageina Tovah
Anna Romero
Carlos Acosta
Michael Irish
Kevin Percival
Carole Ann Taylor - Tumilty
Molly Callahan
Jenn Litfin
Daniel Schwartz
Emily Travis
Ashlee Brown
Caitlin Brockell
Morgan Hooper
Bryn Carter
Ozwald James
Jim Petty
Shaun Peknic
Rebecca Robinson Overholt
Sam Lopresti
Ally Tully
Gary Lizardo
Lisa Kim
Bobby Lux  
Patti Cox
Joe Raik
Mike Valloney
Megan Greener
Paula Eagleman
Stacey De Witt
Meredyth Kenney
Everett Goldner
The Occupy Verona cast and crew
Alan Corcoran
Angie Atkinson
Robin Rightmyer
David Andrew Laws 
Abigail Taylor-Sansom
Rockford Sansom
Dianna Tucker Baritot
Adam Baritot 
Vicki Mooney
Tony White 
Vicki Oceguera  
Tod Engle 
 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pink - First Draft of New Song

Hey.

January always feels like a cold cup of syrup being poured into my bones.

Makes me sluggish physically. Inside, the mind races, hungers for change.

Here's a new song about love and color theory.  It's based on a somewhat controversial argument that's been touted on the internet about whether or not the color pink actually exists (or in fact, if any color truly exists beyond an interpretation in our brains)


lyrics

first verse

honey
were a pair
like a grin
and a glare
in the huddled musk
of dawn
i stare
you sleep
theres a blush
hidden flush of pink
and honey
im blue
green with envy
its true
seeing red instead
til the palettes leaden black
hearts gone slack
and i start to think

chorus
maybe were just
figments
simple pigments held together
by a lie
youre the racing violet
im the lumbering red
two steps behind
i try
and the space between
we call our love
were just like pink

second verse
im laying it bare
heart is medium rare
youre awake
and you share
as i shudder
weep
and sink
hand on mine
heading for the brink
you gently implore
keep your feet to the floor
reticent to explore
shoulder all your weight
inside
we confide
its absorbed like zinc

chorus

bridge
who named the rainbow
gave such significance
out of unkempt vibrations
truth that we dont know
stare in each others eyes
form a color
a shared delusion
maybe its all that matters though
be my playful guess
ill be your earnest
damask mink
our ministration
a tessellation
commingled pink

third verse
cotton candy
aint it dandy
fuschias a fine
ole time
champagne
its a party in your own brain
sip it
retort and slink
lets rejoice
that were
just
like
pink
compound
were ineffable bound
an agreement of sight and sound
transmissive
and a little bit derisive
tease me
ill tickle
breathe your wiles
dont blink
well compare
that effusive pink

chorus
maybe were just
figments
simple pigments held together
by a lie
youre the racing violet
im the lumbering red
two steps behind
i try
and the space between
we call our love
(our freckled love)
were just like pink

were just like pink


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Poem - Dinosaur

Hey.

Here's a new (for non-Patreon-types)  poem.

You can join in on the daily mischief - just click on www.patreon.com/jara and sign up!

DINOSAUR 

Dig tool's 
Blunt plastic at both ends. 
Takes precision. You can't just 
Jab into the slab. 
I coax my nephew: Tap Gently. 
Like you're knocking on a door, 
Some secret code.
He digs. I brush. Fervently,each sweep 
Scraping past the silt of what is known 
To find the fossils buried within. 

We're Making Progress 
Dr. Seibert, 
I murmur. He squints a smile, 
Takes both the dig tool and brush, 
Sets upon the yielding earth. 
I read from the kit's glossy activity 
Guide: Fossils Can Determine 
Many Clues About Dinosaurs, But Not All - 

Dr. Seibert pauses, 
Cocks his head 
In apprehension: 
Really? 

Sure, I say. For example, 
Color. There's no evidence of 
What hue a Triceratops actually was - 

So We Can Make 'Em Whatever We Want, he grins, 
Taps, Taps, and Grins. 

Yes. 

Very little dinosaurs become fossils. 
Time's a thief, 
And It takes extraordinary preservation, 
Little water, 
And - 
                                                                       His hands strike the surface of a shiny, 
                                                                       Jewel-like Tooth, 
                                                                                              embedded in the clay. 
                                                                        Yawning up in greeting. 


And I wonder, 

Will this memory 
Be an artifact 
Subsumed, decomposed? 


A story is a fossil where the bones 
Have been replaced
With questions 

Monday, December 14, 2015

New Poem - Misanthrope

Hey.

Here's a new (new to non-Patreon folk) poem.  Based on a true story.

To get daily, weird, wonderful stuff for pennies, just become a patron today!

MISANTHROPE

About
twenty-six days
before he died
in a suburb
in Idaho,
my grandfather
grew convinced
the neighborhood children
could sniff his senescence
and he took
to sleeping
with a loaded
Colt 45
under his pillow

My taciturn grandmother,
still daily
and for hours
(until her fatal emphysema)
composing her feathery hair,
finally hid
the handgun,
but expired
before sharing the location

So there
we were,
Growing up quickly.
Screening every parcel of
a pre-fab dwelling
(with a toddler inside)
Hoping first to disable
that final
fuck you

Gestured
by a man
whose field of fucks
had grown fallow for decades.
More skeleton and whisky
and cigarette smoke
than heart.

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Poem - Exodus

Hey.

Here's another new (for non-Patreon folk)  poem.

EXODUS

And with
the ground behind us,
trodden underfoot
by our congress

and when
the salted earth we
stained, mottles
and catches wind

We have,
without tears, without elegy,
without the
pale historian's scrawl,


Eaten our
dead.   We are ambulatory.
We march,
yearning for - what?

Not home.
Perhaps a gentle cove
Where children
Cannot spy ghosts.

Monday, November 2, 2015

New Poem - Friendship

Hey.

Taking a momentary break from KING OF THE HOBOS prep/freakouts (opening this Thursday!  Playing for three weekends/11 shows!  www.kingofthehobos.bpt.me

Here's a Patreon poem.

FRIENDSHIP


Two days.  That's all we had.
Abducting him.
Sat him down across a second-hand computer.
Made it plain:  You're not leaving
This apartment, seeing the seasons,
until the work's warm, stapled, and delivered.
Until you graduate.


Joe and me, we slept,
we slept in shifts.  Kept him awake
with coffee, with brainstorming paragraphs,
with friendly fire from burp guns.
Seemed
impossible:  Kueberth put off
six term papers and now,
the clock was bleeding dry.


By the fifth paper's
end, and the last
frappicuno,
Kueberth wouldn't stop shaking.
He was a grasshopper on a
saucepan.    Suffering just so because
he knew how damn close
success was.  Shuttered his muscles.
Closed his eyes, headed for the bathroom, locked
the door.


It was then that I knew that sometimes
you have to drag those you love
into victory's barbed wire.
With what tools and nonsense
this stubborn beast of time provides.


With my father's
creative mischief,
I picked open
the lock.   Found him
sitting, sobbing.  Leaning next
to the unused radiator.


And, out of some
perfect madness,
I began to speak
in a gruff, patchy brusque.
For twelve minutes we spoke,
metal and man.  Called myself
Thermidor (the heater's name),
Teased and cajoled Kueberth
to get those fingers
moving.


That he did.
Haven't done many selfless acts
in this time.
But seeing him take that
stage,
sneaking pictures several thousand
miles away of him,
a wide-grinning wife, a baby girl,
I'll keep those moments.   When I
put my wretched self
to use.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Poem - CD

Hey.

Here's a poem I wrote for Patreon about my oldest nephew (who turned five this month).
I think he's pretty darn cool.

CD

There's an allosaurus
Neck deep and ravenous
Inside a hapless stegosaurus
When he slams shut the book,
Wheels to face me,
and whispers:
I've just released a new song.
He wants to be
a gardener
a singer
and a paleontologist.
All three careers tasked
With the ministration
Of patience, digging deeper,
And solitude.
I clap my hands, gesture to the
Theatre of the living room.
He grins, a bit too tightly,
Spins in another dervish,
(as if shaking himself braver)
Ambles to the center.
A beat, he oversips a breath,
He sighs and with that exhalation
Every bone wresting him upright
Surrenders.
Puddle of nerves crawling towards me.
We tickle one another,
And as we play, I wish I could tell my nephew:
Fear does not weaken us; it simply
Develops a deeper appreciation
For song.
For, before I had a voice,
Before I trusted that what came forth in sound
Was useful,
I'd hold concerts in pillows.  I'd sing
Quietly to push tears back inside my sockets.
With breath finely tuned I'd attend each sore
And aching bone.
We sing to keep living.
There is no rhythm, no explicit coda, no familiar chord in
Our frightening seconds.
We sing for ourselves, a constant performance,
Pulsing like the veins
In a newborn's skull:
Here.

Here.
Here.
Here.

Here.