David Bowie is: Infestation

A month before my fifteenth birthday, I saw David Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour with my mother at Madison Square Garden.  She came with me because I wasn’t allowed to go to concerts alone then, and because she loved him.  In fact, my mother loved David Bowie so much, she forbid my father to come with us, lest he be uncomfortable with her excitement.

The Glass Spider Tour and the album it was in support of, Never Let Me Down, aren’t terribly well-reviewed or considered significant in the canon of Bowie’s work, and I knew that, even then, holding my breath for the older songs – like “Time” and “Heroes” — I had fallen in love with largely because they were on the cheapest cassettes for sale at Tower Records.

But the show had no less mesmerizing impact on me for all that, in large part because of the work done by choreographer Toni Basil and a character danced by Melissa Hurley, who, during “Bang Bang” is seemingly plucked out of the audience.  Chosen, she then rejects Bowie; then once he is chastened, goes after him, and leads him in something resembling a tango.

While the ruse was obvious, and I had even read about the moment in a music magazine in advance of the show, it still had the barest tinge and hope of authenticity to me. After all, I was a teenager and there was no mainstream commercial Internet at the time, so I had not read a description of this exact moment appearing night after night as a reminder that I would never be that girl.  With my dark curly hair, a dress at home that looked like the performer’s, and too many hours spent in dance classes, I had a tiny bit of hope, that one day….

I’ve had a lot of daydreams though, and that one faded faster than many it seems.  Certainly,  it was something long forgotten by the time I went to the David Bowie is exhibit at the Victoria & Albert in London last month and had what is certainly the most extraordinary museum visit I have ever experienced.

Even as the exhibit is far too crowded (it is sold out; without advance planning, the only way to get in at this point is to have, borrow, or purchase the same day a year long membership to the V&A) and chaotic in its isolation (as a guest you wear headphones for most of the journey that trigger music and interviews to scatter across your ears depending where you are in the exhibit) it is a trove of memory, evidence and technique that spans Bowie’s history and puts tangibility to details you may only have heard in passing: Diamond Dogs was supposed to be a stage musical; he performed on SNL with Klaus Nomi; he uses a computer program that cuts up sentences from other sources into his song lyrics.

This archive of sketches, sound and video clips, costumes, and artifacts, however, is not actually the highlight of the exhibit.  Rather, it’s the other people there with you.

The structure of the exhibit renders nearly everyone completely silent.  If they make sound, it is unlikely that you will hear them.  Yet, sometimes I caught a random peel of laughter, or looked to my left or right and found someone staring open-mouthed at the video of a performance video of “Boys Keep Swinging.”  Then, unavoidably, I was put in mind of Velvet Goldmine when the character of Arthur fantasizes about pointing at a television performance of the film’s Bowie avatar Brian Slade and shouting, “That’s me Ma!  That’s me!”

But the true magic is in he penultimate moment of David Bowie is that leads viewers into a large, multistory room coated in video monitors.  There are some exhibits scattered throughout this space, but they are secondary to the visual and auditory display and the many seating areas provided finally for guests.

Everyone stares up, mouths open yet again (we are tiny birds, there to receive this very fundamental piece of pop-culture nourishment and benediction; after all, one of the exhibits main arguments is that Bowie is in everything, including us).  Eventually, people realize the sound is no longer coming through their headphones, but is piped into the room directly, and the isolation of the exhibit structure has gives way to the communal concert experience.

A woman near me laughed at the wonder of it, and a security guard tried to shush her, but the crowd told him no.  A man to my left had tears tracking down his cheeks.  I had to look away from a monitor close to the floor that showed 9/11 footage during a performance of “Heroes,” which for me in high school was a song about how I felt I would never be loved.  Later I had to sit down as the whole of the room lit up with that long-forgotten performance of “Bang Bang” on The Glass Spider tour.

Exiting the exhibit one is given the proof, no longer needed, that David Bowie is in all of us.  Photos of artists who have borrowed, begged, and stolen from Bowie’s various incarnations and looks, or even echoed him seemingly accidentally and disturbingly (Tilda Swinton must be noted, especially), line three walls.  A periodic element chart of figures relevant, some as influence and some as influenced, is painted on the desperately meaningful fourth. Sometimes I would see names – Harvey Milk – and have to look away.

David Bowie is argues aggressively that Bowie’s presence, if not his work itself, is necessarily political in our cultures, and personal in the way that it does not just inspire, but infests.  It reminded me of the relief I felt as little more than a child to see portrayals of desire and loss and otherness that I was entitled to access in private amongst the public.

And it reminded me that there are some strange gems in the Bowie’s canon, not just in the truly great albums (Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, and the Berlin triptych), but in the lesser ones.  In fact, I walked out of David Bowie is with an obsessive need to revisit Never Let Me Down, and while I (re)discovered an album with many legitimately forgettable tracks and an excessive abuse of the signature-80s unnecessary sax solo, I also found in it the feminine counterpart to Diamond Dogs through “Bang Bang” and the rather spectacular “Time Will Crawl” that clearly returns us to the unresolved narratives of Hunger City.

David Bowie is runs through August 11 at the Victoria and Albert in London.

Girls Write Now: Fanfiction workshop follow-up

While it was a week ago, I did want to follow up on my talks at Girls Write Now last week, because it was a ton of fun, and I did promise the program participants and their mentors I’d update with some relevant links and a summary of what we talked about.

One of the things that was really fun was none of us were talking about justifying fanfiction.  Rather, we talked about both how fanfiction is entirely legitimate as an end in and of itself, but also how it functions as a gift economy, a mode of criticism, and a way to approached and even produce salable work.

We looked at the idea of given circumstances for character and story development — which is the notion that a person has certain key traits and reactive patterns and that a lot of fanfiction is taking known quantities (characters) and changing their given circumstances to see what happens.  We also talked about how playing with other people’s universes is a great way to learn cadence and voice and certain stylistic techniques.

We covered Harry Potter, One Direction, Buffy, the Whoniverse, Teen Wolf, and Game of Thrones. I mentioned Glee (but am pretty sure I mostly got side-eyed for that), and Ellen Kushner‘s novels (Swordspoint is where to start, and The Privilege of the Sword is the YA-ish one with the female protagonist).

We also talked about published incidences of fanfiction, including Wide Sargasso Sea and an anthology about fictional sexual encounters with celebrities called Starf*cker(Yes, the star is really in the title, and just so the girls in the program know, I was happy to say fucker in front of you all, but imagined a mentor or two might not have approved.  But I’m sure you can handle that).

We laughed a lot (thank you!) and great questions were asked about using personal experiences in storytelling and about how fanfiction can be used to highlight the stories of characters from backgrounds and experiences that are often marginalized.  In both groups people wanted to know if I’d ever met creators of work I’ve played with in a fannish context (yes, and that’s ranged from neutral but slightly weird to totally awesome).

Mostly, though, everything sort of boiled down to the joy and necessity of narrative — how it’s something we assign to the randomness of our own lives in order to make sense of it, and how it’s in imitation of that that we also learn to tell stories whether fiction or non-fiction.  In one of the sessions this led me to mentioning a Clive Barker quote I couldn’t really remember, but thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I can tell you it’s from the prologue to his novel Sacrament and is

I am a man, and men are animals who tell stories. This is a gift from God, who spoke our species into being, but left the end of our story untold. That mystery is troubling to us. How could it be otherwise? Without the final part, we think, how are we to make sense of all that went before: which is to say, our lives? So we make stories of our own, in fevered and envious imitation of our Maker, hoping that we’ll tell, by chance, what God left untold. And finishing our tale, come to understand why we were born.

On that note, some more links I promised people in the room are below.  Additionally, if there are specific resources you’re looking for that have not been mentioned here, please ask in comments, and I’ll see what I can find; I know some of the girls I talked to were particularly interested in anime-focused fanfiction archives, which was just one of those things I have no answers on.

Fanfiction.Net — Sometimes we call this the pit of voles, and quality can be challenging, but it’s there and it’s been there forever.  I don’t actually recommend it as a starting point for reading and posting fic, but it may work for you.

The Archive of Our Own — a great place to post and find fic to read.  Still technically in beta so you have to request an invite.

LiveJournal — no longer the hub of fanfiction (or anything else) it once was, but was definitely a vibrant pace that has/had a lot of fic communities.  Depending on your particular interests it may still be a good choice for you.

Tumblr — while I often derisively describe this space as blinky not thinky, Tumblr has lots of people posting fanfiction on it, as well as lots of people telling stories through visual modes and doing criticism too.  Organizationally it’s hard for conversations, but it’s grown on me as a way to be exposed to lots of random content on lots of different things.  As such, it’s sort of inspiring in a pattern recognition sort of way.

If you were at this event, please feel free to say hi, ask questions, leave comments, or just be excited about your fannish obsessions below.  For now, I’ll leave you with a quote that just came up on my Tumblr dash

That’s the nature of any creative activity — you’re mostly going to be rejected.

That’s from The New Yorker’s Bob Mankoff at a recent TED salon.  He’s the magazine’s cartoon editor today.  But when he first changed careers to become to a cartoonist he submitted 2,000 cartoons to the The New Yorker in his first year.  Every one was rejected.

As long as you’re writing stuff, you’re a writer.  Many days, that’s hard enough.  Keep making stuff as long as it makes you happy and even sometimes when it doesn’t.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in becoming a mentor for Girls Write Now or are a high school student eligible to participate they are still taking applications for next year’s program through June 15 (I’d sign up to mentor in a heart beat if I weren’t on the road so much).

Girls Write Now: Wildcard Workshop

This Saturday, I am getting up much, much earlier than I normally do on Saturdays to talk about fanfiction and how it can contribute to a writer’s creative process and professional life at a workshop held by Girls Write Now.

Girls Write Now is a non-profit organization that matches teen girls from NYC public high schools with professional women writers for one-to-one mentoring, genre-based workshops, public readings, college prep activities, and scholarship and publication opportunities. This seems like an amazing thing, and if my life weren’t already so over-scheduled and constantly in-transit, I’d sign up to mentor in a heartbeat.

The event (actually two, I’m doing a morning and an afternoon session) is only open to girls currently in the program and their mentors.  But I wanted to share this in the context of fan and transformative works being taken seriously, and also to let people know that Girls Write Now is out there.

Deciding you want to write for a living is weird, no one knows what to do with that, and the standardized-test focused school system doesn’t help.  The idea of an organization supporting girls through story and for story is massively exciting to me.  If it’s exciting to you, I hope you’ll consider getting involved in Girls Write Now or whatever similar programs may exist in your community.

Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It

Queers-Cover-web-194x300I’m really happy to finally get to post about Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It, edited by Sigrid Ellis (Chicks Dig Comics) and Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Magazine). It’s being released on June 4, 2013, already seems to have great buzz, and has one of my essays in it.

While the stuff I write is always personal on some level, my piece in this volume touches on a lot of things I tend not to talk about in public (yes, those exist) — including being Sicilian, wanting to be a boy, and the age of AIDS — because they’re just too difficult, too close, and too specific in my day-to-day life.

The through time and space nature of the Whoniverse, however, and Jack Harkness’s long-life on 20th century Earth have meant, however, that I couldn’t get away with contributing to this volume without telling my story in ways I’m a lot less practiced at, which is an opportunity I’m incredibly grateful for.

I think this volume is going to be incredible. It contains work from a lot of people I know, and a lot of people I know of, and I’m super excited to get my hands on it.

You can pre-order it at Amazon and other major booksellers, and it will also be available for early purchase at Wiscon.

Nick Cave: A laying on of hands

(For the uninitiated, Nick Cave sings a lot of songs about murder, religion, and violence (often against women). His lyrics at times contain slurs, and his themes are often disturbing. In light of that, advance warning that this may not be the blog post for you).

The holidays have been a little funny this year, although in some ways, they always are: My mother is Jewish and my father tends to rotate through religions biannually and is the type of guy who has self-published his own version of the Bible. Combine this with two family birthdays in April (my father’s and my partner’s) and it can get more than a little wacky pretty quickly. Trust me, when Easter Sunday and the first day of Passover are the same day and the birthday of your dad who writes poetry in the voice of Jesus, things get a little intense and a lot weird.

This year, though, the holidays got cancelled.  A pipe burst in my parents’ apartment, flooding the entire space with about 6 inches of boiling water. This took down a huge part of a wall, destroyed the flooring, and resulted in significant property damage.  It was also a re-lived trauma; something similar happened about 35 years ago in which most of my mother’s artwork was destroyed.  She works in water color, my father in oils, so his work was fine.

it suffices to say, Passover got cancelled this year, and Easter was already off the table because I would be in the air at the start of a business trip.

But for all that I attempt to distance myself from some aspects of them, I am a product of my eccentric family and its religious shenanigans (I haven’t mentioned other conversions, various conversants with Jesus, or my late cousin who joined a cult which allowed her only to dress in red), and so the season and I didn’t quite pass each other by.

I’ve seen Nick Cave in concert dozens of times.  The first was about 25 years ago, in high school.  He was so drunk or high, that not only could he not remember the words to his own songs, and not only could he not read the words to his own songs successfully off of a piece of paper, he couldn’t even sit on the stool from whence he was trying to do this without falling off of it. 

I didn’t know what to think of it, and I suppose on some level, I didn’t care.  I had my freedom for a night in New York without lying for a change, and that was enough.

But despite that particular gig being the way it was, I didn’t lose interest in Nick Cave.  I’ve seen him with his band, The Bad Seeds; I’ve seen him solo, crooning as he noodled on a grand piano at Town Hall.  And I’ve always been mesmerized, by his jangly charisma, a sort of Neil Diamond spit up from the pits of hell to sing about religion and murder and drunks all taken out of some fictional, horrific, and supernatural Dust Bowl America.

So this past friday, I went to see Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds again, because I always do.  And while there are no terrible seats at The Beacon, I had terrible seats, up in the lodge, but I became thankful for them, nearly instantly.  Because when Cave took the stage, he crouched down, and beckoned the audience to him, cajolling them, praising them closer, telling them to ignore the security guards, come closer, come closer.

And, of course, eventually they did. 

When I was seventeen, and just a week or two into college, I walked up to Gaston Hall at Georgetown University in a rainstorm to see Cave play.  A lot of things happened that day and night, but one of them was that same beckoning.  And I was close to the front, so when he called, I was right there, and in fact watched half the show sat on the lip of the stage and twisted ’round to see him.  He sang “Hey Joe” just inches from my face, into my eyes, long fingers touching my hair.

To see him work that particular magic — and horror, there’s a lot of horror at Nick Cave shows — on Friday night was a moment come full circle.  For every gentle caress as he sang of murder or men who make bets with the Devil and win, there was also his palm smacking onto the top of someone’s head, a laying on of hands as they vibrated under him to the music.

I watched this for two hours, a hand over my mouth smiling into it, as Cave performed this ritual on dozens of fans, going out into the crowd at one point and saying no to those who would try for the moment twice.  And it wasn’t just girls this time, not like it was back in 1990, and I was grateful for it, because this a man whose songs I feel I can never recommend to anyone because they often contain lines like “a fag in a whalebone corset draping his dick across my face.”  Those lines, for the record, usually aren’t even the ones most likely to upset or offend; Cave has a lot of seven-minute story songs, and they are all a long dark road. 

In all these years nothing about his songs has really changed; some are slower, some are almost gentle; but it’s still a body of work that’s often about dead prostitutes (and lately mermaids, actually, but I think that’s just a one-album phase). The songs remain dark, unsavory, lit by a strange religiosity, and desperately romantic.

At Friday’s show Cave sang a lot of older ones I didn’t expect to hear: “Papa Won’t Leave You Henry” (from which the previously quoted line comes), “Deanna” (which is only particularly harrowing if you’ve heard him tell its backstory), “The Mercy Seat” (performed in the voice of a convict as he is being executed in the eletric chair), “The Weeping Song” (performed solo now that Blixa Bargeld is no longer in the band, a gesture I appreciate, even though the song, which tells the difference between children’s tears and adult sorrow, was always better as a duet), “The Ship Song” (perhaps the most shattering love song I have ever heard), “Tupelo” (which, clearly, it’s just easier if I link to), and “From Her to Eternity” (the night’s closest moment to Cave’s original punk days, but remarkably listenable to all the same).

And amongst all of this, Cave did it with a string section and a children’s choir from Harlem. 

Now, there are a lot of dead and weeping children in Cave’s songs; having children’s voices support many of those songs (even if the truly violent and disturbing stuff was saved for when they were off stage) was brilliant and weird and that possible step too far that a performer with his roots in punk should generally provide.

Even so, a man that I have seen give pretty much every type and quality of concert imaginable, managed to surprise me and discomfort me all over again.  Which is, of course, why I keep coming back.

Somewhere in there, as the people around me whispered about how they wished they were down on the floor where Cave was still beckoning and cajoling between verses and laying on hands during, I realized that nearly everything I’ve ever thought about what it means to be chosen, and the burden of that, comes from being one of those people on the floor as a teen. 

How silly, how wasteful, how secret and lovely, it seemed to me all at once. 

The children lifted their voices again, Cave referenced a great and terrible God with incredibly elusive mercy, and I thought about the email I would write to my parents about seeing the show, like this, on Good Friday of all days, knowing my father might well be offended and my mother vociferously jealous.

After and leaving, I overheard two conversations: One from a woman who had clearly seen Cave before and had taken her seemingly new boyfriend in the concert.  She was relieved that he had liked it.  The other, two people, probably around ten years younger than me who’d never seen Cave before. They were in that wow, what was that, wow place some of us go to after really good concerts.  I followed them to the subway, listening to them try to talk about the way Cave touches his audience as if they are customer and pilgrims.  They wondered if the people in the audience who got that close wanted to fuck him or wanted to be healed.

I shook my head to myself, but said nothing.  But 23 years ago when Nick Cave sang “Hey Joe” to me I stared him right in the eye and sung along when I could.  It wasn’t anything but a dare in my pretty little seventeen-year-old head, and that went both ways.

There aren’t a lot of interactions a person can have with someone we put on a stage, we put on a pedestal, we insert into a narrative that says we’re practically obligated to desire them, where you get to be that equal and that ferocious, no matter how much it looks, under those long fingers, like something else.

an stomach the themes of Cave’s work, it’s a never, ever miss gig.

The Hobbit: … and back again

When the animated special of the The Hobbit aired in 1977, I had just turned five.  I had also already seen it, because my father worked in advertising and hand, in fact, worked on the campaign for it.  During that time, I had spent months of weekends  and evenings at his office watching the film projected onto a conference room wall as he worked on his comps.  We would sing along with the warg song (“Fifteen Birds“) together, and my father would speak to me, for hours, in Gollum’s voice.  He was very good at it, and I was sort of strangely proud that Gollum was my friend.

All of which means that as much as I knew, long before the reviews started, that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit was likely to be a lesser film than those of his The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I was probably more excited for this trilogy than that one.

Don’t get me wrong, I really loved the LoTR films, and as someone who isn’t a Tolkein purist (I often wish I could be, but my mind and my patience for The Simarillion simply doesn’t work that way), that was easy to do.  But most of that love was came not in response to the story, the monsters or the protagonists, but in response to the incredibly rich and specific film vocabulary Peter Jackson and company developed to tell those stories.

That vocabulary is returned to us fully in The Hobbit, from the genius of Howard Shore’s musical themes to the writhing, Bosch-like plains of flesh that make up the film’s many battle scenes.  The importance of story within story, the impact of history, and the relentless hero shots and speeches of great men (and dwarves and elves) also remain, driving the pace and coding characters not as people but as symbols.

It’s desperately heightened, in a way that is almost overlooked because how can you have the reality part of “heightened reality” with such unreal things as orcs and storm giants and wargs?

Of course, The Hobbit as a novel does have a somewhat different tone than The Lord of the Rings.  It’s funnier.  It’s lighter. Its dangers are more wondrous and more easily escaped.  The film, in turn, utterly acknowledges this in its own tone and construction while not compromising on the visual, audio, and narrative vocabulary established for The Lord of the Rings films.

And that’s where, it seems, the mainstream professional reviews seem to be ill at ease with what was served up on screen.  The vocabulary Jackson uses is weighty, epic, and arguably bombastic, and for many critics the extension of that vocabulary to what is traditionally a children’s book doesn’t seem to sit quite right.

Of course, as a four year old who spent hours and hours singing the warg song with my father, I knew then and know now that stories for kids can often do with being as epic, dramatic, and, yes, bombastic, as stories for grownups.

Technically, The Hobbit trilogy probably won’t be as good as The Lord of the Rings trilogy if the first film is anything to go on.  And I avoided, with great effort, seeing either the 3D version (it gives me headaches) or the 48fps version because my eyes have been trained to find their moving-going truth in the softer illusions of perfection generated by 24fps, so I can’t comment on what that does, or doesn’t, add to the experience.

But if you love Peter Jackson’s cinematic vocabulary, or just the idea of cinematic vocabularies in general, The Hobbit is a treat.  It’s also joyously nostalgic.  Coming out of the theater every overheard conversation seemed to be about people’s first encounters with the story and how that tied into their response to the film.

However, my perhaps favorite moment was that even as the film lacked a warg song, it did have several others, and everyone seemed to be singing them as they left the theater. This included a trio of well-harmonized strangers who couldn’t seem to stop themselves from slipping into “The Misty Mountains” while in the ladies bathroom stalls after a screening last night in New York’s East Village.

Programming notes

Greetings from exceptionally sunny Toronto where I’m at Regeneration today in support of Doctor Who in Time and Space, which is now available for pre-order that link. I have an essay in it tentatively titled “Narrative Conflict and the Portrayal of Media, Public Relations and Marketing in Doctor Who.”

Speaking of time and space… I’ve been a bit lost in it lately. I’ve just gotten back from Switzerland where I was often working on Eastern Standard Time because of the election, before spending half of this week working from New York on European time for reasons other than jet lag; then there was a cat health drama (we have some very cute cats); and now we’re in Toronto.

I anticipate being back to my regular weekly (at least) blogging schedule by next week’s Glee episode, and catching up on other media media shortly. After all, Cloud Atlas still must be discussed; I suspect I’ll have things to say about the new Bond; the presence of “Sing!” on The New Normal can hardly be ignored; and The Carson Phillips Journal is out immanently.

I will be making at least one Glee post later today (I’m sneakily treating the Grease episodes as a duology to just my lack of recent content). For those of you looking for a media comment fix on the sorts of stuff usually mentioned here between now and then (I have to get in the shower to get ready to see a friend for brunch), you may wish to check out the discussions happening on FYeah Glee Meta! or get yourself a copy of Chicks Unravel Time, both of which are filled with great stuff from cool people I am thrilled fandom has brought into my life in one way or another.

Personal: Musical theater is not like baseball, except when it is

In some ways musical theater is not like baseball. There’s totally crying in it, and if something flies into the audience, you can’t keep it.

In other ways, it’s totally like baseball: getting into the minors is one hell of an accomplishment in itself, the journey to your goals can be a long one, and there’s a lot of mythology to play with along the way.

Dogboy & Justine, the full-length musical version, completed its first (and nearly sold-out) run yesterday. We got what we wanted out of it — a good show, and lots of learning from the audience, the actors, and the rest of the team about what to tweak next to make it an even better show.

I personally discovered what was apparently obvious to everyone else, which is that I like, and am fairly good at, producing. It was also a tremendously character building exercise for me; I am absolutely a more capable person, with better self-esteem and better boundaries than I was three weeks ago, which is really good considering the ways in which musical theater is not like baseball (look, I cry very easily) and we’re no where near done with the show’s life-cycle yet, which means if you didn’t catch it this time, there will be other chances to see it.

I also discovered that no matter how much of an introvert (people exhaust me) and a natural complainer (I’m a NYC-native for heaven’s sake) I am, I do genuinely like people, enjoy their company, am fascinated by their foibles, and want to do right by them as much as possible.

Other facts, which aren’t really new discoveries, also remain: My life is largely defined by its propensity for small world theater and freakish synchronicity, and I do the stuff I do for lots of reasons.

A lot of those reasons aren’t necessarily “good,” even if they’re really human. They include vanity, and a need to feel like I actually exist. Some of the reasons are also pretty murky, because the desire to make an impact and the desire to tell stories about people like me and my friends — that’s vanity too, even if it sounds more altruistic than fame or success.

So I’m not gonna lie and say I didn’t enjoy all those moments in the American Theatre of Actors lobby where people were complimenting what my collaborator and I, and the whole creative team, made happen up on the stage. I loved that. The truth is, is that if you make stuff, those moments are like food.

But every once in a while this past week someone said we made an impact with the piece in a way that meant so much because it wasn’t about me — or any of us but that audience member — at all. The experience of that type of feedback, on some level, is about finding out I was able to help give someone else the stuff I’m always trying and failing to find for myself and instead tend to find in other people’s art.

That sentence is outrageously convoluted, but if you both like stuff and make stuff too, you probably know what I mean. And if you were there, and were one of those conversations, I hope we get to continue it (this is, in fact, being posted here for that very reason, and also to wrap up this round of D&J intensity, before this blog goes back to other subjects).

So thank you so much — if you came to the show, worked on the show, or just had patience with this space while I haven’t had as much energy for it as I would like. I still have a lot of administrative wrap-up to do, and I’ve an essay due this week for an anthology, but we’re almost back online here.

See you soon!

Personal: coming attractions

If I’ve discovered nothing else in the last few weeks, it’s that it’s almost impossible to do anything else while co-producing a show.

But, of course, there’s been other things to do: I’ve an essay due by the 20th for something, and Patty comes home on Monday. There’s been the hard news analytics work I don’t generally talk about here, and there’s also been friends and music and adventures, and being dragged out to bars at 11pm on a Monday.

There’s been the work my upstairs neighbors (one of them a landscape designer it turns out) have done on our now glorious yard, and spending time with people I have known since I was a child, even if by child what I mean is the year I was 19 and I thought I knew what I was doing being all clever and coy.

But I haven’t really had time to write here, not in an organized way. Even if I do have things to say about Tyrion Lanister and leader-of-men speeches, about how only we maybe believe them from the men we are told should not be leaders, because only they can know what to say to lead the terrified into battle.

I have random things to say about Glee too — Kurt Hummel’s collection of death related brooches is probably top of the list. And I keep thinking that today is the day that Ianto Jones died on Torchwood, but actually, I’m just forgetful and eager, because that’s actually next month.

Meanwhile, I desperately want to see Snow White and the Huntsman (which I’m sure will give me things to write about) and, I guess, The Avengers so I can keep up with what everyone is talking about.

But right now, and speaking of fairy tales, I am reading Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories.

It’s an odd read for me, as I barely do YA, and this is meant for an even younger audience, but once it finds its voice and the the location it actually wants to be set in, it’s quite luminous, and, at least so far, uniquely melancholy. Even if it’s not really my sort of book at all, it’s a little bit the right one at the right time, and certainly, I’m excited enough to think about how I’m going to write about it as I am reading it.

So I promise I’ll be back soon, with cogent and perhaps excessive arguments about ridiculous things. I’ll have some announcements of stuff coming out soon, I think, as well (publishing is glacial, my friends, glacial), and I should probably backtrack enough to talk about the BEA children’s author breakfast, at which every speaker was truly stellar.

There’s also a slight chance I’ll blog about tomorrow’s Starkid show (even though I still don’t get it) through my regret that Patty couldn’t go with me to be boggled and outraged by this tour’s archaeology theme (when I thought she might be able to join me, I was seriously considering making me write a guest post on it — trust me when I say we’re all the poorer for that not happening).

In the meantime, I hope you’re having a lovely not-quite-summer-yet thus far, and if you do come to Dogboy & Justine, please be sure to take a moment to say hello.

Soon: Tyrion Lannister. Now: Kinkstarter!

Sorry about the headline, it was just a little bit irresistible.

So, while I slowly work my way up to a post about leader-of-men speeches and Tyrion Lannister, but must currently plead exhaustion as I spent the night on a train to Boston, I do have one more Dogboy & Justine related announcement for now: Kinkstarter!

On June 6 at 9pm, please join us as we bring Broadway to its knees for an evening of cabaret as the cast, crew, and friends of Dogboy & Justine and Treble Entendre put a naughty, kinky twist on classic Broadway (and a few pop hits!) at the historic Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn is located at 53 Christopher Street in New York City.

There’s no cover and a two drink minimum for this event as we pass the hat in support of our upcoming production of Dogboy & Justine.

I’m MC’ing (after spending a day adventuring at BEA), and I promise you, it’s going to be very strange, very funny evening.