Tired Already – Day 3 –

Obstacles too numerous to enumerate keep arising until tomorrow at 9:40 am I can put this year to rest.

The PowerPoint & Technology. What a nightmare that has been.

It is easier and harder this year. I am not so overwhelmed trying to accommodate the novelty of the experience as in the first year, SO I have mental space to grapple with self-doubt. I wonder how that fits on a scale of experience …. FEAR is first level – then once you master fear, you can progress to SELF-DOUBT.

Last year’s group is so laid back it brought out another totally different side of me. Boy, this year we have a group of people who can really remain “on task”. Miss my fellow zannes from last year a bit – we never stayed on task, but got the job done anyway with hilarity to boot.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Mad Dash to Montana

My husband left just minutes ago with the car to drive to Montana with our nephew, Collin Coyne. I am still in the freefall of managing all that needs to be done before I leave on Saturday. If I think too much about it, I will go mad.

I have sort of a costume for my presentation, yet the major accessory – The Purse – is still a concept. And there are the piles of writing needed for the formalization of what it is I actually DID for a project.
And the Purse monologue to polish. and Learn. and the presentation Columbine is to make. eeeecchc.
Just plug away and pile up as much work as I can while somewhat finishing up the outstanding school work. Yechh.

So many thoughts . No time to blog.

Working Working Working

It is pure insanity – without direct intervention of some extreme ichinen on my part I will not even get back to Montana this summer. My father is not doing well at all. What does it matter the dissarray of my field project – if one does not even make it back there to present.

However, I am picking up the pieces and forging ahead. I don’t think I have time to get Columbine together sartorially in a week or so. So maybe I need to bring another character. The other performance pieces are too stressful to try to contemplate either. I don’t know her name yet- she is the funny one – one of the missing Commedia women, perhaps she actually was included – I need to check the literature. She is the clown girl – and I have been following the evolution of street theater and clowns as well as other permutations from the root of the Commedia. She doesn’t need a venue, an organization, and event or any permission to be. I can be her sometime somewhere in the next month.

On the off chance there might be something, I checked out the options for her purse at the fabric store and voila- there it was. I have been very in sync with purses, it seems. I have all the bits. A dress. Some capris. A little bouffe on today’s fashion – and I found the HAT as well. on sale.

Interesting debate about the hat. I had to overrule my former self to allow my new self to live stronger. No it is not logical – but if one finds THE HAT even if one does not now what or when to use it – GET IT.

If You Don’t Believe in Karma – Explain This

My Performance Work So Far:

  • Perform my solea at 4W5 ? NOT. Program fizzles. No venue.
  • Play Columbine at Mardi Gras? NOT. Exigent Emergency. Comedy/Tragedy of Anxiety.
  • Perform/Read My Characters at Creative Society? NOT. Exigent Emergency #2. Quiet evening at home with Dad post-op.

My Other Work So Far:

  • The Mardi Gras Mask – a Complete Frustration. NOT satisfied, yet client over the moon with pleasure.
  • Columbine’s Costume – a 3-hour rush job that wins compliments all around. NOT satisfied.
  • Live in the Dead Zone? NOT happening either. No lead time left. Funny how the days evaporate when you play chaffeur, nurse and housekeeper not just to one household but to two.

Do YOU see a theme happening here?
What convinces me is the fact that this outpatient surgery could have happened anytime in a 2 week time frame YET the day the surgeons et al just HAPPEN to come together is the VERY same day I am decided to make a stand at the Creative Expression evening (April 20).

I am crushed. However, I don’t feel at the mercy of the power of someone else. I made this choice – I know it is the right one, but I hate having to make such hard choices. It always has been understandable why artists and their families can have such problematic relationships. Sometimes the work has to be chosen over the family – and it may not seem “significant” enough to those put second.

What I have followed to conclusion in this field project year it is NOT in my work. I have so many venues I could have and wanted to work with post Mardi Gras. I had PLANS. I was preparing for those plans. Pfft ffft kaput.

The only thing has been the inner voyage from the work being outside of myself to it becoming mine. It will be done someway in near future. These things are things I need to do – as they are my work. Not a project. My work.

About The Paw

Some have inquired why the web address for this blog is "thepaw.catzilla.org"

Why the Paw ?

As part of the requirements of our first year field project in the Creative Pulse program at the University of Montana in Missoula, we are required to footprint our process. This is the exact wording of our request – footprinting . As it happens the grizzly is the UM mascot and the "GrizPaw" logo is a common decoration on UM related gear. I myself have I have a pair of pajamas with a large grizpaw on the butt. At home, "the paw" is also a recurring them. "Not the Paw" is one of my most repeated phrases in training of my Samoyed, Lady. She wants to show her love through touching – and getting "the paw" is a daily event. "No Lady – Not the Paw!!!"

It was a natural synthesis – footprinting – grizzlies – the paw. Hence the ID for this blog at:


In meandering the internet in search of the visual of the GrizPaw, an accidental typo led to the link to the Explore North web site dedicated to the exploration of the circumpolar North of Murray Lundberg, among other things a historical tour guide to the Alaskan Highway. This photograph captures the essence of the footprinting in Buskers, Bloggers, and Being. It is traveling through uncharted and risky territory, whose native denizens are fearsome creatures demanding great respect.

Footprinting in the Sand

Tired but Restored

In every sense of the word. We have overcome.

Not only do I have my old blog back, I now am in complete control of my current blog to boot. Many thanks to the work of my spousal unit. 😉 (love U) I am now the proud adminstrator of not just this blog, but – count them – four more blogs.

As Dr. Who said so often -“I have a plan.

I want to create a nexus for some collaborative performance art – and in order to collaborate beforehand without the struggle of coordinating schedules – voila – use a blog to create a virtual nexus that precedes the actual physical one. ergo – Nex-US 05. This project could be an abject failure. I am prepared for that eventuality. However, I also hope a great deal that it is not.

It was hard to blog at eBloggy after they lost everything – it made committing any precious thought or random piece of information to their server – well I had trepidations. I didn’t realize how many until my fingers have been freed to dance on the trajectory of my swirling thoughts again.

Finally. and Hooray!

Columbine Works the Room

The advice I was given was to “come with many possibilities”. However, I think I didn’t have enough mental space to remember that I should also have come ready for anything.
Columbine Works the Room
The major unexpected element was that there was no one else in costume except my husband and all the mannequins. What was even more remarkable, and instructive on the Wilmington state of mind, was that each person got a goody bag with a mask in it. Only one person wore it, until much later in the evening and the drinks had been flowing copiously. I didn’t even realize that folks had a mask until later that evening when I had a chance to peruse the contents of my bag. Ergo there was none of the true element of Mardi Gras. The mood was much more of an office holiday party, where everyone is on their best behavior because the president of the company is there.

The major victory I think, was that I didn’t let all of the obstacles crowding at me deter me from actually taking this first step. It was a very small baby step, since just as I was leaving to go to the event, I received a phone call from my father. My brother was with him and believed urgently that he needed to go to the hospital right away. It defied logic, but for some reason my father didn’t want to commit to going to the hospital, until I came to his house. The Mardi Gras event was just a few city blocks from the hospital. ay caramba!

Instead of going to the Mardi Gras as my primary destination, essentially I popped in at the Mardi Gras on the way to the hospital. So Columbine only had the hour or so that it would take for my brother to drive my father into the city. If that knowledge wasn’t distraction enough, the cell phone rang every 20 minutes. Make a note: one should not travel with a cell phone when doing improv street theater. It took many more phone calls to penetrate my father’s denial of the seriousness of his condition.
The Only One in Costume Here Too
It was rather strange overall in the extreme – it didn’t take much to totally overwhelm me, and eventually I plopped on a bench and tried to become just another one of the stuffed MardiGras mannequins.

Obstacle – My Art Is NOT Important

This is what I have been taught all my life. When I came home from Missoula, I realized I had never challenged this attitude that surrounded me. I had surreptitiously given myself permission enough to squeeze in this and that, here and there, but that was all I had allowed myself. I have been saved from taking myself and my work too seriously by never having realized how much I really discount my own ability myself. Dr. Bolton talked a lot about “being given permission” at some point in one’s young life to follow an artistic way. I had the fortune to meet mentors outside my family that validated my inner life. My parents were happy to bask in whatever kudos my talent brought to them, but it was not something to be invested in. Unless it was music lessons – they were heavily invested themselves in my being a classical musician, but I had no passionate desire to be one. Fortunately for myself, by the time I was in music school my first term in college at least I figured it out. Although I love playing music, being a musician is not something to learn to do just to have a job. I remember vividly the afternoon about midterm, I played hooky from all my scheduled performing groups and went and found a place where no one would find me with some pastels and a pad of paper.

I have been playing hooky all my life to sneak off and do what I want. I am just realizing that maybe that Rollo May fellow isn’t totally off base about letting one’s artistic talent go unfathomed. I had a huge period of depression after I went the First Friday art shows locally in November. I have been going to these shows for decades knowing that the best of what I can do is as good or even better. At one show, I saw a hundred paintings and drawings of local historical buildings that were inferior to my drawings. As a matter of fact, a lot of my students learn to do better work. And all of these people had been invited to a charity show to benefit the local Ronald McDonald House – and were billed as the Best of the Brandywine Valley. I went right after that to the Artists In Residence Show at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art. The caliber of the work certainly improved, but I realized that so much of the work there was retreaded recycled ideas. I knew I had thousands of ideas that were more novel and contemporary than I saw there. So what Was I doing anyway? Why wasn’t I renting a studio at DCCA? What was the real problem here? Why had I never considered it as worthy of my time? It wasn’t my voice speaking ….. why had I listened for so long?

Obstacles – Fatigue

The initial planned schedule was that the big mask was to be complete, one way or another, on Wednesday. In spite of other obstacle (see previous posts) it was. It was scheduled to be hung yesterday, Friday, and that was all I was supposed to do in terms of “decorating” . The mask took as long as I thought it would to hang – several hours. Work moves slowly when a cherry-picker is part of the process. The plan was I would hang the mask and then go home. Done. The decorating committe was to do the rest. But instead of being able to go and regroup, and prep in all ways for performance, I ended up having to supervise the crew paper-hanging all the rest of stuff in lobby area.

It turns out that the volunteers on decorating committee were sincere and dedicated, but not one had a clue of how to hang paper. I had not anticipated working 10+ hours yesterday and then 5 more on today interior decorating. Standing on concrete to boot. Climbing up and down ladders. I was glad I had abandoned the idea of high heeled boots in my Columbine costume – as it was I was so tired I could hardly stand up when I went.

There is a reason one rarely is an actor and on the stage crew for same production. Actor & director maybe. One can work into the wee hours to solve last minute glitches as long as one can nap from curtain to curtain.