A birthday wish from little old (literally, ha!) me.

Dear Friends,

A week ago I celebrated a significant milestone – my 40th birthday. So far, it’s been looking like an exciting year. As one of my wishes, I’d like enlist your help.

I am on the board of directors for a truly unique and inspiring theatre program for young actors in our region. Portland Theatre Brigade provides professional theatre training for young people ages 7-14. Theatre Brigade not only teaches amazing acting skills (using improvisation through Spolin work – most of you know how important improv is to me!) – but it also empowers these young people to know their own voice and to be leaders and team players no matter their age and talent. I’ve seen first hand how transformational this program can be to these kids!

One of the most unique offerings in the program is the Portland Theatre Brigade School Tour. Our young actors tour to schools throughout the Portland metro area providing FREE theatre performances for 3,000 students each year. Not only is this an invaluable experience for the young members of Theatre Brigade, it also serves as an inspiring and lively experience for the student audiences they reach. And with the dwindling arts education resources in our schools, Theatre Brigade performances may be one of the few live theatre performances these students get all year.

As Portland Theatre Brigade gets their spring School Tour underway, I humbly ask

PLEASE HELP US RAISE $10,000 BY APRIL 23!

Through a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, as well as pledges from other donors, we’re already nearly halfway there.

Visit our website to donate online or send a check to Portland Theatre Brigade, PO Box 5823, Portland, OR 97228. Watch our thermometer fill up as donations come in!

As a special 40th birthday gift to me, I’m hoping that you’ll consider a gift of $40 or more towards this campaign. If 100 of you wonderful people pitched in $40 we’d be so close to our goal!! (Of course, we’ll be happy to accept donations of any size smaller or larger than $40.)

Anyone who donates to Theatre Brigade during this campaign will receive a link to a wonderful video about Portland Theatre Brigade created by one of the student alums.

Thanks for reading and thanks for all your support!!

Toni

PS – If you haven’t liked our Facebook page, do it now! Click here.

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eclosion

I finally had a chance to catch up reading my friend Sarah’s blog avventure. She’s a professional clown who is in Florence as a pedagogical knight (read more about that on her blog) for a brand new international clown school Helikos, founded by her mentor Giovanni Fusetti. Not only is she blogging wonderfully about her own process as a teacher in training and a witness to the “emergence” of a new school, she’s sharing a lovely portrait Florence.

In one of her posts – giocavamo [we have been playing (imperfect)] – she shares one of the teacher’s lessons on LeCoq’s Twenty Movements. The one that resonated with me was “eclosion” or the verb “eclose”

Definition: “Emerge as an insect from the pupa case, or of a larva from the egg.”

I love that essence of emergence. And as a concept for movement… very interesting. I’ll be checking out more LeCoq.

dinner theatre for families!

For those of you in the Portland area with school age children, there’s a great family event benefiting a great children’s theatre company (admittedly I’m biased, as I’m on Portland Theatre Brigade’s board of directors – but really it is wonderful!).

Details:
Sunday, November 21
4:00pm
Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK, Portland
Tickets: Kids under 16 $7, Adults $12
Pre-purchased tickets include grilled cheese and tomato soup! Purchase tickets here.
Sponsors: Curious Comedy Theater, The Waterbrook Studio, CheezyFlicks.com, Dave’s Killer Bread

The performers include two local actors and three professionals from across the country who all specialize in story theatre, having studied with the venerable Paul Sills, son of the godmother of improvisation Viola Spolin.

More details about the company and the dinner theatre event on the Portland Theatre Brigade website.

Small Space, Big Stories tonight

I’ve been directing three improvisors for a show we’re calling Small Space, Big Stories. Our venue is a very small, intimate space (hence the title), Nisus Gallery. Tonight we’ll explore themes of place, relationship and constraints, in the first of what we hope will be regular improvised theater performances at Nisus. There is just the tiniest amount of seating so get there early (doors open at 7:30) to ensure you’ve got a spot.

More details about Small Space, Big Stories here.

You’ll also get to see the visual art exhibit up at Nisus, “Barbie” by Claudia Porter.

Friday’s A to Z

Building on yesterday’s post, here are some things I ♥ right now:


A – APA Compass. We did a show this morning. We’ll have archives up in the next couple of days.
B – Boots.
C – Community. One of my favorite TV shows right now with one of my favorite characters on TV right now Abed. One of the best episodes of TV ever is Modern Warfare from Season 1, Episode 23, directed by Justin Lin.
D – Danny’s Auto on Halsey and 60th.
E – Energy.
F – Farmers Market. Only 2 more weeks!
G – Gabriel’s Bakery’s herb cheese bagels.
H – Harry Potter. I know, I’m a late bloomer.
I – Improv Theater. Shameless promo: We’re doing a show next week Small Space, Big Stories.
J – Jackets.
K – Kissing hubby.
L – The Library.
M – Milani Nail Lacquer “Cappucino” – described “Light Coffee with Gold Shimmer”
N – The Great Northwest.
O – Owls.
P – Piano. I feel very blessed to have one of my very own. I recently learned how to play “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Here Comes the Sun” on YouTube. Amazing.
Q – Maggie Q, star of Nikita. I watched the show as homework for our APA Compass radio discussion about APAs on TV, and now am fully sucked in.
R – Rest.
S – Slings and Arrows. More on this next week.
T – Time Traveler’s Wife.
U – Upper Horsetail and Triple Falls at the Columbia River Gorge.
V – Vodka Martini. A little dirty.
W – White Tea. Specifically Vanilla Apricot White Tea by Tazo.
X – Extracurriculars. (Close enough to X!) My life is all extracurricular it seems right now.
Y – Soft Yolks. I had my eggs over easy this morning and it was yum.
Z – Portland Zombie Walk.

“A” image is by me.
“Z” image found on Wikimedia Commons: Route sign for Missouri Supplemental Route Z. Based on Image:MO-supp-K.svg by User:PHenry.

Slings and Arrows, for the arts administrator

To ring in the new Gregorian year, I’d like to recommend this series…


I stumbled across Slings and Arrows somehow. Someone along the way recommended it to me (thank you, whoever you are!!) and I’ve finally finished the three seasons on DVD. A perfect show for those arts administrators amongst us, the delightful comedy extolls the foibles, earnestness, absurdity and glory of bringing arts to the people.

It follows the creative and administrative teams at the fictional “New Burbage Festival,” a Shakespeare festival, not unlike our fine state’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival (though I believe it’s really modeled after the Stratford Festival.) Complete with lots of great Shakespeare, star-crossed lovers, intrigue, ghosts and great accents – thank you Canadians for your most excellent comedy!

A2Z September 2009 Edition

a) My ankle is bunk. I had a Spice Girls incident years ago (tripped over my own platform shoes)(OK I know, why the hell was I wearing platform shoes? What can I say, it was the 90s.) and ever since my right ankle has been sensitive on an on and off basis. This week, on. 😦
b) Fall means Back to Blog! I shall blog regularly again after my unexpected summer hiatus.
c) Our poor Corolla has a whole slew of problems right now. Nothing serious, but annoying enough. On the list: driver side seat belt is failing; dome light doesn’t work; window rattles; some weird noise when we turn (okay that might be more serious). If anyone has a good mechanic in Portland let me know.
d) Dog or no dog? That is the question.
e) Egg Salad. I want to make egg salad today.
f) Excited to dabble in the film world again. I recently joined a small collective (if you’re knowledgeable about the local film scene and interested in getting involved let me know!) producing a new program at KBOO called Behind the Screen. Listen in the last Thursday of the month.
g) I’m gazing out my window and the skies are gray. Or is it grey? Actually grey is the British spelling. So, now you know. Madonna would definitely use “grey.”
h) House! Enough said.
i) Now that it’s fall, I’m committed to doing more improv! A group of us gals just started meeting to play together. Hopefully that will get going on a regular basis. I founded a rad all-woman improv troupe in Chicago years ago called RED. One of the other members of this group was in Southern Oregon’s Hamazons: Warrior Princesses of Comedy. Other improv opps I plan to partake in: Jumping Off Place and Curious Comedy‘s Open Court.
j) Didn’t get to finish Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake before I had to return it to the library. I’m putting it on hold again.
k) Just watched Project Runway Allstars on DVR. Korto Momolu was robbed! Just goes to show that white man making an “edgy” collection that can be worn by twig-sized teens gets more respect than a woman of color making bold, well-crafted beautiful designs for women of all sizes.
l) I’m into my Burt’s Bees’ Lip Shimmer. Shade: Peony.
m) I’m excited to dive into the slo-cooker pork mole that Matt made. Yummy!
n) Check out the newly designed Bitch Magazine. The stalwart feminist pop culture rag took a break to regroup and are looking better than ever in “The Consumed Issue.” They’ve also got a new Executive Director Julie Falk who we hope will continue to help steer the Bitch boat in the right direction. Call them Bitch Media now and enjoy not only the magazine, but their offerings of audio, blog and more. Support Bitch by joining their B-Hive!
o) Open auditions for Portland Theatre Brigade are happening starting next week! All young actors ages 7-15 invited to audition for this fabulous, empowering, young people’s theatre company.
p) Pens I’m into right now: Uni-Ball Gel Grip Pens, 0.7 mm, Medium Point; Uni-Ball Vision Elite Liquid Rollerball Pens, 0.5 mm, Micro Point; and always the magical, wonderful standard Fine Point Sharpie.
q) Quip: 1. A clever, witty remark often prompted by the occasion.2. A clever, often sarcastic remark; a gibe. Courtesy of Free Dictionary.
r) RIP Richard Francis, host of KBOO’s A Different Nature. I didn’t know him well, but I know he was a sweet soul and well-loved at KBOO. Here are nice articles about Richard on the Kill Ugly Radio and Baron Landscape’s Broken Hour blogs.
s) Super Project Lab, my hubby’s improv troupe, has a whole bunch of shows coming up. This weekend they’re doing “Old Flames” at Curious Comedy and they are sharing the bill with Canoofle. And Matt (my sweetie) directed the show!
t) TBA! TBA! TBA! Here’s an interview I did with curator Kristan Kennedy for Behind the Screen.
u) Okay, nearing the end of the alphabet and feeling a bit stuck… I always wanted Wonder Woman Underoos. It seems they still make them.
v) The Verdana font was designed by Matthew Carter specifically to be read on a computer screen. Here’s more from fonts.com.
w) Speaking of Wonder Woman, did you know that Joss Whedon started writing a live action film adaptation of Wonder Woman? Too bad it never came to fruition.
x) Xi is the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet. It is preceded by Nu and followed by Omicron
y) I’m a full-time working stiff now. Luckily it’s at this marvelous place, Young Audiences.
z) Zee End.

news roundup

It’s May 4, which means Day 4 of my NaBloPoMo month. Only 27 days to go…

Here are some random news and headlines that have caught my eye over the past few days:

When Coffee Wars Get Bitter: The Floyd’s Saga – There’s some shady stuff happening with one of my local coffee shops. Our PDX explains how Floyd’s, the cool drive-thru coffee shop, were forced out of their space. Photo courtesy of One True b!x on flickr.

R.I.P. Al Robles and Manong Al Has Left the Building– Longtime Filipino-American community activist and poet Al Robles passed away. He’s best known for his work around the closing of the I-Hotel in San Francisco, a former low-income residence for lots of Asian American elders that got torn down amidst lots of controversy and not-without a huge resistance from the community. He is featured in Curtis Choy‘s classic documentary Fall of the I Hotel as well as his latest film Manilatown is in the Heart, currently hitting the film festival circuit. Hyphen and Racewire report.


Brazilian theater director August Boal dies – Another sad loss for the community. Boal is the founder of Theater of the Oppressed, which he continued to teach until now. His work has been incredible in empowering communities to communicate and make powerful change. Photo courtesy of Teia 2007 on flickr.

If Pigs Could Fly: Traveling in the Time of Swine Flu – Interesting commentary from Sandip Roy at New American Media about America’s new-found role in the swine fly scare.

Highest Paid CEOs for 2008 – In case you’re not pissed off enough already. Based on AP research here’s an unfuriating list of some folks who’ve made off well, despite the rest of us struggling. And yes, 4 of the top 10 are from our friendly banks.

sweet shamelessness

Time for some shameless promotion.

First me…

Here’s some recent audio work I’ve done at KBOO Community Radio. I’ve been part of the APA Compass Collective for the last couple of years. I also recently started a new pilot show with S.W. Conser called Behind the Screen focusing on local filmmakers and festivals.

I also write for the Asian Reporter. Here are a few of my recent opinion pieces:

Now to brag about my friends’ projects…

  • My friend Sarah Liane Foster is a brilliant clown. Check out her new solo show The Last Show You’ll Ever See playing later this month at Curious Comedy Theater in NE Portland.
  • I know a bunch of folks involved with the live soap opera Soap St. Theater including creator/director/writer Eric Martin Reid, musician Ralph Huntley (of Live Wire! and Super Project Lab fame) and actors Adrienne Flagg (also Creative Director at IFCC and founder/artistic director of Portland Theatre Brigade), Jennifer Lanier (also a Portland Theatre Brigade teacher) and Sean McGrath (another LiveWire! cast member).
  • My friend Risa Morimoto’s documentary is airing nationally on PBS‘s Independent Lens this week for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The film is called Wings of Defeat, which reveals the true stories of World War II Kamikaze pilots. Check your local PBS listings for exact times.
  • A bunch of friends and colleagues organize and are taking part in the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival going on right now. It’s their 25th Anniversary! Congrats folks!
  • Levi Ethan Cecil is a musician I know (and also a dj on KBOO – his show is Midnight Mixtape) who’s doing something very grassroots to try and get his CD released. Check out his website to learn more.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’m sure there will be more later!

Day 3 of NaBloPoMo done.

Stuff to see around PDX in the next few weeks

I thought I’d better start this list of things I want to see over the next couple of weeks. Of course, it includes some shameless (yet, deserved) plugs.

My hubby’s improv group Super Project Lab has a new show for just two weeks more (Saturdays at 8pm) at the Winningstad. It’s called “Dear ___” and in this format the players incorporate the audience’s letters, email, postcards and correspondence into the show. Plus if you bring a letter in, you can get 2 for one tickets. Another bonus – a portion of this run’s proceeds benefit the awesome program Write Around Portland.

This month’s Hip Hop Cabaret at the IFCC celebrates women’s contributions to hip hop. Seems like a great way to honor Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Sunday March 8 at 7pm.

The annual Clowns Without Borders benefit show is coming up Friday, March 20th at 7:30pm at the Da Vinci Middle School Theater, 2508 NE Everett, Portland. “The best of new vaudeville and modern circus to fund two Portland-led Clowns Without Borders projects in Haiti.” CWB is just amazing and this annual showcase is always a lot of fun. Bring the whole fam!


Da Vinci: The Genius
is a much-lauded traveling exhibit currently on display at OMSI. The exhibit explores everything you ever wanted to know about Leonardo. An intriguing display is the “Secrets of Mona Lisa Gallery” in which French engineer/photographer invented a 240 million pixel camera to photograph the Mona Lisa Gallery. I don’t really get it, but it’s peaked my interest. No if I could only track down some comp tix…