Give me a D

I’m doing another workshop with Playwrite Inc.

Sometimes, after a workshop, and I am sitting in the car, with the other coaches, on the drive back into the city, I pretend that this is my real job; that I actually work one on one with teens and coach them into writing plays. If it was my job it would be a great job, but it isn’t. So, let it go.

I live in a lot of half-truths.

The workshop will be ending soon, and then I will go back to working full-time at the store, where my job has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to do, but let that go too.

Huh.

Since I last posted, I went to another Write Bloody small house reading, it’s always nice to hear the poets from Write Bloody, and I received some information regarding the attic; and what to expect from the upcoming meetings with my writing group. I have not done a letter of writing since the day I read publicly in front of my peers. I suck. I do. Oh well. I’ll either be some dynamic amazing writer/performer who busts out of my shell and changes the way people view the writing world or I will disappear; it’s a 50-50 chance. I love how I am so dramatic. It’s not, “oh I may get my book published some day or I may not finish it,” it has to be “affects the way the world works or death!” I mean seriously.

Anyway…

The Antheneum begins in September and that is about it so far. The workshops end this Friday, and that is it till the performances, and well, C’est la vie.

Oh, and I am trying to sew a skirt which is crazy funny because I don’t know how, but I am trying, and in my mind, this skirt is awesome.

Don’t Short Change the Muse. My tuition fundraiser in Portland.

The funny thing about self promotion when you are a private person is that it feels weird. I have to promote in order to get people to come to my fundraiser. I have to tell them and show them who I am so that they will pay me money so that I can in turn pay for my writing workshop, but I don’t like putting my pictures up all over. I feel strange about the whole thing. Strange about saying, “hey give me some money so I can do art. I’m awesome”. It all feels out of character for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am a performer, I am very comfortable on the stage, but when the show’s over I don’t want to hob nob in the green room and talk about the performance. I want to go home. I hate talking about me and what I do. Except, that is all I do on this blog, I talk about myself, to mostly perfect strangers no less, but it feels anonymous. I’m breaking that right now. I did a bunch of tongue in cheek promo pictures for my invite to my fundraiser and I’ve posted some of the photos.

I’m being a writer, you can tell by the pen, the paper and the glasses. Dig the symbolism of the road. All that is behind me and all that is ahead, get it. Writer stuff. The umbrella is to represent the Pacific Northwest. Yeeeah. And it was raining.

Writers are serious. I was making sure I got that across. Serious business this writing.

As some of you know I got into the Attic’s Atheneum writing program. It is the equivalent of an MFA program. I’m pretty damn thrilled, but I don’t have the money to pay for it. So I did something completely out of character, I decided to not let the money deter me.

I decided as one way to make money I would have a fundraiser. I decided to put together a variety show. And variety it is. I have an opera singer, a burlesque dancer, some music and I’m doing three readings.

I will be reading one spoken word, one monologue and a bit from my novel. I have to put together the program, the order of the show, and a bunch of other stuff too. A part of me is excited, but most of me is nervous. I’m afraid people wont come and if they do I’m afraid they will hate it. Especially my friends. Ugh, it sucks when your friends don’t like your stuff.

The name of the show is, Don’t Short Change the Muse. It comes from something William Burroughs once said. It is on the 22nd of June and will be happening here in Portland. I’m not sure how many Portland people read this post, but if you want to come you are invited. The info is at the bottom of this post. There is not a link because I am not that high-tech.

This is the first time I have ever done anything like this. A show about me for me. I mean, wow, weird, I have some kind of complex or something. Of course I do. If I didn’t I’d be famous, because I’m pretty talented. You like that? I added that part for extra emph.

The best part about all these photos? I don’t even wear glasses.

Come join me and guests for one night at Bar Carlo for a variety show of readings, poetry, music, vaudeville, a couple loose cannons, opera and burlesque.
Help Adrienna raise tuition money for the Attic’s The Atheneum.
There will be a silent auction with donations from the following artists: and businesses:

Lucy’s Table, Presents of Mind, Tasi, Seasons K. Designs, From the Reliquary, SmashCuts, Artist Jen Smith, Jesse Jacob Young Photographer, Silk Rose Acupuncture, Technology is Real, Luscious Jewelry and more…

All funds go to Adrienna’s tuition.

A Sliding Scale Entrance fee of $5 to $15 dollars (no one will be turned away).

Doors open at 7:00p.m. show starts at 8:00 p.m.

A special thank you to Bar Carlo for the space.

Help make a great writer and help support a craftsperson. Writing like all other arts is a craft to be cultivated and nurtured. Writing done well is about community, it is about life.

Volunteer work and Community Support

I work and volunteer for two organizations here in Portland, Oregon. I’ve written about them in detail in earlier posts, well, as much detail as I can. I work with youth, so I have to be conscious of keeping their privacy and can’t say too much. I wish we all were a little bit more consciousness of people’s privacies, but I think we are railroading out of that world. Privacy will soon be a commodity if it isn’t already. (Tangent.) The two places where I volunteer or work are at Write Around Portland and Playwrite Inc., both are incredible and highly valuable organizations.

Write Around Portland is all about writing. It is about building communities amongst those who are disadvantaged and displaced, along with a lot more “dis-words and social umbrellas that keep people isolated and oppressed. I work mainly with youth. It is all volunteer. I have been a volunteer facilitator for the past six years and I think I have put in around 240 volunteer hours including the 29 hours of training. I am not including any of the prep time that I have put into volunteering. I tend to lead writing workshops with eight to eighteen people (kids mainly). My most recent group were kids aged 11 to 14, my favorite group so far.

Playwrite Inc. works exclusively with youth. We work one on one with a student that we call a writer and we coach that student into writing a play. It is very emotional and we sometimes work with highly at risk youth, some of whom are in closed institutions that are likened to  the equivalent of jail or medical facilities. We push the kids to reach into themselves to create strong believable characters. It would be challenging for any adult. The duration is two weeks. By the end of the two weeks the kids have a play. We bring in professional actors and the kids direct the actors and then we have the performance. I have coached one workshop (which was one of the hardest things I have done so far) and I have acted in four of the performances. (I’m a professional actress- isn’t that cool? Not famous but professional I actually got to put it on my taxes this year!) This is a paid job. It doesn’t pay a lot but my god it is lucky to even have funding for a program like this let alone pay people to work for it. I never signed up for it for the money, but it allows me to do more workshops when I get paid.

Last week, both organizations had events. On Tuesday, Playwrite inc. Had their Word Show, and I was asked and had the honor of performing one young students play on a big stage in front of a huge audience. It was inspiring to be around these kids and to feel their excitement and their energy and to feel how accomplished they felt. Many of these kids are unwanted or have been taught they are not worth much and here they are writing plays for the public to see. On Wednesday, Write Around Portland had their Anthology release party. I met up with my middle school kids for pizza (I had not seen them in two months) and then we went to the event. Each kid got their own book with their published work inside along with many other writers from all ages, genders and walks of life. The kids than stood up in front of all these adults and read their poems like they were one of them, because they were all one. One of my girls turned to me and said, “I am so happy I did this. I feel really important.” I said, “You are important.”

It was a full two days of theatre, writing and community building, which is pretty much all I want to do with my life.

*If you are at all interested in reading up more on either of these programs follow the links attached to the organization’s names.