The Reluctant Writer: Something Else to do When I Should Be Writing

September 29, 2009

The USC Dance Company Dances Their First Performance of the Season — This Friday and Saturday

I went to see my daughter Bonnie and several of her rock star friends dance last week at a preview of the USC Dance Company’s next performance.  It was a casual intimate glimpse into what a well rehearsed group looks like a week or so out of their concert date.  They opened with Alan Hineline’s contemporary ballet — some on point, some on flat.  There are no real soloists in the piece, instead there are 3 main couples and a small corps of women.  Bonnie dances with Keith Mearns, previously of the Pennsylvania Ballet; the beautiful Olivia Anderson (previously of Houston Ballet II) dances with former Broadway dancer, McCree O’Kelley; and the amazing Carolyn Bolton dances with Ryan Thomas.  While Carolyn is a product of Stanilas Issaev’s good work at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts, both Bonnie and McCree come from the handiwork of the late Melissa Hayden at North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem.  The fact that these dancers, along with other dancers from NCSA, SCGSA, Columbia City Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre and other prestigious places of either professional dance or stellar dance training, are in the USC Dance Company can be attributed to the state of the program that Susan Anderson has built at the university.  First she brought in Stacey Calvert, a former soloist with New York City Ballet, then she brought in Kyra Strasberg, a former principal dancer with Boston Ballet.  In between, Miriam Barbosa came along and brought her expertise in contemporary dance, specifically the works of Martha Graham — though Miriam has left to pursue building her own company, the SC Contemporary Dance Company.   In her place, Susan brought in Thaddeus Davis and Tonya Wideman-Davis, of the Wideman Davis Dance Company — (Tanya was principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem) — and both partners have become so enthralled with the program that they would like to make Columbia their home.  All this is said because it is important to recognize that the caliber of both student and instructor showing up at the university is indicative of the quality of the education and performance opportunities being given there.  In other words, good stuff is going on in dance down on Sumter Street.  This USC Dance Company is not your mother’s USC Dance Company.

Given that this showing was only a preview — the dancers were wearing studio clothes, for example, and Stacey, et. al., were giving corrections — the dancers only performed a small piece of  Hineline’s lovely choreography.  But it was enough to see that those of us who fell in love with “Twist,” the choreography he gave the company last year, will not be disappointed.  Twist won the company a slot in the finals of the American College Dance Festival  competition last year in New York, and it was dancing this piece that lead Bonnie to being named one of the top 10 college dancers in the country by the same organization — Alan Hineline’s choreography has a way of bringing the best out in his artists. 

The next piece the company performed was an excerpt from Tanya Wideman-Davis’s new choreography.  Tanya brings this funky new vibe to the company that is at once loose and relaxed but also metrical and balanced — perhaps this is what the body will do when given an agency of its own?  Being the parent of a bunhead, I don’t often get to see the modern dancers do their things — and watching these women dance made me regret that fact a bit.  Their movements were measured, but intense.  Where that ballet dancers make me soar on the inside, these women made me boogie.  I loved it.

The final bit of a piece was an excerpt from the second act of Giselle.  Olivia Anderson dances the title role of Giselle and the casting is perfect.  Olivia, the dancer, is an old-souled young woman who places a priority on kindness.  Not that pretend sweetness-now-let-me-eviscerate-you-behind-your-back kind of kindness; Olivia is genuinely good, and you can see that in the way she dances — her face, the way she holds her shoulders, the position of her chin.  She is perfect as the heartbroken Giselle, both dancing and portraying the role beautifully.  Giselle dances opposite Myrtha, queen of a group of female ghosts, called wilis, who were jilted at the altar.  The role of Myrtha requires large brave guy-like leaps, stoney eyes, and the ability to control ones adversaries (dare I say family and friends?) with nothing more than the look on her face.  And the witch can seriously dance.  Bonnie in this part?  Yeah, bingo!  I won’t use this space here to say how proud I am of my kid, but I will say that she was made to dance this part and I’m so glad to get to see her do it.

I hope all of you will come out and watch this upcoming performance, as well.  The quality of dance in this company has risen so high so quickly that, if you came to see a performance more than a few years ago — you just wont recognize the company anymore.  

The USC Dance Company will be performing at 7:30 on Friday and Saturday nights, October 2nd and 3rd, at the Koger Center.  For tickets call 777-5112 or 251-2222.

September 27, 2009

TRUSTUS always tells the Most Fabulous Stories

Kristine Hartvigsen and I went out last night to have a little early celebration of her birthday, which is coming up this Tuesday.  I’ll be out-of-town on her official day, but I did NOT want to miss celebrating the birth of such a fine human being as Kristine.  So we made a night of it with dinner, drinks, a show and crashing the party at Jodi Barnes’ house afterward.  Of the three local productions going on now, we chose to see The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at TRUSTUS.  It was, in a word, fabulous.

First of all — I absolutely love the fact that TRUSTUS exists.  For 25 years Jim and Kay Thigpen have been sticking it out in this town — giving us the kind of thought provoking productions that not only create discourse, but demonstrate a faith in their audiences that we will rise to their expectations and, essentially, evolve — socially, emotionally, and intellectually.  Sometimes they do it dramatically — I’m thinking Angels in America, The Laramie Project, and Gross Indecency here; and sometimes they do it with humor.  This is one of those times.

The Most Fabulous Story caught me at a good time — a period I am calling the agony of my agnosticism.  As a recovering Southern Baptist, I long ago rejected the easy-way-out of expecting a gridlocked organized religion to push me toward enlightenment (which I believe to be one of the three reasons we exist.)  However, as a human being, I can’t help but ponder the same questions we all (should) think about — an understanding of the sacred and the profane.  I’m not a nihilist — I believe there is a point to it all.  I think of myself as more of a noetics-curious Deist.  I believe there is a god who made all this happen, but then I think s/he probably figured the rest was up to us. In any case, my agony is generated from the sadness I feel at giving up the comfort of delusions and the inability to out-grow my superstitious angst that the boogeyman is going to get me in my sleep and punish me for the audacity of my ruminations.  We can find God, signs, and Satan wherever we want to see them — a reality that is both sad and beautiful.

Which brings me back to The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, directed by Dewey Scott Wiley, a play which tells the story of creation from a non-heteronormative perspective.  I love it when I find myself laughing so hard that I have trouble writing on my program the profound line I just heard from the stage.  This was the case Saturday night.  Silliness, sure, but interspersed with those brilliant stabs to ones psyche that widen the eyes and nudge us in our ribs.  And the execution?  Glorious.   Elena Martinez-Vidal pulls off the bemused God character with the ease of a woman who has seen idiocy in action before.  Robin Gottlieb is the idealistic, metaphysician Mabel in the bunch, proving once again that, at the core, the flower children of the sixties were right.  And Paul Kaufman?  Well, the boy can still flat out wear a thong.  (Which, by-the-way, the feminist in me loved the reversal of fortune that the guys were almost nude and the chicks were fully clothed.  Take that, male gaze.) 

So once again, TRUSTUS has delivered — unfortunately to a very small audience last night.  Lucky for you, the play continues through next weekend. So, go see USC’s dance performance on Friday or Saturday night, but on the other night or Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday afternoon, go out and support this fine cutting-edge arts organization.  Do not take for granted the gift to our community that is TRUSTUS Theatre.  We would have much to lose if they ever went away.

September 26, 2009

The Producers = Good Stuff; Theatre Etiquette = Seriously Disappointing

It was so nice to have a date with my husband last night.  It is the rare Friday night when Bob isn’t doing the doctor thing in the ER (curing diseases, saving lives, blah, blah, blah), so tonight he got to choose which of the three local theatre productions we would see after our visit to Hunter Gatherer for what is, no contest, the best hamburger in town.  Seriously, what does Joe put in those burgers that makes me sigh so much when I’m eating them?  Bob’s choice was The Producers at Workshop Theatre for our Friday night date.  For one thing, Barry Sparks had tipped me off that this production offered one of the best casts the city has seen in some time, and when Barry says that, I listen.  And he wasn’t wrong. 

First of all, you have to know what you’re going into here.  We’re not talking Elizabethan English.  Remember the camp fire scene in Blazing Saddles when Slim Pickens served his crew of cowpokes a big ol’ mess of beans for dinner?  And remember the sound effects that ensued soon after dinner was done?  Well, if you thought that was offensive then you might not like The Producers, given that Mel Brooks is responsible for both bits of theatrical genius.  But if you thought it was offensive AND funny, then you’re in the right line.

Workshop Theatre’s production of The Producers was strong on cast, music, set and costuming.  It did as much as anyone can expect with what Mel Brooks has to give.  While there really wasn’t a weak link to be found in the cast, two people stood out last night with stellar, professional performances — Kevin Bush in the role of Leo Bloom, and Kyle Collins playing Franz Liebkind.  Both of their performances made me comment several times throughout the night that we could easily be watching them in one of the kitschy off-Broadway theatres in NYC’s West Village.  They were both true to their characters, delivering the kind of almost-over-the-edge camp a comedy like The Producers requires.

Unfortunately, while our theatre experience wasn’t ruined by some of the off-stage events of the night, it was seriously hampered.  I try not to go negative when it comes to local arts — my philosophy being that there are enough truly anti-arts advocates out there just waiting for critics to deliver them ammunition they can use to argue against the cost of the arts to schools and the government, at large.  But I’m not complaining about the arts here, I’m perturbed with the arts patrons, so I hope you’ll pardon my whining.

First, texting.  It is bad enough when students at USC text during plays and performances — but when the adult woman sitting beside me continuously reads texts throughout the show, shining her lighted phone screen like a torch in my eyes, there is absolutely no excuse for that. 

Next, getting up mid-show and leaving the theatre is no less than poor etiquette, but still the kind of thing that I imagine sometimes must happen.  Someone has a tickle in their throat and rather than disturb other patrons throughout the performance, they choose to disturb them once and take their leave.  Or someone else begins to feel ill and quietly excuses herself with as little disturbance as possible.  But last night, there were a good half dozen people who chose to make their row mates stand to allow them to leave and then — get this — stand to allow them to return to their seats later in the show. And guess who the person was who set last night’s trend?  Texty woman in the seat beside me.   And at first, she didn’t even bother to leave the theatre to take care of her urgent matter.  She actually went to the back and stood with her voice projected against the wall and took her cell phone call while the actors on the stage continued with their performance.  (I hope it was my dirty look that sent her out  the door.)   

I don’t know how the information can be gotten out there — we obviously cannot count on common sense — but somehow we must educate our fellow patrons on the proper behavior at a theatrical performance.  To begin with, no texting.  Ever.  It is rude, first and foremost, and it is distracting to other theatre goers and, I suspect, potentially to the actors themselves.  Next, if you absolutely must leave your seat — then leave it.   But in doing so you have unfortunately relinquished your right to sit down for the remainder of that act.  You may retake your seat after intermission.  But to ask other folks to either stand so you can retake your seat, thereby blocking other people’s views as well as interrupting their enjoyment of the play yet again, or to allow you to bump and bustle them while you mangle their toes and crush their purses with the extra pair of feet you are introducing to their row space — that, my friend, is not acceptable.

So folks, either pass the word or pass the dirty looks when unacceptable behavior is displayed in our audiences.  We create the theatre culture that our city will be known for — let’s up the sophistication level a bit so we can all enjoy a culture of which we can also be proud.  (In the meantime, if one of the good people from Workshop Theatre could squirt a little oil on that squeaky back door, that would help matters immensely.)

September 22, 2009

Judgment of the Phasmatodea

Filed under: not writing,poetry,writer's life — cynthiaboiter @ 20:08
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I had a stretch-my-legs moment while working on the beer book today and wandered outside for some air and a dose of the mysteriously energizing vibe that always seems to emit from the woods we insensibly call our own.  (If anything, we belong to the forest — it certainly doesn’t belong to us.)  Earlier, Bob had noticed a walking stick bug on the porch screen and wondered aloud whether these amazing insects had come back to Muddy Ford this year. 

Sure enough, there were several to be seen.  And I pondered how funny it is that when we couldn’t see them, these brilliant mistresses and masters of camo, we assumed they were gone. 

They weren’t gone; they were successful. 

So a little ditty came to my head and, since I’m feeling a bit brave today, given my hefty helping of the Muddy Ford magical mystery woods, I guess I’ll share it with you.


Judgment of the Phasmatodea


I laughed at the walking sticks

at my house in the woods

noticeably hiding

their twiggish bodies

against the white fence post,

the back door screen.

I can see you,

I smiled quietly,

shaking my head

like an all-knowing god.

But it occurred to me

as the obvious does

and I had to laugh once more,

when from the woods

there came a knowing

of those more cunning

smiling just as silently

down upon me.

September 20, 2009

Columbia City Ballet’s Lauren Hahn

Filed under: Columbia City Ballet,Lauren Hahn — cynthiaboiter @ 22:36
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I’m not really in the mood for a big blog entry today.  I spent this cloudy Sunday working on freelance items and putting out some feelers for future work here and there, but I’ve had something on my mind that I do want to briefly mention.  Basically, I just want to give a shout out to someone who seems to be doing a really fine job at the tasks set before her — Lauren Hahn over at Columbia City Ballet.

The arts are no different from any other industry when it comes to overlooking the people behind the scenes without whose dedicated work most productions, events, and troupes or companies would likely fall to pieces.  These are the folks, (more often than not women for reasons that are embedded in the patriarchy), who make the phone calls, and do the scheduling, and clean up the messes, and seem to make miracles happen every day so that someone else can look good. 

Lauren Hahn is the Director of Development and Membership at the ballet and the face she has put on the Columbia City Ballet Company lately looks particularly good.  It looks fresh and innovative; it looks creative and new.  These are the very adjectives our city ballet company needs more of.

We were awarded a nice breath of the fresh air Lauren brings to the company last Friday night with the CCB fundraiser at The White Mule.  My group got there late but not too late to catch the multi-disciplinary dance off, or to chat up the impressive assortment of delightfully tipsy artists, editors, photographers, patrons, and dancers at the bar.  Happy faces all around.  And who do we have to thank for all that big fun?  The whirling blur of a woman in adorable shoes, single mother of two, Lauren Hahn.

Don’t worry if you missed this weekend’s CCB fundraiser though, Lauren has another trick up her sleeve scheduled for October 2nd in Columbia’s old Arcade Mall at Main and Washington Streets downtown.  She and her team are re-creating a Carnivale di Venezia from 7:30 until midnight, with food and drink, custom designed Venetian masks, entertainment and a silent auction, to boot.  (And I hear that it is perfectly fine to show up a bit late –after, for example, you’ve witnessed the glory that is the USC Dance Company concert the same night.  USC also dances on Saturday night — a perfect weekend with these two events combined!) 

Innovative.  Creative.  Fresh.  Fun.  Quality stuff, huh?  Kudos to CCB’s Lauren Hahn — Come sarebbe bello per questi aggettivi per descrivere la società dal basso verso l’alto.

If you’re interested and would like more information, give Lauren a call at 803-799-7605.

September 18, 2009

Joe Wilson Does Not Speak for This South Carolinian

Filed under: Joe Wilson — cynthiaboiter @ 15:41
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It almost seems like a daily ritual.  One of my students, a friend on Facebook, or someone writing to the editor of a South Carolina newspaper will complain about how unhappy they are with our state; how much they can’t wait to get away from South Carolina. 

I remember feeling that way.  As young adults when my husband and I finished our studies in South Carolina, having lived here since we were born, we were only too ready to leave the humid hypocrisy behind and move to a place with better restaurants, better art and better politics.  We thought Washington, DC would be that place.  Ha! 

I will never forget the waxy fresh scent of new leaves turning over in the wind as we headed our moving van north out of Columbia, leaving our tiny Blossom Street apartment behind; the door bolted and locked on oppressive childhoods, embarrassing statesmen, and a stuck-in-the-mud mentality we knew would never flourish closer to the Mason-Dixon Line.  Ha again!

It took only three authentic winters for us to come crawling home, as wondering Southerners are wont to do, back to the land of sweet tea, Gamecocks, and Jesus.  Safely in South Carolina, we consummated our love-hate relationship with a state most aptly epitomized by the term “bitter-sweet,” and ultimately bore and raised our children here.  Like eating the freshest fried produce, we learned to live with the mixture of pride and shame that comes from being South Carolinians. 

We are Democrats in a land still populated, to a some degree, by Dixiecrats. 

We are progressives in a place that oft thinks the past was just fine the way it was. 

We live in the land of beauty and the beast, with beauty being our luscious landscapes, pristine beaches, and mossy forests; the beast, the capitalist monster that wants to rape and dominate them.

We are constantly fighting against the current, all the while still defending the tide. 

Such is the life of the South Carolinian — if you aren’t blind as a bat or crazy as a loon, then you qualify as the adult in the room and the rest of the population are the children embarrassing you in the grocery store line.

Last week was one of those times when I was not proud of my homeland.  Joe Wilson made fools of us again just as the ugly limelight Governor Sanford had shined on us was beginning to fade.  He sat his haughty self in the Congressional chamber, fuming with a white man’s indignation at being lectured to by his uppity Black president, and just as the feeling that all the goodies to which his pale skin and testicles entitled him were slipping through his greedy fingers, he exploded.  And rather than a wave of snowy white, testosterone-tinged  bravura, what we saw was a desperate display by a scared little man – crossing his arms, stomping his foot, and trying to make the world stand still. 


Wilson wasn’t the first South Carolinian to make a spectacle of himself in such an inappropriate place and manner. 

In 1856, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks, alarmed by the abolitionist sympathies of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, took out his anger on Sumner by approaching him in the Senate chamber and beating him about the head and body with his Gutta-Percha walking cane.  Seconded by South Carolina Representative Laurence Keitt, who stood guard over the assault, lest a more able bodied or minded politician attempt to go to Sumner’s aid, Brooks successfully beat Sumner into an unconscious and bloody heap, only stopping when his gold-headed cane broke from the force of the battery.

Today, some of my fellow South Carolinians may have responded to Joe Wilson’s histrionic outburst with support, both verbal and financial – the equivalent of the dozens of shiny new canes sent to Mr. Brooks more than a century and a half before by seething Southerners unwilling to share their wealth of the world. 

But for every pat on the back that Wilson won, just as many of us shook our heads and sighed.  We were mortified.

We aren’t just disappointed with Representative Wilson; most of us know his MO whether we voted for him or not.  A protégé of Senator Strom Thurmond, Wilson has consistently favored the placement of the Confederate flag on our statehouse grounds and he accused Senator Thurmond’s African-American daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, of attempting to sully Thurmond’s reputation when she laid claim to her heritage even after his mentor admitted the truth of his paternity.     

More than being disappointed, we are embarrassed by Joe Wilson.  In the smallness of his act he cast dispersions on all of us, placing South Carolina once again as the butt of a joke we seem to have brought upon ourselves.  And the sad thing is, we did.  Because in South Carolina we have a tradition of letting those with the biggest mouths spouting the vilest sentiments represent us to the world. 

And it has to stop.

I challenge my South Carolina sisters and brothers to find amongst us, no matter what our political persuasion, politicians of intelligence and integrity; politicians who respect the role of civil discourse as a way to grow our culture and our minds; politicians who represent all of us from South Carolina – not just the angry white men in the suits.

September 15, 2009

Damond Howard and Still America’s Greatest Problem

There are only two weekends left to see Damond Howard’s works in progress at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art Loft, and I suggest you do not let this opportunity pass you by. 

Bonnie, Kristine Hartvigsen and I went out to see this small showing and meet Damond along with his wife and daughter last Sunday afternoon, and we were taken by the intimacy of the event.  Damond receives his guest in the loft space he inhabits at 701 on weekends — the artist teaches during the week at Claflin University in Orangeburg, so he’s only in this studio space for the weekends of his six-week-long residency.  

The walls of the space are lined with  large black and white images depicting the artist himself balanced against  traditionally racist images in a similar pose.  There’s a minstrel and a dandy and, most disturbing of all, a gorilla — all juxtaposed against the depiction of a black man exhibiting almost the same posture.  If the presentation of the images alone is not enough to bring about the kind of discomfort that makes white folks feel like blushing and stuttering a little, the eyes of the subjects definitely do the trick.  While in one pair the eyes of the man seem to capture those of the caricature — accusatory, shocked, pissed — in the next pair, the eyes of the parody seem to assess the image of the man — more accusation? respect? also pissed?  It is the projected internal exchange between the subjects that makes the viewer realize an intimacy not common in contemporary art.

Stop by the studio some time before the 24th of the month and take a look at what Professor Howard has been up to.  And ask him if he’s thought anymore about Joe Wilson’s outburst — we had a nice conversation about it, but the artist kept his grace and objectivity far better than I am able to.  Particularly given that the name of this exhibition is, “Still America’s Greatest Problem.” 

September 10, 2009

This week at FOM — Jeane Bourque, Barbie Mathis

Filed under: Frame of Mind,Mark Plessinger,writing — cynthiaboiter @ 00:00
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You’ve heard me sing the praises of Mark Plessinger, the FOM Series and all the glory that is the (usually) first Thursday night of the month on Main Street before, but this month there’s even more artsy goodness for your discriminating dollar and — oh wait — dollars aren’t even involved — these good times are free for the price of showing up!

This Thursday night, September 10th, Main Street Columbia is the place to be for art, music, wine and good times, and it makes me so happy to say that.  Mark Plessinger will host the opening exhibit reception for September’s FOM featured artists, Jean Bourque and Barbie Mathis, from 6:30 until 8 pm at 1520 Main.  Come down and see what Jean and Barbie have been working on before you wonder next door to Gotham Nights and take in some of the quite decent jazz renderings of Sonny D and Friends.  There’s also a wine tasting followed by music next door at the White Mule — don’t know anything about the wine or the tunes, other than they are happening, but its worth a visit for the surprise if nothing else.

In any event, please do come on out and lend your support to what Mark is trying to do for you and the arts on Main Street.  Every month the crowd grows larger and larger.  A good thing is happening down there.  Be a part of it.

September 8, 2009

Marcelo Novo, Twyla Tharp, the if ART Gallery, and the thrill of creativity

I spent an hour or so last week sitting down over coffee with local visual artist Marcelo Novo.  We wanted to talk about Marcelo’s contributions to the upcoming performance of the South Carolina Contemporary Dance Company’s Catharsis, choreographed by Miriam Barbosa.  The take away message?  Collaboration is good and Marcelo Novo is brilliant.

The story of how Marcelo and Miriam met is interesting in that they were introduced after the 2004 Verner Awards ceremony by a  mutual friend who thought their common South American heritage would provide a pleasant point of departure for conversation — and it did.  They spent the evening conversing in Spanish, comparing notes on assimilation into North American culture, and talking about art.  When the evening was done the two artists parted as friends, exchanging numbers with the promise  that they would one day work together on something special. 

Still feeling the ache of his father’s passing, Marcelo’s art had recently been inspired it seemed by the need to cope — to get through difficulties, to survive and grow.  Miriam had also experienced some deeply personal challenges of late.  When the artists met over coffee, it was toward the concept of catharsis,  the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through art, that their interests leaned.  Within a year’s time the artists had developed the ballet Catharsis, and now, five years later, we get to take another look at this ballet with new dancers, new costumes, and new surprises.

For me though, the excitement of seeing the ballet this time will be enhanced by the fact that I feel like I’ve already seen it, when I really haven’t.  Yes, I sat in on a portion of rehearsal a while back and I saw brief pieces of a grainy film on a small screen, but no, I did not see the dance itself.  I saw something not necessarily better, but certainly more intimate. 

I was allowed the luxury of looking through Marcelo’s sketchbook and viewing the images of the ballet as it was born from that sequestered space in his subconscience through his hand, to his pen, and onto the paper.  Sketched sometimes on scrap pages, I saw the seminal work, the very beginnings of what would eventually be a fully realized artistic endeavor — the lines of the leotards, the surreal masks, the details of what would ultimately be quilted wings, tediously applied make up, and lights falling over dancers and onto a stage floor. 

Sometimes Marcelo recorded his thoughts in complete sentences and formed them into paragraphs that provided a narrative he would ultimately return to as the process of creation continued.  At other times he just jotted down words, phrases and visual flashes that sparked off of concepts that were revealing themselves to his consciousness at a rate too rapid to fully comprehend.  A teaser; something to come back to later.   There were frame-worthy sketches on coffee napkins — complete characters as well as small details of costume design.  It was astounding.

And as I write these words I know that the reader might think me fawning over the attractive Marcelo, but I’m not.  What I am in awe of though is this process of creation — no matter who gets to experience it.  Hell, I’m even thrilled with myself when I turn the clever and occasionally eloquent phrase.   As I told Marcelo, I am reminded of a book I picked up by the choreographer Twyla Tharp called, The Creative Habit, written in 2003.  Tharp opens the book with the words, “I walk into a white room …” and she goes on to explain how she transforms the emptiness of that white room through creativity into art.  “Filling this empty space constitutes my identity,” she says.  And I find that sentence humbling, too.

If like me, you’re a sucker for the creative process, your own or somebody else’s, check out these three things:  Catharsis, presented by the SCCDC on September 17th at 7pm at the Koger Center; the opening of Marcelo’s new show at the if ART gallery on Lincoln Street on the following night; and Twyla Tharp’s venture into the written word, The Creative Habit:  Learn it and Use it for Life.


Oh, and here are some important websites as well: and

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