Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The 21 Praises of Tara

So I flew home from Cali last Wednesday night and awaiting my arrival was not only Anahata but Prema Dasara, creator of the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara.  She had arrived to co-facilitate a weekend of sacred dances and dharma talks with Anahata.  Anahata was integral to her work in many ways for many years- it was a big part of her life and so was Prema until about 5 or so years ago.  So it was a happy reunion.  I, personally, felt really blessed to experience their powerful work together. They really compliment each other's gifts to the world and it was beautiful to see.  I feel really blessed to know two such amazing goddesses!
Anahata Iradah and Prema Dasara creating magic
I also learned more about the universality of the Goddess Tara by reading what Prema wrote on her website!  WOW!

This is White Tara.  Prema has also created a White Tara Dance which she taught us on Sunday.  It was a powerful experience for me and I walked away from the day thinking that maybe I will learn the Mandala Dance of 21 Praises of Tara this year with the dance group here in Atlanta.  I think it will be a powerful contribution to my Goddesspell journey.

Actually, I think it would be a powerful part of anyone's spiritual journey.  So, check it out!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Time at McGroarty

So it's been just over a week since my arrival at McGroarty Arts Center where I have been helping my friend, Candace Sorenson, out with an arts festival.  I began my week as I described in my last post actually taking the mask workshop.  I finished my time at the center last night by assisting the British artist/filmmaker, Derek Boshier, in the viewing of 5 of his short films. . .REALLY interesting stuff- collages of still, moving images (live and animated) and sound.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Throughout the week, I've seen all kinds of art, met many interesting people, had lots of great conversations and been inspired and affirmed in my own artistic journey.  Overall, it's been a very good visit and I'm REALLY glad I came.  Candace has done a great job!
Candace and I go back to 1998 and the theatre scene in Charlotte, NC!
Additional highlights included watching beee-a-utifully choreographed and executed dances by the California Contemporary Ballet and helping Clara York and her husband with "Between a Hard Place and a Rock". I was backstage most of the time running visuals but overall it was an inspiration and affirmation for me in creating the  Goddesspell promotional concert which will also be interweaving solo performance pieces with music and visuals backed/supported by the lovely Anahata Iradah, Goddesspell's musical director.
This past Sunday, I helped by setting up the sound system for the event "Colliding Rhymes" highlighting the work of several different poets.  My favorite was Sean Hill- loved his work and his presence.  After the show, I had a brief conversation with him and he handed me a CD of recordings of his work and some of the music that inspired him.  I listened to it that night and was so excited to be turned onto some new artists.  I got really motivated to get into the studio and do some new recordings (which is my intention this next month) and to create a really cool music video or two this year.  ALSO, I feel affirmed in the idea that I've had of incorporating spoken word/slam poetry into a piece or two.  BIG thanks to Sean for the sparks of inspiration!

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to support Goddess, The Mother, 
in helping to bring more balance to the world via Goddesspell!
You can also help by "liking" the Goddesspell page on Facebook.  
(From a fundraising point of view it really helps to see support!)
THANKS!!! and LOVE!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mask Adventure Part 2: Synchronicities

On February 26th, I posted about my interview with Sandra of Mask Theatre and how inspired I was by the idea of incorporating masks into Goddesspell.  I walked away from that experience knowing I wanted more information on mask theatre.  On March 3, I flew into LAX and took a bus to my friend Christie's house in Redondo Beach to spend the night before meeting Anahata and heading up the coast.  Christy, ironically, was in Atlanta (where I am currently based) and on her nightstand was a book that intrigued me: "Pagan Grace" by Ginnette Paris.   I picked it up and the bookmark was at a section in the book entitled: "Playing Roles, Wearing Masks".  I, of course read it, and it was exactly what I was looking for.   Here is one of the quotes, among, many that I wrote down from my reading:
"the mask. . .is not something behind which one hides but rather the very image through which one connects with the archetype. . The ancient concept of the mask as a link between the person and the archetype it embodied."
On March 10th, I arrived back in LA and headed to the McGroarty Arts Center where my friend Candace Sorenson is currently acting as their arts festival director.  On the evening of March 10th, I started the first session of a mask making workshop with fabulous artist, Rochelle Niemerow.  By Tues night, this is what I had created!!

I'm so freakin excited about this mask work!!!  And I feel really empowered to create my own masks for the scaled down, mini-concert version of Goddesspell that I will be producing this summer!! YEAH

Friday, March 14, 2014

Goddesspell is for EVERYONE

The underlying message of Goddesspell has to do with finding balance in the world.  I started my Roots Productions newsletter last month with this picture and note: 
Cold Weather, Warm Hearts!
(Picture taken with my iPhone at 2pm on Feb. 12th in GA)

Come on!  Who doesn't love a cold, icy day in the south!!  EVERYTHING shuts down and most everyone stays cuddled up at home.  We could all use an excuse to slow down, chill out, spend relaxed time with family and friends in the comfort of our warm homes.  It's a great time to pull out a book or just get quiet and listen. . .listen to our heart. . .listen to the hearts of the ones we love. . .take a little more time just being. . . feeling the connection to the divine in ourselves and in those around us.  Why is it that it takes snow and ice for us to REALLY slow down and take more time just being.   If we took the time to do this regularly in our lives we probably wouldn't be as stressed . .or depressed.  Am I right?  This is what I believe and is why I'm such a big advocate of affirming the feminine spirit in the world. I believe it's the feminine aspects of ourselves (men included!) that make it a priority to BE.  We live in an amazing world with so many amazing things and yet we are still committing so many atrocities to each other, ourselves and the planet.  I believe that bringing the feminine aspects/energies in balance with the masculine will result in actions/creativity coming more often from a place of BEING in touch with Source/the divine/intuition (inspired), from a place of empathy and compassion for each other and the world, from our HEARTS! So. . .Happy Valentines Day!!! 
A male friend of mine responded to my newsletter in an email:
Hmmmmm.   Good stuff.   I know where you are coming from, and can see your beliefs, but labeling stuff as feminine and masculine, and one as more good, and the other as less good, can be excluding.   I know the energies you're talking about, and embrace your message, but I think to call one feminine and the other masculine is to simplify our existence, since we are all part of one great whole - maybe it's just how we express and experience that oneness with God that leads to differences.  Maybe I'm splitting hairs, since I agree with your call to consciousness, it's just I find the word feminine - limiting. 
This is of course my fear with people's initial reaction to Goddesspell without really understanding my intentions.  So, my response to his email is my response to anyone making similar assumptions:
I appreciate your feedback. In no way am I labeling one good and one bad. I'm saying we are out of balance. Yes I could say yin and yang. The truth is in the world of the relative there is male and female. Masculine and feminine. What I'm calling feminine energy are those qualities that are in reality inherently feminine.  The word feminine gets a bad wrap in my opinion bc it's associated with feminism. I agree that ultimately it has nothing to do with masculine and feminine but humanity in general is not there yet. It is still an extremely patriarchal world that for the most part refers to God as He. With love Angela 
I believe that when our the feminine attributes (yin energy- centered in being/inward movement) are treated as equally important as our masculine (yang- centered in action/outward movement), we create a much more joyful world with much less pain.
Here was my friend's response to my email:
You wouldn't be taking about the same God who "created man on his own image"?  You wouldn't be talking about the same male energy that has subjugated women for centuries?  I hear you roar, woman, keep banging on that drum!! 
You can sign up for my Roots Productions monthly newsletter here. . .which includes updates on my personal productions/retreats, general articles on different ways to find balance in your personal life AND really cool events and things other people are doing!!
You can also "friend" my Goddesspell Facebook page as a way of supporting the creation.  
(It helps potential producers see what kind of interest there is.)  
THANKS for your support!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Planting Seeds

First of all, yes. . . I jumped off the Blog-a-thon bandwagon .  . just too hard for me while traveling!  I've been staying as present I can with beauty surrounding me. .the land, the people, the energy, the miraculous unfolding.  Last week I was in the bay area and stayed in Aptos at the Enchanted Cottage.
I had the opportunity to go up to San Fran for part of a day.  I had the intention of planting seeds around Goddesspell having a life there and also of maintaining my connection with our Mother Mawu, Soyinka.  When we met her, she was her magnificent African Queen self with her beautiful head wrap and big smile.  . BIG presence and my time with her was just another affirmation of the "rightness" in bringing her on to work on this show with me in this role.  I was excited to hear her explorations in the music realm as I believe it is a step in her expansion into taking on this role with Goddesspell.  Anahata, who is the music director got to meet her for the first time and we spent dinner getting to know each other a little better.  I lamented the fact that I didn't get a picture of all three of us together for the first time!!!  A momentous occasion given what is ahead of us!
But here is the beautiful picture of Soyinka that I use on the website.
Before meeting Soyinka, Anahata and I had been handed bouquets of tulips as we stepped out of the parking lot on our way to meet her.  A hispanic man, who I guess had been selling them, was done with his shift and just gave them to us. . .thank you goddess!  Once we found Soyinka, we went to the Theatre Bay Area office.  We burst in unannounced, flowers in hand, and created what I believe became a pleasant distraction for a few minutes asking questions about producers, venues and the best way to try to connect to the community with our intention to bring the show there.   Everyone was so kind, open and helpful and I got several pieces of very helpful information.  We left them some flowers on our way out.  It was simply a beautiful experience.
The next day Anahata and I  left the Enchanted Cottage and headed south on Hwy 1. I was feeling very grateful and blessed for my brief but productive time in the Bay Area.  The views of the coast only expanded those feelings and my love for Mother Earth!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

March Goddess of Compassion Retreat

Anahata Iradah and I are facilitating this one. Marquetta Dupree is managing and hosting. 
Space is limited!  For more info and to register: click here! Hope to see/meet yah!

Monday, March 03, 2014

My Favorite Creation

Blog-a-thon Day #3 Prompt: Look at your body of creative work past and present. What work is your favorite? Why?
As a stage actress, I would have to say Nellie in South Pacific. .. as corny in Kansas as that sounds.   I had always wanted to play Maria in Sound of Music- another Rodgers and Hammerstein hit. . .Nellie was the closest I got ;-)

As a singer/songwriter, my work with The Pacha Mamas was a joy. . .all the three part harmony we did and good times we had creating together. . .juicy! I posted a song I wrote and sang with them as part of day 1 of the blog-a-thon.  Check it out if you haven't already!!!

As a producer/playwright of sorts, and probably the thing I'm most proud of to date is "Wildwood Flowers: The June Carter Musical" .  . .which actually surprised me when I thought about it.  The show quite frankly was a financial disaster, BUT an artistic success in the end, winning Creative Loafing's (of Charlotte, NC) Best Musical of the Year award after being tweaked from it's original production in Nashville, TN the prior year.  In a nutshell, I'm most proud of it because it really took something of me to bring this story to life. . .it took me really putting myself out on the line and I fell hard in someways but I'm still here to write about it and I still have the gumption to write that my next musical creation, "Goddesspell" is Broadway bound.  It may take awhile, but I'm in it for the duration and I'm taking everything that I've learned from my failures and trying AGAIN and I will keep trying!!  Watch me fly!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Dream Big

So I'm running from an Oscar party to get this in today. . .just in the nick of time!

All things are possible. .. dreaming BIG. . .. in five years. . .  Goddesspell is Broadway bound!

I'm envisioning an initial production in Atlanta, then a subsequent show in San Francisco where it will have a long successful run, and then. … off to Broadway!  I'm actually leaving tomorrow for California for 16 days and during this time I'm meeting with a couple people in the bay area about the show.   In other words, I'm beginning to pave the way- forging relationships in the bay area!  So off I now go, to pack for my trip!  Just another step in this Goddesspell journey. 

Saturday, March 01, 2014

C4 Blog-a-thon Day #1

So, I'm participating, but I'm also getting ready to go on the road for the next week. . .so we'll see how I do!
Today's prompt:
Defining Your Creative Mission

Tell us the big “why” behind the creative work you do.  Here are a few questions to consider as you write:

Why do you exist?
What is your purpose here on this earth?
How would you express the “why” behind your creative work in a few short sentences?
What do you want to be remembered for?
Can you think of three or more key words that embody the reason why you create art?
If you were to write a short, memorable, and inspirational t-shirt message about the purpose or mission for your creative work, what would it say?

So, Iwas going to video tape myself singing the first song I ever wrote on my own about 8 years ago with my basic piano playing skills. . .and the day just got away.  So, click here for a faster, a cappella version performed by the group I was part of for a few years (on and off!) The Pacha Mamas.  ENJOY!
The Pacha Mamas