Life is Good

Last weekend, my partner and I drove up to Minneapolis to see 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities‘s current iteration of their Naked I series: The Naked I: Self-DefinedIt was SO GOOD. If you’re in the Twin Cities and haven’t seen it yet, go. They’re technically sold out, but there’s a waiting list every show and several people off the list always get in.

The weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, but we got to spend some quality time with some of our favorite people, which was lovely. The whole trip made me grateful for friends and chosen family and safe spaces and the fact that I have all those things in multiple cities.


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how great my life is. It’s absolutely not at all what I expected it would be, in most ways that I can think of. But what I have is so much better than anything I ever would have dreamed up for myself.

It’s not all sunshine and roses – there’s plenty to deal with between bipolar adventures and adventures in fluid identity. But even when the less-than-great stuff comes up, it feels…more manageable somehow. Maybe not in the middle of every dark moment, but it feels like I’m better at finding the light than I used to be. And that, in itself, is a big deal.


First off, in case you missed it: I posted the audio of the show I played last week here.

And with that out of the way…I’m not totally sure what to write about this week. I’m still feeling fairly scattered. I’m still on the lower end of my bipolar cycle, which has been especially weird because things are going really well, generally speaking, and I have a lot of happy moments…but then I come down from the happy moments, skid past baseline, and find myself back in the land of sad for no real reason. It leaves me a bit befuddled every time, because how on earth can I be sad when there’s so much to be happy about? But it is what it is.

I think part of why I’m so scattered lately is that I would really love to just be doing creative things all the time, and that’s just not an option. I’m filling much of my free time with creativity, though, and that does help.

On the subject of things to be happy about – I’m really, really enjoying my new songwriting class. More than that, I’m really, really enjoying the songs that I’m writing! This is uncharted territory for me, but it’s fun so far. I actually had a moment this past week where I realized I could hear a harmony line to the song I’d written for class; that was a totally new experience, too.

I’m just wrapping up some creative work for 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities, putting together the book format for the script of their new show (The Naked I: Self-Defined, which opens in Minneapolis on February 12, and if you’re in town, you should absolutely buy tickets right now, because it’s going to be excellent). I’ve done the layout for the last two Naked I show scripts, and it’s always such an honor and a joy to be involved.

I have been knitting in fits and starts, much less frequently than I ordinarily would be at this time of year. I blame the weather – it’s been fluctuating quite a bit, and all my joints (including the ones in my hands) have been cranky because of it. As much as I’m thankful that it hasn’t been consistently miserably cold, I kind of wish Chicago would just pick a weather pattern and stick to it.

On that note, stay warm and well, folks; hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to write about next week!

The Naked I: Insides Out

Assuming that things go roughly according to plan, but the time this posts, my partner and I will be very nearly to Minnesota, where we are headed for a long weekend to spend time with family and friends…

…and to celebrate the opening weekend of a show that I have a piece in!

So I’m going to take a break from life updates and plug the show: The Naked I: Insides Out.

The show has been created and is being produced by 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities, a wonderful theatre company that focuses specifically on work by women and transgender artists. The following is the show description from the 20% Theatre Company website:

20% Theatre Company Twin Cities is thrilled to present the world premiere of THE NAKED I: INSIDES OUT – the 3rd in a series of NAKED I plays that explore queer and trans* experiences through monologues, short scenes, and spoken word poems. This production will take place at Intermedia Arts February 13-23, 2014 and will feature the work of over 100 LGBTQ artists and allies – including contributing writers, directors, performers, designers, technicians, and more! This show will include 25 pieces chosen out of 119 submissions! 

There are an infinite number of stories to be told, and as a company focused on social change, human rights, and the voice of queer and trans* artists, 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities is determined to tell as many of these stories as we can – thus creating/producing a new NAKED I show every few years.

The first Naked I production, The Naked I: Monologues from Beyond the Binary, by Tobias K. Davis, was produced by 20% in 2009. In 2011, 20% put out a call for submissions for a second Naked I production: The Naked I: Wide Open. My partner and I both had pieces in that show, and I ended up doing the layout work for getting the script into a publishable book format. It was an incredible experience, not just for us, but for everyone involved and everyone who came to see the show (which sold out two runs, was in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and toured around the country a bit in 2012).

Last year, when the call for submissions for the next iteration of the Naked I went out, I submitted a handful of pieces, and one of them wound up in the show. (I did the book layout for this script, as well.) The Naked I: Insides Out is every bit as beautiful and important as its predecessors. If you are in/near/able to get to the Twin Cities in the next couple of weekends, I strongly encourage you to check it out. The first couple of performances have sold out already, and I’m sure the others will as well, so if you’re interested, be sure to grab your tickets (sliding scale $5-$25) at that first link I posted. (If you can’t catch the show, all of those links attached to the titles up there will take you to Amazon, where you can pick up a copy of the script. It’s powerful stuff, and well worth the read. Also, I made it look extra pretty.)

We’re going with a bunch of wonderful friends to the sold-out performance this Saturday, and I am so excited. I had a little bit of contact with the director of my piece, but I really wanted to just let go of this rare piece of work that I’m actually pretty proud of and see what happened to it in the hands of the director and actor who are taking it on. I have every confidence that it will be amazing. I am thrilled and humbled and honored to be a part of something so important and poignant and hard and lovely. While a part of me will always be terrified waiting for the reaction of the audience to the words I’ve written, I still can’t wait to share this with the world. It’s an immense privilege to be able to tell my stories, and, as an extension, the stories of the other people like me, and it’s a privilege I hope I never take lightly. Stories have the power to change the world, and this production is full of world-changing stories.