Tag Archives: burbank

Meet Second Time Performer, Krista Knott

Krista Knott
Krista Knott

Southern California native, Krista Knott is putting her feet on the Expressing Motherhood stage for the second time in our next show, opening May 10th. Krista had heard about the show originally through a friend and decided to submit when the next round opened. She performed in Burbank, having only to walk down the street from her house to the theatre.

She is a free lance writer who works from home and says she is up late most nights. Her “day job” is mom. Her “paying job” is as the Managing Editor for The Bright Side Project, although if she could stay home and eat bon bons and watch soaps, it would actually be “a marathon of The Walking Dead and a bucket of high quality chocolate bars.”

When I asked her about her first time on the EM stage, she said “the first time I performed was a bit of a game changer for me. I spent years as a struggling actress/unpublished writer and to take these two aspects of myself (coupled with the inextricable role of mother) and mash them together helped me work from feeling like I somehow failed in my past life since I didn’t “accomplish” anything before having kids to reconciling that I am exactly where I need to be. And that I am worthy.”

Krista, Bryan, Finn & Dash
Krista, Bryan, Finn & Dash

Krista and her fiance Bryan have been together since 2006 and have two children, Finn (5) and Dash (1 1/2). She also has a 13 year old step-son who lives out of state but spends the summers with them here in SoCal. “His sister has full blown hero worship and his visits here even trump the excitement of Disneyland.”

Krista and Bryan have been engaged since 2010 and are pleased to announce they will be getting married on May 20th….the day after Expressing Motherhood closes in Los Angeles!

“We finally realized that, with two kids, we were never going to be able justify spending money on a wedding so we are taking our parents and heading to the courthouse on our 7 year anniversary. Our five year old daughter is, by far, the most excited about this. She is obsessed with brides and grooms and can’t wait to wear her own fancy dress.”

Krista says she walked away from her first performance in EM with confidence, friendship, camaraderie and validation. “I realized it was much easier to perform as an actress because I wasn’t having to completely be myself, you know? To stand up on a stage and tell my own stories, in my own words, was absolutely terrifying. And honestly the most liberating experience I’ve ever had.”

Handmade with Love
Handmade with Love

We’re so happy Krista is going to be back on stage at The Lillian in May.

She says “this time is a little scary for me because I’m sharing something personal, something with weight. And that’s exactly why I am doing it. I believe in sharing our scary truths. I’m just a little shaky about doing it while standing in front of a group of people and not from behind the safety of a keyboard…

…I’m looking forward to looking my fear in the eye and doing it anyway.”

The Burbank Fall 2012 Cast
The Burbank Fall 2012 Cast

OdysseyO And The Visionary Behind It

I love Burbank….most anyone who knows me, knows this fact about me.

I love The Valley…whew.. There, I said it out loud. I love The Valley.

Ok, now, that that’s out of the way, I want to tell you something about Burbank. The skyline of the city is changing this week. The show, Cavalia is back with a new performance called OdysseyO and by Monday afternoon, the 110 foot, 10 story White Big Top will be up and ready for their opening night, Wednesday February 27th.

logo_odysseo_couleurOdysseyO is a show…an amazing show, featuring the connection between horse and man, envisioned by one of the creators of Cirque Du Soleil, Normand Latourelle.

This week, Mr. Latourelle gave me 30 minutes of his time to ask him anything I wanted.

normand_latourelle__gorrion_0
Normand Latourelle

 

Anything.

So, I looked at all of the press materials for the show and decided I didn’t want to ask him about the details of the show that were all laid out before me. I could read that information anywhere.

I wanted to know about creativity. His inspiration and how it works for him.

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Grand Cavalia

Mr. Latourelle is from Montreal, Quebec and is a visionary leader in the performing arts world in Canada, wrangling up many accomplished accolades. As I mentioned before, he actually helped CREATE Cirque Du Soleil. Even if you’ve never seen a Cirque show, I’m just going to assume you know the awesomeness that I’m talking about.

I asked him where his inspiration comes from and he said “I don’t know. I just get an idea and I do it.” He explained that most of his ideas come while he’s sleeping, kind of like dreams, but somewhere between sleeping and waking.

He explained “When an idea comes back to me over and over, I know I have to do it.”

I get that. I suppose what makes the difference between staying a dreamer and becoming a visionary is acting on those ideas and not letting them stay dreams.

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Les voyageurs III

Let me tell you about OdysseyO for a minute and you can see where the dreamer becomes a visionary:

“OdysseyO will take the audience around the word as 67 horses and an international cast of 45 artists play and demonstrate their intimate bond. The 15,000 square foot stage features a real carousel and an 80,000 gallon lake in front of a stunning video

backdrop the size of 3 IMAX screens.”

“It’s an Odyssey—you’re going to travel throughout the world.” he stated as he explained all of the places you’ll travel in the duration of the show. “(You can have)..nice discussion with the kids after… Where have we been?”
Visionary indeed.

The last time Cavalia was in Los Angeles was in 2010 and he says, “This one is more accomplished. I had the experience of the first one. I’ve created a bigger stage and more sophisticated technical grid that allowed us to do more. We have gone as far as a touring show can go.”

A bigger stage indeed. The main tent is twice the size of the last one we saw here in the same location. The infrastructure is capable of supporting 80 tons, including that full sized merry-go-round as its lowered to the stage during the show.

Chevaux,
The Tribe

“We have a real forest…the stage gets filled with water. We’re not Universal Studios, but its pretty close.” he said chuckling.

When I was asking him about what he’s most proud of in his life, he immediately said his family. Nothing compares to that and as a matter of fact he left Cirque Du Soleil to stay home and help raise his two boys, fully “understanding how important that was.”

Another thing Mr. Latourelle said struck me, something else he’s proud of…
“(It makes me proud) to see how many people are making their life out of my idea…my small ideas and they get good life.”

I love it.

This quite brilliant man said one more thing to me before our conversation was over..quite possibly a new motto I may just have to remind myself of over and over,

“Nothing is more satisfying than bringing happiness to this planet, that’s what creation is all about. If you’ve got something to give…give it.”

Amen to that.

odysseo_pr_087
Nomads

OdysseyO opens Wednesday, February 27th in Downtown Burbank. For all details and how to purchase tickets, visit www.Cavalia.net

Mother’s Day with Daphne’s California Greek

2PMS+k-DaphnesLogoWe open this Spring on Mother’s Day weekend and Daphne’s California Greek has graciously offered to help make our Mother’s Day show a little more special by offering our audience a taste of Daphne’s!

Daphne’s California Greek is a Southern California born and bred company. They are a company who believes in being your true authentic self and support education, physical, active lifestyles and are highly involved with the local art community. They are part of programs such as STAR education, which seeks to bring music and arts back into the public schools.

Daphne’s new music discovery program supports amazingly talented young musicians and provides a platform for them to share their music and their passion with a larger audience whether it’s in one of Daphne’s locations, online via Daphne’s free, streaming radio channel, or through exclusive concerts in venues near their restaurants.

We like all of that.

There are 54 locations here in Southern California… including one right down the street from The Lillian Theater in Hollywood. If you’ve never tried their California spin on some classic Mediterranean food, you should!
calofornia_grown
We look forward to sharing Daphne’s with you on Sunday, May 12 at our Mother’s Day Show!

Tickets are on sale now!

 

Nicole Blaine Does Stand Up

So many of our former performers have been performing around town.

Expressing Motherhood will be out supporting past performer Nicole Blaine on December 2nd at Flappers as she does some stand up.

Here is the info:

November 27, Tuesday, 9pm. Burbank

Michael’s Bar and Grill
2825 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, California 91505
NO COVER, FREE parking, 1/2 priced happy hour appetizers from 9-10pm and 15% off food and drinks with your KCRW Fringe Benefits Card all night long!

December 2, Sunday, 7pm. Burbank

Flappers Comedy Club
102 East Magnolia Boulevard  Burbank, CA 91502
Performance in the Yoo Hoo Room
$10 tickets at the door or buy in advance at:

Wordless Wednesday

With 1 1/2 hours to myself today…I headed to a local Starbucks to make several lists…and cross things off. Thinking of you and your last performance Susanna Morgan! What you dont see in this picture is several notebooks and a latte with enough espresso to power a car. Happy Wednesday 🙂

Make it Count….Vote!

It does not matter who you are voting for…or what measures you are voting to approve or not approve, it’s your right to vote..make it count.

I am proud to personally come from a history of family in the military..and those brave men and women have secured our country to remain the Democracy it is. I am proud of the women…and a few brave men who have fought for my personal right, right here in this country, to have freedom of my voice. It’s my right to vote…and I will make it count!

Have a great election day! See you at the polls.

-Jessica

Dana Bell

 

Do you know Dana Bell?

She’s beautiful. She’s strong. She’s a single mother of three. She’s performed in Expressing Motherhood. She is a sister, a friend, a colleague…a daughter.
She has breast cancer.

Dana at Expressing Motherhood

Maybe you don’t know the Dana Bell. But, I’m sure you know a Dana Bell. I certainly knew a Dana Bell. My mother was a Dana.

Our audience in January of 2011 had the distinct pleasure of hearing Dana tell her story on stage. Dana is an amazing woman. The courage she has still today and had nearly two years ago to stand in front of hundreds and talk about her diagnosis, is amazing.

Dana and her mother after her performance

More courage than I can stand. Courage that cuts to the very core of me as a woman, a mother, and someone who lost a dear loved one to breast cancer.

I remember our first rehearsal with the January 2011 cast. It was a hard one for me. When Dana rehearsed her piece for us, I sat listening as focused as everyone else in that room was. As she spoke, my tears fell ferociously while the memories of losing my own mother to breast cancer came alive.

When Dana stepped off that stage in our first rehearsal, I had to run to her. I hugged her while sobbing and she hugged me as tight as any mother would and told me it will all be fine. I knew…I KNEW…her children will be ok, no matter what happens.

Every woman who steps foot on the Expressing Motherhood stage does so with the knowledge that she’s exposing her true self and a moment in her life with strangers in seats. Dana’s story is so powerful, I am still drawn to tears while thinking about it.

Dana is doing okay. As alright as she can genuinely be.

She been living with stage 4 breast cancer for quite a while, I’d say she is exceptionally strong. Dana has been on my mind since our last show closed. A dear friend of hers came to see Expressing Motherhood in Burbank and filled me in on Dana’s current health status.

She needs prayers. Her children need prayers. Women everywhere who are fighting this thing they call breast cancer need prayers.

This is the list of women I know…or knew with breast cancer:
Mom. Susan, Sharon, Grandma, Carrie, Patty, Terrie, Santa, Terry, Jana, Gail, Phyllis, Theresa……Dana.

Way too many.

I will continue to raise money for this disease, because I can. Because I truly do believe cancer will one day be a ‘chronic disease’ we treat but live with. October is only one of the twelve months I consider “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

And to all the Dana Bell’s I know….keep fighting the good fight. We are all behind you.

Ho Hey

A guest post from recent performer JJ Keith.

JJ Keith

Driving home from the last show of Expressing Motherhood, I listened to “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers on repeat. I’d adopted the song as my unofficial anthem of Expressing Motherhood, despite the fact that Expressing Motherhood has an official anthem.

For weeks I’d been jarred by commercials for that new Clint Eastwood movie, the one that’s about baseball. Whenever it came on, I’d look up, thinking that that I was about to see an ad for something good. But alas, not only am I not a fan of Clint Eastwood, I despise baseball, and, as I am the mother of two toddlers, I rarely go to the movies. That’s three strikes and you’re out, Clint Eastwood Movie Whose Name I Can’t Remember. (That, there, was the most advanced baseball reference I could muster.)

At the first rehearsal for Expressing Motherhood, one of the interstitial songs stopped me. Each time it came on, I’d think, “What is this and how do I get it on my iPod? And why am I thinking about baseball and Clint Eastwood right now?” Clearly, I am a simple creature, easily trained by the most root Pavlovian influences. I eventually put it together that it was the same song in the commercial as in the show and gathered the wherewithal to search for it on iTunes, and then, as is my way, listen to it approximately 246 times on repeat. Gradually, I broke the association with Clint Eastwood. Instead it came to represent the experience of performing in Expressing Motherhood.

“So show me family / All the blood that I would bleed

Throughout the run of the show it didn’t escape my attention that I was performing an essay about my inability to connect with mothers…in a show in which I shared the stage with a dozen other mothers, all of with whom I now feel genuinely and unreservedly connected. The other performers were kind enough to not call me out on this dick move, which was just one of many acts of graciousness I enjoyed during the run of the show.

“I don’t know where I belong / I don’t know where I went wrong / But I can write a song”

Contrary to what I said on stage, mothers have more than one thing in common. Sure, it doesn’t aways feel like we’re one big, global village, especially in the beginning stages when mothers often cordon themselves into camps according their chosen parenting methodology. The power of Expressing Motherhood is in highlighting the commonality of our experiences. The other women’s pieces were either highly relatable or a window into my future as a mother, the terrifying future in which I’ll have to tell my kids about sex or, oh dear, drop them off at their college dorms.

“I belong with you, you belong with me / You’re my sweetheart”

In anthropological terms, mothering is a liminal space where we are neither the same person before we had kids, nor have we emerged at the other end. I don’t know what marks “the end,” certainly not dropping our kids off at college dorms. That’s a freaking long liminal space to be trapped in! But, as liminal spaces go, motherhood is a rich one, one worth exploring, or, er, expressing.

And thank goodness all us moms belong to one another, that we can craft spaces in which we can deal with the uncertainty of our lot. Because isn’t what all this comes down to is our lack of surety? The excruciating ambiguity of our role as mothers? We don’t have to divide ourselves according to how we discipline our children or whether or not we sleep train as many of us do at the beginning. Instead we can acknowledge the uncertainty and just sit with that until it feels normal.

I was unsure about Expressing Motherhood and what I’d get out of it given that I’m not a performer. But there is worth to standing behind my words, in person, and owning my initial discomfort at having been thrust into a community of mothers just by virtue of having a kid. Now, finally, I accept that I have more in common with other moms than the simple act of mothering. I am certain of few things, but I know this.

JJ Keith surrounded by part of her new “moms group” Malena Hougen, Kelly Redican and Elizabeth Jayne Liu.

Expressing Motherhood……The Reviews Are In!

Posted by  Co-creator, Jessica Cribbs

Well, another run is over.

But not without AMAZING things being said about it!

Our Fall 2012 Cast

“One of the most entertaining poinegnt evenings I’ve had in a long time. The stories made me feel like I’m not alone in my odd world of motherhood.”
– Nicole Sullivan, MADTv, Cougar Town

“I saw this production last night. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to share my story too. Thanks, ladies. You are beautiful women and moms.”
– Louise Post, Audience Member

“I LOVED IT. It felt like a delicious gift. Best evening in ages.”
– Gayle Cole, Audience Member

”Please don’t ever stop doing this. I always take away so much from your show. Thank you for putting so much time in to it!”
– Jennifer Lindman Lovold, Audience Member

“I loved this show. I laughed out loud. I openly cried… The women reminded me of everything that I had feared about becoming a mother….I felt it. The camaraderie of motherhood. The camaraderie of women.”
-Tommie Vaughn, TheWallsOfTom.com

Great job ladies. I’m sad to see this run end, but completely satisfied in the content shared and the bonds created. Bravo!

A Review by a Hesitant Audience Member

Well, after another day spent running around after my 3 kids has passed and I just came down and plopped into my office chair.

I went over a little bit of paperwork from the previous weekend and paid my nanny for a lot of help the past week while I was “working” on the show.

Is it worth it? I thought for a second. All of the money I had to heap at the nanny so I can fulfill this creative bug that drives me and has since I was a little girl organizing neighborhood productions.

I felt guilty.

Then I happened upon a review. A review from my favorite type of audience member, the one who has come, let’s just say, with very low expectations.

The review made me smile on many levels. In particular I love the part about how she’s impressed Jessica and I have been doing this longer then some bands have been together.

Also, the “The comradery of motherhood. The comradery of women,” that she began to feel.

Yes, the extra money I shelve out for some help with the kids while I’m off having a blast at the theatre is of course, worth it, very, very worth it.