Somewhere on the spectrum between record and reflection

All the things since October 4

I missed updating in November. Here's the past two months of witnessing. Was a lot more than the month or two before that and I was grateful for the many comps and already free shows that helped along the way.

Trigger at the New Museum, NYC, October 7

work by several artists but most memorably, for me, Tiffany Chung, various galleries in Chelsea, NYC, October 10. My cousin who is a curator took me out to places I would have never known to go and I think TC's work will stick with me for a long time

The World/Inferno Friendship Society at the Cobra Lounge, Chicago, October 14. Happy birthday to my best friend for whom we went to this. Also it's weird and amazing to see in adulthood a band you idolized as a teenager whom you wouldn't idolize if you got to know them for the first time now but whom it is still cool to see perform in person once more

my brother's quartet performing his album Abbey Bowed and some other great stuff at The Store and Gallery Cabaret, Chicago, October 15 and 18. Really love seeing my brother perform, especially this adaptation of Abbey Road which I find to be incredibly beautiful and full of depth

all the artists at Salonathon, Beauty Bar, Chicago, October 16

all the artists at the Elevate Chicago Dance late night showcases at Defibrillator and Links Hall, Chicago, October 20 and 21. Particularly struck by the works I saw this weekend by Darling Shear, Antibody Corporation, THE ERA, and Erin Kilmurray

Battle of the Sexes at the Landmark, Chicago, October 21

Blade Runner 2049 at 600 North with the cushy seats that lean back, Chicago, October 22

all the artists at Research Project #14, Outer Space, Chicago, October 23 bless this event for continuing to be awesome. So grateful to host every time

They by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh at River East, Chicago, October 26

All the founders of Congrats on Your Success at their 5-year anniversary show at Uncharted Books, Chicago, November 2. This show was truly incredible and I was left, as I often am after seeing great comedy, with a feeling of enormous gratitude and awe

Leyla McCalla at Schuba's, Chicago, November 3. My friend Free has been touring with this amazing musician for the past several years, and it's been amazing to catch them a number of times in Chicago.

Lucinda Williams at the Park West, Chicago, November 7. Go be one of only 2 queer millennials at a Lucinda Williams show and you will meet the only other one and be adopted by your elders

Skits & Pieces by Kelly Anderson Dance Theatre at Steppenwolf, Chicago, November 8

A-Squared Festival at Links Hall, Chicago, November 10. Really loved seeing new work by my friend M Wu and her collaborator Hugh Sato

Lucky Plush's Rooming House at Steppenwolf, Chicago, November 11

photography by Jess Dugan on display all month at the Center on Halsted, Chicago

Fun Home at Victory Gardens, Chicago, November 16

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at the Bow Tie, New Haven, November 25

Lady Bird at the Bow Tie, New Haven, November 26

All the things since September 3

The Fever by 600 Highwaymen, MCA Chicago, September 9

Waver by Carole McCurdy and performers, Defibrillator, Chicago, September 16

The Matrix, my living room, September 17


All the things since August 1

In general this month was highlighted by seeing all of the work and performers in weekends 1, 2, and 4 of The Fly Honey Show. I would list particular gratitude to specific performers and members of the cast and ensemble, but truthfully that would involve listing nearly everyone. My heart is full and ready to keep working

Other than that:

Dunkirk at the Logan Theater, 8/3/2017

Jenn Freeman and Jessica Ray's solos at the Co-MISSIONS encore performance, Links Hall, 8/13/2017

Cicada Summer by Rough House Theater (written by Claire Saxe) at the Chopin Theater, 9/2/2017

All the things since July 1

Brokeback Mountain, apartment in Brooklyn, 7/3/2017 wait a second wait what wait how did I never wait wait a minute I uh...

Baby Driver, Logan Theater, 7/13/2017

Spiderman: Homecoming, Logan Theater, 7/16/2017. There is a lot of stuff this movie gets really right. As I sometimes find myself saying, Essay Forthcoming

all the artists at Salonathon: 6 years!, Beauty Bar, 7/17/2017 YAY SALONATHON I LOVE YOU CONTINUE FOREVER

Kundiman Fellows reading featuring poetry by Feliz Lucia Molina, Suman Chhabra, Helene Achanzar, and Timothy Moore, Pilsen Community Books, 7/20/2017. Big thanks to my friend Helene for bringing me out to this before her departure from Chicago.

The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Runaways Lab Theater, 7/21/2017

all the artists at Salonathon: Family Reunion, Beauty Bar, 7/31/2017

The L Word, everywhere in my brain, all month Bookend to the Brokeback sitch: literally what have I been doing not having watched this show before. It is of course deeply flawed but my what a square meal in the otherwise often slim pickings of mainstream queer-heavy media.

All the things since June 1

new work by Po'Chop and Darling Shear for Links Hall's Co-Missions residency, 6/2/2017

Pull It Sur Prize comedy night hosted by Greer Dworman as part of Movement Research's Spring Festival, Howl Happening, NYC, 6/5/2017. Further evidence that comedy is going to save the world

record release of Half Straddle's Ghost Rings, Pete's Candy Store, NYC, 6/16/2017

CATCH series at Invisible Dog, NYC, 6/18/2017

June was a lot of family and friend time, but I'm extremely grateful that I got to see Jenn Freeman's work at Links at the beginning of the month.

All the things since May 1

various artists at JELLO: The Fifth, guest curated by Erin Kilmurray, Links Hall, 5/1/2017

the second half of Salonathon: Mayday, Beauty Bar, 5/1/2017

Guardians of the Galaxy at the Logan, 5/4/2017 words cannot express

The Arrow at the Neo-Futurists', 5/7/2017. I'm into what's happening here.

Naomi Klein & Michelle Alexander at the Auditorium Theatre, 5/9/2017. I'M DEFINITELY INTO WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE.

Guardians of the Galaxy at the Logan, 5/10/2017 yeah that happened twice. Essay forthcoming

Open Source String Quartet via Classical Revolution at Gallery Cabaret, 5/16/2017

all the artists at Research Project #13, OuterSpace, 5/21/2017This event continually feels worth it and I'm so grateful to everyone who shows up.

all the artists at Set Free, 5/22/2017

Salonathon: Emergency Exit, 5/29/2017

dress rehearsal of Joanna Furnans' Genuine Fake at Links Hall, 5/31/2017

All the things since April 1

Qi gong and rehearsal with Laurel Atwell, NYC, 4/10 & 4/11/2017. In Laurel's class, the interweaving of physical exercise & sensation with emotional relevance was really nourishing. The rehearsal I visited the next day was a reminder/model of a kind of dance processes I want to be part of.

Dia: Beacon round 2, this time with cousins & family, Beacon, NY, 4/15/2017. God it was good to go back to that beautiful place. Also the tour guide was [100 emoji]. I took notes.

Sam Rae, Shark Heart, & Taylor Rogers at Uncommon Ground, 4/16/2017

Picnic by William Inge & directed by Will Davis at the American Theater Company, 4/20/2017

blue fish by Ayako Kato, Pritzker stage at Millennium Park, 4/21/2017

Their Finest at Landmark Century Cinema, 4/23/2017. Took my parents out. Dad picked the movie. Didn't know anything about it ahead of time but it was actually totally great.

Quinn Tsan at Cafe Mustache, 4/26/2017. I adore this human, was great to finally see her perform some of her music

Synapse New Works at Hamlin Park, 4/27/2017

Congrats on Your Success with Easy being filmed!!!, Uncharted Books, 4/28/2017 YES YES YES COMEDY CHICAGO THANK YOU GODDESS BLESS ALL

Get Out at the Logan Theater, 4/28/2017. Finally saw this, very grateful for it, and pretty sure the only appropriate response as a white person is continued action toward reparations

All the many artists & works on the bill of HybridSalon 4 at the Hairpin Arts Center, 4/29 & 4/30/2017I was on this bill too. The whole participation and witnessing experience reminded me so very clearly that artists are people who labor and show up, and also that we who perform are lucky, and also that all of this is worthwhile. Thanks Lindsey Barlag Thornton & Amanda Dunne Acevedo who organize, curate, & produce this whole thing, and many many thanks to all the artists I got to know through being part of it.

May Day march in Chicago, 5/1/2017. Have some questions about my choice to include this, but I gotta say that linking up with my friends who were playing percussion and singing, and then hearing this huge ensemble of drummers echo wildly under Ogilvie as we moved down Randolph toward downtown, was pretty spectacular and made the reasons we were all there resonate even more.

All the things since March 1

Creating this page had the unexpected effect of creating a sense of pressure around what things feel or felt significant to write about specifically. Also, I see so much work as part of my practice that it would be an extra job to write thoughtfully enough about everything that I would feel comfortable recording such thoughts for eternity via the interwebs. Anyway, here's a bunch of stuff I saw that reminded me of why it all matters (or didn't, but was worth noting for some other reason):

(the movie) Logan at the Logan (Theatre), 3/2/2017. Honestly my disbelief was not suspended through the ending, but action movies get me through life sometimes.

minor matter by Ligia Lewis at the Chicago Cultural Center, 3/3/2017. As I was watching this work, I found myself thinking, is this the greatest work I've ever seen? Bless Shoni for bringing this work to Chicago in a series that was free, no less.

the movies Drive, The Fifth Element, and Alien, my living room, 3/4/2017. I was supposed to tutor and go to a roda and see a dance show and go to a queer ball. Instead I got sick and watched action movies all day. It was honestly pretty alright. Someday I'm going to flesh out my thoughts on how I feel about the male protagonists and glorified heterosexual relationships of action movies.

lil BLK by NIC Kay at Hamlin Park Theater, 3/16/2017. Another big ups to the OnEdge Festival for bringing incredible free work to this city. Really glad I got to see this solo after having been out of town for the version NIC did at Links Hall.

two different solos by Ayako Kato on the Raw Material bill at Links Hall, 3/17 and 3/18/2017. This woman, always.

A Great Hunger by Jessica Jobaris & General Magic at On the Boards in Seattle, 3/19/2017. I used to live in Seattle and the performance & dance communities there shaped my consciousness significantly. 18 months ago I found out a work my friend Neil was part of had been programmed on OTB's 2017 season and I said "I'M GOING TO BE THERE!" Later it turned out my friend Rosa was also going to be in this work. I went to Seattle for 40 hours to see it. It was beautiful. It was worth it. 

Exploration by Jessica Martin at Links Hall, 3/25/2017. My friend Jessica's work asks me to see things I don't always see, and then asks me to take more responsibility for seeing them more often.

Give It To You Stage by Yackez (Larissa & Jon Velez-Jackson) at New York Live Arts, 3/29/2017. Lord god. Thank you Larissa. Thank you Jon. Thank you cast. Thank you New York City. Thank you people who work hard their whole lives to make the best goddamn work they can.

the museum Dia: Beacon in Beacon, NY, visited on 3/31/2017. This entire place made me want to weep. 

process showing of Saints by Tess Dworman through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY, 4/1/2017. No but actually, this shit blew my mind.

Album by Mariana Valencia, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, 4/8/2017. Once again, thank you New York City, and thank you job that allows me to go other places and see things I wouldn't otherwise see.

John Darnielle at Lincoln Hall, 3/1/2017

On Wednesday night this week I saw John Darnielle (leader of the band The Mountain Goats and also a novelist) read a bit from his new book Universal Harvester and then answer questions for a solid 90 minutes or so. A couple highlights, as I remember them:

- At one point John talked about not wanting to put out songs he feels like he's written before. Later a poet asked him what do you do if you feel like you keep writing same stuff? John said, well, "because I see art as labor and not as magic," he believes you still have to write them, that's part of the process. 

- I asked John about self-promotion: how to find balance in the act of asking people to pay attention to oneself. While acknowledging that this can be "humiliating," he went on to look me in the eye and say, "that feeling is really narcissism," because it presumes that people are already paying attention to you enough to notice that you are perhaps asking for/receiving a lot of it. :O