What I Learned from Red Shoes

First and foremost – THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who came out and saw my first one woman show. Thank you to my friends and family for the constant support and encouragement. Thank you to the Boulder Fringe for pulling my name out of the hat and providing a space for me to explore my art completely uninhibited.

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This show has been a huge portal for me. I have been saying for years and years and years and YEARS that I want to create a one woman show and put my artistic voice and vision fully on stage. And now it’s over and I feel so pleased having completed the process. After my opening night show wrapped, and I was flooded with praise from my audience, I felt truly triumphant. What a rush!

IMG_0264I learned several lessons on this artistic venture. The first one being, You are not alone. I have a tendency to dig in my feet and feel safer doing everything by myself. As a one woman show there are certainly a lot of aspects to the creating that were extremely individual and solitary. However, as the days ticked by, I found my stress mounting and my doubts growing the longer I kept the creative process to myself. When I finally reached out and starting asking for feedback and guidance and assistance, that’s when the piece really began to solidify and become real magic. AND everyone I reached out to was so honored and excited to be a part of the process. Thank you to all the people who helped me ask for help.

I learned to Trust my timing. I’m sure many creative types struggle with procrastination like me, but over the course of this six month period I reframed my procrastinator as a powerful ally. Instead of letting my inner critic shriek endlessly about the time I was wasting, I calmed that voice and realized I was letting things simmer, allowing creative ideas to dance about, rather than beating them into the shapes I wanted them to be. One piece of choreography in the show was stumping me over and over again. I had formed an idea for the segment, and yet continued to ignore working on it. Finally it dawned on me that I didn’t feel comfortable with the original idea, and procrastinating helped me ease into that reality. After addressing my fears, and pivoting to a new possibility, I fell into a piece of choreography I truly loved.

People have asked me if I would do this kind of project again, and I know for sure if I did, it would look radically different to this show. What I do know is that I will continue to be an artist. I will continue to dance and perform. And I’m excited to see what new opportunities will come my way now that I have passed through this artistic portal.

If you saw the show I would love to hear your feedback. Follow this link to the Boulder Fringe Website and leave me a review. I appreciate it SO MUCH!

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Red Shoes – Projection Design

The major multimedia element of my production, Red Shoes, is the projection that functions as the set. It help sets the tone for each vignette and carries the viewer on a visual journey through colors and textures and moods. The video is almost beautiful enough to stand alone without the dance or the music or the dialogue, but I enjoy the depth it adds to the performance, creating layers upon layers for the audience to focus on.

I began my journey with projection design years ago when creating basic videos of color and shape in iMovie for student performances with the non profit Turning the Wheel. That curiosity evolved and was encouraged by my good friend Alana Shaw when she invited me to dive even deeper into projection art with the creation of a video set for her stunning piece, Stardust and Water. I learned a lot working on the video for that performance, which was mapped to the stage and completely immersed the performers in stars, water, flowers, clouds, watermelon and more. It was quite the accomplishment and it has been refined with each city Stardust and Water visits.

Taking what I learned from that monumental project, I was emboldened to create a video for my own one woman show. The video for Red Shoes combines original footage that I have collected over the years, motion backgrounds found online, and videos from the public domain. Two excerpts in the video include choreographed short films that are complete artistic thoughts in their own right and were filmed, edited, and scripted by me for the piece. Below I share some of my artistic insights and creations for various clips in the show!

Red Shoes premieres TOMORROW!

Friday August 18th at the Pine Street Church as part of the Boulder International Fringe Festival.

Tickets are still available for all four shows through the Fringe Festival Website. 

The Rising Sun: I thoroughly enjoy blending two pieces of footage together to create something completely new and original. I especially like to layer my own original footage with clips collected from creative commons and public domain. This shot layers a shot I took while on a walk in Denver of grass in the wind with a video of the sun rising. The combined effect elevated the moment to a beautiful place.

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Wheel of Dancers: Performance art and projection design aren’t the only realms I explore with my creativity. I also spend a lot of time creating mixed media paintings and it was important to me to include this side of my artistry in the projection. This vignette from the projection is a slow motion video of a mixed media canvas spinning, and then layered with a motion background to reinvigorate the color and texture that appears in person when looking at the painting. I’m so pleased with the overall effect this created.

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Power within our own Feet:  A powerful theme throughout the show is the push and pull of looking outside oneself for power vs finding that power within. One of the stand alone moments in the film features a dance I recorded of my feet, honoring the depth of knowledge and grounding that exists in that part of me. I was honored to layer a film of a friends tapestry over my dance to create even more depth and richness. The final piece is like a visual collage, combining colorful elements to create something that no one has ever seen before.

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Tornado:  Another aspect that I really love about the video is the incorporation of images from the public domain. There is so much wonderful material that has been saved and collected from the past, and with the magic of the internet it’s become extremely accessible. I love the vintage feel it creates, pushing parts of the show into a timeless realm and hopefully creating meaningful connections for individuals watching. Along with clips of storms and tornadoes, images of spiders, forests, as well as audio clips from 40’s radio, are peppered throughout the performance.

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I’ve enjoyed working on the projection aspect of Red Shoes so much that I am feeling inspired to pursue creating films that can stand completely alone, with no blending over dance and theatre. Let me know if you would be interested in seeing my work evolve in this way. I’d love to hear your thoughts. But first I have to complete Red Shoes! See you tomorrow.

Tickets are still available for all four shows through the Fringe Festival Website.

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Red Shoes – The Shoes!

When Dorothy finds the Red Shoes in “The Wizard of Oz” the course of her adventure dramatically shifts. She now has the key to come full circle to her hearts desire, to return home. But perhaps the power to come home and fulfill her hearts desire was inside Dorothy’s feet from the start, perhaps the shoes were simply a foil for the power already residing deep inside?

Its easy to think that the magic is outside of ourselves, and with the right tool, costume, trinket, or boon our heart’s desire will finally be within reach. The Red Shoes, in my solo show of the same name, represent this mad hunt for personal power.

Here is a peak of the sculptures.

Be sure to follow my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook Page for even more snippets of the performance.  

Can’t wait to see the show?

Pick up your tickets today.

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Profound Gateway: Bold Doors Entry

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Doorways are inherently magical and you can see their power
mirrored in our language. We stand at the threshold whenever we
reach a right of passage, pass through the gates to all things new
and unknown, then close the door on the past. These metaphors
link together life, death, and creativity which are all held in the
transitional space of doorways. This piece became a place for me,
as an artist, to meditate the meaning of these sayings and the
power they hold.

For my door I wanted to play with the passage of time and in my original sketch I conceived of a maiden/ mother nature figure on one side, and a crone figure on the other. I was unsure of how to include the window, but when I found my heavy purple door at the resource yard I knew it was the one I wanted to work with.

I thought turning the glass into a cave was appropriate because it made me think of passageways, wombs, time travel, and other images that fell within the theme I was wan’t to explore. I ended up using wax to create the stalactite affect on the glass, and then I embellished with beads. The other materials used on my door were Basic Acrylics, found paper and fabric, ModPodge, and ducting tape.

Considering the amount of time I gave myself to complete my rather ambitious vision (a week) I’m pleased. However I knew about and had entered the competition weeks in advance so I should have had plenty of time to complete my concept. School and travel ate up my time instead. All things considered I’m pretty pleased with my first solo step into the professional art world of Boulder.