Mask Workshop with Steve Jarand

Masks Produced by Attendees of Workshop

I have been dying to tell everyone about the experience I had last month in Calgary Canada with my friends form Texas, The Circus Freaks Clown Theater at a mask workshop hosted by Loose Moose Theater Company and Steve Jarand

We spent a week producing paper mache masks and working on performance in half and full masks using the guidelines from Keith Johnstones Impro book and Steve’s experience with trance masks technique. 

It was really a great place for me to dust off the mask skills with learned with Leticia Bartlett in Clown Conservatory and get to see things we didn’t have time to get into during Clown Conservatory in practice.  All the physical work we spent time building experience with payed off in my ability to communicate emotion in a full mask using my body to express. These things have also taught me to pay more attention to the body language of people around me in general. Honestly it makes me feel like I am being nosey and invading someones privacy just by looking at them and knowing they are ‘burdened by the world’ or ‘quietly satisfied and content.’

I spent a large percentage of my time wearing a half mask that we nick named the demon mask. This demon taught me a few life lessons while we were together including:

1) I Am Entitled to Taking Up Space

I participated in a scene with two other masked actors where we were on a love seat together. After the scene began and the masks had been “woken up” I really felt like I deserved the whole love seat. I’ve been trying to carry that feeling with me since the workshop.

2) Screaming Feels Good

Part of the practice of trance mask technique involves making the sound that comes with and/or, matches the facial expression your mask is making. The demon masks really screamed a lot in earnest. I don’t think I have screamed as much as I did in this workshop, ever in my life, even as an angst ridden teenager.

The thing about it that really amazes me is that the act of screaming, the vibration in my chest, actually feels awesome. I had never noticed how it physically feels to speak, sing, breath, or scream before.

3) Screaming Together Feels Good

In another scene from the workshop myself and a friend from the Circus Freaks dawned two demon masks together and just screamed at each other. While this was going on I felt an extreme sense of belonging and cooperation with another being.

4) Where did these scrapes come from?

At the end of the workshop we got to choose a few masks to take with us on an adventure to the park. I chose to wear the demon mask in the park several times in which I apparently climbed three trees and used pine cones like grenades and screeched at birds. It was really awesome to get to use the strength I have been developing through aerial and acrobatics training to be truly animal without judgement of myself.

Overall I think the time I spent with the demon has taught me to live as a more empowered and confident person.

Kenna doing a bad leg scale in the mall
Silly Poses at The Rainbow Wings in Calgary Mall

One final joy I experienced while Calgary was, getting to play with my friends from Texas without physically being at an event one of us is hosting, or me wrought with the emotional baggage of being in my home town. It was so lovely to meet and play in a fresh place.

While in Calgary we celebrated my lovely partner, Russell’s birthday at Charcut steakhouse and went to see the Loose Moose Theater Maestro show.

Celebrating Russ’s Birthday at The Loose Moose

ALSO I am usually at Looks – Costuming on Haight 735 Haight St. on Thursdays if you need any help with costume projects in the future or in this upcoming Halloween season.

September – San Francisco Anniversary

I have been living in the bay area for 3 years. What a three years it’s been.

It feels like every decision has led to this point. As I walked up the stairs to circus center today, to open the building on the first day of Clown Conservatory 2020 I thought about learning this place existed while looking for jobs in 2016, about how nervous it made me to even come into this place and how real the impostor syndrome was. Seeing Sara Toby Moore’s the supers clown conservatory final performance in April that first year was such a delight and the first encounter with Clowns I had experienced since the Circus Freaks in Texas. Seeing that show reminded me how important the clowns I met had been to me and that they really were the best people in my life at that time. Doing this work has made me a more buoyant human being.

It is wild to me that I now have the job I actually dreamed about being able to get when I moved here. I tangibly remember the real fear of failure I had in even trying to move to San Francisco at all. So many people told me not to do it, or that it wouldn’t work out, or that my relationship would fail, or that I would end up moving back to Dallas. I was so afraid of failure but I took the plunge anyway, there was a lot of crying. When I first got here I moved in with a couple I met on craigslist. Long story short I learned a lot of about the legal system and have a new BFF.

My first job here was as a tour guide in the china town/ downtown area, talking about the sunken ships under the Niantic building, the fortune cookie factory, and the history of the transamerica building. That short lived work was a crash course in the history of my new home. Next I interviewed with Costumes on Haight and worked there for their Halloween season and stayed on to cover if they needed extra hands. At SF Mercantile I learned so much about how businesses actual work and the processes that need to be in place to make it happen. My Manager there taught me so much and I am so grateful for all the opportunities to learn about business. in general Haight Street has been so good for me. I really appreciate all the business owners and/or managers who taught me something about being a leader in the workplace but also in a community.

Not even a year after I moved to SF one of my family members got really sick. it has been difficult to focus on living my own full life when I also want to be there for and with them.

Through another room mate I was connect with the wonderful folks at Get High on Mountains

there has been some amazing travel in the last few years. Each of these trips and places really deserves its own blog post/journal entry.

  • Galapagos islands

  • Indonesia

  • Japan

  • Canada

Making the decisions for myself to go to Clown Conservatory is potentially “The Best Decision I Have Made in my Adult Life.” This also deserves a whole other long post.

Looking into the future from here feels good. I was recently awarded an immersive theater artist residency Through Underland with Epic Immersive in SF and I wrote, produced, and acted in (ouch), my first original theater production. I look forward to collaborating with them more on projects in the future, and boy do they have some fun stuff planned for winter! I want to extend a HUGE thank you to all the amazing people who came to see that pilot show. I’ll be posting here and all over social media as soon as we have finished tinkering with the script and are ready to put on a full fledged version!

Two of my graduating classmates from ClownCon2019 and I have been working to put together our own show, I cannot wait to scream from the rooftops about this when it gets off the ground.

Last but not least, I am finding my way (largely through skills I learned in Clown) to lean into the fear of making things, and be willing to make mistakes or to not know how to do things right. I feel free to be creative again which is really lovely. I think I lost myself there for a while. It’s good to be back.

OXOXOX,

Kenna M. Lindsay

P.S. There are so many people I want to thank for existing, and so many more things that could be said about my time here and the people I have met. It’s been difficult to make time to write this post so hopefully I will continue to find time to write and share my thoughts with you. I have a goal of posting updates more!

Save the date! TILT – a Theme Park Clown Show

I’m so excited to announce the final show this year for Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory will be:

TILT
Written by Sara Moore, Directed by Joan Howard and Hannah Gaff.
At the San Francisco Circus Center on March 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2019.
When I have more information I will definitely be sharing that here and all over social media!
Love,
Kenna

New Blog Who Dis?

New and old friends, I am so glad you are here and we get to fly around on this giant space rock together. Here I am again, trying to get my life together and share things with all of you, Shouting into the void.

Today I am writing from a cute cafe in Lakeland, FL the town that my in-laws live in. I didn’t visit Florida a lot as a kid or really spend any time here but its always a delightful adventure with new types of animals and plants I’m unfamiliar with. The Cafe is Concord Coffee a modern roaster and cafe much like something I would find all over the place in SF. They even have avocado toast!

 

This coming year I will be returning to Clown Conservatory at the Circus Center for our second semester of silliness. My classmates and I will be building a final show (come see it in late March) learning more comedy skills and preparing to travel to Bali Indonesia with Clown Corps I periodically make a vlog post on youtube about my Clown Conservatory experience, let me know if you are interested in seeing those! For more information about the trip to Bali and how you can send joy, and theater education to the rural children of Bali check out my gofundme for the project

I’m working on a series of paintings in my art studio at Get High on Mountains featuring pastel colors and clouds that really excites me. For images of that work check out my art Instagram

 

Thanks for reading, keep in touch!

All my love,

Kenna

The Service Industry Prayer

Dear powers that be who reign dominion over the service industry,

As I request your support tonight through my shift I respectfully ask for:

  1. All the food and drink orders I place to be correct when I place them and when they come out.
  2. All the equipment I need to use during my shift to be clean when I find it and functioning properly.
  3. For the people I interact with tonight who are on my team to be supportive and kind,
  4. Finally for all those that I serve to be patient, appreciative, and good tippers.

So help us God,

Amen.

 

Personal Reflections: Appreciating the Little Things is the Key to Happiness

A few years ago I started a practice that I call “my favorite things notebook.” Lately I haven’t been keeping up with it as religiously as I did at the beginning. I am committing to you, my readers and friends that I will be abandoning the favorite things notebook in exchange for posting here more often. I have started keeping track of all the things that happen in my week so that at the end of the week I can present the best of times and the most challenging lessons to

The “My favorite moment every day book” was actually really key to overcoming depression and helping me see my life differently. I recommend it to anyone who needs to be reminded to appreciate what they have. Not sure what makes you happy? Start writing it down when you are and you’ll have some idea at the end of a month.

So with that brief intro here are some of my favorite moments this week:

  • My favorite thing on Sunday was getting so many compliments on dressing “Haight street”
    • Sunday was the Haight Street Fair in San Francisco and I came to work dressed more “hippy” than usually. It was a really fun day over all.
  • Realizing I get to enjoy minus the bear again.
    • When I was younger and less sure of myself I let an old relationship ruin a great band for me. A friend here invited me to their show and I got to associate new friendships and new memories with the music. Lesson learned: you pick what you associate with something and you control if its a negative thing or not.
  • How much better shows got when I started remembering to wear earplugs.
    • Related to the previous point, Remembering to bring earplugs to a show is SO wonderful. My ears not hurting during or after the show, and being able to hear the next day just makes it so much more pleasant.
  • Making time to enjoy my breakfast in the morning came up twice:
    • Deciding to have breakfast and coffee outside while burning incense even if I’m running late.
    • Having coffee and cereal outside. Arranging things for the week. Enjoying just being.
  • Drinking my protein shake in the shower after a long challenging training session.
    • The taste of sweet powered chocolate, peanut butter, and turmeric success!
  • The importance of having a rest day in your fitness schedule and also in life in general.
    • Last session (three month period) at the Circus Center I was really over doing it and didn’t include enough rest days in my training schedule. Since including more recovery time I have seen much better performance over all in the gym and I just feel better in my whole life.
  • Classic San Francisco Park day with Julia.
    • A friend of mine from NYC came here for work and stayed with me this week. We met in elementary school forever ago and it was incredibly magically that we could manage to both have a day off just to enjoy being together and reconnect as adults. I am so grateful for the time we were able to spend together.
  • Made 50 more copies of the first Text Messages to Myself Zine contact me if you would like a paper copy mailed to you!
    • In an effort to get this done I found out that there is a small copy and postal shop close to my house.

What some of your favorite moments this week? What makes you content and happy? How can you share that joy with the people around you?

All my love,

Kenna

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Original Favorite Moment book, 2015

Life Lessons: Kenna’s Big Moving To do List

The following is something I wrote up for a friend when they told me they would be moving from San Francisco to Brooklyn, NY after she asked me “You’ve moved across the country before, how can I be more prepared.” It was something I didn’t think of as a valuable knowledge or a life skill until she asked me.

1 – Get everything packed and purge:

Pro Tip: start MONTHS in advance of your large move.

You can get shipping quality boxes and tape at staples, office max, or other office supply stores. There is a difference between storage quality, moving quality, and shipping quality boxes.

Use your clothes as padding for fragile things so you can ship more actual stuff you want instead of shipping packing material.

If you 1) don’t use it all the time 2) need it where you are going 3) could re-purchase it easily 3) It’s not financially or sentimentally valuable, get rid of it.

I like to start by putting the “things I cannot live without” in one pile and “things I definitely don’t need/want” in another until the quality of things left is an amount I can actually move.

When I pack boxes to ship I number the boxes and put a list of the things in the box inside with the items. I keep a spreadsheet with the corresponding information so I know where to look for my necklace, wacky socks, favorite sweater, that one book you really want to share with the cool new friend you just made, etc. This also helps in case a box is damaged or something is missing.

2 – Make a list of service providers you see in your current life on a regular basis:

  • Hair stylist/Aesthetician (ask people like this for a list of products they usually use or methods)
  • Yoga/Pilates Instructor/ Class (What kind of yoga is it? What does your instructor specialize in?)
  • Gym membership
  • Coffee shop
  • Bar
  • Club/music venue
  • Book store
  • etc. – Anything you do often that makes you feel like you are at home. The sooner you find this in your new place the sooner you will be happy and comfortable there.

3 – See you doctors and/or collect your medical records (at the very least have their contact info handy) Here are some common ones:

  • Regular physician
  • Eye doctor
  • Dentist
  • Dermatologist
  • Gynecologist (if this applies to you)
  • Therapist

4 – Gather anything you have borrowed from friends and put it in one place so you can return it easily.

5 – Make a list of places you will need to change your address:

  • Banks/financial institutions/student loans
  • Subscription services
  • Periodical subscriptions
  • Friends and family
  • Past employer for W2/1099 misc
  • Insurance company

6 – Set up a temporary mail forward https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm it costs $1, worth it.

7 – Register to Vote in your new home.

8 – ID or Driver’s License in new home.

9 – If you are putting anything in storage be sure to keep the information about that space somewhere safe

  • Unit address and number
  • Location of physical key and the keypad code
  • Size of unit
  • Cost per month
  • List of what you put inside or what boxes are inside.

Its worth noting here that by the time you get back to that storage unit half of the stuff will probably be worthless to you. Think about this when you pack it up so you don’t end up like me: drinking wine in your friends living room in your college town surrounded by things you saved asking yourself “Why did I pay to store this?!” every 5 minutes.

10 – Update Resume to remove address and list new location on job search sites, make any other changes you need to to find a job in your new home if you haven’t already.

Why did I save this? WHY?!

What tips do you swear by for big moves? Did I miss anything you think is super important or helpful?
Love,

Kenna

 

Show Review: Circus Center Clown Conservatory – Clown and Punishment

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Clown and Punishment was a entertaining and heady show that attempted to address current events and social issues in america through the clown theatre medium.  The six students graduating from the SF Circus Center Clown Conservatory did an awesome job illustrating all the clowning skills they learned or polished in the program.  The show had me in fits of laughter even if the social commentary was hard to grasp at some points.

Every Clown Concervatory performance I’ve seen has been a treat and I can’t recconend it enough.

 

Personal Reflection: New Leaves & Old Labyrinths

Last fall I went through crisis hotline and advocacy training with The Turning Point Rape Crisis Center of Collin County Texas. This has been and continues to be an incredible organization to work with and I really cannot say enough good things about them.  The Turning Point is focused on the treatment and prevention of bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault. They do this predominantly with the help of volunteers and a few very dedicated staff members. Together we run a crisis hotline and provide resources such as Individual, Group and, Friends and Family counseling, yoga therapy, crisis, hospital, and legal advocacy for survivors of sexual assault and their friends or family as well as education programs for the community.

If you want to know more about this organization or if you would like to donate time by volunteering, or some other type of support you can check us out here http://www.theturningpoint.org/

As impending springtime draws near, the newness in the air condensates.  I find that manifesting in my life as the reallocation of time to address things to have been issues or challenges for a long time.  Such as my new year’s resolution from last year that never happened, without feeling the pressure to get it done on any timeline.  By removing the pressure to finish things by a certain time and instead focusing on doing “a little bit each day” I have found both more progress and more peace with these activities and within myself.

The writing community I have been working to develop with Alicia at the Roanoke Public Library is growing steadily which fills me with delight.  I have started posting daily writing prompts on my personal twitter (@theonlykenna) and on my Facebook account as well as the writing group on Facebook. Our next meeting is on March 12, 2016 at the Roanoke Public Library 2 PM – 4 PM. I hope to see you there!

When I was at RIT I took a course called Women’s Stories Women’s Films, I took many courses as a part of my Gender studies minor that changed the way I thought about life and the world around me but I feel that this class was particularly relevant.  I remember a reading assignment that we had about labyrinths. This reading implied that we all walk a labyrinth of life, and that as time progresses we just walk in the same patterns time and time again.  The corridors of life remaining eerily familiar but the people or situations we encounter in them changing.  The simple way to express this poetic illustration is ‘everything changes but everything stays the same.’unnamedI often find myself coming back to this visual in life and I say, bring on the spring, bring on the change, bring on the challenges, and the goals, and the endeavors. The learning experiences, the smiles and tears, I can’t wait.

Aside from my new year’s resolutions I have started a journal where I write down my favorite moment from each day.  This has been an awesome practice because it keeps me focused on and looking for my favorite moments instead of stuck thinking about the less enjoyable parts of being a biped carbon based life form that calls this pale blue dot home.

Some of my favorite moments from January were:

“Eating chocolate cake and red wine for breakfast in celebration of mine and my best friends birthday while she was in town, at 2 pm”

“Putting on the completed dinosaur costume that my mom and I designed and made, then going to my birthday party and having an absolute blast.”

“Successfully taking a few steps on the slackline while hula hooping around my waist”

“Pizza and puzzle games, game night”