Annnnd, here we go THESIS

Thesis Two with two capital 'T's.


Memory is a common thread recurring in themes of my work. Creating a cognitive, mapped, tangible space with set building, performance, sound design, and audience interaction will be my main outlets to create the space. This performance will involve me as a projected 70 year old image of myself as memory deteriorates, swells, and shapes in the installation around me.


The boat installations of Swoon

The installation works of Monica Canilao

The video performances and set design of Mika Rottenberg

The... well... everything of Improv Everywhere

The performances of Miranda July

The electronic opera, Tomorrow in a Year, created in collaboration by the brother-sister band The Knife

Cites :

Krapp's Last Tape (1958) - Samuel Beckett

Notes On Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair - Frank Hauser and Russel Reich

Improv Everywhere - Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere - Charlie Todd, Alex Scordelis

Synecdoche, New York - (2008) Written and Directed by Charlie Kaufman

Music of Roger Sellers -- local San Marcos experimental musician who uses layering of ambient audio with rhodes, banjo, vibes, loop pedal, and other instruments

WNYC's Radiolab Shorts podcast episode - "Moments," "The Ring & I," and "Memory and Forgetting"

Pie of the day

So, I had this performance of getting assassinated by pie...

Performance in late August 2010 at the Introducing... Hot Grease Art Collective opening at 210 Studios, San Marcos TX

the youtube.

Lovely film stills were captured by the one and only Eric Morales

Music playing during performance :
"Wild Honey Pie" The Beatles
"Country Pie (Dylan cover)" Beck
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" The Four Tops
"Honey Pie" The Beatles
"Sweet Potato Pie" Domino
"Cherry Pie" Warrant
"American Pie" Don McLean
"Where's My Apple Pie?" Joan Baez
"I Like Pie I Like Cake" Lee Morse

Thanks to my two lovely actors, Alison Gregory and Zach Schulte-- the super talented pie assassins who couldn't have been more fun to collaborate with. This performance was the most fun I've had while making art, pretty much ever. Kudos to all who got sticky


twenty ideas for thesis two.

Embark. The word translates: to board a ship, to begin. This is dead-on since I keep describing as of late my sails catching winds in the right direction...

I boarded a plane to Barcelona in May and left on a ship to Croatia weeks later. None of the travels really soaked in until after i took off in the air from Amsterdam. Alone again, there I went in a solitude... yet a guided, rooted loneliness that was the trip to bosnia, italy, and the backpacking shape shifting in between. Now the beginning of my last semester starts so many new things... I went to the mecca that is the Grand Canyon last week to trace the residual layers of millions and millions of life before me... then moving on to moving in with the love of my life, beginning the last semester of my undergrad with a bang, moving in my little brother and best friend to San Marcos, a dear friend's belly swells as she starts the beginning chapter of motherhood... to name a few. Texas is finally reminding me that breezes exist, that seasons do shift, and I'm in the middle of it all... in the middle, in this transit of "Nostalgia hecho el hombre" y "Nostalgia mata el hombre." And I digress, to start afresh. To embark on the beginning of the end.

Here, in word association blog-vomit, the twenty-something ideas of thesis two...

smell, scent, triggering a memory from a certain draft or breeze. the scent of moth balls lingering and reminding us all of grandmothers' closets and old creaky houses... my best friend jessica saying, "i never knew that smell was 'moth balls'-- i thought all old people just smelled the same"

sound... the layering of ambient, abstracted tracks of music and recorded sound. using ambulances and church bells we recorded in italy to pan in and out between sounds of pouring down rain on the windshield when barry and i crossed the new mexico border....

that being said, layering dichotomies into a greyed out middle area--- feeling lost in translation, feeling foreign in one's hometown.. layering recorded ambient noise we extracted from bosnia to tracks of germans talking in the munich haufbahnhoft....

the marnie video. ive blogged on this one before, ive worked on this before, and its never quite resolved in my mind or my mark making. i tried to make it in several book forms and i tried to print on fabric one of the stills i took from the television and then sewed topographical lines on top and made it a hanging wall piece... but i never got fulfilled by working in those ways. i need more of an interactive approach to extract it out of my memory and into a work. this thesis is where i wring it out fully. for anyone who dont know about the video and are in the dark, its just this silly video recording of my cousin with a huge VHS tape camera on her shoulder taping me, my 4-year-old or something self, tell a twenty minute story about spending the night at my old friend marnie's house. it's important to note that at this point of my life, i rarely even talked, much less monologued to a camera. you can tell the words are still forming in my brain, and im still working on putting sentences together, but in all that toddler babble there is a narrative underneath. and this memory would have never really existed without the documentation of video in the mid summer day in 1990.

playwriting. this is where my love for writing and creating an idea for a theatrical performance comes in. i want to use fragments of the actual marnie video and write a narrative for me to interact with the actual memory. the beginning and end will suggest other nonspecific memories coming in and out of my consciousness, but the meat of this entire performance will involve a written out narrative performance interacting with the marnie videotape memory.

this is where performance comes in. in my last two performances, Let them eat cake and Pie of the day, I had a hell of a lot of fun. and I got messy. and I got to involve being interactive with food and smell and music just like I've always wanted to. and i i finally got to intertwine playwriting and working with actors in the Pie scheme... BUT, there was no actual meat to the performances I realize months later. what was absent in these performances was my interests in brain maps, memory, and cognitive topographies. For the final thesis, I dont want people to walk away with just splatters of pie on their shirt and a few laughs. I want them to have a memory triggered somehow. Much like how I walked away from Synecdoche, New York in the theater, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind... a little confused and not sure if I got it but ultimately I was thinking of my experiences that tied into the narratives of those films. bingo. If all else doesn't go my way but this number six is successful, I'll feel fulfilled in my thesis work.

directing. I'm taking Jeremy Torres' Directing II out of the theater building this semester, and it couldn't have been a better decision. First of all, theater embraces the creative type who delve into a lot of mediums and endeavors. It's not just this "Jack of all trades" label, moreso if you are interested in sculpture and film and music and creating spaces and collaborating and ambitious, multimedia mediums, you can take all your interests and streamline them into a direction of a performance. In my entire undergrad, this class has shaped me the most. So I move forward, wanting to direct my performance of several interdisciplinary mediums into a solid multimedia performance. I'm starring in it, as performer and as a 4-year old memory, I'm writing it, I'm building the sets, designing the costumes, hiring the actors, producing it, and sweating it out of my experience of being a human being. It wouldn't make sense to hand it to someone else to direct.

Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett. I want to use this for the armature of my play. In the play, it depicts Krapp, a surly man in his late 60s, replaying cassette tapes he recorded on every birthday. There's this heaviness hanging in the air when you read the play... Krapp has the ability to stop, play, rewind and fast forward certain taped memories, but he can never change them. The play is simple with little dialogue, and I love how the tape player is such an important role in the performance. This is where the playing, stopping, rewinding and fastforwarding of the Marnie tape will come into play. much like Krapp's tape recordings.

My character as myself in forty years. I want the space I create to feel like it's been lived in for decades. Playing with the idea of projecting myself as an older lady... really delving into these memories since looking back, they are all I have to fabricate my entire life experience.

Costumes being era-less, but they comment on the 40s, 60s, 80s and 90s... wool high-waisted trousers that hit above my ankles, brightly colored socks, thick tweed, suspenders, a white starched blouse with a broach, shoes from the forties, heavy perfume, thick grandma glasses, crazy teased hair, borrowing from eastern Europe and grandma Iva and Deanna and Ingrid Bergman... it looks like I haven't been in public for ten to twenty years, just sitting in all these mental thoughts and the armature that houses it all

Have pictures hanging of timeline pictures of my life. Growing older, traveling, aging in front of the aging photograph... Acting out what it'd be like in my life in 5, 10, 25, 35 years. a) Acting as the kid in the Marnie video-- pink shirt, straight across bangs, headband, no makeup... b) self-portrait of today, in the house, with the animals, no facial hair, almost plain... c) wear mom's wedding dress, Barry and his moustache, outside shot... d) long hair, bearded Barry, traveling somewhere... e) 50-60 year old us with big glasses and whack fashion, salt and peppered, holding hands

Set design being a residential living room--wallpaper and wooden panel-- again, commenting on different eras but you dont know which era you are in. The wallpaper is peeling and layered, like the wheat-pasted posters on the medieval walls on Florence. RESIDUAL, layered, aging, yellowed. Yellow light, flickering. A simple table set for one, holding a vintage looking television set that could be from any era. A brightly-colored, yet rustic and peeled-paint screen door opens and closes with a long screech and a loud bang. Creaky wooden floor, smells of moth balls, and the only indication of the past are the hanging pictures and the videotape playing.

Actors. In the Marnie video, I have myself as a four year old and Kelly, my cousin recording the whole thing. In the middle of the performance, the VHS playing on the television suddenly isnt enough. I try to delve back into that memory and suddenly actors as my 4-year-old self and Kelly in the 90s enter. They sit down and try to "re-inact" this memory, but I stop, rewind and playback the memory since it doesn't seem right. I can physically choreograph them to "rewind" and "stop," and they do not interact with me but just with eachother. I cannot change this memory.

Layering. This is where I want to bring in pull-downs on the top of the set that represent mental maps. I will pull down paper and mylar and fabric that have memories in text on them, but it takes me a second to connect to the actual memory. I argue with the actors. I try to prove them wrong. But in the end, it is shown that the memory stands blurred, and there is nothing I can do. No arguing or getting ornery will ever bring my memory back.

Bringing in slides in a slide projector that are photographs of the actual VHS tape being played on the tv. I want to stop-motion a few frames, then as you progress through the slide show, they get more and more blurred. This is where the play ends-- in a blurred remnant of the residual longing of memory. This is inspired by on-camera editing like they did in the 20s and German Expressionist films, and like in The Diving Bell and Butterfly, where actual blurs of the camera involved doing it on camera and not in post. The film as a record of memory, of a still imprinted in my mind.

Having the mixture of audio layering of recordings and songs and audial memories be at the end-- turn into a blurred photograph as well as static in the music-- almost noise, feedback-y, ambient and removed.

I want some sort of ring, some light motif that resonates in the beginning, giving a sense of foreshadow in the music but not really-- giving a taste of the layering and blurring of memory with sound, then bookending at the last moment with being overcome in this audio... being enveloped, getting lost and not being able to remember anything specific. Everything reminds me of everything, and yet it's impossible to remember it all.

The mental mapping idea needs to be teased out more-- it's going to be portrayed with the pull-downs, showing drawings of text connecting to other text, though they may not make sense to the reader, it will connect and trigger somehow in my brain.

I need to collaborate with someone who can do stage makeup fairly well-- I want to look like myself acting as an older me, but I do want to look fairly legitimate. I need to study older people more, pick up phrases to say and mannerisms... "I'll take a short one.." "Oh me"... I want my acting to be subtle, very very subtle, but I don't want to just be walking around like I'm 24.

Lastly, I want to document this correctly. Maybe the dress rehearsals will be appropriate times to bring in a still photographer, and maybe I just need to get a few hands to photograph the events. I've thought of doing a performance for video documentation, which is another beast in itself believe you me. BUT, I think it'd be worth it to run the performance in front of a small crew to get a few angles and edit it together for the proper documentation. That, I realize, is the only way this performance will breathe after the event. It will be my archive of all the things I've been trying to take a whack at for my entire undergrad. I'm excited to have a rehearsing schedule and be able to practice and grow within the production. I also have noted that as important as the process is the documentation, especially since it's going to only live as a performance by me and not by other productions.