Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Artist As Mother

My good life has been somewhat sidelined by a stomach bug having found its way into my little one. I've spent most of the last couple days catching puke in a bowl, rubbing the back of a moaning child, and trying to coax her to sip water. At the moment, she's fully passed out on the couch. Rest, little one.

Despite her sad little tummy going rogue, I've managed to finalize my script idea for my theatre class' show, put in a precious few minutes on a full length play I'm working on, promote We the People (featuring me yay!), teach a few piano lessons and a voice lesson, AND watch the final episode of Outlander (with a gorgeous bottle of wine and a pair of dear friends who will soon be leaving the country) before finishing Season 1 of Better Things (featuring the always delightful Rebecca Metz.) So holding steady in the face of adversity am I.

Now if I can just get this kid to keep something down, I'll feel like a success. Off to do a metric ton of laundry. Toodles.

I Have a Short Play Debuting!

Nina Simone:

"I choose to reflect the times and the situations in which I find myself. How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?"

One of the cooler things about being associated with Sacred Fools Theater Company is We the People -  a bi-monthly evening of political action theatre. Artists' prompts are sent out in advance and anyone may submit. It is a recurring opportunity to reflect the times.

Submissions must be original responses to the prompt and may include plays, songs, or spoken word.

The prompt this time was Blessings of Liberty.

I wrote a short play entitled With My Soul which will premiere at this event.

Admission is Donate What You Can and proceeds are given to charity. The organization selected for this evening is Peace Over Violence.

Monday, January 15 at 8pm, a curated selection of artists will debut new works in response to the  interesting times we live in. 

Buy Tickets Now.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Project Good Life Day 2 - Curriculum and Needlepoint

Second day has been pretty successful.

I slept late, having been wakened a couple times in the night by my 5-year-old bedtime visitor and the scratchy throat I've been battling. After morning coffee, taking the dog out, and giving a little guidance on cloth diapering (Hint: Do NOT under any circumstances google cloth diapering. You will be dropped abruptly into a pit of insanity where mean girl mommies will yell at you until you cry.); I got right to work writing the curriculum for my theatre class (grades 2, 3, and 4.) More on that as it evolves but it's a bilingual musical rooted in Shakespeare.

As I was writing, my little one was playing soccer and having a rock out party with her dad. I relieved him of duty and took her with me to pick up lunch for the family. After failing to find reasonably priced ramen noodles, I picked up some Kung Pao Chicken from Panda Express with which to treat my sickly throat. Then I worked with the little one on a stained glass style sticker image of a mermaid. It was a Christmas gift and she pretty much did the whole thing herself, carefully fitting the colored translucent stickers into their corresponding shapes. After that I napped on the couch.

When I woke up, we got right to work on another crafty Christmas gift of hers - a needlepoint butterfly. Mama busted out her long dormant sewing skills (I earned a badge for it in Missionettes. True story.) to show her how to thread a needle and tie off a stitch. We got a couple rows done before it was time for dinner. Then we watched a two part episode of Wonder Woman in which Lynda Carter is taken hostage by Nazis and saves the planet from being toasted by aliens.

Then I got to announce to social media that a short play of mine has been selected for the next installment of We The People - Sacred Fools' bi-monthly evening of political action through art. Admission is donate what you can and all proceeds go to charity. The organization chosen for this evening is Peace Over Violence.

Ended the evening with a pot of mint ginger tea while Jake and I watched The Shape of Water. Really weird. Really good. I can see why people are excited about it.

So yeah. It's been a pretty good day. I'm grateful for that.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 - I Resolve To Live The Good Life

My determination for this year was to use every day to create the life I want. Each day should be invested not spent.

My best life features lots of art, family, friends, and self care. It includes a variety of settings - mostly in my hometown of Los Angeles. It improves the world through activism, volunteer work, and connecting with people.

So there it is. My resolution is to fill this year with plays and music and books and art. Outings and games and movies and cocktails. Family gatherings and baby showers and birthday parties. Home-cooked meals and mint tea and yoga.

I kicked this campaign off with a Day 1 New Year's Day family outing to the Post Parade Viewing of the floats at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. If you've ever watched The Rose Parade, you really must go see the workmanship up close. It will inspire you to spend less time on social media and more time meticulously arranging tiny objects to create a breathtaking effect. Or maybe bake a pie. Whatever floats your boat. (See what I did there?)

After the floats, we had delicious hand-crafted Mexican food at Urbano Mexican Kitchen. Best chicken enchiladas of my life. Then we put the little one to bed and watched I, Tonya - a spitfire of a movie. It inspired me to be more good but less nice and I really hope that makes sense but I'm not gonna worry about it cuz nice girls worry too much.

Project Good Life is Go!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Just Earned My Level II Certification in Orff Schulwerk

The American Orff-Schulwerk Association, in cooperation with The Music Department at The University of Nevada Las Vegas College of Fine Arts holds annual Levels courses in Orff-Schulwerk. This month I received my Level II certification.

The levels courses focus on three areas of study: Pedagogy, Movement, and Recorder.

Pedagogy instruction aims to develop the musicianship of the instructor and their ability to break down music into elemental forms which can be taught to students of all abilities. The Orff approach emphasizes speech rhythm, compound and mixed meter, body percussion, singing, solfege, composition and accompaniment, use of different scales and modes, playing of pitched and unpitched percussion instruments, canon, ostinati, and improvisation.

Movement instruction connects the body to music and features improvisation and choreography, as well as learned forms.

Recorder instruction introduces alto recorder and requires the participant to switch back and forth between alto and soprano regularly, emphasizing instrumental skill, improvisation, and application of the fundamentals learned in pedagogy and movement.

Students are required to perform a final group presentation in each area of study.

I am thrilled to have received the benefit of such fine instruction and camaraderie. I loved my experience of Level II and look forward to using what I've learned.

For more info, visit

Sunday, June 19, 2016

In For A Penny is in the Final Four!

In this special Hollywood Fringe edition of Serial Killers, Crystal's original serial "In For A Penny" has survived to be one of the Final Four. Episode 3 goes up tomorrow (Monday, June 20) at 9PM at Sacred Fools. Only two will survive.

Buy Tickets

Monday, June 13, 2016

In For A Penny Returns!

The Fringe audience has decided to keep In For A Penny alive. Episode 2 goes up this Saturday, June 18 at 11AM.

Sacred Fools Theater Company

Serial Killers at The Hollywood Fringe

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Shakespeare For Kids Online This Summer!

This special summer session of Crystal's original Shakespeare For Kids program will be available online only.

3 weeks.

5 classes.


Students ages 7-14 invited to enroll.

Begins August 10, 2016.

Wednesdays and Fridays 1-2pm (PST)