Footage Fridays: Living Room Lunacy

This is the long-overdue next chapter in my creative collaboration with my oldest friend, Marsha. It’s also the return of Footage Fridays! Huzzah! I missed making videos!

Last month, Marsha presented me with a music track that rivals Kitchen Cacophony for weirdness. So I made a sequel of sorts. It just had to happen.

I present Living Room Lunacy.

This video is dedicated to anyone who’s ever worried about looking silly. Lord knows I have…but here’s the thing we forget: silly is fun! Sometimes you just have to go for it.

Also, it’s possible to dance with only your face.

And, finally, pulling faces is hilarious.

Let this ridiculous piece of film be a reminder of all of these facts (but mostly of the first one…that was my main point :P).

(If you can’t see this video, click here to view it)

Do something silly today…I dare you!

Footage Friday: Muscle Memory

This is the third video in the creative collaboration series that my friend Marsha and I are working on (you can see the first 2 here and here).

When Marsha sent me this piece, I had to smile. It took me back more than a decade.

Long, long ago, when we were teenagers (I think…I’m bad with chronology), Marsha and I were both training intensively in our chosen art forms. She practiced increasingly complex and beautiful pieces of music on the piano, and I practiced increasingly complex and beautiful steps in ballet class.

And when we hung out at her house, we had a ritual of going into the play room where the piano was. She would play through her pieces, and I would stand in the small rectangle of open space behind her and dance. I’ve lost a lot of memories from my childhood, but this one remains a treasured favourite.

Marsha went home over Easter weekend, and she recorded this piece on the very same piano she used to play on when we’d dance and play together. And this video is my response.

I call this piece “Muscle Memory” because I started out with the idea of doing a very “balletic” dance (and you can see how the dance begins and ends that way). I wanted to see if I could still capture the essence and feeling of the dances I used to do in the play room, having not taken a ballet class in 8 years.

I think I managed it…but it wasn’t very comfortable (physically as well as emotionally—the inside of my right knee did NOT enjoy my attempts at turnout). And I couldn’t sustain it for the whole piece. I still like the end result, though. It’s more Meg-now than Meg-then, but it still, I hope, pays homage to the young girls in the play room.

Thank you, Marsha, for a beautiful piece, and for the great memories. <3

 

Creative Collaboration 2: Kitchen Cacophony

Today’s installment of my new creative collaboration has me thinking about risk-taking and creativity.

When Marsha (my oldest friend and creative partner) told me about her idea for this month’s piece, I was really excited. She wrote, “I think my next piece will involve recording sounds from around the house. Should be entertaining.” COOL!! I couldn’t wait to hear what she came up with!

And then the next weekend she sent me a test piece, and it was WILD. She wrote, “It’s like a cross between having your apartment jackhammered and swimming through LSD.” Honestly…I think that’s a pretty accurate description. I was equal parts scared and completely psyched.

It’s SO not something I would choose to dance to. It felt crazy while I was doing it. It felt risky and “not beautiful.” But then, as I edited the footage together yesterday…something clicked. And suddenly the video I was making filled me with delight. It’s so completely wacky, so “out there”…and the whole process was just so damn fun.

A secret voice inside of me whispers, “Don’t post this…it’s ugly and goofy and people will laugh.” But you know what? I HOPE you laugh. *I* laugh every time I see it. I’m so glad that Marsha took the risk with her INSANE “household objects” piece, because it made me stretch in new creative (and hilarious) ways.

 

This month’s piece brought 2 lessons home to me:

  1. It may feel scary to try something completely outside of your comfort zone, but if you jump in and commit to it 100%, you may end up creating something you LOVE.
  2. Not everything has to be pretty. Sometimes you just need to GO for it and see what happens.

(The other discovery I made was that posting one video every 4 weeks is NOT ENOUGH for me. I miss the regular practice of dancing and filming and editing. I will be posting videos more often from now on)

Enjoy!

(In case you’re wondering, the music is composed of the following sounds: out-of-tune ukulele, cutlery, spoon against metal bowl with water, spoon against glass, zipper, clapping, paper ripping, and paper rustling.)

Creative partnerships (and big new video projects)

My oldest friend and I have been in creative partnership for almost three years.

She proposed it when Xander was about 8 months old, as a way to finally get our novels written. We agreed to write at least 5 pages a week, and to email each other each Sunday with our latest installments. We would be accountability buddies, a support system, rainbow-pompom-ed cheerleaders.

And it worked SO well. I have over 200 pages of my novel written. That’s the most I’ve ever written about any single thing, ever.

As time passed, the partnership shifted. I put my novel on the back burner to focus on this blog. She continued with her novel, finished her first draft, and proceeded to major edits. We kept writing each other every Sunday, with updates on our progress. I would send her notes about the posts, plans, and projects I’d worked on over the week, and she would send me her latest installment of edits. (If you’re looking for a way to get your creative work done, I can’t recommend this kind of partnership enough).

She finished her novel. And then she wrote to me with a new suggestion, one that lit me up and made me bounce in my seat going “YES! YES YES YES!!!”

So, here it is: every 4 weeks, she’s going to send me an original piece of music. And two weeks after I  get it, I’ll post a video of myself dancing to it.

Regular videos? With entirely original music? Yes, Please.

I love love love love love this idea. And here’s the first installment:

 

I’m immensely grateful for this partnership and everything it’s brought me. Thank you so much, Marsha. I’m excited to see what this next chapter brings!