Links We Like

Links We Like

It’s Finally Friday!

 

 

You Know You Want to Know…

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/what-kind-of-drink-are-you-going-to-need-after-work-tonight

 

What Font Are You?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/what-font-are-you

 

How to Get a Ball in a Swimming Pool

 

He Invented Something Everyone Loves, but You’ve Probably Never Heard of Him. What Is It? 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Free Events Thursday!

Free Events Thursday

Championship BBQ Contest

 

Friday and Saturday, February 28th- March 1st from Noon- 11 pm

Reliant Stadium

All you can eat BBQ!

Price: $15

 

Downtown Rodeo Parade

 

Saturday, March 1st at 10:00 am

Price: Free!

 

Conoco 10K Run and 5K Run/ Walk

 

Saturday, March 1st at 9:20 am

Saturday, March 1st at 9:45 am

Find out more at http://www.conocophillipsrodeorun.com/events/10k/Pages/logistics.aspx

Price: $35

 

Sam Houston Race Park

 

Friday-Sunday, February 28th- March 9th  at 7:00 pm

Watch thoroughbred live racing this weekend and next weekend!

Find out more at http://shrp.com/  

Price: $7

 

Macbeth

 

Main Street Theater

Rice Village, 2540 Times Boulevard

February 27th- March 9th (Schedule daily)

Even though Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s shortest plays, Main Street Theater will be putting on an 80-minute version with no intermission courtesy of visiting director and actor Guy Roberts in a co-production with the Prague Shakespeare Company.

Price: $20-39

 

Last Tip of My Hat

 

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. every Sat. from March 1 until March 31
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. every Sun. from March 2 until March 31
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. every Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri. from March 3 until March 31

National Museum of Funeral History

501 Crawford St., Houston, TX 77002

Every rodeo season the National Museum of Funeral History does its part in the spirit of the Wild West with its “Last Tip of My Hat” exhibit, which celebrates death in the time of the cowboy. The usually modest event has been ramped up considerably this year. As always, there will be a traditional pine box coffin on loan from Cowboy’s Last Ride casket company in Early, Texas. These simple containers were a common method of burial in the West, since pine was plentiful and easy to work with. “A cowboy is a simple man, hard-working, and finds a pine box to be a fine representation of who he was in life,” Edward Castillo, owner of Cowboy’s Last Ride, said via email.

Also on display will be memorial folders from the funerals of the one and only Roy Rogers and his wife, Dale “The Queen of the West” Evans. The duo was featured in more than 100 different cowboy movies and television shows. You can see plenty of other funeral folders from Hollywood cowboys in the “Thanks for the Memories” section of the exhibit, including those belonging to Michael Landon, John Wayne, Gene Autry and Tom Mix. Also represented are Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels (whom you may know as The Lone Ranger and Tonto, the ones from before the Johnny Depp movie).

Price: $7 to $10

 

 

 

Eat Well Wednesday: Raspberry Oat Squares!

Eat Well Wednesday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               Happy Wednesday Framers!

 

      Looking for a healthy treat?  

 

These Raspberry Oat Squares are so delicious and healthy thanks to the 100% whole grain crust and low sugar filling.  These bars also freeze well, so whip up a batch this week and stock up for your holiday parties and goodie giving.  Happy baking!!

 

           Raspberry Oat Squares

 

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup Rolled oats
  • 1 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar (You can also try a sugar substitute such as stevia)
  • 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 3 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup Butter (Vegan friends can use earth balance)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk

 

Filling

1 Jar Low Sugar/Reduced Sugar Raspberry Jam (You can use any flavor of jam!)

 

Directions

 

Step 1 Preheat oven to 350.Line a 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper.Mix the chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 3 tablespoons of water) and set aside

Step 2 In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

Step 3 In a small bowl, melt the butter (earth balance) in the microwave.Add the remaining wet ingredients (maple syrup, almond milk and chia egg). Stir together

Step 4 Combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for your crust and press the remaining dough into your lined 9 x 9 pan.Press down the dough to make a nice thick crust.

Step 5 Spoon your raspberry jam (or favorite flavor jam) on top of the crust. Spread out evenly.

Step 6 Take the remaining 1/2 cup or oat mixture and sprinkle on top of the filling. Don’t worry about it being perfect.

Step 7 Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.Allow to cool, place in the fridge and then cut into bars.

 

 

HeadshotJill Tarpey is leading us Wednesday by Wednesday into making better food choices and being more healthful. Tune in every Wednesday to get some great recipes and advice from someone who really knows health. In an effort to fuel her passion to serve as well has enhance the lives of others through their nutritional choices, she started Eat Well SA (San Antonio). Her vision is to educate you on how to incorporate a healthy array of foods into your life. Eat Well is not a diet, nor does it embrace any one specific dietary agenda. She also offers customized programs that are educational and teach you the tools you need to maintain healthy, well balanced eating for your busy lives.

A note from the Director

Uncategorized

You know those nights where you can’t sleep because you have so much going on in your head that it just won’t quit?  And then when you get past that point and and you can’t even sort it out because it’s just too much?  I had one of those nights last night.  I think I get so emotionally charged (and also driven) that I just can’t put the work down at the end of the night.  Some days I’m ready to disconnect, and others….well, others control me and I cannot put it down if I wanted to.

 

So I thought I’d let you know all that Frame Dance and I are working on.  I tend to like to look at the whole picture before getting started so this will help me sleep tonight as well.  Thank you for that opportunity here on the blog.

 

1.  Dinner / Dance 19  

This is an upcoming live performance collaboration with chef and writer David Leftwich.  Have you seen those images of the Framers in the gardens?  Well, we are doing an in interactive dinner dance performance where we are gleaning all of our movement from the process of farm to table.  We are studying the movements of farmers, chefs, servers and eaters (you and me).  This is the grand slam event where we’ll unveil the fabulous sounds of the Frame Dance Music Competition we announced a few weeks ago. Certainly more details coming soon.


alexgarden jackiegarden

 

 

2.  Framing Bodies: SHAMED

Appropriately named, because I feel so shameful for not having this finished earlier.  But then I realize that I’m in the point of this project that I need the process to progress as it is intended, not with me whipping it into submission.  This is the second installment of our Framing Bodies series where we have a diverse cast of movers, community members and Frame dancers write personal stories and we use those as the source material to create a film.  We’ve shot almost all of it, and I am now piecing together, editing and sorting through this pretty heavy and powerful piece.  Real stories are really the most provocative.  We were so blessed to have photographer Leticia London come out to our shoot.  Here’s a little eye candy:

shamed1

 

 

3.  We are Nowhere

This is a project I’m dancing in.  (yay!) I love choreographing and directing and all the movement that comes with that, but I am particularly excited to dance in a piece that is so multi-faceted.  This is Mark Hirsch‘s master’s thesis, and we’ve started posting his blogs here showing you the development of the technology.  You can follow those developments here.  In this piece music and 8mm film will be reacting to my movement.  Pretty freaking awesome.

As you can see, I have a lot going on in the ol’ brain, and there’s some anxiety that comes with that.  And then there’s the rest of life’s work that prevents me from diving into the creative work as much as I want to.  Does this resonate with any of you?  It’s just so important to have a creative practice set into your schedules so that you’re exercising that part of your mind, so that when you need to get to that creative place in like….uh, 30 seconds, and then switch gears into paying the electricity bill, you can.  I’m preaching to myself.

Take care, and please stay in touch.  Lot’s happening.

xo and to art,

Lydia

Tuesday Tunes: Dick Van Dyke

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes 

          Dick Van Dyke!

 

 

I never wanted to be an actor and to this day I don’t. I can’t get a handle on it. An actor wants to become someone else. I am a song-and-dance man and I enjoy being myself, which is all I can do.

 

 

Van Dyke was born in West Plains, Missouri, to Loren (nickname “Cookie”) and Hazel (née McCord) Van Dyke, but he grew up in Danville, Illinois. He is the older brother of actor Jerry Van Dyke, who is best known for a role on the TV series Coach. Dick’s grandson, Shane Van Dyke, is also an actor and directed Titanic II. Dick is of Dutch descent on his father’s side; his mother was a descendant of Mayflower passenger Peter Browne from England.

Among his high school classmates in Danville where Donald O’Connor and Bobby Short, who both would go on to successful careers as entertainers themselves. Van Dyke’s mother’s family was very religious, and for a brief period in his youth he considered a career in ministry, although a drama class in high school convinced him that his true calling was as a professional entertainer. In his autobiography he wrote, “I suppose that I never completely gave up my childhood idea of being a minister. Only the medium and the message changed. I have still endeavored to touch people’s souls, to raise their spirits and put smiles on their faces”. Even after the launch of his career as an entertainer, he taught Sunday school in the Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder, and he continued to read theologians such as Buber, Tillich, and Bonhoeffer, whom he has said helped explain in practical terms the relevance of religion in everyday life.

During World War II, Van Dyke enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps where he became a radio announcer, later transferring to the Special Services entertaining troops in the Continental United States.

During the late 1940s, Van Dyke was a radio DJ in Danville, Illinois. In 1947, Van Dyke was persuaded by Phil Erickson to form a comedy duo with him called “Eric and Van—the Merry Mutes.” The team toured the West Coast nightclub circuit, performing a mime act and lip synching to old 78 records. They brought their act to Atlanta, Georgia, in the early 1950s and performed a local television show featuring original skits and music called “The Merry Mutes”.
In November 1959, Van Dyke made his Broadway debut in The Girls Against the Boys. He then played the lead role of Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie, which ran from April 14, 1960 to Oct 7, 1961. In a May 2011 interview with Rachael Ray, Van Dyke noted that when he auditioned for a smaller part in the show he had no dance experience, and that after he sang his audition song he did an impromptu soft-shoe out of sheer nervousness. Gower Champion, the show’s director and choreographer, was watching, and promptly went up on stage to inform Van Dyke he had the lead. An astonished Van Dyke protested that he could not dance, to which Champion replied “We’ll teach you”. That musical won four Tony awards including Van Dyke’s Best Featured Actor Tony, in 1961. In 1980, Van Dyke appeared as the title role in The Music Man on Broadway.

Dick Van Dyke’s start in television was with WDSU-TV New Orleans Channel 6 (NBC), first as a single comedian and later as emcee of a comedy program. Van Dyke’s first network TV appearance was with Dennis James on James’ Chance of a Lifetime in 1954. He later appeared in two episodes of The Phil Silvers Show during its 1957–1958 season. He also appeared early in his career on ABC’s The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom and NBC’s The Polly Bergen Show. During this time a friend from the Army was working as an executive for CBS television and recommended Van Dyke to that network. Out of this came a seven-year contract with the network. During an interview on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! program, Van Dyke said he was the anchorman for the CBS morning show during this period with Walter Cronkite as his newsman.

From 1961 to 1966, Van Dyke starred in the CBS sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, in which he portrayed a comedy writer named Rob Petrie. Originally the show was supposed to have Carl Reiner as the lead but CBS insisted on recasting and Reiner chose Van Dyke to replace him in the role. Van Dyke won three Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and the series received four Emmy Awards as Outstanding Comedy Series.

From 1971 to 1974, Van Dyke starred in an unrelated sitcom called The New Dick Van Dyke Show in which he starred as a local television talk show host. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance but the show was less successful than its predecessor, and Van Dyke pulled the plug on the show after just three seasons.

In 1973, Van Dyke voiced his animated likeness for the October 27, 1973 installment of Hanna-Barbera’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies, “Scooby-Doo Meets Dick Van Dyke,” the series’ final first-run episode. The following year, he received an Emmy Award nomination for his role as an alcoholic businessman in the television movie The Morning After (1974). Van Dyke revealed after its release that he had recently overcome a real-life drinking problem. He admits he was an alcoholic for 25 years.  After a few guest appearances on the long-running comedy-variety series The Carol Burnett Show, Van Dyke became a regular on the show, in the fall of 1977. However, he only appeared in half of the episodes of the final season. For the next decade he appeared mostly in TV movies. One atypical role was as a murdering judge on the second episode of the TV series Matlock in 1986 starring Andy Griffith. In 1989, he guest-starred on the NBC comedy series The Golden Girls portraying a lover of Beatrice Arthur’s character. This role earned him his first Emmy Award nomination since 1977.

His film work affected his TV career: the reviews he received for his role as D.A. Fletcher in Dick Tracy led him to star first as the character Dr. Mark Sloan in an episode of Jake and the Fatman, then in a series of TV movies on CBS that became the foundation for his popular television drama Diagnosis: Murder. Van Dyke continued to find television work after the show ended, including a dramatically and critically successful performance of The Gin Game, produced for television in 2003 that reunited him with Mary Tyler Moore. In 2003, he portrayed a doctor on Scrubs. A 2004 special of The Dick Van Dyke Show titled The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited was heavily promoted as the first new episode of the classic series to be shown in 38 years. Van Dyke and his surviving cast members recreated their roles; the program was roundly panned by critics. In 2006 he guest-starred as college professor Dr. Jonathan Maxwell for a series of Murder 101 mystery films on the Hallmark Channel.

Van Dyke began his film career by playing the role of Albert J. Peterson in the film version of Bye Bye Birdie (1963). Despite his unhappiness with the adaptation—its focus differed from the stage version in that the story now centered on a previously supporting character—the film was a success. That same year, Van Dyke was cast in two roles: as the chimney sweep Bert, and as bank chairman Mr. Dawes Senior, in Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins (1964). For his scenes as the chairman, he was heavily costumed to look much older, and was credited in that role as “Nackvid Keyd” (at the end of the credits, the letters unscramble into “Dick Van Dyke”). Van Dyke’s attempt at a cockney accent has been decried as one of the worst accents in film history, cited by actors since as an example of how not to sound.

In a 2003 poll by Empire magazine of the worst-ever accents in film, he came in second. According to Van Dyke, his accent coach was Irish, who “didn’t do an accent any better than I did.” Still, Mary Poppins was successful upon release and its enduring appeal has made it one of the most famous films of all time. “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, one of the songs that Van Dyke performed in Mary Poppins, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the Sherman Brothers, the film’s songwriting duo.

Many of the comedy films Van Dyke starred in throughout the 1960s were relatively unsuccessful at the box office, including What a Way to Go!, Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., Fitzwilly, The Art of Love, Some Kind of a Nut, Never a Dull Moment, and Divorce American Style. But he also starred (with his native accent, despite the English setting) as Caractacus Pott in the successful musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), which co-starred Sally Ann Howes and featured the same songwriters (The Sherman Brothers) and choreographers (Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood) as Mary Poppins.

In 1969, Van Dyke appeared in the comedy-drama The Comic, written and directed by Carl Reiner. Van Dyke portrayed a self-destructive silent-film era comedian who struggles with alcoholism, depression, and his own rampant ego. Reiner wrote the film especially for Van Dyke, who often spoke of his admiration for silent-film era comedians such as Charlie Chaplin and his hero Stan Laurel. Twenty-one years later in 1990, Van Dyke, whose usual role had been the amiable hero, took a small but villainous turn as the crooked D.A. Fletcher in Warren Beatty’s film Dick Tracy. Van Dyke returned to motion pictures in 2006 with Curious George as Mr. Bloomsberry and as villain Cecil Fredericks in the Ben Stiller film Night at the Museum. He reprised the role in a cameo for the sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian but it was cut from the film. It can be found in the special features on the DVD release.

 

The Penguin Dance

 

Me ol’ Bamboo (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

 

Step in Time

 

 

Fun Facts about Mr. Dick Van Dyke

 

Often hosted game shows when he was a struggling actor. He hosted Mother’s Day (1958) and Laugh Line (1959) but turned down The Price Is Right (1956).

Older brother of entertainer Jerry Van Dyke.

According to his book “Those Funny Kids: A Treasury of Classroom Laughter”, by age 11 he had grown to 6′ 1″.

Is ambidextrous.

He enlisted to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, but initially did not make the cut because he did not meet the weight requirement, as he was underweight. He tried three times to enlist, before barely making the cut. He actually served as a radio announcer during the war, and he did not leave the United States.

Beat out Johnny Carson for the role of Rob Petrie on what later became The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) .

Won Broadway’s 1961 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Musical) for “Bye, Bye Birdie” and a Grammy Award for the Mary Poppins (1964) soundtrack.

His comic inspiration was Stan Laurel. He says he was able to find him by looking up his name in the phone book in Santa Monica, California, where Laurel lived. He called and Laurel invited him over. The two became good friends. When Laurel died, Van Dyke delivered his eulogy at the funeral.

Says that his most memorable role is that of Bert the chimney-sweep in Mary Poppins (1964).

Overcame alcoholism in the 1970s.

In Britain, his attempt at a Cockney accent in Mary Poppins (1964) is so notorious that a “Dick Van Dyke accent” is an accepted slang term for an American’s unsuccessful attempt at a British accent. Despite that, he is quite popular in Britain.

Rob Petrie, Van Dyke’s role on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), was ranked #22 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” [20 June 2004 issue].

In his 30s and 40s, he had a talent for playing crotchety, eccentric old men. He played this kind of role in Mary Poppins (1964) as Mr. Dawes Sr. and in a The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) episode where he played one of Rob Petrie’s elderly relatives.

Had played Lionel Jeffries’s son in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) even though Jeffries is actually six months his junior.

Was a heavy smoker for fifty years, smoking three packs of cigarettes a day for a time. He finally managed to quit using gum and patches.

Best known by the public for his starring roles as Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and as Dr. Mark Sloan on Diagnosis Murder (1993).

In 1968, he left Hollywood and bought a ranch in Arizona.

Did not appear in his first movie until he was 36.

Buster Keaton and Stan Laurel were two of his comedy idols. Both became fans of Dick’s classic TV series.

Received a lemon cake every Christmas from Charles Bronson, who lived nearby in Malibu, for 16 years.

Created most of his own comedy routines and physical schticks on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961).

Helped his ex-The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) co-star, Mary Tyler Moore get her own sitcom, in the 1970s.

Prior to being an actor, he was also a Sunday School teacher and an elder at a Presbyterian church, who ministered every Sunday.

Was longtime friends with Buddy Ebsen. Van Dyke hosted Ebsen’s memorial service on August 30, 2003.

Between Angela Lansbury, Norman Lloyd, Mickey Rooney, Ernest Borgnine, Betty White and Larry Hagman, Van Dyke is one of the stars never to retire from acting.

Gesture Recognition

Frame Dance and Composers

Hi Framers,

Here is the next step in the new work We are Nowhere, a piece by Mark Hirsch that I will be dancing in.

Mark writes:

In We Are Nowhere (my master’s thesis & collaboration with Frame Dance’s Lydia Hance), music and 8mm film will be reacting to Lydia’s choreography. One element of this interaction will be distinct gesture recognition. Here is a simple little preview.
(choreography by Mark Hirsch, professional not-dancer)

Stay tuned for more, dear Framers.

To Art,

Lydia

MFA Monday

MFA Mondays

MFA right

Happy Monday Framers!

Enjoy the MFA Monday installment by

Dr. Alexis Weisbord!

We have a had a pleasure reading her posts,

and this one is sure to inspire and uplift! 

——————————

Part 2: Thinking Beyond

Five years is a long time and a lot can happen during that time. When I moved to California in August 2005, I didn’t know exactly where I was going to end up in June 2010, but I would have told you one definite thing: I would not be in Riverside County. Yet here we are in April 2013 and guess where I am… that’s right, Riverside County.

As I previously mentioned, I entered grad school with no attachments that I was obligated to attend to or return to, so I figured when it was all over and done with I could go wherever the wind took me. I envisioned applying for fellowships and visiting positions, and I was going to live my dream of traveling and moving. I did not have any interest in setting roots anywhere yet, and then the most amazing complication occurred: I met a wonderful partner. This was wonderful for all the reasons and benefits that make having a partner desirable: he was a tremendous support through the entirety of my exam and dissertation process, he happily pushed the cart at Trader Joes and didn’t judge me for the 12 bottles of wine I’d picked out, he calmly listened to me stress about the writing process, and he was never bothered by the odd hours I kept. But… and most people wouldn’t read this as a problem, he already had a job. Not just a job, a career. And one he really loves. He spends his days getting paid for something he would happily do for free most days. And if that wasn’t good enough, it is incredibly stable and has great benefits. Again, who would ever complain about such a wonderful fate?! Apparently me.

There I was, recently out of school, newly married, and tied down to a city (more like a town) where my degree was completely useless. In a desperate attempt to find some work that didn’t involve pouring coffee or serving food, I applied to teach at a local studio. They had a competitive team program that was good but not the best in town, they seemed to like the class I taught, and I thought I had a great interview. I was so willing to do this job I even offered the same (low) rate I was offering when I was first out of undergrad. Yet, the same day my degree was conferred I was notified that I didn’t get the job. I was beat out by a student in the community college program I was an adjunct in. As far as I can tell, this was because she probably offered a rate that was a fraction of what I offered. Two degrees in dance, a dissertation on competition dance, years of experience teaching in studios and colleges as well as almost a decade working for competitions and I was unable to get a job at a studio.

With the exception of a local community college program, I quickly realized that I lived in a wasteland for the arts, or at least for the kind I was trained and qualified for. I was, and still am, on faculty at the college; however, California’s badly damaged economy has limited the opportunities I will have at this program for years to come. I applied for both part and full time positions within a 100-mile radius, and after some time, I started to realize that taking a job with a 90+ minute commute (each way) was insane if I ever hoped to have a family and be a part of that family.

I began to conceptualize what kinds of options might be out there for me. I began to think about all the other career paths I could explore that would require the skills of my PhD, even if it didn’t require the degree itself. I realized that since the jobs I thought I wanted five years earlier were not only difficult to come by because of the plummeting economy, but were even more difficult to find because I was now geographically limited.  Since the community I lived in had no jobs for me, it was time for me to create my own work.

I have more or less taken every position that has been offered to me. Any day of the week you can find me donning four or five different hats. I once went to an event where I represented three different organizations simultaneously. Since completing graduate school, I have taught part time at three different collegiate institutions (including in a Global Studies program), began managing a small, but busy, professional dance company, became part of a collective of choreographers that produces events and workshops locally, found a local studio that I love teaching at, and I started my own local dance company.  Meanwhile, I find ways to collaborate with long distance colleagues on scholarly work.

On my worst days I feel like my brain is going to fracture and cause me to lose my mind. On my best days I am completely fulfilled, feeling like I am not missing out on a single part of the wonderful world of dance. I get to teach all ages, and I get to perform when I want. I’ve learned that I love managing productions, and I never feel pressured when I sit down to write or research because it is always by choice. My days can be exhausting and I am excruciatingly underpaid because many of these positions are with brand new organizations that I am helping to build, but I see potential for a future in this wasteland that I live in. I see a future that I not only like, but a future that might just need someone exactly like me to help it succeed. The way I see it, no one may think that I am valuable now, but if I help to show them what I can do and what they are missing, then maybe one day there will be a local need for me and my degree.

I’d like to acknowledge that none of what I am doing in this effort is done alone. I have a small network of local colleagues who not only provide me opportunities but also support my endeavors. Together, I see us building a community that will not only provide for us but also for our neighbors. I am fully aware of the fact that my unstable lifestyle is made feasible by the fact that I have a partner whose stable job gives us many benefits, including health insurance. Because of this, I am able to take career risks that might not be smart decisions otherwise, so I recognize that this path may not be for everyone.

What I do encourage anyone, regardless of their marital status, geographic location or financial stability, to consider, however, are the many possibilities for their skills and degree. In academia, it is not uncommon to be conditioned to follow a narrow career path. But, just imagine what our world would look like if more arts administrators were MFAs or Ph.D. Imagine what it would look like if those on grant panels were working artists and not reps from corporations. Imagine if the majority of teachers in dance studios had MFAs. As other bloggers have said, you won’t be rich, but none of us go this direction for the money. So get creative about what you could do, because the possibilities are endless!

 

 

397136_10100231328148394_276944621_nDr. Alexis Weisbord received her BFA in Dance from University of Minnesota and her PhD in Critical Dance Studies from UC Riverside. Alexis was a competitive dancer in high school and later spent over ten years directing dance competitions throughout the US. Her dissertation was entitled “Redefining Dance: Competition Dance in the United States” and she has a chapter, “Defining Dance, Creating Commodity: The Rhetoric of So You Think You Can Dance,” in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen. Alexis has held positions as Lecturer in Global Studies at UC Riverside and Associate Faculty in Dance at Norco College. Currently she is an Associate Faculty member at Mt. San Jacinto College, Managing Director for The PGK Dance Project in San Diego, and founder/co-director of an emerging dance company, Alias Movement.

MFA Monday

MFA Mondays

MFA right

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday Framers!

 

Enjoy this MFA Monday installment by

Dr. Alexis Weisbord!

 

 

——————————

Part 2: Thinking Beyond

Five years is a long time and a lot can happen during that time. When I moved to California in August 2005, I didn’t know exactly where I was going to end up in June 2010, but I would have told you one definite thing: I would not be in Riverside County. Yet here we are in April 2013 and guess where I am… that’s right, Riverside County.

As I previously mentioned, I entered grad school with no attachments that I was obligated to attend to or return to, so I figured when it was all over and done with I could go wherever the wind took me. I envisioned applying for fellowships and visiting positions, and I was going to live my dream of traveling and moving. I did not have any interest in setting roots anywhere yet, and then the most amazing complication occurred: I met a wonderful partner. This was wonderful for all the reasons and benefits that make having a partner desirable: he was a tremendous support through the entirety of my exam and dissertation process, he happily pushed the cart at Trader Joes and didn’t judge me for the 12 bottles of wine I’d picked out, he calmly listened to me stress about the writing process, and he was never bothered by the odd hours I kept. But… and most people wouldn’t read this as a problem, he already had a job. Not just a job, a career. And one he really loves. He spends his days getting paid for something he would happily do for free most days. And if that wasn’t good enough, it is incredibly stable and has great benefits. Again, who would ever complain about such a wonderful fate?! Apparently me.

There I was, recently out of school, newly married, and tied down to a city (more like a town) where my degree was completely useless. In a desperate attempt to find some work that didn’t involve pouring coffee or serving food, I applied to teach at a local studio. They had a competitive team program that was good but not the best in town, they seemed to like the class I taught, and I thought I had a great interview. I was so willing to do this job I even offered the same (low) rate I was offering when I was first out of undergrad. Yet, the same day my degree was conferred I was notified that I didn’t get the job. I was beat out by a student in the community college program I was an adjunct in. As far as I can tell, this was because she probably offered a rate that was a fraction of what I offered. Two degrees in dance, a dissertation on competition dance, years of experience teaching in studios and colleges as well as almost a decade working for competitions and I was unable to get a job at a studio.

With the exception of a local community college program, I quickly realized that I lived in a wasteland for the arts, or at least for the kind I was trained and qualified for. I was, and still am, on faculty at the college; however, California’s badly damaged economy has limited the opportunities I will have at this program for years to come. I applied for both part and full time positions within a 100-mile radius, and after some time, I started to realize that taking a job with a 90+ minute commute (each way) was insane if I ever hoped to have a family and be a part of that family.

I began to conceptualize what kinds of options might be out there for me. I began to think about all the other career paths I could explore that would require the skills of my PhD, even if it didn’t require the degree itself. I realized that since the jobs I thought I wanted five years earlier were not only difficult to come by because of the plummeting economy, but were even more difficult to find because I was now geographically limited.  Since the community I lived in had no jobs for me, it was time for me to create my own work.

I have more or less taken every position that has been offered to me. Any day of the week you can find me donning four or five different hats. I once went to an event where I represented three different organizations simultaneously. Since completing graduate school, I have taught part time at three different collegiate institutions (including in a Global Studies program), began managing a small, but busy, professional dance company, became part of a collective of choreographers that produces events and workshops locally, found a local studio that I love teaching at, and I started my own local dance company.  Meanwhile, I find ways to collaborate with long distance colleagues on scholarly work.

On my worst days I feel like my brain is going to fracture and cause me to lose my mind. On my best days I am completely fulfilled, feeling like I am not missing out on a single part of the wonderful world of dance. I get to teach all ages, and I get to perform when I want. I’ve learned that I love managing productions, and I never feel pressured when I sit down to write or research because it is always by choice. My days can be exhausting and I am excruciatingly underpaid because many of these positions are with brand new organizations that I am helping to build, but I see potential for a future in this wasteland that I live in. I see a future that I not only like, but a future that might just need someone exactly like me to help it succeed. The way I see it, no one may think that I am valuable now, but if I help to show them what I can do and what they are missing, then maybe one day there will be a local need for me and my degree.

I’d like to acknowledge that none of what I am doing in this effort is done alone. I have a small network of local colleagues who not only provide me opportunities but also support my endeavors. Together, I see us building a community that will not only provide for us but also for our neighbors. I am fully aware of the fact that my unstable lifestyle is made feasible by the fact that I have a partner whose stable job gives us many benefits, including health insurance. Because of this, I am able to take career risks that might not be smart decisions otherwise, so I recognize that this path may not be for everyone.

What I do encourage anyone, regardless of their marital status, geographic location or financial stability, to consider, however, are the many possibilities for their skills and degree. In academia, it is not uncommon to be conditioned to follow a narrow career path. But, just imagine what our world would look like if more arts administrators were MFAs or Ph.D. Imagine what it would look like if those on grant panels were working artists and not reps from corporations. Imagine if the majority of teachers in dance studios had MFAs. As other bloggers have said, you won’t be rich, but none of us go this direction for the money. So get creative about what you could do, because the possibilities are endless!

 

 

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Dr. Alexis Weisbord received her BFA in Dance from University of Minnesota and her PhD in Critical Dance Studies from UC Riverside. Alexis was a competitive dancer in high school and later spent over ten years directing dance competitions throughout the US. Her dissertation was entitled “Redefining Dance: Competition Dance in the United States” and she has a chapter, “Defining Dance, Creating Commodity: The Rhetoric of So You Think You Can Dance,” in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen. Alexis has held positions as Lecturer in Global Studies at UC Riverside and Associate Faculty in Dance at Norco College. Currently she is an Associate Faculty member at Mt. San Jacinto College, Managing Director for The PGK Dance Project in San Diego, and founder/co-director of an emerging dance company, Alias Movement.

 

 

Links We Like!

Links We Like

                It’s Finally Friday!

Here is a little something to kick-start your weekend!

 

 

 

 

Find out which career you should really have!

 http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/what-career-should-you-have

 

What State Do You Actually Belong In?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/what-state-do-you-actually-belong-in

 

Russian Mother Takes Magical Pictures of Her Two Kids With Animals On Her Farm

http://www.boredpanda.com/animal-children-photography-elena-shumilova/

 

 

Dad struggled to put your kid’s hair up in a pony tail,best way

 

 

“Let It Go” from Frozen according to Google Translate

 

 

And here is a cute picture of a seal! 

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Have a great weekend everybody!