Just One

In a letter to Agnes DeMille, Martha Graham wrote,

"There is a vitality, a life-force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.

"And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you."

Now, bishes? Get out there and in all your glory,

be you.



Two of the best quotes in this...

"I know a way to get to the roof."


"What you put out in this universe DOES NOT DIE."

(Thank you for this contribution, Erica! I'm certain that the U.K. misses you terribly, but aren't we fortunate to have you State side... Thank you, my friend! For many things...) *******************************

The New York Times Called Me "Saucy"... Twice

I know I should've posted this before... Usually things need to percolate and back-fire and burn in my head awhile before I can really write about them. And even though I'm not completely ready, I might as well start somewhere... (Especially because Joe-In-Vegas is going to have a moo-moo cow if I don't.)

New York was HOT, bishes... And I don't mean sexy. Well, that too. But, that city was humida-humida-humida. To say the least. The heat index was 103 everyday - and with humidity, that's just a bit too much for me.

Of course the city is awesome. I always love visiting New York. I can feel the energy of the city before the plane even lands. And the subway just makes it so easy to get around. I MUCH rather take mass transit than drive. People are so much more tolerant of one another on mass transit systems. They have to be, they're standing right next to one another.

It's amazing how "brave" they get when there's thousands of pounds of metal surrounding them. People would NEVER have the guts to be so rude in-person that they have while driving a car. As though there still aren't lives in those other cars.

So, New York was great. Just hot, is all... And speaking of hot, the Ohio Theatre in Soho that we performed in was located in a building that had previously been an ice factory. Thus, the name "The Ice Factory" - cruelly named seeing how it didn't have air conditioning.

I didn't appreciate the irony.

Okay, maybe I did a little bit.

After every performance we were dripping with sweat. And I mean DRIPPING, BISHES! And because we were performing on dirt, it literally turned to mud on me. And after every show, I would actually have MUD in my belly button. And let me tell you, that shit is HARD to lick out. Just ask those homeless, crack-heads that I made do the licking for 5 bucks.

Performing in oppressive heat, covered in sweat and mud... and breathless because of it. (I think I just turned myself on.)

And I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. I. LOVED. IT.

I loved working on WANDERLUST with the whole cast. An extremely talented crew of people that I truly adore. And with Matthew Earnest's brilliant direction, the accessible, intellectual material and the spiritual message in the play? All of it combined, well... It was like an incredible dream. My spirit was singing... And I couldn't be more proud to have been part of such a collaboration.

Well, on opening night, someone from The New York Times came to review it. And in general, knowing how the Times can be, I thought it was a favorable review. And as you'll see, they called me "saucy", twice.

I took that as a compliment, but I was interested what others out there thought of the term "saucy". So, I did a little research.

Okay... Totally obvious. Hheellloooo... (That actually looks disgusting.)

So, speaking of bacon, there was this bish, who is DEFINITELY more saucy than me. "HHIII-YYAA!! KAA-RAA-TE CHOP!"

And this crazy Ho/Mechanic. Again... more saucy than me. Although, if I were dressed liked that and all bent over, you probably wouldn't know the difference. Until you pulled down my panties and saw all the hair on my butt. (But who knows? Maybe she'd surprise us.)

And again... more saucy. Little stripper dudes will ALWAYS be saucier than I am. Anyone that you can rip their clothes off and twirl them over your head will always get the saucier vote in my book. But, that middle one might take some huffing and puffing...

Oh please... She's not "saucy", just desperate. There IS a difference. Stop trying so hard, sweetheart. (Though I highly doubt any of my straight-male or lesbian readers will object.)

Don't ask me. I didn't label this as "saucy". But maybe the zebra skirt and heels make it by default? And I'd like to know just WHO he's holding above HIS head...

Okay... now we're getting somewhere.

So, the review...

This was the photo that they used:

Image: Steve Wagner From left, Jonathan Ramos, Kevin S. Charnas (that's me, ho's), Adam Thatcher and Trae Hicks in “Wanderlust: A History of Walking.”


A History of How We Got From Here to There

By CLAUDIA LA ROCCO Published: July 16, 2010

"Wanderlust is a good impulse for the Soho Think Tank to follow right now; after 16 years of cultivating some of the city’s most innovative theater artists at the Ohio Theater, this Obie award-winning company has to vacate its Wooster Street home. The Think Tank will soon begin a three-year residency at the 3LD Art & Technology Center in Lower Manhattan. After that, who knows?

"So it seems fitting that the final Ice Factory festival to be held at the Ohio should include “Wanderlust: A History of Walking.” Adapted, directed and choreographed by Matthew Earnest, after the Rebecca Solnit book, the play traipses from ancient Athens to modern-day Las Vegas, offering an extended meditation on human locomotion as it goes. In this context, what’s a little old move across town?

"Of course “Wanderlust,” which had its premiere at the Cleveland Public Theater in May, does its walking in place. Mr. Earnest and Curtis Young’s spare set, which enables a delightful surprise ending, consists of a rectangular stage of soft yellow dirt and a wall-size chalkboard with two entrances. The seven cast members skip, saunter and stroll in and out, writing down places and times on the wall as they move from one scene to the next, beginning with the 1974 discovery of Lucy, the famous skeleton of the species Australopithecus afarensis.

"What follows is a compendium of thoughts (many by famous writers) on the whys and hows of walking, narrated by different actors while the rest flesh out these musings. Pandora Robertson has a marvelously wild-eyed turn as Virginia Woolf (“To escape is the greatest of pleasures”), as her fellow actors whirl about her, evoking politicians, bootblacks and booksellers of 1930s London. Kevin S. Charnas is a saucy Frank O’Hara and, in heels, an even saucier streetwalker. The ensemble does a sweetly silly impersonation of penguins.

"But too many of these vignettes are heavy-handed and offered with a self-conscious stage presence that undercuts the production’s promise of time travel. More problematic, the central moralizing thread (open air good, technology bad) feels simplistic and dated. This terrain is far too familiar for a transformative ramble."

I was flattered. However, the "central moralizing" thread isn't so simple. And that's unfortunate for Miss La Rocco and the readers that are taking her word for it. She missed A LOT. So, as most things being communicated, her review says more about her than it does about "WANDERLUST".

I don't know if it's a little bit of New York bitterness, or the individual's need to be clever, or the need to be above a positive message - which to many seems naive... I don't know... I'm not going to try to know. Because I'm sure trying to figure out a stranger's take on a matter is too "simplistic" in itself.

So, what I do know is that if I just take what she said... How she mistakingly attempts to sum up the message in the play as "open air good, technology bad" and that this is "dated", she's missing the boat.

And I would venture to say that MOST people living in the modern world are missing the boat on where we came from and where we're going in such a hurry. They're too busy being busy.

Depression in the U.S. is at an all time high. As are the use of anti-depressants. (Not to even mention self-medicating with booze and illegal drugs, like I do.) People are becoming more and more isolated in their worlds - from home to car to office. All enclosed spaces. To communicating through machines rather than something more intimate like face to face. They're not really "out in the world anymore".

And even though New Yorkers walk much more than most of their American counterparts in urban settings, I still see them on their phones, texting, checking email, blah, blah, blah... They may be walking, but they're still in a bubble. Isolated.

So, no. It's not "DATED". It's pertinent to our society.

Even though acknowledging her bitterness is giving it legitimacy, I'm recognizing it as a flaw. A legitimate flaw. It's too easy to be bitter. And THAT "central thread" running through our society is a detriment to the immense possibilities of humanity's good nature. "The landscape is being paved over, where leisure is shrinking and being crushed by the anxiety to produce." (An excerpt from "WANDERLUST".) And in the process, the landscape of the human spirit is being paved over...

These notions are indeed "simplistic"... Or basic, to anyone paying attention. However, if someone is unable to acknowledge how reckless modern humans have become towards their own evolution of higher consciousness, they've got bigger problems than bitterness. That is after all, just a symptom.

If we're doing so well, why are so many people so miserable? If her whittled down topic is so "familiar", why isn't anyone listening?

I'm truly flattered that Miss La Rocco enjoyed my work enough that she actually called me out. However, I can't help but feel badly for her and others who are too bitter and "above" optimism. It makes me think they're dead far before their death.


So, here we are in Antarctica. Cape Crozier, to be exact.

And those wonderful, heart-warming people behind me are those "sweetly silly" penguins she was talking about.

And that "saucy" streetwalker?

Well, there she is to the far right... Teetering on her heels.

I'm trying not to be upset over Miss La Rocco not mentioning the mule that I played (one of my favorite roles)...

Here's Pandora Robertson, playing the mule's keeper pulling him off the side of a mountain before an avalanche kills them at Montanvert in 1787.

And I'm also trying not to be offended over her failing to mention my chiseled abs, bulging biceps and dancing pecs as I hold on to Nicole Perrone, letting her gorgeous body hover just above the ground...

'Cause I was thinking that that was kind of "saucy" too, but nnnooooo...