Thich Nhat Hanh runs.

I was on day 6 of a vision cleanse. Meaning I was cutting coffee, sugar, flour (I already don’t drink) and only eating raw fruits and vegetables (following the Medical Medium protocol) in order to get connected to my deeper, inner voice. I needed to get quiet. I went to a silent retreat in the desert and heard a story from Rev Michael Bernard Beckwith (Agape International Spiritual Center) about being at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village in France. While there, Michael had gone for a run and saw TNH walking and, knowing that TNH practices walking meditation, he wondered if TNH ever ran. Later that night, TNH was giving a dharma talk and paused in the middle of his talk and said, "and yes, I do run," as if he had heard Michael's earlier thoughts.

Which brings to mind the quote from Hamlet, “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

As my mind is getting quieter and quieter, there is a sense of spaciousness and I’m experiencing a desire to create in another form. I desire for expansion. Change. I’m experiencing a deeper connection, not only to myself, but to the world around me.

Driving home from the silent retreat, The Cure's 17 seconds came on which is a song I’d listen to while running along the East River in NYC.

So in the car, I found myself doing what you see in the video which led me to becoming slightly obsessed with it, and so I made this video. It was pure play.

It wasn’t for any festival I was going to apply to. I wasn’t seeking approval from any agent or producer. It was doing it for the sake of doing it and then sharing it because I like it and maybe someone else will like it. To me this form of play is like prayer. It’s a prayer that says, thank you. Life is cool. I’m glad I’m here.

Seems like the vision quest is working so far.




Love Trumps Survival of the Fittest

Did you know that in The Descent of Man, Darwin mentions the word "love" 95 times and "survival of the fittest" only twice? I discovered this while doing research for my play #Love95times for The Farm Theater Company's College Collaboration Project.

Since October, the play has been developed in beautiful productions by SUNY Brockport, UWF and Centre College and a few nice things have happened: 

  • It's been nominated for a Kennedy Center's ACTF David Mark Cohen Award 
  • It is a Eugene O'Neill Theater Conference semi-finalist
  • And on June 5th, you can join us in NYC! 

The play explores a sexual assault and asks what the role of the bystander is.

Audiences stayed past midnight for a post-show discussion with The Farm Theater's Artistic Director Padriac Lillis and me.

Audiences stayed past midnight for a post-show discussion with The Farm Theater's Artistic Director Padriac Lillis and me.

After every performance, this is what we heard again and again:

  • "This should be required viewing."  - male audience member
  • "I am having conversations with friends about sexual assault in a way I never have before."  - male student 
  • "I feel empowered."  - female student
  • "Every year during orientation, it's like they're saying, 'Don't date-rape'. It's so patronizing; you just tune them out. I'd rather see this play because now I see how I could actually prevent a situation like this from happening." - male student
  • "I couldn't stop watching." - female audience member

The play is about community and how we can work together.

Photo Courtesy: Centre College

Photo Courtesy: Centre College

For more information about the public reading in NYC on Monday, June 5th, join the newsletter below and join the revolution.

A Sneak Peak of Opening Night of Love 95 Times at Centre College

Opening Night at Center College where over 300 people attended. The post-show talk-back moderated by Matthew Hallock (Chairman of the Theater Program) was well-attended with one  student saying she couldn't leave after the play, she needed to stay for the talk-back afterwards. "Working on this play gave me the opportunity to talk about a subject that is never discussed and needs to be," said one of the male cast members. 

Opening Night at UWF

UWF's honor student Abigail Megginson's created a documentary about UWF's involvement in The Farm Theater College Collaboration, other students created a tryptich in the lobby about #rapeculture, the wellness center set up a table to offer resources and counseling to students and then we entered the theater...

Most of the audience stayed for the talk-backs after each of the shows even at midnight for the late performance. "I wish we could see this during our student orientation instead of what they do tell us which is basically 'don't date-rape.' It's insulting." comments one male student

"This should be required at every college." adds another..


Little Piggy

Little Piggy

Other good-feeling medicine is Mark Duplass' keynote speech at last year's SXSW Film Festival. It inspired me to start shootin' stuff. The pics above are from my recently finished short film LITTLE PIGGY which I wrote after throwing Fifty Shades of Grey across the room. I wanted to see what those relational dynamics looked like without all of the sexy bells and whistles in the every day world of a young "normalish" couple. It's also a (guess what?!) dark comedy and I'm proud to say about half our crew were women. LITTLE PIGGY stars the ever-so-talented Kelley Rae O'Donnell and Mackenzie Knapp. It's my film directing debut which means I was nauseous for a few weeks. 

The first reading of The Farm Commission at Geva Theater (in pictures)

The SUNY Brockport cast of Your Wings Have Eyes (now titled Love 95 Times)

The SUNY Brockport cast of Your Wings Have Eyes (now titled Love 95 Times)

Geva Theater Literary Manager Jenni Werner leading audience talk-back.

Geva Theater Literary Manager Jenni Werner leading audience talk-back.

Director Frank Kuhn and I discussing the play.

To read Padraic Lillis's (Artistic Director of The Farm Theater) blog about the evening, visit The Farm Report hosted on Indie Theater Now.

Grab them by the heART

Did you know that when someone is kind to another person, it boosts the immune system of not only the giver and the receiver, but also the observer? And the opposite is true as well - an unkind act negatively affects the immune system of the giver, receiver and observer. It's as if we share a collective immune system and what we do can either strengthen it or weaken it. So if you're not keen on getting a flu shot this year, check out these powerful antidotes!

Clutch Productions is doing awesomely kind, powerful and effective work that'll fill you with feisty fortitude. Check out their EmpowHER Reading Series which features original one-act plays and screenplays written by emerging female writers and dedicated to issues affecting women in the 2016 election. #grabthat My short screenplay DEAD GIRLS will be featured which takes a darkly humorous look at Hollywood and its roles for women as two actresses navigate a particularly harrowing pilot season. Seating is limited. Email to RSVP.

DEAD GIRLS is scheduled to shoot in 2017. Interested producers/co-pro's can reply to this email for more information on the project and script, and if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the film, you can do so here.