Sitting and Writing and Thinking and Dreaming

I’m back at the coffee shop.

I have been doing some writing on the next chapter. I can’t say it is very good, but I’m all about the shitty first drafts, so that’s okay.

I really came here because today is the final day of a webinar I’ve been taking ¬†called “Transform Your Career” so I needed to be someplace with reliable internet. Of course, that excuse also justified the iced chai and decadent cookie purchase I made so that I could sit here for hours. ūüėČ

As I sit here, waiting for the webinar to start, my mind whirls around my purpose, my goals, my dreams, and my hopes. How could it not, I am taking a Webinar aimed at people who want to change their careers. I have also been in the middle of an inconclusive change for years. So I sit and think about possibilities, hoping to find the answers in my words.

But really, I am just full of questions:

  • what do I really want to do with my life?
  • what are my strengths and how can I use them to find/create a fulfilling career?
  • how do I overcome my shyness and take advantage of my networking capabilities?
  • who can help me reinvent myself?
  • what makes me feel the most accomplished and fulfilled?
  • where do I begin when I feel overwhelmed?
  • what do I want to be when I grow up?

I feel change in the air. I know that something big is coming my way, I just need to have the courage and belief in myself to reach out and grab it.

Let the dreams begin.

Call Me Crazy, But . . .

I’m starting another Blog!

Yes, I know, I’m insane, but not really. The other day a college put out a call for on-line resumes and portfolios for theatre artists interested in doing some freelance work for the coming academic year. I sort of have something set up at LinkedIn and Behance, and I added some things and perfected them to the best of my ability before sending off an e-mail.

[Should I be worried that I never got a reply back? Hm, let it go, Lisa . . . let it go.]

I was not completely satisfied, however, with the results. The format doesn’t say much about me. It doesn’t integrate all the complexities of the work that I do. So, I knew that I wanted a better on-line portfolio somehow.

Yesterday, at a fun and fabulous Memorial Day barbeque, somehow we got into discussing job searches and the need for an on-line portfolio. The discussion was really about one of my former students who designed the fabulous costumes for the production of Peggy the Pint-Sized Pirate presented by my Theatre for Young Audience class a few weeks ago.

You’ve got to love the baby sea monster.

Bethany said, “I know, I know, I have to start some sort of website.”

One of her friends said, “Use WordPress, its easy and has a lot of great options for portfolios.”

Ding Ding Ding!

D’oh!

Now why didn’t I think of that?

Now the advantage to this is that I don’t intend for this new blog to become a daily habit, or to replace Woman Wielding Words. Once I get it up to date (which may take me a while) I will only update it to add new projects and so on. It will be a blog to keep my work/creative history in order, but not a blog filled with as much randomness as this blog.

I’m still debating on whether or not I should enable comments on that blog.¬†What do you think?

Don’t worry, I don’t expect you all to follow me over there or anything, but I would love feedback if you are interested. Of course, right now it is in the beginning stages so there is not much to see, but if you feel like wandering over I’d love to see you at The Creative Portfolio of Lisa Kramer

Just don’t call me crazy! ūüėČ

The Multiple Incarnations of Lisa

My journey at the Festival today made me recognize another important thing about myself–I have multiple lives. No, I’m not talking about reincarnation (although I don’t rule that out) but my life, in terms of interests, passions and goals can only be described as multiple incarnations of Lisa. This realization is keeping me awake tonight (or perhaps it is a combination of the caffeine I drank to make it through the day and the alcohol I drank to celebrate life). I realized that every event I participated in today reflected this diversity in some way.

The morning started with a presentation of a play called Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad¬†performed by Book-It Repertory Theatre. This show told the story of Henry Brown who mailed himself to freedom to escape slavery. The story reminded me of two things–my passion for literature and seeing stories come to life, and my desire to fight for justice through the arts. That is an incarnation that I keep returning too.

Next I watched an amazing performance of Terrapin Puppet Theatre of Tasmania’s Boats.

This show can only be described as magical. It told a story of love, loss, and the sea using simple objects in amazing ways. It reminded me of my time as a student at the University of Hawaii, when one of my favorite teachers brought me into the world and magic of puppets.

Next I saw a performance of Doctor Kaboom! A show that combines theater with science. I witnessed a theater full of students embracing learning while watching and witnessing art. It reminded me of the things I do love about teaching–and of some joyous success stories I’ve had in my incarnation as teacher.


A performance by ¬†The Guangdong Province Puppet Troupe reminded me of my love of culture and language, and my desire to create theater that crosses cultures bringing multiple languages and stories on stage at once. One time I started to write a play like that, but I don’t know what happened to hit. One time I worked on a show in Japan, and I stood backstage enthralled even though I know little of language. ¬†This performance combined magic, animals, and the complex beauty of Chinese Opera, all done with puppets. We, did not need to understand the language to understand the story. I love that. When I first started my PhD program, I wanted to do research in that idea, but I got talked out of it (partially because I wanted to be both artist and academic and THEY wanted me to be only academic). ¬†Incarnations of the language/culture lover, the passionate artist, the crushed academic. It also brought back memories of my MFA program (the incarnation of Lisa the director/Lisa the Asian theatre fanatic) where I studied Beijing Opera movement among other things.

The next two, performances (yes I saw a lot of theater yesterday, today I will be spending most of my time in a workshop) reminded me of my high school self, and of the incarnation that wants to find ways to help the youth of the world. The first was a performance of 1 1/2¬†by Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program in collaboration with Oregon Children’s Theatre. This piece, meant for 4th-6th grade deals with the nations growing problem with obesity and bullying. I’m still kind of processing this piece so I may write more about it later. The second was a Musical in a Day Workshop performance created by iTheatrics with local middle school ¬†children. The did Annie¬†and it was amazing. It reminded me again of why I chose to go into TYA.

After all this we had a wine and appetizer gathering, where someone asked about my academic background. I remembered that at Smith College, where I got my undergrad, I was a double major in English Literature and Theater. The incarnation of the reader and the writer wannabe. His honest response to my many degrees (as well as another woman who got a PhD from ASU after me) “Congratulations on being overeducated.”

The incarnation of Lisa the scholar; Lisa the student who loved to learn; Lisa the goody goody.

When I look back on my life, I have lived many lives. I have had many career paths and opportunities. I struggle with definition of self because of the multiple incarnations of me, but they all relate in some ways. Theater links them. Passion links them. A love of culture, language, arts, people link them.  So while I have many incarnations, it is the sum of those incarnations that makes me who I am today.

Right now I feel like I am a chrysalis that will soon burst open to reveal my next incarnation. I wonder where my butterfly  wings will take me, and what they will look like.

[I am starting to write a few posts for Spread Information, an interesting blog I found recently. Here’s a link to my first post, which also comes from this festival and from my understanding of the importance of arts in society. Check out the entire blog, they have a lot of interesting things.]

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