Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Free Play:Improvisation in Life and Art is a nifty and profound book which I picked up from Friends of The Library. First of all, if you are a New Yorker, you must go to Friends of the Library! It is located in the basement of the Webster branch of the NYPL. Super friendly folk sell gently used books for rock bottom prices. All the money goes to support the library. Need I say more?

Free Play, written by Stephen Nachmanovitch, is full of inspiring passages. Here is one of them:

"Every moment is precious, precisely because it us ephemeral and cannot be duplciated, retrieved, or captured. We think of precious things as those to be hoarded or preserved. In the performing arts we want to record the beautiful, unexpected performance, we schedule a rematch for the camera. Indeed, many great perfomances have been recorded, and we are glad to have them. But I think the greatest perfomances alway always elude the camera, the tape recorder, the pen. They happen in the middle of the night when the musician plays for one special friend under the moonlight, thay happen in the dress rehearsal just before the play opens. The fact that improvisation vanishes makes us appreciative that every moment of life is unique - a kiss, a sunset, a dance, a joke. None will ever recur in quite the same way. Each happens only once in the history of the universe."

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I had been reading Missy's blog, Listen, Missy!, for a year before I got up the courage to ask her to interview for Creative Times. When I sat down to meet Missy in person, I was immediately struck by her open, friendly voice and face and total lack of pretense. She freely shared info about her history in the manner of a small townperson who had invited me up on her porch for a cup of lemonade. The other great thing about Missy is that she is chock-full of raw talent yet is totally unassuming about it. She is a skilled and accomplished photographer, dancer, and sewer.

Missy's blog started as a website in the summer of 2000. She was living in DC and training for a marathon as a strategy to kick the habit of smoking. Missy laughed as she remembered using the website to vent about the physical pain she was in while training.

Missy recalls finding the first wave of blogs. "[They] were essentially being written by tech-savvy folks, programmers and the like, and by music fans, mainly of the indie rock crowd who grew up with the 'zine format," she explained. Inspired by this new vehicle for sharing information, Missy decided to abandon the website and make the transition to blogging. "At first, the blog was about me being bored at work," she explained. "Over time, I developed voice and purpose. The blog was a great way to share what I was up to with people I knew."

Missy takes pride in the fact that she alludes to different forms of creativity in her blog without using a "reporting stance." She focuses on sharing personal experiences about what excites her and interests her- namely, art exhibits and dance performances.

Given her humble and friendly demeanor, it came as no suprise to learn that Missy has roots in the midwest. There, she was a member of 4H and grew up knowing a grandma who was a seamstress and a piano player. Missy has memories of visiting her grandmother's farm, where she'd climb up into a tree and tell stories into a tape recorder.

What does Missy see when she looks into the future of her blog? "My blog serves as a scrapbook of the things I've done and the places I've been," she shares. "I plan to go with the flow."