What a beautiful experience this was! My dear friend Michael Barakiva, director and artiste extraordinaire, has created a company called Upstart Creatures (check 'em out on UpstartCreatures.com). This was the first time I was available to participate in a full event, and I hope to be part of many more. Michael has created a forum for art, food and generosity in equal measure: he has partnered with the Metro Baptist Church to have a reading every few months that includes a full meal, a reading, and great spirit. And all is by donation, with the company cooking, prepping, serving and reading. This weekend we were reading Tony Kushner's A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY and I was reading the role of Agnes: beautiful, deep soul to inhabit for a night. Michael had coupled the evening with a German meal: bratwurst, cabbage, spätzle soup, apple cake with caramel sauce. Right on.
In addition to loving the spirit of the company, the evening and the audience, I was thrilled to know so many people in the house, people I had brought along as well as people I hadn't known were coming. I am beginning to feel, in an extraordinary way, that my many years in New York have begun to pay me back: wherever I walk, my community is close by. The whole evening had a wonderful feeling, and I was newly inspired to create, to persevere, to tell stories. It was just what I needed in the midst of a fall that's filled with hustle and short on work. But as I've said before, it is a vital step... to clear the path before new castles get built, to plow the earth before planting.
If indeed this is the spirit of my fall, then the Upstart Creatures provided me with a good bit of watering:) Cheers, Michael Barakiva, to you!