Joy in Jury Duty

A month ago, I got a jury duty postcard. For many years, this meant panic time. This year, when I’m working on a project called Citizen Joy, I had to untangling my habitual reactions. “No, I won’t panic, I won’t rail against this unfair disruption of my life, I won’t try to get out of it. Instead, I will find the joy in jury duty.” It worked. I showed up early, found a good … Read More

Giving Away is Good Medicine

“I have learned that “feel the feels” is best done by moving…shaking off anxiety by bouncing on my rebounder…expressing rage by beating a foam bat…catalyzing tears by curling up in a ball on the floor and listening to a sad song.” – Andrea Howe, my old friend and colleague, responding to the May Gazette. “Downsize! Why didn’t you downsize? We’ll be here the rest of our lives, going through your stuff.” – A lyric … Read More

Feel the Feels

The last couple of newsletters have focused on the Citizen Joy project so this one is in a more personal vein. Last year, when my family was going through some tough times, I put together a quick emotional exercise to use when found myself in the all-too-familiar state of floating in anxiety. This is the cadence: Feel the feels. Hold the hope. Set firm boundaries. If I do it well and actually feel what … Read More

Reconnect with the Joy of Being a Citizen

“I chose to become a citizen of the United States. When I took the oath of allegiance, I was surprised that something that from the depths of me surfaced. I think that being gay has a lot to do with that – I’m not used to being recognized or being treated in certain way, and all of a sudden, I’m treated as an equal and I’m welcome.” That’s an excerpt from an interview I … Read More

Reaching Out to Performance Artists Nationwide

Thank you, thank you for your answers to the questions in last month’s Gazette – they helped me, and my team, move Citizen Joy! on fast-forward in February. I have another request this month, but first, here is where we are now: Citizen Joy! will use live interactive shows + on-line artistic challenges to connect people across the country based on shared ideas and commonly held beliefs about… a. …what brings us joy in … Read More

Citizen Joy

It should always be this easy! Last month I wrote about wanting to spend more time in “good gangs,” dynamic groups working in the arts, consulting, and political worlds. Viola! Since then, I’ve been invited to join four great teams. On the political front, I’m starting my own gang for a project inspired by a theatrical event at another moment when autocrats were on the rise — in 1936, the Federal Theater Project staged … Read More

Need For Community

After many new years of being resolution-free, I’m thinking about changes in my life for the second year in a row. Last year it was “my lazy assumptions of powerlessness;” this year it is my need for community. A lot of my time in 2023 went into working on a new book, which I love dearly, but writing is a solitary pursuit. After turning in a draft manuscript to the publisher yesterday, I plan … Read More

Support the Family of Master Lu Yi

Please click on the link below to support the family of the man who made great circus events possible, Lu Yi. “I don’t know where I would have found my voice had I not worked with Lu Yi and his students,” said Gypsy Snider. Lu Yi cultivated in his students not prettiness and grace, with toes turned out and ta-da razzmatazz, but rawness and creativity, added Snider, noting that her own gritty, stripped down … Read More

Share Your Credentials

When Cirque du Soleil offered me a contract 17 years ago, my wife said, “This will open doors we don’t even know exist.” She was right. The cache of that gig helped me get started in the strange new world of consulting, where being introduced as a “Cirque du Soleil star” works much better than “here’s some clown.” But being introduced this way bothered me. Most of the skills I use as a consultant … Read More

My First Non-Fiction Book

Yesterday I sent a first draft manuscript to Thom Wall, the publisher for my new book. Of course, it is really the ninth or twentieth or thirtieth draft, depending on how you count. I’m excited. This is my first non-fiction book, the first time I’ve worked with a group to create a book, and the first time that the book itself is only half the project — bringing the Bay Area circus community together … Read More

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