As I get ready to embark on this huge, mind-altering trip (wander-lust, not psychedelic) in the next week, I stand at the edge of 30-years old, looking back at what I’ve accomplished, and then forward at what I’ve yet to do. I can’t help but wonder… what is ENOUGH?
Four albums. A feature-length film. A documentary. Countless performances. Music videos. 3 Fringe Festival shows. A book (almost- #poppoetry12poetsin12months – January 2rd). Road trips. Festivals. Events. Rehearsals. Collaborations. People. Places. Forgetting names, but remember energies. I have and continue to do SO much, yet I still grapple with doing more.
In looking at this next big “mid-life crisis” around the corner, I admit to being pulled in multiple directions (as we all are). Literally, on the road, but also physically and emotionally, let alone mentally/rationaly/psychologically.
Do I go to law school, like my family would love? Or Rabbinical school, as my Jewish community would appreciate? Yoga teacher training? Naropa institute to study some sort of metaphysical psychology as my good friend has inspired. Or maybe to Hawaii, to work on a pineapple farm? And then there is Europe, calling my name…
Honestly I couldn’t be more lost, and I thought by now I would have more mindful ‘direction’. There is one thing that is obvious, and that is trust; trust in letting go of making the “right” decision and letting the right path unfold in front of me. Some might call my so-called-faith naive, but I find it endearing, and exciting. It quenches my thirst and alleviates anxiety. There are no WRONG answers. Just trial and error, and failure is a sure way to know it’s time to change paths. (Still an optimist at heart, guilty).
While I know I have not failed as an artist (there’s no such thing really…) I am looking at a glaring reality where sustainability is becoming increasingly more important.
So I’m turning left. First, as an artist, and then maybe even further. I am leaving Kansas City for a few months, to accomplish various tasks and jobs and performances. I will be back in December to help my grandfather write his memoir, amongst other projects lined up. Applying to law school is in there somewhere, assuming I do well enough on the LSAT. I am really not sold on ANYTHING at this point; anything other than love of course. Most of us would do just about anything for love.
So until love stops me in my tracks, I will keep moving forward, with ultimate perseverance, knowing that within every step I take lies a lesson. A missed conception, found. Every breath I take brings fresh air. And every chance I get, I’m going to jump as high and hard as I can into a free fall, only to be caught by my own wind. I am not scared. I am not committed. I am FREE. Maybe for the first time in my life, and that should not be taken for granted. Freedom is a precious gift, and I will cherish it, while I can.
Precursor: Accuracy of dates and information are as reliable as my memory. Please forgive any inaccurate facts, as being ass-deep into this experience for 12 years leaves some room for misconceptions.
I attended my first Wakarusa in 2004, when I was 18. My friend told me to buy a ticket that some great bands would be there. I loved OAR and they were the headlinder, so it seemed like a reasonable experience. When my parents dropped me off at my camp site, they almost didn’t let me get out of the car. After having my eyes blown open to a culture I had known very little about, I told myself I would go every year if I could afford it, and that I would never look back.
I am an artist – an entertainer in every sense of the word. I live for art. Art is why I get out of bed most days. And I don’t have a whole lot of say about it…. The impulse oozes out my pores and into my essence. I get EXCITED about organizing my jewelry box. Every thought becomes a plausible song lyric. Every open mic an opportunity to be understood. I live for craft day, okay, picking out my clothes every morning is an exciting opportunistic projection of expression. Cooking dinner turns in to Instagram masterpieces, with a slight inkwell filter. I have a tendency to turn my bedroom is a temple, with candles and sentimental shades of beauty. My bumper stickers have to say something. I live to dance and I love to sing. Sing. SING! Every moment is a chance to throw my hand up with a classy twist and a punch line (KISS) to wish you away on the ultimate ride. Tonight, I want to throw a party and invite everybody I know. Get ‘em all in one room until they are best friends and forget to even call me when they throw their own parties. When I do get invited, I’m on the guest list. Because I am an artist. In every sense of the title. In every sense of the curse. In ever sense of a blessing. I am an artist, and it’s the artist’s job, nay, DUTY, to preserve the past while creating the future, in a sense, providing comfort to those who do witness its glory. Art is like God… not understandable. not comprehendible. not really tangible. but still very powerful, if you chose to accept it and see it for what it is. I often underestimate the artistic tendencies pulsing through my DNA, I just know that I have to express this…. this… this thing. It’s art. It’s, me. And maybe you it’s you, too…. all of us, at different times in different ways get lucky and have something worthwhile to say. And this really isn’t about luck. This isn’t about entitlement. This is not my ego screaming at your ego for telling me to sit down and shut up and listen (or don’t listen) to THIS or THAT Art, no… This is an infinite-way conversation ever-evolving composite of passion ready to erupt at any time. This is not easy. This is not profitable. This isn’t an option. The question is, do you have the time to share/care? Because if not… my art will go fleetingly smooth into the night with all of the contributors who’ve come before and will ride again. Should you chose to care, about this one artist, in one moment, creating this one memory, choose to remember this:
Art, is possibly the only thing that will be left when we are gone. Let it legacize yourself, and to each his own, with honor. And don’t forget to do it with a smile… because the show will go on. Question is, would you rather be in the audience or on stage?
It’s almost hear folks! My 4th album release is coming next weekend, April 9th, 10th and 11th. We will be hitting three cities in three days on the Rhythm, Rhyme & Blues Tour, a MissConception and Matt Diamond collaboration! If you have it in your heart (and time schedule) pick a show and come out and see the magic!
The album, titled Sara-Tonin, will consist of 13 tracks designed to push the envelope in several directions. Recorded at Electric Cat Studios and produced by Little Class Records, I am thrilled to be releasing something that makes ME so happy.
Here is the lineup for the three day tour:
Harmony Mindzeye Lovellution 9-10
MissConception – 10:30-11:15
DJ Ather 11:15-11:30
Negro Scoe 11:30-12:15
Vendors: Cali Roberta, Cryoflesh, Theresa Goodman
The album will be available for sale on a USB drive that will contain my entire collection (4 albums, a book, lyric sheet and videos) for $20.
Thank you so much for your support and constant inspiration. I do this because it is what I love, and I can continue doing this on a larger scale because you choose to support me. You will never know how much I love ya.
Blessings, and let’s rock!
How ya’ll doing? Really, I’m curious… TELL ME please in the comments below. What do YOU have going on that’s worth noting?
I thought I would check in and say HI! Real talk. I’ve had my pulse on you for a while now, KC, and we’re just getting started! As I’m gearing up for another Spring and Summer of enlightenment, I’ve been hibernating and feeling out the calm before the storm.
There are some wonderful things coming up in KC, and I wanted to fill all you loyal bloggers in; so take out your calendar and write down anything that seems interesting! I’d love to see you out and about, painting the town whatever color you like, naturally.
First I’m working on recording a new album! It should be out by late Spring; Title and release date coming soon! Special thanks to Little Class Records!
2/25 Will be another fantastic feature poetry reading, brought to you by Nightlife Jones and MissConception, also featuring the illustrious Cheri Lou Woods. Be at the Arts Bar (3611 Broadway) pre-open mic on Wednesday, February 25th for a special feature that will BLOW YOU AWAY. Feature 8-9, open mic 9-11, always free, donations always welcome!
Dr Seuss’s birthday bash is happening on Monday evening, March 2nd at the Uptown Arts Bar 6:30 p.m. Come and celebrate the life and poetry of Dr Seuss with myself and some other local poets! AND this one the donations go towards a good cause, Community LINC.
Save the Date for the screening of the documentary I produced titled “The Hellraiser”. When a man (who happens to be my Grandfather!) decided he needed to call the Pope one day years ago, the impossible happened. Suddenly, an ordinary lawyer found himself in not so ordinary positions. Meet Sid Willens, civic activist and lawyer representing the underdog in many cases and platforms. Sid has developed strategic tactics and systematic flow charts to accomplish what maybe would call the impossible, and he’s not afraid to share with the public the methods he uses to succeed. Essentially, the film is about activism and how to make systematic change as an individual in this discriminatory system.
Please join your community on Thursday, April 2nd, 7:00 p.m. at the Uptown Arts Bar for a screening and discussion over the movie “The Hellraiser”. Doors are at 7:00 p.m., followed by the film screening and a discussion panel from 8-8:30 consisting of Sid Willens, Al Brooks and Rabbi Mark Levin. Other organizations will be there representing social justice actions happening today, including Ida B Wellls, The American Friends Services Committee and more. Details coming soon!
Worth Noting: I’ve recently taken a job with The Kelly Gallery working on weddings and graphic design (two of my loves), so if you need all things wedding, SEND ME A MESSAGE at firstname.lastname@example.org! I want to help you!
I’ve got a weekly hula hoop class starting at City in Motion on April 1st!
Luckily enough, i’ll be working with KC Young Audiences and the American Friends Services Committee for the “How to Change the World through Spoken Word” workshops, working with youth in Kansas City teaching them about spoken word and performance! What an honor.
And lastly, dare I remind you of my one true love, Wakarusa? If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, please get them NOW while they are affordable, and come share this incredible experience with me! There is no place like Wakarusa…. no place like OM.
We all have a lot going on. Pick what you love and STICK WITH IT. Keep lists. Keep calendars. Throw away that which doesn’t serve you any longer. Think ahead. Be proactive. And do it with LOVE. You can always check my website www.themissconception.com for upcoming events and music, and please help contribute to my vision by spreading the word, when it matters to you!
As always, thanks for reading!
The auspicious day is approaching… and anyone who likes to have fun likes to have FUN, know what I mean Jean?
Upcoming schemes from MissConvenience:
Saturday, 10/26 9pm until Hell freezes over….
At Black Label Cycles 825 Mullberry St in the West Bottoms
David Hasselhoff On Acid
The Stone Sugar Shakedown
Whiskey for the Lady
Thieves of Flight
The Bombshells as Pinup girls
Bus 2 Show with Somebunny!
Pyro Sun Circus
$20 cover includes beer or $50 open bar
Facebook EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/698755456819445/
Make sure you tell them MISSCONCEPTION sent you at the door!
Monthly Goddess Gathering on Sunday, October 27th
Beginning at Mark Blanchardt’s Yoga Studio 4pm for Kirtan
Acro Yoga session with Kristin afterwards at 5504 Troost (6pm)
Bring your Goddess energy, sacred objects, a poem or reading and let’s get into it!
Flow-a-Roke 10/27 (7pm) after Yoga (5pm)
Come stretch it out, and then bring your favorite song and flow prop and show off your skills! Everyone will pick a song and get their 3-5 minutes to show off their flow. Think Karaoke, but with Hoops and Poi! Donations accepted! 5504 Troost
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/170355663169724/?ref=5
Halloween Night: All Hallow’s Eve ShinDig 10/31 8pm at THE SHIP
(1221 Union – enter in the alleyway behind 1221 Union… look for FIRE!)
Live music, DJs, Ambiance, Tarrot Reading, Fire Spinning, S’mores & more
DJ PROZAC & DSpang
$10 Cover / $5 if you dress up
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/591234154276561/
CiciadaWeen in Lawrence, KS (Abe & Jakes)
Friday, November 1st with BOOMBOX and more!
Sonic Temple 2nd Sundays
at the Foundation – November 10th 4-8 pm
Yoga with Gretchen (starts at 4)
Kirtan with Jeri Birdshal 5pm
Music with Harmony Mindzeye 6pm
DJ Bradley 6:30 pm
Juice Bar available
More details coming soon!
Art of Drag: November 16th Uptown Arts Bar 9pm
Featuring Mercury Mad, Brian Maloney, Diamond Dan, Shannon’s Simply Sweet, Cheri Lou Woods and MORE! We aren’t done dressing up yet! You have now been given total permission to go BUCK WILD!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/185555681616367/
In the words of Nightlife Jones…
“Thinking that we can’t do this everyday is where we mess up…. so treat everyday like Halloween and DRESS UP”
In mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses who symbolized the arts and sciences. Today, a muse is a person who serves as an artist’s inspiration. Often filmmakers talk about a certain actor being a muse to the director. Writers, painters, musicians, and other artists have muses. Muse can also refer to thinking deeply. If you muse about something, you’re giving it serious thought. Today, we muse a muse, amusingly enough. And then there was MUSE….
I’ve often begged the question, is it better to be a muse, or to have a muse? Some think the two are not mutually exclusive, though I find it difficult to be both in one moment. Often one transfers the energy to the next and A mused becomes THE muse for the next generation. I’ve also stumbled upon some strict repercussions to being a muse, especially if you’re doing your job well. Let’s explore:
The greatest risk a teacher runs lies in teaching others to do the craft you have previously mastered. As a professional dancer or fire performer, it should be (and has been) my mission to not only entertain but to inspire others to learn to create their own magic. Master their own craft. Hone their skill. Which is an asset, and a risk. An asset because now there are more fire dancers in the world, and who doesn’t like that?! And a risk because, as evolution furthers, the muse has helped cultivate a new breed of fire dancers, better than ever dreamed of to fill the shoes of those who are on their way out.
It’s the age old challenge of being a performer… younger, fresher faces on the scene, eager to dance in the spotlight, for free if necessary, because being on stage is just THAT tantalizing. I don’t blame anyone, least of all myself, for carving to be admired from afar and/or coddled up close. Getting paid is the icing on the cake. What we’re really here to do as artists, is to amaze. Fascinate. Blow minds so hard up that they’ve GOT to have more. Where does staying humble fit into that lifestyle?
Really once you throw money at the situation everything changes. It’s like quantum physics principle…. you look at the atom and suddenly you can’t measure it any longer. Here we are with our art, doing it because we LOVE art simply for the joy it brings us. Add the element of making a living, and suddenly, one becomes DESPERATE to sell their art. Shoving it in the faces of others. “Here, look at me, I’m a great artist” and BOOM, the ego is born.
There is a fine line between empowering someone and encouraging the overly-eager ego. I’ve worked with a few students, who start off shy and quiet, with dreams of being confident enough to own a stage. After months/years of dedication, encouragement, humble feedback and mess-ups, their confidence level begins to shift into empowerment. But where does one stop before they hit narcissistic? Once you get the ball rolling, momentum makes it hard to slow down.
Artists are notorious for hoarding big egos. I’ve always been under the impression that one should not have to deem themselves a great artist, a great performer or a great writer. The art and end product should speak for itself. If I have to spend time trying to convince someone that “I am indeed a rapper and you really would like my music” I am wasting my time and that of my audience’s.
As an artist myself, every day is a challenge to make sure the right message is being presented, while staying humble. Humility is a practiced skill, just as spinning poi or flaming hoops. We must let our art speak for itself. Never forget where wisdom comes from. It is all of our’s, to share, not to covet.
And when the ego grows larger than the performer’s performance itself, what IS a muse to do about it?
Write a blog about it, I guess… and hope they read it.
We’ve learned to becoming accepting in a society that has made asking into an art. Busking performances, non-profit campaigns, “make your donation at the door”…. Lend me your ears, I ask of you, and perhaps we shall come to stand on sacred ground.
I’ve never been one to ask for much help from anyone unless they have volunteered their services. The VibeTribe of Kansas City has come together as a collaborative effort to make more magic as a synergistic whole than we could do separately. Our studio on 5504 Troost was a gift, because we ASKED for a space, and the universe provided. Now we have bills to pay, a space to clean and run, and it’s quite the learning experiences! Nothing comes easy, even when you ask for it! Be careful what you wish for, they say, is becoming more true by the day.
Well, my goals and future endeavors include producing fun, sacred events that incorporate music, movement and medicinal intentions, as well as making my own music for you to enjoy. And by asking for your support, not only are you contributing to my dreams, but to that of your own as well. What events would you LIKE to see produced? I’ve got a Halloween show in the bottoms coming forth, Thanksgiving in place of the Shwag in the works, Sonic Temple 2nd Sundays full of kirtan, wheat grass and dubDJdrumming, as well as hooparoke sessions and more.
So I ask YOU again, what sort of events or performances would YOU like to see in KC? We’re talking about pushing the envelope. Making moves to the next level. Innovation after innovation, we shall not settle for complacency.
Going 5 years strong making music and producing events, I need your help to take this episode to the next rung. I feel as though we’ve only just begun tapping into what magic we could be making, if I only knew we had the support and compassion necessary to produce a sacred community.
Please, dig deep into your pocket, your change bucket, your piggy bank, and donate what you can. Every $1 helps. $15 will get you an album. More will get you a private party 🙂 I ask you. For your help. And I thank you. For believing in the cause. Namaste ॐ
Like the VibeTribe Here: https://www.facebook.com/TheVibeTribeKC
DONATE HERE: https://www.indiegogo.me/at/MissConception