dani communes with the devil. among other things.

It was a dark and (not) stormy night in a gated SoCal community in Rancho Palos Verdes.  Rolling hills, beautiful mansions, endless seascapes, and an eery quiet which hung on the neighborhood like a shroud.   A young maid (like … Continue reading

Britt is back Stateside, but keeps her suitcase packed. And drunk-blogs about it.

Full disclosure. I am drunk-blogging at my local watering-hole, as I am pushed to the brink with Eternal Summer, always on the quest of finding air-conditioned establishments to seek refuge in (this is SURVIVAL, here, people, REAL SURVIVAL). At this current … Continue reading

VagaBritt strikes again!

After living out of a suitcase since the beginning of 2015, Vagabond Britt (or “VagaBritt”, as I am now known) is on the move yet again.

On Wednesday morning, I depart with my girl Molly Elizabeth Parker (who flew out to The City of Angels from The Big Apple TODAY!) to Mammoth Lakes, CA for the inaugral Mammoth Lakes Film Festival,

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these bitches be on the road again!

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…coming soon to another resort town film fest near YOU!

and, about 24 hours after my return to LA, will hop on a plane to spend the NEXT 5 WEEKS IN SYDNEY AUSTRAILIA to do some pretty cool shit.

….and spirit quest. And eat Australian bacon. And work a lot. And probably be drunk constantly. And play Aussie Bingo (pet a koala, ride a kangaroo, steal a dingo, get high off of eucalyptus, etc.) (okay I just made that game up) (okay shut up) (okay I will try not to get arrested).* tumblr_lwz0nmlky91r8cvzdo1_250 I cannot tell you how intensely I went back and forth on the decision to go DOWN UNDAH (well, at least for the first couple hours). But then, I quickly realized, there are basically NO cons to going on this adventure. 

So… I stopped thinking so hard about it.

tumblr_lz91wcoviO1qeivwho1_500 So many things are happening, and oh, so fast… and I am ready for THEM ALL. Hopefully this will be the first of many epic wanderings and adventures.

First stop: KTjmJ Next stop: meanwhile-in-australia-00025 After that: fuck_that_space_shark So… eeeeee!!

I’ll see you guys out there.

And, lastly, let me just leave you with this:

You’re welcome and g’day.

Britt

*P.S. You have no idea how many “Kangroo Jacking Off” ** GIFS I had to go through to find a more “family friendly” Kangroo GIF.

Because 2EA is FAMILY FRIENDLY.

**Also don’t google that.

You’ll get put on a list. Just as there is a list of Kangaroo Sex Offenders. kangaroo_drunk_beer Don’t google that either.

Bye.

what it means to be LA. (britt edition.)

People are all,

“Heeeey Britt, it’s so cool that you’re a Big Time LA actor these days. Your life must be soooo exciting and glamorous. Show us a little bit of that Red Carpet Slice O’ Life!” **

To which I say:

(I’ve seen the edge of my Soul and it is Dark.)

XO,

Britt

**actually, I’m pretty sure no one has ever said this, ever.

**But, I am wrong, and you have in fact said this, or want to say this, please approach me. You are good for my ego and I love you.

28 things you need to know about britt in her 28th year

…Well, I suppose that TECHNICALLY this is my 29th trip around the sun, but Earth Culture assures me that I am 28 years of age. My Saturn is returning. And all that stuff. Planetary. giphy Thank you, Neil.

And now, today, on this, the 4th Day of the Month of May (it rhymes!), about 7 weeks after my actual, special Friday-the-13th birthday (whoops), and about 970 weeks since my last post (sorry), here are a few things to catch you up on in the incredibly not-boring goings-on of my life:

1.) I’ve got Homes in Different Zip Codes.

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My dear friendThe Suz gave me this beautiful plant, which I affectionately named Nan, to anchor me wherever I stay.

Read as: “Vagabond”.

I currently reside in Park La Brea, Altadena and Echo Park (I promise you I am not joking), with pit-stops in places like Culver City, Silverlake, and Hancock Park in between. What can I say? My sterling house-sitting reputation precedes me. As a wandering artist subletting her room, I am not complaining.

2.) Continuing on with the vagabond theme: I’ve been on more airplanes this year than ever. (And I hate flying.)

This is how I fly now. Remind me to tell you about my whirlwind Seattle trip later.

Who AM I even?! This is how I fly now. I am a monster.

… I think I’m getting better at the whole flying thing, though. I’ve got a supplement-popping, face-covering, booze-in-flight drinking system that works for me, so don’t worry about it.

‘Cuase let’s be real. I’m not flirting with that bitch mono again.

3.) Birds of Neptune is majorly making its presence known in the festival circuit this year after its smashing world premiere at Slamdance Film Fest in January.

I just got back from Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson, where Birds of Neptune won the award for Best Dramatic Feature!! Holy CRAP! BON AIFF And if that wasn’t an honor enough, the film was also selected to screen again on the final night of the festival for the “Best of Fest” celebration. 11118363_10101271935952336_419600120065064236_o …An encore screening? Yes, please!! Thank you, Tucson! 😀 

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with BON director Steven Richter.

Up next on the festival trail? Mammoth Lakes Film Fest at the end of the May. Hopefully you’ll be seeing me all over the globe promoting this film. This is just the beginning! 😀

4.) In addition to the humbling love we received for the film in Tucson, I received a Special Jury Award for Best Performance for my work in the film.

Holy FUCK!!

Holy FUCK!!

This is how that made me feel. (Nothing feels better than skipping down the red carpet. Nothing.)

This is how that made me feel. (Nothing feels better than skipping down the red carpet. Nothing.)

WOOOOAAAA! I am on cloud 9 from this, truly. Tucson was such a special, surreal, magical place, and this recognition is such an incredible honor.

5.) I still self-employed and loving it.

One of my many offices around the city. I promise I am working here. #WORKINGIT

One of my many offices around the city. I promise I am working here. #WORKINGIT

A detailed look at my cubicle.

A detailed look at my cubicle. Somebody pinch me.

6.) Dani and I went aboard The Queen Mary to witness the marriage of our dear college friend Hillary:

What a DREAM she is!

What a DREAM she is!

…Which made me think that perhaps I should live on a boat at some point in my life. Because, COME ON.

We make this look good.

We make this look good.

7.) DANI IS GRADUATING FROM HER MFA SOON. This means we are writing sketches and screenplays and music. And romping around outside. And actually using our Twitter account.

So, basically — Two Evil Actors, the Content Creators, are stampeding your way SOON, betch!! Mark my words! FEAR US!

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What’s not to love?

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But really though. You want this.

8.) I am writing a lot of music these days. I hope to record my stuff later this year, so I will keep you posted on that. All of this material is all super personal to me so it is SCAAAAARY. Which obviously means that I have to do it. guitar9.) Speaking of recording music, I had the opportunity to record music with my very talented brother for the first time in March.10947417_604953582940001_8820304260459440803_oI was lucky enough to be in Seattle for an audition when my brother Nate and my cousin Cameron were recording the first EP for Nate’s music duo, NW Passage. (Think of Nate Harris as the Ryan Lewis to NW Passage’s Macklemore. He is a genius.) They asked me to record vocals on some of the tracks. It was SO fun.

In studio with my cuz Cameron, sound engineer extraordinaire, and musical genius, my bro, Nate.

In studio with my cuz Cameron, sound engineer extraordinaire, and musical genius, my bro, Nate.

Look! Cute photos of me and bro in the studio!

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Nate being annoyed of my Genius.

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Me being annoyed of Nate’s Genius.

10.) STILL speaking of recording music– I have finished recording basic vocals for the first No Vanquished album!  Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.30.07 PM It won’t be long now ’til we release and UNLEASH this music into the world!

11.) I am in love with Los Angeles, IMG_2832 but Portland has my heart.

A post shared by britt harris (@thebrittharris) on

Hello @pdxcarpet , my old friend… #pdx #portland #pnwweekend

A post shared by britt harris (@thebrittharris) on

And I am in a constant state of reconciling this emotional and geographical dissonance.

12.) I took a few covert Portland visits this year to feed my heart. 

'Tis the season for titty boxing. #tittyboxing #xmas #everybodywins

A post shared by britt harris (@thebrittharris) on

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My sweet little mini me, Agatha.

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I love her!!

Short and sweet and sad, it hurts me a bit to come back to Portland now. It confuses me and makes me wonder where I am supposed to be. I don’t think it will always be that way, but…. what is it they say in that one song?

Yeah, something like that.

Anyway. My heart is in Portland. Y’all knew that.

13.) Surprise, Mom! I got a new tattoo. IMG_2493 I was born ass-first on Friday the 13th (it ALL makes sense now, right?!) and my birthday happened to fall on Friday the 13th this year. So, naturally, I needed to get a Friday the 13th tattoo. 

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I also got this tatted across my back. Kidding. Not kidding. Wait what?

I must note that Dani and our good friend and housemate Raisa got Friday the 13th tatts that day as well. Because we are part of a gang.

14.) I am officially the USC MFA program’s biggest stage-mom. I could not be more proud of my Dani, who recently completed her THREE SHOW REP (AND NY & LA Showcase!), each of which, I saw two times. Trust me, I would have seen these shows every night they were running if I could clone myself. This girl inspires me everyday. True to her nature and talent, Dani killed it in each show with every character she lived in, but her portrayal of Nina in The Seagull especially took my breath away.

Nina is SUCH a difficult role to nail, you guys, and it takes a REALLY gifted, insightful, brave, and effective actor to be able to play the arc of this role. It was one of the most incredible performances onstage I have ever seen and I wish I could show each and every one of you her incredible work. I feel stupid even talking about it because I can’t quite find the words to quite articulate how much I look up to my best friend and how proud of her I am.

So, I’ll just dumb-it down by saying: “YOU ARE AMAZING, DANI!!” 

My little DaniBird. D in USC's production of

My little DaniBird. D in USC’s production of “The Seagull”.

15.) As if the film fests I am already going to haven’t been enough, I decided to party-crash a good chunk of the Newport Beach Film Festival with my new Aussie friends that I met at the Arizona International Film Fest.

I tend to look more legit when at parties I ninja into. Also, my mom took one look at this photo and told me I had Drunk Eyes. Thanks Mom.

I tend to look more legit when at parties I ninja into. Also, my mom took one look at this photo and told me I had Drunk Eyes. Thanks Mom. Pictured: EP Sam Eather of Aussie film “Love Is Now” (look it up).

I drank a lot and ate a lot and consumed 7 s’mores at one event and had a very nice time, thank you. 

Also, I felt fancy.

16.) I am really itching to travel. I hope that the stars align to grant me an international trip (or five) this year. I think the odds may be in my favor.

(Come on, come oonnnnn Birds of Neptune International Premiere..!!)

Yeah. You like what I did there??

Yeah. You like what I did there??

17.) I’ve decided that I really want a pet but am truly TOO VAGABONDY and poor to be a good dog or cat mom (see #1 & #2 above). 

See?! I'm even in my car in this pic! I am never NOT DRIVING.

See?! I’m even in my car in this pic! I am never NOT DRIVING.

18.) SO I’ve made many new dog friends around town. (Also my ulterior motive for all of the house-sitting I do.)

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dog spoon > every boyfriend, ever. Sorry.

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WOAAA PUGGLE

19.) AND I’ve made many new cat friends around town. 11044993_10152921894767639_8296777836104554201_n20.) I’ve discovered that the older I get, the more I dress like a child.

Do I ever wear NOT animal prints?

Do I ever wear NOT animal prints?

Pretty sure I had this same outfit at 4 years old.

Pretty sure I had this same outfit at 4 years old.

21.) Okay… uhh.. god… thinking of 28 things is actually pretty hard… let’s see, um..  ….I’ve been eating a LOT of pizza lately? Like, a lot?

...surprise, surprise, in airports, too, people.

…surprise, surprise, in airports, too, people.

22.) Ummm… it rained in LA a lot this past month? And that was weird? IMG_2838 23.) I don’t know why I am ending things in question marks all of a sudden?  giphy-2 24.) Maybe because I’m avoiding big parts of my life?

hyperbole-and-a-half-thank-you-sorry-sad-cry-frenchyincali

(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

Kellie9

(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

25.) Okay, let’s get real here for a second. Because 2EA believes in that shit. 

Also, we are a meme. So automatically anything we say is awesome.

Also, we are a meme. So automatically anything we say is awesome.

After all, we are real humans with real feelings.

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(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

So… sigh. Okay.

Though the external evidence of this post may suggest otherwise, I have a pretty sad heart right now. For the first time in, well, ever, I am unclear of what is next. My internal compass, which is usually pretty strong, is not so strong right now. I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean or what I am supposed to do. I feel sad and scared and slightly stupid. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain and weird to talk about. Depression has been a thing. Top Tier / Grade A / Boss-Level Heartbreak has been a thing. Crippling anxiety spiral has been a thing. 

And yet, here I am. Still bravely loving, still going hard at my dream, still refusing the conventional day job… 

I am doing my best. I know that one day I’ll crack the happy code. One day I won’t feel so misplaced and scattered and alone-on-an-island-y.

Good Portland omen.

Thank you, Good Portland Omen.

Luckily, I have learned more about myself and what I truly want out of life during these weird heart times. I’ve had to make some really hard decisions, decisions that more often than not have left me with the exact opposite outcome of what I thought I wanted, and through this, I am learning to trust. I am learning to trust my instincts and the order of the Universe. I am learning to breathe into my decisions and into my follow-through. To tell those I love that I love them. To not expect anything back. To be vulnerable. To be a voice of reason. To be a hard-ass. To be a softy. To be what I need for myself in this moment. To acknowledge that no one and nothing is forever, yet allow myself to take comfort in the feeling that some people and some things never truly leave.

Perhaps knowing what I want has somehow made the path I travel seem more indirect or treacherous. Maybe I’ve finally realized the true challenge of committing myself 100% to living the life I want. This is not a life of allowing cop-outs and stifling my feelings and feeling obligated and beating myself up. I realize now that there is nothing more challenging (and more important) than taking care of myself and taking care of my sweet dear heart in the same way that I wish to take care of those I love. It’s no easy thing.

And let’s be real, being a human is just fucking hard. 

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(c) Allie Brosh, my spirit animal

26.) I’ve also had the feeling that this year may be the kick-off to some very important self-discovery: 

I’ve discovered that I feel the most myself when I am on the move. In transit. Exploring. Adventuring. Wandering (I’m sure you’ve picked up that vibe in this post so far). This is also when I feel the most lonely.

There is still so much to discover within myself and sometimes (most of the time) that internal terrain is so rocky. I cry every time I am in an airport. Every. TIME. It’s an odd feeling: always leaving the ones I love, always coming back, this weird ping-pong sensation — but there is truly no feeling that compares to the huge hug feeling from a loved one upon arrival or departure — that pure happycryjoy or happycrylonging –that is the shit that makes me feel alive.

11071470_10203850372608232_7585567630056711546_n 27.) I have the very best friends in the world.

Sweet sweet incredible Dani threw me a surprise party the night of my birthday in March and I seriously had no idea. I felt so loved.

My sisters. Dani and The Suz.

My sisters. Dani and The Suz.

Joy.

Joy.

Class Photo: The Current and Former Residents of the PRL. Missing: Aussie Michael and Electric Grandma Lucia Babe. And Napoleon the Pomeranian.

Class Photo: The Current and Former Residents of the PRL. Missing: Aussie Michael and Electric Grandma Lucia Babe. And Napoleon the Pomeranian.

28.) Let me say it again: I have the very best friends in the world. We build slip-n-slides in our backyard out of trash bags, tarp, and baby oil.

Dani and I engaging in a little bit of competitive Slip-n-Slide drag racing. NBD.

Dani and I engaging in a little bit of competitive Slip-n-Slide drag racing. NBD.

TRIMUMPH. You put up a good fight, D.

TRIMUMPH. You put up a good fight, D.

In closing, so far, 28 is looking like this: Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 4.07.56 PM A little bit scary. A lotta bit fun. I may accidentally sprain an ankle trying to get a running start down that Big Slippery Blue Tarp of Life, or belly flop in a way that fucking HURTS and knocks the wind out of me, and I may cry about it for a while, or curl up in the fetal position for a sec, but I will always get up.

And, let’s just call it like we see it, folks: Really. I don’t even take that shit off for slip-n-slides. 

Thank you for reading, friends. And for your love and support in my life. You keep me going. ❤

Harris, upon the Returning of her Saturn, OUT. IMG_2048

dani talks preparation

Word on the street is that grad school is hard. But you know what I hear is even harder than regular grad school?   Med School.  Now, I’m not a medical professional, but I assume that the reason for that … Continue reading

britt gets a job, a house, and an LA attitude

I am in it for the long haul, baby.

Now that’s an LA attitude.

Oh man. So much to tell. It’s been a month and a half since I last wrote (seriously?!) and it’s been nearly two months since I’ve moved to The City of Angels. I’ve already lived here long enough to know that if I’m going to get any work done in this place, I have to think about the Not So Near Future. The Ten-Year Plan. The Thirty-Year Plan. The I’ll Retire When I Get My Own Theme Park Plan. The Long Haul. And I am down for it. I am so down.

…So here’s what’s UP.

Living in this city is fucking hard. I have no money, I hate the way I am making the little money I have, and my soul is craving the work I want to do but I have no idea how long it will take. That is the hard reality of this new life. In Portland, I could create all the time. Here, it’s not so easy. The community is not the same and the barriers to entry are so incredibly high. But I’m embracing this reality and the endless work and recurring self-doubt and daily falling asleep in my cubicle with the knowledge that a good work ethic, preparedness, and the ability to laugh at how utterly ridiculous my life is (and, I suppose, always has been) is my best aid for throwing myself into the deep end.

But for only two months, I gotta say–I’m doing pretty well! I got a job with a temp agency to do accounting work and am currently working on an internal audit for the LA District Court. Crazy, right? I definitely didn’t see that one coming.

I never thought I’d go back to my accounting roots so quickly, but I gave in after 2 weeks of living in LA with no idea of what to do for work. My next goal is to do this kind of work within the industry. I bet I would like accounting a lot more if I was doing it in Entertainment. And let’s be real, that paycheck would be nice.

BUT! Focus!! That is not why I am here.

This is not why I uprooted from the home I love to a scary new frontier. I had so many gut-pulls bringing me here and I am just beginning to find out what they all mean. I am finding my Self here and I fit. I am making new discoveries every day and feel a strong connection to this place and its people and all the crazy shit that comes with it. It is exhilarating.

Long haul, baby. 

I know this year is going to be especially hard (how could it not be!), but this place is incredible. It has its own pulse, its own lifeforce, its own story to tell. It has a current surging through it. Everyone is questing for something. No one is idle. It is a dream for me. My favorite people on the planet live in this city and I have an incredible house in an incredible neighborhood and draw inspiration daily from everyone and everything around me. I want to become a part of this huge force that drives this whole city forward.

Alright. Enough Dear Diary-ing. You guys get it. You know what I’m about. On to the important stuff.

HOUSE!!! DANI AND I GOT A HOUSE!! And our house is awesome!!

I live with this girl:

the SUZ.

the SUZ.

And this guy:

our new BFF, compliments of Craiglist. THANKS, CRAIGSLIST. One of us, ONE OF US!!

Meet Dean, our new BFF, compliments of Craigslist. THANKS, CRAIGSLIST. One of us, ONE OF US!!

And this dog:

Meet Napoleon, Dean's partner in crime.

Meet Napoleon, Dean’s partner in crime.

and of course, my girl DANI!!

that is one hot twin.

that is one hot twin.

And we all live together in a spacious house that is ridiculously (unintentionally) hipster (that’s how you know it’s real hipster) in Echo Park. We own a bunch of street furniture, neon animal art, and lion lamps spray-painted a very”timeless teal”. We have also been known to spray-paint home décor bright pink and throw glitter on top of it. We also may be having a “Very Ke$ha Christmas” housewarming party in a couple weeks. We are an LA field trip episode of Portlandia waiting to happen.

no caption needed.

no caption needed.

And look at this yard! How cool is this yard?!

THERE IS A SWING.

THERE IS A SWING.

THERE IS A SKYLINE VIEW.

THERE IS A SKYLINE VIEW.

THERE IS A STAGE.

THERE IS A STAGE.

THERE IS A SWING AND A STAGE. I need not say more. There is nothing more to say. We win. We win everything.

We moved into our house on Halloween night, which none of us seemed to think was a bad idea. But I mean, come on, we got the keys early, so we had to…

AMERIKEY, FUCK YEAH

AMERIKEY, FUCK YEAH

Cut to: Britt, Dani, and Suzzane carrying a mattress up the hill to our new house, from their old house, while costumed children jumped out at us and screamed, “BOOOO!!!!”, to which we calmly respond: “We’re dressed up as boring old movers, kids, move along. There’s nothing to see here”.

Cut to: Britt Dani, and Suz moving the box spring up the same hill fifteen minutes later. Cue the same costumed children running up to us and screaming: “BOOOO!!! We said, BOOOOO!!!” Yup, you got us last time, actually, precious children. Just please, for the love of all things sugary and sweet, shut UP and stop running around the moving bed!

It is very, very hard to drag a box spring uphill in the dark when you are laughing so hard you think you might pee. God bless the little children demons.

I think that was one of the best Halloweens ever.

And for those of you who have been following along with my life, you know that I simply CANNOT live in a REAL bedroom like a normal person. I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that I live in a makeshift room with fake walls in our Hipster Mansion:

Dani & Napoleon, chillin in the nook outside my make-shift room.

Dani & Napoleon, chillin in the nook outside my make-shift room. Not hipster in the least.

That’s right. Check out those sweet Ta-Da, These-Were-Once-Bait-And-Tackle-Diplays-But-Are-Now-Walls walls!! Dani found these suckers off Craigs List at a (you guessed it) Bait and Tackle shop in Sherman Oaks that was going out of business. Dani strapped these bad boys to the top of her car, Franca. It’s a miracle that we didn’t flip the car, die, or get pulled over. We are wizards.

cray D

WIZARD.

Wow. I am so overwhelmed with updates for you all. I have to simply accept that this post is going to make no sense whatsoever. I will now skip to highlights for this month in LIST FASHION!

I don’t know why I felt the need to bring SpongeBob into this. I am sorry.

My Past Month:

The Portland-based webseries, Random Acts, began airing episodes this month! You can check out the first three episodes here.

I saw this show:

12

Starring this guy:

'STACHE!

‘STACHE!

…THREE times. It was so good. I am in love with Pasadena Playhouse and think they should have run that show for five more weeks.

I also saw this show:

season-9-gidionwith my Third Rail friends at Furious Theatre. I am excited to see Third Rail Rep produce it in Portland this season!! It is such an incredible script.

And then… there’s Dani.

Ohhhhh, Dani girl… I am so blown away with your talent and presence.

I had the exquisite pleasure of watching Dani onstage at USC twice this month. I saw her play WIllie and Ellie (yeah she played a man and then a young ingénue in the same show, no big deal) in William Saroyan’s “Time of Your Life” and watched her breathe beautiful life into a solo performance she wrote  for her final project. Holy… shit. I cannot put into words what that performance did to me. Danielle Nicole Larson, you are going to bring incredible things into this world. Don’t ever stop telling stories (I know you won’t). You inspire me every day. As an artist and a human being. Thank you.

Yup, that’s right folks… the Evil Twins are back in action in the SAME CITY. Do you know what this MEANS?!

trouble.

trouble.

… it means we don’t have enough time to write blog posts anymore because we’re too busy hanging out with each other.

But we’ll be better about that. Stay tuned for the next Evil Twin dual post comin atcha, ANY TIME NOW. (Hint, hint, to Dani and SELF.)

I will sign-off now with a very LA Attitude thing to do: sharing my personal scoreboard. Enjoy.

Britt Keeps Score:

Number of Meetings with Agents/Managers:

1

Number of Auditions:
3

Number of Bookings:

0 s

Number of Parking Tickets:0 h

YAY NO PARKING TICKETS!! And just for that small victory, I am the master of the whole city.

I will choose to end on that note.

Love to you,

~britt

dani talks musicians

There are many, many reasons why I admire Britt as an artist. One of them is this recent viral nugget, which is AWESOME.

Another reason, which you can see in this video, is the fearlessness and dedication with which she encounters her creative work.   The thing about acting is that it is hard to forget you’re doing it while you’re doing it.  It’s hard not to watch yourself in your head while you’re doing the thing that you’re supposed to be doing. (…My brain just imploded.)  But Britt beautifully gets lost in the imaginative joy of it all.  

I was reminded of this quality of Britt’s the other week when she mentioned her song-writing adventures with her brother, which will be happening a lot more now that they are ROOMIES!! WOOOOO!!!

 Have any of you out there in internet-land ever tried to write a song and totally failed to?  What was it that stopped you?  Even if you are in an empty room with no one watching, it takes a lot of courage to just express yourself freely, especially using music.  EVEN IF you have the courage to be honest enough with yourself to allow your truth to come out, EVEN IF you can own your point of view enough to express it: It is so easy to stop yourself, to judge your own skill as a musician, your voice, your rhyming abilities, whatever. 

I have never successfully written a song. But I do have a lot of musician friends, and I can’t express how absolutely precious it is to me when one of them pulls me aside and says, “Hey I just wrote this song–can I show you?”  This means that my badass, fearless friend has let something awesome coming pouring out of their soul, and I admire the hell out of it.  For example, I had the great “misfortune” of growing up with a very talented musician for an older brother.  In his current band, he writes sweeping, masterful 7+ minute long instrumental post-rock songs with Red Hands Black Feet, which I will now shamelessly pimp out:  

redhandsblackfeet.bandcamp.com 

If you have 7 minutes of leisure time in your life, they will take you on a soul-soaring journey.  Also, their album is free for the downloading.  PIMP.

In the spirit of admiring musicians, check out this excerpt from Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1986 commencement speech at Bryn Mawr, which I have been obsessed with lately:

“Early this spring I met a musician, the composer Pauline Oliveros, a beautiful woman like a grey rock in a streambed; and to a group of us, women, who were beginning to quarrel over theories in abstract, objective language – and I with my splendid Eastern-women’s-college training was in the thick of the fight and going for the kill – to us, Pauline, who is sparing with words, said after clearing her throat, “Offer your experience as your truth.” There was a short silence. When we started talking again, we didn’t talk objectively, and we didn’t fight. We went back to feeling our way into ideas, using the whole intellect not half of it, talking with one another, which involves listening. We tried to offer our experience to one another. Not claiming something: offering something.

How, after all, can one experience deny, negate, disprove, another experience? … People can’t contradict each other, only words can: words separated from experience for use as weapons, words that make the wound, the split between subject and object, exposing and exploiting the object but disguising and defending the subject.

People crave objectivity because to be subjective is to be embodied, to be a body, vulnerable, violable.”

Over a year ago I was having lunch with my friend Will, a mountain of a man, and I was seeking his advice about something; really floundering for words and struggling to communicate.  He just looked at me with this sort of empathetic amusement in his eyes and said, “It sounds like you’re not accepting the validity of your experience.”  Those words have been resonating with me ever since.  As our good friend Ursula says, “How, after all, can one experience deny, negate, disprove another experience?”   Musicians and songwriters, in a huge way, accept the validity of their experience and turn that into art.  I think that’s what all artists do, and it’s especially why I admire songwriters so much.  They offer their experience as their truth.  Here’s some more Ursula:

“Singing is one of the names of the language we never learn… Yes, but it can be speeches and science, any use of language when it is spoken, written, read, heard as art, the way dancing is the body moving as art. …you hear the coming together, the marriage of the public discourse and the private experience, making a power, a beautiful thing, the true discourse of reason. …This is their baby, this baby talk, the language you can spend your life trying to learn.”

That is what I am doing with my life.  I am trying to to learn this unlearned language, and offer my experience as my truth.  This blog thing is a part of that, so thanks for reading.

Imma have to end this post with some Gaga.  Whatever else you may say, she is artist who owns her point of view and turns it into some awesome shit.  Hot damn.