😴I Can Hear It ASMRing In The Air At Night…🎵

Hello Gentle Reader,

Wow! Time flies when you are physically melting into the floor, doesn’t it? For those who aren’t in the Bay Area, we are having a bit of a heatwave these last two weeks. Supposedly today is the end of the worst of it, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there are more days coming. I was so jazzed that it had been, up until now, this summer temp was in the higher 80’s, and I was saying how this has been pretty close to perfect. HA! 🥵 🤬

I can barely function when it reaches 80 degrees outside so when it reaches triple digits inside and there is no air conditioning, I am basically just a bump on the couch.

Oh, and California is on fire… again. Part of the fire problem started when we had this freak ⛈lightning storm🌩 early Sunday morning. I was not in a good place on that day. Stress levels and anxiety were through the roof, Dear Reader. According to the weather advisory, it was only supposed to last for about 35 minutes at 4:27AM. It went on until nearly 11. I am also pretty positive that I heard the first crash of thunder around 3:30ish.

ANYWAY!!! I went off on a bit of a tangent there. Why didn’t you stop me? 😃

We closed out AJ’s Virtual Party with Dragon Theatre and it was so much fun. I think my favorite part of the “performance” was leading a group of the audience into creating an exquisite corpse style poem of their own.

It was exciting to see how hesitant they were to contribute at first, but once they got the idea, the poems took off so quickly and ended up being so beautifully unstructured but then structured in some points that it gave a nice little jolt of a rhyme scheme. Then, those poems from the audience were taken and made into a companion piece to the e-zine we created for our 27 original works and sent to all who attended the show. After the finale of the show, the director would invite anyone that wanted to join the cast in a game of online Scattergories. I haven’t laughed like that all year! Some of the answers were SO ridiculous that it was a highlight for sure. Highly recommend it! 👍

The day after the show closed, I was having a tough time getting to sleep since I had nothing to focus my energy on now. I happened upon a shoe shine video.

I had no idea it was an ASMR video, even though it says ASMR after his name! LOL! I thought that was some sort of shoe abbreviation that I wasn’t aware of (since everything is abbreviated nowadays.) All I knew what that the guy was shining them up as a final step before donating them. I thought the idea was great so I watched. As I watched, I began to feel strangely calm and relaxed. By the end, I was a little sleepy but not tired enough to actually sleep. So I let the next video play and this time I woke up after my phone had shut off and the earbuds were still in my ears. I was really intrigued by this. I knew that ASMR was nothing new as it has been on YouTube for at least 8 years, maybe more. I just thought all of it was food chewing videos. (YUCK!!!!I can’t handle that sound.) Thinking back on it, I recall that some of my favorite movie scenes involved ASMR-like things, such as whispering (specifically the scene in Poltergeist when the son is whispering with the mom and the paranormal investigator) or any time someone is writing and we are allowed to hear the pen/cil on parchment or paper, or Bob Ross’ painting. Something about that crunch of the brush meeting the canvas is hypnotic.

So I began to watch more of them. One of my favorites is ediyasmr. She is a hypnotherapist and reiki practitioner. I find her videos truly helpful getting to sleep. It feels odd that it is a compliment to fall asleep to their work, doesn’t it? She doesn’t make a lot if mouth sounds (like stirring a Mac and cheese pot) but her voice is calm and soothing and clear. There are some I tried but the comment sections were so entertaining that I spent as much attention reading those while listening so I didn’t fall asleep, but I was relaxed and entertained, so still gets a thumbs up from me.

What struck me about these videos is the number of styles that there are! If you don’t want to hear people whispering , they have strictly sounds, like pages turning or writing. They have meditations, and they have role plays. I found that last one interesting as well. Looking at it from an actor’s stand point, if you like being on camera, you can probably make a pretty darn good channel if you have the gear for it as far as mics and costumes doing the role play. I was really impressed with the production value of some of these ASMRtists. There was one that I found that did a whole series dedicated to hugs. Weirdly, after watching it, I truly did feel better.

I marvel at the creativity of the human brain and the people that come up with these really neat ideas. It just shows how important creativity is to us a a species and the good that it does to help entertain, cope, and even heal, and it is so frustrating that I don’t understand why the Arts aren’t given as much value as sports. But that is another rant for another day.

Have you ever watched an ASMR video? What is your favorite? Do you have a favorite ASMRtist, or do you make videos? Give a shout out in the comments and let’s get some more eyes on your vids!

Thanks for letting me bend your ear, Dear Reader. I hope you are safe and alert and staying hydrated if you are in this heat wave or even if you aren’t.

Until next time…

🎼Anxiety Is High, But I’m Holding On…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Forgive my absence for the last two and a half weeks. A few things were being focused on so I didn’t have a chance to think about writing. 😳 At first, it was just the final weeks of rehearsals for the Dragon Theatre project I had mentioned. Then, I found out that my survival job wasn’t going to be available until next year so my team got the official furlough. This had me scrambling for insurance purposes since my hubs has been going through treatments. Lastly, his birthday was at the end of the month, so I had to make sure I had that ready, too. So, I haven’t been lazing around as you can see. 😓 Couple all of this with the new COVID news of the last few weeks and surely you can understand how anxiety would be running rampant in my home. Sorry to have butchered Blondie’s awesome song… 😱

In the last few posts, I had mentioned that I wasn’t sure what the poetry project was going to end up becoming because I couldn’t “see” the end result. Well, Dear Reader, I can say that for something that seemed to be a little chaotic, it turned out really, really well. The end result of our epic poem is a tribute to Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL and was quite resonant with the audience that has attended so far as well as for myself. We worked for several weeks building our collaborative muscles and created an eight and a half minute piece that is the highlight of the show.

The way the film ended up being edited together was masterful and lends a bigger impact to the overall message of the poem itself. Our process was something I didn’t realize how much I needed to keep myself sane and composed, but being in the “audience” to see Filip Hoffman’s visual edit with Nathanael Card’s editing of the poetry itself created a crest in the wave that allowed the emotion to break and let me have a decent cry in the presence of a shared experience that is theatre. In the Q and A that followed, the moderator messaged me to see if I wanted to add anything to the conversation, but I was barely holding it together enough to not be a snotty red eyed mess. On Zoom, no less. Good Times! 😂😂

While it isn’t the immersive theatre experience that I wanted when originally cast in AJ’s Annual Party, this version was just as rewarding. I still have my fingers crossed that at some point, AJ’s Annual Party will be done on a stage. The idea of vignettes done in the guise of a party that fills the entire room where the audience is part of the party and setting sounds like a blast. While this may not have been that same experience, being a part of this piece of devised theater will be in my memory forever. I have been moved by the words and emotions of my cast mates while we worked through the weeks where some weeks were tougher than others and tech issues but we have a beautiful piece that I am very proud of.

We have two more performances of AJ’s Virtual Party coming up on Friday and Saturday 8/7 & 8/2020 at 7pm on Zoom! Get the details and tickets at Dragon Productions Theatre Company.

My Gentle Reader, I have bent your ear enough, but I hope you are keeping safe and alert. I would also like to invite you to the “Party.” If I don’t see you there, I will at least be in touch next week.

Stay adorable, Dear Reader.

Poetry Corner…

Wizards and Warriors

I can create something out of nothing.
I can fight through tears and fears
I use my five senses and my will
I cry WAR every time anxiety appears.

Always opposing, war and creation
Burden my warrior’s heart
But to honor my wizard’s hat
This is why we create Art

To be strong enough to face the trials
Yet wise enough to make the right choices
To be clever enough to see the true world
And tough enough to rise and use our voices.
(work in progress…)