Parade Updates, True/False, March into March, and Burning of the Bear Shrine.

Updates on Parade
Cambios workshop is being organized.
Catherine Magel and Vince will be creating a costume. If you don't know Catharine she made the amazing flood wall mural. Amy Van Donsel will have an open studio with her studio mate.
Lisa Payne in Morocco is investigating making a costume. I have begun translating the letter to potential parade supporters, Minerva will correct the letter. Sleepy Kitty is working on parade handout. I have emailed Ebony Patterson in KY about creating a costume. In Columbia, MO I talked with Tori Kaspareit Pelz, Mikey Lising, and Danielle Eldred about making costumes. Snowflake will have an opening that night. Here is the tentative parade route.

This past week I did a lot of work early in order to prepare for leaving town to attend the True/False Film Festival. I have been going back for years. This year we arranged to have Cam and my Shrine/Dancing Bear collaboration moved from the Foundry out to the Festival for a few days. Then my friend Jeremy agreed to let us burn the shrine on his property.

Cam left on Thursday to set up the shrine and I arrived Friday just in time for the parade, March into March. I threw the bear costume on over my clothes and walked around the other costumed people. I spent some time playing with a group of kids. They all acted as though they were afraid of me and then when I got close they would pull on my claws or teeth and look in the mask to my face. They'd point out to me that I was a person. Still they played along for a while and even did some goofy dancing with me. When the parade started I did my best to be silly and perform a sort of bear trance dance. I liked to especially dance alongside the bands. I realized yesterday that I had been at a parade every weekend for a month! What luck. I definitely enjoy being in the parade the most. I also felt less intimidated about organizing the Cinco Parade after I realized that they had many participants without much apparent publicity.

That night we hung out at RagTag with friends and then went to the "Secret Party". When I was first in Columbia, myself and many of my friends, we were all involved in some way with the Festival. That is how I first became close with my friend Christy. That is how I learned to animate. In truth the festival is quite amazing. Its got this contagious energy and that's in part because there is huge community buy in, everyone does something for the festival. I myself was at one point one of the decorators and installation artists.

I yearn to find again that feeling of connection to a place through the people and an event. I am trying to view the Cinco Celebration as such. When I was in Columbia working the festival, I didn't even realize how great it was. If you haven't been there here are some reasons it is fabulous- there are a ton of documentary movie, over thirty this year, and they try to bring someone with each film. You are exposed to these amazing stories and you get to hear behind the scenes from directors, cinematographers, and other participants. This is an amazing free educational experience and it brought stories of a wider world to me.

Well anyways this year I only got to see one film.;(. I tried to see Waltzing with Bashir but it was sold out. (These days you got to get to the film an hour early) I did get to see the Oscar Shorts which I recommend, specifically the one about the last days of MLK jr. The Witness. That night we went to the music show, I enjoyed the Killer Whales.

The next day Cam and I had to get up early in the morning to take down the shrine so that we could haul it out to our friend Jeremy's farm. Reassemble it, and head to Columbia. It was cold and we had to unscrew and rescrew the structure. We finished just in time to return our moving van. I did get to meet with a few friends on Sunday but I never get to see everyone I wished to see. We spent so much time with the shrine we were unable to see any more films. I think that was my main disappointment, I would have rather just have enjoyed the randomness of the event over having a big project mid-event that we had to complete.

Nonetheless before sundown we returned to Jeremy's farm and prepared for the burning. My close friends Janel and Mat also came out. I danced in the bear costume and this time did a dance as though I was approaching my own death. An earlier conversation with friend Fran helped me in that she has been dealing with her own mortality as her sickness has been worse recently and she is looking at some heavy treatments. I pretended I was her, someone who had lived a long life, and would go but not without a fight and a final raucous dance. Jeremy had put tin in the shrine so that it would not torch all the grass. My favorite part was the sound of my feet dancing on the tin among a pile of downed cedar trees. After the dance, Cam set the structure on fire with a small torch. Initially the structure did not seem to be burning. Suddenly out of nowhere the entire skin of the structure burned off creating a huge fire that dwarfed the trees nearby. In that moment I think we were all afraid that we had started a huge uncontrollable fire. And just like that it became small and slowly smoldered away the skeleton of the structure. We all stood around and watched the shrine burn, the guys threw more cedar trees inside and the fire would rorar up briefly. We cheered when the skeleton begin to fall. After the fire died down Cam and I had tea with Jeremy and listened to his experience starting his organic farm. He is living a dream he has had for sometime.

When I have a chance i will post a video of this nite.


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