Listen to a radio interview Sophie recently did at AMI Radio
Posts for 2013
Sophie will be appearing at the LAWN (Los Angeles Women’s Network) Holiday Party
Tuesday, December 10th
7:30 – 10pm
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
1125 N. McCadden PL,
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/181358542061667/
Right now my son is taping my mouth, tying my wrists with binoculars, shutting my lap top and just took a glob of cocoa butter to smear in my mouth. He is earnest and compelling to watch in his work. I don’t feel he’s doing to it to me, but rather with me, as I am not the object, but a subject in a story of his imagination.
The way I watch his face, before he’s hidden my glasses, is the way I watched the players of St Joan last night, and of Hamlet earlier this week. They work the authors’ stories as if they are working them out of their own imagination in the moment. The fascination of the audience, engaged on the precipice of each breath, heightens the immediacy of the drama. The way the players believe what they are creating moment by moment is volleyed back by the disbelief, or awe, that we are privy to the unveiling of these dramatic, historical and tragic human events. Isn’t this like Hamlet’s relationship to the players in his castle, how he needs to have them act out his father’s murder, not only to reveal Claudius’ guilt, but to believe it himself? Hamlet needs to see his own drama acted out with the truth of conviction, with the guiless presentation and simplicity of children playing, to know what he knows and feel what he feels.
I can say with confidence that I was there at the trial of Saint Joan; I experienced the thoughts with Ophelia that led her to drown herself. How often do we get this privilege in our lives, and do we trust our senses even when these real dramas are happening right in front of us. This is why we need theatre. And the less artifice the more art, the more art the less distractions from the story, the more story from the mind of the author, the more we get to learn, understand, feel and process our own tragic comedies. I mean lives.
And would you believe that only four players, Edmund Lewis, Andrus Nichols, Tom O’keefe and Eric Tucker play all the roles in both Hamlet and Saint Joan? And they are so relaxed, charming, engaging, nurturing…why is that? Because they are THAT GOOD. They know they have it in their loins, their auras, and their essences. No pomp and circumstance, I bet you could wake each one any time after midnight and get a Tony award winning performance of any character in their half sleep.
Be aware, you will be used in the set, spoken to in the play, and perhaps called upon to read an official church document about Saint Joan, which brings everyone to tears. Oh, to relive that moment. I have to go again. Will you please go experience Bedlam’s Hamlet and Saint Joan? You’ll be in the center of the “The Know”. Changed forever. But don’t bring too much crap and wear comfortable clothes, they move you around.
The Place is the Lynn Redgrave Theatre on Bleeker street. The inspiring Meredith Lucio produced it with Sarah Hancock, Ron Simons and others, and the extraordinary director is also an actor in both plays, Eric Tucker.
Sophie B. Hawkins
You know when people say about childhood, “it goes by so fast”? And when they say that I think, ‘I’m sitting at the table of this child’s life until there’s no place set for me, and then I’ll never pass up an invitation to come back and feast.’
We celebrated Dashiell’s fifth birthday and I remembered the day he came out of my body, how I felt when I saw him for the first time. I was delirious, yes, and I said, “I love you so much” over and over again, crying, and I understood Gd, Willa Cather, the plow, the bible, all religion, I understood without knowing what I understood Divinity, human beings like tendrils of the divine. When I met Dashiell in the flesh I saw his destiny. It was a presence that filled the room. It had a color, a deep violet, blue hue that shone from inside of him.
I feel we are all born with something. We are not Tabula Rasas, blank slates, but rather new trucks with an old load. Perhaps the surface of our slate has been wiped clean before we enter the earth experience, but our destiny is a code within us. The information cannot be erased. Orlando journeyed lifetime after lifetime until his/her destiny to be a writer at one with “the spirit of the age” was fulfilled.
We need bodies, we need landmarks to tell out tale, to struggle with other souls, we need friction, we need darkness and sorrow to create light, and joy. In waiting for Godot, which I saw last night, Gogo didn’t want to leave his pit, or getting beat up, he wanted his carrot and to forget. He reminded me so much of my father, and he was perfectly charming about it all. He was existence without meaning super imposed. Then Vladimir wanted hope, change, to find meaning however depressed it might make him, in the little moments. He also reminded me of my father. And he was waiting for death, but then it scared him. And all through the play there was that tree, a landmark in no-man’s land.
They were old men because the very young and the very old don’t have to be bothered with values and morals or even beliefs. Existence is the purpose and the question and the reason. Or not. Like in Hamlet, which I saw a few nights ago, Hamlet acts like a five year old. He struggles with every value and moral, destroys them all, and is left with the question of his existence.
To be, or not to be. That is the question. When we are born the effort is to be. When we are dying the effort is not to be. To let go, to accept the not being. And this simple breakdown of existence exists in every endeavor, in every relationship. There is a time when we have to be in it, around it, above it, beneath it, of it…and a time when it’s not to be, anymore. And then one might ask, “what did that mean, that existence?”
Is it more important to stay on track, or off the beaten path? Ask your destiny.
Hello near winter babies, hello from Fla. Crimson and Prussian blue scarves stretch across the pearly dome of atmosphere, sky, un endless sky, how lucky we are to catch the light of that long ago sun.
We played last night for the pussycats. Isn’t that an androgynous word? For the Pussies and the Cats. More Pussies than Cats, to be sure, and it was a good show for all of us creative folk. And the Gulf Shore Animal League got good love.
Dashiell has been here, what a trooper he is. From school to airport, and Newark is a trudge, and United, a dirge, bogged down with insufficient everything. But his only complaint was, “And no one even got me a donut!” From his mouth to God’s ears because this lovely beach house apartment, “home”, he calls it until tomorrow, is above a donut shop.
What I’m finding is that everything works out. Without hope, with worry or no worry, it all works out. Even with a stalking heartache, even when one is a ‘glutton for punishment’, each one of us is on an invisible river, walking on our own water, proving our own miracles, in our own uniquely fallible way.
That I hear crickets and my son is on ‘vacation’ because I got to play last night for orphan cats, and am appreciated for it, and nurtured, as evidenced by these luxurious accommodations and the bouquets of freshly made donuts, not to mention Poco’s taqueria, is special.
Not that the Gulf doesn’t reveal the gulfs in my life, my son’s heart, and expose seemingly unbridgeable separations, uncross able passages. It does. I have been working in this exact area at the point of other life and career changes, like 1998 at the Tampa Film Festival (where the Cream Will Rise was screening) when Janice Hageman (still my website and internet lady) sent the message out on the web, “if you’ve heard Sophie B. Hawkins’ song Lose Your Way and like it, and like it on the banjo, please tell Sony to release the album” That was the beginning of me being an “indie” artist by choice. I reached out and got the support and friendship in those times, from you, to fight the giant Sony who didn’t care about the artists’ development, longevity, and most of all, the artist’s purpose as keeper of the flame of the heart and soul of humanity through the ages.
Now I’m reaching out for support in fighting a different giant. Loss. Not just mine, of course, my son’s. And there are no words. No words. But I have to and I do create sentences that lead to openings and sharing’s and new dreams and healing. He has to process. I have to process. We all have to constantly process loss, letting go, embracing peace and happiness without feeling guilty, opening. Opening takes more effort than shutting down. How do we get across this Gulf together?
I have found talking to be the best material for building safe passage. My therapist says to start a sentence with a child thus, “I wonder if you might be feeling” I love the word ‘wonder’ in opening up a child’s heart, mine and his and yours’. And the question. The question requires listening to the answers. And believing the answers, because what do we know? What do I know? I know I need help. I know I know I am not alone. I know I am help. I know I am here for the one who needs me. For the ones who need me.
Everything works out, we play out the frustration and the pain and the confusion, as children, we play and play and play it out until exhaustion. I have found a way to talk with you through art, and I’m finding that there is an art to talking with my son. For all of the arts one must be completely emotionally and spiritually and physically available. Present. One has to SHOW UP. In the flesh. Take the opportunity, create the opportunity, be the opportunity.
I love the Gulf for seducing me with its warmth and debonair charm, and also for making me learn to cross it. As an independent, more independent than ever I thought possible, artist and mother, and lover and friend.
See you soon, Sophie B.
Sophie will be appearing at the The 1st Annual Pussycat Festival (a benefit for the Gulf Shore Animal League).
Beverly McClellan, Diane Ward, Twinkle, Melissa McGhee, and Passerine will also be appearing.
Date: Saturday, November 9th
Time: 4 to 10pm
Tarpon Pointe Tiki Bar & Grill
801 Riverside Dr. E.
Tickets: $15 admission – Click to Order Online
Hello People Of The Light, how are you? I am sitting in my New York apartment hearing sirens tweak the night and mufflers like didgereedoos charge down the open avenue. That’s how I know what time it is, by how fast a motorcycle can fly by. And that’s the time I’m finally still, my heart slipping into the locomotion of my dishwasher in the kitchen. My new old kitchen. My new old friend. My new old mother. New York.
“Do you know God is an Alien?” Dashiell said to me this Sunday morning from his rocket ship (bottom bunk fort) he calls the “Family Habitat”. “Who wants to come into the family habitat and go to the Pluto Cafe?” He calls. Who wouldn’t? He is thinking big thoughts, and I, surrounded by boxes, am comparing his voluminous statements to my voluminous crap. I join him in the Family Habitat, of course, as do the dogs, and when we get to the Pluto Cafe I order a star burger with a side of moon dust and a galaxy shake. Ah yes, if God is an Alien then this rocket ship is my church.
I remember walking west on 78 street to the Sounds Of Joy music studio when I was fourteen and looking down. “I love my feet and where they are taking me.” I said to myself. Well, I’ve come back to follow my feet again. And to follow Dashiell’s scooter.
Yes I am here to be worked, and the work I caress and knead and need. A special show, a marvelous conception I have to pursue from private dream to collaborative discovery to workshop to stage where you are invited to bring yourself. I am here for that. I am here to take out all my pieces and put them on the floor, hang them from the shower rod, toss them over the tub, strew them on the very grand piano, and make a new model out of which ever pieces still shine. Ballantine. What the B. stands for. Because.
I’ve written a story, I hope to read it to you soon. I’m under the illusion that I keep making it better. I’d like to get it published with illustrations.
Remember Room 105? We are looking for it’s shepherd, or launch pad. We had our first show a year ago on this day of Janis’ death. And yet being Janis was death defying. I miss her coming to me every night and putting her hands on my back, urging me through myself into her wild loneliness. It’s the layers of Janis I miss discovering. I am always here for that.
And how about the musical I spent three years of my life writing songs for? God, I love that musical. It’s at the base of a mountain. I pray that I write soon, “we are climbing the mountain together again!”
One month ago we jumped on a plane to New York, found an apartment, a great school for dash, jumped on a plane back to LA, packed in five days and moved here to catch the first day of school. For that I’m here.
We had almost three weeks of just two beds, two spoons, two forks, a good knife, one pot, one frying pan, dog dishes, a yoga mat and a scooter. It was heavenly. Now the furniture has arrived and it’s hell, for me, because he’s too young to unpack and feel the weight of space sacrificed for continuity and/or posterity. Even my paintings, which I truly love, have to sleep under the beds. I want blank walls right now. That’s how I’m seeing myself. The brush has not yet been laid on me. The curtain hasn’t even gone up yet.
Your faithful songwriter, Ballantine
My last night in Venice. Moving home to NYC in the morning. The yellow brick road, and the blues truck, Gigi Teddy and Huck, see you soon. All our friends, the hay rides never end.