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Week of April 1st

Hi my Bridgekeepers, Black Knights, Biggus Dickus, Knights who say "Ni!" 

If March was in like a lion and out like a lamb, I suppose we're now welcoming this beautiful baby lamb and will name her Esther... fine, we'll name her April. She's beautiful but can be a little bratty.  Pout and stomp her hooves some days, other days she's so cooperative and just the sweetest. Grateful for those precious sunny days and patient during the cold stormy days. Learning even though the cloudy wet days never feel convenient in the moment, it's when the most necessary growth happens. April showers will bring in May flowers, April tears will also conquer May's fears.


My husband and I are raising a similar little sassy lamb. Unlike weather we have a little more say and control guiding this one. Although not a ton, we have quite the strong-willed one. She loves hard, feels big, and has zero fear. She's both a sensitive artist but with the angst and swagger of a punk band's front man.

Shortly after learning how to ride a bike herself, I watched her skid her back tire in front of an older kid on a basketball court and offer to teach him (and his dad) how to ride a bike. She also casually asks her friends to get married at recess all the time; and is appalled when I try to explain she's too young to get married; and when she's older she's allowed to marry one person... "only ONE!!!" 

When we walk past a group of teenagers I start to walk faster because I know what's coming. She'll yell things like "bet you don't know math like I do!" And start spouting out random numbers while I'm trying to shush her and carry her back to the car. Of course I feel very protective. This definitely positions her as a perfect target to tease. It's not uncommon to find her crying on the side of a house during a party because she doesn't know how to play with the other kids or after school she'll say she doesn't want to be Noemie anymore because she feels rejected by all the friends she desperately wants to connect with.


It's the hardest thing as a parent. I wasn't fully prepared for this part of it. I find myself commonly repeating "give them space" or "try to be calmer around your friends"... "maybe don't say those things." It's also tricky because at the same time I don't want to suppress the beautiful creative force that she is. I'm both nervous and in awe of how daring she is, the confident face under the multiple headbands and forward facing ponytail. That's right, like a unicorn horn swinging in front of her face. Her light is on high beam all the time. As parents we're trying not to flick them off, rather trying to steer it and show her how to shine it in the right direction. Also, put her in settings with like-minded similar creative high beams.

Even feeling like we have a game plan there's still life and the expectation of convention. Anything outside that is usually dismissed and put in the category of "too weird." So, I feel helpless when she's at school without any idea how she is being received or the interactions that take place. Last night, I did find comfort from a very unassuming place, or more person... the legendary John Cleese. We went to see his show at Mccaw Hall last week.

He talked a lot about how Monty Python got its start. Monty Python was just a friendship, like-minded "weirdos" at their universities that stuck out from the rest (Jones and Palin at Oxford and Chapman and Cleese at Cambridge).  Once they found each other they realized not only did they all relish on how unconventional and edgy they were compared to their institution and peers, but they wanted to challenge them even more to push things even further. They sought to base their comedy on that and turn it into an art form. Everything they did was intentionally absurd, crude, and unpopular.

Obviously they were observant and incredibly intelligent which is why it worked.  Just crude wouldn't work unless there's some underlying reflection and accuracy behind it. Cleese explained that when there is discomfort before the punchline, the laugh is bigger. Almost like a boom because it's a nervous energy release. Talk about a group that didn't "give people space" or "try to act calmer around friends" and "not say certain things." They created a genius style of comedy doing the exact opposite. 

Cleese also talked about how unpopular everything they wrote was. Where even if movie execs liked their scripts they still dismissed it, put it in the category of "too weird." Life Of Brian, (or the original title, Jesus Christ, Lust for Glory) barely made it on the screen. No one would take a chance on it. It was about to be canned when it got in the hands of George Harrison who put up all the money for it because quite simply, he wanted to see it. It took a like-minded creative to understand the value of unconvention.  

I definitely walked out of John Cleese's show (it felt more like a rant, but I was here for it) with a refreshed perspective on the importance of the boundary pushers. The creative high beams like my little 5 year old. Not the creatives that produce safe art, but the ones that produce content that corporate industries are scared to take risks. The ones that create original wacky content that AI could never think of nor replicate. I just hope we not only notice the brilliantly crude and the "weirdos" but we protect them. We don't dismiss them or flick off their light but let it shine on the same big stage as everyone else. 


This week in the studio we'll play with the springs and pulley in an unconventional and whimsical way. As if the sequences were designed by Terry Gilliam himself. The moves will be smart and the coordination will have underlying accuracy but we will also have fun with the idea of nonsense. The body might feel a serious burn but you don't have to take any of it too seriously. Laughing at ourselves, being totally yourself, letting our lights shine in a judgment free studio.

Excited to make your bodies sweat, smile, and let your Flying Circus FLY.




Brian: "You're all individuals"
Crowd of people: "Yes! We're all individuals!"
Brian: "You're all different"
Crowd of people: "Yes! We ARE all different!"
One man in the crowd: "I'm not."
The crowd shushes him
~ scene from Life of Brian


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