art it out

2 07 2015

The only way to get something out of your head is to

art it out

draw out the image

paint out the dream

write out the story

poem out the feelings

then you can go on about your day

when a creative force strikes, it’s not always something pretty and fun

sometimes it is the tiny little demon which needs to escape

so that our protagonist

can go on about the business

of living life





Highwire Comedy

29 01 2015

HIghwire is the newest addition to the improv and comedy scenes in the Atlanta area.  I am delighted and honored to be sharing the Artistic and Education Director roles with the amazing and talented Ian Covell.  If you haven’t checked us out at 3041 N. Decatur Road, please do!  We’ve got shows every week, Thursday-Sunday and a whole heap of improv, sketch, and stand-up classes to boot.

I'm pleased as punch to be a part of this fantastic theater!

I’m pleased as punch to be a part of this fantastic theater!





This post has one title; I have two.

12 11 2014

Every artist is familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of being too far away from creative projects for too long; I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t find something soon enough down south. But, boy, I sure did arrive in Atlanta at the right time.

Right about the time we moved down here, I met Ian Covell, the founder of Atlanta’s new improv theater, Highwire Comedy.

While gettin’ used to a new life and a new home, it has been really helpful to have fun improv stuff and fun improv people to ground me. And now that Highwire Comedy has its own space in Decatur, we’ve been making lots and lots of plans! I am absolutely overjoyed to announce that I have been made both the Artistic Director and the Associate Education Director of Highwire Comedy!

I'm pleased as punch to be a part of this fantastic theater!

I’m pleased as punch to be a part of this fantastic theater!

Just getting the chance to start playin’ with fun people right away was already a relief!   (I got to play in “The Soapbox, Highwire’s weekly Armando-style show, mere days after arriving here.  Plus, I’m currently directing a FANTASTIC group of actors in “The Day Before Tomorrow,” an improvised show in the style of a disaster film, which opens later this month.)  But man, oh man!  Now I have a title–more than one, even!  I feel fancy.

Ian (my Artistic Director cohort and the Education Director) and I have sat down and have started creating class offerings and show schedules for Highwire. Stay tuned, y’all. 2015 is going to be a very exciting year!





The Rain Here

11 09 2014

It rained here the other day with such big, round drops, that a person could walk five paces in between getting wet.

"Ecstasy" by Maxfield Parrish

“Ecstasy” by Maxfield Parrish

But that was just one rain. The big-drop rain doesn’t seem to be the dependable personality of the rain here. The one constant I’ve seen so far is its ability to both approach and depart so quickly, surrounded on either side by beautiful blue skies with picture perfect clouds. The skies here often seem that they are exquisite artist renderings of what people think beautiful skies should look like—back drops meticulously painted on scrims, which the set-designer just rolled out from the back of the theater.

The downpours can be heavy at times, with magnificent thunder and lightning shows. Afterward, steam dramatically rises up from the hot pavement. Surrounded by all these trees, and chirping bugs and birds, it is less gritty than the steam rising up from the manhole covers in the big city. And it’s prettier too.

The other day, I drove for about 20 minutes on curvy back roads through a forest to buy almond milk, taquitos, and popcorn. (All of Georgia is in a forest, whether you’re in the city or the country—or, like us, somewhere in between). And in those 20 minutes, I witnessed gentle grey clouds, a spectacular maybe-I-should-pull-this-car-over rainstorm, steam and mist and fog (condensation that couldn’t decide whether it was warm or cool), then cleared-up skies, followed by the most amazing sunset I’d seen in a long time.

This cartoon gets it.

This cartoon gets it.

I am fond of rain. I can’t remember ever not liking a rainy day. I’ve always preferred them to the sunny ones. Just as a sun-lover feels downtrodden and irritable after so many days of rain in a row, I am not a truly happy camper until a stretch of sunshine-filled days is finally interrupted with a gentle, grey day, giving me a much-needed respite. The sun is just too aggressive for me. Perhaps that sentiment is rooted in my much too pale and sensitive skin. I can accrue a sunburn in less than eight minutes of being out-of-doors on bright, sunny day and my Nordic eyes are sensitive to that harsh light. There’s a certain amount of pushiness that a sunny day has. “Get out there and do something!” A grey day, on the other hand, is much more laid back about your personal choices. “Did you want to read a book today? Oh, okay. That’s cool. Just to let you know, if you wanted to take a wee nap, that’s fine too.   Really, anything you decide to do today is splendid. No judgment here.”

Sunny days are the over-achieving girl who lives next door, always giving you the side-eye, because you don’t mow your lawn every week. Grey days are your best friend, the one who always listens and supports your every decision.

I am not as deterred by the amount of sun here as I thought I’d be, mostly because the bounty of trees provides this super white gal with ample amounts of shade. And also, those clouds—those picture perfect, Maxfield Parrish clouds that decorate the bright, blue sky are not so bad. Not so bad at all.

If I had a little rain cloud following me everywhere, I would save so much money on sunscreen!

If I had a little rain cloud following me everywhere, I would save so much money on sunscreen!

I’ve only been living in this region for a month, and it’s certainly not going to surpass Seattle in its ability to please me rain-wise. But already, Georgia has given those glorious mid-west thunderstorms that I loved in Chicago a run for their money. And maybe, just maybe, since the winters are so mild here, the months to come will have lots more grey days and rain. I sure am lucky my husband didn’t get a job that moved us to Arizona or New Mexico.





Chicago and Me

4 06 2014

Seven years ago, I moved to Chicago from Seattle.  I landed in a whirlwind of auditions and new opportunities and took on all sorts of fun and wonderful projects.  One of these projects was a ridiculous show called “Impress These Apes,” which, if you’re in Chicago and haven’t heard of it, you should totally check out.  Each week we had a new challenge (e.g., write a short song about yourself and sing it with a musical instrument, make a puppet and perform an act, choreograph and perform a dance number, etc…).  For the final week, our challenge was to do anything we wanted to do.  The only limit was that it had to be under ten minutes, I believe.

I wrote and performed this piece:

Now, here I am in 2014, about to get married and move away from Chicago, to Georgia.  I was getting sentimental (typical me) and I wrote a new conversation with Chicago.  I’m delighted to say that I’ll be performing this new piece with Beast Women THIS SATURDAY at 10:30 pm at the Den Theater (1333 N. Milwaukee).  The Beast Women Cabaret is a show that runs three or four times a year.  They are a powerhouse of female talent from all performing art disciplines (sbeastwomenlogo_thumbtand-up, poetry, music, dance, and more).  I wouldn’t have become the solo performer I am today without all of the opportunities to try stuff out and stretch myself through their auditions and performances throughout the years.  I performed my first “conversation with Chicago” in their show seven years ago and am absolutely honored that they’re giving me the space–one more time–to put up something new and personal on their stage.

I’d love to see you there.

Beast Women
Amanda performs a new, original solo piece at this cabaret
The Den Theater
1333 N. Milwaukee
Chicago
$20 (cash only)
Saturday, June 7, 10:30 pm

 





The Fillet of Solo Festival is happening now!

4 01 2014

Chicago’s solo performance festival is happening right now and it’s kind of a big deal.  Lots of amazing performers are on the two-week long schedule and I am delighted to be performing two different times.  The annual festival is hosted by Lifeline Theatre and all of the wonderful details can be found by going to their website, here.  

Some amazing performers are in the line-up of shows this year! Check it out!

So many amazing performers are in this festival–check it out!

I’m performing a new story along with four other storytellers in, “Five From Rogers Park.”  Tickets are only $10 for any of the festival performances; you can also buy a fest pass for only $30!  Hope to see you at one of the shows!

Five from Rogers Park at the Fillet of Solo Festival
Amanda performs a new piece as part of Chicago’s solo festival
Heartland Studio
7016 N. Glenwood Avenue
Saturday, January 4, 6pm &  Sunday, January 12, 5pm





Northwest Tour Update

9 11 2013

I lived in the pacific northwest–Seattle, specifically–for nine years.  Although I’m from the south originally, the pacific northwest always felt like home.  It was a no-brainer for me to at least attempt to do a tour out this way.  I toured my first solo show, The Good, the Bad, and the Monkey to Bellingham, Seattle, and Portland–the same three great cities I’m visiting for my 185 Buddhas tour.

But because the nature of this show is even more personal and quite conspicuously about my journey as a performer, it has been an honor and a joy to perform in the region where so much of my journey transpired.

Last night I had the first of two performances of 185 Buddhas in Seattle hosted by my home theatre of Unexpected Productions.  It was sort of like coming home and doing a show for my family and all of their friends in our living room.  I couldn’t have asked for a better night.  The audience was delightful and I am filled with gratitude that I got to share my story in a theater that takes up a big part of my heart.  And I get to do it again tonight!

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar 
Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, directed by Jen Ellison 185 Buddhas
Unexpected Productions at the Market Theater
1428 Post Alley
Seattle
$15 Buy tickets
Saturday, November 9, 8:30 pm

And next week, I’ll be in Portland, Oregon:

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar 
Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, directed by Jen Ellison
The Brody Theater
16 NW Broadway
Portland, OR
$12
Thursday, November 14, 7:30 pm

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar
The art of improvisation creates stories from thin air, making the unseen seen. For Amanda Rountree, this is not just an art form, but a way of life — one that includes unexpected twists and turns — leading, if not to mastery, to enlightenment.  Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, and directed by Jen Ellison, this show follows the artist on her path with all of the funny and touching moments along the way.

The Chicago Reader says, “Amanda Rountree is a riot!”  Audience members have described the show as “inspiring,” “funny,” “beautiful,” “insightful,” and “a must-see!“  The Chicagoist picked this show as one of their “three to see.”  Click here to watch a trailer for the show.  You can also click here to read a review of the show.