Life is an Adventure

20 02 2014

Time doesn’t always feel linear.  Sometimes I feel like I meet and float in between different ages of myself.  Some days, I feel more like the younger me.  Some days, I definitely feel like the older me.  I s’pose what’s really happening is there are times when I feel more like how I defined myself years ago; other times where I feel like how I’ve defined myself now, and so on.

The “older definition of me” seems to make decisions fairly practically.  The “younger definition of me” made even major life decisions based entirely on what seemed more exciting.  It might not have always been the wisest method of decision-making, but I don’t regret any of it.

Hopefully, I’ll define myself a little less and live in the present moment a little more.  Although, there is something a bit liberating about “feeling younger” on certain days.  Then again, maybe I’m just defining it as a “young” feeling.  It’s true that age is relative.  And it’s lovely to embrace that no matter how old I am, I’m always me.

I’ve always loved this song.  For what it’s worth, when I sing along to it, I change the words to:

“…made just for the GIRL who can grow up strong and become a MANDA!”

I hope that you are having a wonderful adventure.





The next performance of 185 Buddhas is on March 21

14 03 2013

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar 185 Buddhas
Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, directed by Jen Ellison
Studio Be
3110 N. Sheffield Ave.
$12 in advance, $15 at the door Buy Tickets!
Thursdays in March at 8pm

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 artform, 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.

There’s a different opening act every night!  And guess what, you guys…..  The world’s ONLY* ukelele boy band, The Twitty Birds (featuring Jeff Gandy and Andrew Thorp), is opening on Thursday, March 21st.  If you miss this show, I don’t know what you’re going to tell your grandchildren.

 

*I’ve never ever heard of a ukelele boy band before, so I’m pretty sure they’re the only one.  But I’ve never been to Hawaii.  They’re for sure the only one in Chicago.  They’ve gotta be.





Ed Smaron opens for 185 Buddhas this week!

18 02 2013

Each of the next six performances of 185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar… has a different opening act.  I am very excited to announce that the very multi-talented Ed Smaron will be opening for me this Thursday!  Ed will be strumming his guitar and singing some of his original songs.  Don’t miss it!

Ed Smaron merges painstakingly-crafted lyrics with memorable melodies in styles that range from hard-driving power pop to moody, thoughtful folk-rock.

Ed Smaron opens for 185 Buddhas, Feb 21 at 8pm

Ed Smaron opens for 185 Buddhas, Feb 21 at 8pm

After spending years as a theatrical musical director in Chicago and Los Angeles, most notably with the famed Second City, he’s now creating and performing his own material. His compositions have gotten radio airplay, been performed on the stage and found their way into videos and indie films.

Now comes his debut studio EP, “Atheist Blonde,” recorded at Thunderclap Recording with the talents of John Carpenter and Phil Rapchak of Nomad Planets, plus Terry Boylan, Alex Long, and Mark Biegel.  To find out more, please visit his website.

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar
Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, directed by Jen Ellison
Studio Be
3110 N. Sheffield Ave.
$12 in advance, $15 at the door Buy Tickets!
Thursday, February 21 at 8pm

185buddhas_palmcard_front-01185 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 artform, 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.





Chicago run of “185 Buddhas” coming in just a fortnight!

23 01 2013

Yep, I used the word, “fortnight” in a sentence.  It’s making a comeback, y’all (if I have anything to do with it).

No matter how you say it, it’s pretty exciting that 185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar is coming up in just two weeks!  Another exciting thing is how many awesome opening acts I’m going to have!  Each of the eight performances in February and 185buddhas_palmcard_front-01March has a different opening act!  Read on for all of the details!

185 Buddhas Walk into a Bar
Written and performed by Amanda Rountree, directed by Jen Ellison
Studio Be
3110 N. Sheffield Ave.
$12 in advance, $15 at the door Buy Tickets!
Thursdays in February and March at 8pm

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.

Ever Mainard (opening February 7) was chosen by Chicago Magazine as one of the top 100 comics in Chicago.  And she’s one of my top 10!  She cracks me up every time and it’s a real treat to have her on opening night.  She’s been featured on Jezebel.com, The Onion, and the Second City Network.  Ever is a cast member of Chicago Underground Comedy and the co producer and co-host of the Shit show.

Ian Foley (opening February 14) is a stand-up comic who performs comedy all across the country from Caroline’s on Broadway in NYC to The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood.  I first met Ian when he was student of mine at Second City; he became a friend shortly after. He produces the A.D.D. Comedy Podcast with Dave Razowsky and Ian Foley. If you haven’t checked out this podcast yet, do yourself a favor and get to it!

Ed Smaron (opening February 21) has been acting and making music in Chicago and Los Angeles since the early 1990’s.  I first met Ed when he was a member of the cast I directed in The 365 Project back in 2010.  He’s a super talented singer/songwriter and I’m so glad he’s opening for me!

Dave Stinton (opening February 28) has been writing and performing in Chicago for 15 years.  As a comedian, he’s opened for Dan Telfer, Adam Burke, and Kelsie Huff, and he was thrilled to participate in the Chicago Just For Laughs festival in 2012. He’s a friend of mine, and one of the funniest people I know.  Seriously, ya’ll.  And I know a lot of funny people.

Janna Sobel (opening March 7) is an actress, writer, improvisor and director, and teacher.  Before I met this splendid soul, folks who knew both of us would always say, “You don’t know each other?!  You should know each other!”  Boy, were they right!  Janna co-founded & co-hosts the monthly storytelling show Here’s the Story.  You should check it out!

Kelsie Huff (opening March14) is the founder, producer and host of the kates, the all female comedy showcase at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square and has written two one woman shows HUFFS and Bruiser: Tales from a Traumatized Tomboy.  Kelsie has done more for women in comedy here in Chicago (and therefore, more for all comedy in Chicago) than anyone else I’ve met.  She’s really frickin’ cool.

The Twitty Birds (opening March21) is the musical pairing of Jeff Gandy and Andrew Thorp; they perform Conway Twitty covers on ukuleles!  I’ve known both of them for years from Second City.  I can’t be in a room with Jeff for more than five minutes without the two of us making each other laugh and Andrew is one of those delightful folks who has you smiling moments after talking with him.  I’m looking forward to these guys doing their stuff!

Amy Sumpter (opening March 28) is a comedic actress who has focused mainly on stand-up for 5 years.  She is a regular performer of The Kates and can be seen in Beast Women—which is where I first met her (and fell in love with her work) back in 2007!  She is also in an all female Beastie Boy tribute band called She’s Crafty.  I love Amy and you will too!

Pretty exciting, right?  Get your tickets now!

 





Tonight’s Musical Guests….

16 05 2012

Dave Brubeck cleaned my kitchen

Patsy Cline made ravioli

Hank Wlliams did my laundry

but there was a lonesome sock longing for a partner

Jason Webley or Etta James or Dar Williams might join me when I paint

(well it depends on what I’m painting)

Ray LaMontagne helped me pack

or maybe wallow

or maybe dream

and how would I get ready to go out on the town without Louis Prima or Ella Fitgerald?

 

 

 

 

 

 





Hell Yeah

15 02 2012

I really needed this song today.  Just in case you do too, here ’tis:

Still I think about myself as a lucky old dreamer.  And if you’re askin’ me to tell, is it worth what I paid?  You’re gonna hear me say, “Hell yeah, it is.”





Jazz for Cows

13 09 2011

I love cows.  I don’t know if any of you out there have spent any substantial amount of time with one or more of these ladies.  But I have.  Not enough, by any means.  For sure, if I had my druthers, I would say that I would like to spend more time with cows.  But I will say, that I’ve spent enough time face to face with a cow to know that they are delightfully pleasant creatures.  Talk about an animal that can teach us a thing or two about just being.  We don’t “be” enough.  Y’know what I’m sayin’?  I don’t know if elephants really are good at remembering.  I’m sure there’s information out there about that.  But cows do seem content.  At least, the cows that I’ve had the pleasure of being in contact with seemed so.  Of course, those gals had the luxury of a nice open field with lots and lots of green grass.  I’m certain that cows that are pent up, crowded, and kept pregnant and birthing (so that they can produce milk for their babies humans) are way more agitated and sad than they are content.

Ahem.  But I digress.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.  I love cows.

I also love music.  Who doesn’t?  There is not a person on this planet who hates music.  Every single person can claim that at least one piece of music has the power to move them.  Right?  Right.  It’s what makes us human.  Or is it?  Who’s to say that music doesn’t move other creatures as well?  Or, mooooooves them?   (Sorry.  Okay, I’m not really sorry.)

Anyway….  I just discovered this.

I LOVE THIS.  It is absolutely beautiful.  I am hoping that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Can we please have more musical performances for animals who are completely engaged in the entertainment?  And videos are great, sure.  But I am hoping to get a front row ticket to one or more of these concerts.  Who can I contact about this?  How do I get on that list?

Oh, I hope I have cow and jazz dreams tonight.

Lovely.