Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Strength of Women

I often wonder who my mentors really have been.  My heroes outside of fictional ones like Wonder Woman.  I have never really been able to identify who those specific people are in my life.   I mean, I have had wonderful friendships and have been befriended by a few very special ones along the way.  But finding a through line with any single one of them has been – well – elusive.

And so I decided to ask myself today, “does one really need a life long mentor or sponsor?”  I would have to say yes, right away.  If any young woman is lucky enough to be guided on her journey, life can most definitely follow a certain path of strength, even through difficulty. 

However, when life is a series of constant highs and lows, extreme ups and downs and you have been left to your own devices like a feather in a wind storm, it can feel awfully rough.  To whom and what do you cling?

I discovered today, that I can always have kindness.  I can always offer myself, my spirit, my joy to others.  Time and again, even at my lowest moments, and lately there have been more than a few, I can find the strength in myself by finding strength in the women I admire and am surrounded by even without having a personal relationship with any of them.  Sure I long for the comfort of being able to have someone hold my hand and insure that I pass through the opens doors.  Alas, that has mostly not been the case.  And so I have finally recognized that I am the woman I have always longed for.   And it is a good to place to be.  To inspire.  To be generous.  To give even when you feel like there is nothing left to give out.  “It’s a hard knock life” but someone’s gotta live it.

I went to my favorite ballet class today and found strength in my time with what I love to do.  I surrounded myself and dialogged with dancers and former older professionals and just made the decision to let the joy be my guide.  I left with a feeling of complete exaltation and walked into the sunlight alone and happy.

Quote of the Day: Lucille Balle

Knowing what you can not do is more important than knowing what you can do.  In fact, that’s good taste.

The Model Critic Reviews Theatre: 7 Miles From Prison


Reviewed by Carlos Stafford The Model Critic
    The Fresh Fruit Festival presented a peach of a play this week, fittingly at the Cherry Lane Theater, in the Big Apple.
    “7 Miles From Prison,” written and acted in a solo performance by David L. Ray portends a dark, gothic tale from the rural South–forbidden sex, Southern Baptist values, prison riots, men in chains. In essence, this autobiography traces Shane’s youthful struggle with being gay in a seemingly hostile environment.  Seems like the table is set for an ominous, updated psychological lynching. 

David L. Ray in 7 Miles From Prison


But surprisingly, what we get is mostly hagiography, not mayhem. Dressed in prison garb, as the leitmotiv, we are introduced to fine-tuned memories of pivotal characters from Shane’s past:  Mr Timmes, a stern mentor, deacon-like character from church; Randal, his “recuperative therapist” from Savannah, who comically is gay himself and tries to seduce Shane; Bill, his grandpa, a surface racist, but as Shane insightfully sees, a man who has deeper waters of understanding.  These figures, and others, his loving mother, his sweet and supportive grandmother, his partner-in-crime brother, his father who accepts Shane as ok in his final hours, all allies.

We find Shane, for all implied fear and isolation, with friends, winning scripture reading contests, joking with the family, successful, even being voted best actor at his high school.  He copes, is well-balanced and popular.

Yes, its a story about growing up gay, and all its complexities, but it plays out to be more than that.  At heart, it’s a story mainly about love and understanding, of people confronted with change, and living with grace and compassion–sort of a small modern day version of “Our Town,” Southern style.

So, the “7 Miles From Prison” image isn’t exactly what it purports to be.  Not his father’s workplace, the real prison, but the “prison” of The Azelea Baptist Church Shane attended as a child.  But finally, this argument isn’t strong enough to believe from what we get from the play.  Although Shane courageously faces his dilemma, he is quiet and accepting.

David L. Ray writes in a subtle manner,  never overwrought or indulgent–more beautifully understated.  He loves his characters, and really has no axes to grind, which is refreshing. Although he allows his audience to read between the lines, the characters, for the most part, are portrayed with genuine respect, acceptance, and humor.

He wears his prison garb, as we all wear ours, but for Shane, luckily he is freed by those around him.  We now know he is ok, and will always be ok.


Quote of the day: Theodore Roosevelt

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

Dancers! Dance with IGaF – NYC

Hey All, I wanted to invite my Dance friends at large to participate in SHARE with Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends.  Years ago, I participated on their board in order to move the company forward.

Isabel is a dedicated modern choreographer whose work is incredibly athletic.  She is currently based in New York City.

Good Luck!

This fall: SHARE: Chapter 2

Once again, IGaF will invite dancers to join the company for performances in an informal setting. During a 6-7 week project we will set company repertory on dancers looking for the opportunity to work with us. JP 3In addition, IGaF will perform new and old work and IGaf company members will contribute to the program as well.

More information will be send soon, but we are aiming to start the project in the 3rd week of September with tentative performance dates on November 12 & 13. Mark your calendars!

For now I am signing off, wishing you a wonderful rest of summer. I will send the occasional update for your information.

Be well and warmest regards, Isabel.


Contact Information

phone:917.721.0282    email:    website:

How Not To Be A Promoter

1.  Allow the front door staff to snap gum in your guests’ faces while they tell them they are not on the VIP list and ask for donation money for the event.

2.  Ignore the gorgeous, fashionably dressed power female who is graciously and patiently waiting to speak with you

3.  Walk away from the gorgeous, fashionably dressed power female after ignoring her completely when you are finished speaking with your friends

4.  Not knowing who your VIP private list guests are especially when one of them is the gorgeous, fashionably dressed power female, who may be in public relations, a famous actress, influential, just worked and donated to the charity you are trying to work with, all of the above

5.  Saying to a VIP guest, “are you sure that’s not the Patron speaking?” when he quietly and without raising his voice, complains about the bad treatment at the door

6.  Asking for a charitable donation for placement on the VIP list, accepting the money, confirming with the guests and then not having the guests on the list when they arrive

7.  Allowing your support staff to do more “macking” on the women at the party rather than their job at the door

8.  Blaming everything on the venue whose staff you are using and not having your own private support staff at the door to monitor guest arrival or anything else

9.  Being the horrifically dressed person at the party – and you are the promoter.

10.  And the grand-daddy of them all – not sending out a thank you to everyone on the list, who attended your event and perhaps going one step further adding, “hope to see you at our next event.”


Quote of the Day: the Eagles

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.
Lyrics from Already Gone, peformed by the Eagles for their 1974 On the Border album