One month away!


I started this blog to chronicle my 2014 trip to Bali — and it’s almost here! In just 30 days, I will be flying from San Francisco to Taipei, and then from Taipei to Bali.  When I travel, even small distances, the reality of the event hits me when I get in the car or approach the ticketing counter at the airport. Sometimes I don’t even pack until the day I’m leaving. This time, however, it seems like the month I have left to prepare is just barely enough to get it all done.

Balinese character mask. Crooked teeth are signs of comic characters.
Balinese monkey mask. This one has a movable jaw!
Balinese monkey mask. This one has a movable jaw!

I am going to Bali for an intensive month of study in the arts of traditional wooden mask carving and topeng (Balinese masked dance).  I will also have periodic classes in kecak (the monkey chant), Alexander Technique, and yoga; and symposia on the similarities between Western and Balinese mask traditions. This program is offered through the Dell’Arte International School of Blue Lake, CA. I like the the way that it’s structured to allow you to study masks from both sculptural and performative points of view.

It’s so exciting to be able to immerse myself in study and in a new culture!

This is a long-awaited opportunity. I have been working as a mask-maker the last 10 years. Most of the last 8 years have been in Portland, Oregon. I have spent that time creating masks for a variety of theatre and dance companies, and each collaboration has brought new ideas into the mix. I’m proud of the work I’ve done. I also feel ready for a bigger push, one that can help me find my way to the next level. I feel ready to study under a master.

But for now, I have to pack.

                                                        Me in Character Mask

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