Hat Tricks

I planned to write about perfecting a hat trick. But, instead, these last four hours I wrote about my artistic fantasies…my way of avoiding the work that’s in front of me to do. Sigh. How my life would have been different if I’d fallen in love with mastery instead of fantasy. But alas, I was a dreamer from the git go. For your amusement, here are my three favorite writer/ performer/ choreographer fantasies…

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Every Time Different, Every Time New

Every time I set out to choreograph something I do it differently. My logical self would dearly like to come up with a sure-fire system for choreographing great stuff. Sadly, the only system that works for me is the no-system-system.

My lastest choreographic project is creating 2.5 minutes of solo choreography for David Ford’s class on Sunday. If you are not a choreographer, let me whisper in your ear.


This piece must be the climax-worthy scene of my WIP novel, A Fish Without a Bicycle. It’s where the teenage girl choreographs “Call Me Ishwale: Moby Dick from the Point of View of the Whale” for the town’s talent show.

This time I had the idea of cutting 3 x 5 cards in half and drawing whale gestures on them. I managed to create 13 cards.

all dance moves
13 Whale Gestures Spread on My Kitchen Table

Then I used my iPhone to video all thirteen gestures, one at a time. Here’s one called “Spinning One Arm as a Fin”.

Then I looked at the video segments and discarded one. It was the gesture inspired by Sunday’s hip hop class at the Berkeley YMCA. Here’s what it looks like on the card. Too complicated, right? Def not whale-ish enough.

bad dance move
The One That Got Away

So I threw that gesture back into the stream-of-consciousness. The rest I’m stringing together into audience-coherent phrases designed to burn a hole in the retina of the viewer then organically build the phrases using repetition, new gestures, voice-over narrative if need be, into 2.5 minutes of whole-grain, choreographic goodness.

Oh and today continue editing the 12 pages of text that comes before and after this dance. And squeezing in work for my new tech writing contract, Bertram Capital (which I cheerfully dub Bertie Wooster’s Cap) documenting the Morpheus (beta) Cloud DB as a Service. Oh and then help out a friend. Oh and then tonight we go to the Pacific Film Archive to see Berkeley in the 60s. I lead an oddly chaotic life.