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micdotcom:

15 powerful Jose Mujica quotes no other leader has the guts to say

"Modest yet bold, liberal and fun-loving."

Naming Uruguay the country of the year in 2013, the Economist may very well have described the rising nation’s head of state, President José “Pepe” Mujica.

Known for his unusual frankness, fiery oration and bold leadership to turn ideas into action, the 78-year-old leader possesses and practices the very characteristics that many world leaders fail to emulate. He has also garnered international acclaim for his progressive policies, down-to-earth personality and simple presentation, which has earned him a reputation as “the world’s poorest president.”

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Love. xo Maya

A Short NY Story: I went to the 24 hour bodega down the street from my house after rehearsal tonight. A new friend of mine runs the store. His name is Galib Azim. He is from India. He is an artist and a creator. He wants to quit smoking and is always apologizing “English is my second language.” I say “Yes in the way that English was a second language for Dostoyevsky.” We talk about the poetry of Rumi, Bukowski, and he’s never heard the poem by Allen Ginsberg, “Howl.” He wants to know more American poets. So I recite some of the poem for him. He writes down the words, “roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn” Galib then recites Shakespeare for me from Henry V. All the while I’m standing with orange juice and two bananas for Bobby for when he gets home from work. Galib says “Maya I feel like I have something to say. As artists I feel we have something to say. It is a privilege to be alive it is a privilege to be here. Don’t you think it’s worth writing and recording the journey?” I said, “Yes, Of course.” He reminds me to read Rabindranath Tagore, I remind him to read “Howl.” These are little sweet moments I get to have in this life here in New York. (*I really was standing with OJ and bananas for Bobby)
xo Maya  
A Short NY Story: I went to the 24 hour bodega down the street from my house after rehearsal tonight. A new friend of mine runs the store. His name is Galib Azim. He is from India. He is an artist and a creator. He wants to quit smoking and is always apologizing “English is my second language.” I say “Yes in the way that English was a second language for Dostoyevsky.” We talk about the poetry of Rumi, Bukowski, and he’s never heard the poem by Allen Ginsberg, “Howl.” He wants to know more American poets. So I recite some of the poem for him. He writes down the words, “roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn” Galib then recites Shakespeare for me from Henry V. All the while I’m standing with orange juice and two bananas for Bobby for when he gets home from work. Galib says “Maya I feel like I have something to say. As artists I feel we have something to say. It is a privilege to be alive it is a privilege to be here. Don’t you think it’s worth writing and recording the journey?” I said, “Yes, Of course.” He reminds me to read Rabindranath Tagore, I remind him to read “Howl.” These are little sweet moments I get to have in this life here in New York. (*I really was standing with OJ and bananas for Bobby)

xo Maya  

“MMF” written by David Kimple. Interview by Maya Contreras. 

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America.  It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “MMF” written by David Kimple.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show? 

David Kimple: MMF.

MC: What is it about?

DK: MMF is the story of a polyamorous relationship between Dean, Jane and Michael and the consequences of love in an untraditional relationship. It explores the isms of being emotionally invested in who we partner with. People often don’t understand what makes them do the things that they do and these people, because their circumstance does not afford them the obvious answers that a dual-partner relationship might have, are forced to try and identify what exactly caused the love to shift. 

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?

DK: The actual premise of having 3 partners in this relationship was inspired by past relationships. Now, I’ve never had two partners at once but I have had the experience of love with a woman and love with a man at separate times. Bringing those varying experiences into the same room was, to me, a really interesting concept. 

Perhaps the most obvious part of that interest comes from my being male and having had love with women and men. That bisexuality (personally, I’m fine defining it as bisexuality) is not something that, in my experience, people are often able to trust or believe as legitimate when it comes to men. For instance, I believe that if, hypothetically, a USAmerican male who had exclusively female partners for his entire life were to find himself in a single sexual encounter with another male and this encounter were public knowledge, that public would then identify his as gay or closeted or repressing something, etc. On the basest of levels, that single sexual encounter with another male would delegitimize the “honesty” of his sexual encounters with women up until that point.  

This topic is something I love to bring up when we talk about MMF because the play not about bisexuality but the example is there. The sexuality and the sex is all taken for granted. I’m not going to give you a story about how a multi-partner relationship functions because it’s not the part of the story we’re focusing on. This isn’t a show that brings topics of sex or sexuality to the forefront of conversation; they simply are. As these people deal with the challenges of loving each other, our point of view as the audience can become interested in the “how do they?” of it all but it’s not explicitly dealt with in the dialogue.

MC: That was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?

DK: I love playing with story-telling and the ways that we experience a moment on stage. The show slips from something similar to a timeless memory into a monologue of a memory that is very specific and then to “real time” traditional dialogue to…you get the picture. It has been a great challenge to balance the artistic fun of switching storytelling styles and creating a play that the audience can watch without getting confused or frustrated.

It also creates an interesting problem as a writer who is interested in sharing his plays with other companies in hopes that they will want to produce. The play has to be readable and switching all over the place with style doesn’t make for a fun read.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?

DK: The short answer is that it (as does any writing project) helped me grow a lot in every avenue of my life. Emotionally, professionally, all of the above. 

The long and cop-out answer is…I love every part of the process. No bullsh. I get really excited about the act of writing. I get excited about hearing it outloud for the first time or 20th time. I love seeing moments come to life exactly the way I imagined but love it even more when a team finds a moment that I didn’t even know I wrote. It is so cool when that happens. It happened a lot with MMF in a 2012 workshop that took place in Cambridge, MA. It was like watching someone else’s show that was my show but not my show.

MC: What does it mean to you to be apart of the New York Fringe Festival?

DK: Fringe is really important to me. It is a great platform for someone like me to get gritty with a play in production (as opposed to workshop or reading) and see if the play can survive. After watching workshops and readings directed by other people, I am going to direct this production so that there is no buffer my vision as a writer and what happens on stage. My co-producer is trusting me with a lot on this and I’m extremely grateful. 

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?

DK: At the moment, all arrows point towards our production company Goldfish Memory Productions. It is lead by myself and my partner Catie Humphreys. You can find us at:

www.goldfishmemoryproductions.com (COMING VERY SOON)

www.facebook.com/goldfishmemoryproductions

Twitter: @GoldfishMP

*Shameless plug! Following MMF’s debut in the NY Fringe, we will be producing another show called “Mare in the Men’s Room” Off-Broadway in October of 2014.

“Circus Circus” written by Eric Welch. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America.  It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “Circus Circus” written by Eric Welch.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show? 

Eric Welch: Circus Circus

MC: What is it about?

EW: It’s about our main character Robert being arrested for selling marijuana. After he is arrested he is sent to Circus Circus State Penitentiary and we follow him through his journey of incarceration amongst killers, rapist, and child molesters.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?

EW: This is based off a true story, my story. 

MC: That was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?

EW: Creating this story into a one act play because there is so much that happens. I felt this was an important story that needs to be told but I wanted it to entertain and be something different than “just some prison play”.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?

EW: Oh wow! I honestly still don’t believe it is really happening! Being able to be a part of something so big and wonderful as the FringeNYC it’s amazing. I’m grateful for my journey and no matter how hard it is to put everything together so quickly, it will be done, successful, and joyous celebrations after. 

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?

EW: Facebook, twitter (I got a couple of those, EricRWelch, tweetfrominside, LoyaltyProducti), IMDB, or my website loyaltyproductionsllc.com

Part Two: Proust’s Questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Doing what I love and being around family. 

What is your greatest fear? 

Not achieving my goal.  

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? 

Not being able to relax and let go sometimes. 

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Judgment.

Which living person do you most admire? I feel like I admire many people because each have something amazing to offer. 

What is your greatest extravagance? 

This show.

What is your current state of mind? 

Right now at ease. 

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Honesty.

On what occasion do you lie? 

If someone speaks badly about someone and that other person ask me what the other thinks of them. I don’t like talking bad about anyone.   

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My legs.

Which living person do you most despise? 

Anyone hateful.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Someone open to life around us and fun time to hangout with. 

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Someone easy to talk to you. 

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Buddy.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? 

My family.

When and where were you happiest? 

Anytime I’m creating.

Which talent would you most like to have? 

Play music.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

Be more nurturing. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being a part of FringeNYC.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? 

Cheetah.

Where would you most like to live? 

Near a beach.

What is your most treasured possession? 

Family.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being deprived from caring interactions.

What is your favorite occupation? 

Acting.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Workaholic.

What do you most value in your friends? 

Loyalty.

Who are your favorite writers? 

Hunter S. Thompson.

Who is your hero of fiction? 

Spawn.

Who are your heroes in real life? 

People who pursue what they believe in. 

What is it that you most dislike? 

Being told I can’t achieve something.

What is your greatest regret? 

Not stopping a certain lifestyle before it was to late. 

How would you like to die? 

In my sleep.

What is your motto? 

If you dream it, you can achieve it! 

Paul Newman on fidelity: “I don’t like to discuss my marriage, but I will tell you something which may sound corny but which happens to be true. I have steak at home. Why should I go out for hamburger?”

xo Maya

Paul Newman on fidelity: “I don’t like to discuss my marriage, but I will tell you something which may sound corny but which happens to be true. I have steak at home. Why should I go out for hamburger?”

xo Maya

“Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions” written by Erik Ransom. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions” written by Erik Ransom.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Erik Ransom: "Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions"

MC: What is it about?
ER: It’s about the Second Coming of Christ. He returns to Earth as an unassuming, wholesome kid named Josh Crenshaw who wants to spread a message of love and hope to the world. He decides the best platform for his message to reach his base is a televised singing competition called “American Icon”. Meanwhile, Damian Salt, a glam pop icon in the vein of Lady Gaga or David Bowie, is struck a blow by Christian extremists and declares war on God. The Glamageddon ensues!

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
ER: I was considering the place Christian religion holds in modern American politics, and those people in power who seem to take the Bible very literally. There have been rumors that there is some cabal of politicians in Washington who make policy based on the assumption that we are living in the End Times and that The Rapture is imminent. I thought this was silly, so I wrote “Coming” as an attempt to literalize that idea and to put The Book of Revelation into contemporary language. Admittedly that language is irreverent and sardonic, and that endeavor turned into the glittery piece of passion-camp that we’ll be presenting in the New York International Fringe Festival this August!

MC: That was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
ER: This was one of those (ironically) divine experiences, where I felt like a conduit through which the story was flowing. I know that sounds abysmally banal, but the first draft came out in five sleepless days. That first draft was sixty pages of text, including fourteen original songs. I think the biggest hurdle has been the revision process. It’s been honed a lot over the years and, being what it is, it changes with the trends. In the first reading the “American Icon” portion had a Simon Cowell-esque character, but the latest draft has a J. Lo.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
ER: I really enjoyed finding the humor and creating quirky characters. Mining the Bible for dirty jokes and pop-culture references was a total blast, and since I was writing with no plan or outline, each new scene and song was a surprise to me. I remember sitting in my car waiting at a traffic light when I came up with the ending, and I could not wait to pull over and write down the idea while it was fresh!

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
ER: It’s a thrilling, terrifying honor. When I got the acceptance e-mail my face was a comedy/tragedy mask. First I was like, “YAS!” Then I was like, “Oh wait, fundraising…” And, now that things are really moving along, I’m just over-the-moon at this opportunity to present this show to a brand new audience! It just means so much to me to have an opportunity to do this show at all, and the fact that it happens to be in an internationally renowned and respected festival in the world capital of musical theatre? Not too shabby!

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
ER: www.comingthemusical.com Twitter: @ComingMusical Facebook: www.facebook.com/comingthemusical

Proust Questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To feel appreciated for the things I put out to the world, to be understood and for that to sustain me.

What is your greatest fear?
Irrevocable mistakes.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My inhibitions.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Inability to listen to/comprehend others.

Which living person do you most admire?
Richard Dawkins.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Eight inch platform fetish boots.

What is your current state of mind?
Excelsior.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Faith.

On what occasion do you lie?
When the truth offers no value:
Only cruelty.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Perpetual paunch.

Which living person do you most despise?
George W. Bush.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Femininity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Masculinity.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Sustained”, “I’ll allow it”.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My creative career.

When and where were you happiest?
On stage opening night of “Coming” in Philadelphia.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Piano proficiency.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My tendency toward excessive eating/drinking.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The creation of art that people believe in, care about and invest in.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A Habsburg.

Where would you most like to live?
Vienna, Austria.

What is your most treasured possession
?
Probably my iPhone, unfortunately.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

When one has literally nothing to look forward to.

What is your favorite occupation?
Performance!

What is your most marked characteristic?
Intense eyes.

What do you most value in your friends?
Ease of communication, intelligence, candor.

Who are your favorite writers?
Thomas Mann, George R. R. Martin, Jamie O’Neill

Who is your hero of fiction?
Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Oscar Wilde.

Who are your heroes in real life?
The Three D’s. Richard Dawkins, Clarence Darrow, Charles Darwin.

What are your favorite names?
Damian, Aleric, Connor, Drake.

What is it that you most dislike?
To be regarded with condescension.

What is your greatest regret?
Non. Je ne regrette rien.

How would you like to die?
I wouldn’t.

What is your motto?
The duty of an artist is to lead an interesting life. The duty of a muse is to disappoint.

“DON’T PANIC: it’s only Finnegans Wake” written by Adam Harvey. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “DON’T PANIC: it’s only Finnegans Wake” written by Adam Harvey.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Adam Harvey: DON’T PANIC: it’s only Finnegans Wake.

MC: What is it about?
AH: The whole of human existence as filtered and magnified through the mind-blowing prose of James Joyce.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
AH: Well to start, most of the show is by James Joyce, but it’s not enough to perform Finnegans Wake by itself - audiences get lost too easily, so I ease them into it with my own narrative, giving them anecdotes, personal stories, even the ocasional explanation or two.

MC: That was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
AH: You have to know Finnegans Wake before you can write about it, and studying Finnegans Wake takes time. I’ve been at it for 20 years, and I still haven’t put it back up on the shelf.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
AH: Discovering how much I have to say. I mostly see myself as a performer, not a writer, so that “virgin project glow” is still with me.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
AH: It’s a great honor of course, an honor that brings with it the obligation to put forward my absolute best work. Fringe Festivals are always mini sub-cultures, and if they are to thrive, their participants need to put their all into them.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
AH: website: www.joycegeek.com twitter: @joycegeek facebook: JoyceGeek
kickstarter (good until July 13th.): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1446126090/dontpanic

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras at thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com & dirtydurty.com.

Proust Questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? To see the advent of a language whose vocabulary and syntax are truly immune to the trappings of Orwellian Newspeak and sound-bite condensation. To quote Andre Gregory, “We need a language of the heart where language is no longer necessary.”

What is your greatest fear?
Cowards. Whenever I see one headed my way, I just can’t help it – I run away screaming.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My mono-lingualism. As much as I love to study other languages, I just can’t seem to fit anything other than English onto my tongue.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When they try to chew food and talk at the same time.

Which living person do you most admire? Noam Chomsky – master of language, master of the fine art of true honesty, and master of personal industry. May he live to see 100.

What is your greatest extravagance? My Joyce reading.

What is your current state of mind? Battling overwhelm as I work to mount my show. I actually manage this from time to time.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Obedience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a virtue.

On what occasion do you lie?
When the truth can only be misunderstood by whoever you’re lying to.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? I have no eyebrows.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Fuck,” “Shit,” “Goddammit,” “Mutherfucker,” “Cocksucker” etc.

What do you most value in your friends? Their compassion.

Which living person do you most despise?
Donald Rumsfeld, and not just for the reasons you might imagine. He was viciously rude to a dear friend of mine who works at an art gallery here in my hometown of Santa Fe. She’s among the sweetest people I’ve ever known, and he treated her like garbage – just because he could.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
A man is always at his best when he is in touch with the soft nurturing side of himself – the feminine side, if you will.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
A woman is always at her best when she is in touch with the soft nurturing side of herself – the feminine side, if you will.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Good acting in a live setting. And by that term, I don’t mean “skilled” acting – you can get that just about anywhere. This is that thing that happens when when the moment being created is so real as to appear to be conceived in pure spontaneity. You forget you’re watching scripted dialogue and become thoroughly convinced that something real is happening right in front of you. Such an experience is as rare as it is indelible.

When and where were you happiest?
I can’t give actual coordinates – either temporal or spatial – but happiness for me is always associated with understanding. It comes at a very specific moment when disparate pieces that didn’t seem to fit together suddenly do. In such moments my whole system comes alive with the thrill of discovery.

Which talent would you most like to have?
A better facility for foreign languages.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My judgement in love relationships.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Rule #1: The harder you work for something, the greater your reward. This is why I found myself so attached to Finnegans Wake. Is memorizing over 100 pages of that book my greatest achievement? I hope not, but I suppose it can serve as a place-holder until I can make myself truly useful.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Something truly useful.

Where would you most like to live?
Home.

What is your most treasured possession?
My experiences.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To be consumed by rage is the absolute depth of misery, for me or for anyone else.

What is your favorite occupation?
Sharing knowledge.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I suppose whatever the New York Times says about me. At this point, it would be that I have “an incredible memory.” If after this run it winds up being something less complimentary, I’ll be changing my answer, so stay tuned…

Who are your favorite writers?
Joyce, Beckett, Heaney, Nabokov, Melville, George Eliot, D.F. Wallace, and a bunch of others…

Who is your hero of fiction?
You just can’t beat Leopold Bloom of Ulysses. He may not be my favorite fictional character, but the requested quality here is ‘heroism,’ and Bloom simply takes the cake. Hardly a moment goes by in Ulysses where this man isn’t thinking imagintavely, holding tight vigil over his own egotism, or entertaining compassionate thoughts about whatever he may encounter on his day’s travels.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Antoine Lavoisier – inventor, experimenter, and yes, victim of his own complacency. A man who (I’d like to believe) lived all the way up until the moment he died.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Anyone who is willing to put their humanity on display - the same qualities that made me choose Bloom in Q#28. But I’d like to add a caveat to this whole hero business: As a general concept, heroism is at best ephemeral and at worst damaging. Real human beings invariably collapse from the weight of being called “hero.”

What are your favorite names?
Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, Uriah Heep, and Zaphod Beeblebrox.

What is it that you most dislike?
The sound of cruelty can take days to shake out of my ears.

What is your greatest regret?
That I don’t have the courage to answer this question more candidly.

How would you like to die?
Peaceful and lucid, but only if I can say at the end of my life that I had earned such peace and lucidity. Of course, if I can say that at the end of my life, I don’t suppose the “how” really matters.

What is your motto?
There are two mottos that I use more often than any other: “Never overlook the obvious” and “People should be nice to each other.” Of course, this could be because people need to be reminded of these more than any other…

“a kind shot” written by Terri Mateer. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “a kind shot” written by and performed by Terri Mateer.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Terri Mateer: "a kind shot".

MC: What is it about?
TM: Being 6 foot 1in the 6th grade, having a hippy mom, a surrogate father that looked like Basketball Jones and being a chick.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
TM: I wanted to help people.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
TM: Scheduling time with my mentors. Finding structure with my many life stories. Editing.

MC: What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
TM: Working with my husband, Seth and Lee. Sharing it with audiences. Getting their feedback and re writing…

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
TM: It means the world to me.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
TM: www.terrimateer.com

Proust Questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Having balance of love, work and play.

What is your greatest fear?
Being sick.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Being a bitch.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Bitchiness.

Which living person do you most admire?
My husband, Brian.

What is your greatest extravagance?
This Show.

What is your current state of mind?
Tired and creative.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Purity.

On what occasion do you lie?
On the Palisades Parkway after getting pulled over from a cop.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My head.

Which living person do you most despise?
Hmmm…not sure I can despise.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Humor.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Humor.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My husband.

Where would you most like to live?
In my home.

What is your most treasured possession? As for a thing, my home. As for my heart, my husband.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Cool.

When and where were you happiest?

When Brian and I told each other at the same time…”I love you I love you I love you I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” (We got married 30 days later.)

Which talent would you most like to have?
ESP.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to have more faith and not worry so much.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Teaching a 6th grade girls’ French basketball team how to play defense and make free throws. They were all on the small side as far as stature and one time they were in an important game and they were down by 21 points….At half time I told them to play defense, make their free throws and if they stopped the big girl in the middle they had a chance. They won the game…in over time… with a free throw and got to travel all over Europe. (They had never been out of their back yard.)

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A perennial sunflower or my cat…Pooter Poot.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Having no one to talk to when you are in trouble.

What is your favorite occupation?
Acting.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Strong.

What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty.

Who are your favorite writers?
Christopher Durang, Adam Rapp, Theresa Rebeck, William Shakespeare, Sharr White.

Who is your hero of fiction?
Dr. Seuss.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Amelia Earhart.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Brian my husband, Seth and Lee at The Barrow Group.

What are your favorite names?
…??? As far as movies, singular names like JAWS, as far as food…lot’s of words like… Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip, for people…I like it when people look like their names.

What is it that you most dislike?
Bullshit.

What is your greatest regret?
That I did not go live with my mom the year she had cancer.

How would you like to die?
In my sleep.

What is your motto?
Keep going, have heart, play defense and make your free throws!

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras at thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com & dirtydurty.com.

humansofnewyork:

"His grandmother and I are raising him. I worry about putting him into the public school system. I was a teacher for many years. I’ve seen so much confidence destroyed by the standardized system. Every human is born with natural curiosity. I’ve never seen a child who wasn’t inspired. But once you force someone to do anything, the inspired person is killed. I dropped out of school myself in 7th grade. So I know. I taught a GED course for years, so I’ve seen the end results over and over. I’ve seen so many kids who have complexes and insecurities because they were forced to do something they weren’t ready to do, and then they were blamed when they weren’t able to do it. What we call ‘education’ today is not organic. You can’t take something as complex as the human mind, compartmentalize it, and regiment its development so strictly."



Love this. xo Maya

humansofnewyork:

"His grandmother and I are raising him. I worry about putting him into the public school system. I was a teacher for many years. I’ve seen so much confidence destroyed by the standardized system. Every human is born with natural curiosity. I’ve never seen a child who wasn’t inspired. But once you force someone to do anything, the inspired person is killed. I dropped out of school myself in 7th grade. So I know. I taught a GED course for years, so I’ve seen the end results over and over. I’ve seen so many kids who have complexes and insecurities because they were forced to do something they weren’t ready to do, and then they were blamed when they weren’t able to do it. What we call ‘education’ today is not organic. You can’t take something as complex as the human mind, compartmentalize it, and regiment its development so strictly."

Love this. xo Maya

“A 1940’s Comedy of Errors” written by Michael Hagins. Interview by Maya Contreras.

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. It takes place annually in August over the course of two weeks on 20 stages spread across several Manhattan neighborhoods. FringeNYC (unlike other Fringe Festivals) uses a jury-based selection process to pick it’s 200 shows. One of those shows is “A 1940’s Comedy of Errors” written by Michael Hagins.

Maya Contreras: What is the name of your show?
Michael Hagins: A 1940’s Comedy of Errors.

MC: What is it about?
MH: A set of twins wreck havoc in the small town of Ephesus with mistaken identity and slapstick insanity.

MC: What made you want to write about this particular subject?
MH: I’m a huge fan of the 1940s, particularly the cartoons, and with my love of Shakespeare, I created the adaptation that stays true to the text but also brings the audience to the living cartoon world.

MC: What was the biggest hurdle for you writing this piece?
MH: Because I didn’t write the original material, the obstacle was more making sure my concept didn’t interfere with the themes and tones that Shakespeare wrote.

MC:
What did you enjoy most about the process of writing it?
MH: When I finally felt that I captured the spirit of Shakespeare’s comedy. Once I got I that point, the rest flowed easily.

MC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the New York Fringe Festival?
MH: It’s amazing. Last year was my first time, so this year I wanted to really raise the bar on the work, and impress a few people.

MC: Where can we learn more about you and your show (e.g. website, twitter)?
MH: www.Facebook.com/CAGETheatre

Read more interviews by Maya Contreras at thebloodlineofshadrickgrace.com & dirtydurty.com.

Proust Questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being able to truly be considered a success in theatre, someone of importance.

What is your greatest fear?
Natural water (pools, rivers, lakes, etc).

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Paranoia.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Self-centered egoism.

Which living person do you most admire?
Sidney Poitier.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Video games.

What is your current state of mind?
Content in my career, but definitely not happy yet

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I don’t know. They all seem pretty good to me.

On what occasion do you lie?

I’m one to sugarcoat things when needed, to prevent hurt feelings

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I definitely I could walk around shirtless and look like a Greek god.

Which living person do you most despise?
Despise is a strong word. There’s lot of racists out there I hate, but I don’t know them enough to despise.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Humility.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Creativity.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Cool deal” and “Does that make sense?” are basically my catch phrases.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Theatre so far. Hopefully a female will change that one day.

When and where were you happiest?
I’d have to say most summers doing Shakespeare. Can’t pinpoint an exact time.

Which talent would you most like to have? Financial wizardry.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d be better at raising money for shows.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Winning the playwright award for Planet Connections in 2013 for Hit and Match.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A knight in the Renaissance, although it may not be the cleanest…

Where would you most like to live?
New York City in a penthouse apartment.

What is your most treasured possession?

My 1920’s replica Tommy Gun.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Monotonous existence with no creative outlet.

What is your favorite occupation?
Director.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Determination.

What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty.

Who are your favorite writers?
Shakespeare, Sophocles, Ibsen.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Batman.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Shakespeare; although I swear I’m not being arrogant.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Martin Luther King, Jr., James Earl Jones, Page Deulin.

What are your favorite names?
Page, Devin, Emily.

What is it that you most dislike?
Failure.

What is your greatest regret?
A few friendships and relationships ended badly.

How would you like to die? Shot in the head at 90 directly after a show.