Magnet Theater Blog
TBS’ “Search Party” is making waves as a darkly funny sitcom that melds “whodunit?” with an overpowering sense of millennial ennui. The hit show features some excellent Magnet talent: co-creator Charles Rogers, a Magnet alum, and actor Phoebe Tyers, a performer on house team The Music Industry, plus cameos from seven other Magnet performers, past and present: Chet Siegel, Branson Reese, Shacottha Fields, Peter McNerney, Rebecca Robles, Jon Bander, and Brendan Jordan.
Rogers was honored last year in Forbes’ “30 under 30 Spotlight”, and the show made Paste Magazine’s “16 Best New Shows of 2016”, as well as having a character, Elliott Goss, make their “20 Best TV Characters of 2016.” The second season wrapped on Dec. 17, although season three has yet to be announced.
So what is “Search Party” all about? The Village Voice says it best: “A comedy of escalation, the series stands out in a crowded field for its bluntly sinister tone. The show stars Alia Shawkat as Dory, an aimless twentysomething who’s shaken out of her quarter-life stupor after she discovers a college acquaintance has gone missing and takes it upon herself to investigate.” Or take it from Film School Rejects: “[It] has been described as Gone Girls, a show with the stakes of Gone Girl in the world of Girls. The show expertly rides the line between millennial satire and truly surprising suspense—with a dash of broad yet grounded performances that are reminiscent of Mel Brooks’s High Anxiety and Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery.”
The co-creators, Charles Rogers and Sarah-Violet Bliss, specialize in this specific brand of comedy, where the confluence of insecurity, insanity and mystery leave the audience alternately laughing and cringing as the characters’ superficially good intentions pave the road to an increasingly bizarre hell. We had a chance to sit down with Rogers and Bliss just before season one aired–and you can listen to the podcast here.
Actor Phoebe Tyers, a Magnet performer, plays April, Dory’s angsty, angry neighbor, who ultimately becomes an antagonist for the group in season two. Tyers is pictured right with her sister Claire, who also has a role in season two. We also have an interview with Tyers just before season one launched.
We are so thrilled to see performers of Magnet past and present receiving such a following, and are anxiously awaiting season three to see how the characters dig themselves in deeper!
Photo credits: IMDB, Phoebe Tyers Twitter.
We are now accepting applications for the 2018 Winter edition of The Circuit! The Circuit is a long-form improv program with teams made up of Magnet Theater students, graduates of our training program, and veteran performers. We believe that in order to get better at improv, you need to do it! The Circuit gives more people in our community a chance to work on teams with great coaches, all while performing regularly.
The deadline to apply is January 22, 2018 at noon. Teams will be announced January 23rd. First rehearsals will be the weekend of the 27th.
Circuit shows will begin Friday, February 2nd and run for 9 weeks, through March 30th. Shows in February will be at 9 pm while shows in March will be at 10 pm, all in the Studio Theater at Magnet Training Center.
To sign up, fill out the form: https://goo.gl/forms/zvQ
Questions? Just email email@example.com!
***Please read the following:***
– To apply, you must have completed up to Level 3 at the Magnet.
– Do not call or email registrar beforehand regarding application status.
– Circuit performers may miss no more than 3 shows or practices.
– Performers are expected to rehearse with their assigned team and coach on a weekly basis at assigned times.
– Performers are responsible for the cost of coach and space rentals.
Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.
What’s your name?
Which team or show are you on?
Where are you from?
Snellville, GA (suburb of Atlanta).
How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?
Was asked to join a theater sports team in High School at a drama club party. I then went through training at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta very quickly afterward.
How long have you been performing/writing?
Since high school really. There was a gap of about a decade though where there was just occasional daydreaming about comedy. Then, I tried my hand at stand-up almost ten years ago. Standup led to hosting. Hosting led to storytelling. Storytelling led to sketch. So…a long time.
Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?
Someone who blows me away with how funny and talented they are. But also someone who will knock around jokes and bits with me for hours. They should be wide open for collaboration, but resolute in what they personally find funny. (If you are looking for actual people … I think Devin O’Neil, Michael Delisle and Pat May are remarkably funny.)
Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?
Broad question. It would be awesome to write some sort of lunacy for Jason Mantzoukas to perform. Impression? Someone with a very distinct voice … Maybe a Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow or Sam Rockwell.
What makes you laugh the hardest?
Jokes that bomb. I love hearing risky things get met with uncomfortable silences or “Oooooohs.” That tends to make me laugh the hardest. That and my very weird wife.
Describe the soundtrack to your life!
I really like radio mixes by Chances With Wolves right now. It’s like 50’s & 60’s rock and soul music covers from all over the world. Radiohead, Talking Heads, 60’s & 70’s soul music.
What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?
“What can I get you to drink?”
Where can we find you on a Saturday night?
Most likely the movies. I enjoy movies.
If a wicked witch turned you into a pair of shoes, what kind of shoes would you be?
A shoe that I would argue is nice enough, yet still comfortable enough, to be considered a dress sneaker.
Did you enjoy Role Playing Games and Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? Or as an adult? If you said yes to either of those questions, You Will Die More Than Once is the perfect show for you. Hitting the Magnet stage on January 22nd, this show puts the audience in control of deciding the fate of its characters! We spoke with the show’s Dungeon Masters/creators Caitlin Steitzer, Carly Monardo, and Ali Fisher to learn more about this one of a kind show!
This show is structured like a choose your own adventure story. How did you come up with this format?
Ali: I want to say about a year ago Carly and I were having coffee and generally being fabulous creeps and we realized it’d been a while since we’d performed as Women-Shaped Holes In Hedges, our duo show that’s all about creating and populating absurd speculative worlds. In a moment of overcaffeinated excitement Carly said something like, we should invite a bunch more people to be in this show! I know it was Carly because she’s brilliant and community-minded like that. If there’s good stuff going on, her instinct is to share. We ended up coming around to the idea of creating a whole new show, but we wanted it to be just as focused on outlandish wordbuilding and character-driven action.
Carly: At around the same time I think we were both working with The Cast on how to bring our audiences into the fold a bit more; when you’ve been doing improv for a long time it can be easy to forget that the audience isn’t starting on the same page as you. I still remember how lost I was seeing a Harold for the first time. I think it’s so much more enjoyable when the people on and off stage are working from the same clean slate and discovering things simultaneously. A chooseable path format, where the audience can also help build the show, felt really exciting to me!
Ali: Hell yeah. The interactive fiction-style structure was a perfect fit. And then, having worked with Caitlin on her RPG-inspired Dragons & Dungeons show, I knew she’d not only get what we were about with this, but build it into something even better.
Caitlin: Y’all are too sweet. I was super-pumped at the idea for this show because A) I agree with Ali and Carly that it’s important to recognize that some people who come to improv shows are just from off the street and want to have fun, and that’s great and B) I’ve always loved choose your own adventure books and it’s been a long-time dream of mine to create a show that incorporates those elements.
What were you looking for in casting this show?
Carly: I wanted people whose comedic sensibilities I really love. I think everyone in this show has a distinct voice and makes big choices. That’s key!
Ali: Ideally these shows will take the performers pretty far away from their day-to-day reality and person, so we picked people who we know are going to be comfortable and excited about getting weird. We also needed really good listeners. Not only to build on each other’s absurd ideas, but also the audience’s.
Caitlin:Ditto ditto ditto! Also I think everyone in the cast is SUPER hot.
Were you a fan of Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? If so, what was your favorite?
Carly: Ha ha, NO! I loved reading as a kid, but not these! I was a goody toe-shoes and a nerd, so being punished by a book for making the wrong choices was not appealing to me! I see it as more of a challenge now, but I’m still the kind of person that has like 10 save files when she plays an RPG so she knows she’s going “the right way”.
Ali: Same here. I hated them. I have a massive fear of failure and those books are failure minefields by design. But I think that’s exactly what is going to make this format so great on stage–no one’s alone with the fate of the story. It’s shared experience between the performers and the audience. We’re all in it together.
Caitlin: Whoa, Ali and Carly, you were incorrect as children! These books were and still are GREAT! I had a super over-active imagination and so whatever movie or comic book I was obsessed with at the time, I would always write myself in and create these elaborate daydreams. Choose Your Own Adventure books where just a different version of that. And I also had a fear of failure, but I LOVED the books, because if I messed up, I just went back and turned to a different page.
If you could choose any fantasy creature to do an improv scene with, what would it be and why?
CM: I’m really obsessed with the folklore of “familiars”: spirits or demons (often in the form of animals) that attend witches and other magical beings. They have a really close bond with the individual they serve; I always joke that my dog is my familiar. A magical version of my dog!
Ali: I’m thinking a garden gnome. They’d be so stoked and fun to match. Or maybe the Grim Reaper because they’ve seen some stuff.
Caitlin: Can we choose comic book characters? Because Death from Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” comics was my hero growing up, and I’d want to do improv with her. And she’s VERY different from Ali’s Grim Reaper, so I’m not just stealing Ali’s answer here.
Who would you most like to see this show?
CM: I want people who are totally new to improv to see this show! I want it to inspire them to seek out more improv and live theater in general.
Caitlin: Everybody and their best friend.
Choose your own adventure to the Magnet stage for You Will Die More Than Once, Monday Jan 22nd at Magnet!
William Shakespeare once wrote that “a quart of ale is a dish for a king.” Few could agree with him more than Hayley Karl and Ally Gold, the creators of BEER, PERIOD, and the show’s director, Christopher Hastings. BEER, PERIOD is Magnet’s brand new show dedicated to the world’s greatest beverage. We spoke with Hayley, Ally, and Chris about the intense love of beer fueling their upcoming show on January 19th!
Is there an objectively agreed upon best beer? If so, what is it?
CHRIS: There was only one objectively agreed upon best beer, and it was called “Whatever Beer I Can Thank God I Have Been Able To Find And Put In My Mouth” and it was the entire United States’s favorite beer from 1920 to 1933. In the years since, the country has re-divided it’s opinion on the subject.
HAYLEY: I mean, PLINY THE ELDER (Obviously, obviously) is the greatest beer of all time. I’ve never had one, but hopefully will before I die which hopefully means I have plenty of time. Anyways, right now, without question the best beer is LITERALLY ANYTHING by Other Half Brewery. It is the nectar of the gods and I quiver in it’s presence.
ALLY: Any beautiful beer liquid gently floating down my throat hole, is at that moment in time and space, the best beer. HOWEVER, if you want a name, Heady Topper is at the top of all the charts right now. And charts don’t lie.
HAYLEY: Ally is WRONG but we are in therapy working through it.
Can someone who doesn’t like beer still enjoy your show?
CHRIS: I mean there’s still chairs that people can sit in during the show. Everyone likes to sit down a spell.
HAYLEY: Deep down, everyone loves beer, and I hope that this show brings that truth to light for all. So, yes…
ALLY: Wait… have they just never tried beer? If not, then they will DEF have fun. Lives are about to change.
What’s the one thing someone should never, ever say to a beer enthusiast?
CHRIS: “Oh you like beer? That reminds me, I made a nice beer braised sausage dish the other day. What was the beer I used? Oh yeah! It was called Heady Topper. I didn’t actually need that much to cook with though. Gave the rest to the dog. He loved it.”
HAYLEY: “Have you had Pliney the Elder yet?” Like, don’t remind me, you know?
ALLY: “Wake up. I’ve sewn your mouth shut.”
Why is beer such a big part of the comedy scene?
CHRIS: Trying to be funny for a crowd is terrifying, and alcohol melts fear. Only melt fear in moderation, everyone.
HAYLEY: The best beer pairing is with laughter.
ALLY: Beer is a big part of everything; comedians just know how to utilize its power.
Who drinks more, comedians or comic book artists?
CHRIS: Comedians LOVE beer and so do cartoonists, but I think the difference is that cartoonists will drink ANYTHING.
HAYLEY: I am gonna default to Chris on this one.
ALLY: Can’t beat that Chris answer.
Raise your glass to BEER, PERIOD Friday January 19th at Magnet
If you love a good musical number, you will be OVERWHELMED WITH JOY seeing The Magnet Musical Sketch Show on January 19th! For a behind the scenes look, we spoke with Lane Kwederis, a superstar performer for Public Pool and The Executives, and the director of this awesome new show.
What comes first, the sketches or the music?
Pretty much all of the sketches in this show are song parodies. That means that they all use music that already exists but with new lyrics. The music definitely came first (since it was written by another human ahead of time) but the writers came up with their ideas for the sketch and either selected a song that would be perfect for their idea or the song itself inspired them.
Are the sketches for this show written first, or devised through musical improv?
All of the sketches were written first by Liz Haag, Sara Kalkstein, Michael Delisle, Michael McLarnon, and Matt Alspaugh. Though we do have many amazing musical improvisers in the cast (Ali Reed, Amy Charowsky, Alexis Field, Gina Cucci, Brian Hansbury, Brian Rodriguez, Brendan Goggins, and Michael Delisle) there weren’t really any musical improv elements involved with the writing of the sketch. The cast’s skills came in especially handy though when putting the sketches on their feet. The great thing about musical improvisers is that they can create awesome harmonies, funny bits, and even killer choreography right there on the spot. It was really great getting to blend the sketch world with the musical improv world. They go together really really well.
What is your all time favorite musical sketch?
Oh man. There are so many good ones to choose from! I would say one of my favorites was one I got to perform with The Executives. It’s called “Dolores and the Secrettes” and it was written by Elena Skopetos. You can watch it here.
If you could cast any famous musician in this show, who would it be and what would you make them do?
I think it’s time for Beyoncé to get on the Magnet stage and use her glorious voice to sing about her farty butt.
How can fans get involved in musical sketch comedy?
Write more musical sketches! They’re so fun! Take a musical improv class! They’re also so fun! The Magnet Musical Sketch Show will actually be paired with another musical sketch show too! The Executives will be performing a musical that will take place entirely in a Panera Bread so it will be a two for one deal on musical sketch shows!
Raise your voice for the Magnet Musical Sketch Show this Friday, January 19th at Magnet!
- Alexis Field
- Ali Reed
- Amy Charowsky
- Brendan Goggins
- Brian Hansbury
- Brian Rodriguez
- Elena Skopetos
- Gina Cucci
- Lane Kwederis
- Liz Haag
- Magnet Musical Sketch Show
- Matt Alspaugh
- Michael Delisle
- Michael McLarnon
- musical comedy
- musical theater
- new york city
- nyc comedy
- Panera Bread
- Public Pool
- Sara Kalkstein
- sketch comedy
- The Executives
NOW HIRING: HOUSE MANAGER
Want to be a part of the Magnet Theater staff? Want a part-time job full of fun and laughs? Apply to be a House Manager! We are currently taking applications for a part-time House Manager to work at the Magnet Theater 1-3 nights a week, weekends and occasional weeknights. Applicants must be organized, detail-oriented, and personable. Theater experience a plus. If interested, please email your resume to the Theater Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Looking for a fun, female-focused show inspired by the backup dancers from a popular 90’s sketch comedy show? Lucky you– Fly Gurlz hits the Magnet stage Friday January 12th! We knew you’d be thirsty for more details, so we spoke with the show’s creators Meredith Paul, Nanie Méndez, and Lida Darmian to learn more.
What was the inspiration for Fly Gurlz?
Fly Gurlz began when we all competed in a character competition called Face Off. We had an all-female team. We wanted a space to lift up women’s voices- particularly women writers, so we created Fly Gurlz to be that space. Our intention is an inclusive, party vibe that, hopefully, creates an atmosphere where women feel safe to embrace the weirdest parts of themselves and strengthen their voices.
How has the show changed since it started last year?
We have had the same format since pretty much the beginning. One amazing addition (brain child of Fly Gurl Nanie Mendez) was our semi-annual Fly Gurlz Sketch Fest. We accept open submission for female sketch writers and female performers, and create an all new sketch show written for women, by women. This has been an extremely fun and enriching experience! You can check out our next one 1/12, 11:30pm at the MAGNET!!! YA HEARD OF IT???? (Plug)
How do you choose performers to highlight in this variety show?
We choose women of all types who write and create their own material. We love weird shit especially. (Can I curse in this? if no please change shit to ‘lil foodle doodles’)
What are some of your favorite moments from previous Fly Gurlz shows?
This is so hard to say because we’ve been doing our show over a year and there have been so many amazing moments. Right after the election, Nanie, Lida and I improvised together as Michelle Obama, Melania Trump and Hilary Clinton which was a cathartic and weird and emotional set! We did an all musical show in support of Puerto Rico (Nanie’s home!) and raised over $1,000. Probably my personal favorite moment (again this is Meredith Isabel Paul) was when my mom came to the show and said it was “ok”. (huge)
Your poster is inspired by the iconic “jazz” solo cup design from the ’90s. What’s your favorite piece of ’90s nostalgia?
Meredith:I LOVE POLLY POCKET!!!!!!!!! I follow multiple instagram accounts that feature old salvaged Polly Pockets. I think I always thought I’d end up living inside a Polly Pocket but instead I live in Midtown Manhattan.
Lida: My favorite is Pound Puppies because I wasn’t allowed to have pets.
Nanie: My Tiger Beat posters of my top two heart throbs– Johnathan Brandis (RIP), star of Ladybugs and Sidekicks & Andrew Keegan who now runs his own church.
Make sure to catch Fly Gurlz: Sketch Fest this Friday at 11:30 pm. It’s gonna be a riot.
- Andrew Keegan
- Face Off
- female comedians
- Fly Gurlz
- Hillary Clinton
- In Living Color
- Jonathan Brandis
- Lida Darmian
- magnet theater
- Melania Trump
- Meredith Paul
- Michelle Obama
- Nanie Méndez
- new york
- new york city
- Polly Pocket
- Pound Puppies
- Puerto Rico
- sketch comedy
- Tiger Beat
- variety show
Magnet Theater is excited to announce that starting January 8th at noon, we will be accepting applications for the 2018 Spring/Summer season of MAGNET SKETCH TEAMS, which will run from March 12 through June 25, 2018! Please note: Applications, packets, and reels are due by Monday, January 29th, at 5 pm.
Please read the following application instructions and sketch team participant expectations very carefully.
GENERAL SKETCH SHOW EXPECTATIONS
Each team will create one 20-25 minute sketch show every three to four weeks.
All sketch team shows will be on Monday nights at 7:30 pm! Two teams will perform in each show.
All sketch team shows must contain new, original material written specifically for Magnet Sketch Teams that has never been previously performed.
Each show will contain the best material created for the team as selected by the director – there is no guarantee that every writer will get a sketch in each show or that every actor will be featured in each show. Funny wins. Them’s the breaks.
All sketches will be performed by the team’s ensemble cast of sketch actors. If a particular sketch requires it, the team may use outside casting (writers, other actors) at the director’s discretion.
GENERAL SKETCH TEAM EXPECTATIONS
Sketch team members are expected to attend all required meetings and shows and arrive fully prepared. Sketch is time intensive – make sure you can commit 100% and make sketch a priority before applying.
Sketch team members must be available 1:30-4:30 pm the Sunday before their show for a mandatory tech rehearsal at the theater.
Sketch team members may not schedule conflicting appointments (work, rehearsals, shows, etc) during scheduled techs, shows, rehearsals, or meetings.
Sketch teams must rehearse with a Magnet-approved director. Each sketch team is responsible for paying their director a flat rate of $110/week; team due collection is left to the discretion of the director and team (as it would be for an improv team or practice group).
Sketch team members are expected to promote their shows at the theater.
For the 2018 Spring/Summer Sketch Season, you must apply as a writer, performer, or a writer/performer. Expectations, prerequisites, and application instructions for each role are below!
Writers must attend one 3 hour writing meeting per week, all performance rehearsals of their sketches, and all tech rehearsals.
Writers must constantly generate new material and are required to bring in a minimum of one new sketch per week, even during show week.
Writers are expected to be respectful and gracious collaborators in writing room. Writers should give and receive feedback to and from their teammates in an open and constructive manner.
Writers will be required to rewrite material and meet deadlines as requested by their director.
Completion of (or current enrollment in) Magnet Sketch Writing Level 2 or previous participation in Magnet Sketch Teams (as any role).
- For any POC, female-identifying, non-binary, and LGBTQIA+ writers not meeting the above prerequisite, you may be eligible with equivalent sketch writing experience somewhere else, so long as you provide a contactable reference (email address).
WRITER APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:
Send the following materials to sketchdirector@magnettheater.
- A cover letter detailing relevant sketch experience inside and outside the Magnet community.
- If your comedy experience is mostly outside of Magnet Theater, you must provide the email address of a reference.
- A single PDF of a sketch writing sample. Your sample should contain at least two sketches and may not exceed 10 pages.
Performers must be available for a regularly scheduled 2-3 hour performance rehearsal the week leading up to the show (ex: Sketch Team Dumb Baby has a performance rehearsal every Tuesday before a show, 7-10 pm)
Performers must be available for techs, table reads, and any additional rehearsals as required by the director.
Performers must learn all show material in a timely manner.
Performers may collaborate with writers outside of rehearsals to help create characters and sketches, but performers should not be writing material on their own for shows.
Performers must perform sketches as they are written – ad libbing is good in a pinch, but be prepared and don’t put yourself in positions where you must resort to improvisation. Be polished and professional in all shows.
Completion of or current enrollment in Level 6 team performance workshop, participation in a past or current Megawatt team, or previous participation in Magnet Sketch Teams (as any role).
- For any POC, female-identifying, non-binary, and LGBTQIA+ performers not meeting the above prerequisite, you may be eligible with equivalent performance experience somewhere else, so long as you provide a contactable reference (email address).
PERFORMER APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:
Send the following materials to sketchdirector@magnettheater.
A cover letter detailing relevant performance experience inside and outside the Magnet community.
A PDF of your acting resume
A SINGLE link to a 3-5 minute sample of your work as a performer. This can be a reel, a recording of a stage sketch, a video sketch, a monologue directed at a webcam, anything you feel showcases you as a comedic performer. Youtube or Vimeo preferred. The link can be public or unlisted – please no private links. You may only send one link and the link itself may be no longer than 5 minutes.
You will be informed at least five days prior if you have been selected to audition in person.
In-person auditions will be held on February 9th, 10th, and 11th at Magnet Training Center. Unfortunately, if you are not available for the above callback dates, you cannot be considered as a performer for the 2018 Spring/Summer Sketch Season.
For the in-person audition, you will perform two contrasting sketches that will be assigned to you and another applicant a couple days prior to the audition. You must be completely off-book and you may rehearse beforehand with your scene partner, at your discretion. You will also be asked to cold read sketches in the room.
WRITER/ PERFORMER EXPECTATIONS
Writer/performers must meet all writer expectations AND performer expectations.
Writer/performers are expected to write for other performers as well as for themselves. There is no guarantee that a writer/performer will perform in all of their own work.
Writer/performers must meet all writer AND performer prerequisites or previous participation in Magnet Sketch Teams (as any role).
WRITER/PERFORMER APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Send the following materials to sketchdirector@magnettheater.
All materials detailed in writer application instructions.
All materials detailed in performer application instructions.
Also, please indicate if you are willing to be considered as a writer or actor ONLY if you are not selected for a writer/performer position. Be completely honest – your preferences will not be held against you!
You will be informed at least five days prior if you have been selected to audition in person. See performer application instructions above for more info about the audition.
Failure to follow application instructions will keep you from being considered for a sketch team. Double check your application!
Applications, packets, and reels are due by Monday, January 29th, at 5 pm.
How many of your friends are tarot readers, yogis, witches and sexually active humans? Oh, all of them? Great! So is Alessandra Calderin, creator and host of the new show Sex Magic :: A Taboo Busting, Sex Positive, Magic Making Event. On Sunday, January 7th (6 pm), she’s assembling a delicious lineup of performers to put on a taboo busting, sex positive and magic making event featuring true stories, confessions, education, burlesque and even a spell or two. We talk to Alessandra about sex, magic, and putting together the show!
What’s the inspiration for your show Sex Magic?
We all love sex, but we seem to have a hard time with it. As a sexually obsessed AND repressed society, there are all these conflicting messages about what’s acceptable coming from what feels like a million different directions. I could literally go on for days about how the complexity of all this messes us up, but suffice it to say, it feels very unsexy, unfun and at worst, dangerous.
This manifests itself in every community in its own ways, including ours, whether it’s a creepy scene partner, or a fear of ever broaching the subject both on and off stage.
Sex magic itself is the practice of using the energy of sexuality and orgasm to set intentions and manifest desires and goals, and so this show is my manifestation of a free fun and safe space to talk about sex!
How did you assemble the team of amazing performers featured in this show?
I’m very lucky to have amazing friends and fellow performers who say yes to me. It was a lot of texting and Facebook messages just saying “hey do you want to talk about sex on stage with me?” And some folks were just like yeah just tell me what you want me to do. Other folks, like the lovely Chris de la Cruz, had their own amazing ideas to add to the show. So, in short, luck and friendship.
What is Boneseed and how did you create it?
Boneseed is my moniker for the work I do with tarot, yoga and intuitive healing. I quit my corporate job about a year ago and have been building my private practice ever since. Actually, my first public workshop was called Creating Sex Magic and was a yoga and writing workshop that focused on the Sacral Chakra, which is the area around the pelvis where we store our creative and sexual energy. It’s kind of my favorite part of the body and sexual exploration and freedom is where I’m really able to offer a lot of ideas and insight since I’ve studied the pelvic floor and cycled through my own range of issues with regards to both physical and emotional blockages down there.
You can learn more about Boneseed and what I do at www.boneseed.co.
What’s the best way to build space for sex positivity in the improv community?
Literally just talking about it in a real way. I feel like sex in scenes can get awkward because people feel forced to do things they don’t want to do, but the beauty of improv is that you get to make shit up. You don’t have to rub yourself against your scene partner. Maybe sex in this world is rubbing elbows like in Rocky Horror Picture Show.
There’s also a hypersensitivity right now, which is not unwarranted. People have real reasons for fearing abuse in our culture and society, but sometimes we jump to conclusions during teachable moments, or turn people into villains without considering how to reintegrate offenders. I’m talking about the world at large here, but it all applies. The tricky thing is I’m on both sides. I want people to feel protected, but I also LOVE to flirt and exchange that dynamic energy with people. It’s the most fun, but it’s also gotten me into situations that I haven’t wanted to be in. For me, this journey has been about no longer blaming myself for situations I couldn’t control, but simultaneously taking responsibility and, in turn, reclaiming my own power.
And this journey is constant, right? I think we just need to be able to make mistakes as long as we’re not hurting anyone. I think we need to be honest with each other. Ask questions. Choose curiosity over judgement. All easier said and done, especially when it comes to sex since we all have hitched a lot of baggage to that wagon. (And if you’re reading this and thinking, “I don’t have any baggage around sex,” I bet you have extra baggage that you don’t even see.)
If you had to choose between sex and magic for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Impossible. Sex is magic. Magic is sex. If I can have sex, I’m making magic. If I can practice magic, there’s alchemical and sexual energy in motion. It’s all life force. It’s all the sparks that connect us and keep us reaching for one another. It’s what we write and draw and create for. It is what we are.
Make sure you don’t miss Sex Magic :: A Taboo Busting, Sex Positive, Magic Making Event this Sunday, 1/7, at 6 pm. Your pelvic floor will thank you!