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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Maintain Integrity


I've been thinking a lot of the word "integrity" lately.

in·​teg·​ri·​ty | \in-ˈte-grə-tē \

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :INCORRUPTIBILITY

2: an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS

3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS


--

When we practice our yoga poses,
as we move into the full expression of these asanas,
we're told to go ONLY as far
as we can maintain the integrity
of the pose.

After a certain point, 
we're negating the benefit of the work.

We have to acknowledge the boundary
between our safety and strength
and being over-extended and weak.

We yogis are notoriously bad at this, I think.
We see the videos, 
the instructors,
the Instagram photos,
our classmates,
and we can't help but judge ourselves against them.

We compromise ourselves
to fit someone else's expectations
and perceived accomplishments.

In our lives, we pull the same shit, of course.

We have a solid, whole foundation of our being
where we are productive, safe, and strong.

And we're flooded with external stimuli
that we think inform us about whether this foundation
is good enough.

We humans are notoriously bad at interpreting the data, I think.
We see the TV shows,
the celebrities,
the social media posts,
our friends and family,
and we can't help but judge ourselves against them.

So we push.
We add more workouts at the gym,
we stay at work longer,
we eat shit we hate,
we say "yes" to more obligations,
we give up our sleep.

And our foundations shake.

If you are constructing a building,
every brick you lay 
should add strength and stability to that unit.

Every time we try to add one more thing
that isn't moving us toward our foundation as a being,
we're just stealing those bricks
and throwing them on the ground nearby.

We're adding nothing.
We're weakening our foundation.
We're not building our home.

It takes a LOT of self-reflection,
maybe a lifetime of work,
to understand what our core values are,
what our true homework is.

But once we identify what builds us up,
what makes us strong,
what sustains our being,
the sooner we can stop wasting bricks.

At that point, 
when our building is complete,
everything we do further solidifies our whole.
Decoration,
life,
brilliance.

-C McG

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Traditions

This time of year has been rough for me for many years.

This is the time of year where you are slapped in the face
with activities 
and plans 
and gatherings 
that seem to only happen because...
it's what we always do?

"It's tradition!" everyone will tell you.
"Don't you want to use this exact time to do these very specific activities to show love and honor to your past and present?"


It's an act of courage
to look your traditions
straight in the face

and tell them,
"You no longer serve me."

Often, traditions are rooted in oppressive,
racist, classist history.
Twisted responses to our old stories.
Stories that hurt a lot of people around us.
But we're too set in our ways to listen.
Too belligerent to try to understand.

And somewhere deep within us we know that.
And we try to break free and make new traditions
and listen to new stories
and create new love.

But the rest of the world continues to spin around us,
demanding that their traditions are still the best,
and create distance between us when we clash.

Tradition for tradition's sake isn't love.
It isn't remembrance.
It isn't honor.

I'd like to think that if our loved ones could see the evolution
of our lives, our selves, our new loved ones,
they'd understand why things need to change sometimes.

That we are able to still remember and love our past,
even if it looks a little different now.

That we can love each other all days in all ways,
not just certain ones at certain times.

You have my permission
to bail on your tradition.

Create something so new and so loving
that it begs to be repeated
year after year
day after day.

Hopefully something that involves way less wrapping paper and turkey.

-C McG


Friday, November 2, 2018

Art Updates!

Hi, friends! I'll try to get back here more regularly, I hope you're still hanging on with me!

It's November now, so I'm trying my hand again at Art Every Day Month! It's always nice timing to remember my sketchbooks, and to just remember to take time for myself at home. I wasn't quite ready to dive into my sketchbook YET, but I didn't want that to keep me from getting started. I can always get there later. I'm posting daily over on my Instagram account, so follow me there!


I'm only performing twice this weekend, which is a nice break! I love doing improv comedy, but it's so draining, and I feel like my cleverness dwindles with each show if I don't get to recharge in between. If you are ever interested in seeing me perform in Kansas City, check out my new Classy Calendar page to see when you can catch me! I'll add shows as soon as they are booked! I promise I'll power through!

This past month, I've had the really cool opportunity to help my friends at Bird in the Middle by acting in their video sketches, which is another realm of scariness, but every time it happens, it gets a little easier, I think! They just released new Halloween-friendly sketches this past week, and I'm in two of them! Check them out! They have a YouTube channel you can subscribe to!

Happy November, I guess! 

And remember Election Day on November 6th! GO VOTE!!!

-C McG

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fancy Site Updates and a Story

OK, "fancy" is a stretch, but I DO want to let you know what's up!

CLASSY CALENDAR!
I added a tab where you can see where I'm performing around town! I do a LOT of improv these days, and it's taken me away from posting on the blog lately, but I hope to be back soon! If you visit the calendar, I also took a time to talk about what improv is, in case you have no idea what I'm talking out.

SHOP CLASSY!

I've added some hats to my Online Store! I'm purging old inventory to help cover my expenses for the Yoga Teacher Training program I'm starting in January. Please order one if you're feeling so moved!

A STORY
It wouldn't be a true Classy blog post if I didn't have some story to tell you, right?


I started listening to Foo Fighter's "One By One" album again (it's been so long!), which kicks off with the beautifully perfectly catchy "All My Life."

The main refrain of the song is,
DONE DONE AND I'M ONTO THE NEXT ONE

And for most of my adult life, that's been my task-completing mantra.


When I have a giant list that I'm trying to knock out, 
every time I can cross something off, I yell it.

DONE DONE AND I'M ONTO THE NEXT ONE


And it's what keeps me going.

In bed last night, using the last of my brain activity,

I decided to figure out what Dave Grohl is singing about in that song.

Sex, he's singing about sex.

But I'm still keeping that mantra, damn it.


-C McG

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Just

Hi, I'm emerging from my tornado of summer busy-ness in time to sit in a very reflective mood this week.

I'm writing this post on a day where friends are stepping forward with their stories of past violation and abuse, being questioned and bullied for speaking the words out loud, and I just CAN'T today.

But, it's moving me to write something, at least.


--

Just

We have a strong desire,
inclination,
knee-jerk
reaction

when we watch horrible things happen
to people we love
respect
admire

and it seems like they make the choice
to live in that horror
rather than escape.

Why don't they just leave
Why don't they just change
Why don't they just report it
Why don't they just diet
Why don't they just stop drinking
Why don't they just fix their situation?

But if we take those same questions
and ask them of ourselves,
we have a million valid excuses,
naturally.

Like somehow we'd be any different.

Like somehow we are any different.

Existing is complicated,
nuanced.

If any terrible situation had a perfect answer
without any fall-out,

of COURSE we'd make the choice to change.

Living day-to-day is an extreme balancing act.


Trying to meet our own needs
meet others' needs
keep our jobs
our friends
our homes
our sanity
our safety.

It's a vast network of power

to be balanced
cared for
honored.

Ultimately, we mostly try to survive.

We don't live in a vacuum.
Everything we do, everything we are
exists on a very sensitive scale.

Tip too much one way or the other

the scale no longer can hold everything up.

Let's practice keeping our desire to judge,

our inclination to assume wrong,
our knee-jerk reaction
to bad situations
our armchair counseling 

to a dull roar, OK?

If someone isn't "just" doing something to fix a bad situation,
try to understand
there's more happening under the surface
than you can possibly know.

Maybe try just listening to their stories
Maybe try just believing your loved ones
Maybe try just being a good friend.

-C McG




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July Events! AKA Where I Am All The Time Now

Friends! 

You've maybe noticed (maybe not, I won't judge)
that I don't do art shows much anymore 
now that I don't make hats or draw as much,
but I assure you

I AM QUITE BUSY AND ARTISTICALLY PRODUCTIVE.

So productive, in fact, that I have FOUR invitations for you for July:


INDIE PLAYHOUSE - July 8 - This monthly show (2nd Sundays) was born from wanting more chances to just play with our art and showcase the silly things we're working on. We offer a different educational opportunity (workshop or panel discussion) during the afternoon, and at 7:00 we have a show that's open to the public. Often you'll see a student set from the workshop that afternoon and/or you'll see some amazing indie acts from around KC. This month, I'll be hosting and performing as part of the student set. I'm so excited to go learn a new format in the afternoon! ANYWAY, FB details are here; buy your tickets early to save a little cash!


AMERICA'S IMPROV TEST KITCHEN - July 14 - This monthly improv show (Second Saturdays) features all indie improv troupes who are looking for a chance to show what they've been working on! Teams range from acts debuting their sets for the first time to long-time improv veterans. A little something for everyone! Check out the details here!

KC FRINGE FESTIVAL!!!!!



KINDLING Improvised Movie - MTH Studio - FB Link here! -- You are probably seeing a trend here; I love doing improvised theatre now; that means that we just make up our words on the spot -- generally there's a shape to the story that we want to get to, but other than that, all the words are ours, for better or for worse. This is a movie that will be showing as part of Film on the Fringe in Crown Center -- The AC always works, free covered parking on the weekends, full bar in the lobby. Crown Center is a treat. Stop by and relax and watch a bunch of us nerds make up some funnies.



THE MAN IN MY BEARD - The Arts Asylum - FB Link here! So when I'm not doing improv, I'm still kinda doing improv -- in this case, I'm pleased to offer physical gags as part of this really absurd play about what happens when an unsuspecting janitor accidentally sets off some science. It's always a gift to be able to help Tara Varney and Bryan Colley bring their visions to life, and this year's no different. The Arts Asylum is a great destination venue this year, filled to the brim with musicals and art and accidental science, as mentioned. 

--

I hope you all are having a tremendous summer. 2018 has been a...ridiculous year for me; I'm growing so much in my improv practice, my yoga practice, and now I've seen "Nanette" by Hannah Gadsby on Netflix and now I'm questioning ALL the art I do, and how I can make it even more truthful and supportive of the world we are sharing together. Fuccccck.

Love,
Classy McG

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Your Classy Companion Interlude 2 - Podcasting

Hey! In this installment, I talk with my friend Hilari Holt of That's KC! podcast to any aspiring podcasters out there who are wondering what it takes to get started!

-C McG