Sunday, October 21, 2012

wondrous week one won! pt.2

I wake on Monday to chat with Charlie (StepChild), he's a really great guy, soft spoken, laughs to himself quite a bit, and messes with his cats almost the same way that I do.  We swap stories, life, dance, and what we have in common.  I can tell from our convo that I stand to learn a great deal from him as a community leader.  His chapter in the Zulu nation has become somewhat of a standard and has greatly raised the bar.  Soon enough we are shopping for tasty eats at a cub foods...come again...yes that's right Cub Foods.  Haven't shopped at one of those since I was a child and maybe it's fitting to be back where it all began.  Except this time, going for whole wheat pasta's, fresh produce, and some delicious garlic hummus.  I'm not bragging, just marveling at the progression of it all, and noting (between the lines) what still needs to be seen.

The Condo is hard wood floors, neat little cubbies for organizational sake, a beautiful 2nd story porch, training dummy, and littered with motivational sayings all about the space.  Two huge book cases, self help titles, martial arts manuals, philosophy, and even some Calvin and Hobbes.  Tucked away in various reaches of the condo are cat contraptions, these make me even more jealous that I am not a cat, and I find yet another example of how amazing their lives are.  Not a TV in the house but there is some super fast internet connectivity which I'm writing to you from.

Monday evening puts me in an extremely prodigious dance studio in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.  Amy teaches a Monday night class, she's allowing me to sub for her the following week, and I wanted to come through the week before so as to meet some of the students.  The ceilings in this place are AMAZING!  The whole building is phenomenal and carries with it an old mystique.  This will be the second time I've taught in Minneapolis and once again I'm just floored by the studio space.

I kick it with her class, then head back with her to my previous home base, and help her pack.  This road warrior (AMY) has a flight to catch at four in the morning but she wants to go out and get down at a new Monday night spot.  So we head to Uptown, link up with a grip of sick dancers (mostly those of the foot work variety), and begin to boogie.  The vibe is tight, everyone shares openly, and you can  tell a lot of these dancers have known one another for a long while.  The music is a mix of house, soul, and occasionally some funk.  The mood is, as if Sunday just lapsed over and Monday actually won't be coming for quite sometime.  We close it down and I ride back with Charlie to the Zulu lair.

My routine quickly becomes, AS MUCH STRETCHING AS POSSIBLE, and increasing my strength with all my meditative practices.  It's nice to be in a calming environment, I loved where I was living before, but I don't think I was fully aware till Allan said "living in a construction site"...that I in fact was living in a very chaotic atmosphere.  The contrast is intense and with it comes more insight into the things I'm working very hard to improve in myself.  We bounce convo's off one another, he looks out over his balcony, smoking from his vapor machine (e-cig), and keeping a neighborly watch over his block.  

The blue nisle is my end destination for Tuesday night, they host an experimental open mic there and I've been told it's a good time.  So I sit at a near by coffee shop, sip gunpowder green tea, listen to tunes, and write in my notebook.  After the third cup I decide to venture out on what is suppose to be a thirty minute walk.  I make a left when I should have made a right and end up walking very very in the wrong direction.  This would have made me mad, except, it's beautiful out, I'm slanging some sick shapes, taking in a really nice neighborhood, and like always have left myself plenty of time to make my end destination.  I trek back the way I came, cross some streets, one being Lyndale, and the others not appearing in the titles of Atmosphere songs.  I get to the open mic, a little winded, calves sore, but early and still jacked from all that green tea.

The spot is DOPE!  The entire night revolves around a revolving soul band and they play back up to the performers.  There were some really entertaining folks there, Ms. Pearl from the youth out reach program DD helps at is there, and she lets me use her phone to get in touch with Charlie.  What cracks me up is, I enter charlies number, hit send, and "Step Child" pops up on the caller ID.  I think to myself, small world, smaller city, and this family is probably much tighter then I could have known.  After some spoken word performances, a blues man with an orange bandanna, down right awful MC's, I get my 4 minutes to shine, and do my best with it.  Never had a band behind me and I decide to ask...
"Do you think you guys could help me feel like "Black Thought" and we could get on some Root's type shit?"
To which they all smile and we set off on a 5 minute freestyle bliss session.  Not to many peoples in the room but the response I get is plenty warm.

I spend the rest of the week, cooking for my amazing hosts, sparring with Charlie, much more stretching, rolling over this giant foam contraption that has been rolling out a lot of my kinks, and smoothing me out into the elastic badass I once use to be.  Wednesday night we head out to a large session, in the basement of a church, and when I say large I mean LARGE!  I've never seen anything like it...there are at least 5 different bboy crews sharing space and then in another part a large grip of poppers.  I session with the poppers for the most part and get to battle some really talented dancers.  All of them amazing with their individual styles and up n comers within the Midwest funkstyles scene.  Highlight for me was battling the newly turned 21year old rhematic, this kid is fresh, and it was an honor to exchange with him.

Thursday comes, I'm given a red shiny bike to peddle around the city with, and my knees are above the handle bars.  Beggers, choosers, and all the things I wouldn't dream to be.  I make it work and meet up with Dave in downtown.  I'm digging getting to know his outreach members, they even set up for me to battle one of the local youth dancers on a corner Friday night, and it feels like the hits keep coming.  All to soon though, I'm peddling over and through hills.  Inhaling falls crisp comforts hunting out a comedy open mic and hoping to make some people laugh with my weeks worth of observations.

Lock the bike, sign myself up, and take to making a new friend.  Her name is Patricia, she was dinning by her self, reading a New York Times article on food, and wearing a swanky pair of cat classes.  She has intricate inkings all along her arms and offers me a slice of Thai inspired pizza.  It's delicious, our conversation enlightened but sadly cut short by what I came to do.  I'm two for two in the comedy open mic realm of Minneapolis as the host of the open mic tells me.  Seems like I intuitively found two of the funnest venues to test out new material as a comic in Minneapolis.  The talent is extremely high in the room and I started to feel a bit nervous.  I go up with a loose set in mind and do my best.  Definitely got a few good laughs but overall I know there is much work to be done in this arena of my life and I can't wait to have some solid break through's.

Unlock the bike, head home, passing by a women with a brilliantly defiant gaze, and shredding my ears to some Grimblee.  I replay the week over and over in my's only been seven days.  I'll keep em coming if you keep reading...oh...and this is make some suggestions.  Feel free to help me choose the adventure and enrich this already alarmingly amazing experience.


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