A few weeks ago, Lady Brain Collective member Tori Roze wrote and submitted a piece of writing for the Lady Brain Presents blog (look out for it later in this series) in an effort to help lift our collective spirits as so many folks in our creative community struggle with the uncertainty and grief that comes with living during a global health crisis. Her work inspired June's community gathering/collective journaling project called “Creative Process." Instead of hosting a traditional performance showcase, we asked Lady Brain Collective members to submit written work that expresses their unique experiences of living, working, creating, and surviving through the pandemic. In the time since we received Tori's submission, an enormous resistance to white supremacy and police brutality erupted across the nation (spawned by the successive murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd).
As the month of June unfolds, we want to offer our blog to members as a blank canvas, a journal, a microphone, a megaphone, or any other instrument they may need right now. We will bear compassionate witness to whatever our members are experiencing in this moment, and in doing so, create a time capsule for them to process, document, and express their feelings. We believe these reflections may also help folks in the community who might be having trouble articulating their own thoughts and emotions around the current state of the world.
“Creative Process" starts now:
“38 Years" by Mary Hamer
For 38 years I've been “without" you
And yet you searched for me.
It took a virus to break years of silence
To admit you, to set you free.
Now admitting to myself
These things I shoved aside
Were all set amongst the shelves
Of loud indoctrination,
Of quiet giving in
To what the world did want from me,
And not a “living sin."
And for so long I could not admit.
I could not let me see.
For I thought the last thing I needed
Was a new identity.
And now I stand before you,
Laying bare my soul,
Saved and not forgotten.
Finally, I am whole.
Astra Kelly, Lady Brain Collective member, musician/songwriter, and founder of soulsong.life, is embarking on a new virtual adventure called Monday Meditations. The monthlong series will take place on Zoom and feature special guests Tori Roze (also a Lady Brain Collective member), Kelly Samuels, and Katy Bray. Participants can enjoy this guided meditation series from the comfort of their own homes every Monday in June at 6pm PDT. Whether you're new to meditation or an experienced practitioner, this is a powerful time to nurture the self and connect with others in a supported space of healing to find grounding, clarity, and inspiration for the coming season.
The meditations will be cumulative (though single/drop-in registrations are welcome) and meant to provide a multifaceted healing experience for body, mind, and spirit. Each day will begin with an opening check in, body scan, group energy exchange and will feature a different guided meditation experience each week.
Monday, June 1 - Breath Work and Chakra Centered Body Scan with Astra Kelly
Beginning with the breath, we'll get into the space, and settle in. It's a new month, a new day, a new dawn. We'll bring our focus to each body center for head to toe clearing and healing.
Monday, June 8 - Throat Chakra Freedom with Tori Roze
A focused throat chakra meditation and sound healing to help you find/speak/live in your own PERSONAL truth and self expression.
Monday, June 15 - Sound Vibration Meditation with Kelly Samuels
Change your vibration-change your manifestation. “A person hears sound through every pour of the body. The energy of sound charges the physical body with new life." - Hazrat Khan
Monday, June 22 - Expanded You with Katy Bray
Take a journey to your expanded self. Have you been experiencing the call of new energy? New aspects of yourself that are looking for expression? Or maybe you are feeling confused about what your next steps are. Either way, your expanded self, the next version of yourself is an energy that is available to you. Let's tap into it together so you can receive direct guidance and wisdom for the questions you have right now.
Monday, June 29 - Meet Your Spirit Guide Meditation and Reiki Attunement with Astra Kelly
A higher power can show up in many shapes and forms, this meditation will open the way to receive this type of insight or message. Reiki is taught by a series of “attunements" passed from master to student. It can be a powerful spiritual experience, as your energetic pathways are opened to allow chi/energy to flow more freely throughout the body.
Once you click on “tickets" for any of the events, you can register for one or multiple meditations. Suggested donation is $10-$20 per meditation (or whatever you can afford.) You will receive an email notification prior to each meditation you have registered for with a link to the Zoom meeting. Make sure to download the Zoom app in advance. For optimal audio and energetic experience, we recommend using head phones (if possible) and setting yourself up in a quiet space where you will be uninterrupted. Meditations will last 30-45mins.
After each meditation, you will receive both video and audio of the meditation as well as contact information for all practitioners in case you'd like to reach out for one on one sessions and/or other events.
Astra Kelly: www.astrakelly.com
Performing musician, vocal and songwriting coach, Usui Reiki Master/Teacher and founder of the Usui Reiki School of Light and Touch (Chicago, 1994), rehabilitative songwriting workshop facilitator for Jail Guitar Doors/Donovan State Prison, creator of soulsong.life: transformational songwriting workshops, spiritual practitioner and light worker. “The gift of healing reveals itself in many forms and is available to everyone, unconditionally. I am passionate about being in service through music, helping others tap in to their creative source, and witnessing it as a catalyst for profound human transformation and healing for people from all walks of life. In all of my endeavors, I advocate for wellbeing, personal transformation, and mental/emotional freedom. When the energy of the body is free-flowing, there is less likeliness for dis-ease and healing occurs on all levels - spiritual, mental, emotional and physical."
Tori Roze: www.rozewellness.com
Certified Reiki Energy Healing Practitioner, Body Work & Intuitive Medicine Practitioner, Crystal & Aromatherapy Healer, Body Positive Facilitator, Voice & Performance Instructor + Healer, Humanitarian, and Lover of Life. True healing is a comprehensive 360-degree matter = Mind + Body + Soul. Nothing is completely healed without addressing all of its components because we, as human beings, store our experiences in our whole bodies - meaning mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Having spent many years doing intuitive empathic energy work, I strive to clear and heal any energy flow blockages in my clients. The point is to align each client - correctly allowing their own version of “perfect harmony” within their mental/physical/emotional/spiritual self - to come forth in an effort of overall healing and well-being.
Kelly Samuels: www.joyrisingyogaandwellness.com
Owner of Joy Rising Yoga and Wellness RYT 200 Ingraham Method Reflexologist Tibetan Usui Reiki Ryoho Master Soul of Yoga 100 Hour Sound Healer. All matter in the known universe is made up of moving, vibrating particles. Everything you see or experience is the manifestation of this vibration. In sound assisted meditation we delve deep into the inner landscape, aligning our personal vibration with the instruments and intentions. The mind is easily soothed, the body relaxed, the soul elevated. Create greater harmony in your body, mind, spirit and life by connecting to the source of all things: SOUND! Experience a tapestry of sound with crystal bowls, harp, flute, chimes and voice as Kelly sets you free within yourself to discover what needs to be healed, released, relaxed or let go or brought in. All you have to do is breathe and be! “Life flows effortlessly with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance." -John St. Claire
Katy Bray: www.katybray.com
Katy Bray is a life-long clairvoyant, energy worker, and gifted empath whose direct and loving approach has been transformational for her clients — by guiding them to achieve the next level of success with greater confidence and authenticity. Katy is a Vedic Master, herbalist, student of Tantra, and dancer. Her body of work is called, “Energy Architecture” which is based on her work with thousands of people who started to reveal to her common energy patterns that people confront on their spiritual journey. She’s led more than 100 groups, teaching participants how to become more energy literate. Katy is an author, speaker, faculty at The Shift Network, a masterclass teacher at Wisdom From North, and a catalyst for all who seek her counsel.
Welcome to Boss Ladies, the review column written by members for members! In this edition, Lizabeth Yandel reviews Melanie Medina's new single, “Millennial Love Dance," available today on streaming platforms.
If you’re feeling like you could use a little comic relief in this possibly-apocalyptic, so-dramatic-it-would-be-funny-except-that-it’s-real time of coronavirus and quarantine, Melanie Medina’s new single “Millennial Love Dance” may be just the witty kind of medicine you need. It’s a track that so many of us can relate to in our current virtually-charged dating world. The playfulness of the music, combined with the hilarity of cringingly relevant lyrics like “baby, I’m consenting affirmatively,” give millennials of all stripes the chance to laugh at our ridiculous selves while also singing along (and not crying, you’re crying).
The lyrics stand on their own. Medina had been “pretty fed up with overly sentimental love songs full of imagery cliches.” The response that came from her frustration is a string of super specific, well-drawn images that vividly paint an everyday coffee-shop scene that might just be love. “I stop for coffee on my latest walk of shame, and there I find you standing so astute, in vegan leather boots,” she sings, with such a sweetness in her voice that one could easily miss the cynicism and comedy of the actual words. But Medina assures us that she wasn’t trying to paint the current dating world in an “entirely cynical” light.
“I wanted to write something really topical and flippant as a middle finger to, well, romanticizing romance,” she said.
The track was first written in a basement practice room at San Diego State University, where Medina completed her degree in music. Since that first rendition, the song has gone through a few revamps.
“I had to update the references a few times,” she explained. “It originally contained lines about vegan lattes and a beard that was ‘on fleek’. Yikes”.
Medina cut the final track, with references so current it’s almost embarrassing for all of us, with her producer Shandon Campbell in Campbell’s home studio. The track features Sean Hicke on bass, Abran Gurrola on drums, and Melanie Medina’s own killer guitar chops and wonderfully mellow vocals.
Medina’s hope for “Millennial Love Dance” is that, “we can all just have a good laugh about being basically living in a Black Mirror episode.”
Although the theme of the tune might speak to a general disappointment we all feel in the dating world right now, this fresh, clever song with its sprinkles of jazz harmonies and “liberal propaganda” (as Medina puts it) will absolutely not disappoint!
“I've been writing a LOT during the quarantine,” Medina says, adding that she has more singles scheduled to drop in the coming months. Be sure to stream or download “Millennial Love Dance” and keep your eyes wide for more singles from this rad emerging artist soon!
Carissa Schroeder (Lady Brain Collective member and founder of The Bold Vocal, has just launched her new online coaching course called Living Room Rockstar. The four week bootcamp is designed for singers who want an easy system for confidently performing live online, and a way to create cash flow from the comfort of home. According to the course description, Living Room Rockstar is an easy, repeatable, system that anyone can do, from anywhere in the world, to get cash in the bank and ears on their music.
Schroeder explains that many factors may hinder a vocalist from attempting to live stream at all, let alone develop an entire business strategy around it. Whether you are intimidated by technology or trolls, feeling insecure about your talent or capabilities, or just plain stuck on how to monetize your streams, Schroeder's course will help you simplify tech and provide a safe space to practice and develop confidence. In addition to coaching and community, the bootcamp will also offer accountability to keep you on track, as well as “non-skeezy" self promotion tips as you prepare to rock the socks off your money-making live stream.
The first ever Living Room Rockstar starts on Monday, May 18. In addition to course materials, the program includes a 12:00pm coaching call every Saturday for four weeks and will culminate in a live steam showcase at 12:00pm on Saturday, June 13. Sign up now to snag one of the last remaining discounted seats be a part of the inaugural class.
Over the last year, Lady Brain Collective has worked diligently toward building a strong community with a real presence in physical spaces. Needless, to say, recent events surrounding the corona virus threw us for a bit of a loop. But we realize that tough times call for stronger ties, so we are adapting and moving many of our workshops and showcases to a virtual setting until the coast is clear and we can gather IRL.
Kicking things off in the workshop realm, Mary Bee and Mary Hamer led a wonderful Zoom presentation on the topic of Live Streaming 101: Tips, Tricks, and Tech. During the meeting, attendees discovered new and interesting ways to showcase their work and broaden their audience online. Members shared tips and tricks on all things live streaming, ranging from best practices, various streaming platforms, and recommended software and gear.
While we're still a little salty about not being allowed to share physical space, we know it's for the greater global good, and all those familiar faces on Zoom helped us feel connected! We will continue to offer virtual member workshops on relevant topics for the duration of our shelter-in-place experience.
If you're a San Diego-based creative womxn interested in participating in this member workshop, we'd love to have you! Please complete your membership application and subscription below!
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE - TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2020 - SAN DIEGO, CA
Pandemic pending, local creative womxn's collective Lady Brain Presents is practicing cautious optimism while moving forward with plans for Lady Brain Film Fest, scheduled for Saturday, August 8. Submissions will be open April 6 through June 7, and earlybird tickets will be available starting in May. The festival will take place at the United Domestic Workers of America courtyard and sanctuary (4855 Seminole Dr, San Diego, CA 92115).
Last July's inaugural Lady Brain Fest focused primarily on music, showcasing 20 womxn-fronted acts on two stages at Heritage Ranch in Encinitas. This year, in an effort to celebrate a broader range of womxn creators, the festival is shifting gears toward the cinematic arts. Films and music videos will be screened, and Lady Brain Collective members from across the creative spectrum (directors, writers, actors, musicians, videographers, makeup artists, costume designers, etc.) are welcome to submit their creations.
The 2020 festival is the brainchild of collective member Mary Bee (filmmaker, musician, and host of travel docuseries Finding Harmony).
“I thought it would be fun to bring more creatives into the collective who work in different art forms," she said. “It will be so nice to get to know more work of Lady Brain members, and by everyone coming together that night, I hope it sparks some new collaborations!"
Lady Brain Presents founder Lindsay White is excited to help execute Bee's vision.
“A common misconception about Lady Brain Presents is that we are a music collective, when in reality we aim to celebrate and support local womxn creators across mediums. Mary's idea is a great way to roll out the red carpet for a more inclusive membership."
White also addressed how San Diego's recent shelter in place orders have affected the organization's current and future plans.
“It's been a challenge because one of the main reasons we organized in the first place was to cultivate community support for womxn creatives in real, physical spaces through both private workshops and public community gatherings. Moving away from that model feels counterintuitive because we spent the last year encouraging folks to get off their devices and out into the world. But this is a new world, at least temporarily, and we have to adapt."
First up in the collective's pivot to online spaces was last Sunday's “Community Quarantine," a Facebook livestream concert featuring performances from Julie Albright, Julia Sage, Astra Kelly, Rosy Dawn, Corina Rose, and Bonnie Nicholls. The organization has also transformed its monthly Brain Candy blog from a gig calendar to an artist relief resource. As shelter in place orders continue, Lady Brain Presents will move additional member workshops and showcases to virtual platforms as needed.
“No matter what, the goal is for this family of local womxn creators to work together and find ways to lift each other up and amplify each other's work in the community," said White. “I am optimistic we will be able to gather again by August, but if we need to host a virtual film festival online, we will figure that out, too. Creative womxn always find a way - we're scrappy as hell."
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our first ever Community Quarantine livestream on Facebook! Featuring virtual sets by Julie Albright, Julia Sage, Astra Kelly, Rosy Dawn, Corina Rose, and Bonnie Nicholls, attendees were able to experience the concert-style lineup in real time and enjoy an array of musical styles from some of the most talented womxn in San Diego!
Please join us on Sunday, March 29 for our first Community Quarantine concert! Here's how it works - each performer will be live streaming from their personal account, but we will also be sharing those feeds on the Lady Brain Presents Facebook Page, so no need to jump around from profile to profile if you don't wanna! We're looking forward to bringing a little music and community into your homes! The concert is free, but if you have the means to tip our artists and our organization, a little goes a long way!
Lady Brain Livestream - Community Quarantine
Sunday, March 29 - 2pm
Tune in: www.facebook.com/ladybrainpresents
2pm Julie Albright
2:20pm Julia Sage
2:40pm Astra Kelly
3pm Rosy Dawn Selwitz
3:20pm Corina Rose
(This is a fundraiser hosted by Heather Yambrovich, a local music/art lover who is setting up outreach for local artists in need of assistance.)
3:40pm Bonnie Nicholls
(not collecting tips)
To contribute to Lady Brain Presents:
The bad news? Our gigs (which were already under attack thanks to this trash bill named AB5) are cancelled as long as the quarantine is in effect. The good news? Artists are accustomed to a scrappy, resourceful life. We will get through this together. But we need our community's help. Thankfully, various San Diegan supporters of the Lady Brain Presents family have already reached out to ask how they can help their local womxn artists during this time. So we put together this special edition of Brain Candy, where we asked members one simple question: What are the top ways your community can support you NOW? Here are their answers, listed in order of response. We will be updating this blog as more members respond, so please check back in regularly, and show some love to the womxn who have worked tirelessly years through the years to bring you art, music, education, joy, healing, and entertainment.
You'll notice many requests for direct donations in addition to work for sale, services for hire, virtual entertainment, and exchange of goods. Please note that this crisis has brought on immediate financial insecurity, which can be a traumatic and difficult space to operate productively/creatively within. We are all doing our best to pull through it and help each other in the process. If you are in a position to help one or more members during this time, please do so. For those who do not have the means support financially, there are plenty of ways to support an artist at no cost - please interact with them on social media and feel free to ask them directly how you can help. We are grateful for any support in keeping our thriving womxn's art scene alive.
Writer, Photographer, Videographer, Graphic Designer
-Merch (books, prints) and Services (video editing, graphic design, commissions)
Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Vocal and Performance Coach, Healer
-Messy Cat Music voice/performance/acting lessons (619-316-4948)
-Roze Wellness virtual Reiki energy distance healing (619-316-4948)
-Music (Tori splits sales with the band)
Laura Jane Willcock
Musician, Singer, Songwriter, DJ, Producer
-Lux Records Music and Merch
-Paypal at email@example.com
Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Host, Producer, Photographer, Videographer
If you've shown support to the above artists in their immediate time of need, and you'd like to contribute further to the Lady Brain Collective as a whole, please find links below! Thank you for the love!
Wow wow wow. Woweee. Wowzers. <--- If you had a chance to experience last week's Lady Brain Presents Takeover of Grampa Drew's Flim Flam Revue, you likely had a reaction similar to this. Although many of the evening's featured musicians were absolutely winging it (true to Flim Flam nature), it sounded as if all the womxn on stage had been rehearsing their whole lives for this moment. The energy in the room was that magical. These womxn (particularly our jaw-droppingly talented house band) delivered stellar performance after improvised performance. Everyone in the venue was into it because they couldn't take their eyes and ears off of it.
Special thanks to Julia Sage for curating the whole shebang, to Grampa Drew for inviting Lady Brain Presents en masse onto the Flim Flam Stage, and to all the patrons at Whistle Stop who drank and tipped their way toward a $600+ donation to RAINN.org. The entire gathering reflected our mission of supporting local womxn creators and working together with our community to make a positive impact on the world around us.
We hope you continue to follow along with Lady Brain Presents, and help us execute this vision. If you're a San Diego-based womxn-identifying creative, please consider joining! And if you are an art and culture-loving local, please check out our upcoming events and find ways to get involved here. See you soon!
photo credit: Darci Fontenot Photography
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