Welcome back to “Creative Process" - a month-long journaling series from members of the Lady Brain Collective. Today we will lift up the writing of Tori Roze, the member who inspired this entire group project with the below work:
colorful writing pens overlaid on photo of Tori Roze, who is singing into a microphone.
original photo credit: Darci Fontenot
“From Mourning to Morning: Pandemic Sentiments” by Tori Roze
If you’re feeling out of whack lately, congratulations – you’re human and you’re absolutely not alone. Society at large is currently in a forced state of mourning: in mourning for the dreams we were each actively pursuing; in mourning for the ability to be able to plan for what we each want (and are not forced) to do next; in mourning for those suffering and dying at home and in hospitals without a single friend or family member by their side; in mourning for the black and brown lives that have been endlessly and unequivocally under fire since the dawn of colonial civilization; in mourning for in-person education being brought to a grinding halt; in mourning for job and economic loss; in mourning for the way basic things have functioned for SO long that we didn’t even notice we would miss them - things like going to work, missing THAT, for chrissakes!; in mourning for the small things we each enjoyed like being able to grab a coffee somewhere else other than your home or simply being able to stand near someone without the worry of your personal-space bubble in order to protect your health.
During the three month-long worldwide forced quarantine, the “world” as we know it has already changed. WE are different. WE are finally seeing where things have been falling short for decades, if not longer: governments are crumbling, healthcare systems are broken, racism has reached its absolute boiling point (...again), and with the actual control of resources - we, as a people, don’t have access to necessary supplies to even wipe our own butts, in a serious time of Global Pandemic crises.
We can’t eat, drink, smoke, exercise, share, protest, donate, meditate, cook, clean, bake, give, or create nearly ENOUGH to fill the huge void we are all aimlessly pushing through. Floundering is a thing (just keep swimming) and it’s being felt everywhere. FEEL IT! You’re human. You have feelings. Go through the full range of this emotion! There is NO blueprint or precedent for what we are experiencing in this historical moment: this IS the dawning!
At this massive tipping point of the collective consciousness, it is up to each of us as individuals to decide where it is we will fit into the future = this exact moment. We are at a moral crossroads having to prioritize between human life, resources, and money. We have our work cut out for us.
Only this time WE are banding together. We are inciting change now, here, today. WE are showing up and providing for each other. WE are coming up with grassroots solutions. WE are stepping in and fixing every little broken part of the systems that be AND the very morale of a people who exist without the proper guidance of a designated leader. We are CHANGING the world to the image WE, the people - the ones who are helping each other every day by showing up and standing together and protesting and feeding each other and making masks and donating and rallying together and sharing the load - WISH to SEE. And the Earth is HEALING in our moment of stillness - after years of use and abuse - because we’ve all been trying so desperately to “keep up with the Joneses” at a sprinter’s pace.
“It’s been a LONG, long time coming. But I know, but I know a CHANGE is gonna come. Oh yes, it is.” -Otis Redding
It is time to get DEEP with ourselves, the answers are inside of you/me/us. WE are inventing this as we go, so trust the process and yourself: because education is important, because community is important, because
jobs are important, because love is important, because animals are important, because the Earth is important, because the Ocean is important, because PEOPLE are important. Does any of modern civil society even matter if it doesn’t have people to make it function properly? No, it doesn’t. Today is proof.
Let’s embrace the change happening today because it’s our collective “baby” that we shall nurture together. But make sure to sit shiva long enough to have truly gotten over what the world as we once knew it was. Change is scary, but it’s the only thing we are each guaranteed in this life besides death. Be not afraid. Help each other. Listen to one another. Amplify the voices of those that need to be heard around the world. Show up. Call things out. Allow love, hope, and integrity to lead your actions. Just remember: mutual understanding will save the day, it always does.
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, a massive 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:
colorful writing pens overlaid on photo of Mary Hamer,
who is playing keyboard and singing into a microphone.
original photo credit: Darci Fontenot
“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!
Thanks so much to everyone for attending both of our virtual workshops this month and helping us keep this community together even though we are restricted from gathering in person!
Special thanks to Jules Stewart for giving us a great rundown on resolution and sizing of images during our discussion on Media Assets. We also talked about bios, pull quotes, promo photos, and more. It's always great to be prepared and professional when it comes to working with folks in the media!
As for our Recording Home Vocals workshop, our special guest Amelia Sarkisian talked to the group about various microphones, set up, signal flow, gain structure, and more. Given the circumstances of sheltering in place, it was beneficial to discuss ways to become more proficient in our home recording set-ups. There's so much to learn - we'll definitely be revisiting this topic in the future!
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.
Thanks so much to everyone who tuned in to our Mother's Day brunch on Instagram Live yesterday! It was our first time live streaming from that platform, and we had a great time celebrating mothers/motherhood. Special thanks to our performers Thea! The Band, Mary Bee, Karina Frost, Gretchen DeVault and Lindsay White for putting on a great show!
Don't forget to circle back to the blog next month for our June virtual community gathering called Creative Process. This collaborative journaling project will showcase the written work on several Lady Brain Members, serving as a time capsule of sorts to mark this moment and movement in time.
Thanks to everyone who participated and shared a song for our virtual book club takeover of the San Diego Songwriters Club. We're still getting used to this whole online gathering business, and this was a hard pivot to make because we were so excited to be in a room with our friends book club talking about this book. But, it was still lovely to check out beautiful songs from members of both groups (particularly from one of our newest members Danielle Angeloni!) and we are so proud of LBC member and book club organizer Unison Colthurst for doing amazing things with the community she leads! We're looking forward to scheduling another book club takeover when the coast is clear for being in a room together!
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."
All Abby Dorsey Alexis Tia Alisandra Del Nero Allegra Duchaine Alyssa Douglas Amanda Lea Amy Day Anna Zinova Art Around Adams Astra Kelly Barbara Rutherford Bar Pink Becca Jay Belly Up Bonnie Nicholls Boss Ladies Brain Candy Busy Buckley Busy LBs Calamity Cardinal Moon Carissa Schroeder Catherine Barnes Cathryn Beeks Celeste Barbier Chloe Lou Chloe Lou And The Liddells Chris Avetta Cici Artemisia Claudia Russel Community Gathering Corina Rose Creative Process Danielle Angeloni Dawn Mitschele Dixie Maxwell Donna Larsen Emma Byrd Gaby Aparicio Ginger Cowgirl GoFundMe Golden Howl Gretchen DeVault Heather Marie Jacqueline Silva Jean Mann Jessica Lerner Jessie Lark Jill Badonsky Jules Stewart Julia Sage Julie Albright Karen Lindenberg Karina Frost Karina Frost Moreno Karyn Ann KC Deichler Kinnie Dye KishaLynn Elliott Lady Brain Fest Lady Brain Film Fest Lady Brain Presents Laura Jane Willcock Laura Payne Lauren Leigh Lillian Lefranc Lindsay White Lisa Brackmann Lisa Sanders Live Music Lizabeth Yandel Lizzie Wann Lori Addis Marcia Claire Mariah Priddy Marie Haddad Marlo Smith Mary Bee Mary Hamer Mayzie Jean MC Flow Melanie Medina Meraki Cafe Michele Palmer Miki Vale Mona Tavakoli Naiomi New Music New Video Nisha Catron Paige Miller Patric Petrie Podunk Nowhere Press Queen Be Queen Mab Queer Voices Rachel Riba Ramona Ault Rebekkah Darling Ren Daversa Ren Diversa Reviews Rika Rai Rika-Rai Roni Lee Rosa's Cantina Rosy Dawn San Diego Music Awards Sandi King Shannon Oshea Sharisse Coulter Soulsong.life Stacey Barnett Steph Johnson Support Susan Lipson Sycamore Den Sydney Prather Talking The Talk Thea Tochihara The Banduvloons The Bold Vocal The Holding Company The Resizters The Riviera Supper Club The Spiritual Motels Tori Roze Trish Naval Unison Colthurst Veronica May Voxy Whitney Shay Women's March San Diego Workshops
Support Lady Brain Collective
Any contributions or sponsorships are welcome and appreciated!