In this special episode I am sitting around a late October campfire, talking about the wonders and history of Halloween with historian Paul Moyer, writer and practicing pagan Christine Green, and their kids Bridget and Ethan.
Join us as we learn about the history of trick-or-treating, costumes, and Halloween celebrations then consider the sacred aspects of the holiday. And no Halloween is complete without some funny jokes and serious advice from teens and kids. Look out for "crucified goats" and remember when handing out trick-or-treats: "fruit don't count."
This week Nina speaks about opening The Aurora Center for Creative and Spiritual Arts and her up and down journey making the decision. And how: "Ever since I signed that lease, I've shifted."
Nina talks about learning to hold creative endeavors gently, being patient, listening for guidance. What wants to happen? What wants to come through you?
After a 2-month summer break, I sat down one September Saturday morning and talked with Dan about what I wanted Lit Up to be. Trying to get to something richer and more personal, more artful and fun. Not that I don't love the 14 interviews I've done, but that I knew it was time for Lit Up to take the next step in its evolution. This week's episode of Lit Up is the documentation of that conversation.
Rochester theater up-and-comers Alec Michael Powell and Kate Royal talk about collaborating on their first musical "The Weekends," a show about the disillusionment the current crop of 20-somethings feel transitioning from college to "the real world." They discuss allowing character personalities to inform music style, and how their goal is to portray Millennials honestly and unashamedly.
Meet singer-songwriter Susanna Rose: lovely, humble, and the real deal. She's heard songs playing in her head since she was a child, but it wasn't until she learned guitar at 21 that she found a way to get them out. In this episode, Susanna Rose gives us a live performance of "Song to Myself," as well as recorded versions of the first song she ever wrote: "Christmas Eve," and one of her most recent: "Separate Ways." In between, we'll learn about her unpretentious approach to songwriting and that vulnerable feeling she gets whenever she puts her music "out there."
Have you ever dreamed of quitting your job and becoming a professional blogger? Travel and food blogger Jessica DeJesus is making the plunge this summer. She talks to us about her #litup moment, how she got started, the ups and downs of building her visibility and audience, how Wayne Dyer's The Power of Intention inspires her to stay positive, and she even gives some practical advice to new bloggers. She is also writing a new book: The Dining Traveler's Guide to Puerto Rico.
Meet Tate DeCaro, a newly minted yoga instructor. In 2013, while asking the question "What do I want to do with my life," an unexpected illness struck. This started a chain of events in which she changed her diet and her relationship with exercise and yoga. In 2014 she decided to take a trip to Kalani, Hawaii to practice yoga. That trip would turn out to be life-changing, turning 2014 into a year that answered the question posed in 2013. Tate's story is particularly inspiring if you're searching for your path, dealing with body issues, or struggling with unhappiness.
This week we talk with poet and fiction writer Alan Hilfiker about his newly published book MEMORIAL DAY (Meliora Publications), his formative experiences in his first English class at the University of Rochester: "I was struck, I was inspired. I never got over it." We discuss his interest in World War II, as well as the inspiration for his story "The Transplant," about a rabid racist who gets an ironic surprise after a kidney transplant.
Alan's work is best described as "keenly observed encounters" and we talk about the empathy, sensitivity, and perspective that drive the work he calls "both hobbyist and compulsive" as well as his formation of scholarships for first-generation college students and minorities at the U of R.
Included: listen to a 10 minute clip from his newly published story-poem book "Memorial Day," read by Jonathan Foss.
Reading of the poem "Memorial Day" by Alan Hilfiker (published May 24, 2015). Narrated by Jonathan Foss.
In this stark and solemnly paced story-poem, inspired by a New York Times cover photo of a young woman sitting by a military gravestone, poet Alan Hilfiker introduces two characters: Old Steadman, and a young widow, each keeping vigil through a long Memorial Day. As ceremonies and patriotic speeches come and go, the widow struggles to come to terms with the loss of her husband in Afghanistan. Through memories of the past and longing for a future not to be, her grief bears witness to the cost of all lives cut short by service to country. Finally she looks to the old caretaker for an answer to the question “Why?” What is left when words and rites are not enough?
Spend a half-hour with the infectious spirit of young but accomplished Director/ Actor/ Producer Melyssa Hall. We talk about her booth "The Art of Conversation" at the Venice, New York Biennale, her newly minted role as an artistic intern at Ithaca's Kitchen Theater, her love of fantasy over realism, her experiences directing the vastly different play styles of "Cow Town" and "Aria de Capo," and her desire to make spaces for talented people to do the work that they do.