Tara L. Daniels was born and raised in St. Louis. As a child, she would constantly tell stories, draw, and write. Though her interests have always aligned with the arts, at first, she did not consider them a career track. During her first time in college, she graduated with a degree in Information Technology with a minor in Art from the University of Missouri-Columbia. During that time and afterward, she worked in film and television pre-production, helping others chase their creative dreams. After graduating, she worked in the corporate world for several years. However, after teaching a class about employable skills, she realized her passion was teaching. Now, she is pursuing her second degree in Art Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and rediscovering her loves for painting, sewing, and, of course, writing.
The time has come. Laren Loveless’ The Last Vinyl, prelude to his musical, Sleepwalker, will be debuting tomorrow. Yes, folks, TOMORROW!
It is the last day of 2013.
Right now, you may be getting ready to go out and party the night away with friends. Maybe you’ll bring the New Year in with a small group of friends and family. Or perhaps you’ll spend your New Year’s Eve like me: sitting in your pajamas, watching Netflix, and eating cookies.
Either way, it is a time to celebrate the past year and look forward to the new one. For me, it is the right time to reflect on my art. As a working student, it is sometimes difficult to spend time on personal projects. There is always a paper to write, a presentation to work on, and a work shift you need to get it. There were times I barely had time to finish my homework! However, I am very proud of one project that I began in 2013 and will continue to work on in 2014: The Incomplete Fairy Tale Book.
I feel like everyone has had that moment when they witness a piece of art that they know is ready to be the next big thing. It is as if that performance, that project, that person is right on the cusp of greatness.
That’s how I felt when I was given my first glimpse of Laren Loveless’s game-changing musical, “Sleep Walker”.
In my hand, I am holding an invitation to the opening of an art gallery. Regularly, that would mean a crisply clean info card or brochure with bright splashes of color.
Not this one. This one is a thin slip of yellowed paper that looks like it was printed seventy or so years ago and was recently found in a dusty trunk in grandma’s attic. The only reason I’m sure it’s new is because of the web info and hashtag at the bottom.
In my hand, I hold my entry into the mysterious Living Gallery.
Photo by Jarred Gastreich
You know, I would say I’m pretty good at thinking on my feet.
Impromptu speech? I’ll nail it.
Last minute presentation? Bring it on.
Taking one suggestion and turning into a twenty minute show? Ummm…
Well, that might not be my area of expertise. Yet the wonderfully hilarious performers at the Improv Shop do just that week after week. I sat down with Dan Peterson, member of the Improv Shop’s house team and all-around good guy, to learn more.
“There’s no art stuff in St. Louis, “ laments one of my co-workers.
I arch an eyebrow skeptically. “Uh . . . what?”
“There’s no cool art stuff going on in St. Louis. When I lived in Austin, there were all sorts of shows happening every weekend. Here, there’s nothing!”
I sigh. I really can’t blame her. A few years ago, I thought the same thing. I came home after living in Columbia and Chicago and I missed the little art events that happened in those cities. I figured that St. Louis, in all its infinite wackness, didn’t have anything like that going on. I was completely and utterly wrong. Not only was there “art stuff” in St. Louis, there were fantastic local events happening ALL THE TIME. The only problem was that most people didn’t have a clue about them.