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"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus"
~ Mark Twain

May is only halfway through...and it's been a roller coaster! - May 2017

I was officially elected and sworn in as the Vice President of I.A.T.S.E. Local 28.

I am grateful for wonderful auditions and callbacks.

The very poignant closing of Tomas and the Library Lady was hard for me. I want to continue telling this story! Tomas Rivera is a fascinating individual.

In personal news, one of my dearest friends was handfast to the love of her soul and I had the great honor & privilege to be a part of their ceremony both as giving the blessing of Fire and singing Loreena McKennitt's No Journey's End. It fills my heart with such Joy when people celebrate such luscious, supportive, curious, accepting LOVE. I sang with the exquisite accompaniment of Yvonne Payne of Ebony Notes. Vancouverites of Washington take note! ;-)

And something a little different! May 6th marked the Second Annual Train Day, and I was their Emcee. I had a blast! We had perfect weather, fantastic musicians (including a cameo of one of my friends & favorites, Nikole Potulsky) dedicated speakers & volunteers, raffles to support the ORHF, food trucks, and of course, LOTS OF TRAINS! :-) Thanks to everyone at KLiK Concepts for their organizing, State of Sound for their excellent - you guessed it - sound, and of course the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. Maybe next year I'll get to share some of the rail history I read up on! Right now, I am still on a rail kick and reading Marching Together, Women of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters by Melinda Chateauvert. It is on a topic and time of which I am woefully ignorant. One of my favorite things I've learned thus far is the quote, "A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits" which I was quite familiar with, is the motto for the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters.

Here are some pictures from #pdxtd2017

Happy April! - April 2017

This weekend I opened Tomas and the Library Lady with Oregon Children's Theatre, performing at the Winningstad in downtown Portland. (scroll down in the link to see the promo shots and a lovely video about creating the piece.) Especially in a time where the US is cracking down on immigrants, this story shows love to migrant workers and Spanish speakers, which feels so important. As well as celebrating literacy in many languages! When you go to purchase tickets, mention "Friends & Family discount" from Kate Mura and get 25% off.

On another side of things, I have been sworn in as the interim Vice President of I.A.T.S.E. Local 28. I am quite proud to represent my union internationally and listen to our members locally.

Tomas runs through April 29th. I hope to see you there!

For those of you in New Mexico... - January 2017

Happy Full Moon and Almost Yule! - December 2016

What a roller coaster of a few months!

I would be lying if I said the political climate hasn't effected me, it has. Doing a delightful gig with Red Shoe Productions as Mrs. Claus was the only thing that got me out of bed Nov. 9th.

Reading to so many children and adults was a balm for my soul.

Currently, I am in the throws of The Nutcracker with Oregon Ballet Theatre, and soon will be heading down to Albuquerque, where I may be offering a workshop in The Grand Emotions of Commedia and Viewpoints. But more on that soon...

In the interim, I have been mulling over a new workshop, which I will facilitate for the first time in Portland OR, Feb 25 & March 4th. Space is limited, so reserve your space promptly and feel free to pass this on!

Neutral Mask Workshop

Recently, I became aware that my prior mask studies have a subtle bent towards European - not surprising given the French and Italian history - however I do not feel it is necessary, nor fully neutral.

So, in this two day workshop, we are going to experiment. Participants will make and explore two neutral masks, each made on their own face, one white and one of what neutral looks like for you. This work is suitable for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Theatre/movement work is not required, it is but one wonderful pathway. If you are bringing children, know that they will be treated as equals in this class, anyone under 16 will need guardian consent, and if you are bringing young children, you are responsible for them.

This is an experiment. My facilitation lies in a woven cradle of Lecoq, Michael Checkov, Viewpoints, Laban, Rasaboxes, the Grand Emotions of Commedia Dell’Arte, yoga, magick, Boal, and Betsey Hamilton. Blending all of these, participants will explore their unique, vibrant physical life while opening their awareness to how they consciously and unconsciously view themselves and others.

Saturday Feb 25 & March 4, 2017
2 - 5 pm
Performance Works NW
4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland, OR 97206

Holiday’s Special - $50.00
Pay in Full by Jan 25, 2017

$25.00 deposit required.
Cancellations by Feb 15, 2017 will receive a full refund.

Regular cost: $75.00. Family cost: $150 for 2 adults, 2 youth (under 21)
Check, Cash & PayPal (kate@katemura.com) accepted.

All materials are included. Students keep their masks.

Scholarships and barter opportunities available! Email Kate for details.

Class Size Limited to 25

Feel free to pass this on!

Happy Holidays!

Blessed Mabon! - September 2016

As we round into the Second Harvest, Witch's Thanksgiving and Autumn, I'm making bread. Peach bread and zucchini bread with zucchini fresh from my friend's garden. And peach pie? cobbler? It's how I remember my mom making a graham cracker crust with the rest of the peaches and bourbon infused ginger with caramel crumble on top. We'll see how it comes out! The breads are delicious!

I am thankful for having my needs met and some space to bake! It was sad to see Lion King head on to San Diego, after having such a wonderful run with them in Portland (I had the Young Nala track, same as I had six years ago. It was a mini reunion, as many of the same wonderful faces are still on tour.)

Now, I am deep in rehearsals for Richard III with Post5 Theatre. If you're in Portland or are planning a visit Sept 30 - Oct 22nd, you can purchase tickets here. Playing Lady Anne is literally a dream come true. One I didn't even remember...

Earlier today, I unpacked one of my straggler boxes and inside I had one of my beautiful pottery Dream vessels.

Out of curiosity, I opened it up to read what was inside...

There were multiple pieces of paper, folded in many different ways, some seeds, magickal herbs, a "Peace" button. Most of the dreams were from 2003 and 2004. And one of those charged, comforting pieces of paper had the most surprising manifestation: to play Lady Anne. If ever I needed proof I have manifest my dreams in many ways, I got it! Most of what was written for that dream has come true, just not in the way I wrote. I did do paid summer Shakespeare in 2004 - I was Angelo in Comedy of Errors with Theater Hikes. I have added weeks towards my Equity card and now I am playing Lady Anne. I didn't do all of those things the summer of 2004, but dreams have their own flow. I didn't even remember I dreamed of playing Lady Anne and yet here I am...

As an artist, although I think everyone has this to varying degrees, it's hard to measure personal success when there isn't a multi million dollar movie gig or Broadway debut. It's something I frequently think on, what does success look like for me? And when I reach that goal, what's the next one? It's an ongoing meditation.

What does success look like for you?

Happy August! - August 2016

It is hot out! Even here in Oregon, heat is getting into the triple digits. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest 12 years ago, if there were three days breaking 100 degrees that was amazing. But for the last three years they have become more and more prevalent, much to my dismay. It's not much, but I'm planting a handful of plants and trees to help with cooling shade and munching some carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

My mask unveiling that some of you made it to was wonderful. A combination of ritual, socializing and performance, our group said good bye to the old masks.

Photo credit to Meg Titian Stephens

Which now live in our memories and art. This photo montage, and other beautiful photographs of the original masks, were taken by Meg Titian Stephens in Avignon last summer. She is a wonderful digital artist in Australia, and this photograph particularly reminds me of my grandpa's work. He loved experimenting with multiple exposure photography, and I'm sure would have tested working digitally as well.

After saying our good-byes we said hello to the new masks and each gave a moment of gratitude to Tony Giuseffi, my adopted grandpa and an inspiration to the mask of Tony. At 101 and a half, I learned of his passing two days before the unveiling. He lived a remarkable life which his obituary doesn't really cover, but this article gives a fuller bite. I'm shocked his home made lasagna's didn't come up! Maybe those were only reserved for close friends and family.

Here are the new masks:

Welcome. And thank you.

Happy Summer All! - July 2016

I thought I'd get an update in around the Solstice, but with Annie, Sweeney Todd, lots of yoga, Motown and NEW MASKS, this is my first chance.

You read correctly, new masks.

A year and a day after the theft in Paris, I will be unveiling and introducing the public to seven new masks and new dreams for Suburban Tribe.

If you're doing some math and sifting through your memory banks because seven doesn't seem like the right number, I applaud your memory! Six masks were stolen at the Charles de Gaulle airport. When going through Tony Fuemmeler's studio for new masks, and discussing his commission, a seventh mask just called out to me. So, I said yes.

New journey, new mask. :-)

For those of you in the Portland OR area (or those of you needing the *perfect* excuse to come visit) I hope you will join me:

Tuesday July 26, 2016
7pm - 9pm
Outdoor Stage at Post 5
1666 SE Lambert St. Portland OR 97202

There will be light refreshments and strong fellowship and celebration of creating beauty out of tragedy.

I hope to see you there.

Blessed Beltaine from Chicago! - April 2016

In celebration of the season - and my new page for people to easily schedule tarot readings with me - here is one of the photos from my recent shoot with Gary Norman:

We had a wonderful day of shooting with Janet Price, make-up goddess extraordinaire, and here are my new head shots, all ready for Chicago auditions:

It's wonderful reconnecting with friends and colleagues I haven't seen in three years, clearing the last of my things from a dear friend's basement, and making a large donation of scripts to my alma mater.

May the fertility of the season fill all your desired projects!

Happy March - March 2016

​/almost April​! As we ​pass​ Ostara, so many seeds are growing and beautiful flowers blooming​,​ both literal and metaphorical. I have a new Facebook page dedicated to tarot reading, Kate Mura Tarot, ​and open​ed​​ ​​D​avita's​ ​H​arp with the Jewish Theater Collaborative March 19th. The​se​ shots below were beautifully taken by Gary Norman​ at a dress rehearsal​:​​

I know many of you reading this are union members and ​labor​ activists of many different stripes​.​​ March​ 25th and 26​th performances have a union special, a​ small thank you for your work. Email me for specifics. As you may guess, ​D​avita's ​H​arp is a very pro-labor show.

My healing is coming along well and I am thankful to be able to say I am getting better everyday. I have become very thankful ​to​ quiet healing time and walks in the surprising Portland sunshine​,​ and allow​ing​ parts of my life to have a leisurely pace I have never allowed for previously. I've written more in my novel​/​short story​;​ not sure which it will turn into. The squirrels and birds and daffodils are currently in abundance at my home and I've tried planting some herbs from seed. We'll see if any of them take.

May this spring offer you joyful inspiration and truthful deep listening. And daring. It feels like it's time to be daring​ and burst forth from the seed gloriously, maybe not knowing what flower will emerge because it is so drastically different from the seed you were​.

Full Moon and Imbolc (belated) - February 2016

2016 is starting off with more regular updates! Yay! :-)

As Imbolc passed, so did my ten, that's right, TEN year anniversary living, breathing, rooting, creating, magicking, dreaming, working and building in Portland. Who knew a road trip with a 1-2 week visit would turn into this! Certainly not me, and it's thanks in no small part, to many of you reading this.

On a rare other than work/creativity related note, I had surgery the end of January. Thanks to *many* beautiful, generous souls, my healing is going incredibly well. Community fed, drove, cleaned, visited with puppies and music, me at my home and the hospital. I am humbled and grateful for their time, energy, resources, love and healing. My doctor, upon my two week post op appointment, declared, "you have amazing skin!" Where the laproscopic surgical incisions had been made for the robotic fingers, camera and air pump (yep, had to pump me full of air to get all the cysts out!) are healing so well and fully they looked better than most of his patients did two months after surgery, let alone two weeks. :-)

Unsurprisingly, part of my healing is art! I am currently in rehearsals with a glorious group, on Davita's Harp with Jewish Theatre Collaborative. This marks my third (Kindertransport and Charlotte Salomon: Life or Theatre?) and last performance with this intelligent, insightful company. After eight years, they are closing their doors, which is vastly unfortunate to me for many reasons. However, as I always try to find the silver lining, Sacha Reich may now be more available to direct work with other companies! And she is one of my all time favorite directors. Portland theatre and other companies worldwide, take note! I've also been doing more writing. What started off as an essay really, is now short story length and continuing...

In mask news, Tony and I met. Many different masks were tried on and we're moving forward with our collaboration/replacement/new emergence... I still get teary eyed...

As I look out my window at the rain, I'm reminded of a chant we sang in the Goddess Choir I was a part of in northern CA... Sadly, I do not remember the author. The internet yielded me a beautiful rendition by Alice Di Micele, however she may only be the singer... Regardless:

Celebrate the rain coming down
Celebrate the green things growing in the ground
Celebrate the new paradise we've found
Celebrate the rain coming down

Happy Winter! - January 2016

The entire Autumn and Witch's New Year passed without an update! And I left you all wondering about the outcome of my unmasked fundraiser...

My six masks will definitely be replaced. However, mask work is somewhat mysterious, so there is no guarantee the new masks (regardless of intent) will want to tell Suburban Tribe's stories. One of the surprise outcomes of Suburban Tribe Unmasked, was realizing how well the show lives without masks. The new masks may have their own stories (or an Act 2) to share. When I receive them, we'll see. New incarnations are being born...

To replace the stolen masks, I'm talking with Tony Fuemeler, fellow Dell'Arte alum, Portland colleague, and the maker of two original Suburban Tribe masks. When I though about making them myself again, I was filled with sadness, sorrow and melancholy, which I do not want infused in each mask. I would rather spread the wealth and invest in another passionate, skilled mask maker to rebuild, or really, build anew. As you can see from the link to his work, our contemporary commedia mask styles are very similar (probably thanks to our shared teacher Bruce Mars.)

Part of my inability to write an update since August, was touring with Tears of Joy again. You may remember my time with Pinocchio or The Reluctant Dragon. This time, Inga Wilson and I set out to Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California with When Animals Were People.

I was swept up in travel & puppetry; averaging a show a day, five days a week for ten weeks. With an average of 300 kiddos per show, that's around 15,000 kids we performed for! And I don't want to do the math for how many miles we drove in the puppet van. A lot. Consequently, when I had down time, I preferred to explore new locations, than sit typing on my computer. Here are a few highlights:

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Driving the entire way of Historic Hwy 20 and much of Hwy 30, reading every marker and discussing western expansion, genocide and the seemingly racist differences between a "massacre" label vs. a "war" label. Many of these conversations were had in hot springs. Soooo many wonderful hot springs were visited throughout the weeks. Time was well passed.

Being in McCall, ID before Samhain (Halloween) meant we enjoyed hundreds of jack o'lanterns as well as public shows and library workshops

Imagine all those jack o'lanterns lit up at night! They're amazing!!!

And it all ended with snow. And ice while flooding happened my my home city of Portland.

(That's the puppet van in the background.)

Good thing I like snow, and that Inga is an amazing driver in icy conditions!

There was so much more, like finishing the tour jumping back into Reluctant Dragon for the first time in eight years with less than 32 hours notice, but this update is already getting long. :-)

I am incredibly grateful. And as I look out at the small snow drifts at my parent's home in New Mexico, sipping coffee from my favorite dragon coffee mug, I want to share my gratitude with you all. Friends and strangers alike, connected by words, energy, dreams, curiosity. Thank you. Thank you for following your dreams, expressing your curiosity and listening deeply. We are powerful creatures of change and connection.