Penelope Freeh

Inaugural Blog: Good Housekeeping

Posted by on Jun 16 2014, in Uncategorized

When Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show I was skeptical. I knew little about him, had never seen his former late night show, and had only seen him on SNL a handful of times at most. But given that his inaugural show followed the Olympics (a happening with which I am obsessed), I gave it a shot.


He had me at Hello. Well, almost. It was his monologue that did it. He started with some housekeeping: he thanked and introduced his parents who were in the audience; he thanked the powers that be for entrusting him with the job; he said he’ll always start with a monologue, that he grew up on Carson and was allowed to stay up to watch Johnny’s monologue; and he said that he was so humbled to think that kids today might ask to stay up late to watch HIS monologue. And here is where I became a devoted fan: he actually got choked up. He was so real. Subsequent viewings have proven this time and again. His smile is beautiful, endearing and authentic, he is a musical genius, he is fearless, he is humble, he is (hashtag) funny and he sincerely likes people. He is engaged and interested with their lives and doings AND he gets to scratch his own itches re: comedy and music.


Thus I am inspired on many levels. I too will do a little housekeeping here as I launch this new website and blog, a scary and big moment for me.


A little website history: I very half-heartedly launched a website in 2010. It immediately became irrelevant as my story changed along with my priorities and my impetus for dancing and making work. As soon as I posted a bio I felt dated and somehow held down. And to top it off, I did not have the capacity to learn how to interface with it. I could not access and update my own life. I was vanquished.


Cut to three weeks ago. The amazing and whip-smart Tara King (yes, of Mad King Thomas fame/infamy) offered a website building deal to dancers and I bit. I came away from our first meeting actually more excited than terrified. (That she was wearing alphabet pants and a lavender rhinestone choker didn’t hurt.) I couldn’t wait to get home to research websites that interest and inspire me, to give her an idea of my taste and aesthetic. A motivation for me, on par with wanting to put my choreography forward, was launching a new blog. And so here I am. This “theme” is called Pen & Paper (Tara has dubbed it Penny & Paper), which enchants me, plus I like the fonts.


A little blog history: I launched a blog in 2006. Inspired by a performance at Northrop of Shen Wei Dance Arts, I HAD to write. I started a blog the next day, and it was as though a new dimension in my dance artistry unfurled. What began as quasi critique quickly turned into memoir, personal essay and almost-journal. My dancing deepened, and I had evidence that it added up to something. The ephemeral gained a foothold.


And then one day I just stopped. Life needed to be lived and deeply felt and that was good, but then the habit of not writing set in and that was too bad. Oh well, I let it happen. But now I’m ready to return.


How this is going go: I am going to write about a whole bunch of stuff, from Jimmy Fallon to Twin Cities artists, to my past/present/future. I will usually do so through the lens of dance, but possibly not always. I will be honest and sincere. I will thank my parents (mother/step-father, father/step-mother). I will get choked up.


At the top right of this page are links to my Walker Art Center blogs (on their Performing Arts Series dances) and my former blog. I am not going to go back and edit, so there are misspellings and perhaps opinions that have since changed. It’s ok. Have at it.


If you wish to comment on this blog, you can do so through my Contact page. An email will be sent directly to me.


Yay, it’s great to be back. Thanks for reading.