Laurelhurst is a comedy film series that takes place in the prized Portland park, its namesake and muse. Episode 1 introduces Ezra Blue, a meter maid who’s horrible at his job because he just wants to make friends and fall in love. He eventually finds connection in Randy, the golden-boy mail carrier, and Nola, a new parking enforcer who’s as charming as she is determined to become top-dog.

Jed Arkley as Randy and Travis Abels as Ezra Blue

Jed Arkley as Randy and Travis Abels as Ezra Blue

Over the course of 2016, I wrote the first three episodes. In 2017, I teamed up with playwright and wunderkind, Kelsey Peake to direct and produce the pilot. We did so with the help of 62 cast, crew and volunteers. In 2018 I edited it all together and we premiered it in Portland in June, of the same year.

The next episodes (shot this fall / editing in spring) will go deeper into these characters and introduce new ones, weaving turf war with the complications of love, and an overactive imagination. Through it all, we learn that Laurelhurst is more than just a park — it’s a kingdom.

 

Monica Dailey as Nola Parks

Monica Dailey as Nola Parks

Beyond making a fun show, the aim of this work is to celebrate a world of dynamic characters inspired by one of our favorite Portland spots, and the incredible pool of talent who live here and share a special affinity for this beautiful city.

 

Or Something Like That

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A multi-sensory, storytelling collaboration between Marc Girouard and I. It began by a fascination with storytelling, and how stories evolve over time. I spent two years interviewing people I met on the street, then pulled apart their words and reorganized them into soundscapes of original audio design and music, working with my favorite musicians to create a score for each piece. Once the audio was underway, Marc and I began collaborating on the visual interpretation. We passed drawings pack and forth, painting over each others lines, like a dance, until we were both happy with marriage of image and sound. Those first 10 audio-visual portraits became the record / art book that we created in 2016, with the help of our kickstarter campaign.

 

Curious Ear

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A community engagement project I started with Dimitrii Pokrovskii to inspire communication between previously unconnected groups of people, create space for those to be heard, and give voice to those without.

Pairs of of 7’ tall structures are connected via wifi and placed at different ends of the city.  A welcome screen within an ear invites you to speak what’s on your mind, with prompts such as, “Describe a person or a place you love.” What is said into the ear by one, can be heard at a mouth, by another. 

In a time so marked by division, this project seeks connection, by finding the common grounds we share. We do this by listening to each other more, especially those outside our everyday circles. Intention is is put into the placement of each structure -- nursing homes connect to elementary schools; urban areas to rural; red states to blue.

The more we communicate, the better we understand and the less we fear.

 

Storyscape

Over a few years of recording conversations, I’d notice these wonderful similarities in things people said, sometimes exact phrases like, “the sounds around me,” or "something like that.” By collecting similar themes and playing them side by side, I discovered the joy of making one person’s thought finish another’s idea. Or hopping between two very different streams of thought, and creating a third. What was created is this Storyscape. Please contact me if you’d like to record a conversation and be part of the story!