Monday, November 28, 2011

A Season of Giving

As a community, we speak often of Energy Exchange.

Terra Mysterium's Winter Gala BenefitIn art, as I touched upon earlier, meaning emerges from the exchange between the artist and the audience. Art is not created in a vacuum, and arguably can’t be, as that interchange between an artist’s vision and intent, and the history, experience, and perception an audience member brings to her viewing, are both vital components of the end result.

Beyond meaning, this energy exchange goes even further. Artists create because they can’t not create. Bringing meaning into the world through art is their mission in life, and they cannot be satisfied with a life that excludes this. Without their art a restlessness would drive them; no matter what “day job” they maintain to pay the bills, their evenings and weekends are filled with creation. Passion drives them, and art and meaning are what they contribute to community and to the world. This is our community service.

We also speak about sustainability.

Speaking of Energy Exchange: in physics, there is the law of Conservation of Energy, a consequence of which is that it’s impossible to create something from nothing. The same could be said of art; it doesn’t pop into being spontaneously and instantaneously, but comes about from the artist’s personal investment of time, energy, thought, emotions, and materials. Artists pour a lot of themselves into their work in order to bring meaning to the world; and they do it because this is the gift that they have to give to the world.

This comes at a cost. If a person has value, then so does her time, her ideas, and her energy. And more mundanely, materials and resources cost money. Rehearsal and performance space, costumes, props, time invested in crafting and rehearsing a song that cannot be invested in paid work, postcards, travel, lodging. Many people may be unaware that our performers almost never get paid for performing. Our ticket sales cover the cost of mounting the show; if there is anything left over, it may amount to $20 each – for six weeks of rehearsal and two to five performances. Festival performances are typically unpaid, which we bring as our service and contribution to our community. Our performers may even be required to pay for our own travel, lodging, and entry fees; and for some of us, it is an impossible, unsustainable financial burden... especially at this moment in history.

The Winter Gala

Terra Mysterium's Winter Gala Benefit
On December 3 we will bring you an evening of community, entertainment, and – we hope you agree – meaning, as an Energy Exchange with our community to create a sustainable model of bringing art and meaning into the world. Like many small performance companies, we rely on community support for our continued existence. We want to continue to bring you the art that you love; to do that we need to do so in a sustainable way, one that can draw from a company fund for operating expenses, instead of relying on insufficient personal resources. We hope you will support us. Your ticket purchase now not only pays for an evening’s entertainment, but continued festival performances, stage shows, songwriting, and the sharing of meaning.

We give you our passion because we love it, we need to, we can’t not. Please help us continue to do so.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Slowing Time

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The colors of the leaves, the crispness in the air, warm scents of cinnamon, ginger and clove. The promise of pumpkin or sweet potato pies set my soul (and inner child) aglow with blissful giddiness. I find that this is when I turn back and assess the previous months of the year, what goals I had set up for myself and what did I actually accomplish and how will I achieve the rest. I feel very reflective this time of year, not just because this is the month of my birth and emergence into this world, but because this is the time that we stop and think of all the things that we are most thankful for. We can step outside of ourselves and really take a good hard look at our lives. How much we are able to achieve in a year's time. To truly appreciate our families, friends, jobs, homes, social experiences and all of the people and things in our lives that we take for granted.

One of these things for me personally is time. I always think that I will have time and yet I find that am always floundering, wondering where the time went to. I realized this when I had said to a friend “How is it November already, wasn’t it July two weeks ago?” “How did I miss three months?” “Time is flying by.” This is when I realize what a fast-paced world we live in. My hardest lesson with this was 3 years ago, when a good friend of mine's sister was struggling with breast cancer. She had been diagnosed in January, she had surgery, and then started chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the chemo was doing more harm than good. She wasn’t responding well to treatment. 

I was at work one day, my friend was meeting her family for dinner after her shift. I saw all of them gathering outside of the store, and thought I should go out say hello and give her a hug. But the store got busy and I figured I would see them later. A day later my friend informed me that her sister had passed during the night. On the day of their mother’s birthday who had passed away a few years previously. While I had dealt with death before, this time was different. I had an opportunity to say goodbye and I didn’t take it because I thought I had time. This past Samhain this event reminded me of the brevity of life and the slippery eel of time. I feel that she shared that lesson with me 3 years later. To appreciate the loved ones in your life while you can, to not take the life we have on this earth for granted. 

So, spending time with those we care about, and staying in touch with old friends (and new ones) is an important thing. It is something we should think about all the time. Not just at the holiday season and yet every year at this time, I find myself thinking about the people who might have slipped through the cracks in my life. The important message of the holidays is to slow down and enjoy your family and friends, spending quality time with your loved ones. So try not to get too stressed over finding the “perfect” present. Give a homemade handcrafted gift from the heart, a plate of cookies, a thoughtful handmade card. Or if you feel you should purchase something, try to support your community by shopping locally this holiday season. Enjoy the time you have, for the future is not promised.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Terra Mysterium is so pleased to announce that The Chicago College of Healing Arts, located at 1622 West Devon (View a Map) will be hosting A Special Yuletide Benefit Performance of our very popular, Snow Queen Version of Betwixt and Between, a Journey into Faery  

On Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM.

We are also sharing with you a Silent Auction with an array of tantalizing items.

There will also be a delectable Faery Feast!  Sample treats from our Wood Elf, Will-o-the-Wisp, Woodwose, Green Man, Undine and Sprite.

We also have a very special surprise awaiting you!

Amy Christensen and Shannah Lessa have been working hard on a brand-new Terra Mysterium script for 2012 in the Steampunk StyleBenefit Guests will be the first to preview this thrilling alchemical show filled with mystery, dark romance and transmutation.

There is Limited Seating!

RSVP today to secure your entrance into our Faery World.

General Admission: $30.00
Be our Guest for Betwixt and Between, Peruse our Silent Auction, and Enjoy our Faery Feast

Notable Admission: $40.00
Be our Guest for Betwixt and Between, Peruse our Silent Auction, and Enjoy our Faery Feast with Red or White Wine Personally Served to you by one of our Fae

VIP Admission: $50.00
Be our Guest for Betwixt and Between, Peruse our Silent Auction, Enjoy our Faery Feast with Red or White Wine Personally Served to you by one of our Fae, and take home with you a Special Souvenir Package with gifts from Each of our Fae

Reservations with Payment must be received by November 30, 2011

Payment Options:

Use PayPal Now with the Links Below!
Yes!  I RSVP with Purchase of General Admission Tickets

Yes!  I RSVP with Purchase of Notable Admission Tickets

Yes!  I RSVP with Purchase of VIP Admission with my Faery Souvenir Package

I would like to become a Terra Mysterium Sponsor:
I choose to be an Initiate with my Gift of $25.00

I choose to be a Magician with my Gift of $50.00

I choose to be an Adept with my Gift of $75.00

I choose to be an Ipisissimus with my Gift of $100.00

If you would prefer to send a check or money order, please send us a note with the number and levels of Admissions and send to Terra Mysterium c/o to:
Matthew Ellenwood, Artistic Director
4318 North Sheridan Road, Apartment 2A
Chicago, Illinois, 60613-1455