Performing arts all around

I’m just back from a few days in Nashville—you know, “Music City”—where I watched hours and hours of live music. The thing about Nashville is, you really can’t get away from the music or the performers, which is exactly what I love about it. From street corner busking to Honky Tonk Row, (featuring seasoned bands) and in-the-round singer/songwriter performances everywhere you go, music envelops this city.

Local performer Pia Louise Capaldi explains the unique experience of live performance this way: “There is something authentic, personal and connective when we create in the moment, where you and the audience are experiencing it together for the first time.” Capaldi is an improvisational dance artist and performer and is passionate about connecting with her audience and pushing her creative limits through dance. Read more from her in this month’s This Thing I Love feature on page 46.

Britney Elaine Ruotolo, known to many by her stage name Bri Lane, is a self-taught guitarist and keyboard player from South Portland. She started by playing the drums and saxophone in the 5th grade and later took voice lessons. In college, studying both music and medicine, she found her confidence and has been devoted to performing music since. In January, the indie pop rock music video for her song “Interstellar Lady” was voted Best Overall Achievement at the first annual Music Video Portland (MVP) awards against 26 other videos with Maine connections. Read about what inspires her to create on page 30.

Many of us will remember Karmo Sanders from her funny-lady TV ads for Marden’s where she portrayed the colorful and ever-lovable bargain-hunting Birdie Googins. She was a riot in her crazy outfits adorned with sand-shovels, fake lobsters and just about anything else that screams Maine. Soon after her husband died, Sanders was understandably grieving and “lost her funny” for a while. She spent the last five years or so on hiatus from comedy. Read more about Sanders and how she might just be getting ready to return to the stage on page 34.

Whatever your favorite form of performing arts is, we’ve got it covered here in this issue of Maine Women Magazine, along with our usual features and columns. Circus Maine/Maine Circus Academy has come together at Thompson’s Point, offering circus arts classes and performance. “There are several aspects of circus life that are kind of miraculous,” says Kat Finck, co-founder and producing/casting director at Circus Maine and talent director and instructor at Maine Circus Academy in Portland. “It is deeply cooperative, to the level that you have no choice. You need to rely on the people around you. As students, you cannot accomplish the movement without someone literally holding you up.” Read more about the adventure of the circus on page 24.

The closest I ever got to being a performer was during our high school talent shows. I took the stage in my mother’s girdle mimicking the ad for the 18-Hour Playtex Girdle as one of “commercials” in between the real performers. I’m glad my acting career was short-lived. I much prefer to be an audience member.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Maine Women Magazine. Check out the information for our upcoming Girls issue (page 65), and I hope you will visit us at our Maine Women’s Expo in Kennebunkport at the beautiful Nonantum Resort on April 21. For more info, go to Happy spring!

Lee Hews

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