2. Jason Richards, our Executive Artistic Director says, “Check out Daily Wellness on Spotify. It a mix of mindfulness, meditation, poetry, and music. It’s a great way to wind down your day or get it started in a positive direction. I listen every night. It features material from Niall Breslin, Yoga Girl Daily (Rachel Brathen), and Deepak Chopra. I find it Monday-Friday in the “Made for you” section on my Spotify page.
3. Actor Ellie Larson (Fools, Crimes of the Heart), says, “My October Festival Fave is Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald A. Heifetz.
I started reading Leadership Without Easy Answers for my honors research project at school. It was published in 1994; however, I still find it incredibly relevant today, especially in the current political and social climate. Heifetz explores different topics in leadership throughout the book, including the difference between a leader and an authority figure, and "technical" vs "adaptive" problems society faces. More than anything the book has encouraged me to think about how I can be an effective leader, and also examine the leaders I know with a more objective lens. As the title says, there are no easy answers to leadership in this book, but it does give readers a jumping-off point and gets us thinking critically about becoming the best leader we can be.”
4. Actor Ashley Graham (Ashley would have been in The Crucible and The Gift of the Magi if we hadn’t had to cancelled them. Hopefully, she will be able to join us in 2021) says, “My favorite albums to listen to in October are Adele’s 25 and Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More!”
5. Actor Madison Fairbanks (The Mavelous Wonderettes, Fools, The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood) says, “My most recent quarantine/self-isolation/roommate binge watch has been Norsemen on Netflix. Do you enjoy learning? Do you enjoy laughing? Then this just might be the show for you! As Jade Budowski said in a Decider article, "What if 'Game of Thrones' employed comedy in the style of 'Monty Python?'" This 8th century Viking story is informative, compelling, and, above all things, quotably hilarious. The characters are painfully human. You hate to love them; you love to hate them. They filmed each scene in Norweigan and then in English, so the viewers could get the same feeling wherever they watched. That's some serious dedication! The series travels chronologically for the first two seasons, then backwards in the latest installment, season three (referred to as Season 0). It's certainly non-traditional, but gives the audience a great perspective on the "Why?" rather than the "What now?" A historical, hysterical fiction match made in heaven (or, rather, Valhalla.) It is rated TV-MA (content rating from Netflix) so if little ears are around, wait until they're fast asleep. Uff da! Shouldn't have to tell you that one!
#1.) Bogarts Donuts (Minneapolis) Try their ridiculous brown butter and dark chocolate swirl soft serve, you will not regret it. They'll even put it inside of a donut for you if you're up for the challenge. Beware, soft serve isn't available every day.
#2.) La Michoacana Purépecha (Minneapolis & St. Paul) These folks offer the freshest delights in town, try their fresh fruit filled popsicles!
#3.) Minnesota Nice Cream (Minneapolis & Stillwater) If you want your ice cream loaded up and made Insta worthy, this is your place. Go for the edible glitter and great toppings, stay for the outdoor seating.
#4.) J Selby's (St. Paul) The best vegan food in St. Paul, plus they offer an awesome non-dairy rotation of fabulous Soy-Clones and shakes!
#5.) Betty's Pies (Two Harbors) If the north shore is calling your name and you're up for a drive, stop by Betty's Pies for a pie shake. Ideal for those days when one dessert simply won't do.
Pictured is Festival Friend Madison experiencing the joy of our #1 spot.”
9. Another recommendation from our friend Ed Moersfelder, he says, “Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was published in 1974. I first read parts of it lounged in the front seat of a canoe motoring across one of the motors-allowed lakes of the BWCA in the late 70s. Subtitled “An Inquiry into Values” its relevance to modern times has not changed in the past 45 years. It is a book about one person’s search for Quality that takes us through this man’s journey in search of himself. As described in an article by Matthew R. Crawford in the October issue of Smithsonian magazine, the book “uses the narrator’s road trip with his son and two friends as a journey of inquiry into values.” He and his son are riding his 1966 Honda Super Hawk motorcycle, now in the Smithsonian Museum.
I am often reminded, especially in times like these, when we are facing down a pandemic, racial injustice, forest fires, and civil unrest, of Pirsig’s reference to “gumption”—what happens to someone who connects with Quality. But a “gumption trap” can cause one to lose sight of Quality. A gumption trap may be of two kinds. The first is caused by external circumstances, which he calls “setbacks.” This is the sort of thing when a part is broken on your motorcycle and the part is no longer available. The second gumption trap is caused by conditions primarily within yourself, which he calls “hang-ups” that might include anxiety, impatience, boredom—internal things that strip away the view to Quality.
In October of 2016, the SCF City Council’s decision not to pursue the restoration of the Historic Auditorium caused a serious gumption trap that came close to my losing sight of Quality. It was a severe “setback,” but it also created “hang-ups”—anger, resignation, impatience—that could have stripped Quality from my view of Festival Theatre...and from the theatre itself. Fortunately, it did not.
As I ride out this ugly year, and the approach of this contentious and vitriolic election, I plan to once again reread “Zen...” I think for the fourth time. My gumption tank needs a refill.”
10. Actor Faith Klick (The Marvelous Wonderetes, Fools, Crimes of the Heart) says, “Some of things that I’ve been loving include:
Avatar the Last Airbender: This was a show that I watched as a kid, but it has come to Netflix recently and I’ve watched the series three times since it came back. The show has excellent world building, an intriguing heroic story, humor, and the characters are so well done that I can’t pick a favorite. Watching it now as an older viewer, I can see just how mature this story was for children. It deftly takes on tough political concepts so that children understand.
Macarons: There is a place near me that makes homemade macarons in the safest way possible. They always taste EXACTLY like the flavor they are advertised as without being overly sweet. My favorites were the chai, lemon poppyseed, and salted caramel.”