Songs for the Struggling Artist
Songs for the Struggling Artist

Songs for the Struggling Artist

Songs for the StrugglingArtist

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I blogcast about Artist stuff. And Arts Related stuff. Also feminism. *In each episode, I read a post from my Songs for the Struggling Artist blog and play a song at the end.

Recent Episodes

Something Familiar About this Russian Show
JUL 1, 2024
Something Familiar About this Russian Show

Folks over on the Period Drama subreddit recommended the Russian series, Detective Anna, and as previously established, I am a particular fan of period workplace dramas about women, so this seemed right up my street.

Anna is not really a detective, though. She has visions of dead people who then help her solve their murders. It’s a ghost detective show, I guess. Like a Pulling Daisies or The Ghost Whisperer or Medium. (There’s a genre now, it seems.)

Detective Anna takes place in the late 1800s in a small Russian town called Zadonsk so it has a pleasing amount of period overcoats and hoods and hats and such. I’m enjoying it for the most part.

There’s something about it, though, that feels very familiar and a little uncomfortable. The titular character, Anna (not a detective), is a young woman who has a talent, surrounded by men who do not acknowledge it.

To keep reading Something Familiar About this Russian Show visit the Songs for the Struggling Artist blog.

This is Episode 405

Song: Nobody Takes Me Seriously Anyway

Image lifted from Detective Anna TV show

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As ever, I am yours,

Emily Rainbow Davis



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15 MIN
Signature Strengths Seem Neat But Confusing
JUN 25, 2024
Signature Strengths Seem Neat But Confusing

Because I get my Feldenkrais liability insurance through a massage therapy umbrella, they send me Massage Therapy Journal, which I read, even though I am not a massage therapist. I figure I might learn something. What the heck?

In the issue I just finished, they talked a lot about how to avoid burnout and take care of one’s self at work. Much of the content involved identifying one’s top strengths and leaning into them.

Now, about a decade ago, I got really into the Strengths Movement which was focused on a similar idea. I thought it was interesting for both work and education. I identified stuff I was good at and figured out how to lean in to those things. Then I promptly forgot about it and now I can’t even tell you what I determined my strengths were back then.

The burnout article suggested using the VIA strength finder to determine your top five strengths and values. This sounded familiar to me. I thought I probably had taken this test before so I searched for it on my computer. Yes, yes, I had – about a year ago. And I found that my top five strengths were: Humor, Perceptiveness, Creativity, Social Intelligence and Love of Learning.


To keep reading Signature Strengths Seems Neat But Confusing visit the Songs for the Struggling Artist blog.

This is Episode 404

Song: Strength, Courage and Wisdom

Image of a pineapple in sunglasses by Elena Cordery via Unsplash

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As ever, I am yours,

Emily Rainbow Davis

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20 MIN
Boxed Up Knowledge
JUN 17, 2024
Boxed Up Knowledge

The other night, I found myself watching an interview with a theatre practitioner I admire a great deal. He’s an amazing performer, director, teacher and thoughtful analyst of his craft. I found myself taking notes – adding them to previous documents I’d created, filled with his tips and tricks.

But as I was taking notes, full of enthusiasm and excitement, I felt an undercurrent of “Why?” Why was I furiously writing down his clown exercises or his recipe for comic developments? I haven’t put on a clown show since 2009. I haven’t had need to exercise my physical comedy chops in ages. I know a fair amount about these things. I care about them. I still have curiosity about them. If any of my beloved teachers gave a workshop here, I’d sign up for it. But not because I have any use for it. I don’t have a life for which any of this knowledge is necessary, which somehow makes me very sad. There’s something about having spent decades growing my knowledge about things that I now never get a chance to exercise that feels so wasteful somehow.

To keep reading Boxed Up Knowledge, visit the Songs for the Struggling Artist blog.

This is Episode 403

Song: Black Socks

Image of John Wright from Mask Workshop

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As ever, I am yours,

Emily Rainbow Davis

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13 MIN
Poor Things AKA Sexy Baby Lady Frankenstein
JUN 11, 2024
Poor Things AKA Sexy Baby Lady Frankenstein

Despite my appreciation for Yorgos Lanthimos’ earlier work, I was not planning on seeing Poor Things. A lot of my feminist friends were not fans and I figured I could skip it. But then I learned that Kathryn Hunter was in it, playing a madam, and I got curious. (I worked with Kathryn on a show in London a while ago so she’s very dear to me.) So I watched it.

Apparently there was a whole conversation around whether or not this was a feminist film. (Answer: not.) But it is, as my friend said, some men’s idea of a feminist film. Which is really not the same. This is not to say that men can’t make feminist films. If Lanthimos made a bio pic of Gloria Steinem, maybe that would be a feminist film. (Though maybe not if he chose to focus exclusively on her relationships with men or only her Playboy bunny stunt but otherwise it would be hard to NOT make a feminist film about Steinem.) But while this film may pass the Bechdel test on a technicality (I think the conversation between Emma Stone and Kathryn Hunter was longer than thirty seconds and not about A man – it was about how to service men so… ) I’m not sure I’d give it the point. A film in which a woman is largely on her own in the world of men does not scratch any feminist itch of mine. Women working toward equality and the benefit of other women is the main criteria for that as far as I’m concerned.

To keep reading Poor Things, AKA Sexy Baby Lady Frankenstein visit the Songs for the Struggling Artist blog.


This is Episode 402

Song: Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon

Image - still from the movie

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As ever, I am yours,

Emily Rainbow Davis

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16 MIN
I Would Accept that Time Travel Invitation
JUN 4, 2024
I Would Accept that Time Travel Invitation

The other day, I was feeling so much despair about how things are and where we were headed as a culture. I thought, “If someone showed up with a time machine and asked me if I wanted to go back to the 70s or 80s to live, I’d absolutely say yes.”

I told my friend about this feeling and she said, “I’m coming with you.” We figured we should bring her kids and her husband (she was pretty sure they’d want to go, too), and my partner and maybe another friend of ours and her family – if they were up for it – and we were ready to start over in the past. A past that would be familiar, because we lived through those decades as children, but would likely look different through our adult eyes.

To keep reading I Would Accept that Time Travel Invitation visit the Songs for the Struggling Artist blog.

This is Episode 401

Song: Like the Weather

Image by J Huang via Unsplash

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As ever, I am yours,

Emily Rainbow Davis

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21 MIN