Tag Ljubljana

A Short Visit With Matteo

Matteo Destro is a mask maker, theater director and teacher. He was my mentor during the years I spent in Italy studying movement theater at Helikos and it’s his voice I hear in my mind whenever I’m making masks or puppets.

He was passing through Ljubljana so we threw him a little party.

In just a few hours, three years worth of work and lessons came back in a flood. Sensitivity, silence, and observation all contributing to the poetry that can be achieved through theater. Not to mention I got to see some of the new masks he’s been working on. They are beautiful full face leather masks that are so simple and strong.

We even had time to make some goofy pictures thanks to Justin and Ilgaz.

Good to see you again Matteo!

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The Lost Wheels of Time

Funny isn’t it how things work out?

Just a few days ago I was in a kind of panic that strikes the artistically self-employed. Nothing is coming, I’m broke, there’s no way forward. But within hours of voicing these sensible thoughts I got a call.

The background

My friend Justin was filling in for a street show in the Ljubljana street theater festival. They had lost an actor and were panicked looking for an emergency replacement for five shows. They got his number through the grapevine, he rehearsed for a few days, and boom! he was in the show. Unfortunately during the first performance he cracked his toe mighty hard on a set piece and after he got home he noticed it was swollen and purple.


I took him to the hospital. (That’s where I found out about the animation Pat & Mat.) And we waited for hours for him to be seen, x-rayed and reported back to. It wasn’t broken, that was the good news. But the nurse told him to stay off it. The show he was hired for is violently active so he was faced with a problem, limp through and risk worse injury or take a pass on the rest of the performances.

The next morning I got a phone call from the street show saying they were an actor down and would I possibly have the time to learn the show and perform. Justin was out and he gave them my number.

I showed up Thursday at noon and paced through the show as best I could. Piece by piece under the summer sun it started to come together. By 9:30 there were about 200 people waiting, the music came on and I jumped out on stage.

So, how was it?

You know in some movies how people are in a boxcar racing down the tracks, they throw their bag and then leap from the moving car, pumping their legs as fast as possible in the air then they hit the ground and try to keep enough speed to avoid falling flat on their face? It went a little like that.

During the show I had a few moments of fear that I was about to fall headlong into a clock, and I did kick over the wind machine. But I survived, and I tell ya, my weekend is a lot more exciting than I had planned for.

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We’ll play it once more, today at 7.30 in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. Then Adam and Spiros will pack their van and travel to Poland where I suppose they will be on the look-out for another rabbit. Another energetic and game actor to don the latex rabbit mask and leap from the train.

These photos were taken by Bojan Okorn and were published on the Ana Desetnica Flickr account.


Now I live in Ljubljana, a city I’ve been a visitor to for a few years going. As a visitor I visit friends, drink some coffees, teach workshop on masks, talk about the workshop on masks, walk through night time streets guided by intuition alone. But now that I live here, I’m a lot less active.


What happened?

When I moved here in April I was ready to work. I had three months worth of visa waiver to rest on until I got a long term visa and could start working. Three months felt like more than enough time to get my long-term, it felt like an eternity. Unfortunately it was the purgatory kind of eternity.

You see, my application for a visa has been held up for two and a half months in the some ministry office waiting for who knows what kind of approval before they can pass it on to me and I’ll get to pass on to the next echelon of the process. It’s given me a lot of time to freak out about plan B, plan B. Because when you’re in visa approval purgatory there’s no chance of working. Not legally or even illegally. Who is going to take some one on who ends their pseudo-interview chat with, “it’s funny you should ask but no, my visa application is still in process.”


So what are you going to do?

I’m not making any money yet, but I’ve got a few projects to keep me busy. Casey and Barbara, two good friends from Helikos will be here in a few weeks and we’ll get working on a show they want to make. It will have something to do with birds.

As I was setting this site back up I looked back through the archives a bit to check that all the photos are showing up OK. I came across two posts that caught my eye as references in one way or another to this nebulous idea kicking around in my head about a bird show.

The first one is this cool dude. I was in Chicago when I posted this but I don’t know how I found it.

The second I found when I was at Helikos and thinking more specifically about masks. That’s these animal illustrations on human faces by Charlotte Caron. Seeing them again I think they’re an excellent scale for the human face.

Happy Reboot Everyone

I’d like to post here and give a little introduction to the new-old astroblastro.com.

IMG_9678 I’ve kept a blog for about 14 years. That sounds pretty crazy but when I count it all out starting in 2002 when I was at college to now? My fingers tell me thats 14 years. This blog that you see is only about 6 years old. I used to run it as kvncsy.com but now I use that url for my portfolio and here we are.

I learned a lot getting this back online. Or I’ve learned a lot since I make a back up and took it off line. I was able to get the old database out of the zip file on my hard drive and up onto a new server. Then I reinstalled WordPress and made it all link up. It went quickly, but only because I’ve been working on webstuff for Ed and Mary’s Mountain for the past few weeks. (Sneak peek.) That’s all a bit boring to go into the point is, Astroblastro.com is back online! Alive!

So what’s up with this place?

Why is all the type so small?

It’s too small for me too. I wanted to change the standard typeface on here to one I like better. Meanwhile, it shrunk everything. I’m working on it.

That’s an ugly astronaut!

I always liked how I could change colors on this site and now that it’s astro themed I thought I could add some Major Tom slides up there too. It’s rough looking I know. That’s what I wanted.

Sometimes I click a picture and it goes to a 404!

This is a bug with changing the URL for the site. All the pictures should display, but those links are still bad. There’s some way I can find and replace it in mysql but I don’t want to mess that crap up. So deal with it for now please.

This site looks like dog food on my phone.

I know. Me too. But you know what? I don’t know how to make that better. This is an old-ass theme. It’s fixed width and the iPhone version is terrible. I guess it will just have to be a part of the charm of the place. Also, sorry.


So what’s up with you?

Oh, thanks for asking. I’m living in Ljubljana now where I make theater and train storytellers. I’m here with the love of my heart and life of my blood Ilgaz Ulusoy. We came here as artistic nomads seeking a good life making art. The major projects that brought us here haven’t started yet, but it feels so damn close.

In the meantime she and I are going to be in a summer festival here, we’ll tell a story about love. It’s a good one. Not too sweet, but just right.

Casey and Barbara from Helikos are coming here next month and I’ll work with them on a new show. A bird show. More on that later I’m sure. Plus plus plus…