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Accomplishment chart, 2/24 – 3/2

Accomplishment chart, 2/24 – 3/2


- outlining plot for Mrs. Hawking part 4
- drafting for prose project
- finished drafting short story, version 1
- 2 LiveJournal entries

- held auditions for replacement roles for Vivat Regina and Base Instruments at WCSF ‘17
- cast actors for the roles of Nathaniel, Chernovsky, and Mrs. Braun at WCSF ’17
- made rehearsal schedule for Vivat Regina and Base Instruments at WCSF ‘17

- made gallery of Act 1 photos of Base Instruments at Arisia ‘17

- planned 2/28 and 3/1 lessons for Writing and the Literary Arts
- graded 3 essays for Writing and the Literary Arts

- practiced alternating knitting and purling
- drew portrait of Janelle Monae at Oscars 2017

- called my reps 3 days

- 3 two-mile runs
- 2 fighter abs routines
- walked 10,000+ steps 3 days
- walked 15,000+ steps 1 day

- listened to episode 95 of Tom and Lorenzo’s Pop Style Opinionfest
- saw The Lego Batman movie in theaters
- read “Carnival, Las Tablas” short story by Cristina Henriquez

- made broiled teriyaki salmon filet with steamed green beans
- made pork sausages with applesauce
- made turkey and avocado sandwiches

New gallery on Mrshawking.com!

"Gallery – Base Instruments at Arisia ’17 - Act One"

Photography by Annushka Munch
Costume design by Jennifer Giorno
Makeup design by Jessicalee Skary
Set design by Bernie Gabin
Production design by Phoebe Roberts

BI Performance-121

Arisia 2017

Base Instruments - ACT I

Featuring Cari Keebaugh, Circe Rowan, Jeremiah O'Sullivan, Arielle Kaplan, Matthew Kamm, Eric Cheung, Sara Smith, Andrew Prentice, Isaiah Max Plovnick, Ava Maag, Sara Dion, and Travis Ellis. Photography by Anna Muench with costume design by Jenn Day.

"I am a hundred percent not Bruce Wayne."

I saw the Lego Batman movie this past weekend and it was a blast. I spent about seventy-five percent of the film cracking the hell up, more so than the mostly families with children that surrounded me, to the point where they might have even been a little annoyed. But not only is it funny for its own sake, I think it's WAY BETTER if you are a serious Batman fan. The film is a parody, the best of which have a deep understanding of the narrative being parodied. These writers must have been real fans, because all the humor and the essential spin on the storyline came from a real understanding of the essentials of Batman. As a person who has spent MANY HOURS picking apart the character and the most significant storylines, I had such an appreciation for what very well may be evidence of the work of very similar kinds of nerds. Because even on top of all the great jokes, the central struggle was based in the true heart of Batman-- his fear of getting close to people will just result in him getting hurt again, and they conveyed that in really effective terms. I wouldn't exactly say it had a ton of dramatic weight, but it was grounded in a real story that fit the character well.

So I highly recommend it. It may be the strictly best movie involving the character that's not part of the DCAU.

[Some stuff I loved about it, in no particular order, with a spoiler warning:]Some stuff I loved about it, in no particular order, with a spoiler warning:

- The driving conflict of the narrative was the Joker's need to be the most important person in Batman's life, manifesting as an obsessive romance with an emotionally withholding person
- Will Arnett's hilarious, gravelly, douchey performance, particularly in how Bruce Wayne was basically a non-self-loathing Bojack Horseman.
- Batman's persistent "fuck that Superman guy" resentment
- They embraced the father-son relationship between Alfred and Batman and Batman and Robin
- The basic acknowledgement that a Batman left to his own devices is kind of a huge douchebag and needs other characters like Robin affecting him to make him tolerable
- The romantic song playing in the background when Batman first lays eyes on Barbara Gordon is "I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight"
- "Batman lives in Bruce Wayne's basement?" "Bruce Wayne lives in Batman's attic!"
- Batman flopping around on the ground in protest of Alfred making him do stuff. (Bernie's comment: "Oh, my God, you are Batman.")
- The fact that the JLA doesn't invite Batman to parties because he's no fun to be around
- I have never actually enjoyed Michael Cera in any role before, but he was pretty great as Robin
- Barbara being played by Rosario Dawson, who I love, not least because she's CLAIRE TEMPLE AND I LOVE CLAIRE
- Barbara says there's gotta be a better way to deal with crime than just letting "Batman beat up poor people."
- The weird voice they gave Bane to make fun of the weird voice Tom Hardy used in Dark Knight Rises.
- The writing for the Joker is strong enough to make up for the fact that Zack Galifinakis is COMPLETELY BLAND and A TOTAL WASTE OF THE ROLE.
- Ellie Kemper's weird and weirdly adorable little cameo.
- Superheroes without pants jokes.
- When the Joker infiltrates the Batcave, he puts his butt on all Batman's stuff. (Bernie's comment: "OH, MY GOD, YOU'RE THE JOKER TOO!")
- Because they had Ralph Fiennes already in the cast as Alfred, they had him play Lego Voldemort too.
- The ceaseless mocking of earlier, more self-serious Batman films
- The final saving of the city involves SHREDDED ABS, which one could argue were seeded like a Chekov's gun throughout. So you could say it was a CHECKOV'S GUN SHOW WHAAAAAAAT

For the start of Lent tomorrow

Today is Mardi Gras, which means that the start of Lent is tomorrow. I like to observe Lent in some way, mostly as an exercise in self-discipline for a structured duration for a good cause. Traditionally the observance is giving up some indulgence, particularly one that isn't good for them. Most people now interpret with something food-related; I myself used to use processed sugar as my go-to, and while that would probably be good for me right now, I think I'd like to use it as an opportunity to change some behavioral habits that I'd like to improve in some way.

Last year for Lent I gave up procrastination, and that was actually pretty good for me. I resolved to do the things I needed to at their appointed time, rather than putting them off to the last minute, as well as cutting down on "screwing around time," like being on Twitter when I should have been working or something. I think I'd like to do something like that again. I feel like my work habits need an overhaul, as I've fallen back into the struggle to get my head into whatever I'm doing, and being highly distractable, even from tasks I theoretically want to do. I am going to devise a system that I will stick to for Lenten period, and see if in that time it gets more natural or automatic.

I like giving it a shot over Lent because doing it for a set period makes it feels easier than just "you have to work hard on this forever indefinitely." And with that period of practice, it might get easier to implement on a consistent basis. Structure always helps my brain, and lately I can use a dose of it to get me back on track.

Accomplishment chart, 2/17 – 2/23

Accomplishment chart, 2/17 – 2/23


- drafting for prose project
- drafting for short story
- outlining plot for Mrs. Hawking part 4
- 4 LiveJournal entries

- GMed Silver Lines for friends

- planned 2/23 lesson for Writing and the Literary Arts
- graded 20 essays for Writing and the Literary Arts
- did week 2 module of Teaching an Online Course workshop

- learned how to cast off knitting
- learned how to knit the garter stitch and purl stitch

- called my reps 2 days

- 2 two-mile runs
- 3 fighter abs routines
- walked 10,000+ steps 1 day

- listened to episode 94 of Tom and Lorenzo’s Pop Style Opinionfest
- read “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

- made filet mignon with steamed broccoli
- made sausage sandwiches with carrot sticks, almonds, apples, grapes, and cheese and crackers

Can a Beyoncé fan explain this to me?

I know Beyonce's visual album Lemonade has been out for a while, so there's probably already an obvious answer to this, but could somebody explain something to me about it?

It seems to be universally accepted that based on the content of the album, that she is singing about an incident of Jay-Z cheating on her in real life-- that the incident of infidelity she is singing about is something that actually happened to her with her actual husband.

Can somebody explain to me WHY everyone is so sure that she's singing about her own true experiences? I mean, LITERALLY EVERYBODY seems to accept this as truth; I've never seen a single person question that. But how do we know? What is the reason why we believe that?

It can't just be because she sang about it, right? She's an artist! Not everything an artist says in their art or puts into it is necessarily autobiographical. Just because she's the one singing the song and performing in the video doesn't mean that she isn't playing a character or speaking in the voice of a person other than herself. I'm reminded of how everybody thought that Better Than Ezra's "Beautiful Mistake" meant that guy actually had a dad who walked out on his family, when it reality it was just a story made up for the song. Also, Jay-Z was pretty instrumental in promoting Lemonade and releasing it, so it seems a little odd that he'd have such a chill attitude about it if the piece was all about telling the world he was a cheating jackass. And not that I follow them that closely, but the couple doesn't seem to have much in the way of strife between them, if one of them supposedly betrayed the other.

So... why does no one question that Beyoncé's song is supposed to be about her own life? Is it something in the visual album? Full disclosure: I have not actually watched Lemonade, though it's such a cultural phenomenon I know I should. But I'm so fascinated by this universal agreement on how it's a window in their actual real lives. Can somebody explain it to me?


The embarrassing origin of my screen name

Apparently I feel like telling funny stories about my stuff lately!

Today I was asked where the name I use online, and as a sort of "company" name for myself, Breaking Light, came from. I use it to represent myself because I like the sound of it-- for some reason "break" and variations thereof are among my favorite words --and because it has some meaning that's important to me. I see it as evocative of light that bursts through the darkness, a nice metaphor for hope, a concept I've struggled with for a lot of my recent life.

But as to how the actual words first occurred to me? They're a mishearing of a lyric in a Scott Stapp song.


For those who quite understandably don't know who that is, Scott Stapp is the former lead vocalist of a band called Creed. This band no longer exists, and seem to be best known for their weird undertone of Christian rock religiosity and the exceptionally melodramatic character to both their lyrics and the particular performance style Mr. Stapp brought to their songs. Seeing as my taste in music is flatly terrible, of course I kind of liked them and still have a couple of their songs in my iPod. My dear youareverysmall mocked me mercilessly for it back in the day, as was right and proper, and there's still one song I can't hear without imagining them imitating the ridiculous singing style.

So upon the breakup of Creed, our main man Scott embarked on a solo career, which I gather was not terribly successful as nobody knows who he is outside of Creed. But he released an album where the title track had a fair bit of play on the radio, so while you probably wouldn't know it by name, you might recognize the sound of it if you heard it. I spend a lot of time in the gym, which always tends to constantly have pop stations playing, where I recognized the voice and of course my awful musical tastes kicked in. I found it pleasing enough to pay attention to the song, which is called "The Great Divide." But because Stapp's voice singing voice sounds like he's midway through a transformation into a werewolf, his diction is not always the best. And I misheard "the great divide" in the chorus as "the breaking light," which immediately fired my imagination, and stayed with me to the point where I've adopted it as my branding.

Honestly this happens to me fairly frequently, where I think I hear a song lyric as something that I think is really cool, but it turns out I didn't hear it accurately. But that turns out to be even better, because then it's MINE now, and I'm not stealing from the song. Like in this case, where I got a cool expression!

So, yes. I chose my name from an inaccurate perception of a song in the unremarkable solo career of the former lead singer of an awful Christian rock band. Inspiring!


I have recently started learning to knit. This past weekend I attended a lovely craft swap party organized by twilighttremolo where I dropped off a bunch of crafting supplies I wasn't using and found a bunch of other people brought needles and yarn they no longer wanted. So I grabbed a couple of pairs of needles (one size nine pair and one small circular set) and a few balls of yarn. The yarn was mostly gray, I am amused to note, as I recently laughed over one Christmas where I received not one but three gray sweaters from various family members. What can I say, I like gray. Mom hated my gray phase in high school, so I guess this is my revenge.

Knitting is something I've always wanted to try. I like making things with my hands and it seemed relaxing. I figured since I could get the supplies for free in this I might as well finally do it. I taught myself some basic stuff from a couple of Youtube videos, and at this point I can cast on, do a garter stitch, and purl. I actually struggled a LOT initially, but in sticking with it I managed to pick it up okay. I've been practing whenever I have a minute, making rows upon rows of nothing in particular. At first I just did a million garter stitches, then once I learned the purl I did a few rows of that, and now I'm working on alternative between them one by one.

I'm really enjoying the physical act of it, though being me I have my typical reservations, like the fact that it's not the best use of my time, and I don't really like knitted things, so I don't know what I'll do with anything I make. But I've been having trouble doing anything I can't see "building to some point later," and it's made me lose a lot of time doing nothing just because I can't find the absolute best use of it, and I haven't been letting myself do things just because I might enjoy them. So maybe this will be good for me to have a thing I do simply because it makes me feel good. It's nice to learn a new practical skill, and another way to make things with my hands.


Intercon Q con report - Spring River

As most Intercon attendees know, the snowstorm over the weekend made it so a lot of people were unable to make it-- including the main chunk of Alleged Entertainment. That meant without Nat, Vik, Susan, or Vito, the entire GM team of Spring River couldn't arrive. So in order to keep the game from having to be cancelled, I joined Dave Kapell and contradictacat in stepping in at the last minute to run the larp.

It did mean having to cram some information at the last moment, but fortunately the game is not that hard to run. It requires periodic action on the GMs' part, but a lot of it is scripted, and as long as you follow the schedule in the runtime notes, it's easy. And I've played it before, so I knew the shape of it and what to expect from the players. It's an unusual game, where every PC is playing one defining personality trait within a handful of larger characters, and must navigate through life's journey making important decisions by committee. As Nat told me, the players ask a lot of clarifying questions in the first hour or so, then mostly they get wrapped up in trying to work things out with their fellow personality traits and trying to communicate between groups. I actually made some incorrect calls about the larger world outside the main characters, but fortunately it doesn't really affect the trajectory as long as you run the life decisions according to plan.

Dave and Diana kindly let me leave a little early, because I had an hour drive home from the hotel, I missed the game's debrief. Apparently sometimes people have strong emotional reactions to the game and find it useful to talk it through with the GMs afterward. I didn't find it necessary in my own experience, though I will say I did have one of the strongest and strangest experiences of bleed when I played in my run that I'd ever had in a larp role. But the players seemed to be really enjoying it most of the time, so I was very glad to be able to contribute to that. I'm glad that I could report back to Nat that his game not only ran, but ran successfully to PC enjoyment. It takes a village, I guess, to raise a larp con. 😋

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Recent Productions:

2016 WCSF logo with Day

MRS. HAWKING part 1 and 2

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Mrs. Hawking
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 7th 2016
in the Auditorium at Government Center
at 119 School Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

March 2017



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