TEA! Yas, please.

So this is a concept for a Mary Poppins parody that my daughter and I were laughing about one day. I wrote the poem in about 30 minutes, so excuse any rough structure! But it’s supposed to be a song as well. It’s all things British and that sort of thing. πŸ˜€

Would you see this at your local theatre? I’m thinking it would be a cute scene for a children’s acting workshop. πŸ™‚


Messy Misadventures of Missie Drippins

I Love a Good Cuppa Tea

When there’s something wrong with me
And I can hardly see
What to do or who to be
It’s quite elementary
I have a spot of tea

Steaming, swirling,
Polish up the Sterling
Don’t limit the Darjeeling
Darling, pour me a cup with feeling

No need to stop conferring
Pinkie out while stirring
Delicate teaspoons start me swooning
Talk of tea will send me crooning

I take mine sweet with lemon
They even guzzle tea in Yemen
Some say they prefer the coffee drip
But I’ve seen them take their fair sip

Earl Grey drives the gray away
The rising sun is here to stay
The Old Grey has bergamot
And I say, “Why ‘the berg’ not?”

No matter how many lumps you’ve got
Even the angels have a spot
Pip, pip, cheerio, and all that, Love
Tea is sent from God above

Ear-roll Greeeeeey
Take me away
All my troubles will drain away
High tea will end this difficult day

Bergamot oil is heaven
Have a cup or two or seven
Sit on down, drink it up
Joy is found at the bottom of your cup

When you get a troubled letter
When life has turned you bitter
Have a cup and you’ll be better
Just a sip and you’ll feel fitter

If you prefer dairy with your leaves
Tea doesn’t mind, as you please
Just remember the milk in first
Then life can do its very worst

After a good cuppa tea

Put a kettle on for a cuppa
Keep your quivering chin uppa
Straighten your back
Plan your attack
But first have a cuppa tea

Stiffen that uppa lip
Pour a cuppa for the trip
Drink it down, fill it up
Time for just one more cup

Sip with me
And you’ll agree
Clouds will part
Over calmer sea
Drink’s the key
Hear my plea
Free the tea
God save the Queen

Here’s my theory for when you’re weary
Don’t be leery, ban the bleary
Cheer up, Sweetie, wipe your teary
Pour a cuppa for you, Deary?

Clearly you are nearly
In need of tea severely
So have a good cup of tea
Order a cup, on me

I luva good cuppa tea

Tell Me About Chris Churchill

I love interviewing people. I just wish I knew more awesome, famous people. πŸ™‚ But I know at least one and he’s super awesome and almost famous. To me anyway. He’s brilliant, creative, fascinating, funny, talented, accomplished and so, so friendly. Embracing. Welcoming. Decent, kind, inspiring. He’s my friend, Chris Churchill.

He so kindly agreed to let me interview him. He has quite a few things out right now. Book, songs, documentary. Thanks for reading and checking out my friend, Chris. He’s the coolest. Thanks, Man! for letting me probe your brain.


Background about Chris:

I’m an artist of many types of art. Writing, visual art, music, comedy, film-making. But, of course, not many make a living doing these things. So, I give tours and have recently started teaching.
Where did you start performing?

Started performing in high school. School plays, etc. Also tried, here and there, to play in bands. Wrote a lot of stories and little plays. In retrospect, any shiny artistic object, pulled me away from the previous one. I saw a good friend in an improv show in 1992 or ’93. I thought, “That’s really funny. And I’ll bet I could do that.” So, I auditioned for Lighten Up Improvisation Company and got in. This is where I met your husband (Guy Maggio).

How did you get to Chicago? What led you there? Anything you miss about KC?

I miss everything about KC. Home is always home. When I come home, the wind is the right kind of wind. The birds and insects are the right kind. The sky is the right sky. The Chiefs. The Royals. And all the people of course. My whole family is
still there.

I got to Chicago because I met Adam McKay and David Koechner at an improv fest in Austin, TX (I was performing with your husband and others). They were teaching an improv workshop which I took twice when I was there. Once as a participant. The second time, I just sat in the back and watched. I had never had a conversation with a famous person before. And Koechner had this amazing, positive, “you can do it” energy. He told a group of us that if we were serious about this, we had to move to Chicago. Eventually, I did.

What’s the best thing about following your love of and talent in music? Improv?

The best thing is that you can go to a place on your heart that needs massaging, when it needs massaging and massage it. Flood yourself with serotonin when you need it. The finished product has never really gotten me too far. The process makes me happy, though.

What inspired you to come up with β€œAbraham Lincoln: The College Years”? What is just improv or something you thought about?
When I was recovering from a psych issue I’d had a few years ago, I finally got to the point where I could artistically express myself again and it helped me get back to “normal”. At this point, I just made up the worst ideas for television pilot episodes and wrote 12 of them. For fun. Because I was crazy.
Later, I decided to have staged readings at Second City for four of them. Well, obviously, they’d need theme songs. So, I made up these silly theme songs and recorded them. Originally, I thought I’d just play them at the live show but, since I already had an audiobook on Mint 400 Records, I asked them if they’d put out my “Doomed Pilots” soundtrack. As far as the Lincoln song goes, I started with the lyrics, searched within the lyrics for the rhythm and recorded that. I added the simplest of bass-lines so that when I sang the lyrics I’d be on key. Or at least I’d know where the key was. Then, from within that framework, I improvised the recording or the rest. The guitars, the backing vocals were improvised because I don’t like planning too much when I’m in creation mode. I think it worked out. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever recorded.
How did the project β€œTell Me About My Mother” start? (check out the video here)

My siblings and I constantly find ourselves telling these old family stories over and over again about how crazy our mom was/is. After I’d had an internship at a video company and had begun to make more of my own independent stuff, my sister Deb said, “This should be your next project.” And she was right. It turned out really well. It’s been getting a lot of emotional responses from people.

I’m sure it was difficult reliving the past, was it healing or just messy?

It was definitely healing. My mom needed validation for a lot of what she went through. It was nice to hear my dad’s side. Even though some might say he doesn’t come off smelling like a rose in this movie. And my siblings, as usual, served as comic relief when necessary. Some of these stories are pretty intense.

Do you think that your past/childhood set you up for how you live your life now in terms of music, improv, life goals, career choice, or creativity in general? Do you think it propelled you? Or do you think it was a detriment?

My childhood gave me both the artistic tools for survival as well as the need to use those tools to keep my sanity (most of the time). The problem and the solution are wrapped up in the same thing. My upbringing was alternately exciting and fun and sad and lonely. In terms of being able to make any money, it’s never really happened for long stretches. That is probably just a case of not having the right backing, connections, luck and also, let’s face it, I’m not making mainstream anything. I don’t know how to do that because I don’t feel the same way most people do.

What are you working on now or hope to be hearing about in the near future? What’s coming up for you?

Always working on something. Thinking about raising money so I can edit the rest of the story of me and my family and release the whole thing on DVD. Mixing an album for the label. Writing for an online magazine called Literate Ape. Teaching one college course and still giving tours of Chicago.

Thanks, Chris! You’re amazing. ❀

We Are the Lost Souls

My daughter Lillian wrote a song last year. I think it’s one of the most brilliantly written songs I’ve ever heard. I know I’m biased, we’re related. She’s the fruit of my loins. But dang! It’s cool.

She recorded the music using a computer, multi-track digital recorder and singing her own lyrics. She sang harmony for her own voice and laid the tracks down together. I’m really proud of her effort here. She’s only 13 and I can’t wait to hear what she will do in the future. She also did another song for talent show this year too. Imaginary Friends

She also did a funny little parody with Dad and I helping out. Baby, It’s Cold Outside

This next song is about the Terracotta Army. Really meaningful look and unique perspective of those soulless sculptures. Her teacher covered the Terracotta soldiers in history last year and Lilli was fascinated by the topic. So, when she’s obsessed with a subject, she gets inspired and writes songs. Like ya do.

I love the modern sound and well-thought out words. I helped with some minor editing, but she did all the hard work composing, singing and recording. Without further ado, here’s Terracotta Souls by Lillian Maggio. Really cool, hope you enjoy it.