Art has a (personal) voice

“Tom Rocks City Council” was Regina Schaffer’s subject line in her email out to Woman’s Will Board Members late last night. We left Oakland’s City Hall after 10:00 p.m. last night with the meeting still in session. The question of cutting funding for Oakland’s Cultural Arts and Marketing Department was the matter at hand and Oakland’s art community – at least 300 supporters and 200 speakers at the podium – came out in full force. It was an exciting place to be.

I initially signed a petition on the matter and with Tom’s help and inspiration wrote a letter to Jean Quan, Oakland’s District 4 Council Member. Tom volunteered to go and speak at the City Council meeting last night on behalf of Woman’s Will. With only a minute to speak, he got some laughs and acknowledgment from council members, an anomaly in the Bay Area’s all-female Shakespeare company. He related the art community to a tapestry that the government has a choice to weave together or unravel. It was very poetic. I feel very lucky to be a part of this man’s life and to witness his support and passion.

Taking part in politics like this at a city level can be really exciting, and it definitely helps when your view is in the majority. I’m proud to be a part of Oakland’s art scene. It feels very personal.

Visit here and here for more information on the details of Oakland’s budget.

Kudos to our Wedding Staff




I have incredible memories of our wedding… intimate, personal and filled with lots of love. We hired great people to help put on this event and I remember walking into the lodge and feeling well taken care of as our photographer, Megan E. Hanson, greeted us with her cameras. Sheryl Black of L’Aubergine Catering and her crew were busy setting up and Reverend Robert Shively was waiting for us. Actors from Woman’s Will were busy rehearsing and Mel Speed of The Music Company was hooking up our sound system. I can’t say enough of all the people we hired.

I had the bright idea of using Tom’s iPhone to stream our music and it turned out that when we hooked it up to the sound system it didn’t work. Megan E. Hanson came to the rescue by letting us borrow her iPod. It just so happened we had some similar music in common. Sheryl Black and her staff were amazing. We continue to get compliments from our guests on how good the food was. I had a hard time enjoying eating during the wedding but Sheryl packed up sample plates for us and when Tom and I got home we ravished through the leftovers. Crème Brûlée has a significant meaning for both of us and Sheryl went out of her way to make this special dessert for us.

My friend Cheryl referred me to Mel Speed at Fura Bodyworks. He gave me my Monroe piercing. When I went in to talk to him about music for our wedding, he had a ton of recommendations from all of his experience with weddings. He is a fabulous resource and has such a positive attitude. He also does wedding coordination and although we didn’t end up hiring a coordinator, I definitely considered him.

Mel referred us to Reverend Robert Shively who was incredible to work with. We had him over several times for dinner and really got to know him. He asked us what tone we wanted for the wedding and we responded with a desire to have something serious and playful. I wanted people to laugh and cry. Reverend Robert Shively brought his warmth, his humor and his genuine spirit to our ceremony. A friend of mine said she and her husband would have definitely hired him for their wedding, if they weren’t married already.

It was really important for us to have whole families and kids in particular at our wedding. I wanted to share the story of how Tom proposed and he suggested we hire Woman’s Will to tell the story. They put on an absolutely beautiful production of Edward Lear’s The Owl and Pussycat incorporating us back into the ceremony. Our congregation and especially the children were mesmorized by Woman’s Will’s performance. This was especially obvious in my brother’s video. That episode of quietness warmed our hearts.

It was August 8, 2008 yesterday and a big wedding day for many people. Listening to the news of this made me want to get married again. I’m so grateful to have such special wedding memories. The intensity of Tom’s touch and the way his voice cracked with emotion as he spoke his vows touch me deeply. I am very lucky and appreciative of Tom. Thank you love for being such a great part of my life!

Photos above by Megan E. Hanson: Tom and I, L’Aubergine Catering and Woman’s Will