A dancing writer? An intellectual circus artist? Revolva is always a bit surprised—that other folks are so surprised. Musicality, timing, voice and character are basic building blocks of writing and performing, and over the years, Revolva’s pursuit of both has deepened her understanding of each.
Under her daytime alias, Revolva has written for a national labor union, national mags, an alt newsweekly, non-profit/activist endeavors, and big-name clients . In 2006, she left her home in Metro Detroit, Michigan when she beat out hundreds of other applicants to become one of six graduate students chosen to attend University of Oregon’s MFA Fiction program.
She exited the program, stage left, after a year, when her gigs picked up. The decision was a no-brainer, however, as she already had one Master’s degree in English literature and creative writing (Wayne State University, Detroit), as well as a BA in creative writing (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor). Too many advanced degrees are redundant, and reading words such as “hegemony” and “didactic” repeatedly can really bite into rehearsal time.
Living the good word
These days, Revolva balances working the stage, with working the page—touring and performing, laptop in tow, writing along the way. She’s even gone viral as a blogger, garnering more than a million views for this piece on paying artists and nearly 40,000 views for her post “Do you have a job?”
On her unique multi-arts path, Revolva has written her own shows, including BroadMinded, an all-women-over-40 anti-ageism project that received national acclaim in Vice and the Huffington Post. She’s also written street show material and performed it at events such as Edinburgh Fringe Festival and with the Fruitvale Family Circus in Oakland, California. She has even developed workshops and presentations that unite storytelling and the movement arts. Exercises that trick your brain into forgetting everything it’s been taught about “specialization” and help you remember what it’s like to be creative with every ounce of one’s body, mind and soul. To be an adult—and simultaneously, to be a purely open child.
Fusing the scribble with the wobble, in the classroom
In 2008, Revolva first presented a class called “Ignition: Writing your hoopdance” at the international conference Hoop Convergence (Carrboro, NC). In subsequent years, she has taught it to hoopers around the world under the title “Scribble Wobble.” In the class, journaling and drawing exercises are combined with corresponding hoop movements, to erase the division between body and mind, and to help unleash a new level of innovation.
So you’re telling me it’s possible to have it all?
In our culture, “having it all” normally applies to whether or not we can work while simultaneously having children. Revolva’s version of “having it all” applies to whether or not we can navigate any path we wish while simultaneously being children. Can we maintain our sense of wonder about life? Doing so involves tearing down walls we’ve built within ourselves.
Language has rhythm. Internalizing dance steps or throwing objects through space in just the right pattern makes for a better understanding of the way language can move a reader. On the flip side, dance conveys meaning, and molding a story into the perfect arc has always informed what Revolva does on stage. With no good reason NOT to continue writing and moving, Revolva believes she somehow wound up, in her own unique way, having a more holistic existence that she would have if she’s followed society’s advice to choose a straight and narrow path, over a round one.