An Interview with a Circus Performer:
Rebekah Whippo


This is an unedited Transcript:

Hi, I’m here with my good friend, Rebecca. And I’m so excited to have just kind of a different conversation. First of all, most of our conversations I think, have been pretty quick in between performances. You know, we’ve had some, some other downtimes together, but over the years, and it’s been a lot of years, I was just thinking about this, I think we met. I want to say 20, over 20 years ago. And, yeah, anyway, so I’m here with Rebecca with Bose slash Tinker. And, first of all, so Rebecca and her family have been performers, I think, most of their lives. And, and they’ve traveled around the world doing circus arts, entertainments, magic music. It’s amazing. This family, just kind of all the things like you make your own costumes, and do your own makeup and create your own shows, and do acrobatics, and juggling and all sorts of fun things. So I think that the way that Rebecca and your family have grown up, and what you’ve created is pretty unique. So I’m excited to just learn more for myself and anyone who’s listening to learn a little bit more. And perhaps there’s some spark of something like, Oh, I never considered that possibility for life as an option in there. So welcome,



Riverview. Thank you. Thanks



for having me. I’m excited to be here and have a chance to chat with you. And like you said, we haven’t spent like quality time and ages. We used to have that time. And now it’s always been kind of fitted in between performances and shows. So this is gonna be fun. Yeah,



yeah. And I should say your family is called clan Tinker. And we’ll have some more info on the site, too. There should be some links and things and you have some videos and you can see when when you get back to doing shows when and where to find you. Right.



As of right now, July, we’re looking at July. So good. Good. Good.



That’s exciting. Right around if all goes well. Yeah, we’re all hoping. Well, yeah. Beautiful. Um, so Rebecca, how, how is it that your family create a circus? have this happen?



Well, there I have five siblings. It was me and my brothers and sisters, and we were homeschooled. We grow grew up out in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. And we started juggling as a hobby. Our dad taught us he knew how to do it, because he was a hippie, old school hippie, our parents, we grew up in a bus. And so we were out on the land and being homeschooled. And, ya know, I love the desert. There’s a lot of nature out there. But there was also this need to have activity to do something. And my siblings, and I took up juggling and acrobatics, and magic, and just sort of all those skills that we could learn from books. There was we didn’t have a television. So we would go to the library and pick up all the books we could on things to learn for ourselves, and sewing and makeup, and oh my gosh, just all different types of entertainment skills. I guess. I don’t know why we tend to toward the entertainment rather than the sciences. But the arts just took hold.



Yeah. Yeah, that’s cool. I remember visiting you in New Mexico, and there just being this wall, this shelf, and you had built a home by then. And there was this entire, like, floor to ceiling shelf with games on it. Yeah, it’s still there, too. And we just, it was so much fun to visit you because we were all young adults. And and we just we played game, creative games, board games. You know, juggling, like, we were just playing around, which I thought was so fun. Because even in in my early 20s, maybe I was about 20 I think people were so serious. Like, or, you know, you hang out and you end up talking about TV shows or drinking alcohol or you know, but when we would visit you guys it was just like, way more fun without either of those things.



And it’s true. I’ve been games and playing it’s part of being human or I think just in general, like you look at animals even, they’re always playing, you’re always you learn through play. And I think that was very helpful with our growing up in our homeschool is that we just learned with being homeschooled we learned how to play with each other and learn through play. And so the other wall of games really took that on. Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. We didn’t have a lot of visitors either. So it was a unique experience when we would have friends over. And you guys usually stay a couple days until we really had like time to kind of dig into those games or to spend the quality time that as adults, most people don’t allow themselves. Yeah,



that’s true. That’s true. Yeah, I really, I really, I think that sealed our friendship in a big way. Having that time, that space, and then yeah, and it just it opened my eyes to to a different way of living than I grew up. You know, I grew up in the Midwest, going to school and watching television. And I’m an only child. So really different experience. Like all the opposite things. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So it’s been 23 years of clan Tinker?



Yes, yeah, we’ve been traveling the country and the world, just performing and playing with each other and playing with our audiences and getting to know other performers. It’s a worthwhile experience. I’m not saving for retirement by doing this. But I don’t know if I want to retire. I hopefully want to I hopefully will be able to do this into old age, and maybe not the acrobatic stuff. Because there’s physical limitations. I’m aware of that. However, there’s so many, there’s so much in the arts and entertainment industry, that doesn’t require you having to break yourself. That’s, that’s the person’s game, which I’m not saying I’m not all right now. But I’ve seen other performers, as they advance in years, shape it and refine what they do into these magical things that have nothing to do with the physicality. But I think when you’re young, you’re like, I’m going to power my way through. And then you learn refinement, and how you don’t have to do that, as you get older and more advanced. Yeah,



yeah, absolutely. I and I do remember witnessing some practice that you all were doing, and some discussion around this, like, something that might be really technically difficult, doesn’t necessarily translate to entertainment for the audience.



Yes, exactly. That’s absolutely 100% true. And something that can be technically so difficult, nobody cares about. And you can do a three ball juggling pattern that people’s jaw drops, it’s really not about the technical part of it, even though it helps to have that as a base or foundation. But really, what is visual and entertaining to the audience, and a lot of that to his character, how to draw them in to get to feel like they know you a little bit. And they do, like, get to know you, as you perform. And you get to know them. There’s a it’s part of live performance. I think that’s different than the screen, the television, is that you actually get to have this dialogue with your audience a back and forth. conversation, almost through performance. Yeah.



Yeah. And you You said something, too, about connection and the importance of human connection. And and that being a driving force for the work that you do. And just the history, the long history of that. For humans. Yes. You say more.



Like, since the since the Egyptians, there’s been performance and surfaces for the visual aspect, yes. But also for the connection, and festivals. These are things that in the last year, I think maybe we’ve all come to appreciate a little more is the human connection that happens through performance through festivals through even through work, like my partner, he. I think he appreciates his work, friends, that his work, you know, work associates so much more now than he ever did before. For that same reason, as you start cherishing those moments, and actually realize that people are special, like everyone is in their own way. Yeah, connection is special. Like you and I were just talking about how we don’t get to spend nearly as much time as we used to, but because we have this foundation of connection, even those little moments We catch up really fast. And those little moments are almost as good as a longer time together. Because we know that we’ve already had this base level of connection. Absolutely.



Absolutely. And I know I’ve mentioned this, I think in sort of every conversation recently I’ve had, and some of them recorded some of them on this podcast. But the former Surgeon General wrote published a book recently called together and talked about how actually human connection is, is the number one. How do you how do you frame it? It’s like, the number one thing we can do for our public health is to have human connection, which I thought was really interesting. You know, it’s, it’s like, even if we get sick, those outcomes of illness, are we really directly connected to our support system?



Yes, yeah. And oftentimes, after a performance, we’ll have people come up afterwards and talk about that and be like, Oh, I really felt something from you guys. And honestly, sometimes I didn’t even notice them out there. But the fact that they had this ability to connect with me, even if I wasn’t directly connecting with them, is it magical? It’s a magical, is. What was I’m trying to remember, during World War Two, they had, I think it was World War Two. Yeah, I hope I got this, right, because I’m gonna put this on air. But um, they had, trains were only used for military effort, there was no transportation trains, and they had shut down all trains for anything except military use. And then the president of the time decided that services could use trains, they were the there was one exemption, and it was for surfaces because surfaces raised the morale of the population in general. So they were the only other people other than the military that were allowed to travel by train, during that time was like, that’s kind of special that, like what we do as performers isn’t just for ourselves making money, or just for ourselves bit, blowing up our ego about how, oh, look at me, I’m so great. I can juggle five balls, whatever. It’s not about that. It’s, I think there serves a dual purpose, also boosting my ego. But yeah,



well, that exchange, I think you’re so right, the best performers are ones there, where there’s an exchange happening, you know, it’s one thing to be awed by what’s happening in the stage, it’s another to be sort of included in it some way. And I feel like you and your family do really a beautiful job of all ages, to like, I know, just witnessing my children from Little being really little, and seeing your performances to then you know, over the years, them connecting to different parts of your shows.



It’s been really exciting.



Thank you. Thank you. Yes, I absolutely agree with you, I think that hopefully, we sort of create a world where you’re invited in, and it’s, it spans many different ages, and many different times through the ages. Um, I know, even just my siblings, because there’s so many of us, there’s five of us in the show. And each of us have our own interests and our own dynamics. And like, if you want to connect with one character, one personality type, because we’re, we’re very different. My siblings and I, even though we grew up together and work together all the time and stuff. We are five very different personality types. And so maybe you connect to Elijah a little more than to sound or serendipity, because of who they are as a person. Mm hmm. Yeah.



So who’s your character? In clan Tinker?



Um, my character is the zany the tell the zany there’s a Commedia Dell art style of performance that came out of Italy during the Renaissance, where they boiled down different character types into these archetypes, and mine would be called zany, which is kind of a little wacky, a little off the hook, kind of a little mischievious a bit on the mischievious side. Always prodding, you’re poking and causing a little bit of trouble. And then you have like are the cap El Capitan is another one of those archetypes in Santiago. My brother, he’s usually walks on stilts. He’s our ringmaster and he has the Capitan sort of character that’s in charge, large and in charge. So everybody’s got their own character types within the hole and they interact with each other within those aspects. Does that make sense? Yeah. Okay.



Does how how did you all decide on your characters? Is it like, because you’re more inclined, like personally that way? or How did you did you ever fight over like, I want to be the zany one?



Not really, there was a lot of it was a fairly organic process. There was one point where we basically we just played exaggerated aspects of our own personalities or our own characters. And then there was one point during our performing career, maybe about 10 years in our sister Marigot, who was part of the show for a long time, she decided to not drop out of the show, but she decided to move on with her life in a different aspect she had, she had a couple of kids, she got married, she decided to move out of the circus. And at that time, when she left, we were like, well, we don’t want to, we don’t want our circus to take a step back. We want to make sure that people still feel like it’s worthwhile even without one of our members. And so we, at that point, sort of redesigned to the show. And we had a director come in Doug muma, a brilliant director, he came in, and we refined those characters, we reduced them to their essences. And that’s when we sort of decided to go with the Commedia style, which apparently, we had already been doing just organically and naturally with our own personality types. And then, when he came in, and helped us sort of, delineate what we wanted to do, and how to make that more, show the audience more of that theatrical aspect of it. Yeah,



that’s cool. So sort of headed that way. And then you had someone from the outside really come and help you refine and emphasize what you were already doing. Sounds like exactly, it took



a little bit of a like a shake up to then go, bring it back together in a more cohesive way. Mm hmm.



What do you think contributes to the longevity, I mean, that’s a lot of years as a family.



together. That’s true. Um, I think a lot of it has to do with reinvesting reinvesting in ourselves reinvesting in the show, taking, allowing each other to take those moments to have, like, have other interests. Everybody’s got their own interests, as well as we all have 100% investment in performing and in this, and after Mary left, honestly, we did have a lot of moments, we try to reassess every couple years, is everybody still interested? Is this the direction we want to go? is it’s a very much a collaborative, I say, I’m the manager. But I’m not the manager of the surface, the whole group, I’m the manager of booking I chose as far as the dynamics of the circus itself, and my siblings. It’s a collaborative, it’s 100% collaborative. And I think that’s part of the longevity is that we all check in, we check in with each other. We’re friends, we’re not just family, we’re friends. And I think that is a very important part of working together, is you can work together without the friendships. But if you don’t want it to, if you want it to be more than a job, this is at this point. It’s our lifelong career. And that, yeah, and I think, yeah,



that’s all good. Um, how, how have you all navigated? COVID time?



Oh, that? That’s a good question. It was rough. That was not easy. But for myself, um, I can only speak for myself on this one, because everybody’s got their own process. For myself, I kept busy. I kept as I scheduled myself, I was doing things and you know, there was this need to keep making art and keep producing. And then it came a moment that I realized it was sort of a mental state, because I was wearing it was wearing me down mentally to be like, I’m still valid. I’m still valid, I gotta keep doing things, keep doing things. And I had, there was somewhere in this last year, right? We had to take a moment to re assess and reassess. What’s the word I’m looking for? I just had to be easy on myself. Take a moment to be easy on myself. And then think about how much of who I am, is wrapped up in performing and when you take Away performing the who you are, what’s left. And that was it was hard. Not gonna lie, it was hard. And even now there’s this sense of people, we’ve been starting to get calls for shows, and I go, is it safe yet? And honestly, to me, it’s not safe yet to start at this point, and to turn down performances that are essentially my identity of turning down my identity. And that’s, yeah, that’s been a real different experience. I’m thankful for it. It makes me feel like I care more than I ever have, about what I’m doing and why it’s important to myself, and to the community, the nation, the world in general. Is this really where I want to be in life? Absolutely. 100%. And so it helped, it helped me. It tear down, it helped tear me down, and then build me back up as a better person, I believe.



Yeah, I I can really identify with that. And I imagine a lot of people listening, identify with, you know, being turned down and and hopefully built back up in an even truer way. This year.



Right? I mean, we’ll see when we all see each other again, we come out of our cave. I think the appreciation or that we are going to appreciate each other a lot more. It’s going to be overstimulating, probably, but there’s a like, I’ve literally seen my siblings, and my partner, and our mom, like my family is my pod. And that’s it.



Thanks thing your friends? Oh, yeah. Wow. Yeah, I really, I had a, I, I had, like a tear down, like, okay, when I, how I was identifying last summer, when it really, really occurred to me that it would probably be a while before I can run a retreat, which was such a part of my identity, right. It’s like, I gather people in beautiful places and help them reconnect, you know, to themselves through each other. Like, that’s been such a central thing in my life for years. And, of course, last year was not the year for that. So really, like re looking at, okay, what is it that I want to do? And breaking through this? I had real resistance around, can you actually connect virtually? Like, is that true and authentic enough for me? And it wasn’t a quick Yes, I know, there were people who pivoted very quickly in that way. But it took me a few months of really grappling with, like, like, what is what’s true for me? What’s an integrity for me to offer? And, and how can I create it differently? So that it does provide? So I really was thinking, Okay, what is it about retreats? Like? What are those elements that are important to me? And what are other ways to connect to that, and to help people connect,



now that you’ve been doing it this way for a little while? Do you feel like it’s progressed to the point that you are comfortable? as, as well as like having this venue as well as the other one? Do you think they’re similar now enough to fulfill the same satisfaction?



Yeah, I think I think they’re great question. I think they’re different. But equally valuable. Right. Like, I don’t think there’s any replacing one for the other. Exactly. But I do find that I think I found a good rhythm with how it is to help people connect in a virtual space. So things to know, like, we can’t sit online with each other as long as we can sit in the living room. You know, without feeling depleted at the end, so so like, shortened things, and then having lots of breaks and music and movements, you know, throughout is really important because there’s this sort of trance we can get in when we’re looking at a screen, right? So, so really making sure we’re staying in our humanity throughout that dialogue. Throughout that reflection, that kind of thing. And then one of my favorite things has been co working incorporating time where everyone’s cameras are on, but they’re not necessarily looking at the camera, they’re working. They’re doing work while someone else is working. And then there’s something about that, like, you know, the focus of being around other people who are working even on different things. Now people say like, I got more done today and this hour than all week, you know, just



I love that I love that it’s true, I can absolutely see how that can be, I’m sorry, I



think you can get really creative. And I think we’ve seen that in a lot of spaces. Like, it’s not necessarily like one for one replacement, but really getting creative and like, what else is possible, and what else has really contributed to people’s lives within the boundaries of what is safe, you know,



I love what you’re saying about that we did a bunch of small videos, instead of doing live like Facebook Live performances, because it just wouldn’t translate in the same way that a true live performance, which, so instead, we took the tool because the internet is a tool, and we made videos like short planting your videos of just the most absurd things, just for fun, because it we could use this format to reach people in the same way we would our live performance, it’s the same but different, where and what you’re saying is find ways to use this tool to connect in the way that we used to in person or the way that would be in person, but using the tool in a different aspect or different way. And if you if you’re working together, while videoing, you’re able to still talk and focus in because that’s what we’re doing. For the most part, when we are sitting in person, we’re not doing this, we’re not literally sitting there staring at each other in the face talking like that. You know, maybe you’re standing shoulder to shoulder and watching, Looking at some flowers or at a fire pit or whatever situation you’re at, even at a party, you usually stand shoulder to shoulder talking while looking at other people at the party until they have the activity to actually actively doing something or Yeah. So I like that my partner and I used to do that when I was on the road all the time. He was home. We like purpose, we put on movie, and both just text with each other while we’re watching the same movie in different states in different countries or whatever. Yeah, just like that. We’ve had we’ve spent the time together without the focus on each other. That’s so intense.



Yeah, yeah. Oh, that’s such a good point. Yeah, it’s unnatural. Like, yeah, even what we’re doing right now is unnatural.



It is it is like it’s almost a real conversation. But there would be big silences where we just would sit here and enjoy being in each other’s presence. Yeah. And that’s not this kind of dialogue, this kind of conversation, you kind of have to constantly be thinking in your brain. And like you said, it’s exhausting. There’s a this amount of focus for any long sort of time is going to be



the where you down? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So finding that pivot point where it’s like, it is energizing, or there’s a way in which it’s entertaining in your case, you know?



Yeah. Like, I kind of love that, both in your career. And in ours, we’ve kind of learned the same thing of how to easily make these adjustments. How human humans work. It’s probably beyond anything. It’s both and both of us who have learned how human dynamics work or don’t work, depending on the scenario. Definitely.



Yeah, so I am curious about a couple things. One is, who’s Rebecca outside of Clinton?



Um, that is like, an in depth question. Because I feel like in so many ways, and this is Everyone, this isn’t just me. We’re all the cut jewel, where we have facets, so many facets, which make a sparkle. But so you have the you have the at home. I’m just gonna sit and read a book for days on end, Rebecca. There’s the snowboarding skydiving, there is no boundaries for me, Rebecca, which I like that one a lot. That’s one of my favorite. Then there’s the the business manager, the like, I am going to get us bookings. And I’m going to send out pamphlets and my work personality. And then there’s like, who I am with friends, just silly and Goofy and fun. And so it’s Yeah, like so many of us. It’s we’re very multifaceted. So few of us are that One or two dimensional person they put forward. I think we like to think that we’re the re identify, I think humans and one identify I am the crazy one. And then you get some people get tend to get stuck by not allowing themselves to not always be the crazy person at the party, or to not always be the smart one. Or to not always you have to. Like, I don’t know, it’s an interesting question. Because it’s important to not, I think it’s important to not identify in one exclusively. Yeah,



yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And that’s interesting, because you’re, you know, you really developed a character. Right? So, like, there’s this part of your life where it is really important to consistently show up as the same person personality. Right. So yes, I one. I’m just wondering, like, what do you think allows you to be free, more free and the rest of your life?



Oh, yeah, that’s fun question. I think that so much of the clan Tinker character, my Rebecca, the Becca Tinker, is so zany and so crazy and wacky that I can put on that character like a coat, or hat, I can just wear it. And then I click into it, and be it. And then I can take it off at home and put it on the book, and be someone else. And that is also really a comfort and nice. And it’s not that that character isn’t me. But it’s not the whole package of me. Yeah, where I imagine you’re, like the New York existence, you have a lot of depth and you probably have to put your more professional personality forward. When you’re at your when you’re doing your business where I have to put my goofy personality. It’s It’s weird, right. But aside that we move to the front is probably a very different one, even though we are not Oh, yeah.



Yeah. My like, public personality, which, like you say, it’s me definitely. Is the like, calm. Let’s cut, you know, let’s ground. Let’s be calm. You’re like the out you bring the like, the noise, the excitement. Exactly. It’s like the opposite side of the coin here is foot forward. And yeah, that’s great. I’m beautiful, wet. I wonder just you’ve had a lot of, you’ve done a lot of traveling, I know and had a lot of different adventures. And I just wonder if there’s a highlight or two.



Oh, my gosh, yes. So any? Um, let’s see, one of I know, there’s one time in Egypt. we’re performing. We’re doing circus performances in Egypt. And we had decided that we would go and do a street performance, because why not? And this is where in Egypt, especially it’s where a lot of performance, the first records of circus performance and juggling and stuff was in Egypt. And we were like, let’s just take it to the people. Let’s go out on the street. This is how much more authentic can you get than doing it in the streets of Cairo. And so we were there, and we started performing. And then these people start gathering around and more people and then showed up, we’re like, oh, we’re gonna be shut down. And instead, they created a ring around us, because people wanted to work like encroaching upon us so close, that we couldn’t even juggle. We couldn’t do our acrobatics, because everybody’s so close. And so the cops came and pushed them out. And then to us, which thank goodness, they were there. I’m not complaining about the law enforcement at all. And then the people started pushing against the law enforcement and more people and they’re like, piling it over each other. And the cultural if you guys got to go, you have to leave right now because it’s starting to come because the riot, basically Oh, my gosh, awesome. A small riot. And it wasn’t a bad ride. It was just an enthusiastic riot. So we jumped in the van there because we had a little small band at the time. And we jumped in this band and when it start over, and people have broken through the police line at that point, and are trying to crawl in the van with us. they’re proposing to serendipity and I like throwing pieces of paper like Will you marry me and like find numbers. We can’t start this band. So we got a couple of the crowd and us to help push started. And so we’re trying to push start those band and pops open and we run a lot So I jumped back in this, like, keep moving. I don’t even know what happened after that. We just got out of there and thrown our stuff in the back. And so that was an exciting like Beatles moment where you have people pounding on the Windows as you’re rolling out. That was definitely a highlight. Like this is this is an experience that I probably never have again. Moment Beatles moment in Cairo.



That’s just one. I mean, traveling is the mind opener. And, like, my most recent travels, which obviously was more than a year ago, was to Shanghai in China. And my partner and I had went to Shanghai to do to go to the circus there. They’re one of the most for announcers is the Chinese circus. And what was I thinking? Oh, it was just interesting. Like the, the up until that point, I’d always had some issues with a Chinese people especially, they’d be like, come here now. It’s very, I felt that they were very demanding, there was a demanding kind of quality. And then when we went I learned Mandarin. And I realized, it’s actually a conversational thing. You put the, the when, at the end of your sentence in Mandarin. And so you go, we do the thing. Now, we do the thing tomorrow. And so I realized that the translation comes across as Super rude to English speakers. When you go, you come here now, you’re like, Whoa, or I was like, Oh, it’s just a part of Congress. Like the actual conversation. The words or the structure of their, of their language puts it makes it a very specific timing at the end of your sentence. Yeah. So I think that’s, like, mind expanding to is to learn the why people are the way they are.



Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s I didn’t know that. So I just learned something. Um, yeah, I really, I think that it’s so true. This, I think a lot of what we’re what we’re witnessing, especially around systemic racism in the United States, where you and I both live, is is this idea that like, my white experience is universal. Right? Yeah. And it’s really it’s really the minority in the world. Miss experience?



It really is. It is. And yet, like you said, it seems like we have this dynamic where so many of us assume that everybody has gone through the same things that we have, or that are raised the same as we have, or Yeah, I remember when I was in Uganda, people would come up and pull on my hair or rub my hands or call me Mizzou, which is the combat is the is the native workers while he’s a white person that’s fighting for it, even though they’ve used it in Kenya, Rwanda. And in any way, some of the other Kenya languages, they still use that just because it was tight in Swahili, but they’d be pointing at me as I walked down the street, mizuko mizumoto. And I was talking to one lady, she’s like, I want to go to America, but they’re gonna totally point at me and go, like, black person, black person. I was like, No, that’s gonna happen to you all the time. I’m like, I know you do to me all the time. But that’s is probably not how it’s gonna be when you come here. Yeah,



yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting. Um, yeah, in some way. It’s like, potentially worse. What we might do. Right, right.



It’s more subtle. Yeah, our racism is more subtle, because it’s not noticing. And this is not speaking for everyone. But there’s a tendency, we’re not noticing the differences. We’re, we have issues with the differences. I think that is where somebody’s going, Hey, you’re white. Like fine. Yeah, I am. But there isn’t the intent behind it. That’s somebody here if they were like, you’re black, might have were like, because there’s all this history



behind. Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s definitely a power dynamic at play. And, yeah, I, I felt that too. I think I when I lived in Kenya, that it was like, it was very much like I was first offended, you know, like, oh, why are you pointing at me and like saying this word, you know? Um, and then I realized like, Oh, it’s Really, it’s like it comes from curiosity, right? It’s like, oh, you’re, you’re, you look so different than my community looks. And, and I know I have this, I just have this word for it. And I’m excited. Like, and I want to know more about you like, what does your hair feel like? You know? Yeah, it’s like a really different. Yeah.



It all boils down to intent, right? Yes. It’s not the content. It’s the intent. And, and that’s, I think, really tough, because you don’t know somebody’s intent when they’re saying the thing. And I think that gets us into so much trouble over and over again. Heck, even so, my family, our group name is clan Tinker, the clan, Tinker, circus, and thinkers are Irish gypsies, well, roughly Irish gypsies, for lack of a better word. They’re not wrong. They’re not from that line of gypsies, but they’re Irish, traveling folks. And their current word for them is travelers in Ireland. And when we were in Ireland, I was like, is this offensive to call ourselves tinker’s or the clan Tinker? And they’re like, No, no, no, it’s such an old word. And they don’t they thank goodness, like the tinkers or the travelers in Ireland didn’t have a problem with us doing that. And, and there again, it’s sort of like the intent. They’re like, no, we’re excited, actually, they were very positive about us using the old the old word for the travelers that we called ourselves, Irish travelers, they might have a lot. There might be a problem, but and so I figured, I don’t know. It was it was really interesting. And then again, the intent, they knew that we weren’t using it as a slur. They knew we were using it as a historical thing, not saying that we were but that we are referring to it as the historical past. And so there wasn’t a problem with that. And I know that right now, we have a lot of controversy around the word Gypsy. Because we have current people who are Roma, or gypsies, or in they, and I’m like, you know, if you are that, and you have a problem with it, then I won’t use it. And that, which is why we checked in with the travelers of Ireland. I was like, we’re gonna check in with you. And if anybody has problem, let us know. And they did. They were actually kind of the ones we spoke with, seemed really honored to have you even know what that is.






yeah. Yeah. So it is it is important not to assume, even if your intention, like I know, for me, you know, even my intention is good. It doesn’t mean that I’m not causing harm, you know, so anywhere that I can check for that. Like, is this causing harm? That’s really important. That’s that is my responsibility.



Right? Because the content even if your intent is fine, then your content is the content is controversial, or is not okay with somebody else. You have to respect that. Mm hmm. Well, you



also kind of, and I was gonna ask where the name came from actually. Yeah, we kind of came back around to that. So, so interesting. Did you have any other names or? Yeah, do you wanna say more about the name?



Oh, so my family and I are also over 50% wells. And so the the tinkers were, they were of Celtic origin. So it was Ireland, Scotland, Wales, that’s where he would find the tinker’s. And we are over 50% Welsh, so I figured that gives us a little leeway. At least with our where we’re, we’re our origin is the same as the origin of our surface. What are you going to say?



Yeah, totally talked over you. Yeah, no, just about the name. And if you considered any other names,



you know, early on, we did. I mean, our our real last name is whip. Oh, that’s pretty fun, too. It’s a pretty fun name. And we have had people often be like, why aren’t you? Name clan whip? Oh, um, there was our dad, when we were really young. Our dad decided that we were going to be planned Tinker just as a fun like pseudonym. So. Yeah. For our group. We played in this medieval reenactment group called the SCA, and the Society for creative anachronism. And at that time, our dad was like, Hey, you guys are a bunch of ergens. I’m going to call we’re going to be the clan Tinker, and it just got stuck. So I suppose if there was ever if there ever did become any kind of controversy around the clinton Tinker thing we’d probably be able to as we probably go with webOS username Yeah, yeah. Now 23 years so far, so good. Right? And only really positive from from the people that not hurt. I was gonna say the people that matter. That’s a terrible people, people who have investments, the people who created it’s part of their culture. We’re 100% fine with it. And I’ve, we haven’t had negative, great feedback. So that’s good. Yeah,



yeah. And the SCA is where we met. My husband similarly grew up in SCA, and going to camping events and reenacting the Middle Ages and, and he’s a juggler. Just not he’s never been a performer, per se, but just for fun. And, and so that’s, that’s how we met is juggling together. You all were juggling together? And?



Yeah, yeah, it’s really speaking of like connections. And I know we’ve talked a lot about connections in this conversation. But juggling is the ultimate conversation in some ways where it’s a physical, you have a reason to interact, you can be talking while you’re doing it, like I absolutely adore juggling with my friends. It’s the it’s an activity based thing that you can also just play together. Again, you’re playing with your friends by throwing things at them.



Yeah, yeah. And it also my husband, when he’s traveled, he said to it’s been such a blessing, if he’s in a place where there is he doesn’t speak the language or there isn’t a shared language that juggling is everyone loves it.



It’s true. It’s really true. And, and it’s participatory, to where even if somebody doesn’t know how to juggle themselves, you can have them throw something to you, and you juggle it, and you throw it back out to them. And when I was in Rwanda, I taught juggling, and the most people like learned so fast, they learned so fast, the Rwandans were just the sponges of knowledge, anything I taught them, they picked it up so fast. And again, we didn’t know the same language that they barely spoke English, and I’ll be honest, I only learned a tiny bit of Kenya, Rwanda. And somehow, we spent full afternoons just dating, and friendships were developed. Through juggling. And through connection.



Yeah. That’s amazing. Yeah. So great. Beautiful. Well, I wonder if there’s just anything else that you want to any thoughts you have about? Your life or your path?



Oh, man. Oh, I guess mostly, I would sort of say that. Keep pushing yourself, keep learning this year has taught me anything, keep learning how to be yourself. Don’t ever stop learning and playing. Our whole life is not about school, you don’t learn stuff from school alone. You learn from life. Yeah, even failure isn’t failure. It’s just losing that game. You know, you can lose a game and still have had fun. You can still it’s not. I think there’s a lot of pressure on ourselves to win. In games. And kids still only there’s not. When you watch kids play, they very rarely care about who won. And I feel like that’s important as adults, too. We don’t have to win at life. We just have to play it. And keep learning from it and trying different things. Yeah,



beautiful. So good. Wow, thank you so much, Rebecca. It’s such a joy. I think there’s probably more for us to chat about. So we’ll do a little follow up. Shorter recording. Um,






This has been great. Thank you so much for just being such an open book and sharing about your life and performances. And if people want to learn more about clan Tinker, where, where should they go?



And that’s our website. And we also have Facebook and Instagram and Tiktok if they want to see the videos, the crazy videos that we’ve come up with for this little break.






we’re come out to festivals. We do a lot of Renaissance festivals around the country, as long as as well as other things. But yeah, check it out. And even if we’re not there, go to a Renaissance Festival. Go to a open air concert. Just get out when it’s safe. Get out into the world. Go play with your friends. Yeah. Yeah. So good. I’ll say one other thing. I was gonna say clan tinker with a y. t y n. k? Yeah, yeah.



Good. Yeah, it’ll be way easier to see why. Yeah. Um, yeah, I went to this, like backyard concert at the end of last summer. And it was really well planned out. So small scale, we were all outside. And we had meal. So you could sit with, you know, you reserve it. So you sit with people that maybe you’re already in household with or in a pod with. But then you’re separate from other people. But we were all together and we got to hear live music. And the live music was when I the concert that I went to was a headliner for a big Folk Festival we were supposed to have. So just amazing, amazing musicians and like an audience of 20. And so everyone had a front row seat. And there was not a dry eye, eye in the house like or in the yard. Rather, you could just see, like, I started, like, looking around, and I just didn’t even realize how important live performance. Like how much I was missing that until I didn’t have it for months.



Yeah, yeah. Right. And I appreciate those people who put those performances on, hold on to it. Because you’re not they’re not making a profit from it. And so they’re doing it for the love of getting out there and creating a part of being a part and creating community.



Yeah, so good. So good. Yeah, shout out to tiny backyard concerts in Flagstaff. Alright, thank you so much, Rebecca. Absolutely. Thank you. Alright, we’re just pause there. Um, so is that kind of what you were? Yeah, this is great.



It’s so great. Yeah, so fun. Um, I haven’t really heard a lot about your travels and stuff, too. So it’s cool.



To hear more about it. Like I said before, I don’t want it to be part of my mantra, but I’m also not the best storyteller. Like, if you want to hear stories, you talked to Sam, or, you know, Elijah, or something. I’m not the I’m not the storyteller of our group. So I’m sure. Like,



I know, he talked about, well, for what it’s worth, I think you’re a great storyteller. And I imagine that being around spending so much time around people who are like really excellent at it kind of gives you a work perspective on your own. Um, cuz you’re right, Sam is just like, I could hear him talking about shopping at the grocery store.


And like, shocked by that.



Yeah. Like, like, the nothing things are the people’s memory for what happened to because like, I love when I’m in the moment, I’m doing it, and it’s fantastic. But I very rarely go, oh, remember that time when this thing happened? I don’t reminisce a lot. That’s not. Yeah. Which I probably should do more, because it’s kind of a skill. And it’s why you do things in some ways is to also have memories of it.



Yeah, in a way. I mean, I think there’s real value in just being in the moment, though, too. Which actually strike me as like, that’s your that’s your way. It’s like it. What are we doing now? What’s next?



What’s next than what happened before? Like, that already happened? Let’s



do the next. Yeah, what’s in front of me? Not what’s behind me what’s in front? Yeah, like serendipity and marigold are very picture oriented, the photograph people and stuff. And, like, I love looking at photographs, when you know, and later, but when you’re in the moment, it’s the very last thing on my mind is to ever pick up my phone and be like, Oh, this record moment? Yeah. Yeah,



I don’t, I don’t prefer that. But I’ve become that just because it’s helped my business so much to have imagery and things, you know. So I’ve had to light something like, if I don’t make sure that’s happening, it doesn’t get documented. And that makes it which is really important for advertising, you know? And so then it’s just spilled over into my wife, like, now Wherever we go, like, If I don’t take any pictures, we don’t have any pictures of that. So sometimes we just don’t have it didn’t happen. Cool. Well, I would love to just do another like 10 or 15. Short recording of anything we want to say more about or elaborate and maybe this is the piece is like, what’s next? You know, we’ve been talking about how you got here. Yeah, like what’s next? What You think, yeah, a minute to think about it? I don’t really know. It’s also up in the air. Like, I don’t really don’t know, something else I like to ask people is, um, and I didn’t ask you because it felt like we had such a good like, it was like we came around and completed in a nice way, but is like What are you reading or listening to? Kind of like what you’re learning? You know, these days? Oh, yeah,



yeah, no. I’ve been doing a lot of that. Cool. We could. Let’s talk about that. That’s okay.



Okay. All right. Cool. All right. So, Kevin, we’re gonna start recording again. Alright, I’m back with Rebecca Tinker. For a little more conversation. If you missed our full conversation, go back in and look at that, or listen to that. Rebecca Tinker is the manager of clan Tinker, where she performs with her siblings all over the world, in their circus and entertainment act. So Rebecca, I didn’t ask you when we spoke before about, and I usually ask this, about what you’re reading or what you’re listening to, right now.



Hey, uh, yeah, um, right now I am. I’ve scheduled myself in this copious amounts of time that I have right now. I’ve been scheduling myself into doing one thing a day. And so I’ve got juggling not just one thing, I do plenty of things. But there’s one specific class that I’ll take a day. And so I’m working on my trumpet. I’m learning more trumpet stuff, I already played the trumpet. But that’s been a focus of mine is music. And working on more Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, I’m learning Mandarin Chinese. And I’m learning German. And I’m also I do a lot of art like pencil and pen ink art. And so I was thinking about those classes that I’ve set myself up for. And I realized how much of those are languages. And how I think my travels around the world with the circus has really made me interested in language, and how they connect and how they are so and English is very much a sort of a mash of all these different languages together. And I enjoy just trying to like dissect how words are where words come from, where how language is used the grammar. That’s fascinating to me. So I think I spent a lot of time excuse me, learning those things.



Yeah, anything stick out to you as like, and you shared last time you shared about kind of the present future, like the 10th of things, how it’s done in Mandarin differently. In a way that translates a little funky into English, like so many translations do, you know? But yeah, I wonder if there’s any other things you you connected to, in your exploration of languages? sticks out?



Absolutely, absolutely. I’m the one that well, I also know Spanish. So just how many languages are connected to English, and how few English speaking Americans know any other language. When we go to other countries, so often, they’ll know English, that’s the one that everybody not everybody. I’ll take that back. A lot of people know English, but they also know French. And they also know this and realize just how much we’re isolated here in the US. And don’t have one opportunity to learn as many different languages or to interact with people who speak other languages. And yet how important it is when we go somewhere else that how important it is to know even a little bit, even a Hello, or a thank you, and how much of a difference that can change your interactions with people in other countries, when you go to their country. And you know, a couple words that can change completely the dynamic of your relationship with them so completely. So I tried to do I had to learn more languages and music. I talked about the trumpet and just how music is its own language as well. You can go to a different country and you can play music with somebody who does not speak English and you can have a conversation through music. Just from Yeah.



Yeah. And I imagine with music, there’s even like different. I’ve heard I’m not a musician, myself. I’ve heard I’ve heard tell that there’s different like rhythms and even tones that are used often like in different parts of the world,



which is absolutely my brother Sam. He As a drummer, and he goes to Turkey, did go to Turkey almost every year, until this last year, but he goes to Turkey every year, and learns from those drum masters to play the style of drumming music that he plays. And me and that’s what like you, they don’t speak to each other. He goes and learns from these people and they have communication conversation. And then he brings what he is learned there back here to the US and is able to have conversations with those people. It’s almost like he can act as a interpreter in some ways to the



friend leaving, leaving. What? So what do you What instruments do you play?



I played trumpet. That’s specifically my friend. Sam plays the doom back to to style of Middle Eastern drum. Santiago, my older brother, he plays accordion and piano serendipity plays, concertina and drums as well, a different type of style of drum, and then worked upon. It’s like this giant bass drum that you wear. And, um, let’s see ledger, the ledger is a place the whistle, the slide whistle, which is also amazing for sound effects. Yeah. Unbeknownst to most people that you can actually play a slide whistle and not just a goofy cartoon sort of way. Right realistic?



Yeah, I don’t, I don’t think I’ve encountered lead with milkmaid another way. So that’s interesting.



Yeah, if you ever get a chance to ask about his Legos or tunes, it’s kind of nice, because in our performances, we have the ability to be our own band. So we don’t have to use canned music at all, or we don’t have to rely on other musicians to come in. We play music for whoever’s performing at that particular moment. And then when they get done, they run over to the band area, and the next person goes out and does something. Or so we all have our own. Part of me little. My voice is a little rough today. Yeah, so But yeah, we all try to play music. We all try to stay diverse in those ways.



That’s great. Yeah, there is nothing like live music. And, and I remember visiting you and we were talking about a song, like some songs that, you know, sometimes you’re like, Oh, you know, do you know this song? And I feel like in my world anyway, the thing to do is like to try to sing a little bit of it. But you all were like, Oh, you know the song. And then you like, grab all these instruments. Like, you know, this one, and then like performed?



You’re like, Oh, yeah, that was? Uh huh. That’s fine. I’m super impressed with people who can play stringed instruments. I know. It’s like one of the most common instruments like a guitar in the US. Yeah, but I have tried to teach myself guitar a few different times, and then she’s gonna get it. It didn’t make sense to me. And there wasn’t where when I picked up the trumpet, something’s just come naturally. And I think you have to find the one that works naturally for you. As the trumpet. I was like, Yes, this is it. I picked up a guitar and I was like, I don’t understand it. I don’t understand.



Wow, that’s good. That’s good. Nice advice. Hey,



you know, even if you’re not gonna be a performer of it, just knowing a little bit of music helps you appreciate it more. Yeah, I think if you if you know how hard it is, then you appreciate somebody else doing it. True. True.



I’m thinking to myself, like you should pick up a wind instrument because I’ve only ever learned string instrument and didn’t stick with it. So hard. I think it is.



But it could just be like our natural tendency. Yeah. Or maybe or good goodness, we have something in common. There it is. That’s the thing. Right? That’s great. That’s great, I think. Yeah. And it’s the accompany ment of music to



physical movement, like our performances juggling and stuff. It makes such a big difference. In fact, I think movies are a good example. If you didn’t have soundtracks and movies, it would be so incredibly different. It sets the mood. It sets the tone, it sets everything, but it’s oftentimes it’s weaved in so it’s woven into the story that you don’t even notice. It’s there. Yeah, and Something I create just helps so much to have music behind performance.



Yeah, it’s just it’s such an art. I know. I haven’t. Until this podcast, honestly, I hadn’t really well, that’s not true. I do I play music at retreats and events, and I still bring that in online, you know. But I had, yeah, it was a big choice to choose me. Like the Opening Music for this podcast was like, terrifying. Like, what? You know what? Yeah. So how do you how have you all decided the music for your shows on?



Well, it helps that we perform at a lot of Renaissance festivals, like I mentioned earlier, is so it’s, that’s a parameter of what is acceptable, we can’t really do a lot of modern music until we kind of and what is in public domain, as well when we write some of our own, but we do a lot of public domain music or, and so that narrows it down to what our aspects are of the music. And then we get like, Santiago and Sam and serendipity, especially are like the foundation of the band. And they have a set. They they’re learning new songs all the time. And they’re, so they’ll try two or three different ones. When we’re like, hey, I’ve got a new bit, and we start to work on it. We’re like, Alright, we need a fast paced piece of music. And they’re like, how would this one like, Oh, that’s okay, or this one. And so they’ll have like two or three songs that kind of fit the dynamic of the piece. We’re the mood we’re trying to create. And then sometimes we switch it, sometimes we’re like, oh, we’ve been doing that one for like, 10 years. It’s like it up a little, just for your own sanity. All the time. In fact, I don’t think any of our performances have ever been the same. the very reason is, you got to keep it. You got to keep it different. Because change it up for yourself. Not even just for the audience’s. Yeah, yeah. Like life or something, you got to keep it changing.



Don’t get for life advice. Um, ask them well, what, what do you see as next for climb Tinker for yourself?



Well, that’s a good question. I think that once things open up into, like, get relatively back to normal, hopefully, we get to go back to the performances we have been doing. And also, now that we’ve learned how to use our tools for the Internet, and how, how to reach people in different ways, hopefully, we’ll be able to incorporate that into what, who we are as a circus troupe. Like, I don’t want to give up live performance, but it is kind of fun to see what other angles, you can come at the same thing. Otherwise, you know, I like, like I mentioned before, it’s sort of the it’s a career, it’s not something I ever want to stop doing. I, you know, there’s physical aspects that are gonna have to be adjusted, and refined. But mostly, I just want to do this until I can’t possibly do it again, anymore. Yeah, that’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. And then, and then I’ll take up managing for somebody else who can do



lots of options. Yeah, no. Experience. Yeah, do you? You know, this just popped in my mind. There might be someone out there who’s like, I might want to get into performing arts of some kind. I wonder I just didn’t have any tips.



How to do it, I would say. Honestly, get get your skills to where you want them first, just start just absolutely. Just start doing it. And the rest will come. I don’t I know, that’s kind of maybe easy out of an answer. But like, if I wasn’t performing, I would still be juggling in the backyard. Like, I still do. I’m not performing right now. But I’m still doing it. Or I would want to learn dancing, or I would want to learn music or like, take what you naturally just want to do and make them turn that into a into your performance art.


Yeah. Beautiful. Beautiful. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Rebecca. And just so everyone knows, I didn’t tell Rebecca what I’d be asking her at all.



Once I did, I almost wrote to you it was like so what questions we’ll be talking about, but I kind of enjoyed this organic, natural way of things. Just coming than not having to be like pre planned in my own brain about it. So,



yeah, good. I know you have to pre plan a lot of things. So



it made me nervous to say like for being a performer that’s in front of people all the time. Like to not know what I was getting into exactly it was it made me a little nervous. are showing up anyway. And I shouldn’t have been because this has been you’re fantastic at just being a conversationalist.



Thank you. Thank you. I do. I’ll tell one quick story. And then we’ll, let’s find out where we can learn more about you. And Glenn Tinker is that when I was in high school, I had this guidance counselor who actually, I mean, first of all, told me not to pursue math and science because it would be too hard. a whole nother story? Yeah, I think that happens a lot to young people. So not so much when you’re homeschooled. Right? Yeah, no? Okay. Um, yeah, anyway. And then she asked me what if I didn’t pursue either of those? What would I want to do? Like if I could just do anything? And because she had suggested some things that I wasn’t interested in? And I said, I really just, um, well, she’s like, well, what’s your favorite thing to do? And I said, I really just love to have deep conversations. And she was like, well, that’s not a career. And I still kind of laughed about that. I don’t remember her name, or where she is not even about her at this point. But I just think it would be funny to



guess what it is. That’s really funny. Yeah. Because if you enjoy doing it, and you’re gonna do it anyway, then why not make that your life?



Right? Yeah, I mean, really, I started a business just so I could spend as much time as possible, having meaningful conversations with people. That’s the real truth. That’s great. You know, if I had, you know, I would still do it anyway, even if I had to do a different thing for income, but I wouldn’t have less time for it. So right. Oftentimes, your career is not your job or your work isn’t your job. Right.



Right. But I think, like, I think we in society have jobs. And those jobs aren’t necessarily our work. Yeah, it’s just as a part of our community, as part of the world community. Like, I feel like I’m put here to manage and performed and you’re here to have a conversation with and those are both important. Jobs. Yeah. Yeah. Their work or not. They’re important jobs.



Yeah, yeah. And they, they both as we were talking about previously, they’re both really important ways to help people connect. Which is Yeah, so life giving. Absolutely. Cool. All right, Rebecca, thank you so much for your time. And tell us again, if someone’s just listening to this recording, where we can find more about you and Clinton here.



Yes, my circus or my family circus is clan tinker’s. Si la NTYNK. Er klanten group comm is our website. We’re on Instagram. We’re on Facebook. We’re on tik tok with fun and silly videos. So yeah, come find us.



Great, and we’ll have others links also on a path of her own calm. Alright, thanks again. Rebecca. Thank you. Okay. Um, yeah, thank you spend all for it is it? It’s like, I feel like the having a project like that is also like this one is giving me an excuse just to catch up with people.



I love it. I’m so happy you did. Thank you for reaching out to us. And I know Sarah deputy was like, I want to talk to blue. I just don’t want to be recorded. I



can’t say



Ha, ha. Yeah. It’s funny how that we have to have like, excuses to reach out to people. I know. I get it. I’m the same way. Like,


yes. Yeah, I know. I woke up thinking about that this morning. Like, because I’ve been reading. I read a little bit in the morning, and I was reading that book together. Yeah. And it was there, you know, just so I was really present to like how important it is. There was a section about having, like, we all have these three circles of kinds of friendship and how each of them is important and serves a different need. And there’s like, a really intimate, like people we see every day, like family or partners or spouses or kids. And then there’s the sort of middle circle which is People that like, you know, you could call on if you needed help, and they would be right there. But they’re not maybe people you see, you might go a few weeks without seeing them, you know. And then there’s like the, the rodder, like, who we belong to, in a bigger way, you know, like our town or country or, you know, right over, you know, bigger the SBA or something, you know, we’re like, you might not know everybody in it, and things like, that connects you, like you have an understanding with a much larger group of people, you know? Yeah, just thinking, like, so much of my close network are people that I do some kind of work with, whether they’re my clients, or my colleagues, or, you know, there’s some because, um, and then I was thinking, like, is that healthy? Like, should I have more friends outside?



I almost wonder if you only have the ability to, like, mentally hold on to a set amount of people that, like, I’ve my siblings, and my family. And really, maybe two or three other people that I will contact on a regular basis outside of that. But if they contact me, I’m happy to talk to them and stuff. But almost wonder people in general only have a certain amount of, like mental capacity, the earth or emotional capacity even within their their inner ring for five to 10 people.



Yeah, yeah, actually, that I was just reading, like, the, that’s what the research says, is, oh, really, there’s actually like, this has been researched, which is wild. That it’s like, you’re like people that you pour the most, like 60% of yours, or friendship or connected energy into goes into maximum five people that you’re really close to that you’ve probably talked to every day or every other day. And then the rest, most of the rest goes into usually around 15 people. And then you sort of have a scattering of like, you might keep in touch with people like a little bit here. And there, you have like a little bit one or 2% of your energies, the rest of everyone. Wow.



I suppose especially with the way that society is set up right now. Because when we’re on the road, when we’re performing at Renaissance festivals, I see hundreds of people a day, every day, and I’m not talking about the people that we perform for, but like in our community, because we’re so we all camp and live together and you just walk down the road, you’re like, hey, so and so high. Like it’s just it’s a very social, and those are people I talk to every day and see every day now that like when I go home, or during this year of being home, I realized all that disappeared. I was like just from being in a house and having to make an effort to go see somebody changes everything or effort to pick up the phone. But if you can, like sit outside of your house, or walk down the road and see 20 to 30 people. I almost wonder if we’ve created a very unnatural situation for ourselves by being in houses, in our cars and not having interactions just by having to having to.



Yeah, yeah. Oh, definitely. Definitely. There’s there’s all kinds of evidence of that unhealthy. This structure is that we’ve created, right? Yeah, I feel really blessed like where we live in. We’ve had a pod because I just accidentally happened. Because we have a friend who’s going through a divorce. And he at the start of 2020 was looking for a place to live, they were doing this nesting thing where you share the house, like the kids are always there, but they have to week one parent is there and you know, oh, come stay with friends or whatever, or whatever, they have different arrangements. So we did that for a year. And then they were like, this isn’t we can’t this isn’t sustainable for us. So so they made the choice that mom would get the house and then dad would move out and he wanted to go back to school. And anyway, so we’re and we’ve been friends with both of them for I think we we’ve known them almost as long as we’ve known you guys a long time and we ended up like living in the same town again. So there’s just like decade gap of like we didn’t live near each other but we kept in touch and anyway, so beautiful family so there’s mom and dad and two boys. And they so he was looking for a place to live and trying to come up with something Flagstaff is it’s a town that it’s the most expensive place to live in Arizona housing like you, you might apply to like 10 different rental and not get chosen for any of them. And they’re all expensive and it’s like the markets insane here. And so we had bought a couple years ago, I guess we bought a house, a fixer upper, the biggest house I’ve ever lived in. And we had in mind, we’re like, Okay, this will be great. The kids can finally have their own rooms and big garage for Jeremy and all his tools and projects and whatever he’s doing and, and a space for me to have workspace, then, you know, we’re just like, okay, dreaming big, but it needs a lot of work. So we’re always living in like, one little corner of it all piled on each other. And at one point, we were all living in one bedroom. Oh, yeah. And, you know, just like renovating everything. And then we we were finally like, there’s still more to do. But it’s the house is largely livable. And, and so at the start of 2020. I was actually, I had this thought one morning, like, I haven’t even been downstairs, like for a week, because it’s a split level. And I was like, What did we do? Like, we’ve all this space, like, we should have just built a tiny house.


Basically, it just separated ourselves. Yeah, two little sexual eggs.



I’m like, I don’t you know, my son’s bedrooms downstairs and like, he just go on, he’s gone. And, like, This is so weird. And then within a week, I saw this message from Michael’s friend, we go about looking for a place to live, and trying to come up with something like, some roommate situation or something like he had these ideas that just sounded like he was not going to be able to afford it. And, and I was like, Well, I think should just come live with us for like, an entire downstairs. I haven’t been to in a week. So like, I don’t even have to look at your face for a week. Yeah. And so they then it, it’s we we talked about it. We had the kids all in on conversations, and we taught you know, like what this would mean and what this would look like. And then we have this one downstairs bedroom that is really this like long, rectangle shaped room that goes from one end of the house to the other. And we had talked about we first got the house that that could be two bedrooms, you know, so we, we bought, technically a three bedroom house, but now has five bedrooms. Oh, wow. So that’s cool.



That’s huge. How many square foot like was the square footage? It’s 1900 square feet. Whoa, that’s big. I know. I yeah. It is big. Like, there’s it’s



Sam and his wife and me and my partner, Michael. We all live in like 1100 square feet in the house that we bought. Like 919 Oh, yeah,



I know. Yeah. And I i until now, I’ve always lived in smaller space. Like, the first place we lived in Flagstaff was 700 square feet. With all four of us in it. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So you went from like, really small? space? Yeah. Which it didn’t feel like at first because it was a lot of construction zone, you know? Yeah. And so anyway, so they, they moved in, in the middle of March. And then I think, like, the day before they moved in or something was like officially the lockdown. You know, I were like, well, I guess we’re going to spend a lot of time together. We’ll see how this goes. It’s been good. And it’s been so good. Yeah, I think the first two or three weeks were really challenging. Um, and then it’s just, I mean, I can’t imagine this year without them. Like it just has been such a blessing. The kids have other kids around, but not all the time because they spent half the time with mom. And then we’ve ended up in this pod with mom and her new partner. And then mom got a roommate, because she and her new partner don’t want to, they tried living together at first and they were like, this is Nebraska stuff. But she needed help paying the mortgage. And so there’s this roommate and then we adopted another woman who was living in a camper and feeling really isolated. And so we ended up with this, this little pod network and the monthly dinners then just conversations like it started because we’re like, Let’s meet face to face and talk about you know where our boundaries are and how we can help each other feel safe and and then one person that one member of our pond has some asthma and some other health issues and was really, really extra concerned in the beginning especially we didn’t know You know, it’s a respiratory thing like, yeah, so we did. Yeah. So just looking at how can we protect each other? And like, what are the protocols if someone gets COVID? And like, we’ve had just, it’s really brought us together like having have all these, like, kind of life and death conversations.



Right? really personal, really in depth. And yeah, yeah.



You know, checking in, like, if we want to go do something or like, you know, I’m thinking of doing this thing, here’s what I have in place. Is there anything I’m missing, like just



doing that? Through going through a fairly not I don’t want to say traumatic, because that gives it a negative, but going through this time, this time with each other that none of us have experienced before. It’s all learning, we’re all kind of out of our element. And going through that can really be quite a bonding force. Absolutely. Yeah.



Yeah. Yeah, it’s been, it’s been great. I mean, it’s been intense, and challenging at times, but, but the overall picture has been a whole, like, it feels like I’ve had a family to go through this with. And I think, like, if we were just isolated in our big house, I just think it would be a lot harder, we’d have to really work harder on our mental health in a way that we’re gonna have to this year, you know, like, or even just having somebody else to talk to other than just each other. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And Michael is such a good friend to both of us. Like he said, we’ll just, you know, like, this morning, we were just like having coffee together, chatting, like, just like to you know, checking in, the kids are starting to go back to school. So things are shifting, and we’re talking about that and, and he and Jeremy have this really great connection. I love that. Like, Liam, he’s 15 now, yeah, he’s, he’s like, 511 Whoa, and his voice dropped, like, all of a sudden, like, over the summer just like fanboys. Right? So, so just as he you know, he did his shares less than less with us, but he’ll talk to Michael, you know, so it’s like, really great.



He’s almost like the uncle. Exactly. That’s great.



And like Michael’s youngest is really he’s nine years old. He’s super sensitive will sweet squishy kid and he just he’ll get really upset and like Michael’s pretty extroverted and intense. And so sometimes, like, we’ll needs to come to like, where it’s calm and quiet, and we’ll come sit next to me or, you know, it’s like, I just really like, I think it’s been a good balance, which, like you



and Jeremy both maybe Jeremy even more than you are not like that intense. Yeah. Oh, I backed out for him for that for I don’t remember saying the nine year old to have like mellow goals and kind of is probably Totally, yeah, yeah. This is Liam’s voice like deeper than Jeremy’s because Jeremy’s Okay, cool. Jeremy’s voice isn’t that the dude isn’t I there’s yours. So when you were like, oh, his voice dropped them. Like, how far Could it really?



No, it’s amazing. I’m like, when it first happened to I would like I’d hear especially in such a big house. Like, I would hear him talking like from another end of the house. And I’d be like, who’s who came over? Like, oh, here I don’t recognize that voice. Oh, it’s Oh, gosh. Yeah. And Chloe is 11 so she’s she goes back to school next week. We just started high school this year and he’s in the high school was yesterday. Whoa, been online this whole time and



and go back to school because I know Naomi and Isaac, our nephew niece. Isaac just started going back to like regular school and he loves it. Like taking a year off and realize how much he actually enjoyed going back. How about you’re like



I don’t know like it’s just been one day for Liam but he um he complained a lot about online school being difficult and stuff but I but he has to get up early and catch the bus and like he was already upset about that this morning. You had all year just rolling over and turning your iPad on so are you do you want to do so? Yeah, I think Chloe is excited. She was scared about it at first but now she’s I think they’re talking about it more online this week with her teacher and so I think she’s she told me yesterday in which she is excited to go see her friends. So she’s like, right yeah. been like, with Pusheen or some kid even, you know? Okay, cool. That’s funny. So weird world.



It is, it is a weird world. And I’m kind of like I was talking about that with Sam the other day cuz we retake like three mile walks in the morning, we just walk and night. And we’re just talking about how like, there’s so many kind of traumatic things and weird things and how it disrupted everybody’s lives and just how great it is that it disrupted everybody’s lives. Like, it doesn’t seem like a great thing that I like something about it is like just to shake it all up, and really make us all kind of like, realize what we had the appreciate the good things we had, and also realize how much investment we were putting into things that didn’t matter at all.



Yeah, it’s true. It’s true. Yeah, I really, I think that I will be interesting to see how this experience, especially shapes my kids, you know, like, what their consciousness is like. And, you know, just because I think about like, like, I got to live in other countries when I was Liam’s age, and just how important that was. And so this shaped feeling similarly, like, Oh, those like, assumptions that you make, or like, the things that are normal, like, aren’t, you know, I feel like he’s getting that through this depth, literally different ways. And



that’s interesting. Yeah, kind of in, and anybody in his general age are gonna have this touchstone of like, Hey, remember when we all had to stay at home, and it’s going to be one of those moments in their lives, that at a young age where it’s kind of



pivotal? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So are you? Are you on our Albuquerque? Yes,



the four of us are in Albuquerque. And then like, I actually bought a house here. It’s not big. But Michael and I bought a big backyard. So I end up doing a lot of yard work, like, putting in trees and plants and flowers. And I love that stuff. Night. That’s something too, that I’ve never really had a chance to do is I actually can turn like, go from planting a seed to harvesting it. And everything and all the steps in between every time I’ve never had the chance to do before. Like, that’s great. That’s exciting. They’ll really like sounds terribly boring sort of way. It’s really exciting to see that



happen. Yeah, it is. It isn’t exciting. I know, we built gardens in our yard this year. And I sold more tower gardens than ever like that, you know, it’s not something I even have been pursuing. But people like, who like had it somewhere in their brain that I was associated with gardening like, hey, do you have a garden thing?



You’re like, Yes, I can. That’s what I’ve heard is like, it’s reduced how many things people can do. And so bicycles shops are like they’ve been sold out of bicycles for months. bicycles, tennis, tennis has been really big gardening. Like there’s only a handful of things that people can do. And so everybody did those things.



Yeah, I know, I am working in my backyard, a little camper right now. And we have had so many people say like, are you selling that or they want to buy it? Or you know, because it’s hard to even get campers because people like, they just a couple things happen because we talked to we looked at getting like a bigger camper for me to work in really tiny, like, I can almost touch but then I don’t know, it’s from like, 1955 or something. It’s really, you can go on view time. It’s kind of weird. Anyway, um, I so we, we went actually to look at some and there’s almost nothing there. And we talked to the sales guy. And he’s like, you know, it’s really been, it’s crazy, like something will come on the lot and get sold within 15 minutes sometimes because there’s so much demand and the factories that make them bright when they were going to open for the season. They had to close for COVID so they couldn’t make like the usual supply anyway, and then on top of all these people who are like, you know, he’s like, you can’t tell I can’t tell you how many dads have come in here and like, maybe they’ve been talking about over the years and they’re like, this is the time because like they don’t feel safe staying in a hotel or you know, they’re just like, we want to get out of town but do it like and still think shelter together. And that’s Yeah, way to do it. Some



interesting that like camping, I’m sure because we did a lot of camping last summer in the parks were crowded. And probably the trailer thing too, is like, oh, if I can just put my trailer and go into the woods. Yeah, get away from the house where I’m gone. Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t think about that with the camping or the campers.



Right. But yeah. Wow. So. So we were always like, well, we really need money, we can sell that thing.



Probably for way more than way more. But then you can’t replace it. So true. So to really be okay.



Don’t Don’t use it’s too small for like, when the kids were little, we can all like pile in here. And go places but not so much. With just this here. And then I was finally because my plan actually was when the when the boys moved in was to use one of my I was going to use my daughter’s bedroom as an office while she was at school. And she was excited to have a desk in her room that she could use after school. But then she ended up meeting her desk for school. Am I gonna work and I was looking at different places, and there’s nothing really available or safe or you know, so here I am. Yeah. I’m like I’m off to work. Going back



into my room. We have we have this one room that we have is like our office slash workout slash like room anyway. And so we take turns, we have to like I will schedule it. Oh, Sam’s wife. Marian, also is a performer and does a lot of online performance stuff. And so like, today, I get it tomorrow. She’s doing it. And then Michael is working at home too. He’s doing his jpo stuff. But so like, yeah, it’s so fun, like kind of juggling when everybody required it. Version noise or? Yeah, yeah. Event scheduling. Yeah. Suddenly you have to like, in this room. Up until we all went into quarantine. This was probably our least used room. And now it is absolutely Dumbo students room and are so good. You have it. Yeah. I’m so glad that we got a house like we had bought it a few years ago, five years ago. Now. That’s time I was like, Yeah, I guess it makes sense not to rent. Like why rent when you can buy. So we audit and was happy with it. But now I’m like, I have so many friends, especially our road friends, our festival friends that didn’t have anywhere to land. They were like literally had, like in a train. Yeah. And that’s because it’s a very migrant community. Like it travels with the art community travels with the good weather. Sure. So when suddenly, there was nowhere to go. That was crazy to see what how and where everybody ended up. And a lot of people went to Arizona because Arizona good, pretty good weather. Even if you have to deal with the heat of the summer.



You’re not Yeah, well, you can just go to a different part of Arizona and it gets too hot or too cold. You know, like it’s snowing today. But if I drove an hour from here, downtown, it’d be warm to be like 60 degrees. Right?



It’s knowing that Yeah, whoa. Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, cool. Yeah, I had to put my boots on come to work. Nice. It’s amazing how quickly that changes. Like you said, Flagstaff? snowing? You got Phoenix. It’s probably hot. Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. It’s you please say hi to your family for me.



Yeah, you know, Oh, well. Yeah, maybe we can just like, get together. Like in our kitchens and just do stuff in chat. Just like, like send it in somewhere, you know, just like we don’t have to be like a sit down meeting.



Right. That’d be kind of cool. Or the was my nephew and niece a lot of times will they like their artists as well, they draw. And so we’ll just sit and draw together. And so in today’s chat while we’re doing that, and so something like that.


Nice. Yeah. That’s cool. Good. Well, I’m glad you’re doing well. Thank you. You too. You too. Right. Let me know when this comes out. I guess. Yeah, I will. And definitely when it does, I like to go. I was thinking live on Instagram, but it might be My Facebook so I’m having troubles my phone. I wish I could do Instagram on my computer anyway. Um, but doing a little something just to like talk it up like, Hey, this is coming out and like where we chat a little bit about, remember have fun that was


okay. Yeah. And roughly that would be in what like two to three weeks so it’ll probably be Yeah, with probably it’ll be a few weeks. Okay, perfect. Yeah, just kind of



give you I’ll try to I try to give you a heads up like a week or so ahead. So you know, like, this is what’s coming and then could we schedule a time to kind of promote it together on social media or not? and



cool. Yeah, let me know if I can share it to our



Yeah, that’d be great. Awesome. Hey, all right. Take care. Bye, Rebecca. Thanks. Bye.