A Beautiful Struggle

Life.. What is there to say about it? Life’s a hustle, a situation of ups and downs, challenges, failures, defeats, victories, and all in all, a beautiful struggle.
I am truly blessed to have the abilities and avenues to make money, connections, change, and be part of a community that utilizes my abilities, in order to better the skills, confidence, and literacy of others.
5 jobs – and I couldn’t be more thankful – You, Albuquerque, and the patrons of the arts make the hustle and bustle worth it. There will never be a day that you find me complaining about being so busy. I love to work, because in this community, when work gets done, change is made -

Let’s continue to change things – cheers to you Albuquerque!

Speaking of Cheers – I’LL Drink To That is this Sunday at Tractor Brewing Wells Park 1800 4th Street FREE 4pm – 2yrs and counting – another thing, that I do, because we are in this together.

 

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Humbly at YOUR Service – Time Served: What’s Next For The Show?

Well,
Here we are, the morning/day after one of the most monumental moments and events in my life. How do I feel? Relieved? Excited? Tired? -
Actually, I feel so very thankful! Thank YOU, Albuquerque – Two nights in a row we filled ALL the seats – last night, folks paid to stand, so as to not miss the 2nd and final showing of, Time Served. I am grateful for everyone that bought a ticket, bought a book, posted, shared, liked – you made this happen.

Tricklock Company is to be thanked, Hannah Kauffman Banks, my director deserves so much credit for what you witnessed. The Company members pulled together and gave me a crash course in theater, that they don’t know, but that I’ve been scheming to make happen for years! I love Tricklock – I always think about how maybe in high school, I would have been better served on the stage, and drama, then on the track, court, or course…

They made my dream come true – you made my dream, something to never forget, Albuquerque. You showed up in the droves – the “talk back” section was powerful and community minded, building, and productive -

WE aren’t done yet! Where shall we go next? Do you know of a community, a theatre, a space, neighborhood, population that NEEDS to see Time Served? We had many folks talk about the need for this experience to be had, widely. Let’s make it happen – if you have contacts, ideas, and or desires to help send, fund, or organize the showing of a Time Served performance – please holler at me – Let’s keep this momentum going in this fragile and important time in our city.
Humbly at Your Service,
Carlos Contreras
immastarproductions505@gmail.com

 

TimeServedSet

Time Served – April 11th & 12th 8pm LETS SELL IT OUT

National Slam Champion, New West End Press Author: Carlos Contreras
Takes the Stage in: “Time Served”
A One-Man-Show produced and directed by Tricklock Theatre Company
Accompanying his book by the same name.
April 11th and 12th 8pm

 

Time Served is a step out of a comfort zone. It is an attempt to do ANYTHING–except to find resolution. It is a confrontation, a recognition, and a bold questioning of the isolation we face as human beings. Told through poetry and prose, with stunning visuals and high theatricality, Time Served is an exploration of the human experience inspired by a visionary writer and performer’s years spent teaching incarcerated students.

 

Based on the newly released book of poetry by the same name, Time Served is written and performed by Carlos Contreras, directed by Hannah Kauffmann Banks, and co-produced by Tricklock Company and West End Publishers with help from the Albuquerque City Urban Enhancement Trust Fund. Time Served is a not-to-be missed new production.

 

Time Served is a rich and rigid work cementing Carlos Contreras as a major voice of the American southwest. In these tragic yet lovingly rendered confessions, Contreras examines the physical and emotional prisons forced upon us. – Idris Goodwin – Playwright, Performer, Professor Colorado College

 

Time Served is poetic proof of Carlos Contreras’ personal and literary commitment to serve as a respectful and honest witness to painful struggles, dark corners, unexpected art, and honest humanity that exist in and outside of correctional facilities; exist in and outside of not-so-perfect, but loving families; and most definitely reside within all human beings.

Dr. Shelle Sanchez, NM State Dept. Cult. Affairs

 

 

April 11th & 12th, 8pm. Tricklock Performance Laboratory (110 Gold Ave SW)

Question & Answer Session/Community Dialogue immediately following each performance.

Tickets:

$25 (includes admission, a signed copy of Time Served, and a limited edition 1/200 show poster)

$10 (show admission)

 

More info and tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/547933!

Calm Before The Storm….EVENTS To Be Aware of: APRIL Poetry Month

Life has been a crazy long and whirlwind of a time lately – Life is about experiences – about making the most of the moment, making decisions, taking risks, and benefitting or not from the outcome of what you have put your best foot forward, bet, money on…

I am ALL IN -
Seems like that is the only way to be these days. Nothing else makes sense to me. Show(s), Job(s), Art, organization, work, work, work and that’s just a day in the life. Like it or not, hustling is key, and I like it. I will survive – I appreciate all those that push the hustle along, those who hustle along with me, and otherwise put up with me. Life is crazy like that. That being said – there are some dates coming up – Keep an eye out

April 4th and 5th – Colorado Springs, CO – Urban Verbs at Colorado College – Workshops – and PM Performance April 5th – Check the Urban Verbs’ Facebook page if you’re in town and want more details.

April 9th Morning Brew morning show – Channel 26 – 7am hour – Wake up with me, FREE FOR YOUR EYES :)

April 9th – Poetry at Bernalillo Range Cafe – thanks to Bill Nevins 7pm FREE - If work schedule permits I will be reading as a co-feature at this show – I am in the process of trying to figure this out. Standby….

April 9th – KUNM Poetry Hour  with Damien Flores – 8pm FREE to your ears - Work schedule being negotiated and navigated, stay tuned, to see if you should tune in.

 

April 11th and or 12th – Time Served @ Tricklock’s Performance Laboratory – 2nd and Gold downtown 8pm – Tickets available here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/547933 <– that’s the link – $10 show tickets, $25 tickets = show, signed book, signed show poster. **Drinks for everyone and anyone over 21 at ArtBar across the street, post show, both nights! Entertainment to walk into afterwards.** Talk back directly following each show.

 

April 15th and 16th – Urban Verbs FREE Community Workshop - Computer Clubhouse next to West Side Community Center – email immastarproductions505@gmail.com for registration information – also keep eye on Urban Verbs’ FB page.

 

April 19th – Santa Fe, NM – Closed Performance/visit – Diahndra Grill and Carlos Contreras: Co-Creators: JustWrite, visit Santa Fe, NM State Penitentiary - “Words With Wings” reading and performance, by participants of the PEN project, in cooperation and solidarity with Michelle Ribeiro Ed. Dept. Director.

 

April 26th – NHCC ABQ Slam Poetry Fiesta – Host and MC – 9am-5pm – FREE ALL AGES FAMILY EVENT - In partnership and cooperation with NM Dept. of Health, and Carlos Flores of Project M.

 

April 26th – 516 Arts – “Upon Release,” a 516 Words event  7pm – FREE - JustWrite creators, participants, contributors, and pre-selected community members, poetry reading.

 

April 27th 4pm FREE Tractor Brewery WELLS PARK LOCATION  - I’LL Drink To That – 2yr Celebration - benefitting Warehouse 508 “Art Expression Sessions” in cooperation and partnership with: Archetype Dermigraphic Tattoo, The Guild of Ethical Tattooists, Immastar Productions, Warehouse 508 and Tractor Brewery – Featuring: Ken Arkind of Denver/NY – national slam champion and all around bad ass. Also: Robb Janov, Desert Darlings Belly Dance, Archetype Tattoo Live Artists, Joel Henry, Cloudface, Music by Billy Bellmont and so much more!

 

April 29th – 7pm Bookworks ABQ, NM 7pm FREE - book sale and signing, Time Served – in cooperation with West End Press and Bookworks.

 

Tucson – to – Burque – Books on Books on Books

Well, Tucson Festival of Books….
It was fun! Hakim Bellamy and myself, were honored with the opportunity to accompany West End Press head honcho, John Crawford, and publicist and editor Amanda Sutton, at the TFOB, as two of their authors, live and in the flesh. Some books were sold, hands were shaken, and good times were had. We had dinner with good friends, drinks with good friends, and now, we are coming home.

It’s crazy to think that with something like a nicely designed, printed, and distributed book, where your: thoughts, heart, and mind might end up – on a shelf? coffee table? backpack? hand? brain? heart? You know….? I know I am sort of beating a dead horse about this whole, “it doesn’t feel real” kind of sentiment, but honestly, it doesn’t. I love you all – so many folks helped to get this dream this far. Many of your names, are in the front of that book – as a thank you – as I read through it, there are definitely some I missed – I love y’all too!

We come home today – catch Hakim and I at the Bravos Awards on Saturday, early, and at Untapped at ArtBar later – I will have books at both places – and those looking for class sets, holler at a poet – I got you!

Lucille and Felipe – Together Again

We don’t always think about what it means
to lose…
to have little or nothing left,
when we are left,
alone,
even if we are not,
sometimes there is little comfort
to the thought of why
we are still the one,
here…
waiting for something
bigger than ourselves
to figure out where we belong,
when we, ourselves,
know it all along. My grandmother,
knew -
from the day that he stopped breathing,
the place she’d rather be,
and today, they watch us weeping -

wondering why we’re crying
because all along they’re smiling, and it’s almost
like Mazatlan – or Laughlin, Las Vegas or
anywhere else, all over again -
together, they are recounting life,
all over again.
Lucille with Daddy at her side,
all over again.

And that, we can understand,
can comprehend smile and acknowledge
as less painful and more sweet and simple
more, just the way it should be, than anything else.
nothing was happiness like that companionship,

everything, was just everything… else.

And now,
we are the ones left,
however, still not alone, not without something,
to remind us:
rancheras
Raiders
satin pillows
tortillas
crochet needles
biscochitos
cowboy boots
levis
peddle pushers
y todo – todos conocemos

Lucille and Felipe
aren’t gone -
they’re together again -
together in memories of watching
them walk to the mailbox
like it was a two-step
table-for-two
night out on the town
with the Western get-ups
and the whole nine -
They’re a ten -
perfect match.
Dance partners – The only one’s
they’ve ever had,
having waited long enough
to join each other, we can only
slide the needle on the record,
turn up the volume and let the melody
make sense of this moment,
the one where we know,
they are not alone anymore,
but instead,
together, again,
forever.

Poetry, Journalism, Activism, Humanism

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