Storm Large Puts Exclamation Point on Portland Run

I originally published this article in The Portlander on August 20, 2009. Since then, Storm Large has published a gripping memoir that is a great ride and a great read. If you did not get to see her one-woman show, go buy the book and imagine her performing it for you right there in your living room.

This is my nod to Storm. You go girl!

Storm Large in Crazy Enough

It’s Sunday at 2pm, and the Ellen Bye Studio at the Portland Armory is sold out for the last performance of Crazy Enough, the one-woman show that is Storm Large’s life story. The sign at the door warns of explicit language and adult subject matter, so you wouldn’t expect to see your mother or your grandfather there in the audience, but they are.

On the small stage: three male musicians and one very tall microphone stand, which has everyone whispering, “Is she really that tall?” The lights go out, the music comes up, and when the lights slowly return there she is: all six feet of her, wearing sneakers, loose black pants, and a fitted tank top that leaves nothing to the imagination.

There is some small talk, and then the tall confident woman on stage quickly transforms into a vulnerable young girl who is desperately trying to find some stability in a home that has none. And thus the gritty ride begins.

The audience is rapt as they watch Large try to navigate the completely unpredictable nature of her schizophrenic mother, who is there one day and institutionalized the next. Large painfully relives the moment when a doctor tells her that insanity is in her genes, and she too will be fighting the same demons some day. She soothes herself with promiscuity, alcohol and a heroin addiction.

The audience is stunned to silence, brought to laughter, and tempted to tears, watching her gripping life story unfold at their feet. She has their hearts in the palm of her hand as she takes them willingly on a journey of wanting, desperation, hope and finally love.

By the end of the performance there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Storm Large is not just another voice talent, but a formidable actress and incredibly engaging performer. She reminds the audience that, “Life isn’t safe. It isn’t always quiet. And it certainly isn’t small.” The lights dim, and she exits the stage one last time. It is clear that although her run with Portland Center Stage has ended, this show will live on if Large is willing to revive it in another venue.

Storm Large is in fact crazy enough and her life is indeed one big exclamation point.

Cheers, Jeers and Bummers for August 26, 2009

Originally published on MySpace on August 26, 2009

on It’s been way too long since I wrote a Cheers and Jeers blog!

Cheers: to Kevin for setting up the amazing Jennifer Batten house party this Friday night. I can’t wait!

Bummer: to the poor guy who drove a brand new Saturn sports car off the end of a car carrier truck this afternoon, and forgot to extend the drive rails off the back! DOH! He realized what he had done when the car hit the ground nose first. This is the car:

Cheers: to DJ Myke for taking the Anonymous Notes challenge and pimping me in his blog.
Jeers: to the City of Portland for raising meter rates AND charging on Sundays.
Jeers: to the City of Portland for eliminating Fareless Square on the downtown bus routes. I know, I know, you can still take Max and the street car in Fareless Square.
Cheers: to the readers of The Portlander for making my Storm Large article the most-read article on the site for the month of August so far.
Cheers: to Rick’s Wild Seafood food cart on 3rd and Ash in downtown Portland. Most awesome seafood chowder, Mahi Mahi tacos, and halibut fish and chips.
Jeers: to Murphy’s Law. I had an audition for four small roles on the TV show Leverage the one week this summer when I was out of town. Really bad timing.
Cheers: to psychic Suzanne Jauchius for giving me an advanced copy of her book, and giving me a great interview for an upcoming article in The Portlander. Stay tuned.
What else? Did I miss anything?

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