The Cheryl Penn Dilemma What are we to do with Cheryl Penn? Her art, always masterful, always protean (look it up, I did) always dreamlike in its complexity or complex in its dreamworld evocations. Shifting beneath your feet as you reach out to its varied meanings and tangled up in the dreamworlds of others, mingling at some height high above the earth. The Penn-o-sphere. The air up there is rarified (Esoterically distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people) but not hard to breathe. Somebody asked Van Morrison what he meant when he said, (in his song Dreams of You) that “Ray Charles was shot down but he got up to do his very best” and he said, quite obviously, he dreamed it. He dreamed it and put it into the song whole, undigested by his mind, trusting the listener to frame it in their own world of Ray and Van and whatever other poles of light illuminated its meanings. And so it is with Cheryl. She lays it out there and you dive in at whatever level you want to. It’s difficult for me. I am not a natural inhabitant of the dreamworld. I live in the world of pranks and wordplay, the day to day dust, not the stardust. But I’m getting there. Above all else one hears from Cheryl the best advice to would be improvisers, be they Second City comedians or artists juggling form and content: say Yes. Always say Yes. Keep on saying yes...yes....yes...yes...


 And my favorite formula....

 Thank you, Cheryl...sorry it took so long to blog...I'm way behind in every way....


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Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on April 28, 2012 at 4:02am

Forgot about The Parent Trap. You just wrecked her for me. It's probably the helmet hair.

Comment by David Stafford on April 28, 2012 at 2:03am

Old Japanese Song: They'll be no henkie penkie as long as I'm with Genki


Comment by David Stafford on April 28, 2012 at 1:58am

Genki was a warlord in 12th century Japan who wore his hair in a style reminiscent of Elvis Presley. He wrote poetry, slept with 6000 women but never once had sex. Some scholars credit him with inventing the tooth brush.


Comment by David Stafford on April 28, 2012 at 12:02am

My favorite Hayley movie was the Parent Trap....I doubt whether any modern movie would allow a child actor to be the ugly duckling Hayley was in that movie...

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on April 27, 2012 at 10:42pm

You are 100% right, David, I stand corrected. I was in love with Hayley Mills and to this day will watch any movie of hers, including Pollyanna for the 873d time. ...

Comment by David Stafford on April 27, 2012 at 9:42pm

I think you mean "You loved Hayley Mills." And who among cannot say that....

Comment by cheryl penn on April 24, 2012 at 11:12am

Pollyanna was a Genki - just to set the record straight :-))! X

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on April 23, 2012 at 10:13pm

But I loved Pollyanna.

Comment by David Stafford on April 23, 2012 at 8:00pm

Thanks to all and one more thing. I didn't mean to imply that Cheryl's work is Pollyannish in any way. Affirming in the Penn sense is all about dealing with whatever comes down that pike with creativity, fortitude and joy when possible. I think the Genki committee will concur but I have to wait for final approval....

Comment by De Villo Sloan on April 23, 2012 at 3:54pm

As one who has attempted to write coherently about Cheryl's work, I salute you David. I'll see you on the dark side of the moon or somewhere south of the Sea of Holes.



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