Creative Incubator Artist of the Day: Lana Skauge

Get to know an artist! Today’s spotlight is on Lana Skauge

Lana is a writer/performer/co-creator of original stories and is vibrating at a higher frequency than most people. She is engaged and positive and always has the time to boost others even while she is doing a million things on her own. You wouldn’t necessarily expect such a force of positivity to be working on a video project about grief, but then you never know what to expect with Lana. She’s exciting that way. ”Sisters” is Lana’s upcoming book, full of healing stories about grief, addiction and inherited trauma. It is her  life lesson for resiliency and risk. Her Incubator project focuses on turning part of the book into a video melding spoken work, visuals, and soundscapes. Lana hopes to use this new storytelling approach while promoting this, her fourth book.

Lana points out that there are many kinds of death. The death of a relationship, the death of a friend/family member, death of an idea/dream/vision, the death of your true self, are some examples.

She has experienced all of these within a year’s time. She lost some beautiful and rich career opportunities. She experienced the grief from the death of a close friend and long-time collaborator passed. She has a family member in Ontario who is in the process of dying. This is a lot for anyone to deal with in one year. For Lana though, storytelling is the great escape, the truth revealer, the healer.

LS: “What’s exciting about this project is that I am being revitalized, re-imagined, reincarnated into the woman I am ready to see. No longer trapped by preconceived notions of what “should be” I come open and willing to morph ideas/concepts/stories into a new form that will love me through the process. The idea of transforming small whispers into filmic journeys that could reach so many more seekers brings the fire back to my belly. It is manna for my soul.”

cSPACE: Why was this the right time for this story to emerge?

LS: The grief journey…is long, arduous and exhausting. I was fed up with beating my chest and yelling at the Creator. Tired of being tired… I opened my eyes. Thank God…for the mentors I have who have insisted I keep at it. They are my life’s blood, my heart family. They have supported numerous successful creations of mine. So, when my head was no longer buried in the sand, I realized that time was now fleeting. I could stay in the shadow and tell myself that it’s too late, the ship has sailed, or…I could put on my big girl panties and remember who I come from.  

I am Glady Skauge’s daughter.  

I come from a woman who ran away from home, snuck into the army under age, worked her way across Canada, built bombs and moved to Bermuda. I come from a matriarch that honoured hard work, disdained snivelling and lived by “not guts, no glory.” I come from a woman who cleaned rich people’s houses until she was fed up. She taught herself how to type, stayed up all night to learn how to use a cash register and got a ‘real job’ when she was in her fifties. She figured out how to crochet at the age of 75 because she decided she could.  She made me meat pies when I was a struggling actor on the road and came to everything I did. Never dewy-eyed, she’d say to me, “I knew you could. Now stand up straight and look them in the eye.” It’s time for me to stand tall.

cSPACE: Wow. That’s a lot to process. It feels a bit silly to ask this question now, but we will anyway. What’s your imaginary autobiography called? 

LS: Square Peg in a Round Hole: she did it anyway!!

cSPACE: What excites you about the Creative Incubator?

LS: I have already had walks and virtual coffees with open-hearted participants willingly ready to share their visions and ideas outside of scheduled times. Awesome!!! I have even been invited to witness their process as I experience mine. Misha, if her film gets funding, has invited me to watch her shoot in August. Jennifer Lee has invited me to watch her work. 

Learning from others while I observe and listen is a kind of holy communion. 

The questions and quandaries…part of pregnancy…are exciting because it is helping me hone my visions. It’s worth the morning sickness…!!! Oh yes, the personal trappings of fear dissolve in minutes as another penny drops into self-realization!!!

It gives me permission to freely jump into an idea with the support of an incredibly diverse group of artists, arts administrators, wisdom keepers of visions and marketing mavericks as well as technicians.  All of them feel like willing midwives to my concepts/creations!!!  There is no “yes but” only “yes and.” It focuses my attention to breathe deeply, aim for my goal and, by gum…..get that baby born!  I am loving it!

cSPACE: What inspires you about cSPACE?

The vibration of the physical space itself loved me into it. It is light, clean and vibrant with visual art. There is a sacredness to its invitation. It lacks pretension. There is no doubt in my mind that I am welcomed. What a birthing room! Everyone has been kind, supportive and genuinely interested in my voice. I am feeling  honoured and respected.

cSPACE: At cSPACE we live by the 4C’s: Creativity, Community, Collaboration, and Change. Which of these resonates the most with you right now?

LS: “Community and Collaboration” will bring change. One woman shows are very isolating. I don’t need to control everything anymore. I am excited to be in a space where the artist journey is understood. The transformation of a voice can only happen in the right environment. We are encouraged to talk with each other, share, suggest and question!!! This is an exceptional way for growth to take place. Creating can be a very lonely place and it has been for some time…how loving to offer this exceptional approach to renew my passion for storytelling. It is a time for listening and savouring every word….oh yes.

cSPACE: Where do you see yourself in five years?

LS: Okay, I have many wild dreams…..

Someone across the world will witness one of my stories on YouTube and offer to develop it into an animation that will turn into a series of animations in many languages.

I will be invited to be part of a feature film based on one of my stories.  The director will ask me to stay on as an advisor.

I will be heading to New Mexico to feature one of my stories in film form at a conference where my books will sell out.

I will create a Storytelling Festival where all who want to heal the earth through story are welcomed. It would be intergenerational and multi-cultural. Love and understanding would be the key to its function and cSPACE would be its home base. 

[cSPACE: Preach!]

LS: I would keep in touch with the artists that I have met and create an amazing feast and cabaret where we could celebrate our uniqueness in a multi-media event. All under the umbrella of incubation…or birthing an idea, we would sing until dawn with live music and enough food to choke a horse!

I want to laugh! I will create a series of hilarious monologues about my life as a square peg in a round hole that will go viral.  

I will sing and keep singing with as many musicians and singers as possible finally singing the songs I must in rippling song circles that grow as the sound resounds.  

I will create a Retreat Center for artists who need to be reminded that they are worthy. Food, comfort and a reaffirmation of their talent would be available to them at no cost. This was an unfulfilled dream of my dear friend who transcended. He was monetarily poor but rich in spirit.

A series of illustrated books will coincide with the films built from their words.

And I could go on….hahahaha..bless you all for this opportunity.

cSPACE: Bless you for your energy and spirit, Lana! How can people connect with you, support you, and find out more?

Website: https://www.lanaskauge.ca/
Facebook: Lana Skauge
Instagram: @lanaskauge
Twitter:  @LanaSkauge
YouTube:  Lana Skate

cSPACE gratefully acknowledges the support of the Calgary Foundation for the Creative Incubator Initiative

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