Newyorkland by Temporary Distortion

My brother is about to go on tour with Temporary Distortion‘s latest show, Newyorkland. Their first stop is Calgary, followed by Seattle, before the guys head back to New York. I couldn’t be more excited to see the production in mid-January when it hits NYC.

Newyorkland Trailer from Temporary Distortion on Vimeo.

{Photos courtesy of Temporary Distortion}

From the website:

Newyorkland is an intertextual assemblage that combines cop movies, popular TV police procedurals and firsthand accounts of real-life police officers. Director Kenneth Collins’ personal interviews with police officers in his immediate family are mixed with found text and William Cusick’s explorations of cinéma vérité, documentary realism and pure fiction.

Newyorkland follows four police officers struggling with the demands of their chosen profession, the day-to-day realities of life as a cop and the high costs of working within the fraternal and secretive society of the NYPD. Merging film, performance and visual art, the production is staged in one of Temporary Distortion’s signature boxlike installations.


Happy Birthday, Big Brother!

Dearest big brother,

I have learned a lot from you since I was yanked out of mom’s womb roughly 27 years ago. Thanks for warming it up in there for me, by the way. It seems as though I was following in your footsteps ever since my fetus days, as I decided to be a c-section baby because you had done the same 9 years before me. To celebrate your birthday, I’m highlighting just a few of the many reasons why no one else has a brother quite like you.

Even before I came around, you had a keen fashion sense and creative eye for headwear. I’d like to think that rubbed off on me a little bit, but let’s be honest, the stylish gene definitely skipped a generation.


From a young age, you made me realize that bunnies were totally fabulous in every way possible. We’ll come back to this point later.

Even when I was a wee little thing, we still managed to exchange snarky glances when mocking dad’s latest facial hair trends.

Or mom’s glorious 80s perm.

I forgave you when you went to school and left me alone with these crazy people we call our parents…especially when dad wore his old lady mask and dressed in a bathrobe with his hairy legs revealed for all to see. (This is a screenshot from a home video, I couldn’t make this stuff up.)

You taught me to only wear short shorts when you mean serious business.

Thanks to you, I learned the importance of money and how to earn a living (becoming an artist…that pays well, right?).

I told you we weren’t done discussing bunnies. My artistic skills were advancing at a rapid pace, thanks to having these inspirational pieces of yours to motivate me. This bunny you painted has always been a favorite and definitely inspired me to draw some bunnies of my own.

You taught me how to sketch my favorite Disney characters and whenever you drew Abu or Ariel it made my day.

Thanks to you, I began to quickly realize that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. Even though I only scored an 80 on the art test above, I kept drawing turtleneck-wearing turtles and didn’t give up.

You taught me that smoking was bad, except for when you are faking it by putting a pen cap in your mouth while shooting artist black and white photos with your big brother.

I also learned not to care what people thought of me when you dressed me up in Johnny Cash-esque outfits and had me pose in the Catholic school playground, with the confused students watching us.

You taught me how to balance life when I was in college and had no desire to drink in a town where there was nothing to do but get wasted every weekend. The result was me taking a lot of nerdy self-portraits and developing a habit for collecting too many pets.

You made me realize that you can never be too overdressed for the beach, as I have been spotted wearing corduroys and closed shoes on numerous occasions while at the shore.

Your inability to do anything sporty (apart from play a mean wiffleball) has also been inherited by yours truly. Although, thanks to this photo taken by your lovely wife, I can say with great certainty that I could beat you in an uphill race.

But you could kick my arse in wiffleball any day.

And probably ballet, too.

No matter how old we are, when Christmastime rolls around, it’s inevitable that someone always has to play Santa Claus. Thanks to you, I have a sordid appreciation for all things festive when it comes to stuffing your pants with a fake pillow and wearing a beard from the early 80s. As part of your birthday gift, I have spared my readers of the especially vulgar family photos, as these were the only G-rated shots from our adventures as Santa.

Fairly recently, a new Collins family Christmas tradition arose, during which we would embark in a Nerf battle in the basement. In the dark. At first, our main goal was to shoot each other…sometimes in the eye (sorry about that, by the way) and sometimes in other unfortunate places, but overall we looked forward to an all-night shootout as our means of spreading Christmas cheer.

However, our goals soon changed when we realized it was funnier to corner dad with a Nerf gun than it was to attack each other.

That being said, I still get a little scared when I see that crazed look in your eye, whether it’s during our Nerf battles or because I posted an embarrassing photo of you on my blog without your permission.

Regardless, I hope you’ll allow me to keep this post up for more than 24 hours, despite the compromising photos. I made it a point not to include any pictures from your mullet/Prince/mustache/epic goatee/samurai hair days. Despite making fun of your past appearances, I can say with great certainty that my unfortunate hair phases (and eyebrow phases) were much, much more blackmail-worthy.

Anyway, I hope you have a fabulous birthday week. I’ve been eating banana cream pie and drinking lemon-flavored Gold Peak Tea to celebrate in my neck of the woods (any excuse for pie or tea is a good one)!


Your little sister