Rascal Roll Call – Jackie Rivera

Name: Jackie Rivera

From: Tampa, FL

Lives: Brooklyn, NY

Go-To Cycling Snack: Rx Bars! Coconut Chocolate Chip

Cyclist Rating:  Cycling is my main mode of transportation

How did you hear about Agile Rascal and what made you want to do it?

Leon Ingulsrud of SITI Company came back from teaching a workshop in San Francisco back in 2015, and told us at SITI Conservatory that there was a group in NorCal planning to tour a play on bicycles cross-country. I squealed, drooled, and then forgot about it completely until 1 year later when Megan Hanley at SITI Company sent me Agile Rascal’s application for Montana 2017. And here we are! I have so many people to thank for associating me with unconventional theater projects!

What is bicycle touring theatre to you?

Bicycle touring theatre is an obvious next step in the evolution of art and consciousness.

Please tell us an embarrassing cycling story.

Yikes! Well, one is that my Dad still doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Which is ironic considering, he taught me as a child. And the other is that, until last year, I used to have a little bit of fear mounting a bike and taking off. It was not smooth. Maybe you’d have to see it, but I used to be fine getting on and then in order to gain my balance, I’d violently twist the handlebars back and forth until I pushed off on the pedals. BUT now that I’ve been guiding tours on bike, I’ve moved past the jerky start. No one wants to follow you down Brooklyn city-streets when you launch like that.

Tell us about your best free theatre experience.

When I first moved to New York, a high school friend of mine was involved with this company called Fresh Ground Pepper. They still exist! Anyway, FGP would host these nights of various theatrical and non-theatrical acts, anything from characters, sketches, new music, visual art and all based on a certain theme. The first one I went to was: Food. In a gallery space in brooklyn…free food, free booze (donation), and free performances. The work was high-quality and in a lot of ways groundbreaking – you really felt like you were there to witness the beginning of a community building. I wound up performing a couple of times with them, and it was always a great way to meet new artists. Its funny how making something accessible tends to attract those hungry for a community.

What about Montana intrigues you?

Probably that I’ve never been. Not even close. I love American History, especially pioneer type stuff, and of course the natural landscape of North America. It is SO diverse! Also, just being a United State of America means that some weird, weird stuff has probably gone down…and I can’t wait to find out how weird Montana is.

Why do you choose to do live theatre? Especially in a digital age.

Theatre is the study of life in the immediate through organic filters. It is undeniably authentic, which is also its challenge. Theatre is the most accessible of the arts in that all you need to do it, is a body and a question.

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