Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

I Will Not Stay Silent

What We've Lost (If We Ever Had It)

What We've Lost (If We Ever Had It)
by Lisa A Kramer
Oh, Shit!

Those were my thoughts just after I stopped at a red light this morning. I white Ford truck of some sort (F150?) pulled into the left hand turn lane next to me at exactly the same time as a white car pulled into the right lane on my other side. The male passenger in the truck and the male driver in the car both lowered their windows, and started calling across the road. 

I happened to have started a call to my husband who picked up then, "Hold on, I said, there's something happening."

I thought my voice sounded panicked, but maybe I'm calmer than I think. My husband was focused on brewing beer, he didn't quite hear my distress.

I turned my head back and fort as if I was watching a tennis match. Waiting for the ball to drop, or, in this case, someone to make a move. Was I about to die in a road rage incident?

The turn arrow lit up green, and I realized they were people who knew each other communicating across my little red hybrid car. That was all. 


Political or Passionate

Political or Passionate
by Lisa A Kramer
When I was a senior in high school, I was voted most political. I didn't understand that then, except for the fact that I was one of the two senators representing my "house." My high school was huge, and we were divided into Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow houses--which mostly represented the color of the cafeteria and served as a guide for finding your classrooms. And, as divisions often do, it opened the space for rivalry.

So yes, I was a senator, but why was that the only accolade that I recieved? I never thought of myself as political. Heck, I barely thought I made a difference back then, or that anyone even knew me. (I can't remember exactly, but I think I might have won the senate seat because nobody else ran for the office. So" responsible, interested in helping the school. teacher's pet, outspoken . . ." those terms applied, but political?)


Many years have passed since then. 37 to be exact. And we all know that politics have become ugly. Many people who are comfortable in their privilege, avoid political discussions like the plague (although interestingly enough, many of those same people do not take steps to avoid Covid19). 

Now, perhaps I understand why I was labelled as political. In a country (the US) where there are more and more divisive politics every day, I can see why I might be labelled political. However, I have no desire to rule, or become a member of a political system so broken that it seems impossible to fix. Kudos to those who step into the fray and try to make change from the inside. 

Still, I rebuff the label "political" in exchange for the word 


International Women's Day: Why All Women Should Be Celebrated

International Women's Day: Why All Women Should Be Celebrated
by Lisa A Kramer
On International Women's Day, we celebrate women.

"It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political." (United Nations)

I think it's wonderful to celebrate women on this day. I love seeing all the posts about women who have done amazing things. Women who have broken the glass ceiling. Women who are fighting for social and environmental justice every single day. The stories are inspirational and filled with hope.

But there is also something missing. We need to celebrate the women whose voices have been silenced.

Sparking Creative Rebellion: An Invitation

Sparking Creative Rebellion: An Invitation
by Lisa A Kramer
When I was really young, I loved recording radio shows using a cassette recorder and a friend/sibling or two.. (Yes, I'm mature, deal with it). The topics varied. Sometimes I would do fake news interviews, or tell spooky stories complete with sound effects. Sometime songs made appearances, sung with the enthusiasm of any young girl who already loved the idea of Broadway musicals. (The first album I ever begged to own was the original cast recording of Annie).

I bet, if I search my mother's house, I will find some of those tapes lying around. They are probably mixed in with old stories I wrote, pictures I made with paints or crayons. Maybe event a few broken down crafts.

Dusty remnants of...

Claiming My Voice: A Manifesto for Midlife

by Lisa A Kramer
When I decided to leave academia in 2020 (only partially because of the pandemic) I didn't realize that I was entering an unknown world with (unwritten) rules designed to make life difficult. Some of these rules include:

If you are a woman over 50 (as I am) you are turning invisible.If you have higher degrees (I have both MFA and PhD) then employers will decide for you that you will be bored, and therefore not hire you.Capitalism will always undervalue thinkers, creative workers, and people who recognize that there is more to life than the daily grind and the bottom line.

In the midst of all this, of course, my country--actually the entire world--has completely lost the plot. Honestly, I don't...

An Open Letter to American Cowards (aka supporters of the NRA)

by Lisa A Kramer
I cannot change your mind with words, but words are all I have pouring from my bleeding heart like drops of life from a gunshot wound.

I choose these words with care. In your mind I am that bleeding heart "Libtard" "Feminazi" bitch who should remain silent.

But let me tell you who you are . . .

You are cowards.

You value guns over life, because a BIG gun makes you feel powerful, or perhaps, more manly. You value control of women's bodies because you are afraid of women's power. Yet you argue that you are protecting life, See above. You value money over life because money gives you a sense of power and control. But you can't eat money. You can't breath money. You can't drink money. You can't love money, and you...

Rediscovering the Power of Our Voices

by Lisa A Kramer
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.” Rumi

Nathan, Sarah, and I were about to enter New Rep's blackbox theater to see the one-woman show Unveiled, written and performed by Rohina Malik when Nathan's attention was drawn to something on his phone. There was a ballistic missile attack warning sent to everyone in Hawaii this morning. It took 40 minutes (I believe) before they announced it was a false alarm.

Of course, Nathan was seeing this information after the fact. But he grew up in Hawaii. We met while in our mfa program at the University of Hawaii. I lived there for three...

Thoughts on ALLEGIANCE and the Man Who Will Never be My President

by Lisa A Kramer
What does it mean to give someone or something allegiance? In this country, we are asked to do this whenever we recite the pledge. By definition, it means we are giving our loyalty to some cause, nation, or ruler.

But what happens when that cause, nation, or ruler turns against us? What happens when it demands our allegiance without respecting the rights we have as living, breathing people?

Last night I watched the filmed presentation of ALLEGIANCE, the Broadway musical inspired by George Takei's real life experience being placed in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. I wish I had seen it live while it was still on Broadway, because there were a few too many closeups for my viewing...

Bullies Win . . . Because we Let Them.

by Lisa A Kramer
My daughter is in 8th grade. She plays the saxophone, and this year as a pre-freshman she was asked to join the high school marching band. She loved it.

She worked hard, practiced a lot, and improved as a musician.

Recently, she was assigned the 1st part in the music she is learning for the next Middle School concert. Yay!

Except that one girl, who used to play 1st, is now playing 2nd, and she is not happy about it. In typical middle school fashion, she is showing her displeasure in subtle but unpleasant ways--dirty looks, taking my daughter's seat at the lunch table (and forcing her to sit elsewhere), etc.

Luckily, I have a great kid who sees it for what it is. She...