By Ellen Maddow and Rocky Bornstein
Direction: Paul Zimet
Lights: Carol Mullins
Costumes: E.G. Widulski
Choreography: Rocky Bornstein
Text and Music: Ellen Maddow
1992: LaMama ETC (NYC). Pontine Mime Theater (Portsmouth, NH). Bennington College (VT),Old Pioneer Church (Fish’s Eddy , NY), Austin Arts Center (Hartford, CT)


Every waking day you drop your very own pot of sand on the floor and every waking day you try to gather the pieces and every waking day you fail to get it right. So you add more sand and you put back the pieces the best you can and this is your life and this is remembering your life. Rocky Bornstein and Ellen Maddow of the Talking Band pin down the process with melancholy humor in their Fern and Rose, the story of the story of the lives of two ordinary Jewish girls who’ve dropped their pots in the same place.

Band member Paul Zimet picks up the theme in his quirky A Perfect Life, a parodic attempt at piecing together an ideal identity using other people’s best qualitites. With video by David Dawkins, Zimet walks through a gallery of strange early life characters (from a smiling Aikido master to a befuddled cow farmer), then goes about the business of forming a Frankensteinian composite…his point—the absurd impossibility of “choosing” a single identity, of making sense of all those pottery fragments, and all that sand—is loud and clear.

Village Voice