Author: jennzuko

Absentminded professor by day, fight choreographer and theatre artist by night. Sometimes the other way around. Test me on my Sherlock Holmes knowledge.

PTMTs on the Outrider #3: Bond, James Bond

This time, both Kathleen and Paul joined us for this discussion and….

Golly we sound hammered. Not that that should surprise you, for those who know this series…

Here’s the podcast ep, over on Outrider. Here’s the original article, over on Writers’ HQ.

Please to enjoy.

Thank you!

Good news, everyone enrolled in Stage Movement this Spring semester at Metro:

Since there were a few of you signed up that are graduating seniors? The department head went to bat for the class and IT’S ON, PEOPLE!

I’ll see you next week! In the meantime, I must go update my syllabus…..

Actual footage of me in gratitude to Scott. Or, actually, Jori & Gustavo doing their Rivals scene from the 2015 class. One of the two.

Deconstruction Lists

Over at the eminent and intellectual Deconstruction Workers, all of us who are called the Workers (those who have appeared on the podcast) have been slated to write Top Ten lists on any number of nerdy topics from the past decade. I’m planning two, but haven’t finished the second one yet. The one that’s up as of now is the Top Ten Biggest Developments in Star Wars. This covers the biggest things to happen to Star Wars between 2010-2019. Don’t @ me. Stay tuned for my second list, once I get it together…

10 in the 10s: Star Wars List on Deconstruction Workers


PTMTs on Outrider #1: Go Big or Go Home

The excellent and wine-fueled podcast headed by grad school friend Jason Quinn Malott did a whole podcast series based on my Problematic Badass Female Trope articles over on Writers’ HQ, and now we have completed another series, on the sequel series to those articles, the Problematic Toxic Masculinity Tropes, the first three of which also are on Writers’ HQ. This time, we had a few guest hosts that added their wit and wisdom to the fray, and the SO composed the intro/outro music for it as well. It’s been a heckuva lot of fun, and I can only hope that the release of this new podcast series will get the rest of these articles published. What say, Writers’ HQ (Sarah? Jo?)?

Here’s the first podcast episode of the PBFTs: Go Big or Go Home , annnnnd here’s the original article it’s based on: Go Big or Go Home.

For the overview of all the PTMTs, check this post from a while ago. Though I will warn you: the basic premises (and sub-tropes) have changed a lot since I’ve written and especially since I’ve talked about these with Friend Jason.


Sign up for Stage Movement, 3rd & final plea: Clowning Around

What do you call a pile of clowns? A giggle? A clowder?

The semester is creeping up upon us quickly, lovely lurkers, and I have attempted to save my break and my sanity by not checking on my Metro class rosters every 5 minutes, to ascertain whether or not I’ll have a job the next couple months. Spoiler alert: I need 12 students minimum in each class or they’ll be cancelled. I’ll be checking up on everything on Monday, so I’ll let you know then if these pleas have helped or not.

As it is, allow me to put forth a third compelling reason why Stage Movement is such a fun and important piece of education that you must experience: Clowning.

That’s right, clowning: the once sacred art of creating worlds using physicality, of exaggerating your own personality into larger than life antics, exploring the long long journey from problem to (ridiculous) solution, and of course hats. (Clown hats: it’s what we do in lieu of elaborate costumes & makeup.)

In Metro’s Stage Movement class, we learn the basics of mime & gag creation, then we do a rollicking assignment called Clownlympics, in which our new-forged clowns present sporting events. The other fun thing about this event is that I break out my kid’s-dance-class instruments, and the audience clowns then provide musical accompaniment to each event. It. Is. A. Blast.

So sign up for class! I promise it’ll be incredibly fun, and you’ll learn a lot about movement techniques, styles, and how your body works in space (and on stage).

Sign up for stage movement: Please do, part 2



Actual footage of me looking at the current Stage Movement roster…


Know what’s real neat about Stage Movement class?

It’s the final performance, that I get to cast

from each and all students, end-of-semester, of course.

They put on four plays, Dr. Seuss is the source!

You might think college students doing kid stuff

for a final exam, is all easy fluff.

But there you’d be wrong: I’m happy to say

that the Dr. Seuss plays are a challenge: yes way.

The complex language and character work’s worth

the price of tuition (well, not that much)—the dearth

of props, costumes, and sets all make for a show

the likes of which make each student grow.

So sign up right now! Please sign up for class!

Sign up one and all! Sign up en masse!

If I don’t get at least twelve students by the date,

the class’ll be cancelled. It’ll be too late.

Sign up for Stage Movement: A Plea in Multiple Parts


There are only…how many students signed up for Stage Movement?!

It’s that time of year again, lovely lurkers. What? No, I don’t mean the holidays–I mean the time when I go into conniptions of panic, worrying that not enough people are signed up for this Spring Semester’s Stage Movement class at Metro, that it’ll get cancelled and I’ll be out my (already meager) living. So I hereby am going to post the many reasons why Stage Movement is a fun and essential course to take for any student.

Reason #1: Period Movement

Each semester Stage Movement is offered, the second major unit of study is scenes from restoration comedy The Rivals. The center of the unit in this class is all about how to navigate the corseted and otherwise elaborate costuming of the 1700s, and we learn a lot about oldy-timey social constructs, body language of the time, and fan codes. (No, not semaphore, silly, the old flirtatious kind…)

Because we have zero budget for the class, this unit always ends up dressed in a delightfully postmodern mashup of corsets on the outside of the clothing, and odd approximations of period costumes, like: bathrobes and scarves tied high for the men to simulate frock coats and jabots, everybody breaks out the heels, and every so often I’ll get a student who wants to do their scene in drag, as above. This is always a hoot, and a challenge as well–the best kind of challenge is the fun kind. Oh, and? We get to open the sword box for this unit, which is always exciting, especially for those who haven’t gotten to break them out in stage combat class.

There’s your first of many reasons to get my Stage Movement roster up to 12. Stay tuned for more.

All of the Things!

And there are so very many, lovely lurkers.

My DU quarter just finished–that was a grad level class in the Professional Writing department called Writing Fiction. They all did great. On deck for them is Writing the Short Story, also online only, as this one was. So that’s a lot of great writing and huge effort in feedback for same.

Metro is on their Fall Break, which is the whole week of Thanksgiving, This semester it’s an online Staging Cultures, as it so often is, and a section of Intro, which means they’re working on their big one act project that goes up next week. That’s a crazy-involved project that I love; it’s an entire one-act play, written anew, and completely produced. It’s bananapants as an undergrad (first year, even!) project, but it always but always turns out crazy good. Teaches them more than a written exam ever could about theatre, at any rate.

Stage Combat has their finals coming up, too, which should be a ton of fun also. They’ve picked some amaze-balls scenes for their finals, from Shakespeare to Love, Actually (I know) and I’m very much looking forward to them. This semester they got a few special lessons: the all-class Roadhouse fight scene was something to behold, and since they met on Halloween, we had a fake blood construction day.

That’s current work, besides the writing stuff for Your Boulder I’ve been doing. That’s been a fascinating education: learning how SEO works and such. In this summer’s thin months, YB fed me and paid my phone bill, so. Plus it’s good to build a biz-type writing portfolio.

What else? I taught the rambunctious middle schoolers over at Drake how to do both Unarmed and Sword stage combat, which was extra special, as now I have a pair of steel rapiers of my own I can use for classes at mine own discretion.

Blue Dime Cabaret is going strong as all get out! We had a very successful Fall circuit, including Dangerous Theatre

Me & Brandy in burlesque producer finery, at a BDC show. Yes, those are big googly eyes.

and a rocking Halloween show in Boulder. We’re planning all of 2020 now, and it’s looking kind of awesome: Roaring 20s, Boulder Arts Week, going back to Dangerous, and probably back up to Central City, too. This whole thing is becoming a big deal in the denvermetro scene, and I’m both surprised and delighted.

Oh, and? I’m a runway model for the first time ever, next week at the Rawk event. No, seriously–I’m kind of both squeeing and completely amazed at the same time. Come to this event and see what this local fashion designer has designed for mine, a body she averred was “my perfect size”!

What’s happening after all this? oh man, that’s a whole nother post.

No, really. I promise. Before long.


The More You Holmes

From: Elementary, the last two episodes ever… /sniff/

Names: Altamont, Sigerson

Reference: In the last two eps of stellar Sherlockian show Elementary, we see and hear about Sherlock using these two names as aliases as he is feigning death. In the original canon, everyone (including faithful Watson) thinks Holmes dead, until he returns in fine form to solve the murder of Ronald Adair (which happens to be another character name from canon that appears again here). Sigerson is one of the canon aliases Holmes tells Watson about upon his return.

In Elementary, Joan Watson is in on the fake death, but has lost track of him, and so in the last ep, Sherlock tells her in a verbatim quote from the original canon story “The Empty House”:

“You may have read of the remarkable explorations of a Norwegian named Sigerson; but I am sure it never occurred to you that you were receiving news of your friend.”

Altamont is a moniker that original canon Holmes uses not in the 3 years during his death, but in a story much more chronologically late than that: “His Last Bow.” In this rare omnisciently narrated short story, Holmes (now in his 60s) foils a German spy, with the help of an elderly, automobile-driving, comfortably-waistcoated Watson. Holmes had masqueraded for two years as an Irish-American tough guy named Altamont, and, after the conclusion of the story, delightfully complains not only about his goatee, but the fact that his language is no doubt forever sullied by his long years of Americanisms.

The last episode of Elementary was called “Their Last Bow,” no doubt in honor of the canon story of almost the same name.