Where does one begin with a multifaceted artist like Sara Glass, AKA Miss Conception? Emcee, Hip-Hop poet, fire performer, belly dancer, sought-after collaborator, Sara's involvement in Kansas City's arts, music and literary communities is deep and eclectic. Glass has released three Miss Conception albums with a fourth on the way. In this interview, Glass discusses how everything she does --including her work as Communications Associate for an Overland Park synagogue -- is an extension of her intensely personal yet universal creative drive and vision. Enjoy!
Introduce yourself. Where do you live and work? What does a typical day (if there is one) look like for you?
Hello, my name is Sara Glass, and I often go by the name Miss Conception! I come from Overland Park, KS, but I feel as though my roots spread all over the Midwest. I currently live in Mission, KS, and I work several jobs as a communications associate, and as an artist. My main source of income comes from a synagogue in Overland Park, where I serve as the communications associate. I handle their website, graphic design, online promotions and any communication related materials that go out to the public. I also work as a freelance graphic designer, event coordinator, PR agent, as well as being an artist! In my artist life, I host poetry readings, put together and perform at many kinds of shows as a DJ and emcee. I also am a professional fire dancer (yes, I have insurance!) and I work with all kinds of circus props that light on fire! Recently, I have been working on stilt walking and teaching workshops on circus performing.
You are a true multifaceted artist, poet, emcee, spoken word artist, and fire performer, just for starters. I wonder what you consider to be the common link with everything you do?
The common thread is flow. Free-styling. Having mastery over your craft and allowing it to flow without thought is magical. It's all about using creativity to better ourselves as people and as a community. When are are channeling creative energy, we feel most at home, especially with the people we love. Whether I am fire dancing, reading poetry or Djing music, there is a common thread of flowing this creative energy through oneself and coming out feeling better than before, and to me, this is why us artists do are. There is no better high! Especially when it comes to collaborations and working with others. Art is essentially parallel to making magic (the good kind) and I'd wish nothing less upon a person to experience such a kind of power. When the whole room stops and turns because of something creative you are doing, it makes everything worth it.
Talk about the connection between your poetry, songwriting collaborations and performances. Do any of these take priority over the others?
Reading poetry is a very solo performance, but when I work with producers who make music and the poems turn into songs, there is even more energy involved. I love sitting in with bands and letting improv magic unfold. I would prefer to be working with a live band more so than anything else, as there is nothing more special than live instruments next to the human voice. Fire dancing is also a very personal but collaborative effort, as it is infinitely more enjoyable with good music in the foreground, allowing the fire dancer to channel the energy and turn it into art.
How did Miss Conception begin as a persona?
MissConception began in Lawrence, KS, during college at KU. I was writing short poems and decided to move towards spoken word. The first longer slam piece I wrote was called "My Main MissConception", and I wrote a song called "Mic Check". My friend called to my attention that I needed to do the Mic Check to become MissConception, and I went with that.
Describe your creative process with collaborators. How do you move beyond a breakdown in communication or common vision?
Producers send me music, I see what I'm working with verbally, and usually what unfolds is just pure happen stance. I know when a song is finished bc everything lines up perfectly and I can remember the words. If I can't remember what I wrote, then it's usually not done yet! Working with other performers, sitting down and participating while producers make beats, is time consuming but worth it! Collaborating with producers is difficult because it does take time, but it's always worth it once it happens.
Who or what currently inspires you about music and art in Kansas City?
Poetic Underground, a poetry open mic that I helped start at the Uptown Arts Bar,is a huge hub of creativity and performance. I always feel rejuvenated when I attend that open mic. (I only host once a month). KC is so full of performers and artists, there is a ton to do any given night concerning live music, and our First Friday art walks are full of creativity. I have traveled the country, and still continue to be impressed and drawn towards the KC scene. There is no place like home they say, and it's true in this case! KC has two things: good people and good music. While we may not have oceans or mountains, we sure can entertain ourselves, even in the thick of winter!
Saturday, January 23, 2016: 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Waking Life - Amazing spiritual film about dreaming in cartoon style
Zeitgeist - Information on the state of affairs in our religion and government
The Factory Girl - The story of Eddie Sedwick and Andy Warhol's Factory
The Giver by Lois Lowry. Incredible story for children about dreaming and the world as we know it
God is a Verb by Rabbi David A. Cooper. A Kabbalah book by Rabbi David A Cooper. This is a spiritual read for adults with all kinds of stories on how to life a better life
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. The book I'm currently reading