GAZELLE MAGAZINE Vol. 1, Issue 1 | Page 35

Gazelle 14 Spring 25-48_Gazelle Magazine 4/17/14 8:17 PM Page 33 photo courtesy of Pablo Tsukayama “I visited a lot of those massacre sites and learned how other people were using art to elevate spirit to reassemble identity and make sense of the world in a really difficult time, and how that connects places and people and groups of people,” she said of her first-hand experience. “I saw that happening for real – in a place where it was a really serious issue. It wasn’t just ‘Oh yay, now we all have this confidence to dance in the streets.’ People needed this.” “Let your passion pull you forward and don’t question why or how it’s going to happen. You’ll flow into where you’re supposed to be.” When she moved back home, she was shocked to observe how isolated people were in their daily lives, even down to her commute, when she was shunned trying to interact with people while riding the bus. “I wanted to bring that convivial and energetic feel to public spaces. I wanted to bring it here, because we just haven’t done it,” she said. It was this reaction that spurred her to create STL Improv Anywhere, an improv troupe that performed a mystery musical at the Contemporary Art Museum, held a pillow fight in Forest Park - and even rode bicycles and the MetroLink with no pants on. But it’s all in good fun - and in good interest. “I see mini transformations in the moments when Improv performs. I think people open up and talk to strangers around them. I actually do think that we’re doing what I wanted to do. It’s happening,” she said. In addition, Mallory is a writer, yoga instructor and occasional actress - but, with a full time job in public relations, it’s not like she really has “time” for anything. She just makes it work. “I don’t think it changes the ideas in my head and how I’m able to brainstorm and produce work - it just changes what I say ‘yes’ to and how much I can do,” she said of finding a balance. While her projects are on the way to making her into a local household name, Mallory is sincere in her iterations that she hasn’t created anything for money or for notoriety. “I don’t really care if I get recognition for it - it’s about the larger culture of this city,” she said. When it comes to giving advice to others about making their passion a reality, Mallory has two words: Don’t worry. “Let your passion pull you forward and don’t question why or how it’s going to happen,” she said. “You’ll flow into where you’re supposed to be.” Mallory also thrives on interpersonal connection and collaboration with others. She personally contacted poet Henry Goldkamp, who is no stranger to busking as a writer, to share her public poetry idea that took place in February. He was completely on board, and together they crafted a project where people plucked pre-strung poems from a tree in Forest Park, read them, and passed them along to others. “I feel that events in public spaces that are not your typical everyday experience, give you a chance to connect with strangers and dis- GAZELLE STL.COM arm your barriers,” she said of her process. “There’s an element of creative courage involved in that.” She has several immediate projects in her future, and is forever meeting with and being linked to other creative people to discuss a fresh idea or thought that has come to mind. “I’ll never be out of things to do. I’ll constantly be moving forward because I’m so connected to so many people, and I’ve built it that way. Opportunities come in - people think about me when they have a job or a project because I’m connected to the community, and I keep those ties really strong and cultivate them.” And though she does