Work



Poppea Interview (Sept 2021)
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Join us in conversation with the fabulous directors of the new film Poppea. We sit down with Karina Parker and Christina Swanson to talk about the history of the opera, the decisions made while creating a filmed version, and the importance of community, among other things.
Video shot and edited by Taku Uyeda, with clips from the film.


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Hannah Montana Rewatch pt. 2 (Feb 2021)
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Compound Kids (Oct 2020)

Directed and styled by Kirsi Myntti
Photography by Efthimi Matsamakis
Models: Devan Chee A Tow, Kirsi Myntti
Prod Assistant: Catie DeWitt

In the Roppongi district of Tokyo, there is an American Embassy compound, fit with a pool, tennis courts, and Marines down the hill. The kids who roam the streets of the gated community gather on the main drag to bully and protect each other. When I was twelve, we all went to different schools or different grades, but after three fifteen pm we'd somehow always end up at the FamilyMart down the street. The Japanese guards never once asked our names, but we always nodded and waved. Outside of the gates, on the way to the 7am Saturday hockey bus, I’d step over business men lying face down in vomit from the night before.

Asleep, my love? What, dead, my dove?

Their suits completely ruined.

During quarantine, I had the specific combination of very little spending money with an excessive amount of time and feelings, somewhat like my middle school self. This first drop is in honor of that time, that feeling of freedom and boredom that plagues youth. The feeling we miss once it’s gone and have places to be, money to make, and other people to care for.





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12 Ways to Say Fuck You (Spring 2019)
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Kirsi Myntti

What began as a one woman show, 12 Ways was written and performed by Kirsi Myntti @ WIPFest in Detroit, Michigan - September 2018. It was revived at the Fringe Festival Detroit, performed by Carolyn Alam three months later. This short film version premiered on May 31st, 2019 on the infamous site Youtube.


Big hugs and thanks to all the extremely talented people who helped with this project, LOOK THEM UP!

Director of Photography: Gabby Baginski

Starring (in order of appearance):
Christina Swanson
Bonnie Drinkard
McKenna Voss
Nathan Hall
Thomas McCarter
Inney Prakash
Kayla Rodriguez
Lukas Baginski
Levi Stroud
Alex Koi
Hannah Krus
Carolyn Alam
Heather Shomin

Featured music:
Eddie Logix - The Ohana Tape
The Regrettes - Hot
Jorja Smith - Teenage Fantasy

Thanks for watching!

---<3

Blog


103022
Phase 3: Sign up for my newsletter 😈 
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This is a photo of my friend Luis from high school - we both had radio shows senior year, so we hung out in the booth a lot. We’d always have such a laugh. I remember rambling about justice for Justin Bieber during my show, and playing a lot of The Head and The Heart. Once, a crush found me in the athletic room while I was getting ice before practice and he said, “DJ Myntti! We heard your show last night.” I replied, “Yeah, did you like it?” and this eighteen-year-old jock stumbled over his words and just repeated, “DJ Myntti...” I couldn’t stop thinking about it for like 3 weeks. Clearly, I’m still thinking about it.

Anyway, did you hear, I started a newsletter that goes directly into your email inbox?

I thought I would post here too, but that’s a lot of work and would overcomplicate things for no reason.

Comes out every other Thursday, please sign up below to stay in touch for the time being<3
click here

oxoxo
Kirsi
~

Phase 2: Offense
       100122

I recently visited my older sister Ivie in Colorado. She’s very smart and someone who has always been a lover by traditionally feminine senses of the word. I’m constantly astounded by her ability to walk through this world with so much poise. Ivie is also far more athletic than me. So I’m telling her about my crush (hi crush:)), and the oppressive social structure of Hollywood and she says, “Kirsi, I think you need to work on your offense.”

!!

Like I said, she’s a bad bitch.


On my way to see her, I had an illuminating plane ride from LAX to Colorado Springs. Within 15 minutes, the tiny plane did a quick 45 degree tilt. The captain called it clear air turbulence. My seat neighbor was a big white dude who worked in the army for 10 years as a PR escort. We had the very last seats on the plane, and I was on the aisle directly across from the bathroom. Did it cross my mind that I might die on this plane? Yes. But after the first person couldn’t figure out how to open the bathroom door, I decided it was okay to make a joke to the man next to me. We talked about families of active duty members, and what Afghanistan is like. He recommended two Netflix shows I’ve literally never heard of: The Sinner and Lincoln Lawyer.

Throughout the two hour flight, I acted as the restroom valet. “Sorry, someone just went in there…. Hehehaha yeah it’s a really small plane! No, you’re not bothering me, your ass isn’t in my face. Oh yay! They are done, your turn!!”

With myself and my neighbor being over 5’9” and sitting in Economy(-) class, we had to keep our elbows tight to our sides, so I found comfort in my notes app, as per usual. Here are some excerpts:
- “There is now a woman helping her 6 year-old child learn how to use an airplane bathroom next to me. They keep opening the door and whispering. Mom’s ass in my face. This is truly a study of humanity.

- Everyone keeps apologizing to me, that’s cute. And not annoying because this does actually suck.

- THE PILOT IS COMING TO USE THE RESTROOM NEXT TO ME! Feeling starstruck! I can’t look him in the eyes, I’m nervous, his ass just touched my shoulder!

- The difference between this flight and my flying experience in recent memory is that I’m sitting really close to toxic waste. And that I’m not feeling afraid of conversation with these strangers. I regularly have this distinct fear of the end of a conversation. Like, what’s gonna happen when we don’t have anything else to talk about? When we have to say goodbye? Will the awkwardness overwhelm me and cause me to do something deeply embarrassing like I don’t know, stop talking? I guess it’s not that complicated, it’s a fear of the unknown. Not knowing the outcome, not having control over what happens next.”


At some point, I told my United Airlines seat neighbor I worked for a Canadian company and make a lot of scripted sci-fi television. He said, “Canadian aliens? I don’t know how I feel about thaaat…” I just grimaced and said “okkkkkayyyyy.” We laughed it off and he asked me if I have kids? I forget that I’m a charmer! It felt good not to compromise my basic belief that Canadians are people too, while keeping the situation low-key. I’m good at defense. Curiously, he didn’t get defensive until I put on my big carhartt hoodie, looking like a real Midwestern butch. Luckily, this man had thick thighs so the extra spread and leg touching felt…soft. When the flight landed, we parted ways with a kind nod and mumble, haven’t seen him since.


Colorado was absolutely beautiful. Full of changing aspens and bright star studded skies we saw clearly from the campground we slept on. WE SLEPT NEXT TO A FULL ASS GREY BEE HIVE. Ivie was unfazed. It took me a few minutes to get there.



Back out here in the land of Hollywoo, everything is so shielded. People communicate from afar, play god and not-so-subtly use human connection as a monetary resource. It’s much more emotionally manipulative than a big man who knows how to use a gun. Here’s the thing: I’m comfortable with that man, the military-industrial complex, and talking to strangers in that scene. I know how to hold my own there. On the other hand, this voyeuristic world hinged on fame is still unknown to me. I’m accustomed to the language of physical violence, I’ve got calluses to count. But highly nuanced emotional burns still surprise me when I turn a corner. Those feelings are still tender.

But we are out here!
Sometimes it feels like I’m ripping something out of my chest. Like a bloody fucking veiny mess, writhing on the countertop as I poke it. Then I wonder why I’m doing it.

Because I don’t know what else to do to silence the noise. And I want something more than survival!! As I slowly inch closer to my own death, it feels irresponsible to coast right now. Putin, a famous homophobe, is 7 months into trying to control Ukraine. Need I say more? The least I can do is create homo and gender expansive propaganda.



Today, for the first time in my Ralph’s parking lot, I saw a couple of dudes hanging around a Bentley wagon. Then a Gucci clad metrosexual man watched me pick out a rotisserie chicken and check out.

When it comes down to it, I can’t ignore the winds of change. I was cursed by Billie and friends within the first two weeks of being in LA, and I feel like I have to play it out. So if you see a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood...let me know. It’s fun, c’mon! Right now is the time to tap into our strengths and play some offense or get pushed off the board, Mostly Misc and friends <3.



Needless to say, it was a great weekend with my sister exploring the great manly state of Colorado. A good reminder that in my own way, I do know how to play the game.

Wish me luck on phase 2: offense (playing it with my whole chest)

Let’s hang out, let’s dance y’all.

SEE YOU SOON LOVE YOU VERY MUCH
~


Phase 1: Cry about it
       091522

I’ve been thinking about physical intimacy a lot lately. I have a crush okay, sue me! (If you are my crush and you’re reading this, no you are not) I’ve also been crying a lot lately. Not like wistful, looking out the window, single tear cries. These are full body sobs, weeps, forget-to-breathe types of cries. I’m a huge believer in a solid bawl! It’s a fabulous way to release pent up tension, and so this is me trying to find the source of that tension.

For those of you that are new here: I moved a lot growing up. Since I was four, my family has packed up our little Alexandria, VA home and jet set around the world to build relationships in capital cities. Aside from the mental impact of constant change and having access to the literal world at a young age, it was a very physical life. We were actively moving, whether that be into a new house, neighborhood, or school. My mother (the diplomat) was regularly traveling for work, and my sister and I were often playing sports, outside with friends, or going shopping. My upbringing rarely escapes me, but I don’t tend to think of the downright physicality of my childhood. I used my tiny little growing body to run and jump and experience the world because what else was I gonna do? Be miserable? I’m nothing if not a team player. That being said, I never really felt in any danger, but I also I don’t recall ever feeling at truly at ease. Bless the USG for providing it’s foreign service families with the same style of furniture in all corners of the earth for an attempt at normalcy. But other than recognizing the type of pillows on our rotating couches, my body was reacting and working to understand my physical surroundings pretty constantly. And all this during puberty (ouch).

Back to intimacy - a weird thing. Not to brag, but at this point I know my own body very well. I know what it can do and how it’s gonna react to most situations. I know what makes it feel good and what makes it feel bad. I’ve learned to be friends with the rolls in stomach and the hair on my toes. To recognize back pain as part of owning a uterus, not my own personal failings. But I don’t think I’ve given it enough credit for taking me all over the world and back again. She’s a motherfucking working body! A good soldier. The amount of pressure my surroundings and brain put on my teenage knee caps to move at the pace of global institutions is astounding, now that I think of it. These knees have taken my eyes and ears and mouth and hands to Beijing China in order to then play basketball! In the span of a four days, my spinal cord got me on a plane, explored the Great Wall of China, got fourth place in a basketball tournament, and played guitar hero at a strange family’s house whose kid I had just boxed out on the court. Are you relaxed? I mean, fun! But I’m exhausted just thinking about it now. Physical discomfort was not the prevailing feeling, but most of the emotional memories from that trip were about how I had one friend on the team. The only other gaijin, Melissa Maggart (I hope you are well!). Thinking back now, I probably had a really intense stomach ache the whole time that I just ignored by channeling it into athletic determination and cultural diplomacy. I was adept at using my physicality to feel strong and capable, even when my 9th grade little heart was hurting.

The older I get, the more I’m understanding how the body expresses feelings experienced in the brain. I have an office job and increasingly creaky bones, so I can’t just jock my way out of feeling anymore. But my gut will tell me to stand tall when I meet someone who’s bad news, and I pretty immediately get the flu when my racing brain won’t let me sleep enough. My favorite: uncontrollably sobbing in the grocery store parking lot before I shop, preparing for the excruciating journey of navigating a crowded produce section when all I can think about is how much I miss home.

All this to say, while my physical sack of blood and bones has allowed me access to some of the most made up and extraordinary parts of human civilization, my parents are still divorced and the idea of genuine physical intimacy with another person where romance is involved causes my brain to short circuit and my limbs to curl.

In friendships, I’ve always been a relatively physical friend - I’m very protective, and I love a long hug and an arm around the shoulders, a playful one-two and a high five. That’s a huge part of how I show affection. But I also can see where that comfort zone ends, the line where my body tenses up and runs away from the unknown. Here’s to pushing those boundaries.

If sustainability is the goal in this next level of physical intimacy, I can’t full force these things ahead the way my ego wants to. Tried it- doesn’t work. So I’m grateful for this time in my life right now to rest and decompress, just as much as I’m grateful to have visited Pearl Market in Beijing. I’m hoping as long as I take care and listen, my body will tell me when it’s ready to explore new territory again.

Again, thanks for reading and being patient with me. Thanks to the friends who’ve seen me before I see myself and listen to me bemoan my own awkwardness through this ongoing journey. Thanks to my mom for not reading this blog but who is eager for the memoir. Thanks to those who’ve reassured me that everything is embarrassing. I promise I’ve got the next stretch. Love you!!

~

A brat boy 
       090422

The other night, my friends and I went to the club. An astrology and gay-themed, ticketed dance party in Hollywood. It felt pretty standard, nothing too complicated. There were great drag performers, RENAISSANCE on repeat, and we let it all hang out under the starry Los Angeles sky (they projected space photography onto the walls).

I’ll admit it: I can be abrasive. I grew up in Germany, okay? This sort of directness makes me powerful, but sometimes just makes me an asshole. Stick with me, you’ll figure out where this is going, but for now…

Let’s bring Ronnie the kleptomaniac onto stage! Everyone, please give Ronnie a warm welcome. [applause]
Kirsi: Hi Ronnie, thanks for coming on.

Ronnie: Yeah, you’re welcome. Thanks for having me.

K: Okay, let’s start with what happened.

R: So we are at the club, dancing, having a good time! Soon, I needed water. It’s a hundred degrees out and the cotton mouth was real. So I go to the bar and order three bottles of water (6$ each - we are living in hell, didn’t you know?). The bartender puts them down on the bar and turns his back to me. So I take them and leave.

[pause]

I take the water to my friends and the party keeps going.

K: Okay, but did you pay the bartender for them?

R: No. He turned his back and I’m quick on my feet. Did you hear me say they cost 6$??? For water? In this heat! They’re robbing us!

K: That does seem expensive for water. Let me know, what did this bartender look like?

R: He was a tall bear.

K: For the people in the back, what does that mean?

R: He’s a big hairy dude, had a beard and gave lumberjack.

K: So this guy is bigger than you right?

R: Yeah, but I’m cute.

K: Okay, fair. Last question, did you pay for a ticket to the party?

R: Yeah, also annoying but understandable, it was like in a parking lot.

K: Okay, well you heard it here first folks. Apparently there’s free water in hell! We’ll see you in a few, thanks for coming on stage Ronnie.

[Ronnie exists]

So back at Gay Astrology, I took the water and told my friends and laughed. I received awkward, uncomfortable laughs in return. The night goes on, and I leave the dance floor to get MORE WATER, in this sweaty dance-y haze. I walk back up to the bar and smile at the bartender. He looks at me and says, wait it’s you! You stole all those waters. You have to pay for them.

…What? Oh yeah! I took them, you just left them on the bar and turned your back, so I took them.

And now you have to pay for them, I remember you. You can’t just steal.

So we get into this argument about how it’s criminal to charge 6$ for the water and why do you care?? You don’t get the 6$. (yikes) So then I offer to give him cash (short 10 bucks) and tell him to keep it. He says no. I don’t want your money. So I’m leaning over the bar at this point, screaming over the music trying to explain to this man that the world is unfair and do I really have to pay for this water?

Yes.
So I plant my feet back on the ground, take out my credit card and let this dude charge me $31 for the three bottles of water, plus two new ones.

In my defense, at the last show I went to, the bartender absolutely took cash for the drink when the venue was card only. But here in this parking lot, the whole exchange was a vibe killer for sure. But this isn’t the business of killing vibes! So I pouted for a minute and let my friends berate me, quickly returning to dancing.

The best part of this whole story: I got more drinks throughout the night, and I kept going back to him. I’m not sure why, it just seemed like the easiest place to go. I could have gone to the other side of this massive bar, but I’m not that avoidant. Who’s got the time for that?

For the rest of the night, this lumberjack and I barely exchange words, just orders and money. I smile and he smiles back. As we pass the bar on our way out, without thinking, I raise my hand and reach out for a shake. We make eye contact, do an easy high five/handshake combo, probably grunt, and go our separate ways.

Bros!

Now it’s time to bring Ronnie back out on stage.
K: Welcome back Ronnie.

R: Thank you, thank you.

K: We’re gonna go on a bit of a trip down memory lane, shall we?

R: Let’s do it.

K: Do you have a history of stealing?

R: Not when I’m sober. That’s lame and not worth it.

K: So you’re just a klepto when under the influence.

R: First of all, we love to flex. Like it’s a party, let’s get the drinks flowing! I don’t want to wait in line.

K: Circus girl first, I get it.

R: Sagittaurius.

K: Right, that too.

R: I also used to steal like picture frames and vhs covers from house parties.

K: What?

R: Like I wasn’t gonna take the VHS, that’s too big, they might miss watching that movie-

K: On VHS?

R: Okay… But the Beetlejuice cover is cool.

K: Do you still have these things?

R: No, I’ve since ditched them. I mean, at this point they’re trash. But it’s a habit I picked up at frat houses in college.

K: Oh here we go. Why were you at frat parties?

R: Underage drinking. Free alcohol mostly.

K: And stealing their random shit. Seems like you wanted to take something from them. Why do you think that is?

R: Because fuck those guys. They deserve to be taken from.

K: Okay, well good luck with that. Thanks again for coming on Ronnie. Crowd, give it up for Ronnie the kleptomaniac one more time! [loud applause]

The night was a 10/10 honestly. Will do again one day when I regain the energy. The most mind boggling part of this isn’t that I stole, I’ve been doing that for ten years. It’s that I didn’t notice I was doing anything wrong. Not until someone spelled it out for me, did it cross my mind that stealing is bad. Bwah. I was just thinking about how I could not spend thirty dollars on some fucking water, and look cool. I didn’t want to fuck this bartender over or this party host honestly, like I unconsciously did with the frat boys. I was just avoiding the boredom of waiting at a busy bar. Like a brat. A brat boy.

Anyway, thanks to Gay Astrology, that extremely cool bartender, and my friends for a great time and a little bit of growth! Love you very much <3

A palate cleanser, if you need one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ySBtVLCYA



~
Horny on main 
       082322



In the film 20th Century Women, Greta Gerwig takes pictures of the things she owns as a self portrait practice. So as a fan: Yes, thank you Mike Mills, I will do that too.
 

For consistency, I waited til dark. I put up a black velvet fabric as the background. Then turned on all my lights and the spot. I used a warm light bulb, and a very low shutter speed. The results were kind of blurry because film cameras require so much light! But it came out feeling like a soft, sort of intimately focused stage. 


~


A 2006 Chris Brown Music Video.


A 17th century painting


Guess what’s in the box


I wasn’t really expecting all the drama that came out of these. But I guess black velvet is reliably a vibe. The photos individually all have a perspective, but seem thematically random when put together. So what’s the point? Something about finding your voice and power. They all have a certain sensuality, I suppose. 

Thanks for reading always, catch you on the flip side <3



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What.                                                                    Photos from 2014/15 in Ann Arbor Michigan.