Boxers Know the Power of an Entrance

The Way a Fighter Steps Into the Ring Communicates Everything From Pride to Protest

The first time I really paid attention to boxing ring entrances—the long, celebratory walks fighters take from their dressing rooms to the ring before a bout—was in 1992, when I watched the classic match between Julio César Chávez and Hector Camacho that symbolically pitted Mexico against Puerto Rico. I was a 7-year-old U.S.-born Mexican, yet it was Camacho’s entrance that drew me in: the blaring strains of McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”; the flashy Captain Puerto Rico outfit; the way Camacho danced his way to the ring.

Camacho …

Where I Go: My Life as a Mentalist | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: My Life as a Mentalist

For 20 Years, I’ve Wowed Audiences by Reading Minds—and Making the Impossible Possible

Twenty-three years into my career as a stand-up comedian and television comedy writer, a colleague recommended I go see his cousin, one of America’s top mentalists (a.k.a. mind readers) perform …

Mesmerized, Baffled, and Smitten by the Magic of Dance

A Veteran L.A. Dance Critic Reflects on Her Passion for the Art Form

My career as a dance critic really began when I was six years old, though I didn’t know it. My mom signed me up to take a creative movement class …

Spin the Wheel and Land on Community

As a Performer and Arts Consultant, I Learned That Arts Should Serve People—Not the Other Way Around

Recently, as I was walking home and mulling over what to write for this essay on arts engagement, I saw a multi-colored pinwheel stuck to a signpost on a street …

The Drums That Bang Out the Heartbeat of My Community

A 13-Year-Old Explains How Japanese Taiko Drumming Connects Her to the World Around Her

I am 13 years old, and taiko drumming is my life. Taiko are Japanese drums—big ones are the size of a Mini Cooper, and small ones are 15 inches around …

You Can Find My Poetry Tribe in Leimert Park

Wednesday Is Open Mic Night at the World Stage, Where I’ve Been a Regular Since 1992

Most Wednesday nights, you can find me at the World Stage in Leimert Park. The love offering requested at the door is $5, but no one is turned away. The …