On “Artist Speed Dating”

By Ryan Bockenhauer

At the beginning of 2017 LALA Fest, I attended an event including many of the involved artists. We spent time in rotation, meeting the various people in the room in a format similar to speed dating. On my journey to meet everyone from New York and the Minneapolisites that I had not yet met, I took a few pictures and many notes on the conversations that occurred. Here are some of the pictures and some brief descriptions of each.

Mtume Gant

image7Mtume Gant is a NYC-based filmmaker. After the speed dating portion was over, we spent some time viewing his new works. I was especially pleased to hear him talk about his dedication to his vision in regards to cinematography. Through my own collaboration, I have found it hard to hold on to the initial ideas of my plans, and by seeing a piece that was finished and still stuck to the goals that Mr. Gant set out in the first drafts, I feel more enabled to stick to my vision as well.

Laryssa Husiak


Laryssa and I spoke briefly in the speed dating portion of the day. It was nice to hear about her work and the way in which she worked on her latest piece at Red Eye Theatre. As a fellow performance artist, it was good to hear that other folks near me are able to perform their solo pieces in various spaces.

Jess Barbagallo


Jess Barbagallo (right) is a New York artist. He spoke about identity and shared a personal piece of writing that I found many aspects to relate with. We had a quick conversation after the morning’s proceedings and he recommended me an author and photographer that I reminded him of. I was flattered, but still haven’t bought the book on Amazon.

The Room

Here’s a few more shots of the conversation that occurred after the speed dating. And a picture of the dog that was there. 

I find it extremely unfortunate that the best picture I shot all day was of a cute dog. I wish I could have had this sort of detail with all the folks’ faces I was so intent on capturing in focus. This was my first time shooting black and white film in a few years, so I guess I have to get back in the look with it.


All in all, the day was fun and I spent some time with a friend afterwards in the Walker’s sculpture garden, taking silly pictures. Here’s a couple of those silly ones. 


This is me, under this spider. My name is Ryan Bockenhauer and I am an aspiring theatre educator, currently attending the University of Minnesota for a theatre teaching license (K-12) and a masters degree in education. I have been spending most of the summer going on little adventures and meeting new people when I wasn’t doing homework. I am interested in new forms of collaboration and diversifying my art in terms of medium. LALA Fest was a fun time.

Photo Credit: Ryan Bockenhauer

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