The nightingale / It said to me / ‘There is a love / Meant for me.’ Photo: Jason Riker

At The Road House for One Night Only: Joan St. Sophia

I’ve always wanted to be a David Lynch torch singer

The first CD I ever bought was the soundtrack from Twin Peaks.

It was 1990 and I was in junior high, and Twin Peaks was all the rage in adult pop culture.

Everyone in Minneapolis seemed to be talking about its mysterious noir vibe and killer soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti and Julee Cruise.

I spent many hours alone in my room lip-syncing in my bedroom mirror to The Nightingale, dreaming of Bobby Briggs’ hair and pretending I was a night-club torch singer who captivated the town at The Road House.

The nightingale / It flew to me / And told me / That it found my love. Photo: Jason Riker

My group of talented and creative friends from junior high (we called ourselves the Perkins Group) were in love with Twin Peaks, and we created our own Twin Peaks fan videos for fun.

Lead by William Scott Rees who wrote the screenplays and ran the video camera, we spent our weekends putting together costumes and acting in our little videos. (JoEllen Martinson Davis made a great Log Lady.)

This was back in 1990 when editing video required very specialized equipment, and we had to book time at Northwest Community Television, the local public-access station in Brooklyn Park, MN to edit our videos.

He said one day / ‘I’ll meet you’ / Our hearts will fly / With the nightingale. Photo: Jason Riker

We’d all crowd into the hot editing bay, and furiously edit video (Kevin Rosenquist masterfully edited while Matt Prindle muttered hilarious asides) praying that we’d get done in time before our parents came to pick us up.

It was the most fun I was to have as a teenage kid, though I didn’t know it at the time.

I took it for granted, thinking that the rest of my life would be filled with this kind of excitement and creativity.

The nightingale / He told me / One day / ‘You will be with me.’ Photo: Jason Riker

Looking back at it, I see how rare it was.

It’s the holy grail that I keep trying to get back to — that feeling of collaboration with a group of simpatico people, all pulling together to make something up, collectively dreaming.

My heart flies / With the nightingale / Through the night / All across the world. Photo: Jason Riker

In the spirit of that creativity and fun, Jason Riker and I shot these photos this week at Riker Studio, with me channeling a David Lynch-esque torch singer named Joan St. Sophia, much in the tradition of Julee Cruise and Dorothy Vallens, Isabella Rossellini’s character in Blue Velvet.

I lip-synced to The Nightingale, and had the time of my life, pretending for one night only.