Born in Los Angeles, USA in 1999 to a creative family that includes her elder sister & fellow creative Kansas – Parker Love Bowling is part of the next generation of underground superstars. She acts, she directs, she writes, she makes art.
All in all, she’s a veritable creative whirlwind!
Aesthetically, Parker’s works are fun, a little bit grimy and bursting forth with esoteric otherworldliness – Like a piece of bubble-gum that has fallen out of the mouth of an intoxicated supermodel as she quotes some half-remembered philosopher.
Most recently Parker has gotten married, released her debut poetry collection and continues to work on her many projects – Such as an upcoming documentary on the funnest cult around, the Partridge Family Temple.
Wanting to get to know her better, we sent Parker some questions to answer over email.
Take a dip into her world below…
Name + D.O.B?
Parker Love Bowling.
April 7th, 1999.
City, State and Country you currently call home?
Los Angeles, California, USA.
City, State and Country you’re from?
Los Angeles, California, USA.
Please describe some memories – such as art, music, comics, friendships, adventures, study, romance, politics, work, crime, religion, performing… anything really – from the stages of your life noted below:
* Your childhood:
I was at my dad’s house the other day (he still lives in Topanga Canyon where I spent the majority of my childhood) and we were going through the garage and found so many old scripts my sister and I wrote when we were younger.
We had disturbed minds for nine and eleven-year-olds.
We sat around the fire and read them aloud.
Very funny stuff.
That’s the kind of thing we would do together when we were little – Write, make Super 8 films and iMovie movies. We were also strangely competitive, like would host film festivals of our films and make our parents and their friends judge them.
We also played this game where we would have to make posters for imaginary movies and make up the cast and everything. We would pick a genre, such as slasher film or something, and have to mock-up a poster for a made-up slasher film – We’d have to think of a title, actors, even the producers of the film (half real and half made up), then would have our parents pick who’s they liked best.
Another favorite pastime of ours was writing letters to and from random people, never intending to send them to anyone. Lucky for everybody, these letters are now published and available for purchase. The collection of these letter is called, Prewritten Letters For Your Convivence and is for sale at farwestpress.com and is currently a staff pick at McNally Jackson in New York. This book is somewhat impossible to explain so here’s an example of the kind of content inside:
* Your early to mid teens:
My early to mid-teens don’t stand out much, just spent most the time with my boyfriend and my best friend, Edie.
We’d skip class to go lay in the mustard fields behind school almost every day, but still maintained our A averages.
* Your mid to late teens:
I dropped out of high school a month into my junior year and finished the rest online in a few weeks. I got a job at the local newspaper in Topanga and at a magazine in LA, so I was splitting my time between my dad’s house and my sister’s.
Not being in school gave me time to work on more creative projects and that’s when I started being in films.
* Your 20s so far:
My 20s so far have been rather eventful.
I’m 23, so have only made a dent into this decade of my life, but would say I’m proud of all I’ve accomplished, already having knocked quite a few things off the ol’ bucket list – I’ve worked on some really special projects, got married, and published my first collection of poetry, Rhododendron, Rhododendron, also available on farwestpress.com
I wouldn’t say I have a personal motto, at least not at the moment.
The only lines I spat out repetitively are usual just from movies (like the whole ending monologue of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – my sister says I got ADHD from watching that film too many times as a preteen) or books. Like I quite often use the line, “Once you stop growing, you start dying,” from Junky but I don’t think I even necessarily believe that.
The other night I did a poetry reading and afterward my sister’s boyfriend calls me over and says, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you what the fuck you can or cannot do.” He was definitely referring to my refusal to use the same mic as everyone else, not wanting to sound so uniform, but I guess that struck me as pretty sound advice.
What role did toys play in your childhood?
I slept with the same teddy bear till I was 19 years old. He would come everywhere with me. I only stopped because I got a dog, who assumed he was a toy for her and started nibbling on him, and he is far too special to subject him to my dog’s destructive nature.
My sister and I played with our samurai swords.
We threw ninja stars in the creek behind our house (if you count those as toys?).
We liked any games of make-believe.
We played with dolls. The only male Barbie we had was a Dennis Rodman one with interchangeable heads to reflect his changing hairstyles, so all our Barbies had to date him.
We made a lot of paper dolls, but the majority of what we did for fun was art and writing but playing with dolls was just another way of acting out stories and scenes.
What impact has your sister Kansas Bowling had on your personal and artistic life?
… and are you guys currently working on anything together?
I would probably be a completely different person if I didn’t have an older sister who would always want to include me, even if it meant me tagging along to slumber parties with her friends.
I’m sure I was shaped by always hanging out with the older girls, who would try to educate me and show me the things they were interested in. Our parents would let us hangout with them and their friends as well, so there was never really a feeling of not being included.
Kansas and I were and still are best friends, with very similar interests.
We grew up watching the same movies and listening to the same music, though there was a time where I was rebelling against her interests. When she was a teenager, she was obsessed with the Ramones so I would say I hated them, maybe to get a rise out of her, maybe to be different, but then she caught me trying to listen to them in private.
She was grounded for a couple months and wasn’t allowed to watch movies (the greatest punishment imaginable for Kansas) so could only watch a movie if I was watching one in our shared room. I would go up to my mom and be like, “can I watch ‘Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key,’” and she’d be like, “nice try, Kansas.”
I’m getting sidetracked but anyway, Kansas is my biggest inspiration in terms of how hard she works, though our styles in our actual work is quite different. We’re always working together, which I love, because I think she is one of the few people making films that are pieces of truly meaningful art.
I just acted in her film over the summer, and she’s either going to act in or do the cinematography of my first feature as soon as I get funding.
When and why did you first become interested in films, writing and everything creative?
… and any pivotal creative moments / influences?
When would be, as cheesy and cliché as it sounds, as far back as I can remember. My dad is a super talented artist and musician, so we were always encouraged to make art and not do it by anyone else’s standards but our own.
We learned our colors and adjectives from one of those Keith Haring children’s books.
My dad is probably where our love of film sprouted as well, though my sister and myself quickly took what he taught us and ran in another direction with it.
I probably wasn’t into writing until fourth or fifth grade. I didn’t even enjoy reading before that, but then I got my hands on the collected poems of D.H. Lawrence and I was literally never the same.
I started carrying a notebook and a pen everywhere with me and began writing everything down. Before that my “diary” would just be secret letter written to my sister, about who I had a crush on or something like that (though who I had a crush on was probably just Ade Edmondson in “The Young Ones” or Larry King.)
If you had to explain your creative endeavours to some recently crash-landed aliens…
What would you tell them?
They wouldn’t understand me anyway.
Who are some of your favourite artists, writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians?
…and what is it about their works that so inspire and move you?
My husband (Shane McKenzie) is my favorite artists of all time.
We will be walking down the street and he’ll pick up something broken or a piece of trash on the sidewalk and I’ll of course be like, “don’t bring that home, we don’t need that,” but good thing he doesn’t listen because the next day he’ll turn it into the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. I really envy how he can look at an ordinary object and think about what he can turn it into, because it’s always something I would never have noticed.
I would say my favorite visual art right now is photography, just because that’s what I’ve been practicing myself. Jimmy DeSana is hands down my favorite photographer of all time. He’s like Mapplethorpe on acid.
My favorite writers are Frederick Seidel and Eve Babitz. There are poems about the both of them in my book.
As for filmmakers, I love Jerry Schatzberg, “Puzzle of a Downfall Child” being one of my favorite movies of all time. I also really love him as a photographer, but I wish he made more films. They’re so beautiful and heavy. I have a poem in my book that reads, “Jerry Schatzberg always makes me cry.” That’s the full thing. Watch “Scarecrow” and you’ll understand.
John Cassavetes and Roman Polanski are my other favorites right now. Sometimes I watch a movie and I can think it’s the most brilliant thing in the world, but it won’t make me jealous or anything, but if I watch a movie and it feels like something I would’ve made had it not already existed, then I’ll be green with envy, and that’s how I feel about “Repulsion.”
I’ve been on a huge Hayley Mills kick this past month. I love love love “Endless Night” and “Twisted Nerve.” Her and Hywell Bennet are maybe my favorite on-screen duo of all time (or just right now – hard to tell). But anyway, she is just so cute and sweet, and is always dressed so well, it’s impossible not to be obsessed with her.
I also really, really love Jane Birkin, but not for the reasons most people say. I’ve seen almost all her films, most being extremely hard to find, but she doesn’t get enough credit as a serious actress. She is so charismatic and has genius comedic timing, and when playing intense roles, like in, “I Love You, I Don’t” she’s marvellous. You can tell she doesn’t care about how she looks, or making a fool of herself, she just truly wants to play a part and she does so without any hang-ups or insecurity. She’s also a wicked cool dancer.
While on the subject of actresses, another favorite of mine is Theresa Russell. “Straight Time”, “Track 29”, “Bad Timing” – she’s just absolutely brilliant. And Tuesday Weld is a forever favorite of mine. That little devil. I love her.
And for actors…Donald Sutherland (primarily because of “Don’t Look Now”), Dennis Hopper, for obvious reasons, and right now, maybe Matt Dillon. I had no idea he was so talented, but you watch “Drugstore Cowboy” and the subtly of the way his jaw moves when he’s high. Damn. Great Acting. And of course, The Carradines, all of them, all the time. And Hywell Bennet. The Face of 1967. Brilliant in “Twisted Nerve.” So creepy.
As for musicians, I mostly just listen to Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen or 70’s New York punk. Lyrics are the most moving thing to me in a song, probably because I’m a writer, so I listen to a lot of songwriters. Harry Nilson, Lee Hazelwood, Townes Van Zandt, but no one moves me like Leonard.
(Honorable mentions: Joseph Beuys, Edo Bertoglio, Rene Ricard, Richard Brautigan, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Clint Eastwood, Sam Peckinpah, Audrey Hepburn, Linda Manz, Gena Rowlands, Warren Oates, Lee Marvin, Richard Hell, Gene Clark.)
If people wanted to check out your stuff, work with you or buy some of your wares – Where should they visit and how should they get in touch?
Partridge Family Temple Questions
We know you are a card-carrying member of the Partridge Family Temple / PFT! and are also working on a documentary about the religion…
So, we wanted know:
For those reading at home who may be unaware – Please explain the who, what, and why of the PFT?
The Partridge Family Temple would be considered a cult to some, but really what it is, is a religious organization that worships The Partridge Family, though to me it seems like less of a religion and more of a state of mind.
How and why did you come to discover and join the PFT?
Always being a fan of the television show, I was delighted to know a religion based on believing in fun existed.
Who are some members of the PFT that have most impacted your personal life?
Please tell us who they were, how they impacted you, and what they are currently getting up to (if known).
I first met Boyd when my sister filmed a music video with him for Collapsing Scenery as a satirical response to Revolt Against Penis Envy, and we all became good friends.
Shaun and I have discussed the documentary at length, which Covid put on hold the last couple years, but hopefully we will be able to finish principal photography sometime in 2023.
What news and updates can you share about the documentary with our readers?
Nothing to share at the moment, but you won’t want to miss it!
Odds & Ends
If you could live in any place, during any historical era – Where and when would that be?
…and why would you choose that time and place?
The Swinging 60s in London because David Hemmings is god.
What does “God” mean to you?
Does sex change everything?
No, but love does.
What are the top 3 items you own?
… and what is it about each of them that you so love?
My dog Townes, for being the best friend a girl could have.
I’m like to admire my rare books – my first edition Rene Ricards, Submission by Jimmy DeSana, my Cuz zines.
And anything my husband made for me I hold very near and dear to my heart.
In a fight between the following 1960s icons: Charles Manson Vs The Flintstones – Who would win?
…and why would they be victorious?
Please describe your last dream in detail…
I can’t remember at the moment, though they are usually very vivid and disturbing.
Of everything you have done so far, what would you most like to be remembered for?
Rhododendron, Rhododendron – available now!
- Parker Love Bowling – Instagram
- Parker Love Bowling – Link to Buy Rhododendron, Rhododendron via Far West Press
- Parker Love Bowling – IMDB entry
- Parker Love Bowling – Interview via Felten Ink
All images supplied by Parker Love Bowling.