Month: June 2017 (page 1 of 6)

We Meet Again

Cancer 9°

Quesiton No. 20: Can you have fun being more itinerant, moving around the Cape and Boston and all New England, really, connecting the dots. Don’t you miss taking and posting pictures, being out and about. Try to search your feelings and ideas on this. Having gotten through all the other questions and feeling rather caught up on your ideology. Do you think you can create words and pictures now as you move forward and realize you are never truly behind but right on time and if you end up getting to the next project which requires the raising of money don’t you trust that you’ll put out an all-points bulletin to get the help, financial and otherwise, you need to not sink below your necessary fundraising goals?

First of all , I have to pause to say that, although my blogging hasn’t been perfect and it certainly hasn’t been all about the Cosmic Joke (French: Blague), except that it has, I have managed, after more than “thirty days in the hole”

to be writing the actual Blague entry that should correspond to this day, that is to say, I have caught up to myself, bitches, and when I say bitches I mean lovely people. And perhaps some defeated demons in my head. Other than those I don’t want to deal in detractors but roam among the optimistic and just keep doing what I’m doing and letting enough be enough.

If you did read through this whole Twenty Questions thing I just did (there are actually Thirty, but I don’t feel like revisiting those now and, besides, I said I caught up to myself. Were you not listening? That, in itself, is a good feeling. But I’ll tell you another thing, whitey: You won’t see me skipping a Blague again, not for the life of me. I mean, not where I can’t easily catch up (as he already opens the doorway to dysfunction?), but rather comitting to the original idea of this mother: and that is to do some combination of being funny, day to day, and pointing out some cosmic joke or other, but those are few and far between, while, by the same token, truly funny things are by nature cosmic, so…yeah, I’m brilliant; whatever. Nobody is reading this (other than us).

That exercise as an “action item” (I remember there are action items mentioned in the questionnaire 21-30 which I haven’t, as I said, cared to revisit quite yet), this exercise, I mean of asking yourself twenty questions surrounding something that might seem insurmountable, whether a creative process or a project with myriad moving parts. To ask yourself twenty questions about it, you’re already feeding yourself the answers. Confidence very well might just be confiding in oneself. Which brings me to a new topic: In having this literal conversation here, as both interviewer and interviewee, I’ve been having these fun, joke conversations with myself in type on a screen that is supposed to look like paper, which it does. And…and, and, I’ve been enjoying this reparteé with moi-même and, I don’t know how else to express it: it’s provided excitement in the form of an electric, neural and also, surely, emotional surges and senses of vitality and, dare I say, a sort of self-love at first sight because, up until this moment, I have never been to me.

Oh, my gosh: I was just about to publish this when I realized I never answered the question LOL; so I came back to write something but now I’m realizing maybe I needn’t.

Looming Largies

Cancer 8°

Question No. 19: Why do you like papier maché and did you recently have a dream about it where you were making giant papier maché figures, dressing them in real antique courtly constume?

Was a running out of questions when I wrote this or did it seem important to pose this question, I wonder. Anyway, yes I love papier maché very much. Not that I have much experience with it. It’s just that, when objects, big or small, need to be made as a set piece or for, other, well, i don’t know if I’ve ever done pm but for making set pieces, it’s something I seem to be able to do quite easily. Need a top hat? I can make you one out of pm that, at least from a distance, looks just like a top hat, especially if I tie a ribbon around it. I can make masks out of the stuff or wee objets and the like.

Oh right, yes, I had a dream the other night (maybe a week ago) that I was making all these giant figures out of papier maché and then dressing them in sort of Tudor gowns. That’s what you get for binge-watching that entire series, which was on Showtime, ten years after it began. But for the one-note-notiness of Jonathan Rys Meyers, who is often, himself very good, the show really is brilliant, particularly when it comes to the direction and photography. The show looks beautiful and is shot from very interesting angles and with just the right effect. I remember seeing Natalie Dormer’s demise as Ann Boleyn many moons ago and it lost none of its effectiveness in the revision. In a way it really was the pioneer of many series which have come after, some kind of cartoony English fodder—Merlin, Mary Queen of Scotts, on and on—but also I can see Game of Thrones in the Tudors. My guess is many people moved from that older show to the newer one. Many of the actors, besides Natalie Dormer surely did. In both, she is a queen trying to keep her tenuous hold on her power while having a gay brother whose going to be persecuted for being so.

Anyway the figures I was making out of papier maché and then dressing in silk and damask were absolutely giant sized. Like enornous totem puppets. Ornate, beautiful but a bit scary. They weren’t animated but they were, on some level, alive, like a wall of silent guardians or archetypal totem poles were to be consulted and considered in the making of ones decisions or the taking of actions. They formed this sort of Greek chorus and maybe they weren’t totally fixed, perhaps they swayed or swiveled a bit, their finery also blowing and swaying in some artificial breeze. As I write this I think of the first ever production of Rites of Spring. The effect of this theatrical moment in my dream, whether or not these figures were created (by me?) in papier maché

 

Hahvahd

Cancer 7°

Question No. 17: How does what you do non-profit marry to what you do for-profit. Are they both cosmic on some level. Is it about upliftment on some level?

Well it is all about lifting spirits which I do through my metaphysical work with clients in private sessions or in writing what I hope are empowering books for people. I see theater and performance as doing the same thing—our spirits are lifted through the experience of live theater which is about creating an alternate reality—which is what therapy or any kind of counseling does, it opens the subject to a new way to experience.

A few years ago I was thinking about going back to school to get my masters in a combined degree of theater and spirituality, the stage as a sacred place, religion and theater being once one and the same. Something along those lines. I might get back into that notion in the coming years and try and put something together for myself. Theatre schools are expensive—I recently had the thought to pursue this by way of some divinity school or another. We shall see. I do feel it is a direction I will one day go. I really like teaching acting especially. So who knows: could be fun just to get that degree. There was an actor teacher who was pretty famous who had my same real name. I actually had to ask his permission to use my full name to get my Actors Equity Card. Once upon a time I had a temp job and ther person hiring me heard that someone with my name was coming in to be her temp—she was in a state of fear that it was her college acting teacher.

And then there is the following question…

Question No. 18: Have you given any more thought to going back to school. What about Harvard? Have you thought about getting that ball rolling toward getting some kind of MA?

I have thought about Harvard extension but recently I met someone who went to Harvard who was sort of making fun (in a nice way) of a friend who was in the extension classes at Harvard who was telling people he went to Harvard. I didn’t know that was super cheesey. I was planning on doing the same thing if I got my MA through Harvard extension. But I guess, to those who “really” go to Harvard, this is seen as a bit oh-no-you better-didn’t.

Pulling Heart Strings?

Cancer 6°

Question No 15: Is there a very personal way that you can reach out to Boston people, or people anywhere really, to tell them what you’re doing, generally, even if they don’t live here, and ask them to help fund what you’re doing. Someone like a childhood friend you grew up with. Everybody really. Maybe it makes sense to create a FB page with very clear instructions and invite everyone on your FB list one at a time? Maybe ad a donate button? Dunno.

Yes this is the main thread which has been working through this questionnaire format and also through the theme of this particular day. I’ve been making a lot of notes on the subject. The trick is to be succinct and get the point over. I do believe I need to make myself a document with a bunch of different blurbs on it which I can cut and paste at will and fling at people doing what they do. I don’t want not to give someone the opportunity to help me and it’s possible that everyone on my list is potentially someone who could help in some ways if only to tell their friends, in Boston or Cambridge, for instance, what it is we are actually doing. I want to refer to this as the great comb through.

But I wonder why you underlined this childhood friend bit that does seem curious. Do you feel that people from your youth owe you or something. Or do you…I…think that, no, I just think they’d like to be a part of what I’m doing non-profit. For the cause. The cause. What is the cause?: The cause is to save theater and live performances in places where it is something of a legacy but is in danger of being lost to commercial ventures in the “entertainment” industry and overall gentrification. Otherwise the entire genre dies. Yes I know works get developed and moved to Broadway from ART and what not but its not as grass rootsy as what we do. I love what the REDCAT in L.A. does; and of course we produce and perform at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York and San Francisco and New Orleans and Austin and Portland and Seatlle and Philadelphia and Chicago and other American cities, not to mention all the European and UK capitals, readily provide a home to what might be considered “alternative” live performance artists.

I’m looking ahead to the next question and I see that I’ve answered part of it and, yes, I should add names and addresses to my mailing list. Duh.

Question No 16: Do you think it makes sense to have one document with condensed bits of speech at the ready to cut and past for any occasion? Should you feed addresses into your mailing list?

Going On About

Cancer 5°

Question No. 14: Does it make sense to frontload any one performer in the Glow Festival, who might have a better chance of filling houses. Should you also put this out to Provincetown people and tell them to please ask you for some complimentary ferry tickets? Should you see if any of the Cambridge hotels—like say the Sheraton Commander—might give you a discount on rooms you can pass along to people.

I think what I need to do is tap into the Boston/Provincetown crowd which, frankly, I don’t know all that well. I sometimes imagine I’m going to go through my four thousand plus friends on Facebook and actually know who lives where and does what and to make some kind of picture of my virtual friendship landscape. Certainly get a handle on people’s geography but also their walks of life. I would love to know who is in publishing or who is in fashion or who is in marketing or what kind of crossover is going on between friends and so forth. It all remains such a mystery to me, but sometimes when clicking through I get these flashes that each of these virtual relationships, as many as they are, can take on more meaning despite the fact that the trend is going to go away from Facebook and this level of knowingness with which we’ve become comfortable. I quite agree, but what if one were to nurture even the relationships we’ve never really had—to turn our social media friendships into some version of real ones—they can never be truly real—but they needn’t be as casual as all that.

 

It’s getting to the point with me where I’m feeling a wave of increased abundance happening like a ground swell underneath the whole of my experience. I also know from experience that this can be an illusion or a trigger. All too often I don’t adhere to a healthy lifestyle at times when nobody is looking. It hasn’t mattered in the past that I was looking at those times. And as these pockets of alone time have become more frequent I don’t feel that same need to indulge while all eyes are off me. I don’t need to consume everything in my scopes. I don’t need to binge watch whole seasons of shows that originally aired a decade ago. I can do things I typically do in tandem when I’m alone. (This is a big step for me.) It’s as if I feel guilty or something for enjoying an experience unless I share it with those I love. And, given the fact that “those I love” is narrowed down, to any given day, to one person, my life on the whole has the qualities of isolution, often, even though it is peopled with a great number of those I know but a little.

 

I would like to create some kind of network but its not as if my career allows for many colleagues. I’m only one of two people who do what I do, and the other person is in the same house as me. And we don’t do just one thing. We each do a dozen things, and even where there is overlap, both of us working under the one aegis, we work separately, in different rooms, on different floors of a house and meet up for meals and coffee and walks and welcome interuptions.

Banalities

Cancer 4°

Question No. 12: Do you have a full handle on what artists need, technically. Does it make sense to sort through emails and make sure you have a full handle on that. Did you pair any other info gathering needed, like, say, travel, so that you can hit two birds with one stone?

Wow, you’re psychic, I did pair the seemingly disparate topics of travel and tech needs into one category because they are both pretty small straight forward things and relatively cut and dry and very boring and as I need to book travel sooner than later it also reminds me to gather technical information and vice versa. Again now I can really start dialoguing with my performers and with my sponsors. By and large this was a lame question. But I’m going to take it as a grace and move onto the next one.

I was just about to start a new entry when I realized the next question was also pretty boring:

 

Question No. 13: Do you have an updated Hotel schedule or have you let the artists know you are confirming their hotels. Does it make sense to reach out to other hotels or other such people with places they might donate to the directorship of the cause?

 As I go through the travel and tech notes, I will also be able to confirm hotel stays and so forth. And to give the hotel an update on our stay. I don’t know yet where the directors are staying and I would like to make arrangements for them to have a gorgeous place. I will make this part of the realtor bit! Putting it out to them but also to the nicer hotels to say we need space for two of the directors of the festival.

 

Should We Press Pause?

Cancer 3°

Question No. 11: Before me move on: Do you think it makes sense to pencil some of these topics (that might require a greater deal of work) into days on your calendar. Do you have some sort of count-down going. Have you divided the weeks more sweeping themes or have you assigned certain days for certain topics. Is there a day, every couple of days, dedicated solely to fundraising?

Oh girl, you should see my office. Wait, you can. But yes, I do need to go back through these questionnaires and to begin deciding which questions you’re asking are actually whole projects within themselves. Some projects can be mostly executed in a matter of days. Whereas some others need to be begun, and then sustained, which means I’m not scheduling into my daily planner vertically, only, I’m also working horizonatally on a number of things over the next month, a bit a day so I have to institute “units of time” to borrow a phrase from that movie About a Boy.

I do indeed need to devote some days purely to fundraising but, again, through different means; and I’m thinking of new ways all the time. Everything feeds into everything else which is why I’ve found it helpful to institute this questionnaire project because it is helping me flesh out all these categories screaming for attention while I might, hopefully, be able to separate all these questions out into their own chapters of a sort of how-to (run two festivals, a performance series, and otherwise produce (and develop) works for the stage.

Anyway thank you for the reminder. I’m going to try and power through a few more questions before I start the project you describe—the putting together of all projects! Funny that. So glad we can share this time together.

Collateral Homage

Cancer 2°

Question No. 10: Do you have all the right print and electronic collateral that you need? Do you need to review with the venues what printed materials might still be effective and what exactly is needed when.

I do need to review the contract with the Provincetown venue to make sure what it is needed (and to go over all the logistics and finances again in any case). I have our names poster, which I sent in 11×17 form to the local printer as a test to be up this week. And I have a digital version which I’ve disseminated as well as what would be a giant Names Poster—I will see if the venue needs that. Then I will make ten individual posters for the Provincetown artists—again double checking with the venue. And then I think I will make five of each of the ten individual posters—that is to say 50 total which should keep catching the eye. And of course postcards everywhere. What if you mailed them to people’s PO boxes? Up and down the Cape they could go.

I do think some of these sent electronically via our Mad Mimi which I really need to ramp up would provide much more in the way of reach. It’s all about being on the street, talking to people, finding a way to say, hey, remember if you become a Sparkler you write off your donation, you receive 50% discount on tickets to festival shows, and you’re invited to celebrate with us at our festival parties and events. I have to have Missionary Sponsorship packets in my bag at all time. And cards and so forth. I should get into some stationery to send handwritten notes to sponsors

 

Concierge Service

Cancer 1°

Question No. 9. What are your thoughts on generating “concierge” information  for both festival’s websites. Do you need to make any changes to the website, hire any designers, so forth.

The concierge sections on the website are very important. And I need to make time each day for beefing them up. This is a big priority on my to-do list. I really want to make the descriptions of the various places—restaurants, hotels, shops et al—somewhat poetic.

I wrote something here recently about why I like poetry, its for the brevity, not the beauty, which was hyperbole, but still. I don’t always love writing and I need to change up the way I do write in order to keep from going bonkers. And I write soooooo many things in a given week; so I thought it would be fun to do some haiku version of the place descriptions. And beyond that to really do it for me and for truth. Because I really am only writing about the places I love and know and so I’ll have a lot to say. It’s also a great way to link to them on social media and send them little love notes on Twitter, FB, Instagram etc.

Another aspect of this at some point might be to activate our own concierge service and share deals with audience and so forth.

The Big Diff

Gemini 30°

Question No. 8: What is the mission of the Afterglow Festival and how does it differ from that of the Glow Festival and even the Glowberon series for that matter.

A very good question. The Afterglow Festival mission is threefold: first and foremost to save and preserve Provincetown’s birthright as the birthplace of the modern American stage, which it is, dating back to Eugene O’Neill (the only playwright ever to receive a Nobel prize) and Susan Glaspell and the Provincetown players.; secondly, provide a home for professional, progressive, non-commercial performing artists creating in myriad forms, honoring Provincetown’s birth right as an incubator for new, emerging and experimenting stage artists, as it has been for a hundred years. And thirdly, to connect Provincetown to other cultural centers where innovative stage artists and performers thrive and to award Provincetown a gold star on the international festival map.

While Provincetown’s Afterglow Festival presents works, post labor day, each September, and has the capacity to help develop artists’s works, off-season, the new Glow Festival for Cambridge will occur in the full glare of summer. It’s mission being: To provide Boston-Cambridge with an exciting, innovative live performance festival that speaks, particularly, to the city’s own Cantabrigian performance, comedy, improv, musical and otherwise thespian, bohemian roots. To make Boston-Cambridge once again synonymous with cutting-edge theater and performance, galvanizing the existing diaspara of the city’s disparate solo performers and companies, while attracing top international names in alternate live performance. And yes, to also provide Cambridge a brightly burning star on the international festival map where, given its theatrical history not to mention its mere size, it might one day rival other famous “fringes” the world over, with its scope and spirit.

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