Thursday, June 28, 2012

30 Days to Edinburgh...Kathy Doby is a Completist!

party favors

 All photos by Martin Kyle of Pernmoot Photography

On June 23, 2012, there was a Dirty Barbie benefit at Live Arts here in Charlottesville, Virginia.  We sold $100 tickets for a cocktail party, the show, dessert, new never-seen before-material, an open bar and dancing.  All proceeds would go to helping me take my show and my team to the Edinburgh Fringe Fest.  It sold out...here are my tips to how to have a successful benefit.  I don't have tips on how to do it and not go crazy.  Good events are "full immersion" (as Ray says) things.  The dunking may make you crazy. 

1.  Find a completist.  Not a perfectionist.  A completist.  
 This is Kathy Doby.  This is a Barbie cake.  You bake a cake and then you stick a Barbie in it, and then you decorate it with pearls.  You make her a bodice out of icing.  I mean, you do if you're Kathy Doby, who is one of the best completists I've ever met.  Forget perfectionists.  Find a completist and your life will get better instantly.  Yes, she'll complete you.  Completists make things perfect in a sneaky way.  They make you happy.  They make your people happy.  They think it all the way through and then they deliver.  BOOM.  TOTALLY.  In March, she asked me if she could help me with anything, and I immediately said, "Yes, please help me with the benefit on June 23."  We didn't really talk about it much more until three weeks before the benefit.  She decided that the party favors would be handpainted wine glasses.  She organized a group of ladies to come to her house and paint 70 wine goblets.  She said it was a great time.  She thought that there should be Barbie cakes.  When I told her we should go "eclectic Southern cocktail party" -- she was on it.  She found a Barbie car with a sunroof and put a dish of nuts in the top.  She strung up Barbie clothes.  She sprinkled Barbie shoes about.  She brought vases and red velvet cupcakes. 

2.  Set a price tag that makes your head explode a little each time you hear it then plan an event that's better than the price tag.

3.  Get over the fact that your one-woman show has never been a one-woman show.  
The amount of help I've had is staggering sometimes.  Sometimes I think what have I dragged all these innocent people into and then sometimes I think I'm so glad I'm not working at a bank and sometimes I'm so glad that the process now involves more people because I used to get so lonely in the basement rehearsing.  The truth is...it's always been populated...with the past, with the people who always ask me "What are you writing?" with the people who come to the show, with the people who are donating their money to send me.  
Ray and Stephanie and Mary help me!

4.  When someone asks, "Oh!  Who's the benefit for?" Say, "Me."  
More than once someone would hear about the benefit (usually because I was talking about it) and they would say, "Oh!  Who's the benefit for?"  What could I tell 'em?  Not for lost kitties.  Not for wounded soldiers.  For me.  To take my bahounkas (that is not Scottish for Barbies) over to Scotland and trot my stories upon those famous stages.  Your $100 goes to me. 

5.  Get Kathy Doby a wingwoman and ask your friends for one more thing.
Stephanie Ryan signed on as Kathy's partner.  That woman can lay out a cheese plate that will make your head spin.  Someone complimented one of the producers on the food.  They said it was all so good and that it seemed homemade.  Baby, it was.  I bought the booze and I bought a ton of kebobs (thanks, Sticks, for the big discount!), but for the rest of it...I asked my friends to make a dish and bring a bottle of wine or a six pack of good beer and drop it off between 4:30 and 6:30.  Sian at Market Street Wine Shop helped me figure out the pours.  Christina made bruschetta and brought beer.  Carla made delicate veggie wraps with peanut sauce.  Jen made shortbread...oh the shortbread...it went on and on like that.  I have wonderful friends.

6.  Promise shrimp kebobs and champagne and shortbread with lavender essence.  


6.  Promise more than you think you can deliver.
unusually thoughtful before a show
I'm usually just dancing to Lady Gaga on Pandora before the show, but for the benefit I had promised new material, and this would be the first time I had covered this ground.  Some heavier shit.  I came up with a formal answer to the most frequently asked questions from the talkbacks.  It was "intense" I heard.  Hold it down and wear it out and flip it to the backside and pop it in your pocket and make like a bandit and then slip into something that sometimes fits and call it good, right?   

7.  Listen to the optimists on your team.  They believe it will sell out even when you've only sold 13 tickets
Because it's so much harder to rally on your own, meet regularly with your team.  Over a bowl of tomato soup, we (Will, Ray, Elizabeth, d) rallied.  We rallied.  It sold.  Huge part of my budget and we did it.  Honestly, I didn't believe it would, but they did. 
 
8.  Don't stop to do laundry.  Buy more panties at Kmart. 

9.  Find a way to get on the radio.  
Many thanks to Brad Savage for having me on his morning show on opening night! After this aired, the last third of the benefit tickets sold!  Thanks, Brad and the 106.1 listeners.  

10.  When Kathy Doby tells you it's okay to go downstairs and do "your thing", go downstairs and do your thing.  
She's a completist.  She's got it. Get out of her hair.  Go do your little thing.  That thing you do.  Go play with your makeup. 
working on the extra material

with Mary Coy in her Dirty Barbie t-shirt
talkback after the show..why is my hair so frizzy?
    
11.  Dance.  Always.  Before bed or instead or like your life is a damn good country song. 
dj and dancing stylings of Mendy St. Ours (another completist)
So many thanks to Ray Nedzel, Darryl Smith, Will Kerner, Mary Coy, Peter Coy, Lance Stewart, Martin Kyle, Christine Gresser, Jenny Walsh, Cathy O'Hara, Katy Hood, Doreen Feldman, Bill and Joan Rough, Susan Jacobson, John Conover, Ava Baum, Becky Bassett, Sarah Denham, Christina Downey, Mandy Strider, Mendy St. Ours, Matt Joslyn, and all others who helped to make the benefit such a great night.  

Interested in donating to the Dirty Barbie Goes to Edinburgh Campaign?  Click here.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Five More Shows - Let's look at Traverse

Guest Post by Ray Nedzel
Well, we just wrapped the Charlottesville shows - and each one was Sold Out.
Dee Dee and I and a friend spent Sunday morning cleaning out the theatre, reception room, and rooftop patio at Live Art where last night we hosted a very special night -- made even lovelier by Kathy Doby and all her wonderful catering vision.   If you missed it, you missed it.  


Any way....


The next chance to see Dirty Barbie before Scotland is in NYC at the 59E59 East to Edinburgh festival.


This is part of a festival that only features show that are confirmed to go to Edinburgh.

DIRTY BARBIE AND OTHER GIRLHOOD TALES



$15 (59E59 MEMBERS $10.50)
July 10, 11, 12, 14 at 9

Now, let's take a look a what The Traverse Theatre has on in August in Edinburgh.  Why focus on one theatre.  Well, the Traverse Theatre, a permanent Edinburgh theatre, has proven over the years to be the best collection of Theatre.  See, there are many categories of performance at the Fringe: Theatre, Comedy, Physical Theatre, Musical, Solo, Verbatim, etc.  And for really good theatre, a great place to start is The Traverse Theatre:

BLINK

This is the tale of Jonah, Sophie, and a fox called Scruffilitis. It’s a love story. A dysfunctional, voyeuristic and darkly funny love story, but a love story all the same. A new play by Bruntwood Playwriting Prize winner Phil Porter, Blink is an exciting collaboration between Soho Theatre - London’s most vibrant venue for new writing, comedy and cabaret – and internationally acclaimed, Fringe First winners Nabokov.






As of 1.52pm GMT on Friday April 27th 2012, This Show Has No Title.

Another Show by Daniel Kitson?  I know, you know, but he's just a lovely story teller/performer/comedian, so maybe I have a little crush, but I bet the show will be worth putting on your list.

BULLET CATCH

A stunt so dangerous Houdini refused to attempt it, the Bullet Catch has claimed the lives of at least 12 illusionists, assistants and spectators since its conception in 1613. Now, with a little help from his audience, modern-day marvel William Wonder presents a unique theatrical magic show featuring storytelling, mind reading, levitation, games of chance and, if you're brave enough to stay for it, the most notorious finale in show business. ‘Profound ... hugely entertaining.’ **** (Herald). **** (Scotsman).

MORNING

One of the great things about the Fringe is the overwhelming abundance of World Premieres.

Here's one from Lyric in London:
The end of summer. Two friends about to go their separate ways. But they will always share that one moment. A moment changed them forever.

The world premier of a dark new coming of age play by acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens (Pornography, Sea Wall, Punk Rock); Lyric Hammersmith Artistic Director Sean Holmes (the Olivier award winning Blasted, Saved, Ghost Stories) and performed by the Lyric Young Company.

ALL THAT IS WRONG

Good title, nice image and the description of this show from Belgium contains a reference to "Barbies."

In Once And For All, she burned Barbie dolls and analysed what others were thinking. In Teenage Riot she gave tips to become like a bag of bones and looked at adults as caged animals. Koba Ryckewaert is now eighteen and she knows all sorts of things are wrong in the world. She just needs to get a grip on them. She’s better at writing than at talking, so she draws. On the floor. Starting with herself. No lover, so: Lonely. Loneliness brings boredom. Being bored can be solved with money, e.g. for a better computer. But the money's not there: mother unemployed, due to: economic crisis. And what could she do to resolve it? Neither everything, nor nothing. In All That Is Wrong, Koba faces things alone. But she makes choices. Only to stick to them.

Wellllll..... there's 5 more to see at the Festival.   But the best thing to do is go to the site, go grab a Fringe Guide, page through and take a chance on something that to you looks good.

Getting ready, getting excited,

Ray

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

3 More Things Dirty Barbie Taught Me About Life, Love and the Universe


Guest Post by Elizabeth Derby
Well, DeeDee-holics, this is it. The night before the night you’ve all been waiting for.

In less than 24 hours, Dirty Barbie will make her triumphant return to the Live Arts stage in Charlottesville, VA. She’ll perform her one-hour piece of history for a sold-out audience, then do it again on Thursday—and again on Friday.

At this point, the only tickets remaining are the hottest in town: those to Saturday night’s Fancy Pants Benefit AKA Lavender Shortbread & Brand-New Material Fest AKA Champagne & Southern Cocktail Party AKA Dirty Barbie’s last night in C’ville for quite some time. Check out The Daily Progress’s excellent article about it here.

Personally, I plan to stake a claim in the very front row of opening night. I know I’ll laugh and probably cry and leave the theater waving my fist about Art and Honesty and The Importance of Self-Expression. No doubt I’ll feel the same stab of writer’s guilt I felt when I saw the show back in November—that gnawing sense that the world is full of clever, soulful women determined to tell their stories, and if I want to build my very best life I’d better stand up and join them.

On that note, I’ll forgo my creative writing assignment for one more night. I’d rather share five more things I learned from the last two weeks of my life—AKA my tenure as publicist for Dirty Barbie—and why this experience might just be one for the history books.

Lesson 4 (1-3 here). When in doubt, overdress—or underdress strategically.

The easiest method for giving away flyers (other than stand directly in the flow of foot traffic and thrust paper at every passerby)? Wear a skirt short enough to attract attention, then speak as soon as you catch someone’s eye. This probably goes double for dudes.

Lesson 5: Choose your names wisely.

You probably didn’t choose your own name, but you’ll have other opportunities to make this choice. You might have kids or pets or Pet Rocks, I don’t know, or you might create businesses or baby works of art. Thanks to Dirty Barbie’s kick-ass name, I stuck the message in spite of myself. Like the time I piped up in Spin Class: “there’s a [pant] seriously awesome [pant pant] show that you, like, [pant pant pant] have to check out” [collapse over the handlebars]. Fortunately, I recovered my breath enough to say the words “Dirty Barbie,” and a series of appreciative smiles and head nods spread like sweat waves across the room.

Lesson 6: Community is power.

Hive, tribe, group, team: social media marketers use so many synonyms that the word community sounds almost silly. But Dirty Barbie reaffirmed my respect for that oft-referenced notion of networking. Sometimes people do appear offline, in real, non-digital displays of artistic support or neighborly affection. From heartfelt cheers during Art Drinks shout-outs to promo stunt buy-in from local strangers, this show’s promotion felt organic and easy—comfortable as a woven sweater. 

When I moved to Charlottesville nine months ago, I never imagined any of this. If you had told me I'd stand on the mall wearing a small orange dress--well, I'd believe you up to that point. If you'd continued to forecast that I'd be armed with pink flyers, cajoling Lady Arm Wrestling fans into nights at the theater, I'd have reminded you, gently, that I was a writer. In 2011 I believed that by now I'd have scripted my way into an ivory tower, not labored over blog posts extolling small-town connections and my unscripted place within them. Believe me when I say, for the first and possibly last time ever, I am so happy I was wrong. 

Bonus Lesson as It Relates to Life, Love and the Universe: Whether you watch or write or live your story, be sure to enjoy the show!

And say hello if you go to Wednesday's performance. I'll be the girl with the glasses and inspiration-fueled mood swings.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Five More Shows to See, So Says Ray

Hiya again, Ray here.

One of the best things about this wonderful festival we are going to in August, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, AKA THE FRINGE, is that over 2000 shows play each and every day.  The shows are from all over the world.  Therefore it is a chance to take a chance on shows you've never seen before and likely will never have a chance to see anywhere else.  

Here's five I know nothing, or very little, about; have not seen before, but am willing to take a chance on this August.

First, as a regular beet, I'll tell you where you can next see:

DIRTY BARBIE AND OTHER GIRLHOOD TALES -- which is this week at Live Arts.

Dirty Barbie and other girlhood tales

Live Arts, Charlottesville Virginia
123 East Water Street
June 20-23: 8PM

And there are still tickets available for the super, fancy pants, benefit -- the way to see the show, have free drinks, have it catered, have a dance party and see for the first time, 20 minutes of new work by the creator/performer of Dirty Barbie, Dee Dee Stewart.

So, now five more to take a calculated risk on at THE FRINGE:

Hi-Kick

From Korea.  But tell me this, when is the next time you get to see a comedy dance troupe from Korea?   Never.  


So, I'd say this by the mere fact of wow, I'll never have another chance to see comedy dancers and football (soccer) on the same stage -- and have the troupe be from Korea -- that this is one thing worth the time and the pounds (dollars).  

And speaking of dance/physical theatre...

Africa Calling


I didn't get a a chance to take a chance on this troupe last year -- they sold out their shows before I could get a ticket. This show says, "The grassroots are back following the success of their sell-out show at the Fringe 2011. Traditional Zimbabwean dance, music, rhythm and song - the greetings reaffirming friendship and warmth of community. In Africa everyone is almost related to someone, and meeting family is a cause for celebration! Grassroots brings a vibrant fusion of irresistible movement and beautiful melodies, giving a life-enhancing experience of the culture and exuberance of Zimbabwe. Grassroots is a theatre-for-development company from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, specializing in using dance, drama and music for positive change, aiming to reduce poverty through education."

So while I'm dancing....

Cadillac

From Poland.  Which I have a soft spot for, having grandparents from the motherland, and having never seen a bad show at the Fringe that was from Poland.  I don't think this will be the first.  

Read about it: The performance is a lottery show, similar to the Wheel Of Fortune, where you can win the main prize. The rules are simple – everyone who buys a ticket and takes part in the lottery has a chance to win the Cadillac. Is this a fair game? Would you ask such questions when there is a priceless and attractive Cadillac within your grasp? Cadillac is a performance about the blind lust for wealth, love, power and other attributes associated with happiness. A work about the ‘money-grabbers’ who know how to generate this demand and use it to serve their own purposes.

Maybe next week I'll feature all shows from/about Poland. But for now let's stick with dance/physical theatre....

Hang Man

I saw these cats in 2007 on the recommendation of John Gibson, a Fringe/Theatre guru.  This may be my first choice for dance/physical theatre since I was blown away by their performance then.

The legendary Do-Theatre, one of the most influential experimental theatre companies to emerge from post-Communist Russia, returns with one of the must see Fringe First winners from 2007. Hangman is a game and the personage in one. A trinity of the damned - the blind, deaf and dumb - performs a dance macabre of crime and punishment where the roles of victim and executioner are constantly swapped. It's a fusion of theatrical and dance form, combines elements from the Theatre of the Absurd and contemporary dance. The naivety of clown farce is enriched by the charming use of Black Humour.

Well, one last recommendation today, and that leaves dance and goes to puppetry.

Sammy J and Randy -- The Inheritance.

These two have become over the years, Fringe perennial favorites.   Funny irreverent multi media ventriloquism.  

Now, a brand new adventure from everyone's favourite multi award-winning, toe-tapping, song-singing, Hep-C-riddled duo! When Randy discovers he is heir to an enormous fortune, he seeks to reclaim his rightful throne. Will Sammy J stand in his way? Probably. Winners of Best Show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Creators of the 2011 Fringe hit Ricketts Lane. 'The best skinny-man purple puppet double act in the world right now' (FringeReview.co.uk). 'Sammy J and Heath McIvor are fiendishly talented writers and performers' (Scotsman)

Well, that's 5.  A few chances.  A few promises.  Check them out.  Of course after scheduling your trip to see Dirty Barbie at Assembly Hall.

More choice choices next week.

Ray




Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tina and Tammy Go to SuperCLAW

The TipTop Twins at SuperCLAW

SuperCLAW was last night.  NPR was there.  BETTY was there.  We are Star Children was there.  The first national tournament for ladies arm-wrestling (with wrestlers from Charlottesville, New Orleans, Austin, Chicago, Upstate New York, Brooklyn, Durham and DC)  was at the Jefferson Theater here in Charlottesville.  I'm a part of a comic-duo, The TipTop Twins.  I'm Tammy.  She's Tina.  Last night we were bringing back the fanny pack.   

 creating our trademark...atmosphere

Stilleto Southpaw spreads the word

It was an incredible show.  Amy Smackhouse and Heather Weizen tied for the national title.
The Twins got home very late. 
Check out this article in BUST magazine to learn more about CLAW and SuperCLAW.

All photos by Marty Moore.  







Friday, June 15, 2012

Scotch on Ice Optional; Hot Pink Martinis a Must!

Hey DeeDee lovers! Elizabeth (her publicist) here again. For those of you about to buy tickets for next week's performance of Dirty Barbie, we've teamed up with Zocalo, C'ville's favorite martini bar, for a Dirty Thursday perk. Here's the scoop:

You’ve heard of the Dirty Martini. You’ve also heard of Dirty BarbieGet ready for your next wild ride:


The Dirty Barbie Martini!
Grab your pink high heels and your best girlfriends—Thursday, June 21st is Dirty Barbie Martini Night!

Stop by Zocalo before or after the show. They’ll be whipping up something extra-special: a hot pink cocktail that’s sweet and playful—with a twist.

For one night only, raise your glass and offer a toast—to the friends you adore, to the life you love, and to all the ladies who know what it takes to put the “fun” in dysfunctional.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

46 Days to Edinburgh: A Day in the Life

Today I tried my hand at video blogging by trying to document a day in my life.  It was a little weird.  I don't think I captured any of the dramatic parts.  I think that's what a video crew is supposed to catch.  I was taping in the in-between moments.   I started at the gym this morning.


 I have a gym buddy, Cathy.  She was reluctant because we got KILLED last week at the gym and if she'd had her earphones, I think I would've lost her to a machine.



We stuck it out.  After plank jacks and other tortures...a little reflection on why we/I exercise.



I share a cottage with 2 other writers and an entrepreneur, who is also a writer.  It's an ideal work setting, and I try to get here as early as I can because I seem to be more productive when I start early. 




I forgot to record any video at WriterHouse, but there were a couple pictures.  I did a talk on how I when from blog posts to play, and there was a great turn-out of writers (many who have blogs).

I guess I crack myself up.


After speaking it was a big dive into a turkey cleo salad from Bodo's and then back to the office for client appointments.  Then it was time to talk about party favors, cheese straws, bacon-wrapped dates and other details for the upcoming benefit.




No make-up at the beginning of the day and almost all the make-up worn off by the end of the day. I know I can't fool ya anyway. 




And here I am, finishing the post, and wondering what to think of the day in my life that I tried to record.  I mean, it was a good day...there were lots of laughs and lots of things to worry about -- and a pretty good sampling of what my life is like most of the time, or at least what the moments in-between my life are like.

To donate to my "Dirty Barbie Wish List", please click here.
To learn more about upcoming shows, please click here.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3 Things I Learned While Shouting “It’s Awesome and Dirty but Not Like You Think!”

Just me and the tweens.  Per usual.

Guest Post by Elizabeth Derby

Greetings, DeeDee-holics! Elizabeth Derby here. As the Charlottesville publicist for DeeDee’s fabulous show Dirty Barbie, I'd like to reflect on some things I’ve learned from our recent PR efforts.

That's right, children: LESSON TIME! Gather ‘round my rocker, and I’ll spin you a yarn…

Lesson 1: Title isn’t everything.

I’m a blogger and communications consultant, a marketer by trade. I never pegged myself as a publicist, but I jumped at the chance to promote DeeDee’s show. Actually, I think I literally jumped--we'd just left a spin class that reduced my body to a shaky nerve net. I was excited, so excited--I truly love this show--but my enthusiasm lasted as far as the parking lot. I began to panic when I considered my lack of formal publicist training. I never lived in LA! I didn’t own a teacup poodle! I can’t even wear uber-large sunglasses because of my terrible vision!

To calm myself, I did some research. According to Wikipedia, "PR is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public."

In other words, PR is MarCom. In different language. With some publicity stunts thrown in.

KA-CHING!

Lesson 2: Win-win promotions are not unicorns. They do, in fact, exist.

I love to schmooze, but I hate to coerce. Turns out PR hits the sweet spot for me. When I sent press releases to local papers and radio stations, several editors were able to use them. One even thanked me for a follow-up email.

I also feel good about our publicity stunts. In Where’s Dirty Barbie?, our blonde bombshell makes the rounds to local shops and restaurants. Every day at 10:30AM, Facebook and Twitter fans have the chance to win a ticket to the show if they can guess where she is. Through mysterious pictures and cryptic clues, local retailers get free press, and everybody wins.

Lesson 3: We’re a long way from the fragrance counter.

Have you ever sprinted through a department store just to avoid the fragrance counter? It’s a scary place: tubes of lipstick like golden bullets, freakishly flattering spotlights, commissions-based sales people armed with EDTs. I had that job once—just for a few weeks—and I spent my hours crouched behind gift sets, hoping my absence would trick guests into buying. 

When DeeDee and I decided to hand out promo postcards across the Downtown Mall, I knew I wouldn’t escape so easily. We planned our attack for Fridays After Five, C’ville’s summer tradition of free music and open-air dining. As Friday night approached, I changed into heels and a tiny skirt to bolster my self-confidence. Then we planted ourselves outside the stage and got to work.

Get this: it was great.

I won’t pretend I felt wholly confident or snagged every passerby who crossed me. I angled for couples and single women, and I sweat through my dress at least twice. But for the most part our pitch caught people’s attention, and I truly believe we converted new sales. After an hour and at least 80 strangers, D and I exchanged high fives, resplendent in “costumes” and new-found knowledge that real live people heard what we stood for—and liked it.

To donate to the "Dirty Barbie Wish List", please click here.
To find out more about upcoming shows, please click here.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Five Shows to See, So Says Ray

Guest Post by Ray Nedzel
Hi-ya!

This is Ray here, and I want to start telling you about some great shows to see (5 shows at a time – other than, of course the show you must see, Dirty Barbie) as we work our way through the summer toward August in Edinburgh.

Well, wait, not 5 shows: 6 shows, and a fundraiser.  Because before you do anything else, you need to buy a ticket to the First Ever Nation Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship:  SUPER CLAW.  It all started here in Charlottesville, Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell and a cast of crazy, talented, artistic, community leading women.

SuperClaw

Well, first, I know that not everyone can make it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the worlds largest theatre festival with over 22-Hundred shows to see each day. 

Selection can be tough; opportunity cost can be high.  So, why not catch Dirty Barbie as she prepares to go to Scotland.   Next lucky dates/times/places are:

Dirty Barbie and other girlhood tales

Live Arts, Charlottesville Virginia
123 East Water Street
June 20-23: 8PM


Well, while we’re on Live Arts, here’s other show number 1 to check out:

1. Jane Scatena and the Big Band, Strictly Taboo

What’s great about this show?  Well, Jane and the Band to name two.  Jane played Drowsy, in the Virginia premiere of The Drowsy Chaperon and was fantastic.   Her big band swings like mad cats.  AND, with your ticket you get a FREE Swing Dance Lesson from the best Swing Dance Teacher in Charlottesville, Kristin Wenger.  Just go to the link above for more info.

OK on to the Fringe.

2. Camille O’Sullivan: Channeling

I have seen Camille the past three years at the Fringe and she is fantastic.  Last year she was performing right beside us.  (Of course we were in one of the smallest theatres and she was in one of the biggest).  Camille brings a sultry vampy Kurt Weil meets Kurt Cobain energy to her show.  She’s a wonderful singer who turns it, and the audience, on.

3. Daniel Kitson: Where Once Was Wonder by Daniel-Kitson

Daniel Kitson is likely one of the best writer/story tellers of our generation.   I have seen his new show yet, but you know I will.  He’s a stand up comedian, yes.  He’s a man of passion, yes.  He’s got life’s big picture and life’s small nuance, yes.   In each of his previous shows I have laughed out load with the entire audience and left truly move by his words.

Speaking of Laughing, you want to laugh?

4. Jason Byrne: People’s Puppeteer

Jason Byrne is an Irish comedian who I have only seen live twice.  He packs the house – often very big houses – and somehow manages to make the audience feel at home, like it’s just a small show in your living room.  He’s funny, cause he talking to a new group each night.  Promise you laugh.

And why not stick with funny men who handle themselves on stage so professionally.

5. Jimmy Carr: Gagging Order 

Jimmy looks and acts like a complete gentleman, and he has also told the most offensive joke in history.  You’ll have to Google it to find out, unless they have removed it.  He’s funny, and if you’re from England you know, but if like me you’re from America, you likely haven’t heard of him.  Well, it’s a Google world, so find out for your self and go see Jimmy.

Well, there are shows to see.  5 more next Sunday.  And, even though I love comedy, and Denise’s show is very funny.  Next week: Something different.

See you in the theatre.

Ray

Monday, June 4, 2012

55 Days to Edinburgh...Tickets, T-shirts and Twitter




I love lists.  Do you?  I've got a two-pager going right now.  It's sick and wonderful at the same time.  As the lady at CVS said to me the other day as she picked up her scanner, "Let's do this." 

1.  The Fringe guide came in the mail.  It's huge and beautiful.  Last year, my friends who had just been to the Fringe brought me their guides from 2011...I'm still getting the picture...daily, but now my show is IN the guide.  There are over 2,660 shows.  There are 10 with Dirty as the first word.  Crap.  I thought Grease was the word.  I'm on pages 271 and 310.  It's like when you get your yearbook.  I mean, if you went to a gigantic high school.
 
2.  I ordered t-shirts today.  Thank you, Blue Ridge Graphics.  I'll get them on June 18...two days before I open in Charlottesville.  I'll figure out a way to sell them online.  Just you wait.

3.  Publicists are my new best friends.  They are helping me plan stunts...how could they know me so well so quickly?  I have a firm in Scotland, Holyrood PR, representing the show.  Thank you, Laura Berry.  We're already having a good and wild time.  I have a publicist, Elizabeth Derby, helping me here in Charlottesville.  "Where's Dirty Barbie?" Oh, yeah.  Get your riddle-solver ready. 

4.  Tickets are now on sale at all upcoming venues:
June 20 -- 23...Live Arts, Charlottesville
July 10-12, 14...59E59, New York City
July 21-22...The Corner Store, Washington, DC
August 2-27...Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland

5.  Twitter: @deedeestewart73 and/or @dirtybarbie.  

6.  I gotta go to bed but my knee keeps shaking.  I think the horse is getting close to the barn...

 
   

Sunday, June 3, 2012

56 Days to Edinburgh...Donations make me cry

Me and my sunflower painting...wearing my "money goggles"

My horoscope this week (according to my favorite, Rob Brezny): "Have you been feeling a warm fuzzy feeling in your money chakra? I hope so. The cosmos recently authorized you to receive a fresh flow of what we might call financial kundalini. Your insight into money maters should be increasing, as well as your ability to attract the information and influences you need..." 

1. Donations make me cry
 On Friday, May 25, I was sitting at my desk, staring at my online fundraising campaign with Fractured Atlas and I was worried. The total seemed stuck at $6,650 with a ultimate goal of $12,000 looming over me by midnight, May 31. I was worried. I'd been putting out personal "asks" like crazy, deciding that I would not do any group emails to ask for money and that I would only post on Facebook as I got close to the next big mark.  One by one I've sent requests...an email or letter that explains how I'm taking my one-woman show to Edinburgh, Scotland and would they be willing to help.

Working on email or something else, I think came back to the site...worried.  I pushed "refresh".  $7,150.  $7,150!  Just like that. $500. I checked the list of supporters -- none other than my best friend, Ashley. I burst into tears. I called her and left a teary voicemail, "You were only supposed to give me $30...but I'm really glad you gave me $500." I was a little bit of a mess. It wasn't the first time I'd cried since I launched the campaign months ago, and it wasn't the last.  I cried when a wonderful lady came up to me at her party and said, "I'd like to give you $1,000 for your trip."  I cried when an anonymous donor gave me $120 after a very long day of work and I was just trying to get over the goal so I could go to bed.   I've cried over $30 donations because they were so quick...just minutes after I sent them a message on Facebook, they did it.  I would get emotional when I saw a donation come through with a message like, "You go girl.  And don't try to write me a thank you note.  You don't have time!  Just go kick ass.  That's all I ask."

I didn't feel comfortable asking for more than $30, and so many of my friends stopped what they were doing and went and got their wallets and filled out the online form and pushed "yes" and ok and 10-4 or whatever and each donation has taken me closer to this huge Edinburgh endeavor. One friend I felt comfortable asking for more money (lucky him), and he said yes. I tried not to, but as we talked, he said, "I like you.  You got through me poetry class."  I cried. 

 2. The Dirty Barbie Telethon...good friends are everything 
On Tuesday, May 29, I was sitting at my desk, staring at my online fundraising campaign and I was worried. The total was stuck at $8,860. There were two days until the online campaign was ending. I had gotten two big check pledges.  Those were in the mail, but that I was still running about $1,500 short. I decided that I had to do an old school telethon the next night. Some kind-of call-in, get so silly that they can't help but help you. I texted my two producers, Will and Ray..."Can either of you come to the cottage on Wednesday from 8-midnight and help me raise $1000 in a telethon?" They both wrote back "Yes." My friend, Jen Downey, and her husband, Matt Rohdie, came to help. Ray wrote and said he was going to set up a channel so that we could have live video streaming

After meeting with clients and other wellness teaching obligations, I had two hours before the telethon. I'd barely had a chance to tell anyone about it, much less plan what it would be. I went home and grabbed every bizarre prop I had (goggles, wigs, shoes, hats, puppets) and I tried to find something valuable to give away.  All I could come up with was this simple sunflower painting that I'd done in San Antonio last summer and my "Miss Catawba" trophy that I'd won in 1995 at Catawba College. That's all I had to offer as giveaways. Then I went and got chips, beer and wheat thins to feed my crew. 

Jen Downey in her cap asks politely for money...Matt Rohdie works on the fundraising "thermometer"

3. The long wait... 
The first half-hour, nothing happened. We were calling people and posting on Facebook and breaking each goal down into smaller parts. I was getting paranoid and worried. Matt Rohdie stayed positive and started offering to give away donuts (he owns Carpe Donut). Matt and Will were making their cell phones ring to sound like people were calling in.  Then a $500 donation came in from a good friend from high school.  Boo-yow!  Hot damn.  That was a magic donation.  Then a few people gave $30. Then a friend of one of the producers gave $100. Then my friend's husband's business donated $200. They my friend's mom called me from Cleveland to make a pledge. We were off! Taking pledges and doing interviews and trying to give away that damn painting.  Before we knew it, it was midnight...right when a pledge from my dear friend, Kat Geitner, came in for $200 which took us to $1200 for the evening.   

4. The big wrap up... 
On Friday, June 1, I was sitting on my desk and doing the numbers: we were at $11,625 even if the online total looked lower.  I was moved.  Not really weepy.  I was excited, but not relaxed.  It had been a long time since the campaign launched and I waited for that very first donation (thank you Kim Beard).  Now...three days since my campaign ended and people are still contacting me and saying that they want to give.  I don't want to cry now.  I'm pumped.  Something has switched.  Not only am I switching now out of raising money but into earning money, but I'm inspired by all this generosity.  I actually still in need of a few things to make this trip happen, so I'm crafting a "Dirty Barbie Wish List" campaign that should launch this week through my fiscal sponsorship. I'll have this link to share with those are interested in helping the next big step of this show and helping my team to have an incredible trip.

Someone came up tonight and said, "We were following your telethon the other night.  We're coming to your hot shit benefit on June 23."  Yes.  The benefit.  Fancy pants food and the first time the Dirty Barbie t-shirts will be on sale, and I've promised a whole new set of material after intermission and there are going to be lots of fancy pants food and great wine and well...the work presses on.     

Thanks to all the friends and strangers who've donated.  Thanks to those who are planning to come to one of the upcoming shows in Charlottesville, New York City, Washington, DC or Edinburgh, Scotland.  Thanks to those that are sending friends.  I think you know what it means to me, but your time and interest and enthusiasm...your feelings about the show give me courage and excitement. Your money is giving me possibilities.  How can it be that another performer, Peter Michael Marino, who is working his ass off to get his show, Desperately Seeking the Exit, over there, had time to follow my telethon and donate and tell me congrats.  I feel for this CANDIDA show that's just getting started on raising $29,000 to take their show to the Fringe Fest.  I really identify with Kristina Wong's show that just completed their 16,000 goal to take her one-woman show to Edinburgh.  Crowdfunding provides chances for people to take on projects that might require more formal funding to succeed, and formal funding is much harder to come by these days.  We're all thankful for your "go girl", for your pledge, for your financial kundalini.  

Tomorrow: Tickets, tickets, tickets...