07 June 2013

Things are really heating up for Devotion 2013. Over the weekend we discovered that our @fcbd.com emails were not working. The server had been spammed or exploded or something and we were in the dark, as it were. So, our excellent web designer set us all (12 addresses) up on a new server. Much wailing and pulling of hair ensued as we worked to get our computers and phones updated. All is well now, save for a few ghosts in the machine, but we can communicate again.


For the last few nights I've worked at the FCBD® Studio until 9pm. This morning I slept until 9am and almost missed the party. Our graphic designer (who lives in AL, 2 hours ahead of CA) was trying to finalize the Devotion program and was trying to get in touch with me. I have a nifty new toggle on my iPhone that lets me sleep through all calls and texts, except for people on the A list. She wasn't on the A list and I woke to a frenzy of texts and emails, all needing my attention. It's 12:57pm PST now and all is well, the program is at the printer and we hope to pick it up on Tues 11 Jun, for the show 14 Jun.

Ok, where did we leave off? Devotion 2010 had just closed at Shotwell Studios and we were walking away without looking back. This was the third year and it was clear to me that if I wanted to stay sane, I was going to need a co-producer for the show. It's simply impossible, and very bad for your mental health, to try to produce the show and star in the show. I know many of you are nodding your heads as you read this. I started my search for a co-producer and was happily surprised when I was introduced to [name withheld] We got along and had the same ideas for bringing the show in above budget and allowing me to be more of the artist than producer. Time passed, we looked at a cool venue in Oakland that [name withheld] thought would be great for the show. To my taste it was rough but [name withheld] was sure it would be perfect. Being the Capricorn that I am, I wanted to sign the contract and drop the deposit that day, to secure the location.

You can't start on production until you secure the date and location of the event.

Neither [name withheld] or the manager of the Oakland venue seemed concerned about the contact or deposit, although the manager did make a note of our date on his calendar. I felt a bit uneasy without a contract and payment, but I was sure [name withheld] knew what [gender withheld] was doing.

Time passed. I sent emails and made calls to [NW] but no response. I tried to stay calm. We had started the process at the end of 2010 and it was now January 2011. Time passed. Finally [NW] contacted me to say that [GW] had been working overseas and was back and ready to roll. Time passed. Emails sent, calls placed, no dice. At first I wanted to cry from frustration, but my Capricorn kicked in and I said fuck it I can do this myself, and I did. With help from executive assistant, the fabulous Kristine Adams, we searched for a new venue. I did call the Oakland place, but low and behold the terms had changed and it was no longer an option. We sent emails and called every possible theater in the Bay Area. The problem here is that theaters are either too small; 50 seat black boxes or too large (500 seat unionized theaters.) The black boxes are in high demand so getting a specific date is tough, and they just aren't big enough to both house all the dancers, and bring in revenue from the door. The unionized theaters are very expensive, and while they have all the bells and whistles, the cost outweighs the advantages.

Time passed, but not much, I was cleaning the house on the Sunday after the Thursday that we had started the search and a call came in from a 510 number (510 is the East Bay.) I don't usually answer calls if I don't know the caller, but I figured oh, what the hell, why not. Then the skies parted and the angels sang and the voice on the phone said, "This is the Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley. We would love to host your show in June." Now I really wanted to cry, tears of happiness. But I kept my composure and worked out the deal. Contract signed, deposit secured by the next day.

Oh, look at the time. I have to get to the studio. I'll be back in a few days. Cheers!
Here's a shot of me in my kitchen, a few months later when the guest artists had arrived for the show.


Chayo said...

YUJUUUUUU!!! Always an angel appears!!

Thank you for sharing the difficult thing that is to organize an event like that. Because the video that we see ultimately supposes an incredible work for your part.

Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Vicky said...

What an adventure it's shaped up to be! All your hard work is worth it, though! And someday, I'll be able to make the journey from the center of the country out to your neck of the woods, & finally see, in person, this masterpiece that is Devotion. Hoping you have a fabulous experience with Devotion 2013!