18:45 Dandy Darkly's Pussy Panic!

18:45 Dandy Darkly's Pussy Panic!

Postby Dandy Darkly » 11 Nov 2014, 16:35

My show was Dandy Darkly's Pussy Panic! 6:45pm to 7:40pm at the world renown CC Blooms!

THE VENUE: CC Blooms. At first I was skeptical of my assignment. Having visited often for drinks last year, I couldn't imagine WHERE in CC Blooms they'd put a performance space. Also, I've performed my tales of terror in a number of gay bars and expected the worst: unruly crowds, bar chatter, disruption etc. What I got, however, was the best! CC Blooms proved to be such a perfect fit for Dandy Darkly. The downstairs dance space which was converted into a performance space is a great venue. It is quiet. It is separate from the rest of the bustling bar. Such a lovely surprise.

THE PERFORMANCE AREA:
The stage was only big enough for one or two performers, which was great for my solo cabaret storytelling. The room is a very neutral space with mirrors covered in black fabric. I think the first row of seats may have been too close to the stage, with the stage elevated up a bit too high. I know some audience members complained of stiff necks from straining to look up if seated directly in front -- but what a price to pay for stunning showmanship! ;)

TECHNICAL SET-UP AT THE VENUE:
My technical needs were met with no issue. I needed a PA system with Ipod input which was very easy to accomplish. At the start of my show I simply hit play from behind my mic and launched into my hour of stories. So I didn't need a tech manager. Sometimes the volume would vary from performance to performance, but I learned check the dials/levels in the sound booth along with dials/levels down below prior to showtime and it became no issues.

Lighting options could have been a bit better -- for my show a general wash of bluish light was sufficient considering I'm telling ghost stories, but perhaps a little more variety in color or brightness could have served some other performers a bit better. I was venue captain of the space, so this was one specific technical wish I heard from the other performers.

STAFF AT THE VENUE:
The management and staff at CC Blooms was incredible. So accommodating and friendly. Very quick to help out if I needed something and likewise I tried to stay out of their hair as much as possible. Mitch is the absolute best. The bar staff did a great job quickly servince my audiences cocktails at the upstairs bar and I moving them downstairs so I could start my show on time and likewise I tried my best to get my audiences to stick around after, eat the great food and see more free fringe shows. Its truly a fantastic space.

ADVERTISING:
Flyering and advertising and handing out the Wee Blue Book was great -- the crowd that strolled past CC Blooms is specifically the audience I want for my show. New Town and the pink triangle area were lovely. I felt like I was at home. I know the PBH Free Fringe has an obligation to inclusion of all people and no one should feel excluded from any venue, but truly, CC Blooms as a predominantly gay bar really served me well in terms of my persona and the subject matter of my show. I think skewing such gay themed shows in that direction for future years wouldn't be a bad idea.

It also helps getting reviewed and getting those publications in there to see the show. CC Blooms was AMAZING in terms of social media. Tweeting @CCBloomsBar always got followed up with a re-tweet and that is such a big deal in terms of getting audience members in via social media.

AUDIENCE NUMBERS:
I had a successful first year with the PBH Fringe. smallest audience was perhaps ten people and more than once we had to jam seats into the rear of the room to make space for the line of people coming to see Pussy Panic!

BUCKETS:
Smile and say "please" and "thank you" and people will drop some paper into your bucket. I had a fortunate time in Edinburgh this summer.

ADMIN & COMMUNICATION BETWEEN FREE FRINGE, CAPTAINS & VENUES:
I was think I was a great venue captain. I worked very hard to ensure everyone's needs were met. I really admired the performers who rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to earn that space on the FREE stage. (They know who they are and thank you again.) For the most part, everyone did. I'm all about a collaborative effort to produce something. This experience felt like a family -- bar management, performers, wait staff, all of us helping out to make something special. I think performers coming into this sort of collaborative arrangement need to realize there are a dozen other performers who wanted that hour of time, so you owe it to them and yourselves to really step up and do your best. No one owes you a free stage at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Finally Luke Meredith was such a fantastic help leading up to my participation with the PBH Fringe. I had so many questions and he really kept me informed. I can't recommend this experience enough. Cheers!
Dandy Darkly
 
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