Burlesque

Redheads Writing in Cafes #4 and Why I Support Local Indie Artists

Just to warn you. There may be swears.

The last few days have been lovely. Wednesday, I hung out with my sister from a whole other family, October. Thursday, live music at C’est What with Neil Traynor and band. Had another productive cafe writing session with Heather Babcock and John Oughton on Thursday, Saturday, my fella and I crammed in watching Street Poetry in High Park, a second viewing of the cherry blossoms and then dinner and live music in The Junction. After an amazing few days of enjoying local independent art, music, and poetry with the people I love, fellow creatives, why do I not feel content? Why instead am I feeling contempt? Here’s why.

This has been nagging at me, scratching at my gray matter for some time now It’s been bubbling just below the surface, pulling at me, like that song, that sits on the tip of your tongue and it’s driving me mad. I have talked to others about it. I’ve occasionally posted status messages about it and tried to get people’s attention and their consideration for it. Now… now I’m at my wit’s end and I’m pissed. No, I’m fucking angry. It’s time to make a change.

Ok.

Ok…

Those were the swears. I can’t promise those were the last.

What initially pushed me to the brink was a group of four women who were in their early twenties. As we were having our writing session at a local Mom and Pop run cafe Thursday, these young women were standing in line waiting to be served. A long line. The cafe was busier than normal due to the cherry blossoms in High Park. When they were about three people away from being served, one of the young women loudly exclaimed, “I want to support local, but they are too slow here. Let’s go to Starf*cks.” (she didn’t call it that and used the proper name, I did. Guess who will never be sponsoring me.).  Did these women not notice the cherry blossom festival chaos across the street and consider it might be affecting the businesses in the hood? If you really wanted to support local, wouldn’t you be patient? Wouldn’t you take how busy the shop was into consideration?  I did.

This, however, isn’t what I want to talk about. It was what triggered everything.  Thursday night, a good friend was playing with his band at a popular downtown venue. When it came time to pass the tip jar, we went around to everyone who was, what we thought, enjoying the music. We asked everyone to throw in a loonie or toonie to help support local music. Some put money in funds (mostly other artists), while the corporate types (I have another name for them, but won’t write it) declined — very rudely in most cases. This really bothered me.

I’ve put on many events and attended an even greater number of them. I’ve observed when the tip jar is being passed around, for the most part, artists will always put money in, even if it is whatever loose changed they have in their pockets. Artists will go out to other artists events without batting an eye. We support each other, promote each other, help out at each others gigs, artist supporting artists. This, sadly, does not help us grow, help us get noticed outside of our community and when we try to get others to come to events or if they are at an event, put a few dollars in the tip jar, they don’t or rather won’t and they make you feel awful for asking.  On Thursday night, we received snarky comments and evil stares when we asked. I felt that we were asking for their first born (no thanks) or for a donation of blood. (again no thanks) It was frustrating.

Once upon a time, artists were revered. If this was the 1920s or 1930s we would be looked upon at a higher level, would make a nice living from our art and be respected. Why is it, in 2017, we are looked down upon, brushed off and disrespected? We are asked to work for free and when we do get paid, it’s for way less than minimum wage.  We struggle to get anyone, who isn’t an artist to come out to events (when was the last time our families, workmates or other acquaintances came to see us).  We work hard to promote our events, prepare for the events and then put on the show.  How do we get people to start supporting local artists? How do we get them out to events? How do we get them to respect us?

This city is full of performers, writers, playwrights, theaters, bands, songwriters, singers, visual artists, photographers, poets, spoken word artists, designers, painters, sculptors, magicians, burlesque, comic artists, comedians — the list goes on. How do we get the average Joe to support us? How do we get the city and venues to support us?  And speaking of venues, how to we keep the supportive ones going?  I see my fellow artist struggling every day to get their art out there and to survive financially. I see musicians like Cynthia Gould trying to get awareness out there through her TO Rock Cult Facebook page. Yesterday I witnessed Street Poetry trying to raise awareness. I applaud these artists and all the others that are making an effort, but my question, the thing that is bothering me, nagging at me is how do we as one huge collective, make this happen on a bigger scale? How do we get the populous to once again respect and revere artists?

I will keep promoting, supporting and helping my fellow artists. I will continue to walk around venues asking everyone to put some money in a tip jar. I will keep posting and voicing out how much we need to support independent artists, but I need help. Cynthia needs help. Every person who is fighting to survive as an artist needs help!  Here is where you can help. Everyone who reads this, please share it. If you see an artist’s having an event, go to it, buy their art, books, CDs, merch. Post about their events, tell your friends. Better yet, gather your friends and bring the to events. If you are an artist, keep promoting your fellow artists. Let’s, as one huge collective get the rest of the world to see us!

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Share other artist’s posts.

Let’s make change happen.

SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS!

Redheads Writing in Cafes #1

***I have added a new page to the blog. It is called Redheads Writing in Cafes. Here is the first entry. 

Redheads Writing in Cafes #1

I’m a full-time writer. I work for myself. I don’t go into a Corporate office space. I create my own content. I work from home. I am my own boss. This is my perfect job. This is my dream. There is, however, one problem.  When you are working at home, there are…. how shall we say, distractions. I don’t mean the television, Netflix, YouTube or other forms of entertainment. I mean laundry, cleaning, washing that sink full of dirty dishes, figuring out what to make for dinner, tidying up, re-organizing. As you look up from your laptop, you see all the things that need to be done. You still get writing done, but between the tasks that are staring you down and when you don’t complete them…. there is that pesky guilt. Now that the weather is nicer, I plan on finding my way outside my home to write.  In the backyard, parks, cafes.

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As a full-time artist, writing in a cafe every day isn’t great for the change purse… I am considering a Kickstarter to help finance this endeavor. Feed my coffee addiction.  I’m sure others would be willing to give up a coffee a day to support my cup of coffee a day… right? No? Hmmmm….  All kidding aside, many well-known artists have written their novels, screenplays, plays and poems in cafes. There is a wonderful, addictive energy that fills the walls of cafes, not to mention the lovely wafts of fresh ground coffee beans and baked goods. Ok… now, I’m just making myself hungry. Focus. You need to focus.

The point of this new page is to write about what I’m writing about… while I’m in a cafe…. Maybe I could also convince other redheaded writers to guest write or join me in the cafe. I live in a neighbourhood that has cafes a plenty. I am going to try to choose a different one each time I write and let you know a bit about the cafe.

Today, I’m sitting in a cafe near High Park, looking out at the beautiful greenery, dreaming of the 1930s, listening to Edith Piaf’s beautiful voice, flow from the speakers. I am working on my novel as well as researching the 1930s. For some, being in a cafe would distract them. I drink in the energy that surrounds me, which is the complete opposite of when I am at home writing. At home, I need the sounds of televisions and stereos turned off, the windows open, so the sounds of the outside, find their way to my ears.

The cafe I’m in is Hannah’s Cafe and Bakery. They have a really nice dark roast and I’ve had their lattes. The staff is friendly and the cafe itself spacious. Recently we came here for a writing workshop. I’m Vegan and they have soy milk, they have some Vegetarian sandwiches and salads that can be made Vegan, however, the baked goods are not Vegan. Once you are done writing, you can hop across the street to High Park.

I’m lucky to live in such an amazing neighbourhood. I am a brief walk away from the best park in the city, shopping, bars, restaurants and groceries. The hood is also home to literary and art events. There are writers, painters, musicians, visual artists, burlesque dancers, and other artisans who call this area home. Most importantly, there are cafes a plenty and if you get lucky, you may walk into the one with the Redhead.  That might be an idea for a treasure hunt. Find the cafe with the Redhead who’s writing.

Redhead’s writing in cafes.

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Lizzie Luau Time!!!

Let’s show the weather how to bring the sizzle back into Summer!  This months shows are going to be HOT! HOT! HOT!

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir — feat. The Rando Bando, Lilla Koi, Jeff Greenway with special co-host Romeo Satin!!!

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https://www.facebook.com/events/1590182707928569/

Hot Summer Nights at Hirut — feat. Myke Mazzei, Dan Thompson, Lizzie Violet and Arlene Paculan.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/676745715803103/

March on to Spring!

I’m a little behind posting the March events!  It’s been a busy few weeks!   I want to give a great big thank you for everyone who made the 2nd year anniversary show of Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir a huge success!  Smooshies to everyone who has performed over the last 2 years!  Here’s to many more years!

Upcoming for the rest of March!

March 19th, I am hosting Wonderfest Poetry Series featuring Sue Reynolds, James Dewar and Addam Abbas!
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March 21st is the Redhead Revue featuring Heather Babcock, Dottie Dangerfield, Arlene Paculan and myself!
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March 28th, Winter Wonderland at Hirut (all though it is officially spring ;)), featuring Dagmar Morgan, David Bateman, Arlene Paculan and Hugh Wilson!

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Fabulous February

I can’t believe that it is February already!  I have some fabulous shows happening! For my features, I will do some of my naughtier spoken word pieces 😉 xo

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir: Featuring David Bateman, Regina Dentata, Shikha and Special guest Dan Thompson.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/587995767998638/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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I will be interviewed on CIUT FM – February 10th @ 10 pm (invite to come)

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http://www.ciut.fm/shows-2/spoken-word/howl/

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Featuring at the Nik Beat Tribute at Winterfolk @ The Black Swan – February 15th from 3 pm to 5 pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/1588658454702073/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

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Hosting Wonderfest Poetry Series @ Habits Gastropub – February 19th doors open at 8:30 pm

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https://www.facebook.com/events/869960529692354/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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Featuring at Makin’ A Racket at the Rocket” – February 20th starting at 7:30 pm
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https://www.facebook.com/events/605164479615942/

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Winter Wonderland @ Hirut – Details to come!

Jingle Bells Santa Smells – December Events!

December is almost upon us and you know what that means.  Now the question is… have you been Naughty or Nice!

Nik Beat Tribute Show/Famous For Falling CD Release Party

Amersterdam Bicycle Club – 54 The Esplanade
December 6th
https://www.facebook.com/events/1539980826218424/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
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Wonderfest Poetry Series

Habits Gastropub
December 10th

Hosted by Lizzie Violet and feat. Brent Peers, Norman Cristofoli, Cynthia Gould
https://www.facebook.com/events/339527712883769/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
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Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir and Fundraiser for The Street Store

The Central – 603 Markham Street
December 14th

feat. Teige Reid, Dottie Dangerfield, Rando Bando & North Star with Special Guest TOPoet.ca!
https://www.facebook.com/events/743240899058830/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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Winter Wonderland at Hirut – A night of music and poetry

Hirut Restaurant – 2050 Danforth Avenue
December 20th – 9 pm
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Sexy and Sassy! It must be September!

Dates you should all have on your calendars!

September is revving up to be a super hot and sexy month!  Please come out to one or all of these events!

September 11th I will be doing double duty featuring and hosting at The Wonderfest Poetry reading series. https://www.facebook.com/events/320162071490800/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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September 12th for Supertash Birthday Bash! I will be reading a few poems for the very talenter Superstar and birthday girl Natasha Jolly! https://www.facebook.com/events/351322938358812/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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September 14th for Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir https://www.facebook.com/events/290105594509224/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
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September 24th come out to the very first The Redhead Revue https://www.facebook.com/events/1495752997332971/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
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September 27th I will be performing at 100,000 Poets For Change at the Smiling Buddha. (more details to come)

AND

September 15th Please come out to see the very funny Cate McKim perform her stand-up at DAWN PATROL – 8:30 pm at The Comedy Bar (945 Bloor St. West, a bit west of Ossington on the south side of Bloor) in the cabaret space (to the right of the bar, ask for Dawn Patrol at the box office) – $7 cover It’s an intimate (read: small) space, so I’d recommend getting there by 8 p.m.  https://www.facebook.com/DAWNPATR0L?fref=ts

September 20th please come out to The Smiling Buddha for The Wonderfest Comedy Series to see Cate McKim for more amazing stand-up comedy and to see Toronto’s LOUDEST lounge punk band Conflicting Plaid! https://www.facebook.com/events/342165199273326/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming