performers

Redheads Writing in Cafes Except When It’s a Redhead Riot!

Similar to my previous post about Thea, Heather Babcock is another inspiring woman in my life who, when I met her, we immediately clicked. We discovered very early on that we were both obsessed with the 1930s and pre-code movies and vintage fashion. We instantly bonded, this was a friendship that was meant to be. Every day I am inspired by this beautiful woman!

The first time I met Heather was after she read at a Plasticine Poetry event. Her reading was amazing and she looked like a 1930s redheaded moll. During this time I was co-running The Beautiful & The Damned and my own show Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir. She was so incredibly sassy and talented, I knew we needed to book her and I wanted to talk to her on a personal level. My gut screamed that girl is super swell! My gut was right!  Eventually, I met her boyfriend Neil and they met Zoltan. Together we now put on a show called The Redhead Revue and we have all become incredibly good friends.

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When I hear Heather read or when we talk about our interests or life in general, I am motivated to do better and to be a better person. After spending time with Heather, I always feel like I’m not working hard enough. She is one of those writers who, without knowing she is even doing it, kicks me in the ass!

Heather Babcock is an incredible writer, storyteller, poet and performer. She has an incredible wealth of knowledge about the 1930s and pre-code movies. In fact, she is a walking library of facts. Oh… and she also happens to be a published author! Heather’s chapbook Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards was published by DevilHousePress in 2015 and her novel Filthy Sugar is being published by Inanna Press. Please also check out her blog Heather Rose Babcock…Writing to Exhale.

 

 

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Blast off!

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“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.” — Ray Bradbury.

So here we are. The final day of the countdown. Months of numerical vague book entries.  The day I’ve been dreaming about since the first time I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I was ten years old and wanted to be just like Francie Nolan…

Alright! Alright! Stop yelling at me. I have to give you the long version of the story to make this worth your while. Right? No?

Ok.
Here goes.

I quit my job yesterday. Why? Why would I quit a job that paid my bills and kept me in food, clothes and off the streets. Why would I give up benefits, a pension and security? Why?

Let me tell you.
Let me explain.

For as long as I can remember I’ve written. I’ve done it part-time, full-time, as a contractor and as a freelancer. For the last several years I’ve written and edited for other people. I have done poetry and spoken word. I’ve had my writing published in literary magazines and short stories in anthologies. I’ve been a theatre reviewer and a columnist. I’ve fixed dialogue for movie scripts, written copy, done PR writing and business writing. I’ve won awards and contests. I have not written in the capacity I will be.

Full-time.
Fiction.
My own writing.

I have worked hard to get here. To get published in magazines and anthologies.
Applying for grants.
Performing my work in public.

Part-time was never enough.  There was always an ache. It always felt like something wasn’t being fulfilled. If I ever went days without writing, my soul hurt. I knew I needed fix this.

Time to sit down.
Finish my novel.
Send my short stories and poems to be published.
Finally finish all my writing projects.
Write.

Don’t worry. I’m not all starry-eyed about something that’s impossible.  Over a ten year period I worked in publishing and know what to expect and what not to expect. I know how much a writer makes and how hard they work to earn it. I know the ins and outs of what needs to be done to be seen, heard, published.  I’m not walking into this with my head in the clouds. I know reality and how to manage it.

I have paid off my debt.
Put aside some money.
Continually apply for grants.
I’ve prepared for this day.

The reason for doing this full-time; is to make money from my writing. To survive from it. It’s what I am waking up for. It’s my living. I don’t have a sugar daddy. Someone else won’t be supporting me. I will be working myself hard.  This is my career. My life.

I’ve already had many ask me how I could possibly survive doing this. Isn’t it just a hobby? That I’m unrealistic. Well folks, many people are full-time writers and they are doing ok. Cough JK Rowling Cough. (yes, we all want to be JK Rowling — even secretly) I have many friends who are full-time writers, musicians, artists, performers and guess what, they are able to survive doing it full-time as well. So you can now stop worrying. I’ll be fine.

Today is the beginning.
A new chapter.
I look outside. Low in the sky sits the Hunter’s Moon. Bright. Friday the 13th.
The perfect day.
The horror stories begin. Will the next chapter be werewolves, zombies or ghosts?

Actually, I really do need to get that next chapter written. Off I go. Laptop on my lap. Off to write the words.

Blast off!

 

Arlene Paculan and Lizzie Violet have been nominated for NOW Magazine’s Readers Poll

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Arlene Paculan and Lizzie Violet have been nominated for NOW Magazine’s Readers Poll. Past winners of The Best Original’s Musician (Arlene) and Best Original’s Spoken Word (Lizzie), we would be so very grateful if you would vote for us!

Arlene Paculan was nominated for Best Songwriter and I was nominated for both Best Spoken Word and Best Poet.

Voting closes September 18. Check out the results November 5.

Arlene Paculan‘s nomination — http://bestof.nowtoronto.com/2015/nominees.cfm?category=152&subcategory=1368]

Lizzie Violet‘s nomination — http://bestof.nowtoronto.com/2015/nominees.cfm?category=154&subcategory=1374]

http://bestof.nowtoronto.com/2015/nominees.cfm?category=154&subcategory=1372]

A little bit about us.

Arlene Paculan creates soulful pop with passion. The Filipino-Canadian’s recent successful debut album, “Everything Begins with Love” has been embraced by Canada’s largest broadcaster, the CBC, with airplay on radio. Arlene was interviewed with producer Sandy Mowat, on the popular radio show “Fresh Air” and was selected as a featured artist by Mark Rheaume (CBC National Music Director).

Arlene has graced many stages across Toronto, including The Gladstone Hotel, Yonge & Dundas Square and Mississauga Celebration Square. In addition to her performances around the GTA, she has also performed in LA, NYC, Anaheim, Halifax, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal. In 2012, Arlene played at TD Toronto Jazz Festival and she will be performing again at the 2015 season for the full length of the festival at Habits Gastropub. She has opened for Canadian songstress Jill Barber, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration and performed at the Beaches International Jazz Street Fest.

Arlene is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto and also studied piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Arlene plays cover songs from 1930s to the present, but it is as a singer songwriter that she has made her name in Toronto. Her debut EP album “I’m Worth It” was released under the production team, Kuya Productions. Rob Rapiti from BLR Entertainment has described her voice as “haunting, yet passionate”. Who knew such a ‘beautiful, natural singing voice’ could come from such a shy little girl who used to whisper in conversation growing up?

Before songwriting, Arlene has graced the stage as an actress, garnering the roles in such plays and musicals as Juliet (Romeo & Juliet), Nancy (Oliver), Rizzo (Grease), Laurey (Oklahoma), Kate (Shotgun Wedding), Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Tiger Lily (Peter Pan), and Josie Pye (Anne of Green Gables).

Arlene is also a TV personality who has appeared in several Canadian TV shows and on stage and is a music promoter whose WonderFest tour showcases local talent and offers free workshops to all ages. For this, she was awarded 2014’s Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year MARTY Award in acknowledgment of her work encouraging others to take up music and learn to write songs or do anything creative in their daily lives.

* * *

“Love the groove, love the singing. There’s an effortlessness & natural song personality [in her singing]”
-Dan Hill – internationally renowned Canadian Singer-Songwriter

“[She has] a beautiful voice, really, really nice singing voice.”- Grant Lawrence of @[NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vY2JjcmFkaW8zLmNvbS86Og==:cbcradio3.com]

“I liked the song “Closer to You” a lot. I really liked “Get Over yourself” also. Very cool!”
-Bif Naked – Juno Award Winner and Canadian Artist

YouTube: @[NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vd3d3LnlvdXR1YmUuY29tL2FwYWN1bGFuOjo=:www.youtube.com/apaculan]

Writer, editor, Spoken Word artist, and playwright, Lizzie Violet is known for her dark themes of poetry, prose and storytelling, Lizzie has been performing her Spoken Word on stages across Toronto for the past five years and has featured at Wordspell, Livewords, The Beautiful & The Damned and Wonder Women IV and V, Free Times Best of Open Stage, Pride, Plasticine, Secret Handshake Gallery, The Redhead Revue and Nuit Blanche. She recently won the top poet award at The Best Originals for her original work.

Lizzie is a former editor for Tightrope Books (Fatty Goes to China by Royston Tester and several editions of The Best Canadian Essays) and Books of the Dead Press (Best New Werewolf Tales, Volume One). She is currently working on a multi-media Spoken Word performance, a poetry manuscript and a radio play.

For more information about Lizzie Violet, ironic anecdotes and upcoming listings please check out her blog, @[NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vbGl6emlldmlvbGV0LndvcmRwcmVzcy5jb20vOjo=:lizzieviolet.wordpress.com.]

Her poetry has been published in the below magazines.

Chlamydia Is Not a Flower – CAROUSEL 30/31
Woman of Strength and Faithless – Northword (June 2013)
The Hum After – The Big Art Book 2013
She Dances The Banda – Nest 2013
Freedom & Choice – The Quilliad October 2013

Spring Has Sprung?

There is a lot of awesome happening in the month of April. Along with some exciting co-writing projects, I have a feature!   I really hope the weather catches on that it is finally SPRING!  We all need to get out of hibernation mode and check out all the amazing shows happening! xo

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir – Featuring June Morrow, Dan Thompson & The Vaudevillian

https://www.facebook.com/events/589280287875564/605149576288635/

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Spring Fling at Hirut – Featuring Michael Oesch, Marcy Rogers, Lizzie Violet & Allen Rex

https://www.facebook.com/events/348503428679075/

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Secret Handshake Gallery (feature)

https://www.facebook.com/events/960647670620812/
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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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