Poetry

The Redhead Revue on June 10th at The Imperial!

A night of Girls, Gags, Music and a Movie!

On June 10th, 2017 join two swell dames and sassy redheads Heather Babcock and Lizzie Violet at The Imperial! You will be treated to an evening of storytelling, music and a movie.

Starring alongside Heather and Lizzie, will be musician Neil Traynor, who is just the bees knees and our Emcee for the night is that charmer and extra swell fella Zed Dulac.

Oh, now just hold your horses, that’s not all. For an extra swell time, we will be having a special screening of Barbara Stanwyck in Lady of Burlesque and there will be trivia and prizes?

This is a night of entertainment you don’t want to miss!

Doors at 8 pm
Show at 8:30
Cost: $10 at the door

Address: 54 Dundas Street East. You’ll find us in the performance space (main floor)

Movie info: Lady of Burlesque is a 1943 American musical comedy-mystery film starring Barbara Stanwyck and Michael O’Shea and is based on the novel The G-String Murders written by Gypsy Rose Lee (with ghost-writing assistance from mystery writer Craig Rice) and was directed by William A. Wellman, produced by Hunt Stromberg, costumes by Edith Head.

For more information on The Redhead Revue, please visit out Facebook page.

Here is a link to the invite.  https://www.facebook.com/events/162102664322287/?fref=ts

redhead-review-poster

 

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!

Share this post.

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.

vintagewomanofficetypewriter

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.

c67ba37b02684b8a67122bbdd8f758bd

Blast off!

20170113_080101

“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!

 

The SPOOKTACULAR month of October!

Boo everyone!  Did I scare you?  No?  Then get ready to be scared.  October is chock full of creeptacular shows, some even featuring ME!

October 14th — PussyBasket~CoUNT FANGS~ Jenna Syde, Lynn Crosbie, Marcy Rogers, Lizzie Violet, and The Canadian Romantic

pussybasket

Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/681176598648838/

~~

October 19th — Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir feat. TOPoet.ca D S Campbell & Conflicting Plaid

lvcnoct2015

Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/913976675322656/
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10593945?affil_code=fb_145297655629084&artist=Lizzie+Violet%27s+Cabaret+Noir&came_from=74

~~

October 25th — Cabaret Noir Presents Heather Babcock — also featuring Kat Leonard, Valentino Assenza & Neil Traynor

cabaretnoirproductionsbannerheather

Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/608851415884694/
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10648682?affil_code=fb_797498440303573&artist=Cabaret+Noir+Productions&came_from=74

~~

October 31st — Autumnal Soiree at Hirut feat. Lizzie Violet, Joani Paige, Peter Eastmure and Joseph Kargi

autumnalsoiree

Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/1687221958157515
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10648776?affil_code=fb_797498440303573&artist=Cabaret+Noir+Productions&came_from=74

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

pleasevote

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