Slam Poetry

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!

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It’s my birthday month and things are about to heat up!

July is HOT HOT HOT and is about to sizzle even more!  This month’s Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir has some of Toronto’s hottest talent gracing the stage at The Central AND it’s my birthday month!

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Marcy Rogers is a Dora nominated playwright and published writer. Her short story IMHO is included in the Foreward nominated anthology Friend. Follow. Text which she is excited to say can be borrowed from any Toronto library. She can be seen in Paul Bellini’s Liar Liar a monthly show at The Flying Beaver Pubaret or in her one woman show Lesbians Who Wear Lipstick: The Middle Ages.

Brandon Pitts Prolific novelist, poet, lyricist, and playwright, BRANDON PITTS is the author of the poetry collection, Pressure to Sing (IOWI), the novel, Puzzle of Murders (Bookland Press) and the play, Killcreek (IOWI – 2013 Toronto Fringe). He served as editor and contributor to the anthology The Courtney Park Connection (IOWI). In 2011, he was selected for inclusion in the prestigious Diaspora Dialogues as an Emerging Voice and has been widely anthologized.

For a complete list of publications and performed plays, please visit: http://brandonpitts.com/Publications.html 

Four Winds Collective is a songstorm of musical forces intertwined for the greater good. The diverse creative forces involved are: Arlene Paculan (ArlenePaculan.com) soulful jazzy pop; Heather Hill (HeatherHill.ca) piano pop rock; Kat Leonard (KatLeonard.com) feisty comedic pop; and Meghan Morrison (MeghanMorrison.com) Celtic groove music. The Winds travel together with their unique and charming shows aimed to illuminate life’s joy, heartbreak, inspiration and encouragement through their music and storytelling. They are available for booking traditional venues as well as house concerts and corporate events.

Upcoming for August

I will be featuring a few times in August, please come see me at Jennifer Hosein’s gallery show opening (August 15th/poster below), The Plasticine Poetry  Phanatics (August 17th) and The Beautiful & The Damned’s final show (August 28th).  More info to come…

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Fantastico February

I’m a wee bit behind in getting this post up.  I’m still working through the aftermath of how busy January was.  I’m not complaining, just need to get all my ducks back in a row! Here is what is coming up!

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir featuring Heather Babcock, Regina Denata & blueVenus!

https://www.facebook.com/events/203401849864508/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming lvcnfeb2014.indd

Amsterdam Bicycle Club presents: Lizzie Violet’s open mic featuring Philip Cairns (Feb 17th)

https://www.facebook.com/events/191147387763148/?previousaction=join&source=1 lizzievioletopenmicpwycsign2

The Beautiful & The Damned featuring Vanessa Smythe, DM Moore and the Four Winds! Hosted by Lizzie Violet.

https://www.facebook.com/events/521797327937203/?context=create&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming# February 27th at 7 pm. (poster to be added soon)

Other amazing events to check out!

Circle of Jerks – February 13th – https://www.facebook.com/events/517038755081153/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Arlene Paculan – February 13th –  https://www.facebook.com/events/469252466513376/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming I HATE TODD – February 15th – https://www.facebook.com/events/492444387531740/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Racket the Rocket – February 21st – https://www.facebook.com/events/818441091515505/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming David Hustler and the Trustworthy’s final show – February 27th – Lee’s Palace Every Tuesday of the month at the Axis Bar and Grill is Derek Downham’s Jam (location https://www.facebook.com/pages/Axis-Gallery-Grill/133995006619131?fref=ts) I HATE TODD – residency on the last Sunday of every month at Amsterdam Bicycle Club.

Kicking off the New Year, Lizzie Style!

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After an exciting and fulfilling 2013, I am looking forward to an even bigger and crazier 2014!  I ended the year and am starting the year Lizzie style.  I spent all day yesterday and will be spending today working on the second draft of a play I wrote. I’m looking forward to many more projects like this in 2014, including finishing scripts!

So… let’s get this party started and with some amazing events!

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January 6 – The Amsterdam Bicycle Club presents: Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic featuring Andrea Thompson
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/512585858854340/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

and

January 20 – The Amsterdam Bicycle Club presents: Lizzie Violet‘s Poetry Open Mic featuring Greg ‘Ritallin’ Frankson.
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/257656151064135/

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January 8 – WordSpell Spoken Word featuring Cathy Petch and Sabrina
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/699046796795293/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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January 12 – Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir featuring Brock Hessel, David Bateman and Cap & Kev
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/1433756150176415/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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January 22nd – Winter Snow Ball @ Urban Gallery – I will be featuring along with Duncan Armstrong, Vanessa McGowan, Brock Hessel and many other amazing Queer poets!
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/792356567447501/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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January 30th – The Beautiful and the Damned featuring Jill Battson, Brenda Clews and Neil Traynor. At The Central. (more details to come)

Other Amazing Events to check out!

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Every Monday at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club is Lynne Rafter’s Music Open mic.

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January 4 – Silver Hearts at Tranzac Club
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/231901116987749/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

AND

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January 4  – Facebook Event – Red Falcon/White Lightning at Global Village Backpackers
https://www.facebook.com/events/1403283439914408/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

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January 8th – Open Mic at Not My Dog, hosted by Mike Tharin
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/195982480606677/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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January 9 – Songwriters Circle of Jerks featuring Kat Leonard and the MP3’s
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/619553521415775/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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January 11, 2014 – Nelson Sobral and Hugh Wilson acousticmania at Relish!  9:30 pm

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January 16 – Big Name Actors at Lee’s Palace
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/236258666533653/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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January 18 – I HATE TODD at Global Village Backpackers
Facebook Event- https://www.facebook.com/events/1449120628643130/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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January 23, 2014 – BeatleJerks and I HATE TODD at Amsterdam Bicycle Club

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January 26 – I HATE TODD at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club
Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/1441868266026876/

November, November, NOVEMBER!

Now that we have gotten through the awesomeness of ROCKtober… are you ready for the rustlings of November?  I hope so, cause it’s crammed with just as much awesome!!!

Here is some of the amazing stuff going on!

November 6Wordspell | Featuring Tanya Neuymeyer and Lamoi.

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Doors open at 7pm | Open Mic sign up at 7:30| Show at 8|Free Times Cafe (320 College Street)

Tickets at door: $6 and up

ALL ages & genders welcome in the audience!

Open mic is open to those who identify as women, is held after the feature performances and is limited to 4 minutes per poet.

Find out more about the series at:
Group page: www.facebook.com/groups/WordSpellTO
Website: http://cytopoeticsevents.com/wordspell
Follow on Twitter: WordSpellTO
Email: WordSpellTO@gmail.com

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November 10 – LizzieViolet’s Cabaret Noir | Featuring Dom Pare, Imogene Quest and Giraffe

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Doors open at 7 pm

The Central is at 603 Markham Street.

We will have limited open mic spots (for poets, performers and musicians). Sign up starts at 7.

This is a PWYC event. (the door suggested price $5 and up)

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November 14 – Songwriters Circle of Jerks 13 …and the ladies who love them.

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Doors open at 8:30pm |Free Times Cafe (320 College Street)

Featured act is Lizzie Violet, Cathy Petch & Vanessa McGowan

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November 18th – Poetry Open Mic | Details TBA

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November 28 – The Beautiful and the Damned | hosted by DM Moore | featuring | Shawn Symms | Lillian Allen | Mark Martyre

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Doors open at 7 pm

The Central is at 603 Markham Street.We will have limited open mic spots (for poets, performers and musicians). Sign up starts at 7.

This is a PWYC event. (the door suggested price $5 and up)

RockTober!

October is just a few days away!  Everyone who knows me, knows it’s my favourite month AND the month of Halloween.  A month that is chock-full of AWESOME and a whole lotta spooktacular events!

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I’m especially looking forward to October 15 and I HATE TODD‘s release of Zombie Love AND the premiere of the music video.
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My poem “Freedom and Choice” was accepted in The Quilliad magazine! They are having their launch on October 16th at Tequila Bookworm. I hope to see many of your beautiful faces there! Come out to support the arts, buy a magazine and see me read!  https://www.facebook.com/events/165885766948879/

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October 20th is Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir, featuring Monica S. Kuebler, Pandora La Glamme and Supertash!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1417045665182340/

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October 21st, I am featuring at Loose Leaf Poets and Writers.
https://www.facebook.com/events/624464360927258/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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October 31st, I am hosting The Beautiful & The Damned for our Scream Queen’s Halloween Spooktacular!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1419484514930255/

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Other rockable events that my favourite people are putting on.

Big Name Actors at Horseshoe – Oct 3 – https://www.facebook.com/events/212312635601645/

Circle of Jerks – Oct 10 – https://www.facebook.com/events/172738849582922/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

I Hate Todd at Amsterdam Bicycle Club – Oct 14

Big Name Actors annivesary – Oct 25 @ Measure  https://www.facebook.com/events/658753184137502/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

I Hate Todd at Amsterdam Bicycle Club – Oct 31

August will be sizzling with amazing!

Hello all you beautiful people!  August is going to sizzle with so much amazing stuff I can hardly wait!  There are a couple amazing shows, I’m featuring in or hosting and we are gearing up to shoot a music video for a little ole script I wrote.

Anyone interested in being part of the crew OR being a Zombie contact me at lizzieviolet13 [at] gmail [dot] com.  The music video is for the the killer song ‘Zombie Love’ by Toronto’s most hated band I Hate Todd!  Check out their page or message me for more info.  We also have an invite set up on Facebook if you would like to be notified.
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Now onto the Shows!

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On August 8th I will be hosting:

The Beautiful and The Damned
Q Space 7 pm
382 College Street

https://www.facebook.com/events/172515529594916/?ref=2

Featuring Brenda Clews, Adam Abbas, Andrea Machette!

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August 11 I will be hosting Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir:

Q Space 7 pm
382 College Street

Featuring sol knots, andraya and Tania Joy!

https://www.facebook.com/events/549748458405723/

plasticineI will be featuring:

Plasticine Poetry
Paupers Pub – 2nd Floor

https://www.facebook.com/events/209248939199191/