Mar 28, 2014

2014 Dallas Big Sexy Weekend of Improv


I spent the afternoon creating a poster design for the 2014 Dallas Big Sexy Weekend of Improv, which will happen July 10-12. My small theatre Audacity is helping co-produce it along with the Alternative Comedy Theater this year and we'll have it at the Margo Jones Theatre down in Fair Park.

I like doing these little hand-drawn (and touched up in Photoshop) designs. Here's a glimpse of the sketching process...






Mar 25, 2014

Hearts Not Eyeballs

Show Your Work!
[via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deathtogutenberg/ ]
Earlier this week I finished Austin Kleon's new book Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered It is an excellent collection of many of the ideas he has previously discussed on his blog and tumblr. It is filled chock-a-block full of ideas large and small about getting your work out into the world.


One of the headings caught my attention right away. 

Last year, I posted about how a friend of mine gave me unsolicited advice about courting press in order to increase the butts-in-seats ratio at all costs. This led to a heated discussion where I tried my best to explain my long-term outlook on not growing an audience, but nurturing a community of supporters and patrons.

I was delighted to get to the part in Kleon's book shown above. He starts off by writing...
"Stop worrying about how many people follow you online and start worrying about the quality of people who follow you."

I'm mentioning it here because it totally reaffirms my quality over quantity approach to evolving a network of patronage. Kleon is referring to people following online, but the sentiment is similar. And it doesn't just apply to patrons. In includes colleagues, poterntial employers, and a myriad of other supporters. 

Hearts not eyeballs, indeed.

If you are creative person who produces some sort of art, then the book is totally work taking a look at.


Mar 24, 2014

DSF Kickstarter success!



With deep gratitude, I am super-pleased to announce that the 2014 Dallas Solo Fest Kickstarter Campaign has been a success! The goal was to reach $1,200 in 20 days. With the help of 34 backers, supporting at a variety of levels, the campaign ended well over the goal amount, bringing in a total of $1,325.

It may not seem like a lot, but as a small-batch operation, we can stretch those dollars like you wouldn't believe. This money will go towards artists stipends, venue costs, marketing, printing, tech support, and other production costs. It means Audacity Theatre Lab will not lose money on the venture going in and with that worry assuaged can, in fact, make the festival even better.

Most importantly, the Kickstarter has raised awareness, drawing several articles in the press - like here and here - and insuring some awesome audience members already (one of the rewards to supporters was a festival pass to the productions).

I'm super-excited about the upcoming Dallas Solo Fest. Mark your calendars for May 15-25, 2014. It is going to be a wonderful, crazy ride!

SIDE NOTE: If you missed the Kickstarter and would still like to donate to Audacity, head HERE.


Mar 23, 2014

4th Annual Monologue Jam

Hosting the 4th Monologue Jam
Yesterday, I hosted the 4th Annual Monologue Jam for the Alternative Comedy Theatre. The event was held at the delightfully intimate Cafe Bohemia in Plano, TX. I performed a demonstrative monologue and there were four other monologuists. Shea Smith won the official Monologue Jam jam. 

Kyle Bradford performing in the Monologue Jam to a packed house...



Mar 19, 2014

Dallas Solo Fest on 'Art And Seek'

Local arts journalist and dancer extraordinaire of DGDG, Danielle Georgiou, was kind enough to interview me about the Dallas Solo Fest. She posted it today. My gratitude to her for the interest and coverage.

First Ever Dallas Solo Fest Coming Soon
Art & Seek | Danielle Georgiou | March 19, 2014

Brad McEntire
Brad McEntire is one funny man. Maybe you’ve seen him on stage as an automated, silver-tongued robot holding a press conference with a dinosaur, or swimming alongside his best friend, a pet goldfish. He’s probably put a smile on your face and a laugh in your heart, because whatever McEntire is doing, he is loving every single minute of it. The passion just flows out of him, and all he wants to do is share it with all of us.

This summer, he is planning on doing just that with the first ever Dallas Solo Fest. Running May 15-18 and 22-25 at the Margo Jones Theatre at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park, the Dallas Solo Fest will showcase eight distinct and dynamic one-person productions. Over the eight-day schedule, McEntire has curated a wide range of performances—from raw and hard-hitting to hilariously outrageous—from some of the best local/regional solo artists, as well as outstanding performers from around the county. The artists included are Veronica Russell (New Orleans), Alexandra Tatarsky (New York City), Deanna Fleysher (Los Angeles), David Mogolov (Massachusetts), Zeb L. West (Austin), and Dallas solo performers Elaine LinerJohn Micheal, and Danny O’Connor.

He is currently hosting a Kickstarter campaign to raise much needed funding for the festival. Because putting on a festival to the magnitude that he is, takes some money. All the funds raised via this campaign will go toward: venue rental, artists’ stipends, front of house expenses, technical support, marketing costs, website maintenance, program and printing costs, and posters and postcards.

But if anyone can successfully get this production off the ground, it’s McEntire. He is just the man for the job as he is a critically acclaimed solo artist himself. Most recently, his latest work, ROBERTS’ ETERNAL GOLDFISH, was selected as Best of the Loop at the 2014 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival held this past weekend at WaterTower Theatre in Addison. He is also the Acting Artistic Director of Audacity Theatre Lab, a company whose mission is to reflect a sense of exploration and discovery. Originally called Audacity Productions, the small theatre company set up roots in the Dallas area in 1999. They were focused solely on fringe-like, experimental works. For nearly, seven years, they produced works that pushed them all as artists; yet, the group dissolved in 2006. But only for a couple of years. They came back refreshed and ready to work again, under a new name, and with a new mission. Now, the group works as a collective of several idiosyncratic theatre artists who use the Audacity banner to make their own kinds of theatre. No house aesthetic beyond being small and nimble. Each artist is responsible for their own work from idea all the way through to production.

The Dallas Solo Fest is McEntire’s latest project.

Through a series of email conversations, as McEntire and I were both performing this weekend, we discussed what the Dallas Solo Fest means to McEntire and what it could mean for Dallas, Audacity’s partnership with the Margo Jones Theatre, and the Kickstarter campaign currently running for the project (about a week remains for donations).

Danielle Georgiou: What prompted you to create the Dallas Solo Fest?

Brad McEntire: Several things kind of converged to allow the Dallas Solo Festival to happen. Over the past few years I have been personally drawn to solo performance. As I have traveled to venues and festivals around the country I’ve met a number of other great solo performers. The conversation usually turned to “What’s the theatre scene like where you’re from?” Although Dallas has a really vibrant, diverse, and ample local scene, until recently, we weren’t exporting many shows of the small, personal kind; at least, not in comparison to other cities of similar size. Dallas hasn’t had the underground of strong “fringe” performers eager to take their shows out to other audiences in other places. Fortunately, this is changing.

Also, when I would say I was from Texas people instantly asked if I was from Austin. I like Austin a lot, but I’m super proud to be from Dallas. I figured it was time for Dallas to have it’s own festival around small, idiosyncratic solo shows.

DG: Why did you decide to have the festival at the Margo Jones Theatre at Fair Park? What about this location drew you in?

BM: The Margo Jones Theatre is a great place for this sort of festival. It, of course has such wonderful history as the launching point of the professional regional theatre movment in the 1940s, but it is also great in some very practical ways. Free, lit parking. DART stop. Bars and restaurants within walking distance. Intimate performance space. BYOB policy. On top of all this, the contemporary Margo Jones Theatre is dedicated to new works and progressive theatre. In that way, I feel, it is keeping alive the spirit of Margo Jones herself. The Dallas Solo Fest fits this aim beautifully.

Danny O'Connor in BOUNCING UGLY: Photo credit: Jarrod Fresquez
Danny O’Connor in BOUNCING UGLY: Photo credit: Jarrod Fresquez
DG: And the company that you are the Artistic Director of, Audacity Theatre Lab, is a new partner at the Margo Jones Theatre, right?

BM: Yes, we became a partner group last summer. For years we had been urban nomads, floating from venue to venue around town (and then the country). Matt Tomlanovich invited us to put up our in-town productions there in Fair Park. He and the other partner groups have been super supportive. Having a venue for the festival, especially the Margo Jones Theatre, really made me finally think, “Why not?”

DG: What do you hope will be the outcome of the Dallas Solo Fest?

BM: The aim of the Dallas Solo Fest is to be a celebration of extraordinary solo theatre as well as increase awareness and appreciation for the form in the north Texas area. I am hoping the audiences in DFW enjoy the exposure to a diverse range of solo performance, with performers coming in from all over the country. I’m also hoping the out-of-towners who come here as artists have a really positive experience and become advocates for Dallas as they continue to take their work around the world.
Alexandra Tatarsky in BEAST OF FEASTIVE SKIN; photo credit: Tatarsky
Alexandra Tatarsky in BEAST OF FEASTIVE SKIN; Photo credit: Tatarsky

DG: This event is curated, which is different from other fringe festivals. Why did you decide to curate the event and the performers?

BM: I hand-picked the performers for this first festival. I wanted a really diverse cross-section of different kinds of solo performance. So, this first time out there is puppetry, storytellers, improvisational clown routines, historical memoirists, monologists, and a few that defy any sort of easy categorization. I also wanted to insure that there was a really high level of quality all around. I am really excited about the group of performers in the festival, national, and local alike. If the festival is successful and we can make it an annual or semi-annual thing, I’ll open it up for submissions in the future.

DG: You recently performed at the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival at the WaterTower Theatre in Addison, Texas. What was that experience like?

BM: It was a blast. I debuted my new solo show ROBERTS’ ETERNAL GOLDFISH in the Stone Cottage, such a wonderfully sized venue for solo theatre. Everyone at the Out of the Loop was friendly and hospitable. It is important to me to premiere my work here in DFW before I take it out into the world and the Loop has become a great place to make that happen.
David Mogolov in EATING MY GARBAGE; Photo credit: Mogolov
David Mogolov in EATING MY GARBAGE; Photo credit: Mogolov
DG: From all this experience you are gaining as a solo performer, what advice do you have for the performers coming to Dallas for the Solo Fest?

BM: Come ready to party! I follow the work hard/play hard motto, so I expect, and know, the performers will be sharing awesome shows and will be awesome to work with. Fortunately, all the performers I’ve chosen this first time out are self-instigators. They are experienced performers, yes, but also used to marketing their own work, meeting deadlines, being prepared, are easy to get along with and all that.

DG: Why did you decide to use a crowdfunding source website like Kickstarter to raise monies?

BM: I am a big supporter of other Kickstarter campaigns and I had a positive experience a few years ago raising funds to take my own solo show to the New York International Fringe Festival. The budget of the Dallas Solo Fest is not astronomically expensive, but I want to do everything as awesome as possible. I figured the Kickstarter would be a way to raise more money for artists’ stipends, marketing, printing, venue costs and such. It also raises awareness in a wonderful way…It’s not an argument of why the project is worthy or should be funded, so much as it’s like an invitation to a party.

If you are interested in donating to the Dallas Solo Fest, please visit the project’s campaign here.

Mar 17, 2014

6 Days left!

The 2014 Dallas Solo Fest Kickstarter has about 6 days left. We're just over 60% to our goal. Please consider tossing a few bucks towards the cause. Thanks. 

Link below...

Mar 16, 2014

ROBERTS' ETERNAL GOLDFISH wins 'Best of the Loop'

‘Trick Boxing,’ ‘No Show,’ ‘Roberts’ Eternal Goldfish’ win Best of Loop

By Nancy Churnin | DallasNews.com | March 15, 2014

Brad McEntire in ROBERTS' ETERNAL GOLDFISH

Trick Boxing won Best of Loop for main stage, No Show: a One Woman Show for the studio space and Audacity Theatre Lab’s Roberts’ Eternal Goldfish won for the Stone Cottage space, it was announced Saturday. Of the three, only Roberts’ Eternal Goldfish is in town (fitting if you know Brad McEntire’s show about a goldfish that will not die), so that’s the only show that will be getting an encore. The goldfish will be swim in the Studio space Sunday at 7:30. It’s a good show that I wrote about in my Loop review here. Catch it if you can.
Plan your life
The 2014 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival continues through Sunday at WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. $10, $65 pass. 972-450-6232. Find more information here.
Original HERE

Mar 15, 2014

4th Annual Monologue Jam coming soon...


The 4th Annual Monologue Jam, sponsored by the Alternative Comedy Theatre, will be held at Cafe Bohemia in Plano, TX on March 22, 2014. I will be hosting again.
9 PM ~ $5 at the door
2320 Los Rios Blvd, Suite #105, Plano, TX 75074
(NE corner of Los Rios and Park)



Mar 13, 2014

Nice mention of ROBERTS ETERNAL GOLDFISH in the Dallas Observer

Out of the Loop Festival Brings 19 shows to WaterTower Theatre

The spring theater season begins with WaterTower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, which isn't a "fringe festival" at all but a juried collection of plays, solo performances, dance and music on three stages. This year's event, running through March 23 (and co-sponsored by the Dallas Observer), features 19 shows by various companies, some of which played only the first weekend, some only the second.
...
Audacity Theatre Lab's Roberts' Eternal Goldfish, written and performed by Brad McEntire, was a Loop standout (not running the second week). A bitter man, once left stranded in the ocean during a family snorkeling trip, has a life-altering epiphany thanks to a seemingly unkillable pet goldfish. McEntire's an expert at swimming solo onstage, charming the audience with sly looks and inventive storytelling.

Original post HERE.


ROBERTS ETERNAL GOLDFISH in PegasusNews.com

Robert's Eternal Goldfish: Audacity Theatre Lab
Reviewed by Richard Blake | PegasusNews.com | March 11, 2014
I’ll never look at a goldfish the same way again... ever!
In this one-man show created and performed by Brad McEntire, you come face to face with Mr. Charlemagne J. Roberts. Roberts has a huge problem with people -- all people. One day he becomes the unlikely custodian of a magical goldfish, and Roberts' misanthropic view of the world is seriously challenged.
I have the utmost respect for one-man/woman shows and the ability of one performer to hold an audience captivated. It is a tremendous task to accomplish, and to do it with excellence as McEntire does for about an hour, is a testament to his outstanding level of talent!
His character is engaging, illicit, antagonistic, and sometimes on the verge of a bit psychotic, yet every moment you hang on his every word, always wondering where he is taking you on this seemingly disjointed journey of self-awareness and discovery. There are sections where he directly engages the audience, either for motivation or out of the sheer joy of causing patron uneasiness, but whatever the actual reason, it’s brilliantly done. In the end, you discover yourself looking at his character with a different emotional understanding than when you begin, and a sense of compassion that comes from a place you can’t describe.
McEntire is also the playwright, and in that arena he also shines. His character has an arc, albeit a strange and seemingly psychotic one, but it is there and it’s very powerful to watch evolve. The story takes you on a precisely laid out journey through one man’s psyche while making you feel like you shouldn’t be there, listening. The comedic elements allow necessary relief, and filter the sometimes harsh and intense moments. Without them, the story would be so overwhelming, you would lose interest.
Robert’s Eternal Goldfish works, and McEntire does everything perfectly in his writing, only overshadowing it with his stellar performance in it!

Original post HERE.


ROBERTS ETERNAL GOLDFISH in DallasNews.com

All part of the show: ‘Out of the Loop’ actors interact with the audience

Nancy Churnin | DallasNews.com | March 10, 2014


ADDISON — Immediacy has always proved the trump card of live theater — the sense of being there that no filmed version of entertainment can truly match. As if sensing that advantage and emphasizing it, several programs in this latest roundup of the 2014 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival include performers who interact with the audience. WaterTower Theatre’s 10-day annual celebration of theater, music, dance and art continues through Sunday.

...

‘Robert’s Eternal Goldfish,’ by Audacity Theatre Lab
Like a cross between Seinfeld’s George Costanza and comedian Lewis Black, Brad McEntire berates an audience member for something he accuses her of thinking. With a little tightening and shortening, McEntire could make this journey — from a man filled with hate to one transformed by the kindness of a stranger and a goldfish — even more moving and funny.
Original post HERE.


Mar 10, 2014

ROBERTS' ETERNAL GOLDFISH... NOT mentioned in Front/Row Blog

This is by far might be my favorite review ever...


03/8/2014 | POSTED IN THEATER & DANCE.

Robert’s Eternal Goldfish.
Speaking of stories, here’s a funny story about this play, put on by Audacity Theatre Lab. Thought we had a 15 minute intermission. Returned eight minutes later (I timed myself on my phone, in case you’re wondering). Door was shut, show was in progress. It’s too bad, really, because I mostly hate fish and I was looking forward to having some sort of epiphany.

See it? Heck if I know.

Stone Cottage. Repeats Mar. 8,  8:00 pm and Mar. 9, 5:00 pm.

Original post HERE.

Mar 9, 2014

ROBERTS ETERNAL GOLDFISH review in TheaterJones.com


Loop Review: Beware of Plastics / Robert's Eternal Goldfish

In this odd double bill of Actor's Conservatory Theatre and Audacity Theatre Lab, Brad McEntire once again proves himself a master storyteller.

published Saturday, March 8, 2014

...

If the first show in this double feature was the beginners, then Audacity Theatre Lab’s Robert’s Eternal Goldfish is the master. Created and performed by Brad McEntire, he plays Charlemagne J. Roberts, a man filled with hate.

He begins by recounting a tale of a snorkeling excursion gone wrong. This lays the groundwork for his generally negative outlook towards life. However, after a chance and tragic encounter with his polar mood opposite, a particularly cheerful young woman, Roberts finds himself buying a goldfish in tribute to her.

Of course, being such a sad sack, Roberts soon grows tired of the fish and flushes it. But, there’s something wrong. This fish doesn’t seem to die.

One of McEntire’s many talents is being able to couch very real meditations on life into extraordinary stories. This show allows him to flash his bad boy side with hilarious ends. Normally a very pleasant man, it’s a lot of fun to see McEntire mean and complain about everything. His commitment to the role is believable and laugh inducing. Yet, when it’s all said and done, both Roberts and the audience learn a little something.

This double feature performance is a strange pairing. The shows have nothing in common and represent a huge gap in talent and experience. That said, it’s worth giving the girls of Beware of Plastics a chance, if only to get to the awesome Roberts’ Eternal Goldfish.

original post HERE.

Mar 7, 2014

Dallas Solo Fest Kickstarter

In May I will be producing the first ever Dallas Solo Fest. It will feature solo performers from around the country as well as a handful of local artists. I have a Kickstarter Campaign cooking right now to help raise the funds to make the DSF as kick-ass as I know it can be. Click on the widget below and ceck it out. Donate a bit or at the very least, pass it on. Any and all help is appreciated.

Mar 3, 2014

At the 2014 Staple! Expo

Jeff from Sensational Adventure Club, Ruth and I shared a table at the Staple! Expo of Independent Media in Austin this past weekend. I had a playwriting workshop to teach, so I didn't make it down until Saturday night (I took the Megabus... $5... not bad).

Sold a bit. Bought a bit. Ruth's homemade hybrid plush-toys: Tarantu-Bears sold the best. My new comin "My Secret Island" sold a few, too. 

Ate at P. Terry's and Double Dave's Pizza (two of my Austin favorites). Visited BookPeople and got Austin Kleon's newest book. Had a cigar and a drink called a Bulleitt Mule (bourbon, lime, spicy ginger and club soda) on the back paio of the Spider House. Good time. 

We got stuck on the way back to Dallas on Sunday night. Roads super icy. We ended up staying in a Ramada in Hewlitt, Texas (just south of Waco). Great hotel. Much better than the cheap, sketchy crack-house Motel 6 we were at in Austin. Ruth worried and fretted about missing her Monday classes. I finished ROBERTS' ETERNAL GOLDFISH finally! It premieres in less than a week.

Here's some pics in no particular order...

Ran into my friend Shannon McCormick of Gnap! Theatre also working a table.
My new comic "My Secret Island" sold around a dozen copies
Riding the Megabus out of downtown Dallas.
Our table... quite a smattering of different things...
Drawing comics in Hernandez's sketchbook while manning the table...

The finished doodles...

Finally finishing my solo piece ROBERTS' ETERNAL GOLDFISH... hand-written, baby!