Apr 24, 2014

New hand-made letterpress notecards

A few months ago I moved into a cheaper place. My wife and I decided that to continue to live month to month and rent one half-falling-down house (just because, hey, a house) after another would be a mistake, so we stopped repeating it. We moved into an apartment and have started to do what adults do... save money, down-size and generally take responcibility for our lives and future.

As this genuine (as opposed to the lip-service version I have attempted in the past) process of whittling down to essentials has gotten underway, I am paying attention to lots of small things in my life. I've always been detail-oriented, but the concept of curating my environment and lifestyle really appeals to me. Get the clutter out and make way for the important things. I'm slowly and meticulously doing this clearing away of the "too-much" across the board: to my clothes, my living quarters, my car, my job responcibilities, my creative life, my physique, etc.

One important thing to me is stationary. I know that sentence seems laughable, but I am one of the only people I know who still regularly writes hand-written notes and letters. Years ago, I had a bunch of stationary made for me at Crane's. Out of that set, the stuff I went through the fastest was the notecards. So I have recently set about to replace my notecard stock.

I approached Lily Smith-Kirkley of Lilco Letterpress. With great patience and warmth, she fielded a bunch of my questions. I drew my "boxed" initials in my standard way and she put it into the proper format to create a letterpress mold. I got to pick the paper, size, envelopes, color of ink and on and on. 

It was one of those situations when you want something the exact way you want it, but you, personally, don't have the skill set or equipment to execute it. Lily made sure I got exactly what I wanted and I am as pleased as punch with how the notecards turned out. Plus, I dig Lily's studio. When I went to pick up my cards I met Shari of Red Llama Studio. She and Lily were creating tags for Shari's hand-made quilts together. Definitely a creative vibe.

These cards are unique to me. They are now part of my curated, idiosyncratic existence.

I did not take this one. Lily Smith+Kirkley @ Lilco Press. March 2012. Dallas, Texas © Allison V. Smith

Lily's workshop. Plain on the outside, but a crafty studio of awesome on the inside.
Lily showing me the mock-up of my notecard design in Illustrator, at her swank letterpress studio.
The feel of the "pressed" in art is awesome.

Apr 2, 2014

DSF in TheaterJones.com

Dallas Solo Fest Lineup Announced

Audacity Theatre Lab will bring in performers from across the country, plus some of our homegrown talent, for the first Solo Fest.

 | TheaterJones.com | published Sunday, March 30, 2014

Alexandra Tatarsky in Beast of Feastive Skin

Dallas — Exciting news for North Texas and the festival scene: The lineup for the first Dallas Solo Fest has been announced. The brainchild of Dallas solo performer and producer Brad McEntire, the event will run May 15-25 at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park presented by Audacity Theatre Lab. The festival includes eight solo performances from across the country, including works from New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Austin, plus shows from Dallas performers Elaine Liner, John Michael and Danny O'Connor.

The inaugural Dallas Solo Fest line-up includes Deanna Fleysher’s Butt Kapinski, Veronica Russell’s A Different Woman, John Michael’s Crossing Your I’s, Zeb L. West’s Innocent When You Dream, David Mogolov’s Eating My Garbage, Alexandra Tatasky’s Beast of Festive Skin, Elaine Liner’s Sweater Curse: A Yarn About Love and Danny O’Connor’s Bouncing Ugly. According to the news release, "collectively, these performers represent a wide variety of solo performance styles from storytelling, puppetry and improvisational clown pieces to pieces that defy easy explanation."

Here is more about the shows and performance times:

A Different Woman: A True Story of a Texas Childhood by Veronica Russell (New Orleans), adapted the book My First Thirty Years by Gertrude Beasley. This solo show presents an unvarnished, unapologetic and cynical tale of a rural Texas childhood told by a woman who pulled herself out of the cycle of poverty and abuse in which she found herself. A Different Womanis a darkly humorous stage adaptation of Ms. Beasley's controversial banned memoir.
  • Thursday, May 22, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 23, 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 24, 10:30 p.m.
Zeb L. West in Innocent When You Dream
Beast of Festive Skin by Alexandra Tatarsky (New York City) is an absurdist vaudeville about alchemists, rappers and other creative visionaries stuck in Hell. These deranged darlings of the underworld tell their tales of woe with a truly fiery need to get by. The horror of existence! The agony of creation! The one-woman show people are dying to see!
  • Friday, May 16, 10:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 18, 5 p.m.
Bouncing Ugly by Danny O’Connor (Dallas) recounts his experience as a bouncer at the Coyote Ugly Saloon in NYC. He has stories, oh yes, he has stories.
  • Thursday, May 15, 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 17, 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 18, 8:30 p.m.
Butt Kapinski by Deanna Fleysher (Los Angeles) stars as Private Eye Butt Kapinski. The audience is invited to co-star in an improvisational film noir fantasy. This funny, filthy, fully-interactive ride is riddled with sex, sin, shadows and subterfuge.
  • Thursday, May 22, 10:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 23, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 24, 9 p.m.
Crossing Your I’s by John Michael (Dallas) concerns John’s experiences learning from and working with dementia patients. This World Premiere solo show about intergenerational understanding and the messiness of human connections is filtered through John Michael’s uniquely kinetic and hilarious perspective.
  • Thursday, May 15, 10:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 18, 9 p.m.
  • Friday, May 23, 10:30 p.m.
Eating My Garbage by David Mogolov (Boston). Dumbfounded by a call from a political pollster, David searches himself for a reason to believe the nation isn't utterly doomed. When he can't quite think of one, he turns to irrational reasons. That's when his search gets more promising.
  • Friday, May 16, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 17, 10:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Innocent When You Dream by Zeb L. West (Austin) takes place in the belly of a whale. A heartbroken castaway, swallowed and driven mad has only two books to read - Don Quixote and Moby Dick.  He acts out the books using puppets and masks fashioned from flotsam. This solo adventure uses physical comedy and sea shanties to smash two literary epics into an hour of shameless antics!
  • Thursday, May 22, 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 24, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 25, 3:30 p.m.

Sweater Curse: A Yarn About Love by Elaine Liner (Dallas) was a 5-star hit at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Bring your knitting (or crocheting) and stitch along as Dallas writer-performer Elaine Liner shares her obsessions with great literature, old movies and the romantic entanglements of knitting sweaters for significant others.
  • Thursday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 18, 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 25, 5 p.m. 
Danny O'Connor in Bouncing Ugly
Here's more about the event from the press release:

The purpose of the Dallas Solo Fest is to celebrate extraordinary solo theatre as well as increase awareness and appreciation for the form in the north Texas area.

The Dallas Solo Fest will be produced by Audacity Theatre Lab and will play at the Margo Jones Theatre. Located at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park at 1121 First Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210, the Margo Jones Theatre features ample free, well-lit parking, access to the DART Rail, and a handy BYOB policy!

Single tickets and Festival Passes for all shows go on sale April 23.  Festival Passes, now on sale, include one admission to each festival show and are $55.  Individual ticket prices for each show are $12. Reservations can be made at the Dallas Solo Fest website or by calling (214) 888-6650. Details about the shows, artists bios, the full schedule and ticket information at www.DallasSoloFest.com 
Original post HERE