Kickstart Our Art

In the last year, the concept of crowdfunding (most popularly defined as the idea of financing a project through internet donations and pledges) has quickly become a pop-cultural phenomenon. As a case study, I submit to you one Amanda Palmer, a singer/songwriter who launched a Kickstarter page ten days ago to help fund her next album; within about five hours, it had reached its goal of $100,000. As of this moment, with 20 days left, that album’s about 635% funded. I repeat, 635%.

The promise of crowdfunding is that it strengthens the bond between artists and fans/consumers, and allows them to share in the creative act in a way that I hope remains positive. As Palmer’s husband recently said, “I love the way that Kickstarter allows people both to be patrons of the arts and to directly support the creation and manufacture of the thing they want.”

All of which provides a nice teaser for what we’re working on right now… Continue reading

A Fool And His Honey, or: On The Hazards Of Sitting In The Front Row When One Of Your Best Friends Is The Star

It’s likely an obvious statement I’m about to make, especially if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, but one of the things I love about my job is getting to follow, chart, even influence the evolution of a creative work.  When the film premieres, when the play opens, that’s the beginning for the audience, but for those of us on the other side of those seats, it’s just one more step in a process that never really ends.

And when you’re in on that process from the beginning, you know that from conception to reception, the slightest change can make all the difference.  Which brings us to the Cameo Theatre.

Continue reading

Always A Learning Experience

One of my earliest experiences in the PrimaDonna universe (or could I say “PrimaDonniverse”?) was a table read for a film then known as Dream Healer (which ultimately premiered as Dream Healing).  It was a great experience, and looking back, the foreshadowing of the moment was so blatant only someone like me could have missed it, as I met so many people I’d ultimately come to know as friends and colleagues.

Among those actors (as the Dream Healer herself) was a girl by the name of Gabi Walker.  I was genuinely impressed by the talent she showed at that reading, and even more impressed with her poise and character.  So it was hardly a surprise to learn that she was one of Nikki’s students.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that working with kids was an important part of my PDP experience well before the beginning of it all.  And as you’ve probably figured out from recent posts, that continues today. Continue reading

Why I Am A Kind Of “Renaissance” Man

Read any related post on PDP’s News & Events page, and you’ll see a common thread when we talk about our relationship with The Renaissance Guild: privilege.  As a PrimaDonna, it has been my privilege to have worked with TRG over the last three years, and as an emerging theatergoer and critic, it has been just as great a privilege to attend and review the company’s productions, from Steel Magnolias in 2007 to their out-of-the-park performance of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom earlier this year. Continue reading

NESA Is The Word

Working at PrimaDonna has given me an interesting perspective on the ongoing fight to save the North East School of the Arts, since many of the talent we’ve worked with are students there.  And having seen them grow as artists and performers, I know how important it is to have a place like NESA that encourages them to further that growth and make the most of their talents.  It’s absolutely worth the fight.

And as the fight goes on, so must the show… Continue reading