Manitou Springs, CO

Just finished doing 4 performances of “Me, My Stuff and I” at the Manitou Art Theatre in Manitou Springs, CO. It’s a great little theatre run by very cool people.

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Here I am standing in front of a poster of me (which depicts me holding a picture of me.) And on and on it goes…

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Stage from the tech booth…

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The opening night crowd was small, but attentive…

Actually, the shows sold really well, with 3 of the 4 selling out. This was my third time in Manitou, so many in the audience were repeat offenders. And this great bit of press in the Colorado Springs Independent certainly helped.

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Yeah…THAT’S kinda what you want to see when you roll into a town, right? Awesome. Thanks Edie Adelstein for the great feature.

Another result of this press is that I was asked to sign the “celebrity” apron at the local cafe where I ate (and took pictures of) breakfast every morning. When you find good food on the road, you get kind of excited. And when you get excited, you take pictures. Or maybe I’m alone on this one. Point is – I have signed an apron. Now there’s no turning back.

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The Spice of Life in Manitou Springs. Ask to see the apron…

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Thanks to Jim and Birgitta and Ben and all the staff and volunteers at The MAT for, among other things, having this chair in the dressing room….

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I mean really…how could you have a bad show – or a bad anything – after sitting in this chair?

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Childhood Number 2 Trauma

Yes, I had an unfortunate incident involving “Number 2” when I was a child. But I mean literally. As in the numeral 2, the natural number between 1 and 3.

It was in the days of Big Chief Tablets and tree trunk sized pencils, at a time when you had to write words, letters and numbers over and over again. I remember we were doing numbers. I started experimenting with the curly-q potential of the 2, and took it to its logical extreme.

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(recreation)

My first grade teacher was not pleased with my attempts to stylize the 2. In fact, she gave me my paper back with a big red X through my final and the word “WRONG” written above it in equally red ink.

In looking back at my life, especially my employment history, I apparently made some big decisions that day. Specifically that creativity in the workplace is frowned upon, that individuality is discouraged, and that, despite my thoughts to the contrary, my number 2 stinks.

2009 Year in Pictures (of Me)

OK, so it’s not ALL pictures of me, but I was doing a photo project all year where I took a picture of myself each day and posted it on Flickr, so, yeah, there are some self-portraits in there, sure.

This project was a total accident – I never meant to spend the day making a video. I meant to start working on the “Every Job…” show. I tend to get lots of things done when I’m avoiding doing things.

So – here it is…

Just Under the “Annual Update” Wire

I really wish I would have done a bit more (or any, really) blogging of the creation of my last show, which has now been changed from “Barry Smith’s Baby Book” to “Me, My Stuff and I.” I’m kind of a DVD extras guy. I love behind the scenes looks at how bits of art are created. Sometimes more than the art itself. I’ll usually watch the “Making of” features for movies that I thought were shitty.

I’m hoping my new show – the one I’m writing now – won’t be shitty. But just in case it is, I’ll always have this record of how it was created. Starting…now…

“Every Job I’ve Ever Had.”

That’s the working title. Also the description. It’ll be a solo, multi-media comedy about, well, you know…

I have a few deadlines for this new show. The debut date will be at the Ottawa Fringe Festival in June 2010. But before that, on Feb. 27th, I’ve booked an evening at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale, CO, just a few towns over. I’ll be doing a “here’s what I’ve got so far” script reading.

When I did such a reading for a show that I was calling “Click,” it was one of the more humiliating moments of my life on stage. Even worse than my 5th grade spelling bee debacle. (Who the hell doesn’t know how to spell “character?”) I carried that ancient pain with me right up until after taking the stage to give my initial script reading of “Click.”

I probably hadn’t put quite enough time into “Click” to really be reading it aloud. I made a cool poster…

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…got the local paper to do a story on it, with pictures…

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…even did a web page, but all of that time would have been better spent working on the actual, you know, script. About 5 minutes in I realized it was going to be a long hour. Oh, it was brutal. Here’s the audience from that night.

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Notice how some of the people are smiling? Don’t let that fool you. They were in pain. Look at some of the other faces and you’ll see what I mean.

Long and painful story short, I regrouped from that reading, salvaged the parts of the show that I thought worked – literally about 5% – and created a whole new show around it, the one now called “Me, My Stuff and I.” Given what I knew at the time, there was no other way to go about it. The public humiliation was a strong motivator. Alas, it was after the fact.

Well, now I have a chance to avoid that. At this point I have approximately 6 weeks to get a rough draft together. I just finished scanning the last of my old family photos, so those are in the computer and ready to be quickly and easily added to the “multimedia” part of the show. Finishing the scanning feels like turning all the puzzle pieces face-up before beginning the assembly. Only I don’t have a box top to refer to.

Lot’s of work to do, lots of good, focused, productive work. I drew this little cartoon this morning to help me focus.

It’s already not working, as I kept fucking around with it, making the mouth different, adding eye wrinkles, and so on.

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That’s irony, folks.