This is nice to read. A little potted history of me at Soho Theatre. A place that I well and truly call home. Love you guys very very much xxx
Hello Mr and Mrs Divingtons,
This is my final blog post on this blog EVER. I always vowed to myself that this would only run for the time that the project was live for, and that it would, where possible, only deal with things that the project threw up. I have deviated slightly at times, when things have been too important not to tell you about or simply pissed me off so much I had to blurt it out somewhere, but it is time for me to get a new blog as it feels like this little one should be left as an archive of the 7 Day Drunk project, so it can house all its wonderful stories, stupid occurrences, good and bad reviews and scientific data.
So its time to say goodbye. Its time to hang up the white pointed shoulder costume, put the pink glitter helmet on the shelf, throw away the excess silly string and lemons and never get a girl drunk on stage again! I have a huge coldsore since Saturdays final show at Mayfest in Bristol and my body feels heavy with both sorrow and joy and I know that its because times are changing and my body is aclimatising after a year of obsession. I felt the same for Sex Idiot. Its like saying goodbye to an old, slightly annoying, very heavy friend that you have to carry everywhere you go.
So some stats before we go…
I have done 62 shows
(Ipswich, Cambridge, Norwich, Latitude, London, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Bath, Dublin, St Albans, Chichester, Manchester, Warwick, Lincoln, Sheffield, Colchester, Glasgow, Bristol, Cardiff)
With 61 drink through girls and 1 drink through boy (St Albans ladies are way more reserved than anywhere else in the UK!)
Been seen by over 3000 audience members
Consumed 35 Litres of Smirnoff Vodka (29 for the tour and 6 for the drinking experiment)
Driven 2752 miles (in Justine Topanga O’Nassis, my trusty black steed)
We have seen…
- 1 girl falling off her chair.
- 1 girl biting my leg so hard she drew blood.
- 1 girl falling asleep ontage.
- 1 famous girl raving (Juliette Lewis)
- 1 girl losing her laptop (me)
We smashed 84 breakaway bottles
We have had…
1 x 5 star review
12 x 4 star reviews
6 x 3 star reviews
2 x 2 star reviews
0 x 1 star reviews (thank god)
10,979 unique user blog visits from 77 countries (thankyou google analytics)
PHEW! It has been a rollarcoaster of a year, personally and work wise, and reading back over the pages of this blog I can remember the times past, the moods I have been in, the people I have encountered and the lessons I have learnt.
This show could not have been made without some very helpful and special people: Dr Frances Finnigan, Dr Scott Vrecko, Dr Tony Burch, Dr Sophie Scott, Professor Nick Davies, Nick Vass and Ignore This.. films, Nina Steiger, Steve Lock and the team at Soho Theatre, Kate Madden and the team at The Junction, Jago Peachey, Alexander6, David Curtis Ring, Cathy Ennis, Christa Holka, All the guys who drank with me on camera on Day 7 (you know who you are!!) Jackson’s Lane, Stacy Makishi, Contact Theatre, Sheila Ghelani and Azusa Ono, Arts Council England, Anthony Roberts, Steve Forster and the Escalator East to Edinburgh team, Hannah Kerr, Natalie Clarke, Rachel Porter, Cat Harrison and Shonagh Manson and The Jerwood Charitable Foundation PLUS all the venues that programmed the work!!
Goodbye 7 Day Drunk! I will start a new blog soon and link you guys to it. Otherwise this archive will remain here for the rest of time, feel free to browse its pages to see how this work came into fruition. I am starting a new project plus some exciting things for BAC and for Christmas.
You can get hold of me on firstname.lastname@example.org should you need to.
Thanks for coming, thanks for drinking, thanks for raving. Its been amazing.
So thats the end of that then.
Final goodbye to this blog and post due this week.
So to commemorate the fact that this weekend is the LAST tour dates for 7 Day Drunk I thought I would post a series of photos that were taken during that fateful week back in early June 2011. WOW! Its been a year and what a year its been. I look young in these pictures!!!
Thanks to everyone who has followed, supported, come to see, drank through, scoffed at and laughed along to this very fun, heart wrenching and complicated project!!! I will never forget you.
This blog will become an archive in a while. After the last email of the tour goes out next week. I will start a new blog. I will tell you all. Its been drunken… and emotional.
These two lovely Bristol dates are the final dates of my UK tour for 7 Day Drunk. They are actually dates 58 and 59. By now you’d hope i’d managed to make it quite good. So why not come along. I will not be doing the show in the UK again. When I am done, I am done. So if you thought you might catch it at some point… this is the final frontier. Xxxx
Hello sweet somethings,
I am up and off in Justine Topanga O’Nassis (my car for those who aren’t regular readers!) to The lovely Norwich. I am setting up a large teepee and sticking my spa based sound piece The Hall of Gratuitous Praise in it for the weekend. Perfect for the festival weary to take a load off, have a cuppa herbal and get their ego stroked for a wee while.
I am staying with the lovely John Osbourne, one of my favourite people in the world. I am also running The Hall with Ihsan, another of my ultimate faves. So I think it is going to be quite a nice weekend. Thanks for asking.
Anyway, if you were in the city maybe pop down and say hello to us. I think we will drink some prossecco for some of it (You bring the Prossecco). We are in the Spiegel Garden 6-10pm tonight and tomorrow and then 11-4 on Sunday.
I am wearing a yellow jumper and 90’s hat. I am sitting in an east end coffee shop sipping a flat white, waiting for a Vietnamese pork sandwich writing on my iPad… I am the walking talking cliche of cliches. You’d have thought by now I would have learnt my lesson.
I am pensive, exhausted and angry at myself today. That’s right fact fans, you are going to hear my moaning… Again. I often think, what sort of person writes a blog and tells complete strangers how they feel about something… Throws their emotions out into the digital ether to see what sticks and how many people can validate their existence… Well ME that’s who. Did I ever make this decision to be one of these people? God knows. But I do it, even though I sound the opposite, because enjoy it.
As some of you may know, I have been pretty flat out recently. This year is the first year of my life where I am attempting to live off my art alone, not working for the man, or having another artist bossing me around whilst they make their ropey fare. And because of this change I have been trying to get the live/work… good job/bad job balance right. At the beginning of the year I saw 2012 panning out before me with a huge lush amount of touring (thanks Nat) in spring and then a whole expanse of NOTHINGNESS after April. I panicked, I freaked out and went about applying for everything, taking everything and filing up my diary as much as I could…
Now I am lucky because I got some great gigs and some nice new things going on (outdoor work, cabaret work, youth work) BUT the amount of work an artist needs to commit to, to make an actual living is RIDICULOUS. If you actually look at the wage, fee or commission that an artist is offered for something… In a business sense… It actually isn’t humanly possible to work and live a normal existence. Until you are Jeremy Deller or Jessie J (whatever floats your boat) there seems to be this huge gap in the art economy that noone seems to be policing. Or taking care of.
Now I don’t feel this is a venues fault. Nor do I feel its the artists fault for not asking for more (those of you who know me know that I am always fair but clear that there is a limit too my “oh it’s good for my CV” or “I would like to start a relationship with this place” fee waivers or reductions). I think it’s much higher than that… And I don’t mean the Arts Council when I say that (although I am sure you would like me to slag them off… I am actually predominantly a fan). I actually mean a sector wide acceptance of a culture that isn’t itself fair or sensical.
For example. A man sets up a shop and in it he sells his favourite things. Things that mean a lot to him. It just so happens these things mean a lot to others too and he is busy and popular. But the price of these goods don’t pay the rent, the rates and they certainly don’t pay him. He slowly starts to sell other things, things he doesn’t like so much. He slowly starts to fall behind in his rent. But he is just pleased that people like the things he likes, he is simply grateful that this is happening. He has worked for a long time without is happening, put his heart, blood, tears into it. But he gets tired, he then dies.
Alright he doesn’t die! Thats silly. But the first thing a business consultant would say to him would be “put your prices up you idiot!”. So it doesn’t make sense does it. It’s not an economy the government would condone in any other sector. People would call the man a fool, say he was a bad business man. SO WHY is this acceptable, to every single human living person working in the arts. This doesn’t need too be the case. So if you make alright work and can write applications ok and aren’t just sme muppet making crap work and talk the right talk I suggest you attach the following guidelines to your practice…
Say NO to unpaid work that ALSO has no other benefits (cv or relationship building, free laptop etc)
Ask for the money you need for the ACTUAL time it will take instead of pricing it down under pressure of competition or fear of being told no
Learn how to figure out how much time things take better (often a job I feel will take 3 days takes a week and I am out of pocket and stressed)
Don’t take work or support the work of organisations who continuously ask artists to do things for nothing if you can see that they are making money off you!
Have a fee chart/scale. Have your own payment terms. Have your own contract.
Tell venues and organisations that your information (tech specs, press releases) are the info you provide (the amount of venue specific forms I fill in transferring info from my info to another form when the people who work in the venue are PAID and I am not is crazy)
Use an intern but be ethical about it… Be clear about what they get for their time as well as vice versa
Commit to paying your performers properly and don’t take work if you can’t
Tell a venue how much time their fee buys them and if you feel they are taking the piss call a meeting and be very polite but firm.
There are so much more that I need to think about… BUT…
If we all began to respect our art enough to employ these tactics and did it EN MASSE then we would begin to see a shift and a change in the way the sector works. I don’t care if it’s a recession, arts money is wasted everywhere and we all know it. Artists are key to the arts sector… We often forget that without us the whole thing would be defunct. It’s time to address this ridiculous business. If anyone wants me to help them further or hold a seminar in business planning (a skill I have learnt through my years managing the most financially tight and tricky organisations in the universe!) I am more than happy to do so. Let’s not have a State of the Arts conference next year that DOESN’T talk about this unrealistic economy.
I want to buy a house one day… Have kids. I can’t live like this anymore. My boyfriend never gets to see me and I live out of a suitcase and it’s making me feel horrid. A few less jobs, a bit more money would be enough to balance this all out. It’s only right. Come on arts people, buck up your ideas. A little bit of shaving off fees here… a little bit of “oh let’s just not offer a fee” there is magnified by the fact that EVERYONE does it. We are all to blame. Let’s do something about it.
Citizen Kimmings x