Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flavorpill Likes Speakeasy Dollhouse

Photograph from the play by Margee Challa.

“With the stunning popularity of Sleep No More, we guess it's not surprising to see more immersive theatre in the downtown NYC performing arts scene. But we were surprised to see such an ornately turned-out, unique, and well-produced experience, which stands entirely on its own. What sets Speakeasy Dollhouse apart, is that (if we take creator and director Cynthia von Buhler's word for it — and we do) it's all based on a true story: the murder of her grandfather Frank Spano, a recent Italian immigrant and a speakeasy operator in the Bronx, and the near-simultaneous birth of her mother. A rich cast of Roaring '20s gangsters and molls populate the space, as you wine and dine (on cannolis from Spano's Bakery, no less), and try to crack the as-yet unsolved mystery...”

Leah Taylor, Flavorpill

Read the review HERE.

Enough About Me, Let's Talk About You

Image from Speakeasy Dollhouse, The Bloody Beginning, ©Cynthia von Buhler, 2012

I'm Sick Of Me

As artistic creators we have to promote our projects constantly. It’s a necessary evil. Our friends, fans, and followers love to listen to us and help support our art, but wouldn’t we be more evolved if we set aside time to promote them and others too? I’m sick of me. Aren’t you a little sick of you too?

All of us are immersed in a culture of “me.” We shameless self-promoters aren’t the only guilty ones. Even people who don’t make art post pictures of themselves, their pets, or the food they eat. Through social media sites, everyone tells everyone else the intimate and mundane details of their lives-- constantly.

Bertrand Russell (British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic) explains how self-obsession leads to unhappiness in his book from 1930, The Conquest of Happiness:

Perhaps the greatest obstacle to happiness is “the disease of self-absorption.” (page 173)

Russell offers that his own conquest of happiness was due “very largely [. . . ] to a diminishing preoccupation with myself.” (page 6)

A happy person knows that “one’s ego is no very large part of the world.” (page 48)

“One of the great drawbacks to self-centered passions is that they afford so little variety in life. The man who loves only himself cannot, it is true, be accused of promiscuity in his affections, but he is bound in the end to suffer intolerable boredom from the invariable sameness of the object of his devotion.”

- These quotes from Bertrand Russell were pulled from THIS wonderful article in Psychology Today.

We all need a break from ourselves.

I have decided that from now on I will take this break on Mondays. I will no longer talk about myself in any way, shape, or form on this day. I call it “Enough About Me Mondays.” I will either talk about YOU or I will keep my mouth shut and LISTEN to you. I will attempt to do this through both social networking sites and in my own life.

In conjunction with this I am starting an ongoing salon event called “Let’s Talk About You.” Once a month I will hold an intimate gathering at Archipelago in Manhattan. One person will be chosen as the guest of honor and the rest of us will have the chance to learn more about their work. Those in attendance are encouraged to tweet and post photos, ideas, poems and thoughts throughout the salon.

Sure, Twitter has “Follow Friday,” but that has gone from a networking tool to a meaningless list. Instead, I propose that we choose people who are doing things that we love and give a little information about them: post a picture, music sample, or link. Let’s try to find people who aren’t normally promoted to talk about.

I’m going to focus on Mondays for now, but “Enough About Me” can occur anytime.

Will you join me?

If you say yes I will list you in my “Enough About Me, Let’s Talk About You” blog post with your URL and one line of text about you. Please send your URL and sentence to my assistant hannah@cynthiavonbuhler.com. Please feel free to send Hannah URLs and one liners about other projects you like, too. She will update them on the blog. Eventually, I will make a website for “Enough About Me, Let’s Talk About You.”

To begin, please post the message below and ask your friends to share and re-tweet it:

Enough About Me! I only talk about OTHERS on Mondays. Join us & be listed here: http://bit.ly/GCg3KR #EnoughAboutMeMonday or #EAMM

Members of the #EnoughAboutMeMonday Club

Cynthia von Buhler: A trip down an ornate rabbit hole filled with art, books, animals, and curiosities. @CynthVonBuhler Today we visit my Speakeasy Dollhouse. www.speakeasydollhouse.com

Jeffrey Wengrofsky: I am the Director and Producer of the Syndicate of Human Image Traffickers, where I make strange documentary films about the creative life. www.humansyndicate.com

Travis Louie: My work is about imaginary ancestry and an otherworldly immigrant experience through a backdrop set in Victorian and Edwardian eras. www.travislouieartworks.com or www.travislouie.com

Amanda White: "Rock star opera singer" Amanda White leads a double life as a classical/opera singer and frontwoman of an original rock band. www.notjustanotherprettyvoice.com

Cat Mallard: artist, curious girl. Inspired by tales and a pervasive sense of longing. @darklingwoods & www.darklingwoods.blogspot.com

Mary Layton: Artist of mythic, fantasy, faerie, and steampunky things. www.marylayton.net

Faulke Yue: Lil acoustic singer/songwriter with a deep deep voice....www.kevinjoneilmusic.com and www.reverbnation.com/kevinjoneil

Ali Luminescent: Faerie Mermaid Unicorn www.aliluminescent.com

Laurel Snyder has been talking about herself far too much for far too long. She writes books. laurelsnyder.com

Silent James: I am an illustrator of my own innocence, happily stuck in the 1920's. @SilentJamesL & www.silentjames.com

Scott Southard AKA Lord Kat: I wish everyone could have the freedom as I do to explore the world and witness the harmony of nature, science and metaphysics. twitter.com/Lord_Kat

Rita J. King: Artist, entrepreneur, adventurer, writer. www.sciencehouse.com

Stav Meishar: A performer artist who bends and blends the limits of theater, music and circus. www.stavmeishar.com

Justin Moore: A photographer without his own web site (yet). Also acting in CVB’s Speakeasy Dollhouse. flickr.com/photos/bdjsb7/collections/

Dennis Preski: A retail slave, beginner tattoo artist, and assistant the the great Cynthia von Buhler. You can find him performing at Speakeasy Dollhouse the first Saturday and Monday of every month.

Kambriel: Designer of Fantastical Clothing & Accessories for Femme Fatales & Decadent Gentlemen. www.etsy.com/shop/kambriel and www.Kambriel.com

Heather Rose: Conceptual portrait illustrator and rabbit enthusiast. heatherrosestudios.com

Edrie was raised on a farm and now plays the accordion & BRoken TOys for Walter Sickert & the ARmy of BRoken TOys @armyoftoys & armyoftoys.com

Marcy A. Currier: Artist, Intuitive, Healer, Teacher. Dedicated to transformation and awakening through Tarot, art, and engaging events. @metaMarcy21 & www.metamarcy.tumblr.com

Terese Lavallee: I'm a stay at home mom and I'm not afraid to laugh about it. tml-youllbefine.blogspot.com/

The Bewitched: Life's dark and delicious drama, the longing and the transformation, the subversive and the sublime. @thebewitched & thebewitched.bandcamp.com

Juliet Schneider: I work in various media, currently focused on animation and production design. iridiumproductions.com

Louisa Bertman: An illustrator basking naked in the world of digital storytelling, moving pictures and generated experiences. www.louisabertman.com

Heathyre Perara: I am rather Snarky and I play the Ukulele. I host the Dr Sketchy SWFL Branch, attend Tweetups across the state and have been known to sell sell Real Estate in SWFL. twitter.com/heathyre & drsketchyswfl.com

Katrina Galore AKA Katherine Bergeron: Performer/producer/dreamer/schemer of the Boston/NYC dirty-cabaret/retro-fetish/punk-burlesque/art-tart scene. @katrinagalore

Rachel Rossman: Portraits of man and beast. @rachaelrossman & www.rachaelrossman.com

Noctilucent Studios: I am an artist returning from the Realms of the Unreal. I want to show you something. noctilucentstudios.net

Black Fortress of Opium: Gothicana. @blackfortressoo & blackfortressofopium.com

Ajda: Singer of Black Fortress of Opium. @ajdatq & blackfortressofopium.com

André Blas: A non-linear nowmadic aesthete and communicator of multi-dimensional information, a content fabricator and an ambassador of ideas. My mission is to imagine, to inspire, and to bring a greater sense of cosmic harmony. @leonarduchamp & www.nablaste.tumblr.com

Aaron Lazar: [creative] @tzgani & aaronclazar.com

Donna Letterese: Illustrator, writer, and teacher who loves creating pictures that are narrative in nature. I do love to throw puns into the mix whenever possible. @drawdvl & www.drawdvl.com

Terra Friedrichs: A nerdish punksterish stagecrafted soulful anarchist artisty type. www.terrafriedrichs.com

Sarah Small: The Delirium Constructions is an ongoing body of work exploring disassociated themes and characters brought together into the same space to examine social and graphic contrasts; Small brings these ideas to life working in the mediums of photography, film, a Cappella singing, and live tableau vivant performance art. @SarahSmallTweet, Facebook & www.sarahsmall.com