by Cameryn Moore
I don’t know exactly what makes the difference between my having a good experience in a city and a great one, but after a whirlwind 10 days in Atlanta, I have something closer to a theory:
Second sign: when I ask that person if there are any places I could perform for visibility purposes, they have three suggestions for the first three days. Even better if these are not theatre events, but cross-related fields (storytelling, spoken word, sex events, and so on). It’s fine if it’s an off week—that happens almost everywhere except New York—but it is a bad sign if a person in that position has no suggestions whatsoever, even ones that normally happen but aren’t, for whatever reason, this month.
I stepped into a particularly fortuitous week in Atlanta’s storytelling and literary scene, when there were two storytelling events on the Monday and Tuesday nights, and then a big Wednesday night literary event (Write Club Atlanta, aw yeah, in presentation it is every bit as bombastic as it sounds, but it’s some quality shit, I’m telling you). The marketing person for the Atlanta Fringe set me up to appear at the two storytelling events, and to pitch my show for 90 seconds from the stage at Write Club. Even better, the organizer and promoter of Write Club heard me telling a story on Monday night; it was a story about exploring my sexuality with a metal knitting needle, HAHAHAHAHAH, “New Frontiers”, I’ll give you new frontiers. This guy was impressed enough by my performance that he totally let me talk for longer at Write Club (in front of 150 smart people, hungry for more smart events). He came to my show on opening night, promoted it out constantly on Facebook, and then we got to sit around and talk shop for, like, two or three nights in there.
The maddening thing is, I can’t plan this shit. I can’t say to myself, “Hey, I am going to find those opinion leaders and movers and shakers, and I am going to hang out with them late and get them to my show, and they will fall in love with my work and we will all live happily ever after.” Maybe you can do that, I can’t. I’m sure I missed that lecture in my audience development class in grad school. I don’t know how to do that.
And I can be pretty sure that’s going to happen when these four signs occur.