When just mothers and toddlers turn up at a gig you know something is wrong, maybe it was because we were doing a gig in a cupboard in a shopping center?
We were shown our disused shop with its floresent lighting in a dark corner of a shopping center, it was a beautiful day in a town with places out doors to perform... They had hung some material on the walls and the woman who was showing us the room said "this is lovely now isn't it" I said it wasn't, it felt like a cupboard. You know when things are going to go bad. Your billed as free entertainment and they put you in a punch and judy box. Who the hell is going to go in somewhere like that. We do comedy shows, these surroundings were not conducive for comedy... we said to the festival organiser (who had booked us!) that we do comedy, "oh your funny are you" he's a snob who doesn't give two shits about Irish talent and supporting emerging Irish artists, he's more interested in putting them down. If you had seen any of our shows, had a look at our website, talked to anyone who has ever booked us you would not have put us in a cupboard in a shopping center. Don't put us in a shopping center full stop. And we can do a show anywhere, throw us out on any street in the country or across the world and we'll get a good show going. If you make us look like "play group" entertainers everyone is going to be disappointed.
There is a problem in our society with value, value of time, value of each other. We are posting a postcard perfect version of our lives on facebook and intagram, we like what is successful but it is cool to like something underground, whats up and coming, whats gritty and edgy... but what we are getting is a sanityised and sellable version of what has already happened. If we could stop trying to sell everything, including our own image to the outside world we would be able to make up our own decisions, on what we like instead of what is trending. (though you could totally like what is trending!)
We need to take more time to look around us, look through the hype and have a look at interesting things that are going on in our communities, in art and performance. We need to support each other, help each other shine, recognise the talent in our artists and put that talent on an appropriate stage.
And not put your artists in a cupboard in a shopping center, put them in the center of town, out doors, be proud of them, help them shine, let them effect the people of your town. Let the people of your town know that it is okay to look different, stick you head above water. "If you are not willing to look stupid nothing great will ever happen to you"
The show went fine, no one was shocked, some of the people laughed, but it was a waste, it was a waste because the festival and the people didn't get the show they could have, and we get left with a feeling that we didn't do our job well.