I hope you have never heard it… or had to say it, but we all know the cop out- “It’s Not You, It’s Me “. This independent film by Nathan Ives takes a troubled relationship and reveals the internal struggles of both partners in the relationship. This film is currently on tour in the South East and will continue to travel across the U.S. as the ‘pay what you will’ screenings collect donations to support the tour. I heard about this screening through the Charleston City Paper. The film has a website with the trailer, information on cast, crew and a director’s note. This site also includes a list of upcoming locations for screenings. The director and writer, Nathan Ives, has created a Facebook and Twitter account to promote the film and also used local news to advertise for the Charleston screenings.
I went to see the film on Monday night at Terrace Theater. Before the show started Nathan explained to the audience that he is trying to create a sustainable model for touring independent films, as most of them aren’t even seen by the general public. He was so enthusiastic in welcoming the audience as individuals entering the theater and collectively as a crowd. The audience was mostly composed of people over the age of 50. These were grown ups with a great sense of humor. No dirty joke went without a contagious laugh across the theater. The people in this crowd fit the ‘I read the Sunday paper’ type. I also know for a fact that this film was promoted in the Sunday Charleston City Paper. It goes to show that promotion will determine your crowd! For what Nathan is trying to do with this film and for the independent film industry, he has the right target audience in mind.
This past weekend, without any real knowledge of the event I was about to attend, I went to the annual Jail Break art event in downtown Charleston. Held in the Old City Jail, and rumored to be hiding a decommissioned electric chair, walking in I was a bit apprehensive. However, it only took a few moments before I forgot the dark history of the place, and focused entirely on all the different forms of artistic expression filling the different, crumbling rooms. From comedians to theatre to puppets to oil paintings and collages, and even blacksmithing; you name it, it was there. Overlaying all of this was incredible live music performances in the back, where you could buy good food or shop at a small market of local artisans.
What really struck me about the event was the diversity of the audience. There were people ranging in ages six to seventy milling around, at least for the first few hours of the event. Jail Break seems to reach to out to all members of the community, not just artistic-types, and this obviously puts them at a great advantage in advertising, revenue, and general knowledge about the event. I would definitely recommend other people to attend. I know I’m going next year; I can not wait to see what the artists have planned.
For my third and final event, I chose to attend a concert by Selena Gomez, known as the Stars Dance Tour. The concert was at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC on October 27, 2013. The concert was well received, well attended, and overall an excellent production. Selena’s tour promoter, Live Nation, marketed the event well, using email, social media, and musical promotion through various televised promotion. The show was about 95% sold out, with a few empty rows and seats throughout the arena. The event took advantage of the “4 Ps of Marketing” including place, price, promotion, and product. It was a great show and it was definitely worth the money!
Last night, October 29th, I decided go to the Columbia Ballet proformance of ‘Dracula with a Bite’, it was a one night performance at the Sottile Theatre on George Street. With the exception of seeing the Nut Cracker when I was very young, this was my first time attending a ballet.
The theatre seemed to be about three quarters full. I was very surprised to observe that there were only a small number of students from the college attending the performance. Most of the audience was made up of older couples and young professionals, this was probably due to the high cost of tickets. The performance was a spectacular set of traditional and contemporary dances; both of which seemed to complement each other very nicely. Although I feel that the show was not fully worth the cost of the ticket, I certainly can say that I enjoyed my evening. This loose interpretation of Bram Stokers famous novel was an exciting introduction into the world of Ballet, and a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit.
This weekend I had the privilege to attend the SCTA (South Carolina Theatre Association) Convention, which was hosted at the School of the Arts in North Charleston. In addition to the numerous classes and performances offered, this year SCTA brought in famous Playwright/Screenwriter/Director, John Patrick Shanley, as their Keynote Guest Artist. College of Charleston’s School of the Arts sponsored his appearance and in return CofC students received free passes to the weekend convention on a first come-first serve basis.
John Patrick Shanley’s Q&A discussion was one of the most intriguing conversations I’ve been apart of. He was very encouraging towards emerging artists and talked about how he went from writing short plays to writing and directing Doubt, which was nominated for more than 40 awards. Not sure why anyone would pass up a free opportunity like this one. With many members and sponsors, multiple workshops and performances were available to attendees. This was one of the most welcoming and successful conventions I have attended.
I went to Bassnectar‘s show at the North Charleston Coliseum on October 24th. Generally Bassnectar is a lot more fun to see at an outdoor venue, but after the massive storm that hit during the middle of his last Charleston performance moving the show to an indoor venue seemed to be a wise choice. Tickets were reasonably priced so that college students and other young people could afford to see the show. There was advertising all over the place for this event, but none of these adds mentioned a key element: if you weren’t one of the first 2000 people in the door you had to stay in the stands while the majority of the crowd raged in front of the stage. The performance was great as usual. The light show was brilliantly timed with the music and the mixes were solid.
On November 6, 2013 I attended the North Charleston Performing Arts Center presentation of the award-winning musical “Jersey Boys”. In 2006, the musical won a Grammy for Best Musical Show and in 2009 it won an Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The production was part of the North Charleston Performing Arts Center’s Best of Broadway Series where they bring in well know shows such as Memphis and The Addams Family for patrons of the area to enjoy. The majority of the audience was over the age of 50 but almost every seat in the house was sold out. The audience appeared to enjoy themselves as much as the actors on stage as they watched the four boys rise to fame.
The advertising campaign for this show had to be extremely versatile to appeal to the wide range of audience members in attendance. The show was advertised from places like the College of Charleston Campus to billboards on I-26. Ticketmaster also sent out emails in regards to the upcoming show to tell patrons in the area that this Broadway show was coming into town for only six short days. The tickets were reasonably priced and well worth the trip to North Charleston. If the show was still in town I would highly recommend the show to anyone who needs a good laugh, likes great music or simply enjoys the arts.
On Friday October 18th the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art held their opening reception for the exhibit titled Tales of the Conjure Woman by the artist Renee Stout. The pieces in the show were all based around the folk stories that originated through slavery among African Americans. The pieces established a story of a root worker and fortune teller named Fatima Mayfield, an alter ego that Renee Stout has had for a while that acts as a source of inspiration for her artwork. The opening reception was prefaced by a dialogue from Renee Stout so that before viewing the show the audience members could get to know the artist better. Renee Stout being present at the reception gave an interesting and exciting experience to the exhibit by being able to look at her art and read about her inspiration and experiences, but then see her in person and hear her speak or have a conversation with. An interesting portion of the exhibit was that on the back of each piece she wrote the title, her name, and the perfumes she wore during the creation of that piece. She then included those perfume bottles in her exhibit to allow the audience to smell them, so that they could get a better sense of the inspiration that went into the art.
The amount of people that showed up for both the lecture and the exhibit was vast as a result of great promotional efforts. The large crowd added excitement to the atmosphere making it not just a quiet walk through the exhibit and encouraged discussion and bolder enjoyment of the show. The event was free and catered food and wine companies were present for the enjoyment of the audience. The no-cost admittance allowed many college students to attend the event which they may not have otherwise if there was a cost. Before the reception I received E-mails and had seen the posters and pamphlets around campus advertising the exhibit. With the Halsey location being on campus they planned their event with their audience in mind. There were also many African Americans there that were interested in the subject of the folk stories created in slavery, and inspired the artwork in the show. I would definitely encourage others to visit the exhibit, especially college students interested in a free art experience that is conveniently located for those with a busy schedule.
Last Friday (Nov. 8, 2013) I went to The Royal American to see some awesome bands: Hectorina, Magic Camp and Rigours (The Royal American Event). Magic Camp, an underground rock band from here in Charleston, started out the show. Hectorina, an avant-garde rock band from Charlotte, North Carolina played second. Lastly, Rigours, from Charleston as well, closed out the night with their folky punk music.
I was pleasantly surprised at how good each of these bands were (Not that I was expecting them to be bad). However, it was my first local show in Charleston and it was neat to see the talent this city, and the surrounding areas, has to offer. Also, the audience was very fun and supportive towards each of the bands’ sets.
The Royal American is known for having underground, local music (part of their niche and differentiation strategy). This draws in a younger, hipster demographic in which The Royal American appeals to in the first place. So, I’d definitely recommend seeing these bands and other local bands at The Royal American if you like to support cool, underground musicians.
There was an amazing performance given at the monday night concert series. Soprano Anna Steenerson performed classics from Mozart, Brahams, Romberg, Loesser, and many more. The event had a great turn out. If you didn’t attend you definitely missed out, whether you’re a fan of classical music or not.