Bringing Don’t Be A Dick, An Evening of Insights with Rythea Lee to your livingroom or community space
What is the vision?
I have a vision of creating an evening of high theatre that makes people look deep into their lives, into what matters, into their emotional wellsprings – and come out moved from having been through a meaningful creative experience with their community. I want the work to set a standard that says, “We need to gather and express ourselves in intentional ways, using all our greatest skills, because this is how change happens!” And for me, it works best if I use humor and make you reflect while sitting in the soup of the absurdity of human drama. I have found that more intimate settings can bring about the best performances by creating a more altered state for performer and audience.
I want my hosts to be excited to share my work with their friends and community so that something gets built, something valuable. And then maybe others will do the same, and THEN maybe, art will sprout in the cracks between the pavement that lead to your house…and your living room!
I hope that we can run the show like a tight ship (love that expression), make the container airtight (like that one too) so that once the show begins, we can all relax and be transported.
What is a House Concert?
It’s an invitation concert in someone’s home or community space, presented by a host who does not profit from the event. House concerts have become a national homegrown movement to create community and support the arts in intimate settings.
Some of the material you are reading is from www.concertsinyourhome.com and some has been written by Rythea and Patrick. Some of what you read may be old hat for you and some will be very new to you. Please read everything.
Most house concerts are:
- held indoors and on weekends
- attended by 20-70 people (with ours, we are asking the space fit 40 people minimum, 45-60 people is best.)
- paid for by a donation per guest to the performer
- attended by the host’s friends, neighbors, co-workers, and maybe some fans of the artist
- known to include light snacks, beverages or a pot-luck dinner
Although house concerts will adhere to most of these traditions, they do not run all the same. Each house concert is a collaboration between the artist, the host/presenter, and their friends and supporters. What will yours be like?
Choosing a Location
House or Community space: A house concert can take place at a house or a community space (such as the community room of a co-housing development). Some hosts, who do not have an appropriate space of their own, recruit a like-minded friend to co-host the shows in their home/space. It can be terrific to work with a close friend as a partner in these events. The performance space for rythea should not be a concrete floor. There should not be any machines nearby that would distract from the performance.
Performance space: In a house the living room is usually the best choice, often providing a balance between a cozy spot and the opportunity to stretch into an adjoining area. If you live in an apartment, condo, or a co-housing situation, there is often a common area that can be reserved at little or no expense. Also, a window, a fireplace, or hanging a curtain can make a nice background scene for the performer. The space needs to be big enough for at least 40 people (35 guests + 5 helpers) and at least a 10′ x 10′ space for performer.
Furniture: You’ll need to re-arrange some furniture, like removing the coffee table and moving the couches. You’ll most likely use every chair in the house (dining room chairs, barstools, ottomans, office chairs, etc.) Your neighbors can be a great resource for free chairs (especially barstools — which make a great back row.) We can like bring backjacks or we can find big pillows for a front row.
Don’t Be A Dick Show Details
- Don’t Be a Dick is roughly 1 hr 30 min show (with a possible additional 20 min Talkback after the show for audience members who choose to stay for it)
- First half is 50 minutes
- There is a 10-15 minute intermission
- Second half is 25 minutes
- Then there may be a 20 min audience sharing/discussion with Rythea (ask Rythea about this)
- Shows cost a sliding scale from $15-$25 unless I specify otherwise. Tickets are bought through my website with PayPal.
- Main Link: www.zanyangels.com/dont-be-a-dick. Tickets: www.zanyangels.com/payment-dont-be-a-dick
- Comps: Since living rooms are very small, please do not to give out any comps because that defeats the purpose of the house concert or else talk to me first. I assume that the “crew” who come in for free are you (the host), Patrick (my producer who also runs sound) and two helpers who take tickets and help set up and clean up. Helpers should be prepared to work 2 hours and hopefully more.
What is your job as a host?
- First of all, THANK YOU in advance. You make art live!!!
- You provide your lovely living room/space that we agree upon.
- Don’t Be a Dick requires a 10′ x 10′ space for performance and then space for guests.
- We determine together how many people can fit in your space either in chairs, pillows, and backjacks. We can possibly bring some of these.
- No unexpected noises during show. (See Set-up below.)
- You invite everyone you know 4-6 weeks before the show! (See Invitations below.)
- I will send you an email blitz announcement about the show (with a link to buy tickets) that you send to your friends 1 week before I send it to the general public. This way, your friends have first dibs on seeing the show.
- I will give you some postcards for the show and please hand them out.
- Snacks or drinks for people are very welcome if you feel called to do this.
- Make introduction before show and announcements at intermission, end of show and end of talk-back. (See below)
- You will need to be at space space from 5:30-10:30/11 pm to set up and make the space cozy for our guests.
See GENERAL SET-UP/SPACE below under DAY of SHOW set-up. Let’s talk about what is needed.
- Find spot for Artist Table: CD’s, Books, Mailing List, fliers (GENERAL SET-UP/SPACE)
- Figure out with Rythea who will do Door Table and who will do the Artist Table.
Your INVITATIONS — Let’s Get it Started
Start inviting people 4-6 weeks before the show.
- We will create a Facebook page that you can invite people to.
- We will send you an email (with info, photos and links to Facebook, website and tickets. See Ticket info below.) to send to your friends. You can add to or change the intro to be in your voice.
- Think of inviting everyone you know, including friends, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances, community members, and parents of your kids’ friends. Make an invitation list. Gather any missing email addresses (and phone numbers if you like).
- Get in the habit of talking to people you meet about it, giving a card, and then adding their email to your list. You’ll be amazed at how many people you meet or bump into each day that escaped your mind when you made the initial list. “I’m hosting a music theatre event soon, and I’d like to invite you, can I get your email address?”
- Don’t neglect to invite someone simply because you don’t think they’ll be into it. Time and time again the biggest compliments come from people who thought a house concert wasn’t their kind of thing, who then were blown away by the quality and fun-factor of the show.
- Most house concert hosts use their email accounts to create a list from their address books. In addition, there are many websites and programs (like Evite, or Punchbowl) that can also help.
- Performers really sense and feed off the energy in a room when they play. Empty seats, however, diminish the energy of any event, so avoid empty seats, even if you have to put away some chairs.
You will send your friends the info email 1 week before I send one to my list. When you send the email, stress to your friends that they are getting a big jump on something TIME SENSITIVE. This way, your friends can get in first.
Tickets: I will have a PayPal page for ticket purchases on my website. This way, you don’t have to deal with much money and tickets. When they buy the ticket, they will get a confirmation email that has your address on it and gives any other details about parking or directions.
Selling-out: Almost every show has been full. Yet for the most part, a few more could have squeezed in. We should err on the side of selling too many tickets. Some people do not show up who have bought tickets. Usually we can always squeeze a few more people in than we think. If we completely sell-out, we will make a waiting list. Tell waiting list people to show up at door. We encourage people to buy tickets instead of showing up at the door.
DAY OF SHOW
Set-Up 5:30-7:30 pm
- Rythea & Patrick & you arrive 5:30-6 pm. We need to all be there until 10:30/11 pm.
- Show Rythea to the Artist (Green) Room (see below)
- Start setting up @ 5:30-6 pm
- Leave enough room for the performer (10-12ft. x 10-12ft.)
- Have blank wall, curtain or simple background behind Rythea’s performance space.
- Help Patrick set-up Lights @ 6:15-6:30 pm (see below)
- Set up seats @ 6:30 pm
- Pillows/blankets up front, then backjacks, then shorter chairs, and taller chairs/barstools in the back.
- Have aislesâ€¨ on both ends of row so people can move easily and for fire code.
- Put index card & pencil under/on each seat.
- Set up Door Table @ 7 pm (see below)
- Set up Artist Table @ 7 pm (see below)
- Hang up any signs by 7:25 pm: signs directing people where to go, shoe sign, doors open @ 7:30 pm sign
- See Noise below
- See Safety below
- Cash box with $50. Go get change if needed: 20 ones, 6 Fives.
- Reservation list
- Make sure person who does this is meticulous and preferably done this kind of thing before.
- Every name and amount should be written down. Be clear so someone reading it 5 years from now will understand.
- Direct people to Mailing List on Artist Table.
- CD’s and Books will be accounted with name & amount on Reservation List and change for these will come out of Cash Box.
- For CD, Books, Fliers, Postcards for next show, Mailing List
- Get these items from Rythea briefcase
- Make sheet for mailing list: “Rythea Lee, Zany Angels Email List” with “Name” & “Email”
- Phone: unplug any landlines or turn off cell phones that might ring.
- Machines: anything that makes noices/buzzes should be turned off if possibile.
- Door: make sure the door to your house does not squeak or bang when opened. Once the show has begun, PLEASE put sign on door that says, “Do not open, show is in progress. Come in at Applause.”
- Noise or music from other apartments?
- Other interruptions: for example, does the toilet make a huge sound when it flushes? If so, we can encourage people to wait for intermission.
Safety and your property: Although you’ll be acquainted with most of the people who attend, it’s still good to take a few precautions. Valuables and breakables should be stowed, and safety hazards addressed. Check outside lights, clear the walkway, tighten the toilet seat and handrail to the stairs. You get the idea.
Host Basics: Greet guests, Collect money, Establish expectations, Educate, & Turn guests into an attentive excited group!
Door 7:30 pm
· Door person have Reservation List ready.
· You are responsible for money envelope/cashbox
· “Hi Pete! Hi Sally! â€¨Welcome. Let’s check your name off. [If they haven’t paid:] The cost is $15-$25 sliding scale. Help yourself to the refreshments.”
· Put check mark by prepaid person. Mark down every name and amount and any other notes of what has happened.
10 min. before show:
· Host Make announcement like: “Hi everyone. In about 10 minutes we’ll need to have everyone seated before the concert starts. If you want to use the restroom, or refill your drink, please do that in the next few minutes.
3 min before show:
· Check-in with Rythea
· Make the next announcement: “O.K. everyone, please find a seat as â€¨we’re about to start the show.”
· Put the sign on front door that show has begun.
Introduce the Artist (8:10 pm)
People can still be getting seated as you begin. But wait until they are quiet… make them uncomfortable with your silence if you have to. Then smile. [So cover the bases, but feel free to change order or ad lib.]
I AM HOST: “Welcome to Don’t Be a Dick, an evening of insights with Rythea Lee! I am …., one of the hosts of tonight’s show. So glad you are here.
PHONE/BATHROOM: “First a few logistics: Please turn off your cell phones. The bathroom is…for the break”
TIME: “The first half of the show is 50 min, then there is a 10 min intermission and 2nd half is 25 min. Then after the show, there will be a 5 minute break and a 20 min. Q & A with Rythea.”
PROGRAM: “All program information is on the program that is on the Artist Table if you want details on who did what.”
ARTIST TABLE: “There is an Artist Table over here….during intermission and after the show if you want purchase Rythea’s books or CD’s (many of the songs from this show are on the CD).”
RYTHEA: Say something about Rythea or what you enjoy about her…
HOUSE CONCERT & NEXT SHOW: “Your reason for having this house concert…..”, “Next show is…”
THANKS: “Thanks again for coming, relax, enjoy the show…and here’s Rythea….”
During the Break:
Encourage CD/Book sales and Mailing List Signatures
Announce “Rythea is selling her Books and CDs at Artist Table [point] , please check them it out” or something like that. Artists can sometimes sell as much merchandise during the break as they do at the end of the show. Encourage this.
Starting the Second Set
After 10 minutes, dim the lights & announce that people should return to their seats. Let Rythea know you are seating folks for 2nd half.
End of Show Announcement
Rythea will do ENCORE. After that, please stand up and again announce, “Please check out Rythea’s Books and CDs at the Artist Table and sign the email list. We will have the Q & A with Rythea after a 5 minute break. Thanks so much for coming…”
End of Q & A Announcement
Please stand up and again announce, “Thank you for coming! Rythea’s Books and CDs are at the Artist Table and sign the email list. Please check it out before you leave! (anything you want to add here)…””
Have I missed anything? If so, please let me know.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, to host me, and support my work. It REALLY means a lot to me!!!!
(and Production Manager, Patrick)