Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Toxic Tiki wrapup and pseudonymity VOTE!

The Lobsterboy Toxic Tiki Party is over. If you missed it, you missed it! Don’t worry, there will be others, and I will be here to keep you up to date on all of the scenic scoop. Before I go to the blow by blow of the event, I want to tease you with a challenge. You see, I know that the Betweenthetines readership is small. And I know that deep down some of you voyeuristic types actually want to be involved. So I am soliciting your advice by inviting you to post a comment about a “rebranding” issue I am considering. See the last paragraph of this post for details.

Bouncing quickly back from the wheel debacle, I set about laying out the old cyc from Theater Two to paint the Lobsterboy review banner. I worked up several designs on Thursday night and presented Lobs with two options, Friday lunchtime. It came down to a choice between the squid and the whale and a polluted riverbed. Lobs had always discouraged me from a design that would distract from the show, so I was certain that he would pick the more “backdropy” riverbed. But to my surprise, he chose the squid and the whale. He asked if they could look more “stoned” or something, and I immediately seized on the idea of making the whale more like an old time fight promoter and the squid a drunken dockworker, in order to keep the E.C. Segar (Popeye comics) feel. I added a derby, cigar, martini, anchor tattoo, and presto!

Since I was using the old cyc the material was very thin. So when I put air under the drop after priming (in order to keep it from sticking to the paper/homasote) it floated a good 18” up off the floor. Consequentially, this stretched it out somewhat, and I never got that tightness that I usually look for (in fact, it fell back and wrinkled quite a bit…) but overall it made the drop look more “old timey” and “underwatery”…

I brushed up the tikis and reworked the knife effect by swapping out the aluminum plate (that never got carved for Tom Sawyer) for a steel one I ground and shaped myself. I was finished with everything Saturday night just in time for a celebratory steak dinner at Outback and a trip out to the Moai lounge!

Scott and Jen at the Moai lounge are just fantastic. They are a real connective tissue that the tiki community needs out here. I saw lots of familiar faces and was able to pass out a few comics too. As it turns out, much of my announcing the show had not fallen on deaf ears…half of the party pledged to be there the next day!

Scenery for the Lobsterboy Toxic Tiki Party
Cut luan flats 4'x8' and Muslin backdrop 12'x12'

The day of the show was clear and other than having to wait for the world cup to stop we loaded in smoothly. There were some sound issues and even bigger lighting issues, but overall the tech side of the show was in capable hands (I think I made fast friends with Mr. esoteric, who was a big hit at the show). The curtain was held for Lucky, since she got lost on her way from NYC…and the audience filled up. I was surprised and flattered that so many folks I had asked to come actually showed up.

The show was pretty good, and Lobs seemed to be on his game (sometimes when the audience isn’t into the show, he can fall flat) and the first half flew by. The second half had the knife throw number in it, which, lets face it, sucked. The knife didn’t have the spring in it that it had when it was aluminum and the body language wasn’t 100%...and once the thing had been triggered, it went “thwup”, and there was silence. The audience didn’t know how to react, hell; Lobsterboy didn’t plan that far ahead. Anyway, we should get style points for trying…

Once the show ended, the back door to the theater was opened. It was raining so hard that you could not see across the street. I decided that strike would have to wait till the rain had cleared, after Attack of the Giant Leeches. The rain did not let up. I unfortunately had to press Scott and Mike into service getting the truck loaded and unloaded in the rain. We then spent a long time trying to get home. At one point we were being waved through a flooded intersection on the Mall by a police officer who was standing in knee height water. I misjudged the flooded road and rolled right over the curbs…

Got home and found that we had ¾” water in the basement! This happened the next day, even deeper! I am going to spend the rest of this week talking to contractors about how to fix my basement (along with everyone else in the DC metro area)

I have been procrastinating on getting the final designs in for FIDDLER this week. I just need a break for psychological reasons….fortunately the meeting was moved to Friday (on account of me)

Okay kids, here’s the last paragraph. I have been considering ratcheting up my efforts at branding my work, which is practically nonexistent now. I was struck by the fact that when Lobs gave me a shout-out at the show, that “the sets were designed by Jared Davis” the words didn’t have any “ring” to it (especially since everyone else in the show had pseudonyms: Lobsterboy, Cardgirl, Fullbladder, Lucky, Kitty Victorian). So I have been toying with the idea of chucking it all and giving myself a recognizable nickname which can double as a kind of brand. I want to change from “Jared Davis” at to a punchy/catchy name by dropping the first two letters of my first name to get “Red”. (I’ll let that soak in for a second)… Okay, I don’t want to go to some one name thing like Bono or Madonna, but “Red Davis” has a snap to it. Or Jared “Red” Davis, could work too. With the name change would also come the change of website. Some of the contenders are: ,, and . But someone has suggested that I go with and just use the Red thing for show pseudonyms...NOW HERES YOUR PART! I am opening a two stage contest. Over the course of this next week I will be accepting nominations for stage name and website name (website name must be available as a domain name…I have been using Next week, once the judges make a decision on the final contenders, the voting will begin. Just like American Idol…America, you be the judge!


Sara said...

OK, so I'll get the ball rolling.
I like your thoughts so far - My instinct is always twists on puns and catch phrases... (or (couldn't resist)

More to come when I think of some more options!

Jared said...

These are great sara! Thanks for getting the ball rolling. I really like pushes the scenery angle a bit more, which I was having trouble doing myself. So far you are in the lead to be the "grand prize winner"!!!!

Anonymous said...

I take the current name Jared, burn it in the hot embers of a barbecue pit (while cooking bratwurst, of course), and out of the ashes rises the word 'charred', which actually looks and sounds a bit like Jared.

Thus, I nominate the name 'Charred Red' as your new moniker.


scott said... and are good, both are short and sweet compared to the others. I think hyphens can be awkward in a url.

I struggled for years to come up with snappy name for my fine arts website. Nothing jumped out at me so I just used my name and have never regretted it. Your name or a variation of it is always a good idea. It's straightforward and you are branding yourself after all. Your name is ultimately what you want people to remember.

Whats your middle name/initial? I actually like Red Davis so maybe explore that a bit too.

Ask yourself how will you feel about some of those names, or a nickname in 10, 20 years - forever?

CSD said...

"Jared, Ole Devil Eyes, Davis"

More to come....