Tag Archives: Figment

Skin In the Game

A dog in the fight. A horse in the race. Colloquialisms for a vested interest. Recently it occurred to me that this (these?) sentiment is what can be the difference between an event and a memorable event. If you’ll pardon the sports analogy.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been at a few parties that restored my faith in…yeah, parties. In nightlife. Last night I hosted the launch party for the Figment book and the author, David Koren, read a chapter to the guests about “metrics” or numbers. About how we attempt to quantify everything. And as I was laying awake in bed, mulling over the evening and my recent successful forays into nightlife and the many events that vie for our attentions — and our dollars — and what it takes to make them “good” it felt like all the tumblers in the lock clicked.

Skin in the game. A dog in the fight. And not just by the event’s producers. That would be an easy thing. No, magic happens when everyone in attendance has some sort of vested interest. When everyone contributes. Participates. Is dedicated to the night being a success. For not only the producers but for them. The paying public.

My tired little brain and its tumbling lock parts made a mental note: Write a blog post about this. It is everything. It is why Burning Man works. It’s why Figment works. It’s why House of Yes is a huge success. And it is also why so many events that look great on paper fall as flat as…paper. Without passion they are all sports commentator and no sport.

So what were my recent experiences that brought me to this realization? One was a Rubulad. Yes, there have been Rubulads for years. I’ve been to many but certainly not all. As with any recurring events, some have been more successful than others. What made this one feel so…warm? I will chalk it up to the collaboration between Rubulad and JunXion, the many musicians and performers, the artists who had created art for the event and the venue. There were so many people who had a dog in the fight that just about everyone there was tangentially invested in the night being awesome. And it was. People danced. People smiled. It felt like…old times? I dunno. But wonderful. Dare I say…ecstatic.

Also recently I co-emceed the annual twirl-a-thon that is Night of a Thousand Stevies, “the largest and most beloved Stevie Nicks fan event in the world.” It is one of my favorite nights of the year because it is such a lovefest. The glow lasts for weeks afterward. I look at the photos and feel my heart expand in my chest. Everyone in the place — and it now sells out a pretty big place: Irving Plaza — is soooooo happy to be there. They are so excited to catch the tambourines we toss. They lavish those onstage with shrieks of enthusiasm and So. Much. Love. It’s difficult to explain. There are three full acts with dozens of performers: dancers and singers and puppeteers and lip sync-ers, each with at least one friend or “dresser” but more likely a bunch of friends. Some people have been attending NOTS (as it is affectionately known) for many of its 26 years. Yes, 26 years. The event itself is older than some of its fans. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that this is a rare thing. And in my late-night reverie I thought, this night succeeds so brilliantly because everyone in the building is seriously passionate about the party. No one is half-assing it. You can’t half-ass an evening of non-stop Stevie Nicks.

Obviously one also cannot half-ass Burning Man. The scare tactics of “the desert will kill you” aside, this is not an event that you bumble through. It takes planning, supplies and water. Lots of water. And while people have been lamenting that there are more and more “spectators” every year, the scales are still substantially tipped toward participation. There are more burners who bring or build, serve or spin fire. Who show the fuck up. All to make the week a success. Not just for themselves but for the 69,999 other adventurers out there.

Yet how do you get everyone invested? It isn’t an easy equation. And I certainly don’t have the answer. But when the room — or the acreage — fills up with nothing but people who can’t think of anywhere else they’d rather be and anyone else they’d rather be doing it with — drinking or dancing, painting, playing or pillow fighting — you will feel the love. You will look across the room — or the bonfire — and see the sparkle in the eyes of others and think “I am in exactly the right place.” There is nothing better. Nothing. So for a rapturous experience, make sure you have a horse in the race.

Figment & Broadway & Mars, Oh My!

It has been a busy week! Wrapping up signage for Figment, helping my sister by sweating in her apartment with no air conditioning on the hottest day of the year, unpacking all her new dishes and glasses, shlepping to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy sheets and blankets (Have you shopped for that stuff lately? Sheets are expensive!), arranging her flat screen TV to be installed, going over the list of things in the place that needed to be fixed. Like the AC! Oh, did I mention it’s a brand new building! And it cost a fucking fortune? You’d think everything would be perfect. Well you’d be WRONG!

Anyway. She paid me for all that help, which is a big help. I’ve been living off my parents for months (among other things…and the occasional gig) so any income is welcome. But back to my busy week! Figment was a big job, with multiple aggravations. In the end, everyone loved the signs. I’m still waiting for my tickertape parade!

Friday night was beers on my roof deck. It was a perfect evening — not too hot, not too cold. The weather has been insanely changeable. Saturday I made it out to the island early so I could see the event in action before I had to be in Times Square for Book of Mormon. Wow. It was amazing! Great music, hilarious script, incredible performances and surprisingly inspiring. From there it was 11 kids being shepherded through expensive shops and then to Mars 2112. Loud. Very loud. I was exhausted and retired to my couch to watch the Saturday Night Live re-run.

Today I dashed out to meet the Conte posse for breakfast, all of us crammed into diner booths. A cloudy day and a trip to the island to get reimbursed for art supplies turned into a longer  afternoon and sunshine. That was followed by the big “Thank You” afterparty at Beckett’s, which was most enjoyable. Now I’m home and, again, exhausted. I need to go back out to the island tomorrow and make sure our signs are stored. And make one more. Then it will really be a wrap!

Stevie, Outer Space & Cinco, Blackout Cinco

Ah, the past few days have been dark ones, indeed. Coming down off my Married Man Marathon high and second date excitement, it’s back to the usual drought conditions. I’m doing my best to buck up and not be discouraged but it isn’t easy.

Last night was a riot of be-ribboned tambourines and lacy shawls at Night of a Thousand Stevies. I worked the door with the effervescent Cynthia and got to see everyone’s costumes in the light. All gorgeous! The show was the best yet, the 21st annual, and the evening wrapped up with “the battle,” when everyone in full “Stevie realness” is invited onto the stage for a twirl-off. I was busily wrangling the well-dressed for Finlay Mackay, an adorable photographer shooting for The New York Times Magazine. He and his crew were a pleasure to work with and I was impressed with how skillfully they juggled their equipment amidst the dangling satin banners and dozens of spinning Stevies.

When my work there was done, a few friends and I jumped into a cab and headed for Mars 2112, where Kostume Kult and Disorient were holding their annual Burning Man theme camp fundraiser, The Black & Light Ball. I’ve fantasized about throwing a party in this Disney-esque “outer space” since my first trip there years ago with my sister and her kids. To witness hundreds of blinking, glowing revelers enjoying the intergalactic ambience was amazing. I didn’t last long but at least I got to see it!

My Cinco de Mayo turned out to be a complete disaster. I’ve spent the last as-many-as-I-can-remember with Corinne, one of my wildest friends. But the wild girl has been tamed and, rather than sucking down frozen drinks in her giant velvet, spangled sombrero with me, she was watching herself and her husband on cable as they won The Newlywed Game. A trip to Cancun! Sigh. I wound up drinking with a new friend who’s working on the Figment signage with me. We’d had a successful trip to Materials for the Arts, which was fucking incredible. Shopping without having to pay? Yay! Anyway, let’s just say that two quarts of margaritas and bumping into your ex-husband is not a great combination! In a less-than-felice blackout moment, un-remembered words were exchanged and my evening ended with me boo-hoo-hooing and bumbling home to pass out. Olé! Oy vey…

Feeling Feverish…

…and not in a sexy way. I’ve been mostly horizontal all week, also not in a sexy way; just laying like a slug on the couch feeling lousy. I haven’t had much motivation but I accomplished a few things by mere virtue of waking up. I visited Carl’s new print studio and had a Figment sign team meeting (all three of us).

My friend Jamye Waxman is in town and she came over yesterday to interview me for her Hot Sox Podcast. We talked about parties and pie fetishes (and a whole bunch of other fetishes), random jobs and bad career moves and how I met my ex-husband. It’s pretty hilarious. Check it out!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hot-sox-with-jamye-waxman
/id377796538