Vaudeville Vignettes: A Rule is a Rule!

Posted in News on September 1, 2014 by joie
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

A Rule is a Rule!
by Madame Sinclair

For some who work in theater, working with performers can be compared to working with cats. Whether a catty performer or simply getting them in one place, gathering performers is truly like herding cats. In “A Complete Illustrated Course of Instruction How To Enter Vaudeville,” author Frederic La Delle cites some of the signs posted by managers in dressing rooms to the performers. Some of the rules come from a different time period, but others are still good guidelines for performers.

  •  No intoxicating liquors of any like allowed on stage or in dressing rooms.
  •  Don’t complain about your position in the show. We had good reasons for putting you there.
  •  As we cater to ladies and children, no vulgarity or any description will be permitted.
  •  Under no circumstance may you use the following words in your act: Damn, Hell, God or any other profane language. If you are at all in doubt in regard to this, consult the stage manager.
  • Don’t tell us what you did at Keith’s in New York. Do it here.

Aug 1 – Dark Follies Street Vaudeville

Posted in News on July 17, 2014 by joie

 

"Kait-Ma & Fire Fans"  - Photo by Jason Bethiaume

“Kait-Ma & Fire Fans” – Photo by Jason Bethiaume

What: Dark Follies Street Vaudeville

When: Friday, August 1st, 8:00 PM

Where: Monument Square, Portland, ME

Cost: Free show (donations gladly accepted)

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Summer means Dark Follies Street Vaudeville ! Join us in Monument Square after the First Friday Art Walk for live music, beautiful dancers, comedy, storytelling, flow and fire dancing. Come on down and experience how Dark Follies made its start !

Born of a love of street theater and a desire to bring together the talent in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies began bringing its special brand of street vaudeville to life during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks in Autumn of 2008. Over the next six years we have produced multiple stage shows and have performed around the northeast at the Cape Cod Festival of Magic, The Steampunk World’s Fair, The Watch City Festival and the Shelburne Museum. Dark Follies has won Best Street Performer in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Awards three times (2011, 2012, & 2014).

Vaudeville Vignettes: Step on Up and Feast Your Eyes!

Posted in News on July 15, 2014 by joie
vaudevilleposter

Poster courtesy of Library of Congress

Vaudeville Vignettes: Step on Up and Feast Your Eyes!
by Madame Sinclair

When Vaudeville shows were popping up in every city, people needed to get a glimpse at what each show had to offer. This gave rise to the eye-catching Vaudeville Posters of the time. Just like modern posters, the “when”and “where”needed to be readily visible. The “who”on Vaudeville posters was sometimes the most important part. When Vaudeville was popular, it was just as important who the promoter was as well as the act itself. Promoters scoured the country looking for the next big talent and some of them such as RKO or Ziegfeld had their own loyal followers. When an individual performer was highlighted on a poster, they were the main attraction. Unlike the current trend to keep performer titles short and sweet, Vaudeville was about lengthy descriptions of the acts. Strongest man posters would often include information if there was a reward for besting the performer or what made this act different than all the other ones. Reproductions of many colorful Vaudeville posters are still available online. Even though the shows have long since closed down, people still enjoy the window back in time these posters offer.

July 17 – Dark Follies @ Arts Alive

Posted in News on July 14, 2014 by joie
Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

What: Dark Follies @ Arts Alive

When: Thu, July 17, 2014, 5PM

Where: Monument Square,  Portland,  ME

Cost: Free!

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Join Dark Follies at the Arts Alive event in Monument Square in Portland, ME. We’ll share our unique vaudeville flare with live music, belly dancing, flow performances, and much more!

Born of a love of street theater and a desire to bring together the talent in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies began bringing its special brand of street vaudeville to life during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks in Autumn of 2008. Over the next six years we have produced multiple stage shows and have performed around the northeast at the Cape Cod Festival of Magic, The Steampunk World’s Fair, The Watch City Festival and the Shelburne Museum. Dark Follies has won Best Street Performer in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Awards three times (2011, 2012, & 2014).

 

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July 16 – Dark Follies @ The Oak & Ax

Posted in News on July 14, 2014 by joie
Photo by Joie Grandbois

Photo by Joie Grandbois

What: Dark Follies @ The Oak & Ax

When: Wed, July 16, 2014, 8PM

Where: 140 Main Street, Suite 107, Biddeford, ME

Cost: $8 cover

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Dark Follies joins up with Glamazons for a night of tap dancing, burlesque, live music, singing, belly dance, flow, and more. Don’t miss out on these great performances!

Born of a love of street theater and a desire to bring together the talent in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies began bringing its special brand of street vaudeville to life during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks in Autumn of 2008. Over the next six years we have produced multiple stage shows and have performed around the northeast at the Cape Cod Festival of Magic, The Steampunk World’s Fair, The Watch City Festival and the Shelburne Museum. Dark Follies has won Best Street Performer in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Awards three times (2011, 2012, & 2014).

 

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Vaudeville Vignettes: Wildfire

Posted in News on June 2, 2014 by joie
Photo by Juli Campbell

Photo by Juli Campbell

Vaudeville Vignettes: Wildfire
by Madame Sinclair

I remember the first time I met the Dark Follies. It was at the Hive Grand Opening in Kennebunk. I loved their style, the skits, and got quickly caught up in the rhythms of the drum. As they made their exit, I walked up to one of the fellow tall redheads and said I wanted to be a part of the group. When asked what my talent was, I quickly replied staff and singing. The thing was, I did not really understand the many things I could do with my staff at the time. Spinning staff is a flow art and I had no idea at the time what the concept of “flow arts” was and it’s only recently I’ve really been embraced into the culture.

We have several troupe members who are skilled in flow arts, or object manipulation. From ribbons to poi to fans to staves to swords, we like to spin things. The interesting thing to learn, besides the fact that virtually any object can be spun, is how many different ways there are to spin objects. We have some troupe members who use their props to accentuate their dance skills while other members enjoy some of the more technical moves their props can achieve.

I discovered by chance a connection to the flow community earlier this year via a Facebook Ad and decided to go to the event. There, I was surrounded by people from all walks of life who enjoyed spinning and manipulating objects as much as my friends and I did. With my fans in tow, I was told if I wanted to learn even more I should head to Connecticut to a spinning retreat called WildFire. I spent Memorial Day weekend on the grounds and it changed a lot of things.

When you check in on site at WildFire, they welcome you “home” and it felt like it.  For the entire weekend and into Monday, I learned from my peers how to achieve some fun technical moves and become more familiar with my props. These once strangers encouraged me to push myself to be my best and try new things with my props. We shared in each other’s victories on the field at night as people lit up their props for the very first time. We laughed with each other at some of the funny moves we did with our props, such as the “sexy peacock.” We cheered for each other when people finally achieved a complicated move they had been working on all weekend.

Not all of the workshops were about specific props as some were about character building, movement, and other small details that make a show come alive. Many of the learning moments came between workshops or after things were done for the day. There were no egos as people shared their skills with each other. Although I went to the event knowing only two people, I spent a fair amount of time adding many people online to be able to stay in touch with them. I plan to go back to WildFire and to many more events where I can learn to be not just a better performer, but a better flow artist.

More information on WildFire can be found at www.wildfireretreat.com

June 19-22 – Dark Follies @ PortConMaine

Posted in News on May 30, 2014 by joie
Photo by Nate Parent

Photo by Nate Parent

What: Dark Follies @ PortConMaine

When: Fri, June 19-22, 2014

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 363 Maine Mall Road, South Portland,  ME

Cost: See registration for more info

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Come join Dark Follies at PortConMaine where we will be offering a workshop “30 Minutes to Vaudeville” and a Dark Follies performance to enhance the auspicious geekery of this event. For more information and where we’ll be, please check out the PortConMaine schedule. We’d love to see you there!

About 30 Minutes to Vaudeville:

“Vaudeville. The word brings to mind romantic images of steamer trunk toting performers travelling from city to city and stage to stage by train, hoping that the next show might be the one to make them a star. Would you have had what it takes to make it in vaudeville? Is there a Mae West, Groucho Marx, Fanny Brice or Buster Keaton living deep inside of you waiting to come out?

In a special PortCon workshop, 30 Minutes to Vaudeville, Dark Follies will help you tap into your inner vaudevillian. After a brief introduction on the history of vaudeville, you will be partnered with a Dark Follies performer and together you will create a short, but sure to be entertaining, act with you in the leading role. At the end of the workshop a 15-minute short variety show will be presented for all to see.

Just bring yourself, your sense of humor and a willingness to give it your all…you never know, this could be the one that makes you a star!”

Born of a love of street theater and a desire to bring together the talent in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies began bringing its special brand of street vaudeville to life during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks in Autumn of 2008. Over the next six years we have produced multiple stage shows and have performed around the northeast at the Cape Cod Festival of Magic, The Steampunk World’s Fair, The Watch City Festival and the Shelburne Museum. Dark Follies has won Best Street Performer in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Awards three times (2011, 2012, & 2014).

 

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June 13 – Dark Follies Friday the 13th

Posted in News on May 28, 2014 by joie
Photo by Joie Grandbois.

Photo by Joie Grandbois.

What: Dark Follies Friday the 13th

When: Fri, June 13, 7PM

Where: Meg Perry Center, 36 Market St, Portland, ME

Cost: By donation

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A fun-filled Dark Follies variety show! Join us at the Meg Perry Center for comedy, dance, shenanigans and live music. It’s Friday the 13th, so who knows what will happen?

Born of a love of street theater and a desire to bring together the talent in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies began bringing its special brand of street vaudeville to life during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks in Autumn of 2008. Over the next six years we have produced multiple stage shows and have performed around the northeast at the Cape Cod Festival of Magic, The Steampunk World’s Fair, The Watch City Festival and the Shelburne Museum. Dark Follies has won Best Street Performer in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Awards three times (2011, 2012, & 2014).

 

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June 7 – Dark Follies @ Salem Arts Festival

Posted in News on May 28, 2014 by joie
Photo by Joie Grandbois

Photo by Joie Grandbois

What: Dark Follies @ Salem Arts Festival

When: Sat, June 7, 4PM

Where:  Derby Square, Salem, MA

Cost: Free show (donations gladly accepted)

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Dark Follies is honored to be a part of this year’s Salem Arts Festival! We’re excited to share our vaudevillian flair with the spooky town of Salem. Enjoy Dark Follies!

Born of a love of street theater and a desire to bring together the talent in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies began bringing its special brand of street vaudeville to life during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks in Autumn of 2008. Over the next six years we have produced multiple stage shows and have performed around the northeast at the Cape Cod Festival of Magic, The Steampunk World’s Fair, The Watch City Festival and the Shelburne Museum. Dark Follies has won Best Street Performer in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Awards three times (2011, 2012, & 2014).

 

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June 6 – Dark Follies Street Vaudeville @ Art House Picture Frames

Posted in News on May 27, 2014 by joie
Photo by Liz Fallon

Photo by Liz Fallon

What: Dark Follies Street Vaudeville

When: Fri, June 6, 5PM

Where:  Art House Picture Frames, 61 Pleasant Street, Portland, ME

Cost: Free show (donations gladly accepted)

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Summer means Dark Follies Street Vaudeville ! Join us at Art House Picture Frames during the First Friday Art Walk for live music, beautiful dancers, comedy, storytelling, and elegant flow. We’ve honed our skills over the cold winter months and we’re excited to share new music and performances with you ! Experience Dark Follies and the amazing art of Chris Beneman!

Born of a love of street theater and a desire to bring together the talent in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies began bringing its special brand of street vaudeville to life during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks in Autumn of 2008. Over the next six years we have produced multiple stage shows and have performed around the northeast at the Cape Cod Festival of Magic, The Steampunk World’s Fair, The Watch City Festival and the Shelburne Museum. Dark Follies has won Best Street Performer in the Portland Phoenix Best of Portland Awards three times (2011, 2012, & 2014).

 

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