inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #76 of 105: Trav S.D. (travis-stewart) Fri 20 Jan 06 14:59
    
David Leopold, with that epic, thinly-disguised plug for your own book
masquerading as a post about mine, you are a man after my own heart. 
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #77 of 105: Trav S.D. (travis-stewart) Fri 20 Jan 06 15:01
    
Yes, but JayZ would be great in vaudeville
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #78 of 105: Rick Brown (danwest) Fri 20 Jan 06 17:27
    
So, did vaud houses have pit bands? 
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #79 of 105: lizp (yodayodayoda) Fri 20 Jan 06 19:08
    
Thanks, Trav, for your enthusiastic response to my first post...now I
can move beyond the fear of being "one hand clapping"...although in
your case, I guess one hand is quite enough to "throw money"! (Love
your title, truly...)

Okay. "Ollie, now you've gone ahead and done it": innocently stumbled
into MY domain: the dark, solipsistic, masturbatory,  experience of
internet porn (and other cellulocyber yuks).  True, this may be a leap
from vaudeville to cybersludge, but I'm open to it if you are.  I
seriously believe we are becoming a country of addicts, settling for
even the slightest, most pathetic detour from the Superhighway of Nada
on which we commute to our supposed "life".  Paddy Chayevsky wrote
about the need the human mind has to regularly "alter" its
"state"...this being closer to a need than an option.  Unfortunately,
the multimogulmediamongers have become adept at exploiting this
vulnerability, injecting their seductive "drug" into the veins of
staggering body politic. 

And like any good druggie can (eventually) tell you: it's cool, yeah,
no problem, everyone does it; but yeah, okay, you start to need a
little more to get high like in the beginning; and then, well, you
can't get off at all no matter what you do so you keep upping the ante;
but then, you can never seem to get enough or even feel good, let
alone high; and then, all of a sudden, where is everyone? you're all
alone and you have no life and you're dead. On every conceivable
level...

I guess the metaphor I like the best to depict the steady erosion of
our spiritual/aesthetic core is that of the poor Maine lobster, who
supposedly sits in the pasta pot with the temperature gradually
building, so gradually in fact that he doesn't even feel it, until he's
just boiling away and then "Dinner's ready".  In my heart, I fear this
is what's happening to us, on so many fronts.

And one more thing:  I'd like to refute my own metaphor.  Someone told
me that she heard the poor lobster screaming...

Well, maybe that's what these posts are about.
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #80 of 105: We're all just lobsters in this pot (kafclown) Sat 21 Jan 06 04:10
    
Way back in post 67, Travis agreed with lithp, saying (or should that
be thaying?)

>Whoa, that last post was awesome! I think you hit the nail on the
>head...the attitudes of both producers and audiences are part of the
>ever-accelerating national mania for profit and efficiency. We run
>the risk of being redundant here (this stuff has been written about
>for decades), but this is a deodorized, alienated culture. We don't
>want a dialogue with our fellow man, nor do we want to make any
>effort or any compromise.  It is a culture of instant fulfillment >of
all needs in their most pure state at the lowest cost...and 
> impatience at anything less. To me, the nadir of this tendency is
>internet pornography...the evolution of a healthy, social amusement
>experience (cinema) into a dark, solitary, obsessive compulsion. 

While I basically agree, I also think that exact sentence may have
been written in the NY Sun about the opening of P.T. Barnum's American
Museum back in 1841. (substituting appropriately of course)

On some level, the new is always a perversion of the old, and the
"next" is always a harbinger of doom and foreboding.  Not that I really
want to be the guy defending internet pornography (though it gives
jacking in to the internet a WHOLE new meaning!) but 200 years from
now, when we are all dust, (except for those of us with souls) this
conversation will be had again, but internet pornography will be the
good thing in the conversation.

As for lobsters, well, perhaps that's the real answer to the mystery
of Global Warming?  We're all just lobsters in this pot...
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #81 of 105: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Sat 21 Jan 06 06:52
    
What connection is there between vaudeville and Chatauqua?
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #82 of 105: lizp (yodayodayoda) Sat 21 Jan 06 12:32
    
Time to make the donuts... A dualistic view of the universe has always
been rocket fuel for launching hot but reductivistic  debates...with
the goal being for one commentator to "prevail" over the other.  I
personally think a more dialectical approach yields a fuller and more
nuanced understanding of one another and our world as we know it.  On
the other hand, I do shudder to think that the passage of time alone
could lead us to a position of utter spiritual neutrality (cf. Mr.
Kafclown's hypothesis that future cultural commentators will determine
Internet porn was a "good" thing.) I do agree, however, that novelty in
our culture has always seemed to elicit some outpouring of doomsday
predictions (Remember those early dire predictions vis a vis rock and
roll)  My concern is that we not limit oursevles to some dispassionate,
fatalistic frame of mind where we cede our current sensibilities to
some Bogartesque "hill-of-beans" mantra.

This is surely the slippery slope to "lobsterism".  You heard this
"ism" here first...
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #83 of 105: Carl LaFong (mcdee) Sat 21 Jan 06 12:34
    
The Rhode Island state motto (well, should be): "Lobsters and
Mobsters."
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #84 of 105: Andrew Alden (alden) Sat 21 Jan 06 16:05
    
I have a technical question about slapstick. I've never seen a slapstick.
What is it LIKE?
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #85 of 105: Trav S.D. (travis-stewart) Sat 21 Jan 06 16:06
    
Chautauqua is to vaudeville as vaudeville is to internet porn. How's
that for tying things in together? Chautauqua evolved in the upstate NY
town of the same name and refers to a sort of "educational" variety
form, featuring lectures, poetry recitals, music recitals, and
occasionally more vaudevillian type things. Sometimes in an off season,
a vaudevillian might take a gig at a Chautauqua (Edgar Bergen--and
Charlie McCarthy-- did, for example). Especially in the first 2 or 3
decades of vaudeville, Chautauqua-like acts were very much a part of
the vaudeville experience...actors doing classical monologs...a
cellist...a humorist...an explorer relating his adventures...DeWolf
Hopper reciting "casey at the Bat"...these are all very Chautauqua like
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #86 of 105: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sat 21 Jan 06 19:57
    
ah, that answered one of my questions. i have inadvertently started
programming/putting together/producing (cringe/snort) evenings
of diff kinds of performers trying out new stuff. as i have been
readung this topic, i wondered 'is this vaudeville?' but, i think
what i am doing may be more chataqua. not consciously; but
just as an expression of what i tend to be interested in
(though on the upcoming one next friday 27 jan, there will
be a dancer and there will be a fellow is a poet/humorist,so
maybe vaud?). my intention wasnt 'educational', but maybe
more artsy? hmmm...

a question: did you read/what did you think of the novel
'niagra falls all over again'? i stmumbled into it,
and in many ways it -is- a history of vaudeville. as someone
who has actually written such, what did you think of it?

finally, i agree grimly on how much people seem more
comfy with the mediated and the coccooned...hell, all
the musicians i know complain about how so many kids
have djs, rather than live music, at their events,
that...
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #87 of 105: lilac-deprived westerner (nanlev) Sun 22 Jan 06 00:23
    

I honestly don't understand what you mean by this.
>Chautauqua is to vaudeville as vaudeville is to internet porn.

Some deep similarities do exist between what became known as the
Chautauqua movement and the golden age of vaudeville.  Both had
circuits that entertainers travelled, both flourished before
radio and TV and films were commonplace in the rural U.S., and
both were more or less killed off when they did become commonplace.

There are several dozen chautauquas operating today presenting
educational and entertainment programs.  Most are stationary but
a few travel.  A short list of some of the more well-known ones 
is found at
http://www.chautauqua.org/history.html

One of the more comprehensive sites on chautauqua history is
http://members.aol.com/AlphaChautauquan/index.html/

Unfortunately it looks like the most recent update was last June,
but it's still the best collection of this stuff I've seen on the
web.

Also a great site, 
http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/Bai/redpath.htm

Entertainment-wise, it seems there might have been a lot of
crossover with the vaudeville acts, but I don't know if this
happened.  Travis, did you run across anything in your research
about this ?

The lecturers were the main draws, but plenty of variety acts played the 
chautauqua circuits, too.

From the last URL above:
""Talent" included musicians, lecturers, humorists, actors, interpretive
readers, magicians, and others. Some of the talent worked the year around as
entertainers: lyceum in the winter and tent Chautauqua in the summer. For
others, such as authors, teachers, clergymen, and politicians, Chautauqua
provided a little extra salary in the summertime. "


"About half of a Chautauqua program consisted of music. There were Swiss bell 
ringers, orchestras, glee clubs, string quartets, grand opera stars such as 
Madame Schumann-Heink, oratorio artists, bands (Bohumir Kryl's Bohemian Band 
was a favorite), and male quartets. One of the most famous male quartets was 
made up of four farm boys from Charles City, Iowa, the Weatherwax Brothers."



Alden:  here's an old slapstick.
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dragonwings.net/images/Slaps
tick4097.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.dragonwings.net/Slapstick.htm&h=347&w=409&sz
=10&tbnid=kgDXFYntG9_UJM:&tbnh=102&tbnw=121&hl=en&start=7&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ds
lapstick%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DG


If that URL doesn't read, go to google images and this came up in one 
of the first 10 images.  The only one I ever saw looked more like a 
cricket bat (or what I think a cricked bat looks like) with a shorter
hinged flap over the wide part of the bat. 
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #88 of 105: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Sun 22 Jan 06 05:42
    
I was just about to post the image of that slapstick-- damned you
Nanlev!

The official part of this conversation is due to wrap up in a few
days, so I just want to encourage anyone who is following this
conversation to ask their questions while they can.

If you are following this conversation online, and not on the WELL,
and would LIKE to ask a question, email me <kafclown@well.com> and I
will act as the interlocutor for you, and ask our own Mr. Bones what
you want him to know.
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #89 of 105: lilac-deprived westerner (nanlev) Sun 22 Jan 06 11:14
    

Has anyone here used a slapstick in performance ?  In shows I've
been a part of, if any sound effects were needed, we just did the
hand clap.
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #90 of 105: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Sun 22 Jan 06 17:12
    
Travis-- we've had a question from someone that prefers to remain 
anonymous...

"Long time listener, first time caller.

I've been reading this discussion with interest, but am not so interested 
in the minutiae of history and circus arts performances and the 
technical aspects of the slapstick-- who did what  when a hundred years 
ago is not so interesting to me.. I'm much more  interested in vaudeville 
as a philosophy, and as an  expression of human dreams and desires. 

It seems to me that the idea of vaudeville-- the voice of the 
people- is reflected in other populist movements of the era. Communism 
and the Russian revolution come to mind.

Is there any philosophical discussion of vaudeville from the Marxists 
(Grouchoists or otherwise?) as a philosophy of the people and as an 
anti-"High society" art?

I'll take my answer off the air.
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #91 of 105: Trav S.D. (travis-stewart) Mon 23 Jan 06 08:53
    
Variety was always a "people's" art form -- from ancient times til the
vaudeville era. As Adam said so well though, nowadays many of the
variety arts appeal only to connoiseurs, a college-educated elite. This
is an exceedingly odd development. It has somehow become "highbrow" to
watch somebody juggle...I guess because, as a preserved folk form, it
is perceived as "cultural tradition"...some medicine we have to swallow
because its "good for you". It takes patience to watch, etc. Back in
the day, though, the opposite held true. The alternative to popular
theater was "legit theater"...which meant that the variety arts were
what the uneducated chiefly prized. If watching a juggler takes
patience, it takes even more patience to sit throgh "O, What a Rogue
and Peasant Slave am I..." American populism (as I think of it, the
political movement bookended by Andrew Jackson and William Jennings
Bryant) was very different from the European left. It was about the
people, yes...but what that meant for them was the opportunity for
those at the bottom of the ladder to become a Commodore Vanderbilt, or
an Andrew Carnegie. The Horatio Alger story. This is the philosophy--I
believe--that drove the great majority of American vaudevillians. Show
business was one of the few avenues (and rather a long shot, at that)
for the poor and working class to get a decent piece of the pie. On the
other hand, the European left embraced the variety arts as well, and
you find the CP and the avant-garde embracing them as tools to reaching
out to the proletariat. Nowadays if you wanted to energize the people
I'm not sure what you'd do -- write a rap, maybe
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #92 of 105: David Leopold (dleopold1) Mon 23 Jan 06 10:50
    
A new vaudeville that adds rap into the mix would be something.
Vaudeville has to keep adding, and reinventing what is has always done
to stay fresh for an audience who might be scared by performance that
has not been pre-digested.

It should also go to county fairs, block parties, and other people
friendly, but perhaps not entertainment saturated places where people
are to connect with that audience. Vaudeville is a lot like the current
Democratic party. Some good ideas, dearly held by some, that seem
incappable of connecting with many.
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #93 of 105: Trav S.D. (travis-stewart) Mon 23 Jan 06 13:50
    
A great analogy and an excellent proposal!
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #94 of 105: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Tue 24 Jan 06 09:28
    
To reach the proletariat nowadays, I'm not sure if art (either capitalized 
or under-capitalized) is the right way to go.  (Hmmm I think I just found 
a little truism-- "Art" is capitalized art (ie, art with capital behind 
it-- and under-capitalized art is never capital A Art.)

I'm thinking if you really want to reach the proletariat nowadays, you 
need to be an athlete.  Think Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Dale 
Earnhardt.  Any of those guys can reach the "common man" in ways that a 
juggler, song and dance man, or second banana (no matter how fantastic) 
can only dream.
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #95 of 105: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Tue 24 Jan 06 10:07
    
Travis-- in the taking care of "Bidness" mode--

Where can people buy your book?  Keep tabs on your vaudevillian 
activities?  Sign up for a mailing list?  Get a book signed?  Do you have 
a website where people can do all these fine and wonderful things?
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #96 of 105: Trav S.D. (travis-stewart) Tue 24 Jan 06 14:00
    
Adam hates sports! But it's true -- to get elected it seems like every
Presidential candidate has to put on a nylon baseball cap and go
jogging or head for the golf course. Otherwise he ain't no guy. Anyway,
to answer my favorite question, Adam--every bookstore I've been in
Manhattan has carried the book, and I'm getting reports from friends
all over the country that they are finding it in the major chain stores
(Your B&N, Waldenbooks etc). You can also get it online at Amazon and
such like. Unfortunately, I am between web sites at the
moment...out-of-date ones remain up, but the deluxe new one is still in
construction. My next book event will be a two-parter at the Brooklyn
Public Library, March 4 & 11. Joining me at the dais will be the
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, Jennifer Miller of Circus Amok, and Miss
Saturn, among others. Be there or be square!
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #97 of 105: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Wed 25 Jan 06 05:14
    
I won't be at the March 4 one-- (I'm  up in the Catskills doing a 
fundraiser for the NACL guys) Possibly March 11 I could be in attendance.

Well, I want to thank all of the participants of the conversation for 
helping to contribute to a lively discussion about vaudeville. I also want 
to thank our author, Trav S.D for answering all of the questions, and 
playing along with us.

 As a host of the theatre conference, I invite WELL dwellers to come and take
 a look, and feel free to start or continue conversations there.  
(Type "g theat" in the shortcut box (engaged) or at the prompt (picospan))

I'll also be keeping tabs on this topic, so feel free to continue the 
discussion here.  Not sure how much longer Trav will be on the WELL for, 
but if you absolutely need to get a message to him, you can always email 
me, and I will send my carrier pigeon into the great beyond. 
<kafclown@well.com>

I also want to encourage people to stick around for the next conversation, 
which will be going live sometime today, featuring author David Leopold, 
radio journalist Angie Coiro, and the classic song stylings of Irving 
Berlin.

And to quote one of the legends of stage and screen:
"Good Night Mrs. Calabash, Wherever You Are"
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #98 of 105: Trav S.D. (travis-stewart) Wed 25 Jan 06 06:58
    
Good night and good luck!
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #99 of 105: Rick Brown (danwest) Wed 25 Jan 06 08:06
    
Thanks Trav! I a, seriously enjoying your book and the conversation
here. Due to a death in the family, I have yet to finish it, about half
way through, but now that things have setteled down, gonna tear back
into it.
  
inkwell.vue.263 : Travis Stewart, "No Applause, Just Throw Money"
permalink #100 of 105: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Wed 25 Jan 06 09:56
    
The one thing I forgot to admonish people to do-- if you did like the 
conversation-- I don't think you should applaud-- I think you should just 
throw money!

And while I'm sure that Travis would you like to throw some his way-- my 
larger point is that wherever you live-- go out and support today's live 
entertainment-- musicians, poets, clowns, vaudevillians, spoon-artists, 
plays, singers, hand-balancers, tightrope walkers, and everybody in 
between.  Throw some money in the hat, toss some money in an envelope, 
email paypal equivalents of doubloons across the internet-- support live 
entertainment.  It's your area's most important cultural resource-- it's 
artists.

This message brought to you from the Live Arts Council of Entertainers. 
  

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