Announcements, announcements

Keeping you updated on our plans so far: The Flying House Stock Exchange launch event will take place on the 27th of January at Museum Africa, at 6:00 for 6:30 pm. 

For those of you who have been following this curious tale with some interest, perhaps wanting to be involved but not sure how - here are some pointers to be mulling over with your wine this festive season.

PITCH IT RICH

What's the collective noun for dragons? A dignity of dragons? A treasure trove of dragons? An inferno of dragons? Well, whatever it is, we have a fearsome panel of "dragons" for our pitching session slot: "Pitch it Rich". 

 

  • Ismail Mohamed - National Arts Festival
  • Ashraf Johardien - UJ / Art Much Quarterly
  • Gita Pather - Wits Theatre / So Solo Festival / 969 Festival
  • Pieter Jacobs - ACT
  • Gerard Bester - Hillbrow Theatre
  • Haleigh Evans - Pop Art

Cool, huh? And hopefully more joining us soon. These wonderful people will be ready to hear your ideas (pre-screened by us) and, if the business case is right, offer you anything from space in their programme, advice or 

Can I still pitch?

Yes, if you email it to us by 11 January, to info@flyinghouse.co.za using the following format:

1. Name, contact details

2. WHO: brief artist bios for creative team

3. WHAT & WHY: Concept / description of project and why it's worth doing (600 words)

4. Exactly what you're asking for (space, partnership, financial backing, people, expertise)

5. What's in it for the backer / producer... (profit share? exposure? In-kind trade?)

6. Practicalities - where, who, when, how?

 

STOCK LISTING

You will be able to list stock beforehand or on the night itself. Stock can be a show, a service, a workshop, a course you offer. It can also be an idea. Listing costs R100 per item. Your listing will go onto the website, and will be activated on the night through a variety of live marketplace games and processes...how much are you worth? Be prepared to play, innovate, trade, share and generate a lot of interest.

SHOWREELS, GUILDS and PORTFOLIOS

Actors, get your 90 second showreels ready. This counts as listed stock and will be open to all to view on the night.

Designers, writers, directors - there will be guild corners for you to show your work. Enquire for prices.

Artisans - carpenters, set builders, welders, costumiers, transport services, printers - anyone who is part of the performing arts supply chain can either take out a formal ad or play the stock games on offer. Enquire for prices. 

Finally, if anyone out there has some spare cash and has always thought of investing in theatre, showbiz, arts...there'll be no other chance like this one. Shopping for entertainment for your corporate function? Interested in what theatre can do for your employees? Talk to us.

info@flyinghouse.co.za

Tipping Point for Stock Exchange launch event

Our Thundafund has reached it's first tipping point. Thanks to all of you who have donated so far, and thanks to Arts Culture Trust for the initial project funding. We can now confirm that the event will take place at the end of January. We'll announce the actual date soon.

Below is an easy-peasy multiple choice questionnaire to help you understand how you might participate. 

We're making it really easy to send us an expression of interest. Look at the list below, select the Number that applies to you, and the Letter for how you think you might like to take part. Inbox me those, and an indication of whether you are a student, emerging artist, mid-career or established professional. Follow it up with an email to info@flyinghouse.co.za 

I am a:
1. Performer - actor / dancer / performance artist (or group)
2. Theatre Designer /Scenographer
3. Director
4. Choreographer
5. Producer
6. Stage Manager / Production Manager
7. Investor / backer - I'd like to put money into theatre
8. Arts administrator
9. Arts Organisation
10. Photographer / videographer
11. Journalist / critic / writer
12. Playwright
13. Arts Educator
14. Lighting designer
15. Sound design / musician
16. Funding body
17. Thinker. Activist. 
18. None of the above but I believe I have something to trade
19. Audience. Lover of theatre/art
20. I have nothing to trade but I have a lot to say about the relationship between Art and Capital. I want a platform.
21. I'm none of those but I have a cool venue for performances

I'd like to participate:
A. I've got to be on your line-up - I'm sending you a proposal for a 5-minute piece or performance installation
B. I'd like to pitch a production to potential backers or producers
C. I'm a director looking for scripts
D. I want to show my performer's showreel
E. I want to list my stock - workshops/services/courses/consultations/tickets
F. I want to donate something to the auction / raffle
G. I just want to come and watch and see what happens
H. I want to document this
I. I don't know
J. I'd like to become a member of Flying House and access resources, space and support.
K. I have funds that I would like to invest in a show.
L. I have funds that I'd like to invest in an organisation that achieves social upliftment and job creation through arts in my beloved Joburg
M. I can bring audiences to future shows through my school / work / community project

Have another read through our Call for Applications so you can get a sense of the spirit of the event if you haven't already done so. 

See you on the trading floor!

 

 

Fees, Funding: Falling...Flying?

Look, cheap tricks... hijacking the current newsworthiness of student protests, to push our own agenda of crowd-funding our launch event and sending our ideas into the stratosphere. `Cheap, yes? Let's talk about the need for funding. Lets think about the terror of not being able to afford next year's education, of not knowing how the hell you will compete in this world without the technical skills, the education, the piece of paper that says - there I did it, employ me. Some great pieces out today on the Wits protests. This one in particular, speaks to me profoundly. Listening on the radio and the gamut of responses range from the severe knee-jerk judgerig kind of thing we inherited from our rotten old system - "These students were failing anyway and they're using this protest thing to get out of exams..." to the despairing - "They are not going to get jobs anyway" to the more creative and progressive that see the connections between recent student protests and the bigger issues that face us, and see that it's complicated. 

So, I'm not really hi-jacking the debate for our own agenda - I believe that this is all of our business. The tertiary education debate at the moment, in a way speaks to everything that is going on around us. Poverty, joblessness, hurtling towards environmental crisis, the blindness of privilege and, yes, the struggle to lure audiences away from TV and into theatre spaces. Why? Because it's about creative thinking. It's about problem solving. It's about Imagination.

What do we need more of? We need more entrepreneurial thinking. We need fresh ideas. We need to dismantle old ways of circling around new problems.

And no, we are not saying we have the answer, that we will solve the crisis in theatre, arts funding, tertiary education or employment... of course we're not saying that. But we are saying this...

Flying House believes in Imagination with a capital I. Our vision includes three different approaches:

1. Creative space: A physical space in which we can actively think about, respond to and air ideas about the big questions of the day. Like university education. Like the rhino. Like violence against women. It's not about closing off a space for artists to navel-gaze and create work - it's about opening up spaces in which artists can dialogue with other thinkers, and let those ideas spread. It's the bustle of an airport, the exhilaration of a take-off runway and the safety of a roof over your head.

2. Think-storm events... we're still not sure what we're calling these - occasions when a broad range of extra-ordinary thinkers get together and throw their voices onto the floor. We're talking embodied, live events - not podcast and not televised...but accessible, rough and immediate.

3. Flying Lessons. Learning occasions that are intersectional - students mingle with pros, in workplaces, theatres, or at a pop-up booth on a street corner. Workshops, team-building, call them what you like, these are designed to pump ideas and build creative muscle.

The first of these (number 2) will be our Performing Arts Stock Exchange event, where artists and industry professionals are invited to respond to the idea of Creativity/Commodity/Capital in whichever fanciful way they please, or just play it straight and treat it like a regular marketplace for their products and skills. Crazy, yes. Foolish? Why, thank you. Coming to play?

So, yes, I do believe that education should be free for all, and that theatre should be funded as an essential service. But in the meantime? Let's talk. 

Ok, but how does it work?

Anne Bogart says " you can't create results. You can only create conditions in which something might happen." This is pretty much the idea behind the Performing Arts Stock Exchange. 

So, how? 

Simple premise: It's a marketplace. Think of a service that you offer. Put a price on it. Put it on the floor. See if people go for it. If they don't, find out why. Adjust the price or the service. If they go for it - sell! 

There will be a fee to list your "stock." You can list as many products and services as you like - you pay for each one but anything you make on the actual trading floor will be yours. 

We will be signing up members on the night, and members get preferential rates on the stock listing fee. 

To give you an idea of some of the different spaces there might be to play in:

Auction and raffle - this is a fundraising exercise for Flying House. Artists donate services, time or tickets. We take bids, sell tickets. Proceeds go to the establishment of the hub and staffing the hub.

Performance / Installation. There will be a curated programme of edgy short shows that respond to ideas around culture and commerce, poetry and patronage, sustainability, cash flow, capitalism and performing arts. Disruptive beauty and innovative cash-generating performances encouraged.

Casting couch: opportunity for emerging actors to showcase a short showreel. (counts as listed stock)

Pitch stage: bring your idea, sell it to a potential backer.

Costume trade rail: bring in old props and costumes, swop, trade or sell.

Link up with stage designers, carpenters, costumiers, emerging talent, directors, editors, drama therapists, writers, marketers, musicians, administrators, accountants, technicians. 

Done in the spirit of a Joburg gold rush street hustle, this is a trading floor with heart, humour and flair.

 

Launch pad

Flying House will be launching soon. Up, up and away....

Our launch concept makes us so excited we need to reach for the oxygen masks, but there's a way to go before we can truly lift off.

We have a boost, a blast of heat to get us airborne, thanks to the amazing Arts Culture Trust, the first backers to really believe in us, or at least believe in us enough to get us started. But we will need more if we want to do things properly. So please pay our Thundafund page a visit and see if you can help. Every little gust of wind helps to take us higher!

Is theatre an essential service?

I recently went to go and watch Hersch at the 969 festival. For those of you who missed it, which will be most of you - it was a very small house, it's a beautifully constructed portrait of a director, a meditation on the art of making theatre, it's value, and it's place in the world. You know when you watch a piece and there's just moment after moment of clear, ringing truth? It was like that for me. There was a line in particular that really stuck. "Theatre should be a business. Don't be ridiculous! Why should theatre make money? You don't expect a library to make money. You don't expect a sewerage system to make money. It's an essential community service!"

 

Do you think this is true?

Can theatre justify it's own existence just by saying, well you know, we hold a mirror up to reality... listen to us and be healed. There's a lot of talk in our country about the healing that needs to be done, the stories that need to be told. Theatre can do this. Or can it?

There's also a lot of talk about Creative Entrepreneurship, the Creative Economy, the ways in which the Arts can uplift, empower, enrich, create livelihoods. Er, what? Did someone say livelihood? We're told to build a Brand, make a business plan and market ourselves. Artists I've spoken to feel uncomfortable with some of these terms. Can creativity be reduced to a commodity? Why are artists expected to provide work for free for endless fundraisers when they can barely sell their own work if they are not on some holy list? Why are artists expected to be fundraisers, tax specialists, marketing experts, administrators and then, finally when they have some energy left over, creative geniuses who must produce original work. We must shock, heal, play it safe, be original and sustainable and create the audiences of the future too while we're at it. 

When did writing become content? When did audiences start needing to be developed?

So that's why we're playing with the theme of Capital, Creativity as Commodity and making our very own Performing Arts Stock Exchange... come and play. List your stock, your trade, your service. Create a performance or installation that subverts the idea, or play along for real by listing, trading, selling, buying. Send us your application before the 17th August - we'll be curating a night of startling entertainment, activity and real change. 

Passive viewers are welcome to come along and be entertained, but we're in favour of risk-taking and a spirit of collaboration.