Last Friday, I spoke at Union, a spiffy coffee house in Dallas that I’m fairly certain is a church in disguise. That’s a thing, isn’t it? Churches pretending to be coffee houses. This one is more subtle than most. The pastor is a good guy. (He calls himself a “community curator”… what does that even mean?) The place is cool. And Union certainly beats going to Starbucks. If you go, I doubt anyone would start asking you about the sorry-ass-state of your immortal soul. You’re safe.
Anyways. Union invited some fellows from D Academy to speak at its Naked Stage series. All of it was to promote the Big D Reads event in April. I was one of the speakers. Most people spoke extemporaneously and did a wonderful job. However, I wanted to prepare a written essay that I could share—a call to arms against anti-intellectualism in America.
D Magazine’s Frontburner blog shared my essay. And now, I’m sharing it with you.
I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, lead by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I’m talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller. Read more →
Audacity Theatre Lab is pleased to announce the 2014 Dallas Solo Fest, May 15-25, 2014 at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park. Eight solo shows highlight this inaugural festival with several local performers as well as performers coming in from around the country.
The inaugural Dallas Solo Fest line-up includes Deanna Fleysher’s Butt Kapinski, Veronica Russell’s A Different Woman, John Michael’s Crossing Your I’s, Zeb L. West’s Innocent When You Dream, David Mogolov’s Eating My Garbage, Alexandra Tatasky’s Beast of Festive Skin, Elaine Liner’s Sweater Curse: A Yarn About Love and Danny O’Connor’s Bouncing Ugly. Collectively, these performers represent a wide variety of solo performance styles from storytelling, puppetry and improvisational clown pieces to pieces that defy easy explanation.
The purpose of the Dallas Solo Fest is to celebrate extraordinary solo theatre as well as increase awareness and appreciation for the form in the north Texas area.
The Dallas Solo Fest will be produced by Audacity Theatre Lab and will play at the Margo Jones Theatre. Located at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park at 1121 First Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210, the Margo Jones Theatre features ample free, well-lit parking, access to the DART Rail, and a handy BYOB policy!
Single tickets and Festival Passes for all shows go on sale April 23. Festival Passes, now on sale, include one admission to each festival show and are $55. Individual ticket prices for each show are $12. Reservations can be made at the Dallas Solo Fest website or by calling (214) 888-6650. Details about the shows, artists bios, the full schedule and ticket information at: www.DallasSoloFest.com
Read more →
Tonight, I presented a talk for PechaKucha 12 at the beautiful Lakewood Theater. The PechaKucha presentation format is simple. 20 slides, 20 seconds each. This time, all the talks centered around the theme “This is My City.” We had lots of great people: Lily Smith-Kirkley, Stefan Reddick, Tom Dennis, Angela Mondragon, Catherine Cuellar, Cone Johnson, Robbie Good, Jenn Dunn, Alan Lidji, Jim Hart, Fred Holston, and me. Thank you Frances Yllana (via AIGA DFW) for inviting me to participate.
Here’s what I had written for my 6 minutes and 40 seconds. I went off script just a few times to better accommodate the timing of each slide.
I love that word “metropolis.” It simply means the main city of a region, but thanks to Fritz Lang and Superman the word now carries the weight of terrifying grandeur. It’s a place to behold, to cherish, to protect, to be inspired by. It’s a utopia constantly on the brink.
Metropolis was a German film, made in 1927, directed by Fritz Lang. It’s a story about the distant future, 2026, when industrialists rule the city from towering skyscrapers. It was a silent masterpiece of tremendous ambition and imagination.
Twelve years later in 1939, Metropolis was reborn in Action Comics no. 16 as Superman’s New York-esque adoptive home. There, Superman fought the corruption of industrialists. While Batman’s Gotham was a dire place, drawn for the night, Superman’s Metropolis was the shining hopeful city of tomorrow. Read more →
Today is a good day for people who love the finer things. It’s Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you”). It’s Free Comic Book Day. And Iron Man 3 is out this weekend.
Zeus Comics (new location on 1334 Inwood Road) is celebrating it all.
May the 4th be with you! Happy Star Wars day. We have the wonderful Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) with us at Zeus starting at 10am. It’s Free Comic Book Day too! Come meet 8 other wonderful comic folk including Phil Jimenez, Stephen Sadowski, Randal Keith Milholland, Robert Wilson, Chad Thomas, David Hopkins, and Benjamin Hall! Zeus will be handing out over 5,000 free comics over the course of the day and our back-issues are half off today only!
I’ll be there with some free comics too. Come by and say hello.
Last year, I participated in an independent comics panel at Eastfield College This year, Iris Bechtol invited me to participate in the Eastfield Literary and Fine Arts Festival. I will be presenting a comics writing workshop on Thursday, April 19th at 12:30. We will be in either G-101 or G-102. I don’t see any registration or fees listed on the website. So let’s assume it’s free and open to the public. Grab your lunch and come join us. I won’t mind if you eat in front of me.
The first thirty minutes will be an overview of how comics operate as a form of visual storytelling–what comics do well and what they don’t do. The next thirty minutes will be about working with artists, script formats, tips and suggestions. After that, be prepared to write. I have several exercises designed to help you get comfortable with scripting comics. (Bring a laptop or pen/paper.) At the very end, I’ll talk for ten minutes about getting published and what options are available.
I promise this workshop won’t waste your time. I’m not going to ramble on and on about how I got into comics or where you can find my comics (uh, this website). I’m not going to eulogize the industry. This won’t be a workshop thinly disguised as an egocentric Q&A. We’re going to write, and we’re going to learn something.
Next Thursday, skip work and let’s level up on telling stories with pictures.
Today, we distributed copies of Fahrenheit 451 to the ninth and tenth graders at Trinidad Garza Early College High School. It was a great event. Mountain View College President Felix Zamora gave a few opening remarks, as well as Trini Garza principal Dr. Janice Lombardi. Dallas City Council member Delia Jasso was our keynote speaker. Best of all, the school’s step team performed a routine based on the book.
When in doubt: step team. They make everything more fun.
I also had the opportunity to say a few words. I talked about my love of reading. And to my knowledge, it’s the first time I’ve spoken publicly about my dyslexia. Certainly, it’s the first time I’ve mentioned it on this blog.
Here’s what I said, more or less:
First, I want to thank Dr. Lombardi for organizing this event with us. You’re a great school. You should be proud of your education here.
My name is David Hopkins. I taught English and Creative Writing at Martin High School for twelve years, and now I write for a living. I’m a member of D Academy, the group behind the Big Read Dallas. Our hope is that you would join us and the rest of the city in reading Fahrenheit 451. That’s why we’re here. We’re counting on you, the ninth and tenth graders of Dallas ISD, to lead this charge. We’re going to give every single one of you a copy of the book. Once you get them, you’ll notice The Big Read Dallas logo and a note to you on the inside. This is a special edition of the book. And it’s yours. Read more →
Because what’s the fun in divorce, if you can’t turn it into a live performance as part of a storytelling series? I mean, am I right? High five? Anyone?
Next Tuesday, I’ll be talking about my divorce. If you’ve often thought, “Sure, I’ve heard David talk about his divorce before, but I’d really like it as a finely-crafted and well-delivered personal essay.” You’re in luck. I’m presenting my essay “One Request Before You Leave: How a road trip, the Beatles, and a motel in Missouri made me a better ex-husband” at the Oral Fixation Show, as part of their season two kickoff. Read more →
I didn’t attend this year’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, but I drank there. Tim Rogers invited me to join them at the hotel bar. He’s a fine hospitable fellow. I had a good time, arriving at around 9 PM and didn’t leave until 2 AM.
It was an interesting gathering of talented writers from all over the country. This happened. So did this. And this.
I need to register for next year’s conference. From what I heard, the workshops and seminars were all good. Plus, a hotel room might make the late nights less daunting.
I get a little skeptical about writing conferences. They sometimes cater to a desperate constituency. Maybe because the conference is hosted by UNT, and not Writer’s Digest, it reaches a different crowd. If I do attend a conference next year, I’ll give Mayborn a shot. If nothing else, they have the bar.
UPDATE: Peter Simek wins the Mayborn report. Forget what I’ve written and just go here.