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FIRST EVER DALLAS SOLO FEST

DSF_Large Interstitial AdAudacity 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

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ADVICE ON BREAKING IN

427110_10150645139076802_1938552693_nI had a former student email me a few days ago, asking about how I got into comics. He was seeking advice on what to do.

There’s no singular way to get into comics. There’s no path except the one that works, and then it usually only works once and under precarious, fleeting conditions. A few things have worked for others, and any combinations of these tactics (listed below) would be better than doing nothing.

  •  In the words of Steve Martin, “be so good they can’t ignore you.” People like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Grant Morrison were always going to be successful, because eventually someone, somewhere would see the genius. The shine was too bright.
  • Find a job where you can hide away or slack off while you actually write.
  • Be homeless. You can access computers at the public library. You can spend your time writing while sleeping in a shelter somewhere in the evenings. I don’t know if this works.
  • Take out loans, live under crushing debt, start your own small press company, and attend every major comic book convention as a publisher. You may eventually go bankrupt. However, by that time, you may be well-known enough to get some gigs elsewhere.
  • Start a shitty web comic and self-publish your own projects.
  • Find one small press company and befriend them. Intern. Run errands.
  • Write about comics. Start a podcast or a blog, or both. Be a resource to others. If you can grow as a pop culture authority, eventually, someone might trust you to write for them.
  • Find work as an editor, be really good, and then shift into writing.
  • Pay an artist to work with you on a larger project. I paid someone to illustrate my first 24 page comic. Nice guy. From there, I started getting more breaks.

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ST. VINCENT, DIGITAL WITNESS

Must share.

SPEAKING AT THE SMU WOMEN’S SYMPOSIUM

Wonder Woman taller than SupermanTomorrow, I’m speaking at SMU’s 49th Annual Women’s Symposium. My 30-minute talk will be about the historical and social impact of women superheroes, from Wonder Woman to Emily Edison. In particular, my jumping off point is this letter to Lego from 7-year-old Charlotte Benjamin. What I will try to say in 30-minutes, she says much more concisely (and eloquently) in just a few words:

“Let them go on adventures and have fun. OK!?! Thank you.”

Comic book writers, take note. It’s all right there. Let them go on adventures and have fun.

In honor of Wonder Woman and my presentation, I want to share something I wrote that never got published. Smart Pop Books, a few years ago, was considering a Wonder Woman anthology to accompany a possible Joss Whedon helmed Wonder Woman movie. Of course, we all know what happened there. I wrote the first part of my essay, working title: “Wonder Woman and Superman in Conversation: The Gender Gap in DC’s New Frontier,” and then stopped when the DC movie fell through. So, the excerpt below is unpolished and unfinished, but some good ideas exist in there somewhere. Feel free to read and look for them. Read more

SORTING THROUGH THE PHOTO BOX

Last Saturday, April was livid. Her outdated iPhone had failed her one too many times. The chief complaint was that it would not notify her when a call was coming. And what is an iPhone without the “phone?” (Actually, Apple already has the answer; it’s just an iPod Touch.) After a conciliatory conversation about the evils of planned obsolescence, I convinced April to take her losses to Tmobile. We have lived together for six years, and we would finally have a shared phone plan. At Tmobile, we were able to get an iPhone 5S without paying a dime upfront. Even with the increased installment plan to account for the pricey phone, we are still paying less than our separate phone bills from the previous years. An all-around win.

The only crisis came when we discovered April might lose the photos from her previous phone. Tmobile was having trouble with “the cloud.” Hundreds of photos, potentially lost. Fortunately, Dropbox did what iCloud could not, and the photos were saved.

Following this theme of “preservation,” on Sunday, April took me to Michaels to buy some boxes to store my old photos from high school and college. I was organizing everything in my new study/reading room/chess room, and I decided it was time to retire the Airwalk shoe box where I had crammed these photos. Scrapbook? Not happening. I just needed a nice box to keep the dust off my archives.

Time to play the game, “Back in My Day.”

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ME AND HUFFINGTON POST

Last year, I wrote and performed a story as part of the Oral Fixation series. Now it’s available on Huffington Post.

For those of you who want “all the dirt” on my divorce, it’s here. Kinda. Original title was “One Request Before You Leave: How a road trip, the Beatles, and a motel in Missouri made me a better ex-husband.” But long titles are pretentious and don’t work for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, so it’s been shortened to a more respectable “How a Road Trip Set to a Beatles Soundtrack Made Me a Better Ex-Husband.” Either way.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oral-fixation/how-a-road-trip-set-to-a_b_4747794.html

I’ve received a lot of positive responses from people, both friends and strangers. I’m glad that my story (mine and Melissa’s, actually) has been able to connect with others and their own experiences. What more could a writer want? I believe in good divorces–amicable partings, where parents can remain not just “friendly” but friends, and they can work together in the best interest of their child. Thank you Melissa for your blessing on this story and, the one thing that wasn’t really mentioned, how you played such a huge role in supporting me with your patience and kindness during that difficult time.

And thank you to Oral Fixation creator/director/editor Nicole Stewart for the opportunity. Between this and Lyndsay Knecht’s behind the scenes story for KERA’s Art&Seek, we’ve gotten about as much mileage (pun intended) as one could ever hope for from a single performance. Now that it’s on YouTube, I wish I wouldn’t have shaved my beard at that time. Yes, I look strange to myself without a beard. That’s my only complaint. I should have grabbed a fake beard from the prop room.

BACK WITH ESPN 1660 AM

“Unnecessary Roughness,” the afternoon show for ESPN Central Texas 1660 AM, brought me back yet again for a segment on the Dallas Mavericks. Three times. That makes me a regular, yes? We talked about Coach Carlisle, the Clippers game, Monta Ellis, the nightmare that is Andrew Bynum, and mid-season trade pipedreams. As always, I was there representing the Mavs Outsider Report. Click the play button below (or the link).

linkDavid Hopkins on ESPN 1660 AM
(11 minutes, 33 seconds)

MY RETURN TO ESPN 1660 AM

“Unnecessary Roughness,” the afternoon show for ESPN Central Texas 1660 AM, brought me back for a segment on the Dallas Mavericks. We talked about the season, which started last night, and reasonable expectations for the Mavs. I was there representing the Mavs Outsider Report. Click the play button below (or the link).

link: David Hopkins on ESPN 1660 AM
(14 minutes, 13 seconds)

AUDIO FICTION: SIX SECONDS LEFT

sixsecondsleft

Audio Fiction: “Six Seconds Left”

Listen to “Six Seconds Left”

Written by David Hopkins
Narrated by Brad McEntire
Art by Jake Ekiss
Produced by Space-Gun Studios and Audacity Theatre Lab

Originally posted here.

THE WILD AND WAYWARD TALES OF TAMMI TRUE

I wrote a book. THE WILD AND WAYWARD TALES OF TAMMI TRUE. It will be available in late November. Cover design by Paul Milligan. Please spread the word. This book is one of those independent projects that lives or dies based on word of mouth and that pesky social media.

I have a little more writing and a little editing left. Nancy still needs to look over everything. April is going to read through it too. I don’t have a link for pre-ordering yet, but I will soon. The book will be available on Amazon. And I’ll have some copies. We’ll try to put together a book signing somewhere.

tammi trueIn the 1960s, Nancy Powell became TAMMI TRUE, the burlesque headliner at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club. She lived a double life, PTA mom by day and stripper by night. Then Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald and everything changed.

From Catholic school to the juvenile court system, from a noisy club in Dallas to a quiet farm in the country, Nancy’s life is wondrous and wayward, hilarious and heartfelt. Here it is, her world in her own words—in and out of the spotlight, and ready for an encore.

Tammi True bares it all.

“Using the glamorous backdrop of Dallas in 1963, Tammi True brings the truth about Jack Ruby and the JFK assassination to a whole new generation. It is a must read story!” – Katie Dunn, director, producer of True Tales: JFK. 1963. EXPOSED

“Tammi True is the ultimate Texan burlesque queen with big hair and big attitude. Nobody can turn you on and make you laugh quite like Tammi.” – Ginger Valentine, co-producer, director of Ruby Revue

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P.O. Box 735, Arlington, TX 76004
thatdavidhopkins.com
skype: davidgregoryhopkins

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