What a week. I don’t believe I’m out of line speaking on behalf of the entire clan when I say that we’re sore, tired, high, low, socialised up, gigged out, rocked in the spaces between and now facing a house that looks like a shaken snow-globe. Such is the roller coaster marathon of wonder that is a season spent at Woodford Folk Festival!
My Top 5 Personal Highlights in No Particular Order:
1. Debuting WONDERLAND!
With the first EVER performance of this new show (yep, the one that’s coming to Adelaide Fringe and Brisbane Comedy Festival shortly!) I was understandably nauseous about this one. BUT…I’ve gotta tell you, the moment the curtains opened, the band kicked in (they ROCKED IT SO BAD I NEARLY SWEATED PRIDE BEADS!), I looked over and saw the Betties being all Betty-ish, I took in the ridiculously awesome set (designed by extraordinardo incarnate Dan Endicott, who took my instructions of “Well, I know it’s crazy but I’d love a giant gum ball machine that actually WORKS!” and turned them into even more amazeballsness than I could have ever hoped for)…I honestly had goosebumps.
It was way too much fun. I’ve got plenty of tweaking (and more writing!) to do between now and it’s resurrection in Adelaide (opening night is Friday February 15th) but I am just so relieved and elated that WE HAVE GOT A SHOW, PEOPLE!
2. Hanging with Betty and the Betties!
3. Having Utterly Fabulous Hair All Week Long!
After 13 years of coming to Woodford (as a performer for nearly half of that), this one marked a turning point in that for the first time ever, I had a wondrous man of Edward Scissorhands-like-hair genius stroking my tender locks each and every morn. Even to be able to type that sentence is a dream come true. Derek from the fabulous Pink Salon (if you’re in Brissie you really MUST check these guys out) was on Betty and Jenny hair patrol and my oh my. I don’t know how I will ever go back.
That the top of my crown looked so well spruced came in particularly handy during a surprise photo op with Australia’s very own PM. Whoda thunk?
PLUS…Derek’s daughter and my own (who became little partners in crime around the festival all week) succumbed to the allure of the Betty hairstyle and by the end of the week, became our very own honorary Betty Juniors!
The Great Debate!
Doing the debate is always one of my favourite gigs of the entire festival, however it is also the one that causes the most turmoil to my digestive tract. Fortunately, being able to meet Rod Quantock (a long-time hero who, it turns out, is not just hilarious but the sweetest man) AND Kate Miller-Heidke (whose Mum I met at a gig last year, after which she came to see “An Unexpected Variety Show” in Melbourne, love her and Kate is as gorgeous in person as she is onstage) within 10 minutes of going onstage to debate my buttocks off, was soothing balm for the affirmative team’s soul.
I should also point out that I have such strong memories of being a punter in the crowd and watching these debates – they were my only “I cannot miss that!” events each year, and thinking how much ridiculous fun it would be to be up there doing it. Dreams can come true. They really can.
Camping With Friends!
Between the half a gazillion gigs, my favourite thing to do in between was as little as possible back at our campsite. Hanging with friends and family that we otherwise don’t have nearly as much of a chance to catch up with properly throughout everybody’s highly busy years, this was just the bomb. And that almost all our fellow campers had kids as well was organic icing on the gluten-free cake.
PLUS…Just Soaking Up General Woodfordia Goodness!
Last year we got home from Woodford and my littlest was all fired up about doing somersaults. This year? We can hardly pry the ukelele away from him. This morning he woke me up by singing “I love you Mummy, I love Ella, I love Caleb, I love Daddy, I love myself!”
Thank you Woodford. Til next time. xx
How’s that Christmas shopping going?
Yeah. Me too.
I’m pretty excited to tell you that the Betties and I have put our good old noggins together and decided that seeing as our pozible campaign finishes literally DAYS before Christmas, we should put together something a little special for our supporters!
So…once our campaign is successful (we are currently at 53% of our total goal) you will receive a gorgeous Betty-fied Christmas e-card sent straight to your inbox, complete with a printable voucher (which will look lovely) to gift to your loved one with deets of the reward. Such a cool – and different – idea for a pressie, with the warm fuzzy bonus of knowing you are supporting artists make a dream a reality. Goodies up for grabs include:
- show tickets (for either Adelaide Fringe or Brisbane Comedy Festival in 2013);
- DVDs (of An Unexpected Variety Show and Wonderland);
- a NEWLY ADDED vintage hair-styling session with our resident hair expert, Bombshell Betty (this would be super fun to do with a friend or two for a big night out!);
- and of course, our cupcake serenades and/or a cabaret/comedy lounge room gig;
So as you may have heard, I’m putting together my new show about all things awesomely ridiculous and ridiculously awesome and I would love, love, love YOUR story to be a part of it!
During each and every show I will be reading out a letter from somebody – YOU?! – sharing a story about something fabulous, wonderful and/or awe-inspiring that has happened in your lifetime.
It can be about a place, a person, an act of random kindness, it can be hilarious, it can be heartbreaking.
Whatever your story is to share, it just has to be:
- true; and
- about something that made you feel – even for a split second – that the world was a wonderland.
I first got this idea of sharing audience-generated stories when I lived in Canada and was introduced to the work of Stuart Maclean of The Vinyl Cafe, who does this often at his shows and I immediately fell in love. Another massive inspiration to me on the power of storytelling is the fantastic work of The Moth. I highly recommend checking out both these links if you’re in need of some inspiration!
The plan is to record these stories at each show, upload them online and then send you the link (hopefully we will have you there in the audience on the night to enjoy it for yourself too, but worst case, you will get a copy of the performance!) plus we’ll send you a little pack of goodies as thanks!
Keen to be part of Wonderland? Email your story here! And please let me know when you write if you’re planning to be at this year’s Woodford Folk Festival, or next year’s Adelaide Fringe or Brisbane Comedy Festival. (Note: you do not HAVE to be at any of the above to contribute, but if you are planning to be at any, let me know so that if your story is shared, we can tee it up so you’re in the audience that night!)
Wanna be part of it but just wanna share something short and sweet?
Share a short moment of awesome on my Facebook page or tweet me @jennywynter with hashtag #wonderland
Your post or tweet might be featured during the show too!
Woohoo! Yours in wonderlandish-storysharing,
The Big Announcement! Or “How to get a cupcake soiree in your kitchen and/or a cabaret/comedy party in your lounge!”
This is it! The project I was banging on about yesterday! It’s all about taking my newest show, called ‘Jenny Wynter’s Wonderland! Featuring Betty and the Betties!’ to the Adelaide Fringe in 2013 and it has officially launched today right here!
I won’t harp on about the details here, as if you click over to the page itself, all will be revealed! It tells you what the show is all about (clue: JAWESOMENESS), how you can be involved (including IN THE SHOW ITSELF), ridiculously cool stuff you can get for supporting it and the rest.
Note: if you do want to help in some way, please, pretty please, the HUGEST thing you can do with this is to share this link: www.pozible.com/wonderland with your peeps. The sooner we get this ball rolling, the better. That is gold, I tells ya!
I think it’s worth even just checking out the video (posted above for your convenience: I stayed up insanely late making it, PUHLEASE watch it so my crankiness towards my family is at least justifiable in some context: “but look guys, at least 3 people watched Mummy devolving into a banshee!”) even if you can’t be bothered reading on.
I will say that jumping onboard this project as a supporter may be of interest if:
- you have ever commented that you’d love to see me perform if I ever come to your town/country/loungeroom. There are DVDs to be had – and yes, we can ship em internationally! I’ll even seal each package with a kiss if you so desire.
- you have ever harboured a desire to host a musical cupcake soiree in your kitchen;
- you would like to see me looking STONED. Not that I was, only that as I said, I began shooting this video (BEGAN!) at 1.30 in the morning – the only way I seem to be getting work done these days – and well, you can see it in my eyes. These are not the eyes of a well-rested lady. On the bright side, the house is uncharacteristically quiet on-screen.
I also want to tell you guys that this campaign to get the new show up and running has been planned for a LONG TIME. As in, long before the charity fundraiser fell into my lap. And as such, I felt so terribly awkward with the timing of that, knowing that this meant months in a row of putting stuff out there of the “support me! support me!” variety.
So, my choice was whether or not to just turn down the charity fundraiser idea – and indeed, that was my kneejerk reaction. It seemed like just bad timing, what with so much other stuff coming up (like this very project about which I speak now!) but…it really was such an incredible once-in-a-lifetime thing to be a part of, I just couldn’t say no.
And I’m glad I didn’t. Despite it being a damn hard slog to raise that $10k (and continuing to be!), I know that if I died tomorrow, I’d be really proud that I sucked up my doubts and worries and just went for it anyway.
Point is, I was worried it would be too much, to do a massive fundraising campaign for charity, followed almost immediately by a campaign for the new show.
But, as somebody very wise pointed out to me, this (i.e. the show campaign) is a totally different project and the people who support it may be totally different from those (no doubt with some overlap) who got on board the charity fundraiser. Namely cos they are two separate motivations for supporting. One is about donating to a charitable cause, the other is about jumping onboard a creative mission and getting cool stuff for your cash: be they show tickets, DVDs, cupcake serenades, or cabaret/comedy parties in your loungeroom.
Again, I want to stress that:
a) I still love ya cottonsocks whether you support or not; and
b) I will do my best not to annoy the living daylights out of you by pushing it on you over and over. I really appreciate the love and support I’ve gotten this far on the journey and I want to respect that without banging you over the head, but of course will be sharing my excitement and updates as we go. Please bear with me!
I still have doubts. I still have worries. But trumping all that is THE EPIC EXCITEMENT ABOUT THIS NEW SHOW. The kind of excitement that again, makes me know that if I died tomorrow, I’d be really proud that I sucked up my doubts and worries and just went for it anyway.
Let’s bring on The Wonderland!
Again, this is the link to share: www.pozible.com/wonderland
So….not to go all soapie cliffhanger on you, but I have to let you know: I have an incredibly exciting launch coming tomorrow.
Particularly if you have any interest in any of the following:
- “An Unexpected Variety Show”;
- Adelaide Fringe;
- the new show I’m working on at the moment;
- Betty and the Betties;
- parties; and/or
…if you’re into ALL of the above?
You’re about to hit the jackpot baby.
As this week I have been madly getting together my Adelaide Fringe show deets for next year (so excited!) I remembered this document I started working on YONKS ago (as in, I started taking notes of promo things that I found were working while I was at the Adelaide Fringe this year) as I did indeed, have a rather good run.
Soooo…in a move of stunning procrastination on next year’s Fringe deets, I decided to finally polish off my debrief from THIS year’s Fringe deets! It’s like the laziest time travel experience ever.
This is not a definitive, exhaustive list, by any means. It is rather a pretty personal debrief of all the chunks of promo I did while in Adelaide, which, while not all of them will work for everybody (as you’ll see if you do choose to check it out, a few of them were just good old-fashioned lucky!) but I think there’s plenty in there that will at least be good food for thought as you start making your plans for Fringe 2013. Personally I think it’s worth checking out even if you’re not doing the fringe but are into promoting shows full stop. But it is most certainly geared towards the Fringe in terms of offering examples of doing guest spots in other festival line-ups, etc. I hope that makes sense!
I would love to share it with those of you who are interested in this kind of stuff and have FINALLY gotten my butt into gear and worked out how to upload a free PDF! So if you’re keen, just look over to the right sidebar there and click on the image of me strutting like a ham that says “Free PDF” etc. It should be emailed directly to your inbox within 24 hours, mail chimp working as it should!
I truly hope it’s helpful, us artists have to stick together man! (Sorry for calling you ‘man.’ It just pops out sometimes when I’m excited. Which is often.)
Better shows, better promo, better industry = better for everybody!
So as we approach the end of the year, here in CM land big things are happening.
I’m getting sorted for early 2013′s plans, the likes of which include Adelaide Fringe (again! With a whole new show! Which includes the faboosh Betty and the Betties! And a guitarist! And guests! I am secreting stuff in excitement right now) and other festival madness I am sworn to secrecy about.
I’m applying for new passports for the entire family. It is expensive, both in $$ and in wrist-exertion from signing stuff.
AND…gearing up for my first ever series of cruise ship gigs. AAAGGGGHHHH!!! So happy. They are very kindly allowing me to take turns bringing a family member on these bouts of sea-faring with me, first up will be Mister 8 on a trip to Fiji in November (fair, given he missed out on Adelaide fringing this year) and we are both pumped.
Life is busy and good.
And my house is only one of the above.
It’s a sad state of affairs when the only thing that can even give me a glimpse of motivation to get on top of the mess is the thought “I should make a youtube clip out of this.”
Sums me up in a nutshell, really!
I’m a little late in coming to the party on International Women’s Day Celebrations, but hey, I’ve been busy being a woman, yo!
As I type this I have my 3-year-old crawling over me, ripping off my necklace and chanting “Playground! Playground!” so shall keep it brief, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to point out some pretty rocking women who are performing at the Fringe Fest who you should come see…there are only a few days left to see them so hop to it!
In no particular order…
Titters: An Award Winning Line Up of Funny Women (full disclosure: of which I am a part!)
So tonight I went from the glorious high of my second sold-out show to the low of discovering a two and a half star review on Adelaide Now.
No really, I was quite gutted.
I hate myself for even letting something as trivial as “public validation by a stranger by way of a star chart” get to me, but there it is. I’m here blogging my entire festival experience for better and for worse and so would be a liar if I left it out. This is a crapola moment in the journey which just happens to feature me licking my quite sizeable ego’s wounds.
When I spotted it tonight online I actually gasped in horror. They hated my show?! But then as I read it I was surprised to see that it was actually quite a nice review. Indeed, there are even some quotable bits. The reviewer’s main call to action was that I should put down the music and focus on the funny. Interesting bit of trivia: I’ve been told before to put down the funny and focus on the music. (True story!)
The nicest bad review ever.
My darling hubby said this morning that it’s like she’s reviewed it as a comedy show (which it is not), rather than a cabaret (which it is).
I am perplexed.
And really disappointed.
And then I am annoyed at myself for being perplexed and really disappointed.
I mean, who really cares what one stranger thinks in star terms? The show is not for everybody, is it? Obviously it just didn’t hit her. That’s fine. Not everybody has to dig it hugely. Why can’t I just focus on the people who are loving it? I guess the key factor is that this particular stranger’s opinion – or rather, her stars – are rather public and possibly influential. I’m not worried about people reading the review, I’m worried about the people who DON’T read it and just look at those two and a half stars – which in my book, means “conceded pass” – and opt out of coming to the show. THAT is disappointing.
All I hope is that word of mouth from audience members who are into it – and these are the people I’m trying desperately to focus on – is going to be stronger than two and a half little stars in the public domain.
The world really doesn’t have to love me. No. Really. It doesn’t.
But given the amount of freaking blood, sweat, tears and money just to make it here…I’ll be damned if I’m not giving myself – and more importantly, my hubby and kidlets – six freaking stars for effort.
P.S. I got the most beautiful email this morning from somebody who’s already come to see the show twice this Fringe season (what a massive compliment). She wrote about the review:
“…it’s impossible to not take it personally when you put EVERY fibre of your being into it. Yes, you can’t please everyone and yes, it’s just her opinion that she’s entitled to. But of course it hurts and I think you’re incredibly brave to put yourself out there to risk that, just so that you can share it with the rest of the people who’d give it 200.5 stars. Like me. And many, many more audience members that have been healed by your show…
Thank you for putting yourself on the line to do what you do.”
Thank YOU! I can’t tell you how much I need that kind of encouragement right now! xx
I wouldn’t be about to even embark on this mad adventure were it not for many, MANY different people helping me along the way, not the least of which is this wonderful wacky woman before you, Ms Liz Skitch.
Post-car crash, while I’d been easing my way back onto the stage, Liz really is the one who got me not just back on the comedy horse, but through her generosity, back on a horse that was even bigger, greater and friendlier than the one I’d started with. For Lizzie was the one who urged me to attend – and then hooked it up so that I was invited to perform a few guest spots at – last year’s one and only Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Without her, I wouldn’t have gone. I wouldn’t have been introduced to Sheridan Stewart, the dynamo of awesome who runs Titters (where I’m thrilled to be performing all Fringe this year as well). I also wouldn’t have discovered the fabulous Cabaret Fringe Festival, where Liz urged me to put my show on, in a run that wound up being the Aussie launch of the rough version of “An Unexpected Variety Show”, gave me some lovely reviews and a bit of press to get the ball a-rolling. Indeed, Liz was even the one who encouraged me to think about myself as being part of the cabaret world. I am indebted to her.
I just find this woman incredibly inspiring: I truly hope that I can be like her, to be wide open to sharing opportunities, offering encouragement and finding joy in helping to lift other people up, rather than the alternative (which I have certainly been privy to in my short career) of holding all your cards close to your chest in the fear that one person’s opportunity means one less for you.
Liz, you are a most rocking lady and whatever happens from here I am so grateful for your open, joyous heart and for being a true performing friend. I wouldn’t be here without you!
Huzzah for the generous rockstars in this life. The world would suck buttocks without you.