Pacing your drunk acting is key. First drink equals feeling relaxed. Second drink equals mild euphoria. Third drink, hilarity ensues. Fourth, paranoia prevails. Fifth, sixth or more, anything from plain old meanness to self-hatred to weepy-weepy to suicidal. You want your actor to bring as much of his or her own experience to the work but not actually be drunk onstage, though I have had that experience. Yikes.

Dallas theater director René Moreno on how good actors act drunk on stage. It’s definitely a fascinating art. Read more about how actors approach the challenge and what goes into mixing a fake drink in this article

New Website Alert!

Interested in seeding your own nonprofit or do-gooder project, but don’t have a 501c3 status? Or, is your nonprofit interested in broadening its horizons without having the internal capacity or the vision to do so?

Fiscal sponsorship generally entails a nonprofit organization (the “fiscal sponsor”) agreeing to provide administrative services and oversight to, and assume some or all of the legal and financial responsibility for, the activities of groups or individuals engaged in work that relates to the fiscal sponsor’s mission. Sometimes, the project/grant grows into its own entity; other times it becomes a program of the fiscal sponsor.

This has always been a disorganized process. There are certainly tools through the Foundation Center, word of mouth, and otherwise, but I didn’t see a large hub that appears to be the proper connector between ideas and fiscal conduits. Now, there’s fiscalsponsors.org, which has appropriate background and tools for connection from both sides.

If you’re a grantwriter or might want to/need to be one, or if you work for a nonprofit entity, take a look and tune in.

Interview: Oriana Leckert, Creator and Author of Brooklyn Spaces

The only thing I love more than people who are passionate about a thing and then do something with that thing is when I am crazy about that thing, too. Oriana Leckert does exactly that with her online compendium of culture and creativity in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Spaces. As the creator and author, Oriana does an incredible job pulling together a lot of fun and extraordinary people, projects, and spaces. I interviewed her over email to learn more.

***********

Jen Bokoff: Where did the idea for Brooklyn Spaces come from, and how’d you implement the idea?

Oriana Leckert: The idea came from a sort of horror, as I watched several spaces I’d adored disappear, that there wasn’t going to be a good record made of all the totally amazing things happening in Brooklyn these days. It’s kind of corny, but I feel like we’re living through one of those delirious moments of intense creativity, and that in five or ten or twenty years, people will want to know what it was like. I kept saying to people, “Why is no one taking pictures and writing this shit down?” And people kept saying, “Well, why don’t you do it?” So I reached out to a few friends who run spaces and asked if I could interview them. I was really nervous, because I’m not any kind of trained journalist. But I realized very quickly that if you take a person who spends a huge amount of energy and time doing something, even a somewhat vapid question like “So why do you do this?” will unleash a torrential response. It’s easy to keep people talking about the things they love.

JB: What are some of your favorite interviews or venues that you have profiled?

OL: One of the amazing things about this project has been that even the spaces I’ve felt lukewarm about covering have turned out to be just incredible. Everyone is so passionate and driven; it’s just endlessly inspiring. My favorite spaces, the ones I keep going back to, are the over-the-top ones, those that are really unusual or really immersive or really really creative. The Gowanus Ballroom, Red Lotus Room, Flux Factory, Rubulad, and House of Yes are all outrageous spaces run by incredible people. Books Through Bars, Bushwick City Farms, Film Biz Recycling, and Boswyck Farms are really inspiring projects. The Brooklyn Brainery is one of the Brooklyn-est things I can imagine. [Editor’s Note: Oriana and I met at the Brainery in my How to Be a Connector class!] The Lost Horizon Night Market and the Idiotarod are the kind of ridiculous spectacles that make living here the best best best. All the spaces I’ve profiled are wonderful, as are the zillions I haven’t covered yet.

JB: What have you discovered about Brooklyn that you still don’t quite believe?

OL: What an interesting question. It’s not an original discovery, but I am consistently stunned at how much focus and dedication people have for their projects. Brooklyn is just teeming with people who spend all their time creating communities and environments and beautiful things, often for, seemingly, no goddamn reason at all. 

JB: How do you find the time to stay current on all of the latest happenings throughout the borough?

OL: Well I don’t sleep very much, and I read an insane amount of emails. I’m subscribed to every mailing list it’s possible to be on. And by now all my friends know that if they hear about something weird, they’d better make sure to tell me about it.

JB: If you could pick a dream space in which any activity could happen, where would it be and what cultural/creative thing would be going on?

OL: I tried to answer this question several different ways, and I realize that each one became impossible almost immediately. Honestly, my dream space is here, now, being in Brooklyn where all these things are happening around us, and we can all take advantage of as much of it as we can handle. On any given day you can go to a quirky class or an outrageous party or a reading or a performance or a film or a concert or an art exhibit, sometimes several in one evening. You can move in and out of different communities, volunteer for different causes, create an avant family for yourself of dreamers and revelers and coconspirators. There’s really nothing you could want that you can’t find here if you look hard enough, except maybe a super cheap place to live. It’s the most inspiring place I can imagine.

***********

Tune in to the latest info from Brooklyn Spaces by checking out the website (on which you can sign up to be emailed about updates), using the calendar to plan your week (my personal favorite), or on social media (of course! Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest). Oriana is also speaking this evening about Brooklyn Spaces at Animamus Art Salon; go see her!

Photos by Maximus Comissar

Announcing First Ever Brooklyn Neighborhood Reports

The Center for the Study of Brooklyn at Brooklyn College and the Brooklyn Community Foundation are pleased to release the first ever Brooklyn Neighborhood Reports.  Over 600 pages in total, each of the 19 new reports- one for each of the borough’s 18 Community Districts, and one for all of Brooklyn- include over 90 indicators that explore 9 different theme areas.  Accompanying Data Tablesprovide even greater detail, as will the forthcoming Data NotesRead the official January 2012 launch announcement here.  

These are pretty cool! Can’t wait to dive in further, but my initial thought is that I love the metrics they picked to explore and how they present it all. No reports or statistics are ever without questions or flaws, but this is a really nicely pieced together snapshot of all things Brooklyn. Well done!

Announcing First Ever Brooklyn Neighborhood Reports

State of NYC Dance

This study was executed by Dance/NYC and sheds important light on how the dance community is doing both programmaticly and operationally. It’s gotten coverage in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, too!

via an introduction by Kate Levin, the city’s Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs:

Taking a thoughtful approach, the study highlights the complex challenges facing this community, as well as its many accomplishments. By offering a detailed analysis of so many aspects of the dance industry – from the performers to the producers to the audiences – this report delineates many significant contributions to the City’s creative ecology.

So, give it a read and keep the dialogue going! It is only through understanding and conversation that we can continue to support the arts, and this report is a phenomenal start.

State of NYC Dance