Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bansky in Greensboro?

Stopped in at McGee Street Mini Mart today and noticed a "Banskyesque" doggie on the store front of Social.Could it be that he came to town to listen to Paleface and Holy Ghost Tent Revival play last night at StudioB? What do you think? Bansky or imposter?

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Harlem Nights

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend Harlem Nights, a celebration of the music and dance of the world famous Cotton Club at StudioB.

Featured performers were The Joe Robinson Quartet, Melva Houston and Bertha Young, the Showtime Dancers as well as performers Matthew Wiley as Cab Calloway, Todnee Jefferies as Ethel Waters, Jonathan Bethea as Nat King Cole, Tameka Allen as Billie Holiday, Indira Roberts as Lena Horne with host Woodrow Bumbry offering the history of each performance.

The evening began with the soulful singing of Melva Houston and How High the Moon.  Her earthy talent never fails to move a crowd to their feet. In 2006 Melva received a Telly Award for her short-form documentary promo - Melva Houston: Keeping Jazz Alive. When she is not traveling the world to share her passion she volunteers her time to the young members of the Triad Youth Jazz Society.

Bertha Young, lead singer of Sweet Dreams, offered a dynamic performance of I've Got Rhythm and Satin Doll.  She has opened for Patti Labelle, Frankie Beverly & Maze and performs regularly in N.C. 

The Joe Robinson Quartet followed these two talented ladies to wow the crowd with Take the A Train , All of Me and provided the driving rhythm for each performance. Joe, a graduate of Berklee School of Music, began playing the trumpet at the age of thirteen at Atkins High School and has worked with a host of Jazz greats such as Lou Donaldson , Dannie Richmond and Donald Byrd

One of my favorite performers was Matthew Wiley as Cab Calloway. He lit up the 'Cotton Club' with electric renditions of The Hi-De-Ho Man and It Don't Mean a Thing that brought a cheering audience to their feet.

Harlem Nights, arranged by Platinum Entertainment, benefited One Step Further, a private, nonprofit United Way Agency.

For information on booking StudioB for special events please contact Ayesha Oglesby.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New SpringWidget


Recently, I took on a part time bar tending job as I make the transition into a full time freelancer. It has been years since I have worked in the service industry but, after my conversation last night about tipping with a friend, I felt compelled to speak up.

From the mom and pop diner to the country club to the fine dining restaurant, I have been exposed to the best and the worst that the service industry can offer - both as a server and as a patron. 

If you have ever worked in the service industry then you know that $2.13 and hour places your financial survival at the mercy of every person you serve. Just to make ends meet often requires long hours and double shifts with no health insurance. Don't even think about getting sick!

If you have ever been victim of shitty service then you know that what you leave as a tip is the only way for you to get your point across, short of asking to speak to the manager and hoping that they are not as ill mannered or indifferent as your server.

All of that being said - my advice is this. . .  

If you are a patron - 
- If you can't afford to tip . . . you can stretch those would be dining dollars farther by preparing meals at home

- If you are a lousy tipper - remember that the server you just shafted makes $2.13 an hour and is trying to survive.  And there is a lousy tipper database with your name in it.

- If you can afford to tip, print out this guide. Base the % you leave on the quality of service you receive

- Learn what you can do to receive better service the next time you decide to dine out. 

- When you travel understand the rules of tipping abroad.

If you are a server - 

-Your attitude and attentiveness are everything. 

-Treat every person the way you would like to be treated, with respect. 

-If you are busy - make eye contact, say hello . . . let them know you will be there to take care of them asap.

- Learn how you can increase your tips and build a regular clientele. Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor, has a book that can help.

- Vent your frustrations off duty and away from work. Share your war stories with people who understand.

For more tipping information let William Michael Lynn, a professor at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, be your guide.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Critically Thinking

As of January 1, my term as Marketing Director for an art gallery comes to an end and the wonderful world of possibility opens up with a fresh start . . . I am making the freelance switch.

There are so many things I love to do (see the furniture? I designed and built it!) that I litterally have a toy box full of choices. 

Last night, after a local tweetup, I made my decision. . . to help artists/galleries by designing their ads, websites & logos, writing press releases, creating submission/media/press packets and of course by writing feature articles on their exhibits for local publications like ExhibitC, a regional magazine focused on the arts. 

I am still working on the logistics and I understand that there is a lot of hard work ahead of me  - but with local resources and incredible support from the art community, I have to say that this is one of the happiest days of my life. . . I finally get to swim in the deep end of the entrepreneurial pool!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Get a Free Press Release to Show Up in Google News, With Active Links

Article By: David Sarokin

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A press release can be a great promotion tool. But publishing a press release can be a long, drawn-out, angst-ridden, and expensive affair. Or...it can be easy, fast, and best of all, free. The key is knowing where to go. Here's how to publish a free press release with html, active links (working URLs), and have it show up in Google News.

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Freelance Switch

It is 12 days before my 'freelance switch' and I have been kicking my preparations into high gear.

Though my home office still looks like Einsteins desk from Princeton I was certain that in a magical matter of days I would have forsaken my creatively messy ways for a super productive lifestyle

I have been struggling to stay focused on my office cleaning duties as of late. It has been easier to plug my laptop in and work from my desk in the living room, than it has been to finish making my home office a sanctuary during this transition.

Trying to do research on making this freelance transition as painless as possible eats up what little free time I have.  A friend of mine pointed out that as long as the work is getting done - does it really matter where I am working?!

"Focus on the what, not the how."  was a quote from The Secret that came up. . . hey, if it means I can shut the door to my office and keep my head down for a while - I am all for that! But I had been spending way too much time bouncing all over the net trying to line up as many freelance job resources as I could . . . 

And then it happened . . . I was updating my tweets this morning when I noticed @imjustcreative posted a retweet by @mlane that will undoubtedly save my ass . . . thanks guys! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Font Conference

This video will *never* get old. . .

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Brinks Armored Car Driver Killed During Robbery At Old Navy

This evening, investigators for the Greensboro Police Department are still looking for the suspect who shot and killed a Brinks armored car driver during a daylight heist. Read more here http://tinyurl.com/63udkn

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