Hello lovelies. Did you know it was National Small Business Week? I bet some of you are small business people. Pretty much every creative person is at this point. I am. UnCabaret is. But it sounds awful doesn’t it? Who wants to be small. (Insert shot of me in my 6 inch platform boots:)
But Big Business also sounds ominous. So if small sounds puny and big sounds crushing maybe the size paradigm is over.
When I do still think size, (paradigms generally fade away rather than jump cut out), I think of UnCabaret as not big or small, but rather both big and small. And is the best word. And it’s a tiny one. (Sometimes I think of changing my name from Beth Ann Lapides to Beth And Lapides). Big and small.
In its smallness I think of UnCabaret as a boutique. As haute couture. As a flower or gem. I think of intimacy and conversation. The best part of cabaret. I think of how we can easily shift and make changes without going through department heads. These are the parts of its small that I cherish.
In its bigness I think of UnCabaret as long running. Really long for a live show almost unfathomably long. Big missioned. We set out to change comedy, did. Then set out to be the best place for comedy of nowness. I think about the gargantuan amount of huge talent that has filled the shows. I think of the huge numbers who have seen UnCabaret, been part of us through being in the audience. I think of performers who have developed projects based on the work they have done with us. I think of us as Multi-media (though I could use some help here right now). I think of our podcast, radio shows, the Comedy Central show, the CDs and the audible archive. I think of the venues we have had residencies in and the people who have worked in them that are also part of us. I think of how now with Mitch UnCabaret includes the bigness of new, live music. I think of the way it has healed and carried so many, including me, emotionally. I think of how it has somehow been able to change and grow and yet stay the same. I think of how it is me and yet not me, so much more than me. And its size, if there is a size, seems vast.
I think a lot. And I have to think in a lot of different ways. I do a lot of different tasks. Even in these emails, I do this writing part. I make the graphic. I do the links. I think about the talent and how the show is going to unfold. Then I circle back to the booking department. Which is also me, and Mitch. We talk about the coming weeks and I keep filling in those upcoming dates. Then I check with our blogger and make sure all the links works and the ticket is set up blah blah blah.
Anyway, my point is, many hats, one head. Which ultimately is such a useful metaphor for moving forward on earth now. Rather than big and small, many and one. We have to get that we are connected. Every single thing that is a ‘problem’ on earth right now is an opportunity to get that we are connected. All one. As every bar of Dr Bronner’s soap tells us. And as every person who works in a small business knows. We are all connected. All one. Learn it. Love it. Be it.
xo Your Sunday Girl, BethLearn More
Do you ever feel like you’ve been assigned something to do? A person, or a project or a task? I was assigned to drive some teenagers to Coachella last week and though I really hate to drive I knew I had to do it. And it opened up lots of doors for me. Which made me articulate how much I believe in assignments.
I don’t believe it’s all worked out before hand. I believe how we live changes the path and the path changes how we live. I do believe that we are always being given opportunities for radical growth. Or, in shorthand, given assignments.
Yes, I believe ‘the universe’, ‘god’ ‘intelligent mind’ whatever it is you call the All, is often giving us great independent study projects. And for me UnCabaret is one of those.
I came to UnCabaret in a very back door kind of way. Doing a show at the Women’s Building. The audience was laughing too hard. After the show we had this conversation:
Me: I wish I’d been as funny as you thought I was. When was the last time you laughed?
Them: We never laugh. We’re women and artists and lesbians and when we go to comedy clubs they make fun of us.
Me: I’ll make you a show. It will be unhomophobic, unxenophobic, unmysoginistic. It will be the UnCabaret.
And that’s what I have been doing for the past many years. In different venues. And with rotating group of insanely talented people. Sometimes I think about quitting. In fact I did quit. And then, like a teacher handing back an unfinished paper, the venue we are now in was handed to us. I wanted to do any number of different shows. Mitch, who had never even seen UnCabaret in its previous incarnation, insisted it was time to do UnCabaret again. I agreed. To do one show. But in my heart I knew. It wasn’t done. It was a calling, and I answered.
You can’t spell call without All.
Then last Sunday before the show (which was off the hook amazing great great, thanks to All), the delightful Stephanie Allynne, who is newer to the show, said oh wow the vibe here is just so great.
And you know that has been a big part of the assignment for me. Try to make a place where people of high vibration, with a love of excellence, a deep desire to laugh, an ear for beauty in music and language, a love of story, a curiosity about people, can come together. To raise their vibration in an electrically charged, easy going, open hearted, open minded way. To take in the new and yet feel familiar. To process how they are changing. How we are all changing.
And it all happens in conversation. I really believe in conversation.
Anyway, I know this has been a long one, and if you got to the end, thanks for reading! Love hearing from you, at the show, in emails, social media. Give a shout out when you feel it. And do join us for the show, the vibes and the general project of living large the life you have been assigned.
xo Your Sunday Girl, BethLearn More
It’s funny about Sundays. UnCabaret didn’t start out there. We were at various venues on various nights. But back in the day, when Jean Pierre called me to do something at his new club, Luna Park, I suggested doing UnCabaret for 3 Sundays. We ran for 7 years, from the Sunday they opened until the Sunday they closed. Kind of the Gilligan’s Island of comedy shows.
And then we ran Sundays at other venues including The HBO Workspace, The Knitting Factory and Mbar. After that I took a break. And though it was a much needed, Sundays always seemed, well, not quite right. Am grateful to have revived UnSundays. To have a beautiful room and an amazing team to convene in and with. The past few years of Sundays at the corner of First and Hope have been revolutionary, revelational, and filled with enormous amounts of revelry.
It is, of course, not essential that UnCab is on Sundays. We’ve done plenty of shows on other nights. But Sundays are the pivot point, one week turns into the next. Sundays help shape the way I see the week that was and help shape the energy I go into next week with. I love the feeling of creating that uplifted energy and sharing it.
But for right now, happy Tuesday. Have the best week that is available to you this week. And maybe even a little better, knowing that on Sunday, all things are possible.Learn More