REBECCA McINTOSH, LOVE TV, artist, citizen journalist, private conversations in public spaces, love, community engagement

Ok I have to admit she had a lot of things going for her.
She was engaging, daring and very there for the artist, always willing to open her arms and encourage people to do their thing.
She was smart and yes she was innovative, "independent" and I'll give it to her she was well connected in the theatre scene.
But let's face it, she was totally over-demanding, she was extremely expensive and all she had going for her was her little black box, which was small and frumpy being only a 60-seater venue (you do the maths).

I am talking about the Storeroom my husband's theatre/venue/artist hub situated above the Parkview Hotel in North Fitzroy, Melbourne.
She has been the other woman in my life, always in the background, sending late night messages, pulling my husband out at all hours for her fickle biddings, always finding excuses for keeping him back late at the office.

I know that the Storeroom provided so many opportunities for so many artists to develop their craft and trade as actors, directors, writers, producers and designers.
People such as Casey Bennetto, Jason Marion and Ray Matson, Angus Sampson, Brendan Cowell, Fiona O'Loughlin, Emily Taheny, Paul McCarthy, Jane Body, Lally Katz, Ross Mueller, Anna Tregloan and Sam Simmonds just to name a few have all been a part of productions there.

I am also well aware that she generously gave Melbourne theatre audiences many fantastic stories, tales, moments of contemplation about the nature of humanity and the idea of "theatre", experiences of humour, passion and intimacy that this space could uniquely facilitate.

I was aware how dedicated Todd was to The Storeroom when I first met him, it was his dream, his baby and actually thinking back his first lady, maybe she should have realized then it was time for her to move on, there was a new girl in town!!!

Ben Harkin his equally loyal and passionate partner built the theatre together their vision a dynamic living space where people could experiment, explore and celebrate theatre.

But as lives changed, Ben decided to leave this torrid ménage a' triors with the life altering decision to study to become a doctor, Todd had a family and the demands of such a high maintenance "Biatch" as The Storeroom became a difficult and exhausting.

Like any great love affair what makes you fall in love in the first place can completely turn you off at the end. The mistress became the master - the hard taskmaster!!

Pleasure becomes expectation, enthusiasm responsibility!!

To be honest I will miss the Storeroom it is with great fondest I say farewell.
I have made peace with her and I grew to love and respect how vital she was to theatre in Melbourne and therefore Australia on it's many levels.
But what is great is that where there is an end there is also a new beginning and that's what I am excited about for Todd!!

Opening night of the St Kilda Film Festival
The Palais St Kilda. Festival runs 25- 30 May 2010
This is one of my favourite annual events as it's a little bit edgy, a little bit rock'n'roll with an ironic dash of old school glamour, there is nothing like turning up to the Grand Palais and a spotlight is scraping the sky announcing that this is where dreams can be made!

This is Australia's longest running Film Festival launching in 1984 and since then having screened over 2500 short films.... in other words it's HOT!

The crowd is clad in compulsory black, even I adhered to the code except for the large gold sequins bow-tie emblazoned down the front of my black velvet frock.

The foyer is a frenzy of air kissing, balding men in leather jackets, young starlets and hundreds of people who I have no idea who they are but they all look very nice and seem more intent on swilling champagne then adhering to the PA urging everyone one to take their seats.

The gorgeous Di Glenn is there we reminisce about our days as sales reps at a Sydney Photography Agency as well as the handsome Tom Wrenn as charming as ever, he should be in line for Austalia's next top  leading man.

The star factor is turned up a notch by the minor paparazzi tangle in the foyer.
If your TV star husband is on the box at the time you will get asked to stand and deliver your best smile to the lens of the social pages,  unfortunately  when he is employed in independent theater you are relegated back to the throngs of the teeming masses!!

Once in side the Palais theater the old girl's fading beauty makes one feel special and warm inside and it was a treat to be joined by the gorgeous Yessie Spence looking fabulous in a new brunette crop.

Noni Hazlehurst opened the show making the comment that one of the major domestic airlines is still screening "are you being served"?  Bugger that everyone agrees, play our movies all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide!!

Watching a series of short films can often feel like being in a conversation full of unfinished sentences.
The ideas are opened up and stretched and often left gaping for the viewer to find their own conclusion.
At it's best it can be a sharp, passionate highly emotive, poetic journey at it's worse it can be too ambiguous to capture your mind and to light to move your heart.

This nights screening tended a little bit to the latter with no one film really standing out,  but as a whole gave an interesting insight into the lightness of the dilemmas of our Australian culture and the difficulties faced by those in other countries.

This was achieved by juxtaposing International films set in Viet Nam,  (Foreign Parts), Israeli (On the road to Tel- Aviv) and the border of Pakistan and India (Wagah) that dealt with death, terrorism and dislocation respectively with local work that was exploring personal relationships.

I guess the idea of individual happiness found through love is still a driving force in our narratives however what I saw last night, was  even though the bigger issues are set in foreign countries their themes are very relevant here in Australia today.

The Program that runs until Sunday looks fantastic, so definitely get a guide and go check a few out.

The post party at the St Kilda Hall is one you need no baby sitter curfews and a cab fare home for to really make the most of  it, however last night we behaved ourselves with one cocktail then back to the sleepy North!
Jacqui Stockdale has created an absolutely outstanding show which celebrates the power of paint, when the brush is wielded with such  precision and sensitivity that makes the canvas ring with colour, light,  texture and story.

The paintings are phantasmagorical , a cacophony of masks, dolls, toys and human form piled high in a balancing act that leads the anticipating viewers eye across the vivid terrain of textures of fur, plastic, velvet, skin and hair .

The colours are luminous , the forms glow from within as they make their statement on the stark white background which is a strong feature through the whole series.

The relationships between the objects have their own narrative , that is humorous, dark, and intricate, that we as the viewer are teased to tell for ourselves.

This show is a culmination of many themes and ideas that Stockdale  has been working on for a number years and here in Strange Archipelago they are all turned up to full volume to really sing a brilliant song that leaves one wanting an encore!!

A Must see at
Helen Gory Galerie, 25 St Edmonds Rd, Prahran VIC 3181  UNTIL JUNE 12th
ECCLESASTICS 3.4  22 So I perceive that nothing is better that that a man (woman) should rejoice in his (her) own works, for that is his (her) heritage. For who can bring to him (her) to see what will happen after him (her).
This is what I turned to when I opened my Gideon bible in my Hotel room in L.A.
So the journey is nearly complete I am 2 ½ hours out of Melbourne and this flight has been travelling through a long extended night from L.A.

So looking forward to getting home remembering the ending to many of the great travel myths Paulo Coelho "The Pilgrimage" that the treasure is always under the tree in the back yard and Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road leads back to "There is no place like home."
But what makes it also much sweeter is what was achieved back in New York.

Thursday more meetings all good!

That night we caught up with fellow compatriots, a great lady who is running an artist residency up in the Catskills,  brilliant playwright and Sean Penn look alike AKA Mummy, and his very talented wife .
Then we set about doing what Australians do very thoroughly - Drink!
We met at an intimate little bar, candles, blues trio, great food, The Anyway Cafe on the corner if 2nd St And 2nd Ave.
We rounded it off at the graffiti scrawled punk bar the Mars Bar where the beer is served straight from the carton.
It sort of ended up how those nights often do! Here a wallet got lost, some hot Italians were plying us we tequila and mummy and I were heading for an argument!

Friday we went shopping, hit the Canal St circuit looking for presents for home.
Then down town for our last official meeting, which looks like a great event in the lower Manhattan district.

That night we had an invitation to the opening at the New Museum but again a 2-hour wait......which we all decided, we were far to old to have to do (don't know weather that is a good or a bad thing).
So we went dinner with this wonderful Australian woman Anne Marie who has a production company "Lost Wallaby" at a brilliant Mexican tapas bar on Delaney St.

Saturday my last day in town was a la carte cultural explosion, starting at the New Museum and the Jeff Koons curated show "Fruit Skin" which was full of monoliths made of white chocolate, candle bodies burning slowly, lifelike dead bodies in coffins and a very eerie merry go round in the colour scale of grey slowly grinding around to the music of it's own crank shaft.
This was followed by Dim sum in Chinatown with Vajello and his beautiful family.
Then we popped into Doug the local barbers because he invited us to his Farwell drinks, unfortunately the fun of this was dampened when I got stuck talking to Raymond who kept spitting his biscuits on me because he was missing all his front teeth.
Then we were off to a private Jazz Salon in Brooklyn, so sophisticated, so adult. It was hosted in this gorgeous house full of African masks and African American paintings - in the lounge room was a baby grand piano a double bass and drum kit all being played by some red hot musicians. This was all served with red wine and cheese to a group of well heeled middle class African Americans who had paid to see the show - so cool!!!
We stayed for a set then screamed across town in a taxi to catch the late session of Radiohole's show at Ps 122, chocolate throwing 70's s style performance, stunning aesthetically, actors triggering sound and vision from their wrists - anarchic and silly but I liked it even though my off sider and I seemed to be the only ones that found it funny.
This was all finished off with cocktails at a small swarray on a Manhattan rooftop with the cityscape in the background.
Wow what a time, now I look forward to the sweet quietness of suburbia!!
My off-sider will continue to follow up all the in the roads we have made and things are looking good for the summer of 2011!!
As I leave the U.S. tonight I want to pay tribute to my fabulous off-sider. She has been by my side every step of the way and I will miss her dearly.
My off-sider will now stay on in New York and continue to develop the project, being the feet on the street of New York and following up with all the meetings we have made.
Every girl needs a good off-sider!!!
These photos were taken of two friends bathrooms. They lived together in the same apartment, one was a banker and one was an artist. Which one belongs to whom and why? Feel free to make a comment.
Ok feeling so great toady, it's warm outside went for a run across the Williamsburg Bridge the sun screaming down on the monolithic city everything is possible again!!

Had a brilliant meeting with The Socrates Sculpture Park, what a stunning space a grassy oasis, back dropped against the city skyline, which is separated from the park by a slowly lulling Hudson.

Alyson Baker the director was very generous with her time filling us in on the wonderful program they present there.  They really bring the incredibly multi-cultural community (up to 130 different languages in the schools) that live in this Long Island area into the park to enjoy a wide range of events and presentation of brilliant work.

Then we headed off back on the train to PS 1 to check out their Saturday Night program, which they are developing.
We had to change trains which ment a dash up the stairs I was a few steps behind Vic, so she got the train first and then the door just shut in my face and then took off.

So I tried to stay cool we were going to the next station so I would just get the next train there, which arrived, in 3 minutes.
But I arrived to an empty station, no Vic, I didn't have here number, I had no keys to the apartment, and we were all the way on the other side of town....aaahhhhhhhh!!!

So I jumped on the next train back to the first station looking frantically everywhere for Vic, while racking my brain about how I could find her number, if I only I could access my internet.

That's when I decided to activate my million dollar data roaming on my phone, so I could access my hotmail, I did and luckily found her number on an old email, then called her on the pay phone there on the station. (I'll be very interested to see how much that costs me because apparently it's insanely expensive!)

Then she appeared, what had happened was the train she got on was an express train for 5 stations so she couldn't get off at the next stop.........anyway we were reunited!!!

That night we ended up down in a swank bar in Wall St with all suits celebrating St Patrick's day.
Then had dinner at a dim sum back in Chinatown that was very cheap and cheerful but with way too much MSG!!! Met some gorgeous local boys there who wore their pants down on their knees so they could show off their "Polo" long johns...hilarious!!!

It's amazing you can go from one extreme to the next in culture, class, and social group and visit ten in one night.

The night before for Vic's birthday we went to an African band down at the Hi Line then had awesome pizza at Lombardi's in Little Italy, then went to the infamous Box where Vic won a dildo in the deep throat competition!!!
She was brilliantly entertaining and deserved to win but was disqualified for giving the dildo fellatio!
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Feeling great today the sun is out and shinning bright, the new moon is about to kick in and little spring buds are beginning to raise their shiney little heads!
Finally had a break through yesterday when we made it into the office of the wonderful Freedome Bradely......he lived up to his name, big, tall, handsome man with a laugh as large as a mountain!!
He runs the theatre in the parks program through out the 5 bourroughs off New York.

He was interested in what we had to present him and he could see how it could fit into their Summer in the Parks program.
The public Arts programmer just happened to be at the next desk so he literally pulled her into the meeting on her chair on wheels.
She really loved what we presented and said we had a brilliant project!
Finally someone who gets us! We really needed some encouragement.
Luckily we got Freedome because it was the beginning of the first day of his holiday and he had to see his boss so he thought he may as well squeeze us in.

What is so interesting is we have talked to so many people and the information that one person  gave us with fierce conviction was that no one like  Freedomes existed ie presenting public work through the 5 bourroghs!

But he does exit..
People have said don't go to Socrates Island, No do go the Socrotes Island it's perfect for you, do the Figment Festival it's cutting edge and brilliant , no don't do Figment it's a pack of feral hippies, there is no way anyone is going to pay you any money to do your show, yes we have money and we can.

It seems that if someone is confident in the conviction they are giving you  an honest piece of information you believe it to be "TRUE", but then someone just as definate in their opinion gives you a conflicting information so they think that it is the TRUTH.

I say There is no truth!!!

The truth is totally relative to the experience one individual has had and it is totally subjective!

There is definitely no one TRUTH

That said we will go forth and try to be clear in our own vision and trust our ow instincts and discover our own TRUTH.

Anywa it's Vic's  birthday today , lunch with another festival producer lots of emailing and stuff , a great run across the Williamsburgh bridge.........keep on truckin'!!!

Miss my girls so much and I wish I was there when Todd won his Green Room Award for Best Actor, good on ya Todd!!

Exhausted....pulled into JFK at 6 in the morning...peak hour into town, then up 6 flights of stairs lugging my massive overweight suit case to my off siders great little apartment in the Lower East Side.

It was great to see her.......she had moved there 2 weeks before to get the ball rolling.

Then off to our fist meeting with Vallejo Gantner from PS 122 over a brilliant Mexican lunch, feeling like I had been up all night I had a midday Margarita that kinda hit the spot.

Vallejo was brilliant ( my off-sider and I commented how fabulous his mind was and good he looked for someone with such a hectic schedule) had lots of good advice around how to approach the project....... New York 5 boroughs, driven by an interactive web site with a major sponsor.

It was soon apparent how many layers there was to pulling this off- how much ground work that had to be done and how many levels we have to approaching it on, so many threads to weave together like making a big beautiful rug.

So we went home to follow up our new leads feeling a little clearer on the path, we were then confronted with news that we had not got the Australia Council grant to build the  on-line interactive web site that would allow the communities we are engaging to nominate themselves and share content. This was not crucial but it really would have been so great to have had this financial backing at this point.

What do you bloody have to do to get some funding from your home town...... this is where I could really go on a tirade about who did they bloody well fund?? And why do the same people seem to get the money and the rest of us just got on and do it regardless.... maybe that's why we don't funded? But I won't go on and say all that.

Almost in the same moment we got a reply from Freedome Bradley who runs all the parks in New York saying he was interested in meeting with us on Monday.

Down a snake and up a ladder.

Could have easily sunk into a jet-lagged lull of overwhelm ness at the enormity of this task but we had to keep on truckin'

So down to Times Square we trundled to try and track down the contact for who curates the art down there...his name is no where to be seen on the web site.

Got the address and caught the lift to the 8th floor...

Now this is someone we have wanted to talk to 6 months and he has been impossible to find, and soon we find ourselves following his receptionist into his office. (I think she thought we were somebody else.)

It was like meeting the Wizard of Oz, behind the curtain of all magic of the bedazzling lights of times square we stubble into a very small modest office to come face to face with the man running the show.

Everyone was a little supprised and we all had laugh and he was very friendly and told us to send him an email then we would take it from there....... hilarious wasn't really how imagine it.

That night we went to art opening that had a line  down the street and around the block, a two hour wait to get.... impressive the support fort the arts...imagine that in Australia!!
Met up with the incredibly hospital Andrzej Liguz a clever documentary photographer and installation artist who took great care of us made sure we had food, wine and a good time......helping over riding my jet lagg with such a warm welcome to the Big City.

Along with his gorgeous friend Dickie an artist from California we danced the night away in some funky lillte club until the wee my lolly pink mini dress!

Today endless walls of ice cold rain, a ferry to Staten Island and three hours of New York City Council Cultural grants seminar...which my off-sider felt like she was in heaven and I felt like I was slowly sliding into hell.

Rebecca McIntosh, LOVE TV, artist, public art, citizen journalist, interviews, love, community engagement, public installation, LOVETV, LOVETVinterviews, Aphrodite, art, performance, live event, urban screens, multidisciplinary