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  • Writer's pictureStoddard Blackall

Spit&Vigor

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

HI!

My latest show went great in Gowanus. Busking didn't help me get more people there to see it, but it did help me book a wedding gig in December!

Spit&Vigor's Tiny Baby Blackbox Theatre is a quaint space with a max occupancy of 20 people, but that doesn't, by any means, diminish its charm or appeal. After a successful night of sharing originals, highlighting songs from Hiccups (Me Again's release being the main focus), and ending on a literal high note with a sapphic love story between an east coast seagull and a west coast cat, I was asked if I wanted to book a monthly show there.

Up until now, I've performed at standard cabaret spaces like Don't Tell Mama, a famous piano bar a few paces from Times Square, and Triad Theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Before putting my show up in both, I graced the sparkly dinner theater stage of Pangea, one of Manhattan's east village hubs for up and coming performers and new works, that doubles as an Italian-Mediterranean restaurant. Aside from Pangea, where I presented the entirety of Hiccups in 2019 - which, in retrospect was not in fact the full version -- where I had help from Hiccups' director, Adam Demerath's group of actor and bartender friends, and singer, Trista Olivas's clan of theater-buffs to spread the word about the performance and pack the house, I have often come head to head with the frustrating pressures of ticket sales. Even after all my years of piano bar entertaining, even madly dedicated, and often last minute, pianist sub-skills just didn't cut it. I tried for years on end to build up a following enough so that I could get a weekly show at either Brandy's or Duplex, but to no avail. Plus, the pandemic blast of 2020 didn't help. I refused to play there without a mask when I was still so scared for my life. It's near impossible to sing all night with a mask over your face. Kind of defeats the purpose when you're throwing your voice all night like that. Meanwhile, everyone else was acting as if no virus was gripping an unsuspecting world and ending the lives of so many every day. So, soon, I was off the list of many places. Blame it on the OCD? Nah, it's not OCD in this case. I don't obsess about cleanliness or viruses or germs. I'm not that kind of OCD-case*. Hence, the purpose of this blog, and of Hiccups, and of my voice is to teach the neurotypical masses that OCD is far more than being anal or overly particular. The disorder, for anyone suffering its torturings, is precisely being a prisoner of your own whirlwinding mind. One of my Greater Good focus points is to help others feel less alone with my art, that also speaks for itself in the sense of its sheer craftiness.

Good news is, I can say I'm securely back on the Brandy's list so hopefully I'll be performing there again soon!

My ultimate goal -- aside from spreading hope against the OCDemon that can pervade our minds, of course -- is not only to have fans of my mere ability to play covers and entertain via the song-vessels of other artists. I love to pay homage to all my favorite writers and performers but I am a songwriter, through and through. And a storyteller. THAT, my dear friends, is my creative calling.


The most important factor is consistency, always. That's how to build. I need to establish a nice cushy base first. And it begins in the Spit&Vigor. It's the babiest, most gorgeous space I've ever seen and had the pleasure to perform in. Here's (and cheers!) to the stories I'll tell there (and beyond)!


*Ok, fine, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, which I really see as HOCD (Health OCD)

"Me Again" @ spit&vigor's tiny baby blackbox theatre, Sept. 16, 2023


-Stoddard.





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