Despite the unreasonableness of the SFFD in banning SRL shows in SF and dissuading other cities from allowing one, veteran SRL show producer Susan Joyce of Fringe Exhibitions shows how it’s done and how it can be done repeatedly:
Top 5 List
1 – Always respect the creative vision of the artist; above all this cannot be compromised.
2 – Location
Private property is a good option, the artist and producer usually have creative license. Industrial areas are favorable, residential neighborhoods are problematic. Location and venue choice will decide the size and scale of a show. Set up and breakdown time, provisions such as housing and food for the crew, power source and other logistics should be considered.
Public spaces require permits, which are obtainable. If available have a liaison from a government agency such as the city council work with you also involve local neighborhood organizations and the business association to support the cultural event.
Small spaces allow for intimate shows where a large amount of energy is expended in a short amount of time in a concentrated area. The audience gets an up close and personal experience.
3 – Venues
Non-profit art organizations are a good source of support. The show will be free and open to the public.
Arena’s offer crowd capacity and seating, admission charge helps with production costs for large- scale shows. This option can impose conditional limitations due to agency-enforced regulations.
4 – Safety
A security team is necessary to maintain a secure parameter for the machines, crew, and public. Weather should be considered; generally windy conditions are not advisable. Get insurance and get more insurance.
5 – It doesn’t happen until it happens!
Even after permits have been issued and the fire marshal has signed off, there is always a chance the show may be shut down. Negotiations could be necessary in order to proceed with the show as planned (if this situation occurs, refer to #1). Information about the performance (date, time, place) should be announced to the public about 48 hrs before the show takes place, start on time. For larger venue shows ticket sales and publicity is usually handled by the promoter.
Each show is unique and comes with its own set of circumstances to navigate.
Some risks are worth taking, “Great achievements, involve great risk.” Dali Lama
Susan has produced several successful SRL shows in LA:
Post Show Gallery show in 2002, LA <3 SRL in 2005, and Fishboys Dream in 2006. If she can do it and the LAFD can permit it, there’s no reason why it can’t be done in SRL’s hometown.
The city should learn to support and celebrate its artists -especially when the artist originated a unique new art genre within its borders.