This past Friday, I read as part of Maitland’s Culture & Cocktails event, run by Performing Arts of Maitland. Outdoor reading spaces present a unique challenge. The sound goes everywhere. The audience may not pay attention to you. The weather may not cooperate. The work you choose to perform makes the audience not pay attention to you. You might be too drunk to read your work in front of an audience because you are scared to read in public. I am incredibly pleased to say that none of these worst case scenarios happened.

In recognizing that a) it was a Friday night and b) people were coming from work to this event, I chose work that was fun (and fucked up enough). 

Set 1

Set 2

This was my second time reading at the event. I would very much go back and read again if they would have me.

***

Last night (Saturday), Laura and I went to the Suicide Girls burlesque show at The Plaza LIVE in Orlando. The last time I saw the Suicide Girls perform burlesque, it was in 2004 at Backbooth. I was with one of my best friends, and like the show we went to in 2003, I was also being a good wingman and trying to hook him up with a friend. At that show, between the heat, the mass of bodies crammed into a dive, the chocolate syrup thrown at the end, everyone (and I mean everyone) wanted to fuck (my neck was bit by a random woman during the show, which was really weird). I was hoping to have that same kind of experience, where the performers and performances exuded sex. 

First off, the venue is normally a concert theater. They removed the seats and turned on the AC to be as cold as possible (in order to quell the pheromones). Second, their DJ played all sorts of terrible metal leading into the show (things that would be played at a strip club). Third, were the performances we actually saw. They were just…meh. Burlesque is supposed to be a tease. This was more like a long running sad 80s rock video, except the women had tats and colored hair and wore a nerdy costume now and again.. We left thirty minutes in and headed over to The Matador to have a drink and watch the UCF game (which was more exciting).

Part of the lack of excitement might be my age. What I thought sexy at 25 isn’t quite the same as 34 and I’m ok with that.

***

I’m happy to announce that my reading series is bringing back something we did for the first year: limited edition chapbooks.

1395184_10153507153240151_862021193_nOne of the original goals of There Will Be Words was to pay writers for their time. Not enough reading series compensate writers (and exposure isn’t valid compensation, no matter what anyone says) and the limited edition chapbooks are our way of paying writers for their time. After meeting costs, writers will get $1 each for every chapbook sold. Laura was the design mind behind them and they look great. They are going to look even better as we continue forward with this. If you are in Orlando, come check us out this Tuesday. Here’s the Facebook invite.

 

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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at iheartfailure.net.

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performances, self assessment

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