I’m changing the way I share my work. I don’t know if it’s the right idea but I hope you come with me on the journey.
If you are one of the 1,117 people who follow me on Twitter you might have noticed my Twitter name has changed. Dave “QVC” Pitt. Is this a sponsorship? Will I start flogging Diamonique jewellery? Well never say never but I doubt it. Even if it is the partnership we’ve all been waiting for. Imagine me on a high cable channel at 2.45am holding up a sparkly watch. Tell me that wouldn’t be must-watch television.
But no, miracles and a shockingly low level of alcohol aside I won’t be doing that. The QVC has appeared for an entirely different reason.
There has been a spate of people recently putting the phrase “GB News Viewer” on their Twitter biogs. It’s easy to dismiss them as bots and some definitely are. Yet there are some who do behave like human beings. Albeit seemingly radicalised human beings who can’t wait to tell you their opinion on Muslims, Brexit or Cultural Marxism. But human beings all the same. I find it strange to ally yourself to a TV station. Especially one which is so new and unable to get through a single day without another hilarious cock up. I understand connecting yourself to a football team; particularly one you’ve followed since being knee height to Lionel Messi. I can even understand connecting yourself to a hobby or workplace but a television station? I can’t remember anything like this happening before. Or maybe Craig “History Channel” Perrival just never showed up in my timeline.
This all came to a head over recent weeks with the Internet yet again demonstrating it can be a jar of honey with a lump of shit in it. It might not spoil all the honey but you’re not putting any of it in your hot toddy are you? So when I did a gig on Tuesday and performed my anti-Internet poem; on an online gig because I’m nothing if not a hypocrite; I prefaced it with a statement that “It’s not like I call myself Dave ‘QVC’ Pitt, is it?” As I performed the poem that other part of my brain who really needs to be kept locked in a suitcase on top of the wardrobe was going, “You really should call yourself Dave ‘QVC’ Pitt.”
It won’t last long, probably until something else vexes my candle. Then I might change my name to something like Mr Sizzle or Um Bongo (remember Um Bongo? Of course you do, you’re singing the song from the advert now) Until then I’ll be Dave ‘QVC’ Pitt.
Other televisual celebrations of capitalism are also available.
Yesterday (Saturday 7th November 2020) was another TEDxWolverhampton. TEDx is the baby sibling of the globally recognised TED talks and this was the second time my beloved city has played host. And the second time I was involved.
Last year was a whole day of talks, entertainment and a massive audience within The Light House. This year Coronavirus did it’s best to stop it happening but the team fought through it. We ended up with an online event where speakers and performers had been recorded beforehand and it was all streamed from The Arena Theatre.
Yet again, I got to entertain the audience with some poetry.
It was all a bit strange, visiting the University of Wolverhampton on a dark and cold Monday night. Me and Dr Martin Khechara locked ourselves is a massive room, I had lights and a camera or two shone in my face, and I delivered my set to… well, Dr Martin Khechara.
It’s surprisingly tough doing a set to nothing but a doctor who is focused on the cameras working. Performance poetry is as much about the audience as the performer but I got through it.
My performance got tagged onto the end of a wonderful afternoon. Every speaker (as is the standard with any TED or TEDx talk) was fascinating, knowledgeable and left you with loads to think about. For performances I was joined by Alex Vann. Alex is easily one of the most talented people around and he seems amazing at everything he can do.
Hopefully the videos of all the talks and mine and Alex’s set will be live on the TED You Tube channel soon. Now, it’s time to relax and bask for a little while in how wonderful this city is.
Just a note to say you can download an audio recording of my short story Scally Lads, Handbags and Razorblades from Bandcamp. https://davethepitt.bandcamp.com/track/scally-lads-handbags-and-razorblades
The text can also be downloaded and read on Smashwords. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1003607
Do you want some better news? It’s free.
I can’t say fairer than that, can I?
As a nice little pre-Christmas surprise I have been asked to headline Permission to Speak in Stourbridge next Wednesday (11th December 2019).
I wouldn’t normally write a blog post for a gig; let’s be honest, I don’t write many blog posts. Yet I think this one deserves something.
All round good egg Rob Francis has run this night for a while. Before the place was Claptrap the Venue it was under another name which sadly closed down taking Rob’s night with it. But when it reopened Rob appeared again to continue Permission to Speak. I’ve occasionally managed to break away from whatever project I’m working on to drag myself over there and it has always been an excellent night.
Yet Rob and this event will always hold a special place in my heart. You see, it was this event, many years ago, where I did my first headline slot. Rob was the very first person to take that chance with me. Something I am eternally grateful for.
It will be a very different performance from me as well. At the time I was suffering with my back and was on a cocktail of prescribed drugs in an attempt to find the right one which would let me function, move and defecate. My back was obviously having a major physical effect on what I could do. But mentally I was in the ground. I’d been in constant pain for over three years and the chopping and changing of drugs to find the right one was sending me over the edge. While I got through the set it’s possible no one knew how weak I was and how many problems I was having. I certainly dropped at least one line that night. Yet I have recollections of feeling like every word was out of reach. Like I was walking a tightrope of abject failure and constantly surprising myself when the right word came out in the right order.
All in all it went well but I knew, I always knew, I wasn’t at my best. It wasn’t the first headline performance I’d have wanted. I always hoped that one day Rob would ask me back so I can right the wrongs I have convinced myself exist… now he has.
I look forward to returning to Stourbridge next Wednesday. Performing without a head full of medication and a body full of pain. Doing some new stuff, doing some old stuff and being more me on a night I’ve always admired.
Bring it on.
On 6th April 2019 I will be doing entertainment at TedX Wolverhampton.
Yes, that is a bit distanced from the horrendous image you had in your head from my deliberately click baitery title.
I’m really quite chuffed that the little sibling of Ted Talks is coming to Wolverhampton. It feels like we’re a semi-pro football team who have made the 4th round of the FA Cup and been drawn away at Blackpool and the weather promises to be nice and the Premier Inn are doing a deal on Twin rooms. Basically, I know I’m going on Valhalla. That’s a great feeling.
I will be there to provide “entertainment” between the talks. This will start out as poetry, end with poetry but what happens in the middle is anyone’s guess at this point. I’ve seen the line up of speakers and performers and it’s very obvious I have to bring my A-Game. It’s going to be a wonderful day of entertainment and education and I can’t wait.
Tickets are available here.
I’m happy. My play, Bert, had a rather good night at this year’s Worcestershire Theatre Festival. The production by Holly Bush Arts has already been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and run around a few other places so let’s just say they did a grand job.
It won best overall play, best set and best original script. To cap off a perfect night Dave Francis and Jon Hipkiss who performed in the piece got the joint Best Actor award.
The script is only as good as the actors and the production and Holly Bush Arts have pulled something special out of the bag here. Writing it I saw two guys walking around a couple of black boxes. I call it Brechtian. Others call it a lack of imagination. Whatever it is I couldn’t see the minimalist set created by Tim Tolkien. Look at it. It helps lifts the words off the pages. It’s also amazing how quickly it can be set up and packed down; a crucial component for Fringe Theatre.
And once those words are lifted off the page they are brought to life by Dave and Jon. Theatre is teamwork and I couldn’t be prouder to have these two share my dialogue with others.
They move onto the Quarter Finals in April and hopefully they’ll smash it there as well.
I needed some footage of me performing for a gig I’m applying for. I do have such things but it made me realise I didn’t have anything of me performing live at any recent gigs.
So armed with a set, an audience and a GoPro I came up with this.
As I prepare myself to enter a New Year it’s worth meditating on the last one.
It’s been a year filled with some real positives. I travelled to Seattle to take part in 14/48. The PPP collective has gone from strength to strength. I’ve written a couple of plays and at least one poem a week. I’ve run workshops, gigged all over the country and helped give a voice to the voiceless.
Yes, it’s been great. It’s also been tough. Juggling a full time job, a family and creative pursuits is nigh on impossible. To get through this I’ve needed help. Thanks to the Tattooed Bride who is an amazing force for good in this crazy world. Also thanks to Emma and Steve, my PPP collaborators, who have provided endless support.
But also thank you to you. To everyone who came to a gig, bought a book, offered advice, entertained me, argued with me, bought a drink, a meal or provided a laugh. Thank you.
In 2019 PPP have a lot of exciting irons being warmed in the fire. My one man show will start doing the rounds. As always I’ll be writing, gigging and providing platforms for others.
Even better, I’ve managed to wrangle myself a bit of extra creative time in 2019. This will make the juggling easier.
As the curtain closes on 2018 I am shaking off a head cold. Which sounds like a metaphor but isn’t. I’m am shaking off a head cold.
But I guess accidentally writing metaphors can only be a good thing so I’ll take it.
See ya 2018, ya daft sod. Hiya 2019. That’s a smashing jumper you have on. Wanna dance?
Yes We Cant, the poetry night we Pandemonialists run in Walsall, is one year old. We celebrated our birthday on 3rd June in typical Pandemonialist fashion. Enjoy the video below.