HOW TO NECROMANCE
Thank you for your interest in Necromancers of the Public Domain, in which a dusty old book is resurrected as a low budget NYC variety show. Here’s how we do it in the VIRTUAL realm:
0. Sign the LOA !
1. Read the Book. Or at the very least skim the book to identify a section or chapter that calls out to you and read it closely
2. Create a piece of max. 5 minutes length. (Don’t freak if you’re not off book – the audience gets that this is a world premiere and lyric sheets and scripts and notes are all part of the fun.)
3. If it’s not a solo piece, find collaborators and rehearse with them. It’s up to you whether you pay them from your act’s $25 pittance or the pot of gold you have stashed at the end of your rainbow. Make sure Ayun has the names of these performers, so we can list em in the credits. Speaking of that, what’s your website? Theater of the Apes will hyperlink to it perpetuity.
4. Record your performance in LANDSCAPE mode. (ie horizontal frame) We don’t care if you rehearse in Zoom, but we are trying to avoid that pandemic Zoom look. If yours is a non-solo act, please attempt to be in the same space when filming.
If your performance is a narrated slideshow, please prepare it as an mp4. (We can talk you through this if you are unsure of what’s involved – it’s easy!)
EXTRA: Please take no more than 30 seconds to record yourself plugging an upcoming, long running, or still available project. This is to mimic the traditional end of the show, where Ayun gives every performer a chance to plug themselves in rapid succession. Imagine that someone has just shouted your name, and the words: “Tell us what you’ve got going on!” If you wanna act surprised or flustered, all the better! Just like real life. (An example:
“Oh, uh, anh!!! I’ve got a book coming out this fall! It’s called the Small Potato Manifesto! You can order it anywhere books are sold!”)
5. Help us promote the show via social media, email and word of mouth. You’ll receive an email with links to the live stream, all sorts of social media stuff, and images. This show was a cicada-spawned spontaneous decision, so we’d be much obliged if you help us get the word out!
7. If you have any golden press contacts that might lead to some advance ink, we’d be much obliged if you’d share those. Gold star example is Necromancer Katie Fricas, who contributes to Hyperallergic … she hipped them to her participation and it lead to a nice little write up! Look!
8. Each act’s lead performer (ie creator) gets a princely pittance of $25. The live stream is free to watch, though we are happy to throw up Venmo links to all of the performers, and will be in the chat, encouraging thanking viewers for donations
Important contact info and links:
Upcoming Necromancers of the Public Domain (ie your upcoming show, which should be posted no later than 2.5 weeks prior to performance)
THE BEST WAY TO GET A FEEL FOR THE SHOW IS TO SEE THE SHOW!
And sadly, there have been no live shows since February 2020. (We had one coming up a couple of days after all NYC theaters shut down) Here’s how it went in the live realm which we’ll be returning to soon, but meanwhile, we will try to supply much the same energy in the virtual world:
Ayun opens the show with a bombastic arena rock style intro from the book, then explains the concept. Performers sit in the audience unless they need to spend time warming up or getting in some insane costume. It’s very informal in between acts. Ayun usually reads a few sentences from the book to prime the pump / kill time. About five minutes from the end, each performer is invited to plug an upcoming project (or something dear to their heart, such as a reminder to vote) We close things out with a semi-tongue-in-cheek final recitation from the book, everyone joining in to return the book to the vortex. Our purpose is to make the audience feel like they too have read the book, like they have unexpectedly learned something. Thank you for coming together to make this a reality.
Don’t drop out of the show at the last minute unless it’s an emergency
Don’t NOT read the book
Don’t bring in an existing piece that’s sort of related to the book thematically (like don’t use a biography of James Whistler as an excuse to trot out that funny monologue about the time your mother went on a blind date to a paint your own pottery place.)
Don’t embody racist or homophobic tropes of the book’s period, even if you think the audience will get that you are condemning it, or making a wry comment or comparison with today’s standards. Please note that while the books we choose are antiquated, we steer clear of those wherein the author deliberately minimizes the humanity of any other human group (ie – humans of another gender, race, or sexual preference)
Don’t forget to promote the event – the size of the audience depends on everyone doing their bit to get the word out.