by Toni Weingarten
The Rogue Festival will be upon us in a month! This is the first of several Rogue Festival performer preview articles that we will be publishing between now and the Festival-there is another one in this week’s issue. We will also have an article about this year’s Rogue Festival Muse in next week’s issue, and once Rogue begins, watch for reviews and video interviews. For more information on the Festival itself check out their website and keep an eye on KRL’s Rogue Festival Event Page.
I never dreamed I’d work in show business. Growing up around Berkeley, that was the last thing on my radar. I thought I’d be a lawyer, like my father. But in college I took an art class to get my mind off logical things, and that lead to another and another, until I majored in art and dabbled in video as an art form. Being creative was far more enjoyable than doing research in the library! So, on graduation, I headed for Hollywood to find work.
Now I’ve traveled to a lot of places in the world – Indonesia, Jordan, Japan, Guatemala – but nobody prepared me for the culture shock I’d experience in Tinsel Town. Sometimes the behavior at a Hollywood party or on the Warner Brothers Studio lot seems stranger than seeing the native dances on the Tarmac of the New Guinea airport. Hollywood turned my values on their collective head and showed me I was far more naïve than I’d ever imagined. Which may have been a saving blessing for me. You see, being unaware of certain standard Hollywood practices also made me immune to them.
Over time, I came to miss the way of life and values of my upbringing, and after living and working in Los Angeles for 19 years, I moved up to the Bay Area – back home. Only now how was I going to express my creative self? I found myself listening to storytelling podcasts and discovered the world of solo performance which is flourishing in the Bay Area. I took a solo performance class, and felt right at home. The language spoken there is story, character, pacing – all the essentials of a good film or TV show. Only now I have the pleasure of telling my words directly to an audience and experiencing their reactions live and in real time. In film and TV, or even in publishing, there is a delayed reaction and sometimes you, the creator, aren’t even there to experience it.
So, I was hooked and still am. The world of solo performance gives me, the performer, the opportunity to tell my life experiences and learnings to a live audience and hear their sounds of recognition at their own similar experiences. And it gives me the chance to talk with people after my performance to hear of their own life learnings. I can’t imagine a better or more satisfying way to share my stories. I hope to do so with you at the Rogue Festival!
WHAT: Toni Weingarten presents Babe in the Hollywood as part of the 2018 Rogue Festival. Experience what its like to live, date and work in Hollywood as a girl fresh from Fresno.
WHEN: Friday March 2 at 7:15 p.m.;
Saturday March 3 at 3 p.m.;
Thursday March 8 at 6 p.m.;
Saturday March 10 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: Fulton Street Art, 1118 N. Fulton Street, Fresno, CA
TICKETS: $6 and can be purchased online starting February 7 at roguefestival.ticketleap.com and at the venue 30 minutes prior to the show.