08/18/16 11:00am
Trish Nelson is BanterGirl. Photo: Trish Nelson

Trish Nelson is BanterGirl. Photo: Mindy Tucker

For Trish Nelson, stand-up comedian, actor, and producer, a serious career epiphany came covered in mashed potatoes.

She had been ensconced in the New York comedy scene for five years, doing stand-up, producing live shows at Joe’s Pub (including Women of Letters), 2A, and the Ace Hotel, and working in the restaurant industry to pay the bills. One sweltering summer night three years ago, the restaurant she managed was selling food at an event on the Williamsburg waterfront and Nelson found herself, she says, “serving chicken in waffle cones, covered in mashed potatoes and truth be told not pleased, looking at my life thinking, Is this it? Is this the choice that I’ve made?”

One of her customers however, turned out to be an AEG Live executive, and the chance meeting transformed a moment of despair into an opportunity, leading Nelson to an internship, a new position, a crash course in producing live events (including Amy Schumer’s and the Broad City’s national tours), and eventually, to BanterGirl. (more…)

05/16/16 12:04pm
12523998_1717099168504737_2647067217588181437_n

The latest Prose Bowl is tonight, May 17 at Pete’s Candy Store in Willimasburg. Photo: Prose Bowl

Those of us with more literary than physical dexterity have a new contest to call our own.

According to founders Christopher Green and John Hague, the Prose Bowl, a monthly reading series at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, is “part reading, part blood sport…like American Idol, but for fiction.”

Green and Hague met at an intensive writing workshop, and bonded over their desire to create a space for writers to read their work publicly that didn’t require the cover charge of MFA tuition or the subjective stamp of approval from a literary journal. They started Prose Bowl, “to get writers out of the dark corners of their apartments and in front of an audience,” they said in an interview. Hague, who has a background in stand-up and improv, likened their vision to a literary version of an open-mic night, a reading with a sense of humor and competitive edge.

The set up is simple. Hopefuls come ready with a five-minute story and enter their names into a hat, and four are picked to read. Each is judged by a three-person panel whose comments are approximately half constructive feedback and half jokes. Two readers are chosen by the volume of audience applause to move on to the lightning round, when they read an even shorter story, just the length of a tweet. The winner receives a free drink and a doo-dad of infinite impracticability. The night I attended, said doo-dad was an adorable terrycloth towel with a duck head. (more…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

04/21/16 10:33am
Quartz crystal bowls and other instruments create sonic vibrations for a sound bath. Photo: Maha Rose

Quartz crystal bowls and other instruments create sonic vibrations for a sound bath. Photo: Maha Rose

Subway delays. Traffic honking. Nonstop chatter. That upstairs neighbor who’s apparently in a band. The bodega employee yelling that your sandwich is ready. Life in New York is loud.

There are some sounds, though, that are designed to soothe. A sound bath is a meditation practice that bathes your body in sonic waves emitting from quartz crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, gongs and tuning forks. For devotees, they’ve emerged as a way to cope with the intensity of urban life.   (more…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

04/20/16 3:29pm

Equals-film-images-3458eea8-1d18-4d22-87bb-ab12ce1fc17It almost seems that writers and filmmakers have grown weary of weaving stories around human emotion—they’re become more interested in crafting worlds devoid of it. In Drake Doremus’ third feature film, Equals (which stars Kristen Stewart and Nicolas Hoult), we’re invited into a place called The Collective. The Collective is an idyllic society—its people (who are called Equals) go about their various jobs, eat nutritious meals, take a lot of showers, go to sleep, wake up, and do it all over again. They do all of this, always, with unwavering composure and pleasant attitudes—they’re a new breed of humans who have no emotions, and therefore exist in a mechanized world free of violence, depression, or any troubles at all.

Cue the hollow sounds of ambient electronica.

Silas (Hoult) is a young Equal who works as designer. He lives a sterile, normal life until he’s infected with SOS (Switched-On-Syndrome), a cancerous disease that activates a whole slew of emotions in people who have been bred to survive without them. In The Collective, SOS usually leads to suicide, or being shipped off to a mysterious clinic called The Den, where it seems people die anyway. It’s not long before Silas notices that his co-worker Nia (Stewart) shows signs of being infected as well, though she’s able to hide it, a difficult survival tactic. After a montage of inquisitive glances that quickly turn into palpable longing, Silas and Nia embark on a lustful, forbidden romance, often conducted in the dreamy neon lavatories where everyone is reduced to silhouettes. It’s not just skin they’re after—it’s more of an all-consuming desire to, well, be human, in all the ways we were meant to be human.
(more…)

10/29/13 7:00am

Built on an old surface parking lot and designed by Hugh Hardy and H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, Theatre for a New Audience is the first classical theater to be built in NYC in over 40 years. Photo: Daniel Broadhurst

Built on an old parking lot and designed by Hugh Hardy and H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, Theatre for a New Audience is the first classical theater to be built in NYC in more than 40 years. Photo: Daniel Broadhurst

After being nomadic for nearly 35 years, Theatre for a New Audience finally has a home of its own. The classical theater company, founded by Jeffrey Horowitz in 1979, officially opened its doors on Ashland Place two weeks ago, in what is quickly becoming Brooklyn’s newest cultural district. The neighborhood now houses approximately 40 different arts and cultural organizations, including BAM, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Mark Morris Dance Group and BRIC House–a newly minted media arts center. Surrounded by such good company, Horowitz says his theater is finally ready to put down roots.

“We’ve played off Broadway, we’ve played off-off Broadway. We’ve played the Duke on 42nd Street, we’ve played with the Royal Shakespeare Company, we’ve toured Italy with John Turturro, and have always been itinerant,” said Horowitz at the theater’s ribbon cutting last Tuesday. “We could never get a long-term lease anyplace.”
(more…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

08/01/13 10:18am

One of Alex Mayyasi's photographs of the 2011 Tahrir Square protests featured in Ahmed Salah's essay, The Spark, from Brooklyn Quarterly's upcoming issue. Photo: Alex Mayyasi

One of Alex Mayyasi’s photographs from the 2011 Tahrir Square protests featured in Ahmed Salah’s essay, “The Spark,” from Brooklyn Quarterly’s upcoming issue. Photo: Alex Mayyasi

When Tristan Snell and Jane Carr met at Princeton 15 years ago, they, along with fellow classmates, co-founded Kruller, a student literary magazine and the first campus publication with a web presence. Since then, they often discussed starting a new literary endeavor, looking to digital magazines like Guernica and Narratively for paper-free inspriation.

This fall the college friends will launch Brooklyn Quarterly, an all-digital publication that will examine political, social and cultural issues through a balance of creative writing, poetry and long-form journalism. A successful Kickstarter campaign, which ends today and surpassed its $5,000 goal on July 24, will finance the production of the inaugural issue, Garages and Grassroots, due out in October, which will focus on entrepreneurial efforts in the arts, culture and activism. (more…)

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.