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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Salon of Shame Solution

posted by on May 10 at 10:11 AM


In this week’s Stranger Suggests, I urge readers to attend the May 15 installment of the Salon of Shame, the shame-based reading series now housed at the Capitol Hill Arts Center:

Salon of Shame (Public Catharsis) After a legendary run at the Rendezvous, the Salon of Shame—the reading series featuring pros, amateurs, and diarists revisiting the most humiliating writing of their lives—moves to the Capitol Hill Arts Center. The last Salon I caught knocked me out with palpable pathos, deep hilarity, and the inimitable cadence of junior-high journal entries. These things sell out, advance tickets recommended. (Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 7:30 pm, $6 adv/$7 DOS, 21+.)

With the move to CHAC, the Salon more than doubled its seating capacity, and so I thought I might finally be able to suggest this perennial sell-out and have it be something other than a cruel joke. (“I totally suggest you get tickets to this totally sold-out event!”)

I was wrong. All tickets to the May 15 Salon of Shame at CHAC sold out in less than 24 hours, leaving countless shame-lovers ticketless and desperate.

Lucky for us, we live in America, where citizens have voices, kind of, and so I urge you to sign this petition urging the Capitol Hill Arts Center to move the May 15 Salon of Shame from CHAC’s charming but teensy lower space to the much larger upstairs space. (May 15 is a Tuesday, and it doesn’t look like they’ve got anything else scheduled that night for the mainspace.)

Truly, we Americans need all the shame we can get. Sign here.

(P.S. Photos by Ben Haley, and yes, that is Our Worst Enemy™ Cienna Madrid in the upper right corner.)

RSS icon Comments


Do they bring food to your table at CHAC? Bring SOS back to the Rendezvous. Advance tickets are for wimps.

Posted by Mr_Friendly | May 10, 2007 10:47 AM

Alas, the Salon has permanently outgrown the Rendezvous Jewelbox, and nostalgic parties are advised to support the CHAC salon so hard it's eventually moved to the Triple Door, where food will once again be available at your table.

Posted by David Schmader | May 10, 2007 10:53 AM

Or the Central Cinema! You can get food at your table there!

Posted by Ari Spool | May 10, 2007 11:28 AM

If you were on the email list, you'd have known when tickets went on sale, and like all of us true Shame Devotees, opened the browser and waited, right at noon when sales opened.
*Tickets have been presale for eons, Mr_friendly. And they always sell out. Okay, in the last year.
If the Salon moves upstairs at CHAC that means no food OR drink at one's seat. Downstairs at least you can have a cocktail while you laugh.

If you didn't get a ticket, and if you gotta get in, how better to initiate oneself than to participate?? Ask Ariel if you can read your stuff!

Posted by | May 10, 2007 11:51 AM

NO! Don't sign it!

I'm a regular Salon of Shame reader, and I totally do not support any efforts to move the Salon of Shame to the upstairs theater at the CHAC.

Part of the beauty of the Salon of Shame is the intimate setting for the readings. This isn't a theater show with actors, it's just regular people like you and me reading about intimate moments from our personal histories. The Jewelbox Theater was a perfect setting for this, as it was comfortable and intimate, while still having a bar/night-out feel. Downstairs at the CHAC accomodates more people while still feeling intimate and personal, so this feels like a reasonable solution to the constantly-sold-out show problem.

The upstairs theater is just plain wrong for this event. It's unfriendly and anti-social. It's a space that's meant for watching a theater show, not hanging out with friends in a club-like setting. The last place I want to read from my journals is on a big, brightly lit, exposed stage to an audience in individual theater seats. And for those attending the show, the feel of the event would be changed dramatically, from one of being in bar hanging out with friends, to being an audience member at the theater. It just feels wrong.

I think that the Lower Level is perfect. 100 tickets were sold pre-sale, but there's still room for 25 or so at the door the night of the show, for standing room. So there's plenty of opportunity for people to see the show. And it will still have the fun, casual, intimate appeal that makes the Salon of Shame so much fun.

Posted by Dawn | May 10, 2007 11:52 AM

I agree that the intimate nature is very important for readers, and essential to the experience as a whole. I guess I just liked the SOS ritual of showing up right when doors opened to make sure I got in. And having food brought to me.

Posted by Mr_Friendly | May 10, 2007 12:19 PM

Gee. What a surprise.

If you can be sure of anything in Seattle, it's this: events that would be marginalized in every other location on earth will sell out here in less than 24 hours here. People in this burg stand in line for independent movies, for fuck's sake!

C'est la vie. Live by the whims of status-seeking nerd-yuppies, die by the whims of status-seeking nerd-yuppies.

Posted by A Nony Mouse | May 10, 2007 1:17 PM

Riiight, A Nony Mouse: that's why LA's Mortified, NYC's Cringe and other Salon-like events sell out all over the country. Do your homework before you snark, please.

Posted by nerd-yuppie | May 10, 2007 1:34 PM

Well, color me corrected: if you slap "just like New York!" on any marginally interesting event in Seattle, you're guaranteed a sell-out. My mistake!

(In any case, I'm sure that it's much harder to sell out a 100-person show in New York City. They're what? Half our size?)

Posted by A Nony Mouse | May 10, 2007 2:30 PM

Hey, everyone! Thanks so much for all the interest in the Salon -- we're a little overwhelmed!

Here's the final word on tickets for tomorrow night's event:

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