August 29, 2008

NPR chooses Party Favors for "Books We Like"

Books We Like by Lizzie Skurnick
Power, Politics — And Party Planning

Party Favors By Nicole Sexton and Susan Johnston
Hardcover, 256 Pages
The Lyons Press
List Price: $24.95
Read an excerpt., August 29, 2008 · In an era when bookstores brim with memoirs, tell-alls and doorstopper biographies by politicos past and present, we still tend to think of the tart political novel as province of the Democrats. The Grand Old Party's tastes run strictly to Clancy-esque thrillers and mothballed war stories.

But we're in a bipartisan moment. If Nicole Sexton's Party Favors is any indication, the act of reaching across the aisle is spreading to the Barnes & Noble literature section.

Delightful works of political fiction, such as NPR host Scott Simon's Windy City and, of course, Joe Klein's seminal Primary Colors, traverse the minefield between a politician's public and private lives. Sexton, the former director of finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, illuminates a similar landscape. But, as befits a champion checkbook-wrangler and schmoozer, she and her co-author, playwright Susan Johnston, set a breezy how's-the-wife-and-kids tone that stops just short of handing the reader a cold drink.

Temple Sachet is a Southern belle on the deb track who gets pulled into politics after she organizes a run of local, record-breaking fundraisers. A devastating combo of brains, blondness and sheer will, she rockets, in just a few years, through county and state elections to rise to the position of second-most-powerful Republican fundraiser in the nation. "It took two gays and a bigot to put me there," Temple acidly remarks, "but apparently in the Republican Party, two parts homo-nepotism with just a splash of racist scandal equals a powerful new job."

Temple also blithely deconstructs other hypocrisies of her chosen trade, such as the strategic placement of donors into tiers ("Team Victory, Force GOP, the Patriots, and the Upper House. Each level had its own particular brand of fanaticism.") and the character-revealing cash-raking styles practiced by her colleagues ("Shark," "Professional," "Crash & Burner").

Had Sexton been a Democrat rather than a Republican at heart, Party Favors would have simply been an act of literary pandering. Still, her point isn't for right-wingers to fly the conservative coop. "I'm a good capitalist, I am," Temple tells us. "I spend. I earn. I love meeting people who came from nothing and now own half a city." Temple's quarrel isn't with the party's platform, but with its practices — how her colleagues skim 90 percent off the take, sexually harass interns and publicly scorn her gay mentors and colleagues, upon whom they all depend.

It's not about being Republican or Democrat. It's about not being greedy, ignorant or a hypocrite. "Why," Temple asks, "was I raising $95 million for senators without fully understanding their platforms?" In an election year, that's surely something we can all get behind.

Excerpt: 'Party Favors'
by Nicole Sexton and Susan Johnston

Party FavorsBy Nicole Sexton and Susan JohnstonHardcover, 256 PagesThe Lyons PressList Price: $24.95, August 28, 2008 · Prologue

Gray Two is So Not Tall

Everything about the dinner had to be absolutely 110 percent fantastic. First and foremost, I needed to look amazing, which I did, in my most conservative, but still va-va-va-voom, belted, black silk YSL suit accessorized with a stunningly bright turquoise Hermes scarf, since I'm Southern and able to pull off risky wardrobe choices with my colorful bursts of personality.
Second and even more important, my staff needed sharp eyes, fast hands, and tip-tip-tippy toes. Majority Leader Ivy's historic three-story brownstone was not only filled to the gills with one hundred of my top-tier Team Victory donors, it was also bursting at the seams with irreplaceable antiques curated by his refined, intelligent, and Parisian wife, Genevieve. I'd instructed my junior staffers to stay in service overdrive: "Donors will be drinking; sloppiness is bound to ensue. I need all eyes on the relics. Thank you." My pre-party pep talk had been taken to heart. The young ones were zipping around, unseen and unheard, effectively anticipating the accidental bumpings of Mrs. Ivy's precariously placed artifacts.

Third and most critical of all, I needed happy donors. A happy donor equaled cash money green. An unhappy donor equaled bye-bye Senate seat. These Team Victorys were my most privileged, most pampered, most jaded, and hardest to impress givers. They hadn't ponied up fifty grand per couple just to meet Majority Leader Ivy or his wife. Most already knew the six most powerful senators, those in Leadership, I'd secured specifically for the evening. They weren't even there to chat up President Gray or his grumpy, grumpy V.P. who cursed people under his breath and always showed up with a badly bonked head or sprained ankle. No, my Team Victorys weren't interested in handshaking. They paid to see the house.

Donors love themselves some houses. They will pay out their a-double-s to see if there's a hamper with dirty clothes, if the fridge is covered in family pictures. They will do everything in their power to sneak a glance at that marital bed. Nosy, nosy, nosy. Since taking the job that catapulted my career from little old me to Big Money Babe, I'd become D.C.'s version of Robin Leach, offering check-writers a glimpse of the Republican Senate's "champagne wishes and caviar dreams." For a hefty price, of course.

Big bucks meant big donors expected big parties to big-time rock-there'd better be A-list entertainment, free-flowing top-shelf booze, plentiful hors d'oeuvres plus a catered sit-down dinner, unfettered access to politicians, and there absolutely, no doubt about it, had to be a click line. Because clicks are donor crack.

Every donor, no matter the size of their wallet, wants a picture of themselves smiling with Someone Important. Even if they are Someone More Important and they already have fifteen identical pictures, they will stand in their cocktail dress or tux, waiting like an anxious kid braving a monster roller coaster.

The click line itself is just a cleaned-up carnie trick, a frenetic hurricane of pushing and smiling and shaking and flashing and clicking and pulling and pushing and smiling and go, go, go, go, go, go until every last donor has had their twelve seconds with a Hot Shot. It's ludicrous. Not the slightest bit glamorous. And yet, if I'd ever even suggested throwing a fundraiser in D.C. sans click line, I would have been run out of town as a heretic.

Which is why, in a house full of priceless museum treasures, I had one hundred donors and all my staff squeezed into the well-carpeted, less fragile, "books don't break when they fall" library. I'd vetoed the conventional, tacky blue velour pipe-and-drape backdrop and opted instead to put Majority Leader Ivy and Genevieve on a toe mark in front of their mahogany shelves filled with leather-bound tomes. My donors were beyond happy. They were click-crack wild, high from the unprecedented inner-sanctum access. Their clicks would appear more personal, more intimate, more real. They'd frame the photos and nonchalantly prop them on baby grand pianos, on mantles beside the obligatory posed "whole family wearing white on a Cape Cod beach" shot as if Ivy and his wife were just that: family. This was overdose material.

Despite the increasingly claustrophobic conditions in the library, my party was running like a well-oiled machine. I flitted about the room making sure donors had drinks, staffers were strategically placed, and the senators were schmoozing with civilians and not one another. All I needed was for President Gray to arrive. Where, oh where, was my little Gray Two?
Genevieve caught my eye and motioned me to her side. She whispered her forgetfulness softly in my ear, "J'ai oubliƩ son nom," knowing my childhood in New Orleans afforded her both the discretion and privilege of her native tongue.

I whispered back, "His name is William, William Sifkin."

Genevieve nodded and greeted Mr. Sifkin like a long-lost friend. I stepped back slightly and wedged myself awkwardly into a tight hallway between two open pocket doors, discreetly whispering names when requested and smiling, always smiling. I had no idea I was standing in the Presidential Hold.

In a shuffle so swift I had no time to yelp, Advance jostled me backwards and slid the pocket door in front of me entirely shut. I spun to find myself tit-to-tat with Gray Two, the pocket door behind him already closed. And tit-to-tat isn't easily done with me. Though petite in stature, I am, as Mom politely describes in mixed company, "generously endowed."
From the light spilling under the doors, I could see President Gray smiling his shocking white toothy grin. He snickered nervously through his veneers, as seemingly startled by our inadvertent "Seven Minutes in Heaven" as I was.

"How are you tonight, Mr. President?" I hoped my question might lessen the outrageously uncomfortable physical awkwardness of being pressed together like sardines. Neither of us could even lift our arms to shake hands.

The president continued snickering. "I'm fine, Miss Sachet. And how are you?"

"I'm fantastic, sir." Which was such a lie. Just because Secret Service had no qualms about stuffing me in a closet with the leader of the free world didn't mean I had the time to stand around chit-chatting with the man. Outside our spontaneously constructed confinement, there were donors needing appeasement, senators sniffing out dollars, staffers expecting supervision. Heavens to Betsy, Genevieve needed names! I tried my best to remain calm as my brain overflowed with potential emergencies. "I hope they let us out of here soon."

President Gray shrugged and the movement pulled my suit sleeves up over my wrists, where they stayed since I could not readjust them. He said, "Welcome to my life," and we fell into a long, strained silence.

Stuck. Minute One.

It struck me odd. The president was so not tall. Maybe, maybe he had two inches on me. Yes, I'd met him before, numerous times, but never this up close and personal. It was always a walk-and-talk, or a nod in passing, or an approach while seated, or a surrounded-by-staff situation. I'd spent more time with his uncle, Gray One, when I was a Ray of Hope. His uncle had been a tall man, impressive. This Gray had amazing, TV worthy, shellacked helmet hair but wow, was he a shorty. His height, or rather lack of it, made him seem much less . . . well, presidential. I thought better of commenting aloud and bit my tongue.

Stuck. Minute Two.

The rhythmic inhalations and exhalations of the president's breathing lulled me into a much-needed meditative state. In the year since I'd moved back to D.C., I hadn't had two solid minutes of nothingness. Ever. I was always on the run, in chauffeured cars, dashing from meeting to meeting, party to party, while simultaneously typing e-mails, returning voice mails, and multitasking in a haze of utter distraction. Two minutes of stillness? That meant I was either asleep or dead. I closed my eyes and allowed my breathing to deepen and enter into my lungs not as hurried huffs but as long, slow draws of life.

Stuck. Minute Three.

Old memories and long-suppressed emotions bubbled up from my core; a molten brew of fiery anger, disappointment, and confusion. This president had tricked and used people I adored. This president had lied to the entire country just to save his own hind end. This president had built his entire career on a long series of shady deals and broken promises. What in the world was I doing locked in a closet with this awful man?

Stuck. Minute Four.

I could not stand one more second of my forced confinement. I gritted my teeth to stop the questions rising in my heart from spilling straight out of my mouth: How did I let myself get so deeply embedded? Why was I raising $95 million for senators without a full understanding of their platforms? When had I stopped believing in candidates and started counting chairs? Worse than that, when did I stop caring whether politicians were actually good people? Everything had moved so fast. I'd gone with the flow of life, and life had taken me to the top of the Hill. My values, my integrity, my personal beliefs, I'd pushed them deep into a closet and now I was literally standing in that closet, face-to-face with the blue-suited, helmet-haired, white-toothed shorty that symbolized my self-betrayal.

How did I even get here?

August 27, 2008

The reviews keep coming in!

Issue #20.05 :: 08/27/2008 - 09/02/2008
“Party Favors: A Novel of Politics and Greed”
Nicole Sexton with Susan Johnston

“Party Favors: A Novel of Politics and Greed” Nicole Sexton with Susan Johnston

AUGUSTA, GA - In the midst of a widely watched political campaign, which may very well dominate conversation throughout the fall, Nicole Sexton and Susan Johnston offers a brilliant novel explicating the savage nature of the political world.

A former fundraiser and served as the National Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2002–2005, Nicole Sexton has a marvelous collection of informative experience in the murky world of big time politics. Currently working for the ONE Campaign in the fight against aids, Sexton offers her talent and dry wit in a remarkable debut. Helped along the way by acclaimed entertainment writer and playwright Susan Johnston, Sexton’s “Party Favors” collects a witty narrative with a collection of inside information proclaimed throughout the fascinating story of a life in search of a calling.

Circling around the experiences of main character Temple Sachet, “Party Favors” is a wonderfully entertaining read composed with a fast pace, a slick dry wit, and a curious exposition of the brutality of the political world. A master party planner from her earliest days, Temple Sachet creates a career in the powerful world of politics with her ability to raise money, organize people, and shine for the right moments at the best of dinner parties until she finds herself trapped in a bubble with the President of the United States. Faced with a man she can’t support and a system she can no longer reconcile, Temple forages into her life story in search of meaning.

Buoyed by a quirky mother, a rock-star dating sister, a group of friends fit for the best of after parties, and the love of a good pet, Temple fights her way to the top of every mountain in search of success. Though the road is often filled with obstacles including betrayals and unforeseen renovations in the middle of the nowhere, Temple rises to every challenge with spunk and heart, and along the way she learns a lot about the world, the political system, and the realities of life.

Built upon a framework of experience, “Party Favors” is a fast-paced force of hilarity combined with an intelligent narrative and a main character worthy of adoration. Traveling between the fast-paced world of Washington D.C., the sultry sounds of New Orleans (pre- and post-Katrina) and the beauty of Italy, the adventures of Temple combine the best efforts of storytelling in a cathedral of entertainment perfect for the political season upon us.

Sexton, Nicole with Susan Johnston. “Party Favors: A Novel of Politics and Greed.” Guilford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press (An Imprint of Globe Pequot Press). 2008. 242pp. $24.95 Cloth. ISBN: 9781599214597.

Party Favors becomes today's Punch Pick

Punch Pick: Party Favors by Nicole Sexton

Awhile back I had mentioned the new novel by former GOP fundraiser/turned international activist, Nicole Sexton, called Party Favors: A Novel of Politics and Greed. At the time, Ms. Sexton was in town promoting her book. Fortunately, I got to read it and unfortunately, it ended. Don’t you hate it when a good story comes to its close?

Party Favors is for sure a “Punch Pick”, especially with the conventions and race heating up.
Yes, it’s a juicy tell-all, but in the way of fiction of course. It’s a tale of a young up and coming party planner in New Orleans named Temple Sachet, who takes her sharp mind, quick wit, smarts and people skills all the way to the Hill to make millions for her Party, the Republicans. With graceful humor and candor, Ms. Sexton presents her readers every emotion she probably felt when she lived that life. But don’t think this is all about the professional life Temple lives. The book offers us a well-rounded view of work, romance, personal and family life when succumbing to a world that the heroine did not quite expect.

Party Favors is found in most bookstores now and definitely online. Enjoy and share this Punch Pick.

August 25, 2008

a note from jim knable

Playwright Rocker Jim Knable sends us this link to his new video - Congrats Jim!

Dear Fandits,

We have been in hibernation putting the finishing touches on our new album... called...GOLDEN ARROW

Here's the lead track from it, recorded live at Ars Nova in June.

Just click and enjoy!

Modern Man

yours in banditry,
The Randy Bandits

director job

* Director
Cal Performances (California)
(date posted: 8/21/2008)

August 23, 2008

call for proposals

International Conference "Performing Arts Training Today"
October 24-27, 2008

Bovec, Slovenia - in the heart of Julian Alps

The conference is open to professional performers, performing arts educators and teachers from all over the world interested in the research of topical questions and processes in contemporary performing arts education and training.

At the moment the Conference is accepting presentation proposals.

• workshop/master class
• work in progress
• performance fragment (not requiring any special technical conditions)
• reading/lecture
• any other way of demonstration to the presenter's discretion


ACCOMODATION & VENUE (Bovec mountain resort):


You are also welcome take part in the conference as a Participant and Observer!

If you are unable to attend the conference there is opportunity to send your promotional materials: booklets or flyers about your company, announcements of workshops, courses, performances and other events. All materials will be displayed at the main information stand and will be available to the delegates during the entire period of the conference.

August 22, 2008

arts writers grant

Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program to Fund Work on Contemporary Visual Art
Deadline: September 22, 2008

The Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant is an initiative of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts ( ) as part of its broader Arts Writing Initiative ( ) and is administered by Creative Capital ( ).

Dedicated to supporting a wide range of writing on contemporary visual art -- from general-audience to scholarly -- the program awards project-based grants to individual authors. In its 2008 cycle, the program will fund approximately 20 projects, in amounts ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 each, in the following categories: books; articles; short-form writing; and blogs/new and alternative media.

To be eligible, an arts writer must be: an individual; an art historian, artist, critic, curator, journalist, or practitioner in an outside field who is strongly engaged with the contem- porary visual arts; a U.S. citizen, permanent resident of the United States, or possessor of an O-1 visa; at least 25 years old; and a published author (specific publication requirements vary depending on grant category).

Please note: Writers wishing to apply for book projects must first submit a Letter of Inquiry. The 2008 deadline for the Book LOI has already passed. Applicants who advanced to panel in previous years are eligible to apply without submitting an LOI. The program is no longer accepting applications for article series, only for individual articles.

Visit the program's Web site for complete program guidelines and application procedures. RFP Link:

For additional RFPs in Arts and Culture, visit:

August 15, 2008

Screening: HAMLET 2

HAMLET 2 with special guest Director Andy Fleming (BFA, Film & TV, '85)

Starring Steve Coogan (Night at the Museum), Catherine Keener (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), David Arquette (the Scream movies), Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live), and Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue. (110 min) The film is rated R for language including sexual references, brief nudity and some drug content. For more details, see

August 16th
2:00 PM

AFI Mark Goodson Screening Room
2021 N. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

$10 ticket includes screening, Q & A and reception

"The hit, the very palpable hit" of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, HAMLET 2 is an irreverent comedy centering on one teacher's overzealous quest to mount a high school musical. The film is directed by Andrew Fleming from an original screenplay he wrote with Pam Brady (South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, Team America: World Police).

Mr. Coogan portrays Dana Marschz; the last name is pronounced... oh, any attempt is close enough, really. Dana is a failed actor-turned-high school drama teacher. Shortchanged in the talent department, Dana still harbors ambitions and passions. At work, that is; his personal life, with his dissatisfied wife Brie (Ms. Keener) and their boarder Gary (Mr. Arquette), leaves much to be desired.

At Tucson, AZ's West Mesa High School, Dana sees himself as an inspirational teacher. But his adaptations of popular films, as performed by his top students Rand and Epiphany (Skylar Astin and Phoebe Strole, both stars of Broadway's Spring Awakening), are not resonating. When his latest - re-creating Erin Brockovich - is dismissed by the 9th grade drama critic and his department is targeted for closure, Dana must reach deep into himself for creativity.

After much perspiration, he conceives a sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet - a musical-theater extravaganza that will disdain both political correctness and dramatic credibility. Rallying and rousing his class, Dana casts a wider net by recruiting transfer students like Ivonne (Melonie Diaz of Be Kind Rewind) for key roles. With rehearsals underway, objections from school officials and the community are soon raised, but Dana will not be denied his freedom of artistic expression. After all, "to thine own self be true." Dana gets unexpected support from ACLU attorney Cricket Feldstein (Ms. Poehler) and his favorite actress, Elisabeth Shue. Above all else, he fervently believes that his opus must be staged, and nothing can break his optimistic spirit.

HAMLET 2 opens nationwide Friday, August 22nd.

Andy Fleming '85 (BFA, Film & TV) (born March 14, 1963) is the director and co-writer of Dick, The Craft and the film Threesome, which he wrote, as well as the recently-released Nancy Drew.

RSVP: for priority entrance and seating.


NO RECORDING. This screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any recording device into the theatre. Unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability.

August 14, 2008

Mediabistro hit for Party Favors

Check out our hit on Mediabistro Galley Cat today.

Former GOP Fundraiser Decides to Tell (Not Quite) All
Wednesday, Aug 13

One of the first things I asked Nicole Sexton just before the party celebrating the publication of her debut novel, Party Favors, was why the former Republican fundraiser had decided to transform her experiences into fiction rather than writing a memoir. "It was important for me to hold true to the integrity of the work that I did and to not expose people's personal secrets," she told me, "and I felt that the only way to do that was to tell a story based on the reality of what that world is like without divulging the characters who were actually in those situations or their reactions. The other thing is that I spent fifteen years in fundraising. That's a lot of people; it would've been A Man in Full," she said, holding her thumb and index finger as far apart as she could stretch them. "If we wanted to keep it down to a light beach read, which is what I was focused on at the time, I had to compile a lot of my characters together."

(On that front, Sexton has succeeded; her novel—cowritten with playwright Susan Johnston—reads like a Southern woman's coming-of-age novel with elements of big city chick lit mixed in.)
So then I wondered what prompted her to abandon GOP fundraising and want to tell her story?

"The 2004 elections left me a little cold," she recalled; at the time, she was the finance director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "We were on the heels of great victory... and I felt very alienated from that success, very distant from my colleagues. As I became more successful and began fundraising for larger groups of people, I became more anonymous in the process, and I didn't like that." The Bush administration's lackluster response to Hurricane Katrina brought the Louisiana native to a moment of clarity: "The reaction to that, and my disillusionment with the amount of money I was pouring into these candidates' races when there were people who were suffering so horribly was really the straw that broke the camel's back." These days, she's working with The One Campaign, combatting poverty worldwide.

As Sexton prepared to sign several stacks of books, I joked about how, after raising all that money for Republicans, she was having a book party at Michael's, the watering hole for the liberal media elite. She countered that the situations she described taking place in the fundraising community were bipartisan in scope. "This is a book for Republicans, it's a book for Democrats, it's a book for libertarians," she smiled. "For me, this book plays as well in New York as it does in California as it does in Washington as it does in Indiana."

Posted by Ron 08:00 AM Party Hopping

Misi Lopez Lecube Invites You to Submit Your Work

Satsang Lounge is landing at Theatre Theater in Los Angeles September 23, October 21, November (tba) & December 16, 2008.

Friends and marvelous artists- Join me!

*Satsang Lounge is an on-going new works performance series where a diverse group of talented Los Angeles based artists are invited to exhibit, explore and workshop new works in the company of other artists in a cabaret style performance setting.

The inspiration for Satsang Lounge came when I was looking for an “open door artist collective” where I could workshop the new material I was developing for my solo show. So I looked for an empty theater and invited other writers, artists, actors, musicians, dancers, poets, painters, filmmakers, magicians, storytellers, DJ'S and whomever else could fit their work in the venue, to play, present, and explore their newest works in front one another and an audience. From 1998-2003 I produced and hosted many successful *Satsang Lounge performance series in New York City at the historic West Beth Theater. Now I am in Los Angeles and I am putting the word OUT.

ATTENTION: actors, performers, musicians, film makers, dancers, writers (fiction, non fiction, poets, etc.) storytellers of all kinds- YOU - who’ve been developing new material and feel NOW is the time to try it out.

Here’s your opportunity! No age limit! Let’s go!

WHERE: Theatre Theater (5401 Pico off La Brea) will host our SATSANG evenings- it’s a fantastic theater venue that friends Jeff Murray & Nicolette Chaffrey own and have recently renovated with new sound and lighting!

Performance: There will be 7 to 8 ‘acts’ per Lounge evening. Each act will have 12 - 25 minutes- depending on the genre. There will be one intermission. *Libations and snacks will be available for purchase before, during and after the show.

Promotions: I will list the *Satsang Lounge in local publications, there will also be a press release emailed three weeks in advance, and you will receive postcard invites to hand out- with your names listed on them, and by all means you can list us in your websites, blogs, etc.

If you are interested in participating in Satsang Lounge LA- you may contact me via email-

Submissions can also be sent to me- 2409 Hidalgo Ave LA. CA 90039.

Please pass this fantastic performance opportunity on to your friends!

*Satsang (Sanskrit sat = true, sanga = company): describes in Indian philosophy (1) the company of the "highest truth," and (2) company of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth. This typically involves listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning, meditating on the source of these words, and bringing their meaning into one’s daily life.

~I have taken this term and extended it to a company of artists- where discussing, sharing, witnessing, creating, and being in the company of other artists will inspire more creativity, feed our artistic spirits, and contribute to the realization of our life’s work.

With love. Misi Lopez Lecube

August 11, 2008

teaching the arts

* Assistant Professor of Dance
Mills College (California) (date posted: 8/11/2008)

* Open Rank
Stanford University (California) (date posted: 8/8/2008)

* Theatre Arts
Andrew College (Georgia) (date posted: 8/11/2008)

* Faculty, Dance Department
Columbia College Chicago (Illinois) (date posted: 8/11/2008)

* Chair, Theater Department
Columbia College Chicago (Illinois)
(date posted: 8/11/2008)

* Department Head, Visual and Performing Arts
Purdue University (Indiana) (date posted: 8/11/2008)

* Multiple, Full-time, 12-month Positions
Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland) (date posted: 8/8/2008)

* Lecturer of Liberal Studies/World Dance
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (North Carolina) (date posted: 8/7/2008)

* Ballet Technique and Choreography - Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (North Carolina) (date posted: 8/7/2008)

August 08, 2008

grants for performing arts

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Accepting Letters of Inquiry for National Projects in Performing Arts
Deadline: November 1, 2008 (Letters of Inquiry)

An initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's ( ) Arts Program, the Fund for National Projects supports projects designed to strengthen the national infrastructure of the dance, jazz, presenting, and/or theater fields; or improve conditions for the national community of performing artists in dance, jazz, and theater.

During a two-year pilot phase, the fund will award a total of up to $1 million in grants to support key national projects in the dance, jazz, presenting, and/or theater fields. Grants will range from $60,000 to $200,000 and cannot exceed 40 percent of a project's total cost. National projects engage a broad national constituency, occur once (or periodically) rather than annually, and have the potential to significantly impact a field.

Organizations are encouraged to submit Letters of Inquiry for activities such as research projects assessing the national health of arts groups or of individual artists; special national convenings for entire performing arts fields (beyond traditional national annual conferences); and special projects that address unique circumstances that affect an entire field.

The fund expressly does not support the following types of activities: projects by single performing arts entities (e.g., national tours of a particular dance or theater work); individually produced conferences, performances, or symposia (e.g., a festival produced by a single organization or by a consortia of local groups in a specific city or locale); regranting programs; translations or commissions of new works (even if expected to have national impact); and production start-up activities.

Single nonprofit organizations and consortia are both eligible to apply. National organizations receiving core support from the DDCF are not eligible to request additional support from the fund for single-discipline activities.

Deadlines for Letters of Inquiry are November 1 and May 1, with full proposals (upon invitation) due no later than December 1 and June 1, respectively.

Visit the DDCF Web site for complete program guidelines and application procedures. RFP Link:

For additional RFPs in Arts and Culture, visit:

UCLA Writers' Faire

Sunday, Sept. 7 @ 11AM-3PM
UCLA Campus - Young Hall Courtyard

This festive day features 24 free mini-classes and panel discussions in creative writing and screenwriting, hosted by fall Writers' Program instructors. Students get free writing instruction, chat with instructors, register for most fall courses at a 10 percent discount, learn more about the Writers' Program, discuss goals with advisors, and visit with graduate writing programs, professional organizations, and writing-allied businesses. Also not to be missed this year in the lobby of Boelter Hall: Writers' Program staff alum Cristina Markarian shows you how easy it is to take courses online and uber-friendly Final Draft representatives demonstrate their outstanding screenwriting software. The Writers Faire is held in the Young Hall Courtyard on the UCLA campus from 11 am- 3 pm.

The 2008 Writers Faire schedule is ONLINE NOW

STRATEGY for ACTORS- Pitching Yourself Powerfully

Mon. August 11 @ 7 PM
Stella Adler Conservatory

Wed. August 13 @ 7 PM
The Hart Studio

So, you're finally in front of the "right" person who can potentially support your career goals and get you work. It could be a casting director, producer, or an agent you have been after. Maybe it's at a networking event, a screening, a party or even at the grocery store. How do you approach this person effectively and start building a relationship? How do you go from Hello, to exchanging business cards? Often times, we hold ourselves back from approaching these people because we think we lack the proper words or experience to pitch ourselves powerfully. Through role-play, and structured technique games, we will teach powerful skills used in MBA programs and by business professionals that will give you the confidence and savvy to "close the deal" every time. For more information and to RSVP, please visit

COST: $30 for WIF members with discount code- please email to receive the discount code

Where & When
Stella Adler Conservatory
Hollywood, CA

Mon. Aug 11
7 PM - 10 PM
The Hart Studio
Van Nuys, CA

Wed. Aug 13
7 PM - 10 PM
RSVP for directions


WIFI Call For Entries
"A Night to Celebrate: Short Films by Indigenous People of the Americas"


Women in Film International Committee is accepting short film submissions for its upcoming event, "A Night to Celebrate: Short Films by Indigenous People of the Americas" being held at Barnsdall Gallery Theater in October, 2008. This exciting night will be the first of its kind for the indigenous communities in Los Angeles, and is sure to draw a large and diverse crowd.

Submission Information:

Filmmaker Diversity: The film can be about any topic, but at least one member of the production team (writer, director, actor, producer, cinematographer, etc.) must be of indigenous descent. This includes all native tribes from North America to Central and South America.

Film length: Minimum 1 minute / Maximum 30 minutes
Please do not send films that are longer than 30 minutes!

Submission format: DVD, Region 1 ONLY

Language: All entries must be either in English or contain English subtitles. Non-English entries submitted without subtitles or with supplementary printed translations will be automatically disqualified.

Deadline: All submissions must be received (not just postmarked) by SEPTEMBER 12, 2008. Late entries will not be accepted. We will be notifying all accepted films by SEPTEMBER 29, 2008

For more information and an application please Email, or call 310-362-2695.

review in Venus Zine

Take a trip with the GOP
Party Favors provides a fascinating view into the private world of Republican fundraisers by a veteran insider
Published: July 31st, 2008 11:30am

Party Favors is an interesting and intriguing new novel co-written by former Republican fundraiser Nicole Sexton and writer Susan Johnston. It follows a New Orleans woman’s rise to success in the insulated and cutthroat world of Republican fundraisers in Washington, D.C., competing to gain donors, big checks, organize lavish parties, and win elections for senators. It gives an insider’s view into an exclusive world that many are not privy to or aware of, being flabbergasted at how much money goes towards parties and senator’s campaigns instead of more pressing social issues.

Temple Sachet, the protagonist of the novel, always had an eye for competition, beginning in kindergarten. In campaigning to become Little Miss Valentine, she kisses boys during recess, gaining favor with each one she finds. She loses the election, but it instills in her a taste for victory and for striving to be the best. That drive will take her far, as she rises quickly from smooth-talking rich donors into writing checks for the Missouri Opera Gala to receiving a coveted internship at the White House to being named the Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Here, with the help of her seasoned mentors, Temple develops very personal relationships with a variety of senators (some honest, some not), and forgoes her personal life and peace of mind to guarantee wins for her senators.

As Temple becomes a bigger wheel in the Senatorial Committee, her personal life falters and takes hit after hit. Her stepfather, a prominent St. Louis politician, suffers a near-fatal heart attack and is in traction, leaving Temple to feel guilty about continuing on with her work. She falls for men who either are in love with her but can’t relate to her world, or use her as a contact to lobby for a cause. She fears that she will suffer a heart attack or a brain aneurysm due to her stressful and taxing job, as it has befallen those before her. And when New Orleans is destroyed after Katrina and the Republicans are more concerned with lavish parties than immediate aid to the victims, Temple must choose whether her career is worth giving up in search of working for more honest and noble causes.

Party Favors is a fast-paced, captivating novel that will educate readers on the inner workings of the Republican Senate straight from a seasoned insider. Meanwhile, this sharp and ambitious heroine manages to maintain her honesty and integrity in a world that often doesn’t value such morals.

Party Favors (The Lyons Press)
By Nicole Sexton with Susan Johnston
256 pages

theatre lab in sweden

International Physical Theatre Laboratory
under the direction of Sergei Ostrenko (Russia)

November 1 - 7, 2008 Ystad, Sweden

To apply for participation, candidates should send a CV (resume) and a brief letter of motivation to stating the title, dates and place of the event. The Lab will take place in Ystad, a historical Swedish town situated at the southern point of Sweden on the Baltic Sea.

During the Lab accommodation and meals are provided for participants.

August 04, 2008

article in ny daily news today

Nicole Sexton's airing GOP secrets
Monday, August 4th 2008, 4:00 AM

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens might want to bring "Party Favors" to jail with him, should he end up doing time on charges of hiding $250,000 in gifts from an oil company.

Top Republican fund-raiser Nicole Sexton wrote the thinly veiled novel after becoming disgusted with the greed she witnessed and jumping ship to Bono's liberal One Campaign.

The thirtysomething blond was finance director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2002 to 2005, raising nearly $100 million in one year alone. She helped the campaigns of Sens. Bill Frist, Elizabeth Dole and George Allen, among others — but Sexton's not revealing the identities of her characters except her own: Temple Sachet. But readers in D.C. are already buzzing about which senator demanded sex just to agree to travel to a New York fund-raiser.

Sexton has said she felt "dirty," ultimately, involved in a process where politicians become more interested in the big bucks than the issues, and where the fund-raising director gets 10%-15%, easily making over $1 million from one campaign. And this, she told The Nation, is comprised of donations "from the guy that gives $50 and works at T.J. Maxx."

We asked Sexton if her incredible life transformation was a form of penance for playing such a key role in putting Republicans in power.

"I'm a strong fiscal conservative, but I've never been a social conservative," Sexton, who's still a registered Republican, told us. "And it must be noted, in terms of compassion, that this administration has done more to fight AIDS around the globe than any previous one.

"But I'm very dissatisfied with what Congress has been able to do, and what they haven't done."
Sexton, whose mother is New Orleans socialite Marlyne Sexton, says the "incredibly weak" government response to Hurricane Katrina was a turning point. "If I wasn't upset before Katrina, I certainly was after."

What goes wrong with politicians who start out as idealists? Sexton thinks that, "When they come to Washington, with power and money working hand in hand, and all that excess, it's hard for them to stay focused on why they came there, and to be true to the idea of public service."
Sexton's not the only one in the GOP to want change. At a packed fete for "Party Favors" at Michael's last week, where John Loeb, John McLaughlin, Somers Farkas and even Lauren Bush grabbed books, D.C. big Marina Ein took a presidential poll.

Barack Obama trounced John McCain, 31 to 17.

teaching the arts

* Music Director
Savannah College of Art and Design (Georgia)
(date posted: 8/1/2008)

* Multiple Positions: Faculty In Speech/Communication and Professional Staff Theatre Manager
Vincennes University (Indiana)
(date posted: 8/4/2008)

* Assistant Professors of Acting and Directing
Denison University (Ohio)
(date posted: 8/4/2008)

August 02, 2008

more pix from the party in nyc

back from ny book party

I'm back from the NY book party and excited to be hitting the ground running with our movie and tv pitches here in Los Angeles. We have a ton more press hits coming out next week and I'll try to keep this site updated as they come in.