Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Remember the Time GGOT Came to Marist College?

I'm so psyched that the Guerrilla Girls on Tour recently commented on my blog. *thumbs up* I thought this would be a good time to talk about when I got GGOT to perform "Feminists Are Funny" at my college. The story isn't as funny as it is horrifying. It was quite an ordeal, so they might remember it too. Here it goes.

I was basically appointed president of the Gender Equality Club during the last semester of my junior year at Marist College, since nobody else wanted the job (Marist isn't very feministy.). At the suggestion of a friend, my first order of business was to get GGOT to perform "Feminists Are Funny" at the beginning of the next fall semester. My VP (hey, Diana!) and I didn't think this was going to be a big deal. But we were way wrong. Getting GGOT to perform at Marist was going to cost $1500, which we didn't have. I think we were only able to get $500 for performances and the rest we had to get a co-sponsorship for. We thought the Student Programming Council would be cool and fund part of the project, since they basically have the college's money at their disposal. GGOT sent me a video and a press packet of all their promotional stuff and positive reviews, and I gave that to the Student Programming Council. They didn't like what they saw and denied to fund the rest of the project. Basically, we were screwed.  One of the GGOT, Aphra, suggested that we ask for the money from other departments. So Diana and I worked our butts off for a couple of months begging the different Liberal Arts departments to give us what little funding they had to help us out. Luckily, we got the rest of the funding from almost every Liberal Arts department. By the time we got the rest of the money,  it was September, so we only had a couple of weeks to promote the shit out of this thing. The week before the performance was a women's conference featuring Adrienne Rich (I totally vented to her about the whole GGOT planning fiasco, and she was very sympathetic. That was a rough week when it came to planning huge club events, come to think of it, but that's for another time), so Diana and I set up a table outside of the auditorium and told the other people who attended the conference about the show. The head of the Student Programming Council (Sarah something, I think. I'm glad I forgot) came up to us, picked up the flier we were handing out and said, "Where's Student Programming Council on this flier?" Turned out, the Student Programming Council decided to fund the performance in full, but they neglected to tell me about it. When I informed her that Liberal Arts gave us the rest of the money, she said it was all good and that the departments will just reimburse the Student Programming Council. So Student Programming Council wasn't funding the performance at all, and they basically robbed the poor Liberal Arts department for all they had. But they still wanted Gender Equality to give them props. *angry fist* Diana and I told GGOT all of this, and they were pissed. They almost bad-mouthed the Student Programming Council in the play, but I don't remember exactly why they changed their mind. They knew that the Student Programming Council didn't really want the show to go on, since Aphra and I e-mailed each other back and forth for a long time talking about it during the planning phase. But I don't think they knew that Student Programming Council was going to take all of Liberal Arts' money until after the performance. And the head of the Student Programming Council was pretending that she enjoyed GGOT during rehearsal. Something like that.

Anyway, the performance went on. A hundred people attended. With the help of our club advisor and some PR dude at Marist, an ad was released in the local paper (and this group of little old ladies we met after the show said they saw the ad in the paper and were so excited to come see the show. Aw!). A lot of Communications students were required to attend, as one of the Comm professors talks about GGOT in her classes. The performance was great, and I made an ass of myself on stage. It was a real fun time. The school paper wrote some nice things about the performance (I think I lost the article though). A few days later, I got a nice letter from GGOT:

Dear Emily, 

On behalf of Fanny Brice, Eva La Gallienne and myself, I would like to thank you again for all of the hard work you did getting Guerrilla Girls on Tour to Marist. You are indeed an incredible feminist and activist and your efforts on our behalf are recognized and appreciated. We enjoyed your audience and performing for your colleagues in the Gender Equality Club. 

Please keep in touch. You'd make a terrific member of the GGOT's so please let us know when you graduate!

Best,
Aphra Behn

Oops. I graduated in May 2006. And I haven't really kept in touch at all either. But that doesn't mean their performance hasn't really influenced me. I mean, what's the name of the blog? [A] Funny Feminist. And what am I? A funny feminist. Because feminists are funny. And who knows? Maybe in a couple years, I'll join GGOT as Amy Winehouse.

And if you're wondering, yes, Diana and I got to see Aphra, Fanny, and Eva without their masks. They were very nice not to kill us, weren't they?

1 comment:

Guerrilla Girls On Tour said...

Emily,

Thanks for sharing your memories of our show at Marist....we remember it (and you) very well! FYI, our offer to you to join the GGOT's has no expiration date. It's great to know that you are still helping to prove that feminists are funny. Keep up the fabulous blog and hope to see you on the road soon. -- GGOT's
www.ggontour.blogspot.com