When I got word last week that Someday Lounge had fired their booker, Noah Mickens, it struck me as kind of odd. If you talk to most anybody about the club, you'll hear some impressive things about Mickens, about his vision, and his booking choices. Mickens was committed, smart, good to his acts, and his emceeing gave a night at Someday a sort of theatrical, cabaret vibe. I talked to Mickens a few days after his firing and here's what he had to say. To read the response from Someday Lounge, who recently hired the very capable Chantelle Hylton of Blackbird Presents to replace Mickens, go to portlandmercury.com/blogtown.
MERCURY: Why are you being fired?
MICKENS: The reasons they gave during the big firing meeting were both numerous and vague, and I don't think I agree with much of what they had to say. Most telling among these was a recurring complaint that my vision for the space was very different from theirs, and I fear that in time this difference in vision will become clear even to the casual observer.
You moved here to take this job, right? Isn't that putting you in a tight spot?
To say the least, yes. I moved here in April of 2006 to take this job, having been alternately living in Seattle and on the road for almost exactly one year at that time; touring with Steve Mackay and the 999 Eyes ov Endless Dream, working on the Enteractive Language Festival, performing the musical score for this German Expressionist play, studying Butoh, working in a kitchen. The whole starving artist routine. They fired me on one week's pay [two Saturdays ago]. In the intervening months, I've been working 70-hour weeks booking and facilitating every show, writing all the press and promo copy, emceeing and stage managing where necessary, coordinating the tech staff as well as the actual purchase of the sound and light systems, and producing a significant amount of original content for the Someday stage. For all that to have come to such an ignoble end hurts me very deeply. I'm cool, though. I'm not really someone who needs money, and I've been putting on shows in this town for almost 10 years. In the end, they needed me a lot more than I needed them.