Ellen, Give Renda Writer a Chance -- Artistically
For every celebrity, there are hundreds of stalkers, starfuckers, and maniacal fame chasers. Renda Writer, a local poet who has been reaching out to Ellen DeGeneres in letters and videos since 2007, is none of these things, though he is unconventional and really, really driven. Writer, who uses this name professionally and is founder and editor of WeMerge Magazine, a local quarterly art publication, has been a poet for 12 years. Well-known on the local open-mic circuit, Writer considers himself a "career poet," though like many artists, he has difficulty supporting himself financially. To that end, his ultimate goal is to tour nationally, performing his spoken-word art and turning his hip-hop-influenced rhymes into a sustainable career. This is where the Ellen plan comes into play. "I just kind of latched onto her show a few years ago," Writer says. Since 2007, he has been pursuing his goal of performing his work on her stage. "There's something about Ellen; she just makes it seem achievable," he says. Writer estimates that he has reached out to DeGeneres or her staff 40 to 50 times.
He sent her a petition with 1,000 signatures to have him on her show. And he collected 900 more names on his online petition at rendawriter.com. Writer's most recent and most elaborate attempt at gaining Ellen's attention is "The Ellen Art Show," a group art show at GAB Studio (105 NW 23rd St., Miami) on Saturday, January 22 with 28 artists painting portraits of Ellen. The live event will also showcase singers, a DJ, a poetry reading, an auction of the paintings, and a birthday party for DeGeneres. The money from the auction will go toward Writer's plane ticket to L.A. to give DeGeneres one of the portraits. Writer is under no false assumptions that it will be easy to meet DeGeneres face to face but says he will get as close as possible to make sure the gift gets into the right hands. If all goes perfectly well, Writer will give DeGeneres her portrait on her birthday, January 26, and will make plans to return to her studio on Valentine's Day to perform his poem Half-Hearted, a slower, more romantic piece than his norm and one that he thinks would connect well with the show's audience. Then, he hopes to parlay the attention from The Ellen DeGeneres Show into an opportunity to tour nationally. Admission to The Ellen Art Show is free. Portrait sales will help Writer get to L.A. As well as money he obtains from selling copies of his 2nd poetry/music CD Workaholic. The event is from 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Visit gabstudio.com.
Sat., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m., 2011
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