When posters and promotional material started circulating for Oxygen Art Centre’s upcoming two-night cabaret fundraiser, guerrilla artiste Steven noticed a glaring typo: the graphic designer had spelled his name with a “ph” rather than a “v”.
Despite this humiliating slight, Steven, a character created by Nelson funny-man Lucas Myers, has decided to donate his time and efforts to raising money for the artist-run institution.
“They misspelled my name on the poster. Atory of my life,” the eccentric, blond-wigged performer whined.
“My life is mutable! Changeable! I will go as the graphic designer has directed, I suppose.”
Steven told the Star he’ll soldier on despite his bruised ego, because he respects the work that Oxygen does in the community.
“Because Oxygen! What do we need to live? Oxygen, oxygen! It’s the truth of life. We need art to live and I try in my own, small, humble way to embody that.”
The theme of the evening is All or Nothing, which Steven said is a good representation of how to live your life as a real artist. The shows will feature a variety of performers in different genres, including a magician.
“Skydney and Sleazal will be performing, doing god only knows what,” said Steven, with a dismissive flip of his hand.
“Bessie Wapp will be performing something which is a delicate balance between complete ridiculosity and deeply felt truth. Krista Lynch will be doing something absurd and fantastical, as always. Craig Korth will be doing truly incredible things with his banjo.”
And how does he feel about sharing the stage with them?
“I have trouble sharing the stage, but when I pressed I will have to give over the stage to the amazing array…”
At this point in the interview, a flustered Steven devolved into a stuttering mess, repeating the word “the” for thirty seconds before proclaiming: “the best of the best! This is the creme de la creme of Nelson.”
Steven said, depending on how the night goes, he may be offering massages to attendees of the fundraiser, which will be held on November 21 and 22 at 8 p.m.
“We’ll see how I feel. See how the night goes,” he said.
Miriam Neeboda, executive director of Oxygen, said the cabaret is a celebration of their multi-disciplinary mandate.
“Our mandate is to be interdisciplinary, contemporary art. That’s why all these performers have come out in the name of artist-run culture,” she said. “This one will be a great cabaret variety one, and it celebrates Oxygen’s theatre aspect.”
The annual event has become something of a tradition in the area, she said. All the proceeds will go towards “keeping our doors open” and funding various future projects, such as this year’s Imaginarium exhibit.
Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or in advance from Eddy Music. For more information visit oxygenartcentre.org.