Red Room, together with Taipei City Playgroup
Red Room, together with Taipei City Playgroup
A great introduction of Redroom, in English language.
那天在Red Room慶祝三年的生日聚會中，碰到一位年輕人跟我說，「朱先生，我是看您文章長大的，一直想來紅房（Red Room）體驗，但卻一直沒有機會。今天我決定來了，太喜歡了！太棒了！下次一定再來的！」嚇了我一跳，真的有一群人從高中、大學到現在工作，是看著《PPAPER Business》雜誌長大的。（Ive及Pao一定非常驕傲。）
我一直想跟《PPAPER Business》的讀者分享我個人在Red Room實驗了三年的經營經驗，當然也正好可以在Red Room三歲生日時，再一次檢視創立Red Room的初衷及發想Red Room的未來。
當初跟Ayesha一起創立Red Room時就決定「英文」是Red Room的主要語言。經過三年來不斷地演化，Red Room已不再僅限於讀詩、音樂、舞蹈、劇場等創作藝術，而已銳變成一個以創意、分享為軸心的世界部落與藝術創作的平台。
我非常清楚，不可能讓每個人都喜歡Red Room，但如果您不怕英文，喜歡表演藝術及實驗性的新觀念，有強烈的熱情，想突破自己的舒適圈，認識新朋友，您一定會愛上Red Room！Red Room是一個實體的「社群網站」，在未來，鐘擺效應將從現在手機虛擬社群的這一端，搖擺到另一端，也就是實體的社群；也因此，將會創造出許多實體社群的新商機。
Red Room僅是一個Micro Event
希望能在台北市創造一個平台、空間（space），使local與global產生互動及對話，並給台北市多一個展現自己的機會，成為local及global更宜居的城市。（Make Taipei a better place to live for local and global.）從2012年開始，我積極主動邀請更多朋友來參加體驗Red Room，讓Red Room不再只是外國朋友聚會的地方，而是真正能代表台北市國際多元化的創意劇場。不只一次，有外國朋友在Red Room結束後，握著我的手說：「朱先生，我真的完全沒有期待台北市能有這樣一個英文友善的創意劇場；在這裡大家都是主人，觀眾也是表演者，表演者更是觀眾；沒有觀眾及表演者的區別。」我也開始跟許多人說：「Red Room是一個鼓勵creative、loving and healing的空間和平台」。
Red Room是Sharing Economy註1 的另一種可能
如果我現在要創業，我一定會考慮Lisa Gansky提出的「Mesh Business」註2。雖然，Red Room不是完全符合Mesh Business中的幾個條件，但「sharing」及「community」卻是Red Room最重要的精神之一。肯夢Aveda 空間閒置時，給Red Room再使用，減少資產的浪費；讓使用者（user）及觀眾（audience）來創作分享內容，並由臨時性義工（ad hoc volunteer team註3）的變形蟲團隊編組，讓業餘的人將自己的嗜好及興趣，成為專業的分享及演出。
Red Room的成長陣痛（growing pain）
就像任何成長的企業一樣，都一定經歷過成長的陣痛（growing pain）、跨越鴻溝（Crossing the Chasm）、創新的兩難（Innovator Dilemma）與開創第二個成長的S-curve（Second S-curve）。Red Room的成長（目前每個月的第三個禮拜六都大約有100人參加），一定會讓早期參與者感覺失去剛開始時的親密感及專屬獨特感，而對Red Room有所失望。但身為一個「生意人」（從事生生不息、有生命意義的事），我知道既使會讓一些人失望，但Red Room的未來就在於不斷地創新。我持續推動Red Room去嘗試新的實驗，與更多新的Red Roomer（紅房人）建立更多新的分享及共有關係。我真的仍然珍惜、感恩Red Room的早期參與支持者，更相信他們如果有機會參與現在的Red Room，一定會非常高興看到有更多的年輕朋友、更多的local朋友參與了當初大家一起推動的「紅房運動」，並已看到不錯的成績。創始義工，Roma、Manav、Charles、Edward、Ruth、Sarah、Holly＆Tim及許多的新義工，仍然不斷勇敢的嘗試、尋找Red Room的另一種可能。
Red Room是一個社會運動（Social Movement）及生態系統（Eco-System）
我一直有個夢想，讓紅房的成功案例能鼓勵更多人，開始他們自己的紅房運動，並能創造自己的工作，做自己生意的最好客戶。很高興看到Lesley、Brendon的「Dream Gallery」註4及阿峰的「交點」註5已開始上軌道。我真心希望有更多人在全台灣各地，建立自己的紅房。我們都是在一個共生共存的紅房生態系統（Eco-system），我們可以互相分享劇場資源，讓每個參與者找到自我實現的可能。真的很難想像，台北市能提供一個英語友善的環境及空間，讓國際友人與台北人用「觀眾就是表演者，表演者也是觀眾」的概念，建立互相分享、共有共治的劇場模式及具革命性的國際實驗劇場，讓台北能再度回到世界的城市地圖裡。台北市一直缺少劇場，然而因為居住環境的限制，也很難使用住宅空間來發展劇場；基於「Sharing Economy」及「Mesh Business」的概念，希望可以讓更多閒置的公有老房子、學校教室、禮堂、私人辦公室或會議室可以再度被使用，發展成為城市中令人驚艷的劇場，孕育出更多元及豐富的創作藝術。
1. Sharing Economy：Lawrence Lessig於《Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy》（中譯：REMIX，將別人的作品重混成賺錢生意）一書中提出。（2008）
The sharing economy functions outside monetary exchange. We all belong to sharing economies – most obvious examples are our friendships and relationships. This economy is regulated not by a metric of price but by a set of social relations. Like the commercial economy, the sharing economy extends into the digital realm.
2. Mesh Business：Lisa Gansky於《The Mash: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing》（中譯：10年後，你將找不到實體商店）一書中提出。（2010）
In the last few years a fundamentally different model has taken root-one in which consumers have more choices, more tools, more information, and more peer-to-peer power. Pioneering entrepreneur Lisa Gansky calls it the Mesh and reveals why it will soon dominate the future of business.
3. Ad hoc 源自拉丁文，字面意思是「to this」，指不預先計劃、有需要時才做。兩字可合併一起「adhoc」。
4. Dream Gallery：「分享˙分饗」是在每個月的第一個星期日。活動過程中，參加的朋友?可以用任何形式，分享任何事情，包括夢想、生活、令人感動的小事情。
*Gansky, Lisa., 2010. The Mesh：Why the Future of Business Is Sharing, 1st edition,New York,USA, the Penguin Group.
*Lessig, Lawrence., 2008. Remix：Marketing Art and Commerce Thrive in the HybridEconomy,New York,USA, the Penguin Press
摘錄自《PPAPER Business》No.47 Dec.2012
WHEN:2011/11/19(SAT) 6:30pm to 10:30pm
WHERE:2F, 117, Da-an Rd Sec 1, Taipei City
ADMISSION: 兩百元入場費 (NT$200 at door)
For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the best Red Room events ever!
Nick, a first -timer to Red Room, wrote this to me:
Last evening’s Red Room gathering was a first time experience for me and family and friends. The performances were creative, diverse, insightful, exciting, thought-provoking, brave, out of the box, inspiring, lesson-sharing, moving, personal, energetic, inspiring and aspiring. Many transcended time and space. They opened corners of life and mind that were often in unnoticed in shadow. Yoga, group meditation, poetry, prose, music, guitars, ukeleles, music ranging from Judy Garland to Teresa Teng, original compositions, theatre, drama, life and death. Artists of every genre. Color, tastes, minds eye, time travel, Shakespeare, Virgil’s tales of Aeneid, connecting beings and connecting souls. What a special energy and chemistry. Bravo to the artists of this world. There is a clarity, power, earth and life force that you have helped nurture and unlock. Keep doing it. The future is connected with the past thru you. Bravo to the people who make this happen. Hail something truly wonderful. Deeply appreciated. Third Saturday of every month on Da An Rd 2fl above Aveda between Chunghsiao and Jenai. Come, plan on it. Life is different with the Red Room. What a wonderful evening and experience! Breathless and calm and settling…don’t hesitate, rekindle the inner energy and let the earth be glad and your soul be touched.
Come and experience it for yourself. Join us next month on October 15 (every third Saturday of the month).
David is a new friend who recently attended The Red Room for the first time. He spoke about “How to change the world”.
David has been CEO and founder of 3 software companies in Silicon Valley, having started his first one at age 20. He also created and patented the Sensiva handwriting- recognition technology, embedded in mobile devices and used by millions of people every day. Passionate about business, technology, design, and education, he is an advisor to companies and government organizations around the world. You can read more about David here.
As the winter cold breeze blows in and under our skin, we offer a new home for you to find shelter in. Red Roomer numbers grow per month, as we gather more and more expressive poets, painters, singers, dancers and more. For our Stage Time & Wine Festival on the 20th of November, 2010 we have hooked on to a space large enough to host up to 4 times our usual roomers, but as cozy and confined as our previous space was.
1 Year Anniversary Festival: Saturday, November 20th
Date: November 20, 2010
Live musical performance from 3-6p.m.
Stage Time & Wine from 6:30-10:00p.m.
Place: Building 3 2F Huashan 1914 Creative Park, Taipei, #1 Sec. 1 Bade Rd.
Entry ： NT$500 per person
For more information
I’m sharing three videos of the Red Room. Aren’t they amazing?
The Red Room is about having a stage and being listened to.The audience is also amazing as they created a safe and warm environment for us to express ourselves creatively.
You can get most up-to-date information from The Red Room Facebook
Dear M & A
The Red Room is getting popular among a specific group of people, the creative type. I am also pleased to see more locals attending the event.
Creative expression is a human need. It is everyone’s right to be heard. Unfortunately we tend to repress ourselves due to our Chinese upbringing: be low key, don’t attract attention, don’t show off.? Showing off is seen as a weakness, not a strength. Conformity is what is expected of us.
The future belongs to people who can live authentically and aspire to become a better person every day.
1. Prish made a phone call to Sarah who couldn’t make it as she was hospitalized with a broken leg. We all said in unison “we love you” to Sarah over the phone. I was touched by Prish’s ingenious way to let Sarah feel the love from the Red Room.
2. Lars’ sharing of his favorite Mantra whenever he encounters negative energy or feels negative. It was a great feeling when we made a tight circle ( shoulder to shoulder ) chanting Om with one single breathe. We made this harmonious sound almost as if it can reach out to the god. Taiwanese indigenous people have this practice too. I’d never tried it with a tight circle like this, only holding hands to form the circle. I will do this kind of tight circle next time. You also should learn to do this when you are in charge of an event.
3. Husbands are joining the Red Room. I encouraged people to bring their spouse. So happy to see Angelica and Grace bringing their husband to the Red Room so they can share this wonderful experience together. Taiwan needs a place like the Red Room so we all can grow together with our loved ones, instead of growing apart. We always want to share the jewel of our life with our loved ones. By the way, it was the first time I saw someone playing a flute with an iPhone. Grace and her husband, what a great team together, flute and harmonica!
4. Prish’s unbelievable monologue accompanied by drumbeats from a young guy. It was like a live radio show. I invited this drummer to come to every Red Room event. I like the effect that he made with his drum to highlight the poem’s emotional high and low. Prish’s story about her first date and what went through her mind was amazing. Her voice and sensual body movement were both sexy and divine. Her affection for her boyfriend was so touching. At the end, they embraced and kissed. What a classic and elegant way to share their love to each other in public.
5. Mark, the poet with his dog, was so funny and sincere at the same time. I think he is a lucky man to have such a gentle and lovely dog. I told him as long as his dog behaves he can bring it to the Red Room. The presence of a dog is remarkable. Everyone relaxes when they see the dog. I just hope the dog likes his companion’s poem about the dog. Lars rushed to clean up the vomit when the dog threw up unexpectedly. It is this kind of behavior that touches me deeply. They are true dog lovers. They will clean up the dog mess even when it is not their dog. In the Red Room, I noticed so many little things that our foreign friends did as a matter of fact. They know how to act civilized but also know how to let their inner child out. This is what I want you to learn from western culture. The Red Room is a culture club so we all can appreciate the differences and become a better person through the same passion for words and sounds.
6. Master Sun’s meditative chanting based on her memories of her father’s favorite Chinese Opera song is mesmerizing. She is forever calm and serene. I just love her style of expressing herself in a most Zen-like performance. It is a real treat to see her performing and reciting.
7. I was surprised to hear the cello performance from one of my favorite movies: The Tango Lesson. Annie is a professional Cellist. She brought her big man-size Cello and we originally did not have time for her to perform. I am glad she played for us at the last moment. I insisted that everyone be quiet and sit down to listen to Annie’s cello performance attentively. Boy, is she powerful to master this gigantic instrument. She is such an elegant lady too. Naya, her sister, also did a Chinese song. She told me that she’s pleased to know that the Red Room guests are receptive to more serious pieces so she will perform something more serious next time.
8. Mauro’s Italian song is very touching because he sang it like no one is listening. I like Red Room because people can really become themselves. You don’t have to be a professional singer. All you need is to sing from your heart and share your most vulnerable moment with us.
9. Lucy is a giant lady with her giant project to let the world know how badly the women are treated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a world class inspirational speaker. She has presence on stage. Roma said she should be on TED. I totally agree.
10. A gentleman ( I will make an effort to get to know his name next time ) recited a few super short poems he made on his iPhone. I was so surprised by his profound short phrases. Sometimes we don’t need that many words.
11. Tim, the poet painter, did a very creative presentation. He integrated words (his short poem on Dulan), visual (his painting of Dulan beach), and sound (a recorded indigenous chanting) to share Dulan with us. Imagine the amount of effort to bring such a big canvas all the way from Taitung just for this performance! This is how I know if they are for real. Will you do something extra to be the best you can be in a presentation? I hate to see people do presentation without any planning. These people make the effort to bring bulky guitar and cello to the Red Room.
12. People really read lots of poems. Whenever I see people pull out their favorite poetry book and read the marked pages, I know they find respite and peace in poetry.
13. People still use notebook to doodle or write their poems on the go. It is this daily ritual that made these people think deep and see things that we don’t usually see. Are you going to have a notebook and do some drawing and writing when you travel?
14. I am so glad to introduce Zoya and Andrew to the Red Room guests. Andrew invited Zoya. I want everyone in the Red Room to appreciate the cookies and desserts that Zoya made for us. We need to give Zoya, her team and Nonzero restaurant proper credit.
15. Holly did a great new song she wrote to praise the bathroom of the Red Room. She told me that it has the best smell in the world.
16. Sarah from Taipei Players sang a wonderful song. I know it took courage to sing in public. Again, The Red Room is a space encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone. It is a safe and? nurturing place.
17. George read a few of his favorite poems.? I could not help to notice that George is more into his passion with words and sounds than the audience.? It was a joy to see people enjoying themselves and be true to themselves.
18. I read a grotesque but ingenious poem written by Candice. I did not read it well with correct intonation and dramatic body language. As you can see I am a proud father on that stage. I hope one day Candice can recite her poem here in the Red Room. She is really talented in poetry.
The Red Room is a very special place in Taipei. When you are in the Red Room, you will sense that humanity is alive and creativity is what made us human. Too often we don’t allow ourselves to explore this creativity. To be able to enjoy other people’s creativity is a form of creativity. We are all creative in many ways.
We have stopped listening. The Red Room is a space for us to practice deep listening and give our undivided attention to those who are on stage.
Joseph from Canmeng team was there the whole evening. I hope he was there not out of duty but also had fun, and more importantly I hope he learned how to build a community and to engage people through our common passion. I am happy to see that everyone stayed late and pitched in to clean up. This is the spirit of the Red Room. We are a community and a tribe so we share our joy and work together.
I hope you will be able to join us next time.
May 22, 2010
Pictures from Stage Time & Wine 005 2010/3/20
The color red can be polarizing. In traditional Chinese culture it is the color of happiness, of celebration: ‘lucky’ red envelopes, red wedding outfits, the red of firecrackers. It is also the color of politics – everything from Mao Zedong’s ‘Little Red Book’ and ‘the East is Red’ motto to the red-shirt clad protesters marching against former president Chen Shuibian here in Taipei.
The Red Room, however, is a space that conveys warmth, comfort and excitement; at least that’s what Ayesha Mehta hopes.
Taipei-raised Ayesha is the impetus behind Stage Time and Wine @ The Red Room, a series of informal evenings begun last November to allow people to share something that inspires them, from words to music to elaborate gestures of expressive intent; and most importantly, a space in which to practice deep listening. In a telephone interview, Ayesha explained that she had been looking for something to do, someplace to go, after moving back to Taipei in April 2009 following six years in Sydney, Australia. Ayesha was inspired by The Listening Book: Discovering Your Own Music by W.A. Mathieu, a poetry night she had experienced in Australia at “Bardflys,” (spoken-word evenings at pubs, organized by Tug Dumbly, a performance poet) and the living room of 154 Devonshire Street, one of her homes in Sydney. Anybody (and nearly everybody did!) found their way to 154 with open hearts and open minds, listened to each other, shared, performed, created, read aloud.
Finding these kinds of events, these kinds of spaces was a struggle in any city in the world, let alone Taipei, she said.
In keeping with what must be the Mehta family motto –“if you can’t find it, create it” – Ayesha decided that if she wanted to share aloud in Taipei, she was going to have to organize the space for it. Finding the right space for such an event was crucial, and for six months appeared difficult.
Then she met Ping Chu, the entrepreneur behind the Aveda franchise in Taiwan and Taipei’s Nonzero Restaurant (he was profiled in the May 2009 edition of Centered on Taipei), when they were both volunteering in Taitung in the wake of Typhoon Morokot last August. They became fast friends and eventually Ayesha told Ping about her Red Room dream. He became an enthusiastic supporter and cheerleader, having attended some poetry reading nights years ago in Minneapolis, Minnesota and one in Hong Kong.
In an email interview, Ping Chu described the instant connection he felt with Ayesha. “I just felt that this special soul is my alter ego. Of course, I have always wanted to do a poetry reading party even though I am not a poet or good with words,” he wrote.
As fate would have it, Ping, through his company Canmeng Aveda, could offer just the kind of space Ayesha was looking for. Very quickly, the first Stage Time and Wine @ The Red Room was put together. Ayesha pulled together friends as volunteers, including help from mother Roma (editor of Centered on Taipei and co-owner of Sir Speedy, Tianmu) and brother Manav, sent out invitations by email and began designing the space with help from staff at Canmeng Aveda and Non-Zero restaurant. People who wanted to read or sing were told to bring something they had written or something they liked and wanted to share. A sign-up sheet and guestbook were set out at the door and everyone would have the chance to read at least once during the four-hour event. Musicians were encouraged to bring their instruments to perform and share at any point during the night.
Ayesha said that Stage Time and Wine @ The Red Room is open to whatever people want to do, but the key was that people have to come willing to listen – really listen.
“There’s a W. A. Mathieu quote from The Listening Book – my Bible of the moment – in which he explains this concept of deep listening as a key to engaging in creation, acknowledging hearing beyond the surface level,” she said.
Asked where the Red Room name came from, Mehta laughed and said it was a long story. “It’s just a name for the space,” she said, giving Manav credit for coming up with “Stage Time and Wine @ The Red Room.”
November’s Stage Time and Wine @ The Red Room, which drew about seventy people, was indeed a launch for the event, Ayesha said, mostly because no one really knew what to expect. But the succeeding evenings have had that living room ambience, of friends sitting together and sharing openly, without fear of judgement or imposed expectations of performance. New friendships are being formed and people are connecting through a space that affords them an opportunity to push themselves beyond their comfort zones.
“We’re not putting on a cap or expectation on the evening… just aiming for listening, sharing and trying to keep the space open,” she said, adding that they were trying to avoid a specific ‘vibe.’
Both Ayesha and Ping say they want the evenings to be accessible to everyone, whatever language[s] they speak. “We encourage reading poems in whatever language you choose. After all, it is for lovers of word and sound, not limited to nationality. It is a multi-language event. We had English, Chinese, Taiwanese, French, Italian poems read so far,” Ping wrote.
He also wants to get more young Taiwanese to attend, both to expose them to other cultures and to inspire them to improve their English. “My goal is to have at least thirty-percent of people attending this event to be locals. I started to invite my young friends to the event now. It’s a window for local youth to peek into a multinational community,” Ping wrote.
The idea was to keep the evenings low-budget – at NT$200, admission is less than one might spend for a couple of hours at a coffee shop or a drink or two at a bar. Asking participants to contribute a bottle of wine or other beverages to the open bar (and bring their own cup or glass) as well as a vegetable or something for the communal stewpot, ensures the limited budget would stretch no matter how many people show up.
As an entrepreneur, Ping feels that it is crucial for The Red Room be self-sustaining. “I am a businessmaker first. This is why I insist on a door fee for The Red Room. Sustainability requires an ecosystem. We are all in this ecosystem. I think The Red Room will evolve on her own term[s] over time. At this moment, it is a private underground party to celebrate intimacy and deep listening. I would like it to become a Mecca for all creative people to mingle and network. It is one of the reasons to create The Red Room. We can become each other’s Daymaker and Ripplemaker,” he wrote. Ayesha and Ping say they look forward to seeing The Red Room evolve organically. “Ayesha, Roma and Manav all agree that we should continue it as a grass[roots] movement that promotes intimacy and sharing. This is why we set up a committee for this event … It is our party, not Ayesha’s or mine. It is created by all lovers of sound and word. We are just a medium or a vehicle to serve,” Ping wrote, listing about a dozen volunteers whose help has been crucial in getting events going.
Ping said he felt blessed to have been involved with The Red Room, because it reflects both his personal and Canmeng Aveda’s corporate belief that people need to get involved in their societies to make the world a better place.
“I want to thank Ayesha to allow me to join her to co-found this dream,” he wrote. “I am honored to launch this movement that celebrates amateurism. To me, the future belongs to amateurism. All significant inventions are from the peripheral. The modern and active amateurs are the new phenomena in the 21st century. I think The Red Room is on the right track.”
“You create the night … what you need and what you want,” Ayesha said, adding, “Everyone who joins the night puts in, whether it be simply listening or watching others or sharing, exactly what they wish the night to be, filling an individual and communal purpose.
We are all joining to write our own Symphony of Place, a piece of our own, a quiet observance of sounds, intention and existence together.”
Stage Time & Wine @ The red room takes place on the 3rd Saturday of each month. For more information, contact email@example.com
Join us on the next event on April 17th. Mark your calenders!