Hey Hun! is a new feature here at the DARKEroom. A platform for LGBTQIXYZ bloggers and Friends of the DARKEroom to showcase their work. Our first featured HUN! Is James Bartholomew founder of ‘The Vibe’, Birmingham’s first youth-lead creative talk-show.I am James Bartholomew a Contemporary theatre and performance graduate, performer, artist, host and occasionally a drag performer.
I have been involved with theatre all my life, my parents met at the theatre! I love the stage and live shows. Growing up I watched a lot of great British comedies such as Last of the Summer Wine, Keeping Up Appearances, One Foot In the Grave, Birds of a Feather etc. I found my love for comedies and Television shows grew and it wasn’t until the birth of Netflix and the growing popularity of YouTube that I realised that Media has afurther reaching hand than the theatre, not to say I don’t still appreciate theatre on the same level as a heart wrenching episode of Orange is the New Black.
After graduating, I moved back home to Birmingham where I was told that nothing is happening in Birmingham, the city is dead, no arts live in the city unless you have a slim chance of getting in with the big organisations such as The Rep. But I had no funds to move to London yet so I decided to create a portfolio of work in Birmingham while I was living rent free and source some theatre/art work: Fierce Festival, Cannon Hill Collective, Shout Festival etc. I was exposed to the underground workings of the Birmingham Art scene, it was glorious, filled with wonderful people, wonderful talent, A LOT of poetry, and with that I found friends and other creative minds, but I never saw myself represented inside the arts scene.
I met a lot of young straight men and women putting on events that benefited their own goals and if it was LGBT orientated I never felt it was reflective of the faces, themes and spirit I’d see from the young creatives who I work with and see during my nights out to the Gay Village, who do more than just party but are actively changing the landscape of the Gay Village where young performers can share their art in whichever way it expresses itself. It makes sense why many people I know feel the arts scene is lacking in Birmingham (which it isn’t) but it’s lacking POP! WOW! IN YOUR FACE! That it deserves, and it comes down to budget costs and the confidence to scream, shout about making Birmingham’s art scene bigger and better while also making sure it gets the recognition it deserves.
The reason I started The Vibe is that in Birmingham due to the face of severe budgetary cuts, I want to promote a collaborative community of visionaries who define their own progress internally, by becoming aware of the people and resources available to them in the city. The Vibe would act as a major nexus point between these fields, and one that works in tandem with Birmingham as a developing cultural powerhouse. Within Birmingham, there exists a thriving arts scene including but not limited to new and developing artists, poets, directors, performers, drag artists, actors, singers, dancers, photographers and fashionistas. They will also become conscious of the other forms of culture in Birmingham outside their given field, with The Vibe creating a vibrant tapestry of all Birmingham has to offer. The Vibe is hosted and staffed by a diverse cast entirely from Birmingham, from all different ages, fields and gender and sexual expressions. These may and will include drag artists, media students; recent graduates, theatre & film critics and event managers. The Vibe will play host to weekly guests who are upcoming talent within their given field, and will illustrate the immensity of artists and visionaries within Birmingham.
So James, what’s your favourite Cocktail?
Long Island Ice Tea!
Oh good choice! Why is that Hun?
due to it’s amazing blend of Vodka, Rum and Tequila! 3 of my favourite spirits, which became my favourite cocktail when I first tried it at University where cocktails were £4.50 (I went to university up north where every drink is cheaper than 2 bus rides in the midlands)
and since then I’ve been addicted! I love cocktails and this is at the top of my list, no spirit over powers the other, each just blend perfectly and if you’re playing catch up it is perfect because 3 of these and you’ll be seeing double! My kind of drink!