“The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who like the author himself are initiated into the mysteries. Communication then is secondary: it is perpetuation which is important. For this only one good reader is necessary.”
-Henry Miller

My spoken word community television show “Solipsist’s Dispatch” won second place in the professional “Profile Talk Show” category in The Alliance For Community Media’s Northeast Region Video Festival. The ceremoney was on November 13th, 2010!


Manic Schematic PR Firm
Mike Phelan O’Toole


Multi-Media Artists Announce Alliance For
Community Media Award Win In Northeast Region Video Festival For Brookline Cable Show

(Boston, MA, 11/22/10) – Cable access show producer and local video
and spoken word artist Mike Phelan O’Toole, of Needham, with
co-producer Lawrence Hollie, of Waltham, announce the impending
Needham debut of O’Toole’s storytelling and personal confessional
cable TV show “Solipsist’s Dispatch,” after
an award win in the “Profile Talk Show” professional category in the
Alliance for Community Media 2010 Northeast Regional Video Festival.
The experimental television program, which has called Brookline’s BATV
home since last year, features solo speaking performances by O’Toole
in-studio, and competed with more than twenty shows produced in all of
the Northeast region,
which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New
York, Rhode Island and Vermont. The awards ceremony took place
Saturday, November
13th, in Concord, NH, at the Holiday Inn on 172 North Main Street. The
date of the “Solipsist’s Dispatch” Needham premiere is to be
determined, with plans to bring the show to Cambridge, and other parts
of the Boston area.
Post-award notice, the program was recently invited to
expand it’s audience to Stoughton, MA, hitting SMAC (Stoughton Media
Access Center). Episodes continue to air on Brookline Access Television’s
cable channel and the web.

Through work in community media since 2001, O’Toole
has found the technical skills, family-like-circle, and most
importantly, the voice, and vision, to create and co-create several
ongoing media projects. Unlike previous, visually high-concept
projects, the now award-winning “Solipsist’s Dispatch”
show, focuses on O’Toole’s monologue and witty repartee exclusively.
Influenced by the likes of rocker/talker Henry Rollins, filmmaker
Kevin Smith, comedians George Carlin, Bill Hicks, and others, the show
features “Stories, impassioned rants, jokey stuff, diary
entries, poetry, occasional conversations with other artists, and
updates on what’s kicking up in my camp, project-wise,” says O’Toole.

These free-form commentaries include O’Toole sharing the value
of his abstinence from alcohol and drug use. As an advocate of the
“Straight Edge” movement, Mike is part of a mass of countless other
young people, who, through the punk rock
subculture, have found unity in the decision to remain poison free “in
order to be a more effective revolutionary.” With this, O’Toole’s
program is not limited to any fixed topic; from impromptu speeches
on the importance of media literacy – O’Toole has studied communications
and media theory at MassBay Community College – youth activism, and other
pleas of a serious matter, to razor-sharp, caustic stand-up comedy,
Mike Phelan O’Toole’s
half-hour video “Dispatches” deliberately walk the line between “the
profound, and the profane.”

“Whatever medium I’m working in, it’s always been about communicating
to, and with, people; giving my guts, as it were. There is this thing,
and I’ve got to
exorcise it. With the spoken word stuff, either TV or onstage, It’s as
direct as it gets; a
face-off with hungry eyes and waiting
ears. It’s humbling to win for Dispatch, because it is basically just
me in the studio talking to three cameras about whatever strikes me to
fling out into the ether at the time. in terms of production, it is
the most stripped-down
compared to our other works. It’s really a solo, side-project, where
the focus is just on my words, and personality. With that, it’s
amazing to have won something in the Alliance For Community Media
Northeast festival. It’s also strange, because I never thought the
show would become even this public. It started as just an after-hours thing
I was lead to do off-the-cuff, when I needed to get some things off my
chest. People started responding to my enthusiasm and the way I phrased
my thoughts, I think. Like “Hey, there’s truth in that, there’s heart.
It’s not just a young guy b.s.ing on-camera.” I’m trying to do
something different out there. I’m just grabbing a microphone, and
harnessing the communication potential
of the medium; that’s what the mission of the Alliance For
Community Media is all about, so I think that’s probably what the
awards judges got into. By recording myself, I allow my words, and
thusly, my internal self, to reach places that I alone, might not be
able to otherwise.”

While it is the words that drive the show, it is the program’s
production quality that maintains the visual stamp that the
O’Toole/Hollie duo has become known for. While Mike is in the throes
of any number of cutting verbal editorials before the viewer, the
man-behind-the-curtain keeping the boat steady is none other than
technical director and co-producer Lawrence Hollie. Slick graphics,
professional lighting, and funky green screen effects provide an
even-more enhanced multi-media experience, in the vein of spoken word
legend Spalding Grey’s film “Swimming To Cambodia.” A notable episode,
in the reel originally submitted to the Alliance For Community Media
awards judges, featured a floating, three-headed O’Toole waxing poetic
under the bright lights. Being that Mike’s words, and Lawrence’s
visuals remain so in tune, it is no wonder that the
production team, and good friends, regularly explores a variety of
projects together.

With the O’Toole/Hollie artistic powerhouse in toe, freelance video
work with the Boston/Ireland band Midatlantic (formerly The Bleedin’
Bleedins) has proved beneficial for both creative troupes. The music
video created for the band’s song “Shine” saw major TV play in Ireland
at the end of ‘09. While releasing their album “The Longest Silence,”
O’Toole and Hollie shot and cut the band’s stop in at WAAF radio’s Bay
State Rock program, to both fan and show crew acclaim. Another
highlight from this collaboration has been the duo’s production of
live performance videos from Midatlantic opening for famed
Boston-originating band Letters To Cleo’s 2008 hometown reunion show
at The Paradise Rock Club. Former Midatlantic drummer and producer
Dave Franz calls the duo “A video-making hurricane.”

Hollie and O’Toole have also lent their support to fellow “multi-media
misfit” Allston filmmaker, graphic artist and author D.L. Polonsky, in
booking and publicizing his “Nonviolent Anarchy Film Festival.” Last
year, the “career retrospective” featured films made from childhood,
to the
present, including work featuring O’Toole’s turn as an actor. The fest
toured from The Coolidge, to Providence, RI’s Cable Car Cinema, and
finally, on Mike Phelan O’Toole’s 23rd birthday, to Provincetown, MA’s
Art House Theatre.

“It’s all a love letter to small artists with big visions, and voices.
This has become a lineage; we are different folks, finding each other
through all this art,” says O’Toole.

“Persist and resist and you too can get a paper with your name on it. We rule!,”
concludes Lawrence Hollie, in reference to the certificate the two received.

For more information on the ACM award-winning “Solipsist’s Dispatch,”
and other news, contact Mike Phelan O’Toole for interviews, and visit
http://www.MikeOToole.net (http://MikePhelanOToole.com)

Michael Phelan O’Toole is a videographer, actor, writer, and spoken
word artist, who performs
at Cambridge’s ImprovBoston theatre, and has been an
advocate of collaborative media, and a purveyor of unique video art,
since 2001. He appears on Lawrence Hollie’s experimental variety show
“Random Acts,” and has lent his talents as an actor on two underground films by
Allston filmmaker D.L. Polonsky, including the latest, “Murder, Money
and A Dog.” In addition, he is noted for having co-founded the
multi-artist alternative film showcase series “Experimentally
ILL,” with Lawrence Hollie, which has been warmly received by Boston
press and audiences alike. For this series, O’Toole is co-emcee with
community TV legend, former WBCN radio personality, and host of
Brookline’s “Golden Sounds” rock concert series, Quincy Brisco.
Most recently, Mike Phelan O’Toole has sat in the director’s chair
for the acclaimed Boston punk rock music TV show “Sonic Lobotomy,”
created and produced by local punk champion T.J. Welch.

Both O’Toole and Hollie have been recipients of
separate awards from The
ACM for their creative productions in the last decade, including “Most
Innovative.” They now share the Second Place Award in the Profile Talk
Show – Professional category, for “Solipsist’s Dispatch.”

According to the Alliance For Community Media Northeast’s official
website, ACM-NE.org,
“The Mission of the Alliance for Community Media is to advance
democratic ideals by ensuring that people have access to electronic
media and by promoting effective communication through community uses
of media.”


Visit the following links for some previous coverage on past
shows and events.



A brief writeup was also in the Boston Phoenix September 11th, 2008
issue – Arts + Music + Events, pg. 3