While Team Rayceen’s three Saturday night shows at Artomatic take place during The Ask Rayceen Show’s hiatus, that doesn’t mean finding the time for it has been easy. It seemingly never stops for Rayceen Pendarvis and Team Rayceen, and this past month was no exception. A few days after returning from hosting the annual BGL Cruise, Rayceen hosted the Extra Sexy Season Finalé of The Ask Rayceen Show at Liv Nightclub. In November, Rayceen presented a panel discussion, “25 Years of Black Prides: Past, Present, and Visions for the Future” at the annual ManDate Conference; Rayceen hosted a bridal expo at Prince George’s Ballroom and the Queer Theatre Festival at Anacostia Arts Center; and Thanksgiving weekend, Team Rayceen made their debut at Artomatic.
November 28 was the first of three special events presented by Team Rayceen at Artomatic. The free semi-annual D.C. area arts event takes place in a large four-level office building in Hyattsville, near the New Carrollton Metro Station. “Team Rayceen presents Saturday Nights at Artomatic with Rayceen Pendarvis and Curt Mariah” showcases an array of local talent, including singers, rappers, poets, comedians, dancers, and more. Each show features poet and 2015 #AskRayceen Talent Competition champion Peace Jah, burlesque performer and 2015 #AskRayceen Talent Competition runner-up Usagi, and music by DJ Honey.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, but I’m glad we put together these Artomatic shows. I appreciate seeing the familiar faces in the crowd and it’s exciting to also reach a new demographic,” says Rayceen Pendarvis. “Showcasing over twenty performers over three weekends has kept us busy, but if our first night is any indication, it will all be worth it.”
Scheduled performers for December 5 and 12 include singer Angie Head, rapper Jae the Lyoness, poet Venus Thrash, comedian Chelsea Shorte, and performance artist Pussy Noir. Rayceen describes the upcoming shows as “a bit of a reunion”.
Curt Mariah, The Ask Rayceen Show’s current announcer, is co-hosting the Artomatic shows. “You will get more Curt Mariah at Artomatic,” the comedian proclaimed. “I’m doing an opening monologue each night. I’m excited about having an opportunity to perform comedy.”
In addition to co-hosting and performing, Curt Mariah also booked performers, such as Amber Michal, Tattiana Aqeel, and singer Samantha G.
DJ Honey, who was one of several guest DJs during the 2015 season of The Ask Rayceen Show, is spinning at all of Team Rayceen’s Artomatic Shows. “Artomatic doesn’t close until midnight, so I get to play some music after the performances end at 11:30 p.m. We encourage everyone to get out of their seats and dance,” says the guest DJ.
In addition to performances, visual artists who have artwork displayed at Artomatic will also make appearances at the shows. “I’m the Queen of the Shameless Plug,” Rayceen points out. “I regard it as my duty to give the artists an opportunity to promote themselves.”
Before the return of The Ask Rayceen Show on March 2, 2016, Rayceen Pendarvis and Team Rayceen will continue their full schedule of events. Live #AskRayceen Twitter chats will take place on December 2, January 6, and February 3. Rayceen will moderate a discussion with the creators and cast of the webseries “Triangle” at a special Reel Affirmations screening and reception on January 8. MLK weekend will be the annual fundraiser for the Wanda Alston Foundation and group birthday celebration for Rayceen and friends.
“Announcements will be made soon,” Rayceen proclaims. “Those who follow me and Team Rayceen on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook will be the first to know!”
Team Rayceen’s final two Artomatic shows take place 9 p.m. on December 5 and 12 at the Artomatic venue located at 8100 Corporate Drive, Hyattsville, MD. Admission is free. For more information about Artomatic, visit www.artomatic.org.