Curtis Widem
(860) 416-7091
email:
info@thingmachine.com
Concept:
The Thing Machine - a custom-written comedy skit in a vending machine that advertises businesses and events and enlivens events as well.

Education:

Bachelor of Fine Arts. Major in Experimental Studio. Minor in English. University of Hartford. Cum Laude.
  Recent Performances:

 

Lower East Side Festival of the Arts - May 2011

  • The 16th Annual celebration of the arts in NYC's Lower East Side, organized by the Theater for the New City.
  • The Thing Machine was stationed in the theater's lobby on opening night to summarize the festival's schedule for festival-goers.
  • Along with the handing out of festival brochures, dozens of attendees were given a quick, funny overview of what was awaiting them at the festival.

 

CultureFest 2007 - October 2007

 

Sunset Park BID - September 2007

  • Advertised the Sunset Park Business Improvement District during their Annual Fifth Avenue Street Festival in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
  • Employed to promote the SPBID's services and website during the festival.
  • Attendees were educated on what the SPBID is, and how it makes Sunset Park an intriguing, safe and enticing place to live and visit.

 

CultureFest 2006 - October 2006

  • One of New York City's largest and most celebrated cultural events, featuring over 100 of NYC's major arts and cultural institutions.
  • Hired by the Queens Economic Development Corporation for the second year in a row to help promote the borough of Queens.
  • Stationed next to the QEDC tent, my skit promoted key attractions and reasons to visit Queens.
  • From the skit and distribution of brochures and Queens website info., hundreds of people were informed and energized to visit Queens.

 

Atlantic Antic - September 2006

  • Brooklyn's largest street festival.
  • Represented the Atlantic Avenue LDC to help promote the Antic's T-Shirt, excite people about the event, and hand out festival guides and Time Out New York brochures.
  • From my skit, entitled: "Dr. Cool and the Attack of the Nerds!," the Antic T-Shirt was advertised, and the schedule and Time Out New York brochures were distributed to the enormous crowds.

 

Riverfest - July 2006

  • Hartford, CT's Annual Fourth of July Riverfront fireworks celebration.
  • Hired by Hartford Stage to promote their SummerStage Summer Season. This was my fifth collaboration with Hartford's only Tony-winning theater.
  • By performing at the entrance of the festival, hundreds of people were exposed and informed to what Hartford Stage had to offer for the Summer of 2006.

 

Fifth Annual Women's Fair - June 2006

  • A one day informative and entertaining celebration for women of all ages, presented by CBS Radio Hartford and Hartford Hospital.
  • Performed at the entrance of the Fair to give summaries, schedules and get attendees educated and energized about the event.
  • As a result, attendees were humorously instructed and stimulated about what to see and do at the fair.

 

Lower East Side Festival of the Arts - May 2006

  • The 11th Annual celebration of the arts in NYC's Lower East Side, organized by the Theater for the New City.
  • The Thing Machine was stationed in the theater's lobby on opening night to summarize the festival's schedule for festival-goers.
  • Along with the handing out of festival brochures, dozens of attendees were given a quick, funny overview of what was awaiting them at the festival.

 

CPTV Family Science Expo - April 2006

  • CPTV's 15th Annual science event that provides children with an experience to spark an enthusiasm for the sciences.
  • The Metropolitan District Commission hired me to perform in their booth for two days to demonstrate how the sewer system works.
  • My performances educated hundreds of families on the sewer system process, and proved how vital the MDC is to all our lives.

 

First Night Hartford 2006 - December 2005

  • During Hartford, CT's Annual New Year's Eve celebration, Hartford Stage hired me to promote their plays as they hosted family-oriented activities.
  • In between the performances of an Irish fiddle player, I promoted the upcoming Eugene O'Neill play in a family-friendly, Irish-oriented skit.
  • In between screenings of "Classic Comedy Reels," I promoted the Spring plays of 2006 so that both kids and adults were amused and intrigued.
  • HSC's upcoming plays were advertised to dozens of First-Nighters in a kid-friendly, adult-pleasing manner.

 

CultureFest 2005 - September 2005

  • One of New York City's largest and most celebrated cultural events, featuring over 100 of NYC's major arts and cultural institutions.
  • Hired by the Queens Economic Development Corporation to perform for both days of CultureFest to help promote the borough of Queens.
  • Stationed next to the QEDC tent, my skit, "The Soccer Mom Showcase Game Show" promoted key attractions and reasons to visit Queens. 
  • From the skit and the distribution of brochures and Queens website info., hundreds of people were informed and energized to visit Queens.

 

Boats, Books & Brushes with Taste - Sept 2005

  • K & M Productions 5th Annual literary, art, maritime and food festival in New London, CT.
  • Placed at the entrance of the festival, the Thing Machine informed and updated festival-goers to the activities and attractions taking place at the festival.
  • As a result of the performance and the distribution of event programs, hundreds of people were informed and motivated to explore all the events and attractions at the festival.

 

Riverfront Recapture - August 2005

  • An organization that is restoring and promoting the Riverfront of the Hartford, Connecticut region. The Thing Machine was involved in Riverfront's Lunchtime Busking Program.
  • The skit featured a variety of characters, including Billy the Art-Hater and Suzy the Art-Lover to encourage people to see art at museums.
  • Lunch-goers were given some quick, funny reasons on why they should spend some time to visit a museum to expand their world.

 

Secretary of the State's Office - August 2005


Agenda Conference & Expo - March 2005

  • Agenda Magazine's 6th Annual Conference & Expo for Meeting & Event Planners, held at the New York Marriott Marquis.
  • The Thing Machine, stationed at an entrance, informed and entertained attendees about the featured events, speakers and activities taking place at the Expo.
  • As a result, attendees were given a quick, fun overview of what to look forward to and expect at the Expo, and key participants and events were highlighted.

Hartford Stage - December 2004

  • Hartford's Tony-winning theater. I promoted their adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" during their "Santa Saturdays" at Hartford's Old State House. Performed for three Saturdays in a row.
  • I performed as "Mr. Theater" - the every-person's guide to the world of theater, to show attendees that Hartford Stage's "A Christmas Carol" was the best family value for the holiday season.
  • With my three performances during "Santa Saturdays," hundreds of potential theater-goers were informed of Hartford Stage's "A Christmas Carol".

 

Oktoberfest - October 2004

  • The 26th Annual Oktoberfest in Cambridge, MA, sponsored by the Harvard Square Businesss Association.
  • I advertised HSBA's website by performing: "Attack of the Martha Stewart Zombies!" about a housewife who saves humanity from Martha Stewart Zombies after visiting harvardsquare.com.
  • Hundreds of people were informed of the limitless fun and bargains to be had in Harvard Square by accessing harvardsquare.com's listings of shops, services, events and tourist information.

 

Valley Advocate's Grand Band Slam - Sept 2004
  • The Springfield area's largest alternative weekly newspaper. I promoted their annual Grand Band Slam, a block-long multi-genre music festival in downtown Springfield.
  • Performed in the club district in Springfield, in order to attract the club-going crowd to the Slam.
  • To inspire people to visit the Band Slam, our skit was about Rollo and Ignatz, who instead of listening to their MP3's - get out and enjoy the rockin' music at the band slam.
  • As a result of my skit and the distribution of postcards, the Band Slam was advertised to dozens of club-goers.

Taste of Northampton - August 2004

  • Northampton Massachusetts' 11th Annual Food Festival.
  • Working in conjunction with the Valley Advocate and the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, the Thing Machine promoted the Valley Advocate's Grand Band Slam.
  • To prove how the Band Slam would appeal to everyone, I performed as Dr. Cool, who gives his patients a prescription to the Band Slam to fill their lives full of music and fun.
  • The Band Slam was advertised to hundreds of people, who were shown that the Slam was the place to be for a rockin' good time.
Hartford Advocate's Grand Band Slam - August 2004
  • Hartford's largest alternative weekly newspaper. I advertised their 10th Annual Grand Band Slam, a multi-block, multi-genre music event in downtown Hartford.
  • Performed in Old State House Square in Hartford during a lunch hour.
  • My skit was about the Super Duper Super Hero Family, who discovers the Band Slam after trying to find a music event that will please them all.
  • The skit informed Hartford's lunch-goers of the Band Slam, and the wide variety of music and fun times awaiting them there.


Hartford Advocate's Grand Band Slam - July 2004
  • Hartford's largest alternative weekly newspaper. I advertised their 10th Annual Grand Band Slam, a multi-block multi-genre music event in downtown Hartford.
  • Performed in the club district in Hartford, in order to attract the club-going crowd to the Slam.
  • My skit was about Rollo and Ignatz, who instead of listening to their MP3's, get out and enjoy the rockin' music at the band slam.
  • As a result of our skit and the distribution of flyers, the Band Slam was advertised to dozens of club-goers.


The Edge Fringe Festival - June 2004

  • A two-week long cutting-edge arts festival produced in association with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT.
  • During an Edge event, the Thing Machine advertised the Edge's "Music In The Street !" scheduled to take place the next week.
  • I performed as Dr. Cool to show the audience that "Music In The Street !" had all the music, art & entertainment anyone would ever need.
  • Helped by my skit and the distribution of flyers and website information, "Music In The Street !" was advertised to dozens of people in a few hours time.

Taste of Hartford - June 2004

  • Hartford's 22nd Annual celebration of food, music & entertainment.
  • I promoted Hartford Stage - Hartford's Tony-winning theater to advertise their season.
  • My skit was about how the Super Duper Super Hero Family takes a break from saving the world to soak up some culture at Hartford Stage.
  • From my performance, festival-goers were shown the great cultural possibilities awaiting them at Hartford Stage.
Mayfair - May 2004
  • The 21st Annual Mayfair in Cambridge, MA, sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association.
  • I demonstrated how the HSBA website can invigorate people's lives by performing as Dr. Cool - The Doctor of Cool, who taught the audience how to be cool and lead a cool life by using harvardsquare.com.
  • The crowd was informed of the limitless fun and bargains to be had in Harvard Square by accessing harvardsquare.com's listings of shops, services, events, and tourist information.

 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - December 2003

  • The famed Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum in New York City and one of the world's leading cultural institutions.
  • I was part of the Guggenheim's Annual Family Holiday Party and was hired to promote the museum's after-school programs. My skit was about Timmy - the Clueless Teenager, who finds the confidence to try his luck in the art world after taking an after-school class at the Guggenheim.
  • The skit informed the families of the many after-school programs that the museum has to offer and the countless and inspiring things that could be learned there.
 
CBGB's - November 2003 ENCORE PERFORMANCE!!
  • The legendary Rock 'N' Roll club in New York City.
  • I promoted their website by telling the story of Billy, who is inspired to become a rock star after learning of CBGB's history and of the many legendary bands that got their start there; such as the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Tom Petty, Patti Smith and countless others.
  • As a result, the audience learned that viewing the website was the next best thing to going to CBGB's itself, and a ideal way to visit their online store, view cybercasts, live streams and engage in CBGB's chat rooms, message boards and even sign up to receive email updates.


Newbury Street and Back Bay Guide - Nov 2003
ENCORE PERFORMANCE!! 
  • The leading newspaper/website guide to culture and the arts in the Back Bay section of Boston.
  • I became "Dr. Cool - The Doctor of Cool." He meets the Superduper Family, a family of superheroes bored with saving the world. Dr. Cool educates them on all that the Back Bay Guide has to offer - so that they'll get the most out of life and enjoy being superheroes once again.
  • As a result, people (and the Superduper Family) were informed of the Back Bay Guide's website and their helpful articles, tips, contests and events listings.
CBGB's - October 2003
  • The legendary Rock 'N' Roll club in New York City.
  • I promoted their website by telling the story of Billy, who is inspired to become a rock star after learning of CBGB's history and of the many legendary bands that got their start there; such as the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Tom Petty, Patti Smith and countless others.
  • As a result, the audience learned that viewing the website was the next best thing to going to CBGB's itself, and a ideal way to visit their online store, view cybercasts, live streams and engage in CBGB's chat rooms, message boards and even sign up to receive email updates.
Oktoberfest - October 2003
  • The 25th Annual Oktoberfest in Cambridge, MA, sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association; and the Thing Machine's fourth performance for them.
  • I promoted how the HSBA website can enliven people's lives by having Dr. Cool - The Doctor of Cool, show the Superduper Superhero Family that life is more than just stopping mad scientists and wayward asteroids by using harvardsquare.com.
  • The audience (and the Superdupers) were informed of harvardsquare.com's services, events listings, shops and tourism information.

Boston Event Guide - September 2003

  • The most comprehensive website for young professionals in the Boston area to find information about local happenings, VIP Parties and Special Events.
  • To promote their website, I performed: "Your Girlfriend Just Dumped You! - The Gameshow for the Broken-Hearted." The skit featured contestants who took on life-threatening stunts to find true love, only to discover that BEG is the smartest way to find exciting social events and romance.
  • The skit informed the audience of the dozens of BEG's services, such as interactive events listings; club, restaurant & bar scene info, email events updates, meet your match, contests and countless other ways to improve your social life.

Bostonfashion.com - August 2003

  • The only website covering everything about modeling in Boston.
  • My skit was about Brenda The Beautiful Person who wants to be a model. She's helped by Fabrizio - World-Famous Hand Model. He uses Bostonfashion.com to guide her through the ins and outs of modeling in Boston.
  • Bostonfashion.com's website was advertised to dozens of people who were shown how helpful BFC is if you want to be a model or be part of the modeling scene in Boston.

Newbury Street and Back Bay Guide - July 2003

  • The leading newspaper/website guide to fashion, culture and the arts in the Back Bay section of Boston.
  • I became "Dr. Cool - The Doctor of Cool." He meets the Superduper Family, a family of superheroes bored with saving the world. Dr. Cool educates them on all that the Back Bay Guide has to offer - so that they'll get the most out of life and enjoy being superheroes once again.
  • As a result, people (and the Superduper Family) were informed of the Back Bay Guide's helpful articles, tips, contests and events listings.

Mayfair - May 2003

  • The 20th Annual Mayfair in Cambridge, MA. sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association.
  • I promoted how the HSBA website can enrich people's lives, and the variety of attractions of the fair.
  • My skit was about the Sputz family, who has nothing to entertain their guests with; so Billy, the Spaced-Out Teenager, finds exciting shops, services and events on the HSBA's website. I also portrayed Hank, the Rock N' Roll Dude, who keeps missing concerts; but once he finds the events listings on the HSBA's site, he's a new man.

Hartford Stage - December 2002

  • Hired by the Hartford Stage - Hartford's Tony-winning theatre to promote their adaption of "A Christmas Carol" and their theatre season.
  • Performed for two days. Included in "Santa Saturdays," a family event in downtown Hartford where children could sit on Santa's lap & get their picture taken with him.
  • To interest families into seeing the plays, I performed "Attack of the Boring Relatives!" About a family who repeats the same dull holiday routine for years - and how a visit to the Hartford Stage finally cures their boredom!

Oktoberfest - October 2002

  • The 24th Annual Oktoberfest in Cambridge, MA. sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association.
  • Advertised the HSBA's website and the events of Oktoberfest.
  • To get the message across, I created a skit full of amusing characters - featuring Marge (a.k.a.) Supermom - who stopped an alien invasion with her tapioca pudding; and Mr. Meatloaf - President of The International Meatloaf Society.

Cambridge River Fest - June 2002

  • The 24th Annual Arts Festival hosted by the Cambridge Arts Council.
  • Performed at intersection of J.F.K. Street and Memorial Drive to "capture" passers-by to visit the festival.
  • To accomplish the job, I became "Captain Culture" - Superhero for the arts, whose adventures motivated people to attend the festival.

Connecticut Historical Society - June 2002

  • The Thing Machine's second year at CHS.
  • Included in "Parade the Circle" - a family event.
  • Informed the audience of all the fun and educational programs at CHS.
  • Characters from the 2001 show reappeared:"Sid, the (Used) Time Machine Salesman," "Billy, the spaced-out teenager," and "Caveman Ug" to illustrate the excitement awaiting families at CHS.

Mayfair - May 2002

  • The 19th Annual Street Fair in Cambridge, MA sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association.
  • Hired to promote HSBA's website - specifically to inspire people to view the site to look up events in Harvard Square.
  • Kid's Rides Moved! After many years of being in various locations, the kid's rides had been shifted to a central spot. I created a humorous skit informing families where to go.

The Big E - September 2001

  • A Multi-State New England Fair - over 80 years old.
  • The Thing Machine's THIRD Big E.
  • Performed in front of the "Connecticut Building" to promote the Connecticut Historical Society.
  • CHS Brochures were placed nearby to take during the performance.

 

New York International Fringe Festival - August 2001

  • An avant-garde, cutting edge theater festival.
  • Performed for two days.
  • Part of the "Busking Bonanza" in Tompkins Square Park.
  • Twenty-five street performers were involved.
  • The Thing Machine advertised the Bonanza and the acts involved.

17th Annual Charlestown Seafood Festival - August 2001

  • A family-oriented festival in Charlestown, Rhode Island.
  • Performed for two days
  • Advertised all the events and activities.
  • Created "Chef Louie" and "Frank - the Guy Who Hates Fish" characters to connect the show together.

Connecticut Historical Society - June 2001

  • Included in "Parade the Circle" - a family event.
  • Informed the audience of CHS's Genealogical Library and how they could research their family tree.
  • Created "Sid, the (Used) Time Machine Salesman," "Billy, the spaced-out teenager," and "Caveman Ug" to demonstrate different CHS programs.

 

Film Fest New Haven - April 2001

  • Promoted the films and the events of the day; advertised their sponsors-New Haven Film Fest.
  • Set up on the New Haven Green to attract people who might not have known about the festival.
  • Informed families of available kids activities.
  • Lead character was "Melvin - the Guy Who Hates Movies."

 

The Big E - September 2000

  • Performed for two days.
  • Set up in the "Connecticut Building" to promote State attractions and encourage tourism.
  • Advertised the Peabody Museum and the Beardsley Zoo.
  • Created "Mr. Question Man " and "Col. Fulnose -World-Famous Explorer" to enliven the show.

Operation Sail 2000 Connecticut - July 2000

  • A Multi-State Tall Ships Extravaganza to celebrate the New Millennium.
  • I was hand-picked by the Connecticut Office of Tourism to perform.
  • Performed for two days to promote places to visit in Connecticut.
  • Promoted the Trolley Museum and the Beardsley Zoo.

Bradley Airport - March 2000

  • Set up at the Bradley Welcome Center - near the center of the airport.
  • Advertised the Bradley Welcome Center and interesting places to visit near the airport.
  • Encouraged visitors to pick up free Connecticut travel brochures in an effort to promote tourism.
  • Skit included "Mr. Answer Man," and the heart-warming epic: "The Trials of Melvin."

The Big E - October 1999

  • Set up in the "Connecticut Building" to promote State attractions and encourage tourism.
  • Promoted the Mark Twain House, Dinosaur State Park and the Discovery Museum.
  • Created "Timmy - the Time Machine-building Fourth Grader," to act as a guide.

Wadsworth Atheneum - March 1999

  • Performed during March First Thursday - an "open house" day to attract new patrons.
  • Advertised art "products" - i.e.: " Cubist Cornflakes," etc.
  • Informed audience of the museum's children's programs.
  • Advertised the Greater Hartford Arts Council's arts discount Dot Card.
  • Handed out free Dot Card brochures.
 

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Curtis Widem (860) 416-7091 | email: info@thingmachine.com