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Elias Stimac Talks to David Gibbs



PR Agent-Performer David Gibbs Proves That All Publicity is Good Publicity

David Gibbs is a “lifer” when it comes to being a New Yorker. The entertainment mogul (publicist-musician-actor) was born in Manhattan and raised in Astoria, Queens. He has lived and worked in NYC ever since. David’s grandparents moved to the city in the 1950s, and his mom went to high school in Astoria. One of his earliest memories is watching the NY Rangers play in the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals. Now he balances his performance gigs with his promotional assignments as head of DARR Publicity.

David describes himself as “pretty easygoing, but also very determined at being the best” at what he does. David took time out of his hectic schedule to offer NewYorkCool.com a slice of his Big Apple experiences.

Elias Stimac: How have you pursued your acting and music careers in New York?

David Gibbs: As an actor, I had a blast performing in many cool Off-Off-Broadway shows through the years, including a three-year stint as a member of The Bat Theater Company at The Flea Theater. I had the chance to work with the amazing director Jim Simpson. I performed in the lead role in Michael Murphy’s “The Uninvited Guest” at The Mint Theater and had the fortune to play my rock‘n’roll idol, Paul Westerberg, in Julia Jordan’s “Paul Westerberg” at Soho Rep. A short film that I was in called “Gasline” went on to win the Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize. Also, I had a recurring stint playing drums in a band on “One Life to Live.” As a rock drummer, I worked with members of both Guns N’ Roses and The Matthew Sweet Band and also drummed for The Rembrandts in their video “I’ll Be There for You,” the theme song for the “Friends” TV show. You can check out the video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQJsPGD1t0g. My new musical interest is guitar and singing. I’m getting a kick out of that.

Elias Stimac: What is it like working on the other side of the industry as a public relations person?

David Gibbs: I’ve been doing theatre publicity since 2002, and I’m beginning to work with music artists, bands and dance companies as well. It’s an incredibly cool job and I get to work with some really great theater companies and artists. Really, it’s an honor to represent the excellent work going up by my clients. I initially got my feet wet in PR when I was drumming in rock bands in NYC and was the guy who put together press releases and contacted magazines and radio stations to get some buzz going for the band. So I had some experience with PR when I began doing it for theatre. The publicity career really just fell into my lap. A good friend wrote an amazing one-woman play about Jackie Kennedy called “Cirque Jacqueline.” I did the PR for the show, and it turned out to be really successful. From there, I started getting all these calls and it just snowballed into a fulltime business.

Elias Stimac: Is helping New York artists promote themselves a fun job?

David Gibbs: I love it! When I tell people what I do for a living I smile and laugh, because honestly I enjoy it so much that it doesn’t feel like a job. What I do is lots of fun and surpasses the assortment of odd jobs that I’ve had in the past. You could label my job title in many ways - press agent, press rep, publicist…but a ‘nice’ one.

Elias Stimac: What are your favorite places in NY?

David Gibbs: Independent movie houses, dark jazz clubs, rock clubs, Off-Off-Broadway theaters, coffee shops with some personality, NY diners, all the great little places to eat different food from all around the world.

Elias Stimac: How do you think New York has changed over the years?

David Gibbs: It’s now a bit tougher to get a seat on the N train coming back to Queens. The subway trains are way safer, though…especially at night. Some of New York’s charm is disappearing in the face of commercialism, but they call that progress, right? Diversity of people here continues to grow, which is good. And The NY Rangers curse has been wiped out!

To find out a little more about David and DARR Publicity check out http://www.myspace.com/darrpublicity. You can contact him at darrpublicity@hotmail.com.

David’s current and upcoming projects include:
U.S. Premiere of Dirt at Under St. Marks. (http://www.dirt-nyc.com)
Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle at The Theatres at 45 Bleecker. (http://www.HipgnosisTheatre.org)
World Premiere of The Judgment of Paris by Company XIV at 303 Bond Street in Brooklyn. (http://www.CompanyXIV.com)
World Premiere of Standing Clear by The Coffee Cup Theater Company at the Access Theater. (http://www.CoffeeCupTheatre.org)
The Potomac Theatre Project’s 2008 summer season at Atlantic Theater Stage 2. Shows include Howard Barker’s Scenes From An Execution, Neal Bell’s Somewhere in the Pacific, and Sarah Kane’s Crave. (http://www.PotomacTheatreProject.org)
The White Horse Theater Company’s Sept. 2008 production of Tennessee Williams’ Small Craft Warnings. (http://www.WhiteHorseTheater.com)
The Queen’s Company’s Nov. 2008 production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Urban Stages.
And I’m often working shows at the legendary La MaMa e.t.c. (http://www.LaMaMa.org)

(Elias Stimac is a freelance writer and producer on the East Coast. Send feedback and article pitches to backstagewriter@aol.com.)


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