Travel Tavern: Take your act on the road

On July 31, meet up at Public Works in the Mission for our next edition of Travel Tavern! This time we're bringing together a panel of people whose art, craft, or activism have taken them on tours around the country or around the world. Join our diverse group of panelists to share stories of independent, DIY touring with limited resources but plenty of passion.

Stick around after the panel for an informal cocktail reception, and chat with panelists and fellow wanderers for more inspiration. Traveling is more than a hobby -- it can be a way of life! At this Travel Tavern we'll swap tips and tricks for taking your act on the road.


  • Danny Plotnick is a critically acclaimed independent filmmaker who has embarked on a variety of film tours -- including two European tours and multiple tours through the Pacific Northwest, East Coast, and Southern California -- combining traditional film shows with filmmaking seminars held at universities, media arts centers, and film festivals.
  • Jacob Richardson, co-creator of the nonprofit Tour for Equality, has cycled around the U.S. and throughout Southeast Asia, raising awareness about the role of men in securing women's rights and combating sexual slavery.
  • Anthony Jones is a gothic/industrial musician whose concert tours have taken him through 25 U.S. cities and 8 European countries (twice) -- with his instruments and Mohawk hair gel in tow.
  • Christian Cagigal is a nationally recognized magician whose one-man show has been produced in five cities (so far), including a five-week tour through Montreal and Chicago.
  • Molly Benson is a Bay Area actress who recently toured France with an independent theater company.
  • Dale Tegman (moderator) is a blogger and travel writer recently returned from an extensive global tour which he chronicled at His diverse background includes writing for, helping to found, and his latest project, a guide to San Francisco nightlife for Louis Vuitton.

Hosted by Hostelling International, Travel Tavern is a quarterly series of community meet-ups for people who love to wander the world.

About the Panelists

Danny Plotnick roared into the underground film world in the 1980s. Fueled by his love of punk and alternative culture and infected with DIY spirit, he started making films that captured a similarly snarly attitude. His films were pegged as bawdy, bad-mouthed, and beautiful, straddling the line between high-brow and low-brow art. It’s no surprise that his work has screened from the MOMA in NYC to mortuaries in Baltimore to the Independent Film Channel to MTV. With little opportunity to screen this type of work in the '80s, Plotnick took to the road, projector and films in trunk, screening in bars, warehouses, and cafes. Plotnick trail blazed a path for the underground film world that exploded in the early '90s, a scene that championed his work. The Microcinema DVD label released a compilation of Plotnick's short films entitled Warts & All: The Films of Danny Plotnick (available from Netflix). In the past several years, Plotnick has kept busy. His early short film Skate Witches has become a YouTube sensation, inspiring parodies, tributes, comics, songs, and has been featured on blogs such as Vice, ESPN, TV Carnage, and many others. He received the Grand Prize at the Underground Filmmaker Festival (2008), an award based on his body of work. Plotnick has also been busy making music videos for some of San Francisco's great musicians, including Chuck Prophet, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Alison Faith Levy. He teaches film at University of San Francisco.

Jacob Richardson is a jack-of-all-trades kind of man. Throughout his career he's worn many hats -- from chief creative officer of a video game company to vice president of a bicycling NGO to journalist and  taxidermist and bartender, to name a few. In 2005, he helped establish the Tour For Equality, an NGO using bicycle travels as a means for spreading awareness of the role of men in securing women's rights and combating sexual slavery. With sponsorship from bike and travel gear companies, Jacob and his companion embarked on the America leg of their tour, stopping at schools and youth centers to teach about the mistaken definitions of "manliness," the pitfalls of machismo, and demystifying the stigma of sensitivity. After that, they flew to Southeast Asia to raise awareness on the problems of sexual slavery, forced prostitution, and human trafficking that are so prevalent in the region. They started in Bangkok, rode east all the way through Thailand and Cambodia, then up the coast of Vietnam, west into Laos, and back down to Bangkok -- a full circle that spanned 2,000+ miles over the course of three months. Many bike forums and news outlets followed their ride, which helped raise the visibility of the charitable organizations they met with, including OxFam, the Foundation for Women, the Child Protection of Rights Center, the Asia Regional Cooperation to Prevent People Trafficking, and the Women's Agenda for Change.

Anthony Jones has been part of the gothic/industrial music subculture for 17 years. He's collaborated and toured with major musical artists from this scene, and has had the pleasure of also being involved in folk and world music projects. A classical pianist, Anthony primarily composes for piano and voice and then arranges his material for various instruments, adding electronics afterwards. His vocals range from singer-songwriter pop to ethereal chants, which are greatly inspired by his study of Byzantine music. A first-generation American with Greek heritage, Anthony’s exposure to Greek music, especially in the Greek Orthodox Church, became a great catalyst for his desire to express himself through music. Anthony attended seminary and traveled to many monasteries of different spiritual traditions, learning their sacred music and instruments, which he would often fuse into his own compositions. He's been a member of three bands, released four international albums, and has been featured on soundtracks and collaborative releases. Anthony’s solo album, VIKTORIAN: Descent Into Darkness, features many organic Chinese instruments and was written after his separation from his partner of eight years. His rendition of "Shoulder to the Wheel" became a huge club hit in 2011 and was featured on many "Best Of" club releases. He’s currently finishing a neo-folk album, GUARDIAN of the WOLF, which features vocals and organic instrumentation from Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, and Norway.

Voted Best of the Bay by the San Francisco Bay Guardian Reader's Poll, Christian Cagigal has been an actor, writer, and magician around the Bay Area for 14 years. Since 2006, he's been performing his unique brand of “slightly creepy” magic and theatre as an artist in residence at San Francisco's EXIT Theatre, with his popular show The Pandora Experiment, the long-running Obscura, and the critically acclaimed Now and at the Hour. Christian produced the premiere of Now and at the Hour in 2009 at New York's FRIGID Festival, where he met the owner of Beyond the Mountain, a Montreal-based independent theater company. BTM offered to fully produce Christian's show in Montreal; on his way back from Montreal he stopped in Chicago where, working off of friends and connections, he booked his show at the Gorilla Tango. Thus began his independent touring career. Christian is in the process of creating his own tour circuit by making connections with venues across the country. He's also working on the documentary performance film of Now and at the Hour, directed by H.P. Mendoza (Colma the Musical, Fruit Fly). Christian has consulted for American Conservatory Theatre's MFA program, Crowded Fire Theatre Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, and The San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour (as seen on the Travel Channel). To learn more about Christian Cagigal visit

Molly Benson has been working as a stage, film, and voiceover actress in Los Angeles and the Bay Area for over 10 years. A graduate from Oberlin College in 2001, she promptly moved to L.A. and began the grueling task of becoming a working actress. She has worked with Word for Word, Theatreworks, the sketch comedy groups Killing My Lobster and Old Man Buckle, Atmostheatre, Dark Porch Theatre, No Nude Men, Town Hall Theatre, Theatre Pub, and Theatre Rhinoceros, to name a few. This past spring she toured around the Bay Area and France with the Word for Word Performing Arts Company. Founded in 1993 by JoAnne Winter and Susan Harloe, Word for Word's mission is to take classic and contemporary fiction, mainly short stories, off the page and onto the stage. They've been taking their shows to France for the past 17 years, to cities such as Nancy, Nantes, Angers, and Paris. The story on this particular tour was T.C. Boyle's Sorry Fugu, about a restaurateur and a food critic. When the international leg of the tour began, everyone involved with the show shared the responsibility of transporting all the costumes, props, and the set in their airplane luggage. While on tour, Molly's job was that of a traveling actor turned stagehand; in addition to performing, she helped carry, pack, and unpack for each show in the different towns.

Dale Tegman is a travel and leisure writer whose Frequency Hopper and Delta Magnet blogs have attracted thousands of readers worldwide. He moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s and became one of the era's "Club Kids," nightlifing regularly with luminaries like Richie Rich, Matmos, Jerome Caja, and Justin Bond. He rode the wave of successes later in that decade as a member of the start-up team for a website that became In the oughts, he hosted Nob Hill Rookies, an amateur strip competition for which he provided stand-up and sketch comedy. He organized San Francisco's first Gay Adult Film and Video Festival, where he conducted the first webcast interview of director Wakefield Poole. He has been a regular contributor to Flavorpill and San Francisco Art Magazine and recently wrote the nightlife section for Louis Vuitton's Guide to San Francisco. Currently, he is working for Les Concierges, a corporate travel advisory and booking service, on behalf of the employees of Apple Computer.

Getting There

Public Works is at 161 Erie Street (off Mission Street, between 14th and Duboce)

BART: To 16th Street station and walk 2 blocks north.
MUNI: 14 or 49 to 14th Street, or 22 or 33 to 16th and Mission.
PARKING: Street parking is free after 6 p.m.; there's a paid lot on 14th between Mission and Valencia.

Co-presented by our friends at Meet Plan Go!

Meet Plan Go

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 -
7:00pm to 10:00pm
$5 suggested donation
Please Note 

Doors open at 6:30. This venue is open to ages 21+ only.

If You Go 

Stay overnight at one of our three hostels in San Francisco.