Poster design by Jenn Kittler. Who is AWESOME.
Special to the blog!: We are ramping up our efforts to politely persuade USFS to break its own rules for BOTH Evan and Johnny, since inviting Evan to skate in the Nationals exhibition on January 30 but refusing to allow Johnny to do so--when NEITHER of them meets the criteria to be included in the first place--is just oh what's the word I'm searching for here ... ? Oh yes. WRONG. Also UNFAIR.
To that end, fans noticed just yesterday that Johnny's website had been updated to note that HE WILL BE SKATING during his appearance on the Today Show tomorrow morning in New York! So the amazingly resourceful Jenn Kittler immediately rearranged her entire life in order to (a) come to the Today Show, and (b) bring with her 100 signs as shown above, to hand out to any and all Johnny fans / Today Show fans / people loitering in in the street / people taking a break from filming Law and Order: SVU / and just, you know, absolutely everyone. (We're hoping for the same great response we got when fans brought extra signs with them to All That Skate--perfect strangers everywhere were thrilled to be part of our "Show Johnny Weir the Love" sign campaign!)
So if you're anywhere near NYC and want to take part, fans are gathering no later than 7:30 a.m. outside NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. We're a little unclear as to where we might be most visible--outside the studio windows? Or at the outdoor rink where he'll be skating?--in order to meet our goal to GET THESE SIGNS ON CAMERA! So we're still trying to nail down details. Updates will be posted here on the blog and also on Johnny's FB page if we're able to get more info.
If you're not in the NYC area, please be sure to watch / record Monday's Today Show to see Johnny's interview and skating--and keep an eye out for our bright yellow signs!!
We would LOVE to be visible enough to spark the Today Show interviewer's interest, leading to an opportunity for Johnny to be asked: "Hey, what are all those signs about....?"
(Part of me also would love to print out about a billion of these on 8.5 x 11 paper and mail them from all over the US to USFS headquarters, 20 First Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 ... la la la la la ... )
Email Campaign Update: As part of our multipronged approach to ask USFS as politely as possible to not be douches to Johnny just this once, we need as many fans as possible to email the following USFS officials:
Patricia St. Peter
USFS Executive Director
Third Vice President (Eastern)
Director of Member Services
Director of Media & Public Relations
And we have unearthed a new name to whom it is worth writing:
Director of Development
As Julie Horowitz wisely points out, "Director of Development" = "Fundraiser." Donations are a big part of USFS's budget, and they are particularly keen on getting people to join their "Friends of Figure Skating" program.
As with many situations in life, money talks. So we need as many fans as possible to gently let Stacey know why their money is saying "no" to USFS:
Dear Ms. Marsh:
I became a figure-skating fan after I fell in love with Johnny Weir's unmatched artistry and athleticism at the 2010 Olympics. I would love to support USFS through the "Friends of Figure Skating" program, but I am simply unable to bring myself to donate.
Because of USFS's poor judgment in handling the upcoming exhibition at Nationals on January 30.
I understand that, according to USFS rules, the only skaters allowed to perform in the exhibition are those who are competing in the current season AND who are among the top three finishers in their discipline at 2011 Nationals.
So you can imagine my surprise when I learned that Evan Lysacek--who meets neither of these criteria--had been invited to perform.
Yet Johnny Weir, who will be accepting the Readers' Choice Award/Michelle Kwan Trophy at the exhibition for the SECOND time in his career--making him the ONLY skater other than Michelle herself to win the award more than once--has been told he is NOT ALLOWED to perform.
It seems quite clear to me that USFS--an organization known to be a stickler for its "rules-are-rules" philosophy--is apparently willing to break its own rules for one skater, but not the other.
So rules may not be rules after all, but fair is fair. Either both men should be invited to skate--or neither of them should.
Yes, I realize that Evan's appearance is being touted as part of the promotional effort for USFS's movie, RISE. As if somehow that makes it OK.
But since the precedent has now been set, and since both men are a big viewership draw--but Johnny especially, having the largest fan base of any figure skater in the world--it would most certainly be in USFS's best interests to invite BOTH of these elite skaters to perform, thus assuring more ticket sales for USFS AND a larger audience for the TV broadcast of the exhibition.
Sadly, unless USFS issues an invitation to Johnny to skate at the exhibition, it is equally clear to me that I must find another organization more deserving of my donation dollars. (Note: The last time Johnny received the award, at 2009 Nationals, he wasn't even allowed to make a speech. And you can bet that his fans remember that each time they consider reaching for their wallets.)
Please let me know when that invitation has been issued to Johnny, and I will promptly respond with my thanks--and with a request to all my friends and family to join me in expressing my gratitude by supporting USFS.
Twitter Campaign Update: Our goal is to tweet like crazy to show @USFigureSkating that WE WANT TO SEE JOHNNY SKATE IN THE EXHIBITION! (especially if they're going to let Evan skate yada yada yada sheesh how many times we gotta say it? HELLO.) For this effort, we need a lot of PEOPLE to tweet rather than a few people tweeting A LOT. International fans have already joined in--thank you!!! Here are the important points:
(1) Please DON'T put "@JohnnyGWeir" in your tweets--just "Johnny Weir," so we don't clog up his Twitter timeline.
(2) Please DO include our new NEW HASHTAG in EVERY tweet so we can track them to show all interested parties the depth and breadth of our effort. The hashtag is: #JGWSK8.
(3) Please tweet to @USFigureSkating, @NC2011, @NBC, @NBC_Sports, @universalsports, and @ATT (the sponsor of the COMPETITION, but NOT the sponsor of the exhibition. Smuckers has no Twitter. Of course.) to request that Johnny be allowed to perform, in as many ways as you can phrase it. Here's a sample of what's been tweeted so far--please feel free to copy these, or come up with your own:
America wants to see Johnny Weir skate after accepting his 2nd Readers' Choice Award on Jan 30th @USFigureSkating @NC2011 #JGWSK8
@universalsports @icenetwork @nbc_sports @ATT @USFigureSkating @NC2011 ASK JOHNNY WEIR TO SKATE!!!! #JGWSK8
@USFigureSkating Let's break the rules for BOTH Evan Lysacek AND Johnny Weir since Johnny's receiving Kwan Trophy for the 2nd time #JGWSK8
@USFigureSkating I would love to donate to support USFS, but your unfair handling of Natls exhibition prevents me from doing so. #JGWSK8
@universalsports @nbc_sports tell @USFigureskating @NC2011 if rules R bent to allow Evan to sk8 exception clears Johnny Weir to sk8 #JGWSK8
@USFigureSkating @NC2011 Come on, make me happy & ask Johnny Weir 2skate Exhibition! #JGWSK8
3X US Champ,2X Olympian,World Medalist, 2X Michelle Kwan trophy. Highest profile skater in @USFigureskating needs to perform @NC2011 #JGWSK8
US Champs Johnny&Evan have represented @USFigureSkating for a decade-Do the right thing -Let both perform @ 1/30 exhibition @NC2011 #JGWSK8
@ATT US wants to see Johnny Weir skate after accepting his 2nd Kwan Trophy on Jan 30th. Oh, and pass the word to Smuckers, pls. #JGWSK8
In just two days, we've tweeted more than 1,300 tweets--yay us! You can check how we're doing at this link. Here's the most recent chart, as of today at about 4 a.m. EST:
So! There you have it! Flash mob tomorrow at the Today Show, emails-emails-emails, and tweets-tweets-tweets-tweets. Please let's not let this thing die--and there's still more we can do! So stay tuned for tomorrow's blog, where we unveil yet one more step we can take to try to right this wrong ...
Because we want him to look just this happy when he gets the call from USFS on his pink phone:
Johnny, January 2011, Moscow, Russia.
Photo courtesy of Tara Modlin.
Read the official press release on Johnny's website!
Get ready for a glorious explosion of glitter:
WeirDate JohnnyWeir 11, 2011,
is THIS WEEK!
Finally, the release of both
Welcome to My World and "Dirty Love"!
Check Johnny's website for upcoming book tour dates!
Please vote for Johnny on Twitter
in the #sports category of the "Shorty Awards"!
Just tweet your vote at this link!
in the #sports category of the "Shorty Awards"!
Just tweet your vote at this link!
Designer T. Rains and Johnny have teamed up to raise money and awareness for The Trevor Project! This organization is "determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources." Proceeds from the "Army of One" t-shirt sales will go to The Trevor Project foundation. Order yours today! Your support is greatly appreciated!
For more information, please visit www.thetrevorproject.org.
They have great tidbits to offer,
and you get a special sneak peek at an exclusive photo
from the Artbook when you sign up!
copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved