Treehouseby Sofia Gil
There was no formal seating. The floor was it, with maybe a cushion or two. Or perhaps you could have scored a spot on the soft loveseat if you'd gotten there early enough. The place got so packed with eager viewers that you couldn't even see the floor anymore once the show started and it stayed that way all the way until the end.
What usually happens at these sort of things will be an emptying out of audience members who'd politely come to see their friend perform and leave as soon as they were done playing. That isn't what would happen at the Treehouse. Those who arrived stayed until the end and any late-comers (even if they had to stand in a corner due to the limited space) would also stay until the end of the show, and then some.
And at any moment, while someone was on, every pair of eyes was fixed upon the performer, with respect and awe. People wouldn't just refrain from texting and talking during a performance, they never even felt the desire to. The object was to soak up every minute of it.
Each performance was raw, usually slightly unrehearsed and completely different than the likes of anything you'd ever seen in the venues and bars of tinsel-town.
These performances are REAL and the artists were doing it for the other artists. It's a mutual exchange of confession and empathy between the performer and the audience.
And although these shows have been free of cover charge - it always felt like you came giving something to the Treehouse and it gave you something back.
Founder of the Treehouse, 27-year old Alex Wisner knew she had a problem - she couldn't contain 50+ people in her small home for too long. This was a very good problem, but it needed solving. Thus the Treehouse (named after the charming location of her house which is nestled amongst a copse of trees), branched out to become a monthly pop-up event in different, privately disclosed venues in LA in order to accommodate the growing amount of participators and supporters.
Sometimes it would be an art gallery, sometimes it would be another person's home, backyard or rooftop. The places would vary and so would the artists coming to be a part of it. Bands, collaborations, strong friendships and romances have each been known to blossom because of this event.
But Alex didn't stop there.
Her boundaries for this artist-rendezvous outgrew even these new spaces and so her vision expanded to create an entire festival, curated to include musicians, films and literature from some of the most talented (and mostly unknown) artists she has personally discovered in Los Angeles.
Alex successfully funded the Treehouse Festival Project by raising over $11,000 in less than 30 days by way of personal Treehouse supporters and over 2,000 submissions to showcase at the festival.
The settings expanded to give you a full, unadulterated 12-hours worth of musical and artistic glory. However, one thing will remain the same: what the Treehouse is and has always been: a unique gathering of artists wearing their hearts on their sleeves, giving you what they want you to see and hear - their forms of expression: unabashed and unapologetic. And as always, you walk into it more or less empty-handed and you walk out feeling entirely more complete. If you have felt artistically, emotionally or otherwise lacking, the Treehouse is a way to feed yourself what you've been missing.
Sofia started her work in theatre, starring in the plays: Much Ado About Nothing, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire De Lune, Closer and the Brother's Grimm. She's written two plays of her own and transitioned to the world of film with her short "Moontown". It received recognition at LA's Film Festival "HollyShorts" via FilmRadar.com, who said: "...There was one incredible drama in the bunch that stood way above the pack, and that was Moontown... it features characters that are both recognizable and unique, in a situation that is simultaneously believable and bizarre".
Sofia lives in Los Feliz where she is currently writing a collection of short stories.