The Bitter Tea of Xenitia | The Story So Far

By Sofia Gkiousou

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The Bitter Tea of Xenitia is a satirical digital narrative. It is the story of a fictitious television series and its creation. It takes place on multiple digital media. You can read about it – in Greek – here. In this monthly column, the author of Bitter Tea shares news of the narrative’s development. Most links lead to websites in Greek.

Some time ago I wrote an article on New Diaspora about the idea behind the Bitter Tea of Xenitia  and went from the background to the first deliverable (the video clip) without telling you what happened in between. In this article I am giving the key updates from May, when I started the Bittter Tea, until today. Hopefully we will keep going and I plan to update you each month.

The beginning

We start with me being slightly annoyed. People who insist that they have read my posts about moving to Britain, keep asking me about things I’ve already written. A friends tells me on Facebook to write a book with tips so that we can make it into a television series. I have an idea about how the series would be and publish a satirical post on my blog. I describe a TV series with Greeks who move to London, using various stereotypes about being abroad and several images taken from old Greek movies and soap operas.

The mayhem

The whole thing takes off. Online friends ask me to actually write the TV series. I ask for their help and they send titles and ideas via e-mail, on twitter and on facebook. Nick has a great idea for a character and we chat about the guy on twitter - we even know what sort of slippers he will be wearing.

The first sponsor

I ask a hosting company on twitter if they will give us our domain name for free. They do. Tophost.gr become our first sponsor.

I am writing

I upload the website and start writing about the characters,  a letter from the fictitious producer and the biography of the fictitious screenwriter.

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The first official team member

I upload an ad on the site for a graphic designer to create our logo and any other visual material need. () Enter Kostas Papakonstantinou (aka Cozats) who creates our logo and a series of hilarious blog buttons with lines proposed by the online friends.

Suddenly, the text is not enough

Based on the comments and emails I receive, I realize that the text is not enough. I have this idea for a song, perhaps even a video clip. I drop a line to Niavent, a friendly band I know up in Edinburgh. They agree to write the music for my lyrics and record the song.

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I message Konstantinos Kavakiotis, an actor and very old friend with whom we had lost touch but I know he is in London. Our discussion goes as follows:

- Read the website I sent you and tell me if you are in.

- I’m in. Simple as that.

We meet in a well-known coffee shop in central London during a break from our normal work days and discuss the video clip. We record it with Konstantinos having to change his outfits in the middle of London and Kostas Vel climbing on tables to find the right recording angle.

The newsletter

I begin sending out a newsletter since it is tough for a reader to folow everying that is going on. To get more subscribers I decide to give away a tea infuser and I make a bit of a tongue in cheek video for my food blog about how we make tea in Britain.

Asimida

I start a blog, twitter  and facebook account for Asimida Koutsiidou.  Asimida is the writer of the television series and world renowned author. I write summaries of her books and online friends send me the book covers.

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I decide that she is such a character that we will need some photos of hers. So I buy a wig and put on enough makeup to star in an eighties soap opera. I also find sparkly sky high pumps somewhere. Such is the impeccable style of Asimida. Elena Patsopoulou takes the photos, Petros Georganios does the styling. I write an interview as Asimida and Cozats puts it in magazine format.

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The other actors

We decide that since the Bitter Tea is well-liked, we should be doing more things. Monologues, dialogues, scenes. I upload a casting call for actors in London and start spending at least an hour a day answering questions and watching showreels. After that I start going out for coffee with some of the actors to have a first chat.

A quiet August…

…is a bit of a joke for some of us. Some team members are on holiday, others work on the  Bitter Tea still. George is writing music. I write monologues, dialogues, updates and blog posts. Vangelis is considering how he can turn a monologue into Cypriot Greek.

We all laugh a lot and often with things we are discover on this crazy trip.

Want to help us? Check out the background, the team and send us your ideas.

See you next month.

 

3 Comments

  1. crumb coat says:

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for London

  2. Simos Maglieras says:

    Paidia,
    Poli oreo! Kai ego eimai mepos tou ‘New diaspora” sti Saudi Arabia. Tha Xarw na blepw k’ala. Na kratame epafi, kanw doulia pano sto them sas.

  3. Πολύ καλό αυτό το site.

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