Coming down to the wire, folks. I'm debuting the full version of my new solo show ENCOURAGER at Brooklyn Arts Exchange this weekend. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW.
Check out, if you haven't already seen it, a cool interview I did about the project with GAY CITY NEWS.
It's 3:35pm and I'm drinking coffee, this is dangerous. I'm excited to go do my rehearsals tonight in the theater. Things feel like they're moving so quickly! I like having deadlines, something to worry or stress out about.
I had a typically fantastic weekend, before hunkering down into my performance preparations. Friday night I saw Jess Barbagallo's Without Me I'm Something at BAX, and was pretty blown away. I've loved watching that work develop throughout the year here, and something about the longer, evening-length format was really successful. I don't mean to say that I had an emotionally pleasant experience the whole time. i don't mean to say that I didn't get bored or uncomfortable during the show. I did, but that was part of it. The piece, a stand-up set by Karen Davis, was so subtly brilliant. It made me jealous, at times, that I hadn't written it. Karen Davis tells her jokes with an unbelievable candor. She structures her set (and comments on how her set is going) with a supernatural, impossibly lifelike rhythm. Jess Barbagallo probably does know how to write the way people talk, but instead has set about writing the way people would be afraid to talk. And I think that is fucking fantastic and I want to see more of it. Saturday I hung out with Miss Jiddy Non-No and Miss PLD and we watched the Elmchanted Forest, which I inexplicably have on VHS, in case anyone wants to come over and watch it.
Sunday I rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed, after doing a tiny little interview in the morning with Gayletter. I stopped by the Brooklyn Zine fest to see Sister Pico at the Birdsong table. Birdsong just reached their Kickstarter goal, so thanks guys! I'm so excited that the "Best-Of" issue is going to get the full production it deserves, and also of course excited to be part of the issue. After the opening, on Sunday night I saw the fantastic Gary Indiana show at Participant Inc.
Here's my thing with Gary Indiana: he scares the fuck out of me.
Don't get me wrong, I love his work, it's meant a lot to me for a long time, and I know people who know him, and who say he's great. My old college pal Ben wrote a really cool interview with Gary for VICE, and said wonderful things about him. (Happy belated birthday, Ben! By the way!). I've met Ms. Indiana at the New School when we were both on the AIDS in Literature panel organized by Miss Dale Peck. And Ms. Indiana was totally sweet to me and really nice and absolutely charming during her reading as well. But look: she deals in difficult topics and plies her trade in dealing with levels of human emotion which we would otherwise like to avoid, if at all possible. She's heavy! Her work can bum a girl out. But anyway: the show at Participant is SO GREAT. I was totally surprised, maybe I shouldn't have been, by how touching, how truly romantic and sweet the work was. I thought the juxtapositions, the color palette, everything was so romantic and almost nostalgic. Very tender. Kind of made me think about how so many artists, even outside of the world of Queer Art, try to do similar work, and it so often falls flat, or feels saccharine. Ms. Gary Indiana, as I hope I don't need to tell you, is a serious intellectual, and is far too intelligent for her own good. This work done by Indiana is quick-witted, not fluffy, but seriously sweet. Like dark chocolate, or blood. Nourishing? A wonderful way to end the weekend, and highly recommended. There are a bunch of readings at Participant during the exhibit, so maybe I'll see you there.
Monday was Earth Day and also PLD's blessèd birthday. After work I rehearsed then came home and gave PLD some Red Vines and hung out with his BFF Ana. We went to Earl Dax' new party Friends and Family at Hotel Chantelle, which is kind of turning out to be an amazing experience every week. (Next Monday 4/29 it's a reading organized by Sister Pico and a DJ set by Kenny Mellman, which will be rad! And earlier that night Sarah Schulman is reading at Communitas Literary Series at Dixon Place. Lots of fun things to do.) This past Monday night, however, we were treated to a DJ set by Amber Martin, performances by Matty Crossland, Bridget Everett, and Khaela Maricich. It. Was. Amazing. I have to say. I was really blown away by all three performers, each of whom I absolutely adore, and who is very different. It was one of those nights that makes me so excited to live in New York, where you can see such a totally fucked-up amalgamation of performances, for free, with your friends. And anyone can come (as long as you're 21). You don't need to be on the list. You don't need to be friends with the performers. You don't need to have an arts degree from a fancy institution. You don't need to be famous, or sexy, or rich, or "important". You can come because you want to come-- that's reason enough. Matty took drag and blues and burlesque and dragged it through the mud of American Romance like so many of our stars-and-striped flags. Bridget gave a somewhat sleepy and unsuspecting crowd a great deal more love, funk, power and intensity than we had any right to imagine asking for. Khaela unleashed a sensual, guttural rhythmic rage. Provided access into the world of unnameable emotions. I felt really fed. Does that make sense? I don't want to brag about this show, because most people probably weren't able to make it. But it was really special. if you get the chance to see any of those people perform any time soon please go. Also I have to say, again, that I will never stop bragging about the fact that Bridget played my mom on TV (she did, actually). I know that doesn't mean a whole lot, it's not a referendum on me, my value, my character, etc. But to be fair, who played your mom on TV? That's what I thought.
I'm worried, you guys, that people aren't gonna come to my show. This is a displaced anxiety. I know, my friends, know, my Analyst knows. I know it's silly to worry about. I know that I'm distracting myself. BUT: I'm worried people won't come. So, if you're reading this, then please come!
But you might not even be reading this. A cursory look into one's stat counters let's a girl know that people don't really read her blog anymore. The amount of attention I used to get has had no bearing on my life today, as I thought it likely would not.
I'm just so mixed up! I'm dedicating ENCOURAGER (at least these performances) to a friend of mine who passed away, and whom I think would have really enjoyed it. He would've "gotten" it. It would probably have made me uncomfortable, actually, but he can watch it from Heaven.
Coffee is kicking in. I'm going to rehearse at least three times tonight and then eat some soup and go to bed.
Please get a ticket if you haven't already. And I'll see you afterward.