5th ESSAY ON MAKING MY NEW SHOW, THIS ONE ABOUT A CRAZY SHOW I DID IN AUSTIN LONG AGO!

Wicked Clown Love is the sixth full length show in my pop star/pop music based performance series. As I’ve been working on this show I’ve been thinking about the elements I’ve worked with as I’ve made this series of pieces. I’ve decided I’m gonna put up a variety of lil essays about these thoughts for you as they relate to my work in general and my upcoming Insane Clown Posse based show (Feb 2-4, 2012 at the Kitchen! Be there!!) in specific so that you, the American public, can read all about it, if you so desire… Here is Part 5, entitled:

THE LEGACY OF IT’S LIKE WE’RE INFILTRATORS

photo by Ada Calhoun for the Austin Chronicle in 2000

I started performing while living briefly in Austin, Texas. Back in 2000, when I made a new show every week and performed them in hotel rooms, in a public park gazebo, on the sidewalk, and in various art galleries and coffee shop poetry open mics, I did a show called It’s Like We’re Infiltrators. The show was kind of a glorious disaster. There were 6 of us and only two people in the audience: one a guy who had seen my posters around Austin (a xerox of my drivers license and the show info) and who convinced his begrudging roommate to come see what kind of person puts up posters like that. The roommate turned out to be a reporter for the Austin Chronicle who wrote a lengthy profile of me (the only one ever, so far) and who subsequently I dated and married and currently live with.

But back to the disaster. We did the show only one time at the aforementioned gazebo park in Austin. We had some desk lamps, music equipment and other such stuff. My friend Danny played improvised noise, our friend Trevor wandered about and pretended to type on his Mac desktop (which he brought at his own behest. I don’t know why he brought it. But I liked it) My friend Michelle’s son drew pictures. Michelle, Farris and I took turns doing various activities and then read from a hundred or so pages of instant message conversations between Michelle and I that I had printed out. Instant messaging was very new then, see, as we’re talking about the year 2000. Afterward, we went to see bratmobile play at Red Eyed Fly.

I bring all this up because I can’t stop thinking about that show while working on Wicked Clown Love (Feb. 2-4, 2012 at the Kitchen! Be there mutha facko!)

On the one hand, I love and want that total abandon of that show. To an extent that I haven’t had in my work in a while, I want to just assemble a bunch of things, get some people to sit and watch, set all the elements spinning and see what happens.

I am doing that to a certain extent with this show, but it’s also just a part of what I want to make and how I work now that I’m exerting a lot more control over the proceedings than I did with It’s Like We’re Infiltrators.

Which could mean that I’m more conservative now or something. That I’m less fucking crazy. That I care more. Or it could be that exerting some sort of control nowadays lets me do bigger things, let’s me work more things in and focus those things and do more.

Who knows which it is. I don’t actually care on some level. I see people get bogged down and lost and academic so much nowadays. I try to practice intuitive trust in my work and in what i think and want and not analyze it too much. Not to be some sort of punk, but just because I don’t want to be overcome by artistic neurosis. I have plenty of artistic neuroses, but I feel like it’s a spiritual/artistic practice to embrace Swagger, Trust, and Time Limits to get at something beyond what the fuck I worry about, what people will think, what I will think.

I can do my late night crying and jealousy and whining over who gets bigger commissions than me, who’s hotter than me, boo hoo, etc. But I want it to happen in the privacy of my own bathtub. To get my work done I need to believe and feel: There’s very little time. I’m the Best. Let’s go out there and fucking kill this shit.

So I guess that’s why I think about It’s Like We’re Infiltrators a lot now. Those elements, that willingness is something I always want, especially in Wicked Clown Love. Even if I do things with more rigor now, I still just want to go out and fucking do that shit.

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