Monday, February 12, 2007

Friday, February 9, 2007

Mike Daisey and Camus

Another article about Mike Daisey. I'm researching solo performers who inspire me.

Great quote: " 'Camus once said that the only real philosophical question is whether or not to kill yourself,' he said in a recent workshop performance at Collective Unconscious in TriBeCa of his new monologue, 'Invincible Summer,' currently running at the Public Theater as part of the Under the Radar festival. 'I’ve always wanted to start a wedding toast with this.' "

FRIGID Fest gets publicity!

Check it out!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Mike Daisey, solo performer

This guy is my hero. I'm re-reading 21 Dog Years, and I wish I'd taken the chance to see him when he was at the Berkeley Rep years ago.

Seattlest got a great interview with him earlier this month.

A few of my favorite lines from it:

"I also like the live wire aspect of the work--people watching know that the story is driven and created fresh right at that very moment, and will never be recreated, which is a terribly rare thing in our theater. I think I do it because I believe in the supremacy of live experiences, and I am dedicated to doing theater that justifies its existence now, in today's world, and isn't mouldering and festering 19th century warmed-over bullshit. It is also enormously gratifying when I survive the performance."


Audience want to be surprised and subverted, upturned and unmoored from the familiar--the best theater does that, and I aspire to reach that end by dissolving the boundaries between the audience and myself. There is no script, and as little pretense as possible, and this allows a degree of honesty in the bounded space of the stage that is rarely achievable. Whatever investment audiences are willing to put in any piece of theater is an enormous responsibility--it is their time being gifted into your hands--and I think audiences want to be paid back for their time with insight, pleasure and catharsis. In a very real way when an audience roots for me, they are rooting for themselves, because it's the sum of all of us, audience and performer together, that determines just how any given evening is going to go down."

Inspiration for my stage time next month.

Slightly off-topic, but ...

In writing about office jobs, I was doing a little online research.

I came up with this, which was written by Angela Hoy of Writers Weekly. Angela is a consummate writer's advocate who deserves ten times the praise she gets.

For people like me, who are trying to make a living on my own terms using my talents, it's crucial to know what to go after and what to avoid. Thanks, Angela, for making the road that much smoother for all of us.

ANDREA expansion continues

Today I'm writing about office jobs and their dullery (and, in the words of the show, is that even a word?) -- and how I was scared of having to get one after coming home from the Czech Republic.

I can't sit behind a desk. I should never try. I should have learned that long ago.

On another note, I used to write poetry. I still do, but not as much. Here's an oldie that just got published on one of my favorite (and local) lit sites. Enjoy.

Berkeley Daily Photo

As I prepare for ANDREA next month, I've got my camera out here at home. So what better time to launch Berkeley Daily Photo? Please join us!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Paying it forward

Deb Ng runs an incredible blog that's a great service to freelance writers like me. She's not only a pro but a helpful one -- every day she collects job leads from which I and writers all over the country (all over the world, really!) benefit.

And she plugged ANDREA today! Thanks, Deb!

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Moth

After my performance on March 13, I'll be hustling over to put my name in the hat at The Moth. I've been wanting to tell a story there and I hope I get the chance!

Know thyself

Self-awareness is a major theme behind ANDREA.

When I moved to the Czech Republic in 2002, I wanted to believe I would be happy teaching 300 elementary-school students in a small town. I wanted to believe I could get along in a place where I spoke only snippets of the language. I wanted so much to believe that life in Europe would make me happy and carry me along to a better place.

This brand of desire is mirrored in ANDREA's opening lines:

I want to like her.

If I like her, then I'll like the room. And if she likes me, I can rent the room. And if I rent the room, I can move to Prague. And if I move to Prague, I'll be happy.

It's the if-then brand of thought. That carried me through my time in Europe. It didn't make me happy, but it did give me plenty of material.

From the expanded ANDREA

I’m amazed at how they managed to put me out in the boonies of a place that really isn’t all that bad. You can cross Pardubice in 20 minutes, but this part of town feels like it was exploded out, far-flung, set off in the Czech version of Mars. To get there you walk down a pissed-off feeling street framed with hedges that look like lesbian haircuts, cruelly chopped and asymmetrical. It’s bordered by houses whose backs are turned toward the front in the Czech style, cold architecture, hidden and removed. All the houses are protected by gates, and behind each gate is a barking dog.

I like to curse at the dogs as I walk by, trying out my few words of Czech: dopre dele, kurva. Roughly translated: Up your ass, whore. My students taught me the curse words one day, and in return I told them the story about how I once freaked out on acid-laced pot in Amsterdam. It’s all about bargaining.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

ANDREA's updated press release info


Contact: Allison Landa

2214 ½ Grant St.

Berkeley, CA 94703

(510) 654-6512 – home office

(510) 588-6943 – mobile

Think Your Roommate’s a Nightmare? Meet ‘Andrea’

NEW YORK, NY – February 3, 2007 – Allison Landa first developed her solo performance ANDREA at San Francisco’s Marsh Theater. Now ANDREA’s headed to the East Coast for its New York stage debut.

ANDREA is based on Landa’s teaching stint in the Czech Republic. Eager to escape a small town and a stifling job, she went house-hunting in Prague. There she met Andrea, a chain-smoking Bostonian with an axe to grind and a room to rent. ANDREA recounts that meeting and the bitter, funny wake-up call it provided.

In 2004, the piece was adapted for the San Francisco television series SEEING VOICES. According to the show’s director, Brandon Nash: “Ms. Landa employs her characters to dramatize the question – to what extent are our failed relationships due to the ideas and prejudices that we accept, uncritically, about what relationships and other people should be?”

Landa will perform ANDREA at FRIGID New York. Opening night is Monday, March 12, at 6 p.m., with subsequent shows on March 13 (7:30 p.m.), March 14 (6 p.m.) March 16 (10:30 p.m.), March 17 (5:30 p.m.). The closing performance is on March 18 at 1 p.m.

All shows take place at Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) in Manhattan’s East Village. Tickets are $5, available online through SmartTix (; code AND17).

In addition to the Marsh, Landa has performed at Bay Area storytelling events including Inside StoryTime, Tell It On Tuesday, and Porchlight, A Storytelling Series. In May 2007, she’ll return to Europe to perform ANDREA at the Prague Fringe Festival.

For more information about ANDREA, call Allison Landa at (510) 654-6512 or visit the show’s website at For more information about Allison Landa, visit or call (510) 654-6512.

- END -