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.

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