What drives you to do this?
Desperation drives me to do Psychedelic Vaudeville at the store. With my back against the wall, and money tight, I thought my idea of having a Vaudeville show at the store once a week, might bring more people in. I offer all the free booze that people can drink and I just assumed that I’d have a hundred people coming to these things ever show.
The irony is that I always have wanted to showcase the people who I thought had the greatest talent and were not being seen. Also, I don’t get to go out much. I have two little kids who count on me to read them bed time stories every night. So, with Psychedelic Vaudeville, I could control the time, engage with people, like in the old days when i was out seven days a week. Yes, I was out seven days a week, for about five years in the early eigthies and then in the late eighties. I didn’t drink much, I liked looking at girls and dancing. It didn’t get me laid but it kept me in shape, and I heard lots of great bands, and got to be part of a secret night cave of the city.
What do you thjink your audience takes away from this?
Nobody expects much when they show up for a Psychedelic Vaudeville. People know I’m funny and philosophical both equal. they know I seriously funny and that I take my funniness seriously, and so at the end of each and every show, people feel like they shared a Jerzy Grotowsky kind of theater of absurdity and minimalism… Everything feels natural. for example, at the first Psychedelic Vaudeville, there was a guy considering buying a guitar, I told him to play guitar for the audience and raise the money, He did. He was talented and hooked up with a guy who made up a couple of great songs on the spot.
We tape everything, and some things get translated and some don’t. the stuff of community can only be made when people are there. The tape is only there so that more people will come. I believe there is really a like minded community of artists, musicians, writers who are frustrated only having everything done on social networks and need to meet other people face to face. It has been working.
How does this affect your work as a writer How does your writing affect this work
is there beauty in chaos
There is so much beauty in chaos… Just the chaos every week of moving clothing racks and trying to create a space to perform in my junkshop. I am so glad you asked me that question..What better is there to write about than the beauty in chaos. My sheer audacity of saying,”Hey, let’s move this pile of junk and get quality acts to perform, and then I’m going to put it on Youtube and if you can find anything, anything better than what i do for no money on tv, I will be surprised. So, I guess I have some balls too…
I know I have an audience who reads my stuff everyday. Mostly, they are not friends. I think my friends read my stuff the least. They hear me talking all the time. They’d love me to shut-up, so why would they want to give attention to my writing which is just more of me not shutting up. So, anyway I know that I am read, I can tell by the numbers on wordpress. I am more often read on myspace for some reason. About a hundred people read me from there a day. It’s weird cause I don’t spend time there. I guess I should since I am so read there. Now, what is my password again…
Anyway, the knowledge that I have a live audience that I can read to every week, inspires a certain kind of writing. I speak my truth, but certain truths are easier to consider reading to an audience. I don’t want to bore. I am there to entertain, with the smartest lowest common denominator of my writing. Even experimental writing, has to be smart and funny. It can be dark and I am very dark, very dark. MY friend Terry Murphy made a movie of Coney Island, and when I saw the Parachute Jump, I wanted to see people committing suicide on it.
I can talk about beauty and chaos forever. It is why I write about murder so much.
I am looking forward to more questions from Nina, who always knows how to get me thinking about things that I didn’t know I know anything about, and probably dont. I await more questions.