“Neutral Mad” begins with a mise-en-abyme of imitations as I, a visitor to the UK, am introduced as Andy Kaufman, and proceed to imitate Kaufman’s “foreign man” character imitating Winston Churchill and playing a record. Things turn when a mobile phone rings in the audience and interrupts me, initially triggering my spite but leading to my deep self-disappointment, which in turn prompts my short escape from the stage. This series of actions, announced as a performance but actually standing on the edge of theater and entertainment, aims to take advantage of the wide and confusing range of performance genres understood around the globe, especially in a festival like World Event Young Artists (WEYA), where “Neutral Mad” was performed.
The official WEYA presentation text of “Neutral Mad,” as well as its preview image in the WEYA printed program, can be viewed either as two frauds perpetrated by the artist, or as sad errors, since they do not at all represent the performance. During the performance, I curtly commented on these problems as well as on my own poorly done personifications, and, most centrally to the performance, on my inability to do a good Andy Kaufman imitation.