THIS PIECE IS PROBABLY CALLED “X DOING ALL OF THE THINGS”
In “this piece is probably called ‘x doing all of the things’,” I explore exhaustion by performing different tasks and types / styles of performance, within the same piece; this is a different approach, compared to my previous attempts at showing exhaustion and endurance with a continued task or primary medium. Part of the set-up of props for this piece includes me visibly lit while placing objects around the playing space, cloaked in layers of clothing and sunglasses; perhaps this elicits an allusion to Damian from Mean Girls. The soundtrack is key here, as the music for the set-up transitions into a formal intro track, and furthermore into a voiceover track that is inter-spliced with audience response clips. I re-enter with a costume change and dance in the audience, getting them excited. I take a swig of beer and begin to lip-sync to my own voice, and hold a flat iron in my hand in lieu of a microphone, in the style of a stand-up comic. I change into a mechanic’s coveralls and overdose on medications. I then give myself a tattoo. I then undress and transition from profusely rubbing my body into a formal dance break which culminates in me, out of breath, lying on top of a transparent tarp that gets ripped up from my footwork.
This piece was the first of many experiments where I address that I gravitate towards multiple modes of performance, and I want to be a “jack of all trades”—I do want to do it all. This piece was created during the queer performance residency Needing It at Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Through the explicit storytelling of my voiceover, and the discordant visual performance, my experiences surrounding my ethnic/racial identity, trans identity, disability, and spirituality are thrown out in a way that engages Brechtian modalities. This piece feels difficult to describe while making it sound like something people have seen before. I think the format of a stand-up set for my voiceover assisted me in not beating my audience over the head with identity politics, but rather humanizing myself through the retelling of my run-ins with the human condition. Something that was on my mind a lot when developing work during this residency was my agency as not just a performer on a stage, but specifically as a black / brown, queer, trans, neurodivergent person commanding space.