Is your work political?
Yes. Seems to me that I often feel the need to engage, converse and “spreak” the word, ha, a typo and I invented a new word…a combination of spread the word and speak the word. “The word’s the thing wherein we’ll catch the conscience of the king.” I often can’t keep my mouth shut while witnessing and participating in life. Of course, it is important to be open to the word as well. I try. In my work to point to that which reminds us of our humanity and our responsibilities and that encourages dialogue and a response that like “these stones” cry out for justice. I try to do so with some poignancy, good humor and music.
What is the place of literature in politics?
Literature takes one deeper into the complexities of human nature and enhances our ability to comprehend and to understand. It helps one to learn how to more effectively express thoughts, ideas and maybe even working solutions to difficult issues. Literature helps one to discover that there are many ways to think and act and many ways to articulate and be creative. It also introduces the reader to other cultures and customs, while giving historical context and showing alternative approaches to life. Literature changes the world at times.
What is your favorite political work?
Well, the one that influenced me a lot when young was “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People” by Lenny Bruce, a book I once had to hide to read. So many other works of great art, literature and, of course, music, music, music.
Do you feel voting is important?
Yes, I do. It encases great frustration when you see people voting against their own best interest yet one votes one way one time and if given another chance can learn better and vote more wisely next time, as long as we can vote and the vote count. It is frustrating that it sometimes feels like our vote doesn’t count. This discourages many. Working to make sure the vote does count is part of our efforts at citizenry. The votes must be counted honestly in order to count.
To have a voice is empowering and must be safeguarded. A decisive landslide would be most encouraging this coming Nov 3.
What are your hopes for this election?
I hope Trump and his philosophy heads on into history and doesn’t come back in any form. I can abide Biden for a bit but we have to pick up the marbles and head into the future with a lot of unity and the power that can only be mustered thru love, commitment and hard work. Change must come and fast for the sake of our environment and our own survival as a species.
Born and raised in the California Bubble, first I was a teen age evangelist whose ministry intersected with the civil rights movement while preaching in the southern United States. Then turning to the education I was warned never to get, to the anti war movement of the sixties, the environmental movement of the seventies and today. During this time I became a performer of satirical stories and sketches mostly based on my own life experiences. For the last nearly forty years I have been a member of and/or the Artistic Director of Public Works Improvisational Theatre
which specializes in cultural activism theatre that puts audiences in touch with contemporary events and their immediate personal, political and social relevance.
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