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Hulk Expound

Running Lines

I’m in a nice hotel room in the Boston area.  It’s late-ish, but my body is running on Pacific Time, plus I’ve been drinking lots of coffee, so I’m not sleepy.

Tomorrow and Sunday I’ll be doing my Andy Warhol show — info here.  Since the last time I performed it, in Santa Fe, I’ve done Citizen Josh and The Mathematics of Change, so I need to get Warhol back in my body and synapses.

It usually takes me one run-through to bring a show back to life for myself.  As I run it, I feel the shape of the whole show coming back to me, like a puzzle fitting together.  Before the run-through, the piece feels like something of a stranger — almost as if it could be someone else’s show.

In a sense, each monologue is someone else’s show — it’s a reflection of the person I was (and my collaborator/director was) when I created it.  The “me” of Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews? is still pretty much who I am now, though the Jewish journey that I am on was only beginning when that show was created.  Now I’m preparing for my bar mitzvah this summer — in Israel, no less — and the Warhol me sits inside of the current me, a bit like a Russian doll inside another Russian doll (albeit a bald doll).  All those other me’s are in there too — giving shape(s) to an otherwise amorphous self.

Because the actual me is unenclosed in a story, unobserved (for the most part) by an audience.  That me is I don’t know who, exactly.  So what I am about to do in this hotel room is get into character, to cross the border from being to portraying, and it’s exciting, and also unsettling.  Like Bruce Banner about to turn into the Hulk, on purpose, only with less green, and fewer muscles, and more pronouns.