Friday, July 18, 2003

We have survived another performance! It was a weird one. It was another EARTHPEOPLE COMEDY CLUB show. We were in an ECC show in Berkeley a couple of months ago where I sat nude beckoning to the audience as Linda read my poem BOUNDARIES KILL. After 2 minutes, Kirsten who was sitting in the audience, slowly undressed then joined me in a slow, sensual, soft dance as Linda read my two poems about bodies merging. The whole piece was just 10 minutes. Afterward the producer, Mur, booked us to do the dance in a show at Harbin Hot Springs, a clothing-optional resort/retreat/community 2 hours north of here. We got 24-hour passes to be at the resort as payment. A good deal.

But on Tuesday we get a call from Mur. He broke a basic rule of doing shows. He showed a video of our piece to a higher-up at Harbin…who vetoed it…can’t have such an “x-rated” dance at “family-friendly” Harbin!                      

Well …at the Berkeley show Kirsten did rock on my lap for about a minute in the dance between other moves, circling me, lying on the floor, playing with my hands, looking into each other’s eyes. I hope it was sexy. But it wasn’t SEXUAL. It wasn’t meant to be SEXUAL! We did not have time to be SEXUAL! Never fear….THE NEXT 3 PERFORMANCES WILL BE HOT PANTANIC DANCES! 10 minutes just ain’t enough time to get HOT!

Anyway…Mur then broke a second rule of doing this kind of show. He actually told me what I could do [read poems “with heart”] and what I couldn’t do [dance!…with Kirsten!]! Normally I would just say HELL NO and not waste time. But there was some question about whether he was just a dumb guy in way over his head or what! So I decided to read poems that address the censorship… IS THIS APPROPRIATE?, Out of Isolation, and Family Friendly Poetry Reading. Truth be told, we all felt grossed out. But we four drove to Harbin.

Once there, things got much more fishy. Harbin is the ultimate of hippy-new age culture…for good and bad…very white! It was very enjoyable…if fragile…very pc-laden. But the nudity was laid-back. People were heavy petting on the lawn…HEY, HOLD THE PHONE! WHAT HAPPENED TO PG-RATED? I wasn’t on the poster, but a “SEXY CAVE DANCE” was on the poster! We couldn’t get satisfying answers from Mur, who kept trying to get Kirsten alone to “explain the changes.” She kept side-stepping him…getting grossed out being seen by him as “the weak link” of our unit, our tribal body. It was obvious that the problem that MANAGEMENT had wasn’t really the content of the piece, but my body! They didn’t think the people could handle it! Frankly I didn’t feel this from anyone there! Just management’s bigotry [and probably just one asshole!]! Ron Jones, who was the “headliner” of the night, encouraged us to dance anyway, after we told him the story. Over dinner [the food there was exceptional!] we decided that Kirsten would read the first poem as Linda and I dance, that Linda would read the second poem as Kirsten and I dance, and that Mikee would read the third poem as the 2 hot babes and I dance together…all nude of course! We did not tell Mur this! So if the shit came down from the management, he could say he told us not to dance…also so he couldn’t stop us. We ended up going on second after a keyboard player because the SEXY CAVE DANCERS got sick at the last minute. The keyboard player backed us. People loved our dance. Mur was livid after our dance, just saying “That’s enough, Frank. We’ve got to move on!” but the theme of the rest of the show became “inappropriate behavior.” By the time the show was over, Mur was speaking to us! He was saying, “Frank, you always stretch my limits, and I like that!”

At dinner before the show, I looked at the woman at another table. She looked very familiar. It was Tami [now a.k.a. Luna], my co-star in FEISTO! She ended up coming to the show, topless of course. After the show, she and another woman rolled around the floor together sexy contact dance style as people packed up and left. When only us and the keyboard player remained, she asked how the dance we did was different than the banned dance. She has always been mischievous…so she demanded to see the banned dance. So the keyboard player set up again…and Kirsten and I did a 10-minute dance. It wasn’t “sexual.” But it was more direct, focused, “personal” than what we did for the show…for a quite a few reasons.

The trip was really another 24-hour performance. Usually Linda, Mikee, and I are a tribal body, a unit that functions very smoothly, etc. But Kirsten merged with us, even/especially on the practical/mundane level. We are a very good team! This is very rare. Makes a lot more possible!

After we came to our senses about sleeping on the deck up a very steep hill in the dark, a kind security woman let us bed down in the room of the show. In the morning, after a big good breakfast, we headed up to the pools. There is a warm pool, an extremely hot pool, a cold pool, and a swimming pool. We ran into another of my co-stars…Sabina from FAIRYTALES CAN COME TRUE. She got in the warm pool with us and told us what she has been doing for the past 20 years. Me floating in a raft…what a life! Then, when I was baked real good, I laid in my lounge chair in the shade, watching nude people go by, Linda and Kirsten taking turns giving me cold water, as the other went into the hot and the cold pools with Mikee. WHAT A LIFE!

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