Frank Moore’s
Reality Playings
experiments in experience/participation performance

at Temescal Arts Center, Oakland, California
Friday, December 18, 2009


Ah, sometimes there’s not much for me to say about a performance. I will let others below fill in the details. But this last public performance of the year was extremely satisfying. It was enough… The kind of enough that is more than enough! Me doing my Don Rickles’ bit. Stand-up comedy chews up comfort zones! Always eat the fucking cookies when you are with Alice! Don’t be rude! The guy who ended up on the drums was awe-inspiring… Way beyond his comfort zones, his television fantasy just leaked out into his everyday life and he kept a good downbeat! And he just came to buy a video! Playing jamming with him and the Master musicians Tomek and Jhon [smoking guitar!], it don’t get better than that… Well, dancing explicitly with the three sexy female skin warm juicy flesh pleasure creatures… It don’t get better than that! Well, breaking out with a hard-core version of THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY… Seriously it don’t get better than that!

Ah, I have not used Somala in years! But it is always in my bag of tricks. I saw the Mrs. Fields’ cookies and saw the uptight fragile couple, and voila! It just shows it doesn’t matter in the performance alter reality if something [Somala] physically exists if it exists conceptually. It has physical, psychological and every other kind of arousing effects. Hey, this is a core principle of the shamanistic performance I do. Somala did cut through the bullshitting… And isn’t that one of the things art is supposed to do?

And this brings us to the end of this year and this word file. This year at the performances, people have been yapping about comfort zones. In the past people have come to be taken beyond their noses and assholes and normal boxes to be expanded into possibilities and potential paths of newness and flexibility. It is called growth and risk and freedom. Lots still came for these horizons. But there has been a growing peanut gallery who think they are entitled to be comfortable and get really pissed, shocked and discomposed when that isn’t “respected”, that we will not engage in “reasonable acceptable discussion” to find out why they are entitled to demand that reality stay confined to within their personal taste! We don’t have a constitutional right to not have our comfort zones threatened or violated. Go to Richard Pryor or Lenny Bruce and try to yap about comfort zones! So 2010 will be THE UNCOMFORTABLE ZONES OF FUN! So be warned!

We got everything set up, the back drops, the lights, the cozy mats on the floor, the jewelry, the musical instruments, the free boxes and the display table at the front. Everything looked great and the room was warm and cozy. A few people arrived. There was Mark from Food Not Bombs who had come before, Michael who had come many times and a guy who had been watching us on BTV for years. He had showed up because he wanted to buy another video. Frank asked him how often he watched our shows and which ones were most memorable. He said he watched a couple times a month and he remembered the one where Jen was making a banana cream pie and the Deep Core Magic's with Frank and Erika. A couple came in and Frank asked them how they heard about the performance. The guy had a friend who had always wanted to come to one of the performances. The friend was now off to Mexico so he came to the show. The pair was in an improv group for shy people. Frank asked the guy if he would do something now. He got up and fumbled with his glasses and talked about a childhood memory with his glasses and his mom and being absent minded. Frank saved the guy from totally flopping and helped move his "comedy routine" along.

The woman who was with the improv guy said she really had no idea what to expect tonight and had not actually read the flyer but had come along. Somehow she brought up the term strange, and Frank asked her how strange she wanted the night to be. She asked if she could get help from someone else and handed the mic to Erika who said very strange. Frank asked her what would be too strange and she said violence and drugs. Frank said that we had cookies that had somala in them. Linda said that somala was odorless and tasteless and that we often put them in cookies or water. When people eat or drink somala they feel less inhibited/fearful, they are more easily able to do the things that they want to do. This had always been true over the years and then it starts to wear off people would say that they needed some more. Linda passed the basket of cookies around and everyone ate some except for the couple who mimed eating cookies, even though Frank said that he could be lying after all the cookies were Mrs. Fields cookies in sealed packages. The couple wouldn't eat them. Linda handed out the holiday card that Frank made to everyone and everyone got a cd to go along with it.

Then Frank asked the couple if they would undress Linda, Jen and Erika and they said that they had had a great time with all of us but that the guy had driven a long way and they needed to go eat a sandwich. Frank said that we would watch them eat their sandwiches. The woman then said that when they had arrived at the performance it was like spring and then they had a nice summer with us but it was fall and then leaves were falling and it was time for them to go migrate. Frank asked them where they were going to go migrate to and they said to where there were sandwiches and beer. Frank said that he guessed that they had reached their limit of strange, and they said yes the nudity was not something they were comfortable with and they left. They left their cds and their holiday cards behind.

Frank asked Michael if he would undress Linda, Jen and Erika and dress them in costumes from the costume/jewelry spread. He said yes and so he undressed us and put jewelry on all of us. The band picked up at this point and Frank joined them doing vocals. The band was made up of Tomek on keyboard and mixer, a guy named Jhon on guitar and vocals who was recently on the Shaman's Den and the guy on the roto toms who had arrived at the show after he had been watching us on BTV for years. When Frank asked him if he would be in the band at first he said he couldn't play the roto toms but when he got up and did it he played amazingly with the band. While the band played some amazing songs Linda, Jen and Erika danced together, sexy, rubbing, juicy soft, melting, holding, hugging, rocking. Frank asked Jhon if he could do a couple songs and he wasn't sure what to do and then he just took off and the other guys joined in. At the end of the show he kept saying what a great time he had jamming with everyone and that he was way more relaxed than he had been on the Shaman's Den. Frank asked him if he could do a Christmas song and he played an amazing raw version of little drummer boy and everyone joined in. Then Linda, Jen and Erika went over to Frank and all four did a juicy sexy dance together. Then Frank said it was the end but the band kept playing. They did not want to stop!

Frank said that now we have another Christmas special. Linda talked about all of our previous Christmas specials beginning with Frank and Extreme Elvis getting naked together and then Frank and Erika the Elf and their erotic dance with Linda. Then there was Frank singing in front of the fire and Mikee would come out in nothing but a Santa hat and add logs on the fire and Erika the Elf would smack him on the ass. Then there was Corey and Alexi jumping around with nothing on except little santas and the Santas that kept falling off. Frank asked Tomek if he would read Frank's Poem 'Season of Hidden Hope." He read it and then talked about the night. He talked about how it had been a challenging start with what felt like lots of road blocks and then when the sandwich people left things opened up. Linda talked about how in the begging Frank thought that he had to weed people out and then found that people screen themselves out. It is amazing what happens in each performance depending on who shows up and how willing then are to jump in and play. Frank is amazing!

When we got to the space we set things up. Lights, mats and blankets, banners, swag table, jewelry, sound system etc. Heat was blasting and warmed us up quickly. The new door knob to the bathroom helped a lot too, keeping the draft from that room out. Tomek arrived and got his gear set up, then started to play fun electronic sounds. One guy arrived early and sat to watch us finish setting up. Frank then got his board and pointer on and started to talk to him. He asked how he found out about the performance. The guy had been watching Frank's show on BTV for years! He said that he watches it about 3 or 4 times a month. Frank asked him what his favorite thing on the show was. He said that he remembers seeing the video of me making a pie! It was a while ago that was made and it was amazing that it stayed with him! Frank said that everything comes back. The guy also said that he remembers seeing Erika and Frank talking together on Deep Core Magic. He said that he called the number displayed on Frank's show and found out about the performance that way.

Frank asked him what he did. He prepared tax returns. Frank asked what he did for fun, and he said that he watched tv and wrote stories when he was in school. Frank asked him what kind of stories he wrote and he talked about one in which a kid read a book about a zoo and then went to the zoo to let all the animals free. Frank said that zoos were being phased out because of the economy. The guy talked about the Oakland zoo being privately funded, but the San Francisco zoo just had a tragic event where a tiger mauled some people and so they were having publicity problems that probably caused some financial loss.

By this time Michael had arrived and Frank said that he was glad he got his email and came. Another man had also arrived, the same one that had come to the last performance. Erika had invited him from Food Not Bombs. Frank asked him about his life. He said that he had a really good childhood playing and having fun. His dad was in the military so he had lived in many places including Germany, just like Frank. Frank asked him what he did in high school and he said that he didn't have a good time in high school. Frank said 'who does?'.

A couple came in and sat down. Frank asked them how they found out about the performance. The guy said that his friend had always wanted to come, but just went to Mexico, so he thought he would check it out. He didn't know much about it at all, just that his friend had mentioned many times that he wanted to come to one. Frank said 'you came from that?'. The girl said that he had sent her a link to fecal face, an internet site that posted events. The website name intrigued her enough to come. Her and the guy were in an improv group together. The guy said that he wanted to do comedy so Frank asked him what he would do. He said probably just flail around. Frank wanted to see that so the guy stood up and flailed around a bit and his glasses fell off. Frank said that he should strap them on next time, and the guy said 'or bolt them'. Frank said, 'or not wear them'. It was a comedy routine because Frank was coming back with the funniest remarks and the guy didn't seem to get what was happening. Then Frank reminded him that he was the guy's straight man. It was really funny how the straight man, Frank, was really the one making all the remarks people were laughing at. Frank was improving masterfully, but the guy didn't know how to play along like that. Then the woman said the group was called Improv For Shy People. Frank asked if she was shy and she said she was in some situations. Then he asked her if she was in the group to feel less shy because she would look outgoing around all the shy people. She said maybe that was it, yes she probably was doing that. She was attracted to the performance because it seemed strange and that was good. Frank asked her how strange she wanted it and she asked if she could get help to answer him. She asked Erika for help and Erika said 'really strange!'. Frank said that was a bad choice to ask Erika. Frank then asked her what would be too strange and she said that arguing and violence would be too strange. He said she was safe then. What else? She said that drugs would be too strange as well. Then Frank told her about somala.

Somala is a drug that Frank puts in water or cookies. It is a drug of death and dreams. It's colorless and odorless, and it will not let you do anything you don't want to do, but it will help you do what you really want to do. Linda said that it really works because they have seen the effect it has on people. Also, when some people feel it wearing off, they ask for more. Frank said he got it from Aldus Huxley's The Island. He said that there was somala in the cookies that were in a basket to be given out. The woman thanked Frank for telling her that, for giving her clear information and being honest. Frank said that she shouldn't thank him just yet because he could be lying. Then the cookies were passed around. Everyone took some except for the first guy who arrived and the couple. The woman from the couple took an invisible cookie out of the basket instead and Frank said that the invisible ones were the most potent. She said she would have another then! She would not give any to the guy she was with at first until he asked if he could have some.

Jhon Thumb had arrived and started jamming with Tomek. The somala started to take effect and Frank asked the BTV viewer if he would play the drums. The roto toms were set up and Mikee gave him the sticks. Then Frank asked the couple if they would undress Linda, Erika and Jen, and then adorn us with the jewelry that was displayed. They both said no. They said that it was a comfort thing. Frank said 'those damn zones of comfort!' The woman said that they had to take a break to eat a sandwich. Frank said that we would watch them eat, but it didn't seem like there was a sandwich. It was like this strange make believe they were playing which wasn't really flowing with what was going on. Then the woman started to say that they were leaving by telling a story about the seasons and how it was now winter so they had to migrate. Frank still played along improving with them. He responded to whatever they said, asking them where they were migrating too etc. Whatever they said to him was just saying that they were out of here. Then they left.

The performance changed gears and Frank had Michael undress us and adorn us with jewelry. Then we started to dance. The music grew and jived. The feeling was fun and free. We melted into slow erotic movements together with the music. Frank jammed along with the band. Then he had Jhon sing a couple of songs that were amazing. He came willing to play. We rubbed into each other and felt like the whole room was one. The Christmas song that was played was really great. Little drummer boy distorting and morphing into scratchy groovy vibrations. The guy on the roto toms was great. We had our new Christmas special!

Frank motioned for us to dance with him. Linda rubbed on Frank's lap as Erika and I rubbed from either side. It was very erotic and fun! Very intimate. Michael was dancing around having a ball. After a while Frank said 'The End!'. The band just kept going like they didn't want to stop. Eventually they did and Frank said we have to work on the ending. He called the band over to come sit down. He asked Tomek what he felt about tonight. Tomek said that at first there was a great block, like a bad vibe and he wanted to leave, but when the couple left then everything lightened and grooved and he had a great time. Frank asked him to come up and read his poem 'Season of Hidden Hope'. Tomek did a great reading. Then Frank asked Jhon to come up and talk about how the evening felt to him. He said that he loved it, loved jamming and had a great time. Frank asked if he was staying in the bay area and he said yes! Frank said that you can't find this in New Jersey. Definitely not! Then Frank asked the guy who played the roto-toms what he thought. He said that it was delightful. He enjoyed playing the drums. Michael said that he enjoyed undressing the ladies and had a great time too. It was a lot of fun!

When the performance was over we started to take the set down. Jhon said goodbye and he would see us at the next one. Tomek stuck around talking with Frank for a bit. We got everything packed up and then headed home. Linda said that it felt like there were uncomfortable moments all the way through. Definitely with the couple and what they were doing, but also when Frank asked the band to sit down. Tomek didn't seem very comfortable with that. But it is always amazing how Frank ploughs through using the most of what's available. He always finds an opening for everyone to play in and the night turns out to be another incredible experience.

We arrived extra early, and loaded everything in and got started setting up. Even with the extra time, we were still setting up until just before 8pm! There were a few extra things this time ... the basket of cookies and Frank's holiday display of free CDs, set up right next to his chair. It was always fun to set up, and transform the space ... beautiful. Early on, the guy who works with Erika at Food Not Bombs, was there ... then Tomek ... and shortly before the performance started, a black man in his 40s-50s came in tentatively ... It turned out that he wanted to get a copy of Feisto. He had seen part of it on BTV, but wasn't able to catch the whole thing. But as it turned out he was there for the duration of the performance as well.

So the performance got started and Frank asked this guy how long he had been watching Frank's shows on BTV, and what did he like? He had been watching Frank's shows for several years, and had seen Frank Moore's Unlimited Possibilities and also Deep Core Magic ... when Frank asked him what were some of his favorite parts, he mentioned as standouts Jen's making of a banana cream pie, and the shows with Erika on DCM. Frank said that it always comes back ... meaning that everything we do has effects, and we never know what they are! And that what you do always comes back to you in some way. Amazing ...

Then Frank turned to the Food Not Bombs guy, and asked him to tell us about his life ... he had spent some of his childhood, like Frank, in Germany, because his father was in the military ... then he was in Delaware ... Frank said both cold places! Frank asked him to go on, how about high school? He said he did not have too much fun in high school ... Frank: "Who does??" He ended up in Haight-Ashbury in '92 ... But we didn't get to hear much more about his life, as this is when the couple who were later to be known as "the sandwich people" came in. Tomek had already been playing since the performance started, and around this time too Jhon arrived as well, and was setting up and beginning to play with Tomek. It sounded great!!

The "sandwich people" were a young man and woman who came in, paused for a bit, and then finally sat down ... Frank asked them what drew them to the performance? He brought her along ... he said his friend had told him about it, that it was something he himself had wanted to come to, but never did, and now had gone off to Mexico ... and without any other information or explanation about the performance, he had decided to just come on his friend's interest ... he said his friend had recommended other fun things for him to do ... Frank asked him what other things had his friend recommended, and we think this is where the whole improv thing came up ... he had recommended doing improv, improv comedy ... Frank asked him if he was a standup comic? He said, "Maybe someday ..." Frank said, "Maybe tonight!"

The guy said he would have to work up an act, and Frank asked him what his act would be? He said probably stumbling and flailing around ... Well, Frank was ready! He asked the guy to do it! So the guy stood up and started literally flailing around, and his glasses flew off! Then he just stopped ... Frank played off of him, trying to keep the act going ... feeding him lines, giving him a way to form an act around his bumbling around ... but it was rough going ... Frank was hilarious! Frank said he had all of us in the palm of his hand, keep going! Frank asked if he had noticed that Frank was playing his "straight man" ... he said he did ... but the act didn't really go anywhere ... Frank kept talking to the pair, and it came out that they were both in an improv class together. Improv for shy people! Frank mused on the irony of hanging out with shy people to become more outgoing! But she didn't seem to get that ... There was a back and forth about whether she was really shy, or outgoing ... she was hedging ... said she was shy under some circumstances and outgoing under other circumstances ... Frank said that she appeared to be outgoing, that's what she projected ... She split hairs about whether she was really outgoing, or just "projecting", but Frank asked what was the difference?? Really!! It turned out that she really didn't know what they were coming into either ... he had sent her a link to the listing of the performance on a new online arts calendar that Corey had found, called Fecal Face. The title of the calendar, she said, was enough to get her to go ... she thought it was just too strange! So she wanted to go.

Frank asked her, "How strange to you want it to be?" She said she couldn't answer ... could she get help from someone else in the "audience"? Sure ... So she asked Erika to answer. And of course, Erika said, "Very strange!!" Frank said, "Bad choice!", meaning of who to ask! He asked her what would be too strange? First, she said, "Arguing and violence." Frank said, then, she was safe here. Anything else? She said, "Drugs." Frank said, "Well ... there is the drug somala in the cookies here, " motioning toward the basket of pre-wrapped Mrs. Fields cookies ... She immediately gushed with thanks to Frank for being so truthful and honestly communicating with her, and answering her directly ... Frank said, "Don't be so quick to thank me ... because I may be lying ..." He said they may just be Mrs. Fields cookies, but they may have somala in them, and then he had Linda describe what somala is ... the drug of dreams and of dying ... it won't make you do anything you don't want to do, but it will make it easier for you to do what it is you truly want to do ... it is tasteless and odorless ... and it works! Linda said that over the years we have used it in many performances ... sometimes in the water, sometimes in cookies, and there is often the experience that people will come back for more, saying that it has worn off!

So now Frank had Linda pass out the cookies ... and most people took a cookie, except for the improv couple ... instead, they reached into the basket and pretended to take out cookies ... so they were there, holding invisible cookies, taking bites out of air, and then passing the cookie to each other to take bites out of ... At some point, Frank said, "The invisible ones are stronger!" She said, "Well then I'll have another one!" So once everyone had their cookies, Frank had Linda hand out free CDs and the xmas cards ... fun!! Then Frank continued with the couple ... he was asking if there was anything else that would be "too strange"? There wasn't ... So then he asked the BTV viewer if he would join the band, playing the rototoms ... sure, he would ... he got up and started playing. Then he asked the couple if they would undress Linda, Jen and Erika, and put on items from the costume/jewelry layout ...?

They whispered amongst themselves, and then she said something along the lines of, "Its time for us to have a sandwich actually ... he drove from San, San ... (what was it?) Menlo Park ... and is ready for a sandwich, so we're going to have our sandwich now ..."

Frank said, "Ok, we'll watch you eat your sandwich."

The bottom dropped out!

Then they whispered amongst themselves again ... and she came out with, "We arrived here in the spring, and spent a wonderful summer with all of you ... but now, it is getting colder, and moving into autumn and winter, and the leaves are falling from the trees, and its time for us to migrate ..." Frank asked where they were going to migrate to? She said, "Somewhere where there are sandwiches and beer ..." And the guy said, "Yeah, that sounds good ..."

But Frank kept talking to them ... we can't remember all that was said at this point ... but they didn't leave right away ... Frank said at some point that he guesses we reached the "too strange" point. And they said, yes. And Frank asked what was it? She said it was the nudity ... The guy said he guessed it was just outside of his "comfort zone" ... Frank said, "Those damn comfort zones!"

And within moments, they were gone!

So now, Frank had Michael Diehl undress Linda, Jen and Erika, and he jammed with Tomek, Jhon and the BTV guy ... and the music was fantastic!!! And Michael was having a blast undressing Linda, Jen and Erika, dancing and putting jewelry and other items on them ... Linda, Jen and Erika then danced together as the music continued ... a great jam!

At some point, Frank asked Jhon if he would sing two of his songs, and Jhon started up, and it was great!! Frank sang along with him, and Tomek picked up on what he as doing and played along too, and the BTV guy was drumming along all through it. It was amazing ...

Then Frank asked if Jhon knew any xmas songs ... Jhon did an awesome version of Little drummer boy, with Tomek and Frank still jamming along, and Linda, Jen and Erika were making sounds too ... Frank had Linda, Jen and Erika dance with him, and it just got juicier and deeper and the music was incredible ... really fun! At some point after a while, Frank, Linda, Jen and Erika all said "The End" The End The End!! The band wouldn't stop ... The End!!

Frank got everyone to sit on the mats and he asked Tomek to talk about the night felt to him ... he talked about not feeling in the groove until after the "sandwich people" left, but them just really loving playing with Jhon ... he really loved the way Frank interacted with people. Then Frank got Jhon up to talk about how he felt ... he just loved playing, felt really good and free, even more so than when he was on the shaman's den ... He really enjoyed playing with Tomek and the drummer guy ... he appreciated how the BTV guy had gotten into a nice rhythm with them ... Frank asked the BTV guy if that was first time he had played? It had been the first time he played the drums, but had played sax for years in school. Frank encouraged him to bring a sax next time!

Frank said that now they had material for another xmas special ... with the jam and little drummer boy, and Frank and Linda described all of our current xmas specials ... On that note, he asked Tomek to come up and read his xmas poem. Tomek said afterward that he really liked Frank's poem, and said something like, "Are we all now transported into another reality ...?"

Frank also asked Michael how he felt about the performance. He had a lot of fun ... he said it wasn't as "wild" as some others have been, but he really enjoyed himself.

The BTV guy really enjoyed the performance too ... he said it was very interesting, and delightful. He had wondered what it would be like to actually come to one of these performances, having seen videos of them on FMUP. He talked about the undressing of Linda, Jen and Erika and the dancing was delightful, and that he had really enjoyed playing the rototoms.

And that, we think, was the end. We started breaking down the set, and there was a lot of talking about the "sandwich people", and what an amazing part of the performance that was ... and Frank and Linda were telling Tomek a story from the 48-hour processes, which was great! An example of someone not believing that Frank could really see into them ...

So we packed everything up, had popcorn, packed up the car, and swept up and soon you guys and Jen were heading out, and Erika left too, and we finished sweeping up, and shutting things down, and snacked on popcorn and talked about the performance as we drove home. It was always so amazing what Frank made out of apparently "nothing" ... that even before the "sandwich people" arrived, Frank started talking with the BTV guy, and we got to hear, as if a fly on the wall, of what people like and get turned on by when they watch our shows ... and then was about to reveal the life of the guy from Food Not Bombs, which we imagined could have been very interesting ... We were saying later, back here, that Frank's persistence and being unflappable, just cranking away, made/allowed everything to happen.

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