Performance Review: August 2015-April 2016

“You grew,” said Bear. “Are you calling me fat?” I said. “Just watch your video clips,” he growled, as Bears do… And then Youtube queued up “Top 10 Mysterious Creatures Caught Tape” after my set, and I figured I had hit my mark. 

On the recommendation of a dear friend, I was just watching little snippets of my past few recorded performances. There’s huge—or, as Donald Trump would say, HUUUUUGE!!!—improvement in my presentation skills. This is just from August, when I gave a lightening talk at a hacker event on the importance of the so-called Dark Web for freedom—to April, when I did stand-up at a few open mics. Even though I’ve barely given any talks.

Practice pays! I own the space better. I move more. My speech is more fluid. Above all, I look like I’m getting comfortable in my own skin. 

I hope performance reviewing pays, too. Because I’m doing this today—instead of doing an open mic. I’m not prepared for one. On account of SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN BERLIN ZOMGS SO GORGEOUS!!! 

Plus, I’m conflicted about what to prep, for where—as usual, making things harder than they have to be. My strongest material, that I know best and know works—that it would make sense to build on and rework—is personal. It’s mostly about being an expat and finding home, love, and other real shit here in the Europe. So it’s political while it’s personal. But it’s still just about me as a lady discovering myself and the world. 

With the part of me that seeks always more challenge over fluency—I’d rather be performing my more political material. It’s riskier. It’s for an even more niche audience than Anglophone expats living in Berlin—much like some of Bill Hicks’ best work was for a more niche audience than he could immediately reach, and he had the balls to say “fuck you” and do it anyway… Except my fuck-you material isn’t as well-honed. And it will require me to (gracefully?) inhabit anger rather than joy in a public space.

That anger thing often doesn’t work well for women in public spaces. It’s not allowed. But it’s really important to me to hone my voice, especially what I have to say politically, and express myself in a public space as an artist. So another open mic or two will happen soon—with a mix of those sets-in-development (personal and political)—and we shall see… As long as I’m having fun.