Thursday, August 21, 2003

Demetri got nominated for the Perrier, which is totally cool, and has led to an examination of one of my favorite subjects: what is the line between theater and stand-up? I'm mentioned as another artist who is blurring the line here this year, and I found that this was a great article, which is rare--often these kind of things devlove into excessive finger-pointing and navel-gazing.

I can understand the reductivist need to define theater as theater and stand-up and stand-up so that awards can be given, or other picky and ultimately silly devices like that. I also think the writer's belief that Dave Gorman is to "blame" for the increase in stand-up that blurs the line is kind of asinine--none of the people he mention as doing this blurring have anything to do with Mr. Gorman, and most have created their shows out of situations that make it clear that there's no case of people imitating a trend here. Still, the meat of the discussion is good--what is stand-up, and what is theater? They seem to settle on a definition of stand-up as "that which can not be imagined being performed by another performer", which I guess means Spalding Gray has been doing stand-up for quite some time...except for a muzzy second law, where theater involves more "story", or something like that.

It's a distinction I deal with often--depending on where people come from, they are often eager to pigeonhole me into one form or the other. It can be a real pain in the ass, though it can have unexpected benefits--I think the work I make can be more vital and interesting to others by occupying an area too chaotic and living to be theater and too story-bound and dvelopmental to be stand-up. It can be very, very cool.

That's enough navel-gazing for me. I have to finish up my work here, then it's off to the theater.