Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stone Cold Steve Megan: All the Hours in the Day, Mike Daisey, T:BA:11:

I'm seeing Mike Daisey all over the internet--the timing of Steve Jobs' death coincided almost perfectly with Daisey's New York opening of The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. This is a monologue that I saw two years ago at T:BA. I loved it; it inspired me in a way that I hadn't been inspired in a long time, and I walked away with a warm tingle in my heart.

So there are all of these articles out there about this monologue, and the timing, and good for you, Mike Daisey. But I see his name and I think, "these people don't know him like I know him." Erin and I spent 24 consecutive hours last month wrapped up in Daisey's world. A 24-hour monologue--he wanted to attempt something laughable; something too crazy.

What started out as a seemingly non-fiction account of events in Daisey's life morphed after a few hours into something that went beyond fiction...something of science fiction, which I have heard Daisey pay tribute to before in a different performance.

When you are awake, or attempting to stay awake, for 24 hours, things get weird. And when you're wrapped up in an ultra weird story of Warren Zevon and Walt Disney and an alternate reality where the Space Needle has been destroyed by a terrorist attack, things get even weirder. And you get emotional. Daisey had me hooked in hour two by describing a marriage in peril (his own), and I became so invested in whether or not he and his wife were still together I just almost couldn't handle it.

I definitely fell asleep a couple of times. And some of the story got lost in my too-tired brain. But over the course of the last month, pieces that I totally forgot about have come back to surprise me (did he really talk about how you can't find a bar full of mercenaries and just hang with them anymore? yes, he did). We sang "Amazing Grace" outside at six in the morning. We ate bacon cooked on stage. The fire alarm went off mid-day and we had to evacuate (intentional? not intentional? I finally decided on intentional but I'm not 100% sure). We followed the characters around the world and witnessed the crucifixion of Warren Zevon (it had to happen). At hour 24, when it finally became clear that Daisey and his wife were not in the midst of divorce proceedings, I was elated, and I cried while Holcombe Waller sang their wedding song (by Warren Zevon), and then we all sang "Lean on Me".

And the crazy thing is, Mike Daisey knows nothing about me. It's really disconcerting, sometimes, to be an audience member.