Friday, April 06, 2012

Live 2.0 » Did You Do Your Homework?:

I’m also pointing out this show because of the Mike Daisey thing from a couple weeks ago, and I want to point out something important: what Aaron is doing, though serious and reflective of reality, does not pose AS reality. He’s never going to get in trouble for saying things that aren’t true in his show because he’s not trying to make us think they ARE true. This is obvious to everyone in the world, except Mike Daisey and his defenders.

I'm not sure how I get mentioned here—I agree that this is true, that Aaron's work is clearly theater. I'd say that all theater is representational, by the act of it being theater.

If Aaron takes liberties with things that happened in real life in his show, it’s totally expected and within the “contract” of the show. We get that it’s not a literal re-telling of what he saw as a substitute teacher. Little things like comic exaggeration and funny voices are a clue to that.

This might be part of the nuance people like Jim aren't gathering—though I certainly agree I've crossed my own lines, the theatrical performance of AGONY/ECSTASY has a *lot* of comic exaggeration and vocal technique. It is abundantly clear that it is theater. This doesn't remove my obligations in any way, and I have previously talked about falling short in this work, but the idea that I sit at a table and intone like Edward R. Murrow is really not what's happening at my shows.

Mike Daisey, quite deliberately, talks like a reporter and liberally intermixes facts with fiction in a way that we have no reason to believe he’s shifting from one to the other, and because of the specificity of his accusation against certain people and institutions, we assume he’s telling the truth. And he knows it.

I do not know what "talks like a reporter" means, but I am presuming it is the THIS AMERICAN LIFE style used in the radio adaptation. And has been clear from the outset—I think that was a flawed choice, and their style, adapted into my performance, is part of that.