Monday, September 30, 2013

The major plot development in ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON where I have challenged Mayor Bloomberg to a Mexican wrestling match is actually something that totally happened as described in the show. Here's the video.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The twenty-fifth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 29th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone. The Cruel Ones, shaking the Bank of England until she cried, and even vampires rely on human resources. The cigar box. We must have rolled a six. The moon from Brooklyn. It’s amazing how small you can make your life, searching the archive, and what I wish I had always done. Teaching the ritual. Then: why Australia always matters, stripping the Red Fort of its jewels, and the mirror can never be trusted. “Go, Daughter of the Moon.” The subway is a metaphor. He hungered to cut the poor off from the coasts. Amadou Diallo and Bernie Goetz. Tight as a drum. “Let’s go…before I lose my nerve.” Childhood’s end.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

The twenty-fourth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 28th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: the Boomtown and the Beverage Manager. We are blinded to the powers age gives us, life in a rigged universe, and where you come from puts its mark on you. The snake eats its own tail. Every quote comes from Mark Twain. “LA is so psychically dead I can get a whole night’s sleep.” The queen of hearts knows multiplicity. Fate is in the house, stage managers love to knit, and it’s six eyes and speaking in unison. “Can you close the game?” Summoning the ghost of Joseph Papp. Did you know it’s anti-American to give away free tickets? Aqua velvet and despair. His face was anyone’s face but once you know it, you know it. You’d know it anywhere.

All the Faces of the Moon :: EDGE New York City:

A proof-of-concept theatrical event, "All the Faces of The Moon" created and performed by Mike Daisey is currently premiering at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. Mr. Daisey invents a theatrical novel over 29 nights with each show evoking a unique card from the Tarot deck.

In this, Daisey expands his usual bare-bones aesthetic and collaborates with the artist Larissa Tokmakova, who created an original oil painting to accompany each story. The project is 44 hours of humor, mystery, the personal and political by a master storyteller critics dub a modern-day Mark Twain for his provocative monologues.

Each night Daisey creates a story and performs it extemporaneously. It is captured for podcast the next day on iTunes. Providing the podcast for free, Daisey’s apparent intent, aside from reinvigorating the novel and solo performance forms in one stroke, is to subvert the standard business model of theatrical distribution. It’s like he’s saying, in follow up to his "How Theatre Failed America," ’this, boys, is the way it is done.’ What’s delightful about Daisey is that he is open about his hubristic tendencies and waggishly unbowed by his "mistakes." (See the "This American Life" retraction.)

Over many nights, Mr. Daisey mixes reminiscences of his boyhood in Maine with a mythical tale set in the present Bloombergian universe. He invents characters that personify the great institutions of this new Gilded Age -- The Grey Lady, for instance is the venerable New York Times newspaper. He weaves numerous plot lines while pit-stopping at New York City landmarks. Katz’s Deli, The post-Sandy Rockaways, Zuccotti Park, and the Hayden Planetarium are just a few. He subjects each one to his laser-heated criticism that erupts from a raucously cynical viewpoint, accrued after decades of New York living that laments the loss of the magical.

Daisey blames post-9/11 counterterrorism and the domination of the Big Banks post-recession, and observes that the average New Yorker is now completely and "thoroughly fucked." He drafts real folks both from his immediate orbit, his high school friend Gibbs, a waitress at Joe’s Pub, and as in No. 18, his wife, to populate his world. He uses public figures like George Soros and sets them in real life settings. He vividly paints his meet-up with Soros and the allegorical Grey Lady that occurs at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse.

"All the Faces of The Moon," if nothing, is stylistically adventurous. Mr. Daisey gives full rein to his imagination. His tale-spinning risks all with its archetypal figures like the Jewish Golem and a surrealist vision of a New York that at times sounds like the half-finished back lot on a Hollywood set. It’s a testament to his gifts and method that as one listens one can see his "clockwork" people munching gears and pulley sandwiches at Katz’s and his Steampunk styled trains that zip pneumatically under the East River. There are mysterious occurrences, magic and magicians, the transmission of secret knowledge, tête-à-têtes with dead geniuses, vampire-bankers and Burning Man aficionados. All are subject to Daisey’s garrulous scrutiny and caustic humor.

It follows that "All the Faces of the Moon" is for the aesthetically courageous. The scope is Whitman-esque in its allusions to New York and America. The form revives the ancient art of storytelling and mashes it with 21st century content delivery, bypassing the usual channels of cultural production and spiking the art (via earbuds) directly into your brain.

"All The Faces of the Moon" is a significant work and should be witnessed. It’s not every day that an artist breaks new ground and entertains at the same time. The event is beyond the cliché of communal theatrical experience.

Under Daisey’s influence, every night until Oct. 3, New York’s warp and weft are untangled, destroyed, and interwoven anew into patterns, signs and portents that may well restore the numinous to urban life.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The twenty-third night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 27th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: we should all cultivate a healthy suspicion of standing ovations. Wasting money on a filthy experience, we want to be stirred like cake batter, and never end a monologue with a poem. Tell me souls on board. Everyone inflates their numbers, celebrities are viagra, and there will be just seven golden corporate tickets. Are we priceless or worthless? Then: golems are difficult to sleep with because they are heavy. A lone Dionysian is a sad thing. The Grey Lady and the Mole People. The Kierkegaardian turnstile. John McClane is Bruce Willis is MOONLIGHTING. German terrorists in an innocent time. This is an island off the coast of America. My familiar is a doughnut. The Staten Island Ferry. Your stage managers are calling, and they are pissed.


The twenty-second night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 26th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: Rules for sympathetic magic. Dennis, the low production values, and the gunslinger. New York has only one tower, uploading the press release into the cortex, and mentally deficient dolphins have good unions. Thirteen years versus eighteen months. Falling and failure and our intense psychic life in the air. Incandescent bulbs are detritus of another age—now we will diminish and go into the West. Which shade of orange is more forward thinking? Whispering paintings, the moon’s movements are difficult to describe, and lunch with the expert of esoterica. The fiction of nonfiction. The nature of faith and the question of God. Make a Swiss man weep. You must change your life.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

A New Survey Finds a Drop in Arts Attendance -

"Theater is the artistic discipline in America that is losing audience share at the fastest rate in recent years…For musicals, the 9 percent drop in the attendance rate between 2008 and 2012 was the first statistically significant change in that category in more than 25 years. Straight plays fared even worse, with a 12 percent drop over the same period, a figure that has contributed to a whopping 33 percent rate of decline over the past decade."

I have been saying this with HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA since 2008—this latest NEA survey actually tracks a 33% decline for straight play attendance in 10 years. Biggest drop across all arts.

Dynamic pricing does not and did not work.
Tremendous ticket prices does not work.
Lying and pretending that attendance is rising will not save us.

People who should have known better have laughed knowingly at me for years and years while averting their eyes to the fires burning in their houses.

You fucking fools. Wake up. Our house is on fire.

We have to change our life.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The twenty-first night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 25th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: Sting’s coffee in my mouth, David Lynch’s radiant failure, and the insidious taint. Factcheckers omit the jokers. In Istanbul the sun was always on you. Put your genitals inside of genitals. Terrorist horses! The king can never die, the game is never won. Your chess teacher is a perverse and monstrous man. Then: a desperate hour, the ghosts of reporters past, and the skull of her dog. Kasparov’s desperation. “They want your surrender tonight.” No magic for parking. Before chicken fat and frogbreath, call the cell. If we see each other on a snowy hill, maybe we’ll eat a rabbit. “Black ice, Michael.” Staten Island. The artist and her paintings.


Linda Winer had some errors in her review, but Newsday wins by fucking up the correction, too:

"Mike Daisey, who is appearing at Joe's Pub, also performed there last spring. The theater column in Sunday's Fanfare incorrectly described this as his first New York appearance since his 2011 show "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs."

As we politely told them—I actually returned to The Public Theater in October 2012…a good seven months before last spring.

"Also, the program's disclaimer that "all stories are fiction" was incorrectly described as an insert."

I love "incorrectly described". What they mean is THERE WAS NO INSERT. BECAUSE WE FABRICATED THAT PART.

This of course makes it sound as though it is in the program somewhere…just not on an insert. But there is no such disclaimer.

Oh, journalism. How could I ever quit you?
A video review from the inimitable AndrewAndrew, downtown DJs and art mavens who have played themselves on HBO's GIRLS. Best pull quote from this delightful short video:


I can die happy.

It's also shot on location at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, so it gives a sense of what it's like for those who have been experiencing it via podcast alone.

(Note: there is a rather larger SPOILER in this video, so know that before diving in.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The twentieth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 24th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: Mystically significant Twitter feeds, Susan Orlean is Meryl Streep is Susan Orlean, and a humbug as a trick that delights. n+1 or xojane? We love authenticity. Tilda Swinton doesn’t need to be his son anymore. It’s everything that disappointed us in the twentieth century, the die in the Magic Eight Ball floating like a corpse. “Manhattan we leave to the vampires.” The syringes of Coney Island, the nature of the Russian people, and a brief tutorial on the horrors of film acting. The bobby pin trick. These paintings make the future. Rolling back the tape and the myth of CSI Miami. Mulder and Scully and the case of the missing hand. Pugs are not supernaturally aware.

The New Yorker weighs in:

"Mike Daisey, the author of the infamous monologue “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” is in the midst of a twenty-nine-night stint at the Public’s Joe’s Pub. Each evening through Oct. 3, under the direction of his wife, Jean-Michele Gregory, he furthers an outrageous and hilarious tale, part memoir and part myth. Daisey’s subject matter, on one recent night, concerned vampire bankers; steak; Wikipedia; his best friend from high school, a risk taker obsessed with death; and a dreaded showdown with the editor of the Times at Peter Luger. Daisey, a brilliant monologuist in the tradition of Garrison Keillor, only darker and foulmouthed, is commenting on how Americans are influenced by pop culture in a way that, according to him, makes this time in history not our finest hour."

Today's poll: Should I request a correction, from "the editor of the Times" to the much more accurate "the living mythic embodiment of the Times"?

Monday, September 23, 2013

The nineteenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 23rd, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: I was born biased, I never would have tried a tuna sandwich. A talisman of pasteboard and feathers, and the great brass bird above New York City. Loose and eccentric play. The dream of the New Yorker hotel, fixing you with a hoary eye, and dissolving into a mist of Peter Greenaway. Seattle’s apocalyptic murdering spirit—a foundation filled with garbage. The Mad Scientist and his somersaults with bowls of birdseed on the ledge. Then: a mirror stares back into you, into the deep well as a lifetime passes in a breath, the bitter moments like coffee and acid. Golems working bed and breakfasts in Vermont. Livia’s schoolwork, bags of consecrated shit, and the duel at the Rockaways. Into the nullifying sea. The black spot.

Less than two weeks remain for ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON. We've had incredible reviews and over 50,000 downloads—this is your last chance to be a part of it live!

Purchase tickets to All the Faces of the Moon
(Members of this list can use the code
DAISEY for $20 tickets.)

Here's a crazy statistic—if every person downloading the show were in the theater, we would have performed
294 sold out performances already, and had to be running for ten solid months instead of just over two weeks.

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes
Or go to and listen on the web.

You can come be part of these shows as we race to the conclusion of this theatrical novel. Every chapter stands on its own...after all, the critics only saw a few nights, and here's what they thought:

This has been a life-changing experience for us, a marathon where we have been writing a huge novel in real-time. I'd like to thank so many people who have been in the theater night after night, and listening from all over the world. We could not be doing this without you.

Be seeing you,



Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory
Paintings by Larissa Tokmakova
Assistant Directed by Tessa Siegel
Photographs by Sabrina Fonseca

The Final Performances:

Sept 23 - The Untitled

Sept 24 - Temperance Under the Gun

Sept 25 - The Devil Always Plays to a Draw

Sept 26 - Paying the Rent in the Tower of Song

Sept 27 - Saturn Is a Father Devouring His Children

Sept 28 - If You Wish Upon a Star You Will Regret It

Sept 29 - The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Sept 30 - The Sun Is a Blind and Burning Thing

Oct 1 - A Flaw in Your Judgment

Oct 2 - The World Is More Than We Will Ever Know

Oct 3 - Last Call

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The eighteenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 22nd, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: the Maine spiritualist, marriage as a kind of exquisite torture, and ink made of blood and regret. White cloth and hot metal ribbons in the uncanny valley. There are police who take children away. The clockwork man with radium eyes, and the dance of the seven sweater veils. Spiders get better mileage, pneumatic tubes through the East River, and the monument uncarved. Sleeping in your old bed, your old life. Gibbs hearing the voice in the desert. The paint crackling, falling from every car. Livia dreaming, we are divided against ourselves, and meeting your other half. The fake Eiffel Tower, the bodies, the thin red threads. “I can’t tell you anything you don’t already know.” The canvases.

NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/22/13 | Best New York Comedy:

Why is genius yarn-spinner Mike Daisey telling 29 new stories in a row (working off mere one-page outlines) in a 29-night, 44-hour monologue? Part of the answer appears near the start of Show #10: “I’ve always been willing to throw myself right off a cliff. It’s a beautiful feeling to know that below awaits the water or the rocks. When you’re suspended in that high arc above the brilliant blue, for a moment you are released, you are free…because you could live or die. I crave that.” If you crave seeing that, catch Mike live at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place); or experience this epic adventure at your convenience for FREE via iTunes.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The seventeenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 21st, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: The half-life of McDonald’s French fries, fish bones in the ice cream, and the shifting story. We are pink slime, it’s the opposite of a light switch, and rolling the hard six. Full instructions on how to get to Luna Park. Don’t lose your ticket and the horrors of the pastrami. The illustrated man, be careful who you let tell your fortune while held up by moonlight. The Jungian mermaid know how to take off her clothes, skin, bones. A hall of mirrors, the trunk of many things, and the master of circuses. Then: unlucky New York in the dark and a safe word takes you to bed. The charge in the foundation. The zeppelin over Chinatown. “I still love you.” “I know.”

Tarrare - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Tarrare (c. 1772 – 1798), sometimes spelled Tarare, was a French showman and soldier, noted for his unusual eating habits. Able to eat vast amounts of meat, he was constantly hungry; his parents could not provide for him, and he was turned out of the family home as a teenager. He travelled France in the company of a band of thieves and prostitutes, before becoming the warm-up act to a travelling charlatan; he would swallow corks, stones, live animals and whole apples. He then took this act to Paris where he worked as a street performer.

On the outbreak of the War of the First Coalition Tarrare joined the French Revolutionary Army. With military rations unable to satisfy his large appetite, he would eat any available food from gutters and refuse heaps but his condition still deteriorated through hunger. Suffering from exhaustion, he was hospitalised and became the subject of a series of medical experiments to test his eating capacity, in which, among other things, he ate a meal intended for 15 people in a single sitting, ate live cats, snakes, lizards and puppies, and swallowed an eel whole without chewing. Despite his unusual diet, he was of normal size and appearance, and showed no signs of mental illness other than what was described as an apathetic temperament.

General Alexandre de Beauharnais decided to put Tarrare's abilities to use, and he was employed as a courier by the French army, with the intention that he would swallow documents, pass through enemy lines, and recover them from his stool once safely at his destination. Unfortunately for Tarrare, he could not speak German, and on his first mission was captured by Prussian forces, severely beaten and underwent a mock execution before being returned to French lines.

Chastened by this experience, he agreed to submit to any procedure that would cure his appetite, and was treated with laudanum, tobacco pills, wine vinegar and soft-boiled eggs. The procedures failed, and doctors could not keep him on a controlled diet; he would sneak out of the hospital to scavenge for offal in gutters, rubbish heaps and outside butchers' shops, and attempted to drink the blood of other patients in the hospital and to eat the corpses in the hospital morgue. After falling under suspicion of eating a toddler he was ejected from the hospital. He reappeared four years later in Versailles suffering from severe tuberculosis, and died shortly afterwards, following a lengthy bout of exudative diarrhoea.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The sixteenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 20th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: The sin of ordering salmon, smoothing it out, a nominal truce, and needing to call the Small Man. The Future of Storytelling™ with the CEO of Burberry. An unlimited number of specialty taco shacks. The place where the drywall rots, tainted by the touch of the sea. Phil’s hands shaking. Always going to Venezuela. The world ends over and over and over. The filth of Coney Island, mangos on sticks, and the Cherry Lane Theater as a place to murder your marriage. Jack and Mary Jane on the boardwalk. Mushrooms, silver coins, and barbed wire. Luna Park, where only the dead can go and it’s 1929 forever. The lights go out, the name on our lips.


Mike Daisey's All The Faces Of The Moon: This Is How We Make Our Fortune
Michael Mayhew - I've managed to keep up with Mike Daisey's...:

Thirty or more years back there was a BBC series called Danger: UXB! The series dealt with a London bomb defusing crew during the blitz in WW2. UXB stands for "unexploded bomb." The thing about that show that just seared itself into my brain was that they had this brilliant trick of setting up characters, showing you their home life, getting you invested in their goals and worries and aspirations, and then, after 3 or 4 episodes, blowing them up. Very quickly I came to realize that they could, and would, kill off ANY of the characters. As a kid who had grown up on American television - Star Trek, The 6 Million Dollar Man, various cop shows, where you could count on seeing the same faces week after week - I was shocked and horrified. Danger:UXB! was insanely suspenseful.

These days TV shows are more likely to kill or injure a main character then when I was a kid, but it seldom carries the shock of a random event. Usually you see it coming.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I wonder now if Mike Daisey was also a fan of Danger: UXB!

The fifteenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 19th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: Before the invention of bread, before the ice, when the cycle was written into us. The Milky Way casts a shadow and David Bowie plays a schnauzer. All dogs dream. Jean-Michele, the greatest of her age. The camera assembly in six motions. Then: a hierarchy of terrible things, the boys want what they want, and a sacrifice sent. Character is the only human gift, cursing is addictive, and The Williamsburg Fade. Budapest. Gay sex fantasia. The way a bear shakes a gerbil. “You have a dark fate. Do what you can.” George and Elaine. 8:36 on the clock. The ladder in the sky. The royal moon. There’s a seat at the table.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Curtain Call: Big Voice |

All the Faces of the Moon is theater at its most essential magic; storytelling that challenges us to stage the scenes in our minds. When Mary Jane — who you realize is probably not a real server at Joe’s Pub after Daisey places her in the Dionysian cult of women devoted to “the Big Guy” who presides over a literally endless bacchanal party (first referenced several monologues before) — fetches glasses to pour a couple of bourbons, Daisey notes: they were a little dirty but no one cared. He is a master of rhythm and volume, communicating familiar feeling so deeply it penetrates us. As he describes Mary Jane hiding in a closet for hours, finally peeking through a slight opening to seeing herself in profile in the next room, we are not only mesmerized children listening to ghost stories around a campfire, we have become Mary Jane. (Moon #12: Mars is a Soldier Whose Hands Are Red, Sept. 16.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The fourteenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 18th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: The Whigs are dead, pressure cookers, and a penny an issue back in the day. Then: Boss Tweed dyspeptic, William Randolph Hearst knowing the score, and the Herald won by the talking picture. Foreign extemp, how we whore out our mythologies, and writing as a frozen form of thinking. Emily Dickinson, the Cape Elizabeth kids, and the Christian Science Monitor. In a grey box you clip and own and know your facts. Oppose German reunification. Her long hair and her scrawled letters, speaking in the darkness. Mythological climatology. History hangs around our neck like a noose. There are things in the darkness, and they’re us.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The thirteenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 17th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: The long beach at the end of time, seeing yourself in the cracks and fissures of dust and shadows. You never knew me. Jean-Michele as midwife. The ritual thump against your door in response. Whips and welts and the pool cue. The horrors of respectability, learning to levitate feathers with hate, cursing softly and staking out the bodies. Waking up horribly and deliciously out of phase. Wikipedia is always right. The one where Carla finally breaks up with Nick. His hand like a Tandoori oven. The pleasures, mysteries, and ineffable wonder that is Peter Luger’s, where I am marbled and delicious and in danger.


Monday, September 16, 2013

The twelfth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 16th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: Duality is a human foible, eleven dimensions curdling, experiencing a clear signal, and Sad Carl painting in his big Red Book. Then: the citadel and the bazaar, the Public Theater’s lobby as Krypton, ninjas of gorgeous worldliness with huge dark eyes and love or hate but nothing else. Three vigils. Theater school as training to be human, and the Frosted Flakes scene from Ibsen. Your own private couch, the excoriated park, the blessing visible. One hundred photos to call her. Getting little girls drunk, the wards breaking. “Oh. Good. That’s what I figured.”

Perhaps David Sedaris Was Right

Interesting tidbit in New York Magazine this week—they did a roundup of commentary on their site, and
they say this in describing my position after the TAL retraction:

“In the aftermath of that retraction, Daisey made few friends by taking an ambivalent position—apologizing for his falsehoods but arguing that theater might serve a higher investigative purpose than journalism”

Part of this I would agree with—I did make few friends.

But most of this is simply wrong.

I’ve never said theater holds a higher purpose than journalism—I’ve always been loathe to compare two wildly different human endeavors, especially so reductively. It’s like asking which gets better mileage: a walrus or an apple tart?

And I *definitely* have never said that theater holds a higher INVESTIGATIVE purpose than journalism. That doesn’t make sense—in a world where there are very few pieces of theater that overlap with journalism at all, I have no idea why anyone would believe I hold that position.

No one is waiting for Cirque du Soliel to replace NPR’s news division. (Though that would be

I certainly have never felt that my own work had a “higher investigative purpose” than journalism. Back when the NYT investigative piece came out after my initial TAL episode, some people wondered if I was upset that I wasn’t credited in some way—a large number of journalists contacted me and urged me to make a fuss.

Jim Romenesko asked me how I felt, and
I answered then:

“I’ve been telling this story nightly for eighteen months, and I’m absolutely thrilled that the NYT is doing this reporting. It’s what I’ve been hoping for — that journalists would dig in and pull this story out by its roots, and the NYT has done that here.

I’m a monologist, and not a journalist in any traditional sense. I see our roles as utterly complementary –journalism reports the facts that fill our world, and I tell stories that create connections that make audiences engage in a human way...

As a monologist, I’m passionate about stories told fully and deeply, so there can be a way for us to see the truth in a human way. The NYT’s work on this series does that magnificently, and they deserve all the credit for their hard work. I think it’s a great day when a work of art and a piece of journalism can both be in the public sphere affecting change in their own ways. More than anything else, I am grateful to the reporters who are telling this story because when I speak from the stage I feel less alone.”

You’ll notice that my fundamental positions on the roles of journalism and theater are identical here, before the scandal, as they actually are today.

Why would New York Magazine summarize my position in such a clearly wrongheaded way? I think it’s just people writing the story they think they already know.

Paul Raeburn, a media critic at Knight Tracker,
wrote a piece this week on the occasion of my very positive New York Times review for ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, which he found upsetting. He said:

“One would like to think Daisey would pay a price for his crime, but apparently that's not the case…From what I see in the promotional material, Daisey's new show doesn't claim to be journalism. So we can't accuse him of recidivism. But we shouldn't let him off for good behavior. He hasn't shown any.”

The punitive language is a tell—much like our current correctional system, there’s nothing correctional about the journalistic establishment. He passes judgment without awareness of my
widely-disseminated public apology, or my revising of AGONY/ECSTASY to be 100% factchecked, or the giving of that work away for free so others can perform it.

It's as if he didn't do any research at all, after reading the review and feeling pissed…though that's impossible, as he's a media critic.

It’s also an interesting universe where journalists get to decide who has a voice. After all, he appears to be clear that I work in the theater, but that doesn’t seem to stop Mr. Raeburn from feeling journalists should get to decide when and if I’m allowed to speak.

The fact is that I’m not a journalist in any conventional sense, and never have been. Mr. Raeburn and his colleagues do not get to vote on whether Michael Moore, Louis CK, or Stephen King should be allowed to speak, and they don’t get to vote on me, either.

In fact, even if I *was* a journalist, they *still* wouldn’t get to vote. If Mr. Raeburn disagrees, I would let him know to get to work and begin the purges immediately of all the "impure" journalists, perhaps starting with FOX NEWS.

And maybe there’s a deeper element in both these stories hidden along this thread.

David Sedaris was asked about the TAL retraction a few months ago, and said that he thought, more than anything else, the scale and hostility of the reaction had to do with the death of print journalism.

I don’t entirely agree with that, and I want to be clear that I think people were entitled to be pissed. But the hunger of media journalists to actually nail someone might have more to do with their inability to actually enforce ethical boundaries within their own eroding and transforming profession.

And New York Magazine’s strange assertion that I believe that “theater might serve a higher investigative purpose than journalism” might make more sense if seen through the lens of a fundamental insecurity.

Paul Raeburn and I tussled a little on Twitter, and after going back and forth he posted a new piece with our discussion in it. He ended saying:

“Daisey is arguing that he's done enough to absolve himself, and he might be right.”

I’m not actually arguing that I’ve “absolved” myself. I just think that for many journalists their profession works like America’s correctional system…so there’s no way in those frameworks to express regret, learn, and grow. It’s punitive only.

But I am not a journalist. So I’m not asking for their absolution because fundamentally I don’t need it from them.

And the fact that I never will may be part of their insecurity.

The eleventh night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 15th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: Kathy’s dream is the stub of a ticket lost in your pockets. Turkey legs, the olden faith of Weight Watchers, and flirting for water pumps. Beware black ice, a hand of all royals, and the black spot twice. Then: Zuccotti Park two years later, the goldfish turning to glass and steam, and Peter Falk’s glass eye. Finding her camera. They say the moon is a dead world, the moon without which we wouldn’t be here. Ground yourself. Accept protection. A vicious man is trying to smile. We are fishing on a dark pier in the middle of the night, and holding handfuls of the red rich clay.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The tenth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 14th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: The etymology of lovers throwing themselves off of cliffs. Jean-Michele’s dreams breathing in the dark. The windows to the east cracking. The end of the neverending party: the dead room tone, the wolf dung and tax forms. Everything you owe will be due. Fathers and sons and anger and silence. On the waterbed where he lay, the blood like a river, like a dream. Even the great ones were little boys once, and seventeen bottles run bad. Investment bankers are vampires, the mouth on your sex, and the horrors of Saint Louis. Sabrina’s night with the person who is free, and watching the ladder that climbs the sky. 3:47 3:47 3:47 3:47


Friday, September 13, 2013

The ninth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 13th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: The unluckiest day, the problem with unicorns, the death of wonder, and how yesterday’s black spot became today’s lump. A primer on how to negotiate with the Mechanical Turk, a soul in a dirty half-full Poland Springs bottle, and an ulcer that listens to God. Bleeding bodies under the rugs, the ubiquitous French bistro, a Gygaxian professor, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Neither by nor for but *of*. The text that says GET OUT GET OUT. The wine runs sour, the coins turn black.


The eighth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 12th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: stained brown shag carpeting and old litterbox smell, the French Foreign Legion of Found Furniture, and a sofa forged of walrus bone and mink pelts. Then Reverend Billy and His Pompadour of Truth, the glass eye on the red cube, and the Kindle’s shitty shitty eye-raping fonts. The sacred ritual of New York brunch, Frankie’s French Toast, and All Soul’s Day where we heard them where the walls were thin.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

The seventh night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 11th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: We ask where we were on the day the wine ran sour, when the urn cracked. David Graeber, reading snake entrails for lotto tickets, and Americans as daylight people. The anchor of global security, the brutality of our puppets, and the secret truth that all story is struggle. Magical offerings, the history of playing cards, Sad Carl, and the split wet beavers of northern Maine. Then: a terrifying illumination in Dysart’s Truck Stop.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The sixth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 10th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: the Golden iPhone, simulated brushed metal, and how Apple lost. The Grey Lady tells a young woman, “I want to apologize to you personally for everything that is going to happen to you.” The thrumming of old printing presses. A terrifying accident during Fashion Week involving the essential nature of hunger. DO NOT KISS ANYONE. A chaotic transit filled with casual calamity, and an indentured servant takes an unexpected photograph.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The fifth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 9th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: the nature of Death as the nature of Bob Dole, and font design as the language of angels. The great American passion play, “A Christmas Carol”, is staged with Bunraku puppetry. We learn the nature of marks, get introduced to cheekbones you can cut butter with, and meet Bertolt Brecht and his women. Finally, we contemplate HUSSAR, ANEBODA, and MALM at a service with Reverend Billy and the First Church of Christ IKEA Redeemer. Industrial design will set you free!


Monday, September 09, 2013

We’re launching our ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON criticism program today. Because the show exists as a podcast, we’re opening it up to everyone, everywhere. If you’re a theater critic in another city, a writer who’s always wanted to try their hand at reviewing and responding, or a new listener who has a voice—we want you to respond about ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON.

Rules are simple: Post a review online in any of the places you like, like Facebook, tumblr, blogger, iTunes, etc.

Then tag it, by posting to facebook or twitter or both using the hashtag #moonshow.

Every reviewer is eligible for a tarot card from the production, featuring art from Larissa Tokmakova. This is the only way to get them that isn’t coming to the theater each night—they aren’t for sale. You’ll be contacted for mailing information.

Fine Print: There is no editorial oversight express or implied in this process—your reviews are your own. Reviews may be disqualified if they are totally bizarre, have 3 words or are obvious attempts to game the system, but any legitimate review, whether it is positive or negative, is eligible. If you are not comfortable receiving a tarot card, we totally respect that choice as well, and you can simply decline: we hope you will still participate in this project.

We’re looking forward to your responses!


The fourth night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 8th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: the death of the magazine industry, why corporations need “creatives”, and an incendiary interview with the Small Man. Then a working definition of “bourgeoise”, a strange young woman reading Baudrillard, the privilege of turkey sausage, and the changes that came on the night of the hurricane. A mysterious message, an impossible realization, and a fateful rendezvous occuring in a mythical place known as the Upper East Side.


Sunday, September 08, 2013

The third night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 7th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: Origin stories told in the cold white existential desolation that is far northern Maine. The oral tradition that is Dungeons and Dragons: how the young are apprenticed, Gary Gygax and his harlot tables, and an angry young man with shattered knuckles. Also: Speech and Debate, the importance of “Interview with the Vampire”, William Jennings Bryan, learning Sindarin, orange vests, and a fateful package discovered at a curious tree.


Saturday, September 07, 2013

The second night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 6th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Tonight: the end of Happy Ending, the sadistic nature of Philadelphia, the exodus of playwrights to the City of Angels, and a terrifying journey into the darkest circle of our Western theater: Manhattan Theater Club. We meet Happiness Jack waking up after a nap, learn how to cultivate synchronicity, visit the Party That Never Ends, and receive a royal introduction to the Big Guy and his Beckies. Also included: a foolproof divination method for locating a McDonalds on the island of Manhattan.


Friday, September 06, 2013

The first night of Mike Daisey's 29-night live theatrical novel, ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, recorded September 5th, 2013 at the Public Theater. Our story opens on a perfect day with the Mechanical Turk and a fortune interrupted, then quickly turns to Red Hook and the Disneyification of New York, Al Capone's wedding, Tony Kushner's early promise, the rise of the Small Man, the importance of bed in all narratives, the illusionary Dutch people, and an unexpected meeting at the edge of the river just before dawn.


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Our podcast, ALL STORIES ARE FICTION, is live!

Subscribe at
iTunes or with other systems.

Why do we call them “podcasts” when that’s such a terrible, dorky word? Is anyone actually listening, or are we all downloading and ignoring the files? Why would someone perform 29 full-length monologues in a row? When people have begged you to add “multimedia” to your shows, why would anyone choose oil painting? These topics and more are explored by Mike in his first ever podcast, recorded in preparation for ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, his 29-night live theatrical novel which begins September 5th at the Public Theater.

Monday, September 02, 2013

All New Jobs Will Celebrate Labor Day By Laboring On Labor Day:

Labor Day, an opportunity for the working class to momentarily kick off those economic shackles and spend the day with their family, barbecuing and enjoying the privileges normally reserved for the leisure class. Or, at least, it used to be.

Now that most job growth takes place in the part-time economy, where workers work odd hours just to make ends meet, and no one is salaried, a hefty portion of the workforce will celebrate Labor Day by laboring all day. Or they will honor Labor Day by working just enough to remain out of poverty. But it need not be this way forever.