I love having a conveniant little 12-inch laptop. It sure makes ass-long bus-rides more tolerable.
I didn’t write yesterday because there was no time and I had no energy. I got up in the morning and went to the Bobtail, a cute ice cream/coffee shop in Mike’s neighborhood, East Lakeview. I sat down and read a bit from Start Making Sense, a really moving speech by Barack Obama that’ll part of will definitely be in Tomorrow is the Question. Then I just did some writing, taking notes and brainstorming about what’s next. I wanna get more into the Hip Hop Theatre thing, support the movement. As Mike put it today, it’s quite possible that hip hop could turn into a revolutionary movement. That’s certainly the direction it’s headed in the rest of the world. I wanna be a part of that. So, I had some ideas, I have some work to do.
Then I went back to Mike’s and we got ready to head downtown for the panel. I will detail the panel extensively elsewhere, but suffice to say, it may end up being life-changing. It was really phenomenal. Open, passionate discussion about changing the world. While the rest of theatre world either ignores each other completely, or expends tons of energy trying identify degrees of censorship, these people are trying to do something that matters. It’s all about making something out of nothing, and that’s my speciality. So … it was great.
Afterwards, I spoke to Jeff Chang, who wrote Can’t Stop Won’t Stop which is, I repeat, ESSENTIAL READING. He was really cool. We talked about what I’ve been up, what Sean’s doing, what we’re doing together. I even gave him a copy of Sean’s DVD. Then, I got geeky and asked him to sign my book. He was really, really cool and friendly. He even told me to get in touch when Sean and I make it to the Bay Area. In my book, he wrote “Matt – Thanks for your support, and your work. Keep rockin, keep writin. J. Chang, MCA, Chicago” Yeah, I’ve totally looked at it like 20 times. It’s great. I love that book so much, and now it’s even more special.
So, then I approached Danny Hoch, who was also very cool. We chatted a little more about what Hip Hop Theatre is (“By, for, about” was his mantra, echoing W.E.B. DuBois) and then I told him about Sean and pushed a DVD off on him. He was very cool about it, and then I was psyched to tell Sean the good news.
I keep thinking about how potent it would be to combine hip hop and ViewPoints. Maybe it’s just a case of me trying to shove my peanut butter and chocolate together, but I really think it could work. There’s a real connection in that they’re both potent methods of creating vital forms. That’s the whole point. I think there’s an essay to be written about how the tenants of the hip-hop aesthetic match-up with Anne’s 7 Needs. Bamuthi sparked it off talking about Ritual, and he’s right on. They’re different rituals, it’s a different kind of participation. That’s one really good example, actually. Call & response is one tenant of the hip-hop aesthetic. That directly address the issue of participation. I believe that there are other tenants that will match-up precisely. Heck, I think magic is in both lists. Wow. When will I have time to write that?
Meanwhile, I have 25 days until my show opens in Cincinnati. Fewer till it “opens” here. Geez. That’s more than a little scary to me. I mean, I know it will be great and all, but it’s a lot of work, not much time, and there’s A LOT I don’t know yet. Maybe I should work on my lines now or something.
Well, here’s a preview of what might be ahead. I asked myself this question, and almost asked it of Danny Hoch. If I had a show about revolution, consumer culture, media cosoladation, celebrity emulation, and shitty jobs, and I quoted Mos Def, Kewil, PE, and Gil Scot-Heron, and used music by people like DJ Shadow – would it be hip-hop theatre? Sure sounds like it.