Starting Out Being

I have made about twenty full-evening solo performances over the last twenty years. When I arrived in New York City as a nineteen-year-old queer performer, I felt that if I wanted to see a fierce and lively queer performance and thriving theater, I would just need to make it myself. I believe my mission—should I decide to accept it—as an artist and a gay man is to give witness to this challenging time, to live out loud and give that voice to my community.

When I was practically still a kid, I cofounded Performance Space 122 in 1980 in Manhattan, and began using that space as a lively tree-house stage for my performing, teaching, and programming.

I got such inspiration from performances I saw as a high-school kid growing up in Los Angeles. These performances—especially the wild performance art pieces I was seeing at the Women's Building in downtown L.A.—really encouraged me to take chances and raise my voice. My hope in my performances is that any time we witness one person raise his voice and tell his story—as well as bring our focus to systems of injustice—that it can encourage any of us to find that truth within ourselves too. I have received that encouragement in my life from other theater artists and social movements, and I hope my performances have emboldened people as well!

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