1. If you could go head-to-head with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’ve been ruthlessly biting my style directly from Spalding Grey for years, so I’d want to go toe-to-toe with the master. He would destroy me, though, with some great piece about what Heaven is like and how it reminds him of when he locked himself out of his apartment or whatever.
2. WRITE CLUB’s ruthlessly enforced 7-minute time limit: pitiless mockery, or unendurable cascade of anguish?
Did I use “ruthlessly” just now because you put it in my head? Probably. I’m not changing it because it’s the correct word.
Total anguish: I’m overly verbose. I usually do hour long solo shows, so it’s been a real challenge to shrink my “sprawling exploration” thing down to 5 minutes or so at other reading series around town. I just know I’m gonna blow it and have the buzzer go off before my killer final line.
3. What works, literary or otherwise, are you currently sharpening your teeth on?
I can’t stop listening to the new Kendrick Lamar. That kid is fucking dope. Just been alternating between King Kendrick and the new Yo La Tengo lately. And watching West Wing on Netflix. And I keep a collection of David Foster Wallace essays on my nightstand because of course I do, ugh, I’m the worst.
4. You’re contending in WRITE CLUB, you must be pretty awesome. Give a shout-out to someone who contributed to your awesomeness:
My parents are really awesome. My brother and I were the only artists to come out of a fairly large Mexican family and my parents, god bless ‘em, just rolled with it, even when it got weird and performance art-y. I can’t imagine that my father, in his wildest dreams, would have thought he’d be videotaping his son in tights singing songs from Cats or screaming profane gibberish about ghost pirates with huge dongs. But he was there, front row, with the video camera every time.
My mother tells me she can feel it when I’m about to go on stage somewhere — she says she feels nervous for me. “What if this is the one where they turn on him??” Really hope Write Club isn’t the one!
5. What handheld weapon would your writing be, were you to wield it in a street fight? (Against the powers of evil, of course.)
A big-ass whip with a razor on the end. Yeah! Just think of it, man!
6. Hey, literary fisticuffer, why’d you choose your charity?
The Leigh Bess Boone Foundation encourages volunteerism and internships in the performing and visual arts by awarding stipends and sponsorships. It was created in the memory of a dear friend of mine who loved volunteering for local arts organizations (in addition to a million other arts-related gigs and pursuits. She SM’d for Robert Wilson and worked on operas and traveled the world. She was the shit and she had the best laugh in history.)
7. You are standing over your vanquished opponent. What do you say?
“TASTE MY WRATH, SIMPLETON!” And then the next day, after the adrenaline wears off, I feel really guilty about it and hope they’re doing OK and maybe follow them on Twitter or find them on Facebook to check up on them and apologize and obsess over that look they gave me after the bout.
Extra Credit Question: Take your best guess at the source (or sources) of Viceroy Nick Tecosky’s neuroses.
I don’t know the source, but for a wild change of pace he might try “sleeping” for a change. Couldn’t hurt.