Clowning Around in Anchorage
January 26th, 2009 → Leave a comment
A rare sighting of a wild Alaskan clown.
My last show in Anchorage is in about three hours and the shows have gone really well. I am spoiled by experiences like these. Rolling into towns I’ve never been in before, where I hardly know anyone and they come! They pay their hard earned money to see what I have to see. They come like audiences in LA won’t come if you don’t drag them in.
Last night’s show was a lot older and whiter than audiences I’ve had. I sit on stage during the preshow to set the tone of the show and do an inventory of my audience when they come in. I counted only three people of color. A black woman, an Asian (or Native) guy, and an older Asian woman. This made this one bit I have where I have to “pick on” an Asian woman very difficult. This woman who I swore was Asian (turns out she may have been Asian, or she may have been Native, or maybe just really shy when I broke the fourth wall) was my lone target for the joke. It was a little awkward because I think she was older than my mother and because there weren’t many people of color around to confirm how brilliant my little bit was, it just kinda landed awkwardly.
But it still went over well. I had a few flashes during the show that it really is time to start creating new work. This show is becoming as familiar as breathing and while that’s comfortable, it puts me at risk of being complacent. I’ve certainly grown a lot doing this show and touring. My challenge is to keep pushing forward with exciting new work.
I’ve gotten to experience the bar scene in Anchorage. Without going into much detail, the singles scene can be summed up as: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”
I’m tripping out, as I normally do at my age, about how so many of my friends from high school are all grown up, married, with kids. Of course, I know that childbearing is not required of me, but sometimes as I find myself wandering from city to city… especially cities like Anchorage where people breed as a way of life and I still feel like a kid in my “childlessness”.
One woman who works at Out North has the cutest freaking kid in the world and I swear I get pregnant just looking at him. She described how she starts lactating if she sees a kid or hears a baby crying. This is something I learned about watching Grey’s Anatomy.
One of my best friends from middle school is living in Anchorage and I haven’t talked to her since we were 13. I think her last impression of me was as a “big weirdo freak” (that, has not changed). We’ve been facebooking and she says she and her husband may come out to see the show if she can get a babysitter. And this trips me out because in my mind, she’s still the 13 year friend I last saw. And I feel somewhat self conscious about her seeing my show and proving to her that I’m “all grown up”– as if it wouldn’t show on its own.
I actually got to thinking this morning how few friends I keep in touch with from San Francisco and even from UCLA. I’m actually better at staying in touch with my teachers from school, and not the friends I grew up with. Sure, of course, people move on with their lives and grow apart, but when I hear people talk about “their old high school buddies” and their “old college buddies”– it almost sounds as if they have a whole gang of folks from the past who rally behind them. I don’t have this gang– I have a whole lot of older white Alaskans who come to my show. I have my crazy gay artists friends in Los Angeles.
I can’t help but feel cheated of those mythic post- high school relationships. That 90210-esque friends forever gang that will have your back even during the remake show, 15 years later.
When I have looked for these old school friends on Facebook, they’ve been replaced by pictures of toddlers. And here I am in Alaska looking back at them. Living the longest, most extended version of my teenage years possible.
Today is our last day in Anchorage. Tomorrow, we hit up Homer, Alaska. A small town of 5000. I look forward to meeting my new Alaskan posse.