April 23rd, 2011
Greetings from Denver! I had a great show in Kansas, was in Williamsburg, VA these last few days for a guest lecture at William and Mary and now am back on the other side of Kansas in the Mile High City! My first time here! I do a show at Ft. Collins next week.
Unfortunately, I’m spending my weekend in Denver working on a grant application. I’ve been nominated for a prestigious national career fellowship and won’t forgive myself if I don’t take at least the weekend to work on this application. I’m pretty exhausted from the traveling and it broke my heart when my hosts asked me if I wanted to go wine tasting with them today. Sadly, there’s just so much work piled up, including this application, that the only wine tasting I’m doing this weekend is WHINE tasting.
Dammit Dammit Dammit! I hate working on weekends! Especially grants!
But I’m just offering up this post because the last one was particularly HEAVY and wanted to share some joy. I’ve been writing articles and pitches for some big sites (thanks Jezebel and James Franco for the dooropening!)! I was also named one of “7 of the Funniest Eco-Comedians!” Yes, there’s actually a term (and praise) for being a performance artist with a bus pass. I’ll be putting up Going Green the Wong Way at the Upright Citizens Brigade in June and in San Francisco in July. Check my schedule for details as they come.
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Category: artist life., empowerment, press | Tags: Going Green the Wong Way, Non-Profit Carrie Bradshaw
November 23rd, 2010
I have returned back to my life of Los Angeles mediocrity and toil after two amazing weeks in Miami. I didn’t get laid, catch VD or pick up a coke habit… Come to think of it, I barely drank booze I was working so hard making nothing but theater. I left Miami thinking… “Wow! No sex or drugs? What kind of f’d up Miami trip was that?”
And so goes another full-length Wong show under my belt! “Going Green the Wong Way” is full length show #4 (maybe #5 if you count “Whoring for Hollywood” two years ago at the Comedy Central Stage… I’ve stopped counting…) in the books. It wasn’t quite solo. I had a trio of ASMs (Assistant Stage Managers) and Kristina Raines playing the voice of “Mother Earth.” The three ASMs were decked out as “Reduce,” “Reuse,” and “Recycle” with these insanely cute coveralls.
What was so cool was that my folks flew out last minute from San Francisco to see the show. I was so nervous about them there but the show was such a production that I wanted them to see how well I could do. They even were part of my standing ovation.
A round up of the Reviews! In LA, one weekend shows rarely get reviewed, so I was thrilled to get reviewed and GOOD reviews at that. Press kit, here we come!
Miami Herald (First line– “Kristina Wong is a funny — no, make that an extremely funny — performer with a wildly imaginative, sometimes raunchy sensibility.” Yay!)
Miami New Times
Miami Art Zine
Miami Art Zine (actual review)
Thomas Thorspecken (An Amazing local Orlando illustrator who draws events he attends)
Neil De La Flor (A funny local blogger and artist)
South Florida Theater Review
And a round-up of the preshow press!
Miami Art Zine
South Florida Theater Review
And my favorite performance artist of Orlando, Brian Feldman (who you may remember from earlier blogs as the man who married a total stranger to show how ridiculous it was two strangers of opposite genders could wed but two loving same sex partners could not) did a great preshow performance where he chugged (water) from a gasoline canister in the lobby. It was simple, telling and dramatic. That’s Thomas’ drawing of it above!
Another awesome bonus was that I got to do a “Meet and Greet” event at the Soho Beach House called “Going Drunk the Wong Way.” The Soho House is this exclusive club for rich kids. They served “Wong Island Iced Teas” and I talked about my life. So nuts! And it was a “members only event.”
Ok, and now… back to my life of toil and mediocrity in Los Angeles. I’m grateful for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Baby Wong needs a vacay.
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Category: artist life., Blog, miami, press, veggie oil car
September 17th, 2010
The Comedy Central Stage Show went unbelievably well. I had been working in such a cocoon the last few weeks that I forgot how much more alive I become with an audience. I was dragging my performance artist self into the show left and right and really testing the boundaries of what “Comedy” at the “Comedy Central Stage” should look like. I started crying onstage unexpectedly as I talked about almost dying (but didn’t let it get too precious), tramped my politics through the joint, I was personal and took my sweet time to talk story, I threw in this political performance art ending. I guess I just stopped caring at a certain point in the rehearsal process about wooing the industry and just ran with my instincts. I’m glad of it. That’s all we have time left for on this planet to do…. run with it. And from what I can tell, the audience was with me and listening.
I’m really pleased to share that my concert film of Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has a great write up in FILM THREAT. In the interview, I talk about the adaptation of stage work to film and compare the two worlds…
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Category: Blog, press, The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles, veggie oil car
July 30th, 2010
Look below Harry Conick Jr on the PBS homepage! YES YES YES!
After talking about it for months, I finally got my guest blog for PBS up! It’s only been up a few hours and already my inbox is being flooded with emails from people who are social workers, depressed, allies, and just new fans of my work. It’s so exciting to jump into new arenas like this. I can’t wait to see how the film goes over at festivals this Fall.
You can’t tell, but I was kinda slumping along the last few months trying to adjust to the “oh my god I bought a home why did I do that, it’s too much responsibility and I don’t know if I have enough work in the pipeline to pay this off, why am I on this planet anyway” but now things are kicking back into that breakneck speed I love so much that helps stave off the whole existential crisis thing.
The crazy periods and the calm periods could stand to even out a little bit. I passed out a couple times in the middle of the day this week just trying to keep track of it all.
My head is falling off. After years of this artist hustle, I still haven’t gotten used to the totally schizophrenic rhythm of this completely draining lifestyle.
Right now I am trying to write a show that goes up at the FORD on Sunday, rewrite a new draft of Cat Lady, get our Cuckoo’s Nest DVD out into the world, and am prepping for a preview show of “Going Green the Wong Way” (previously the show called “Carless in LA: The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles) for the Comedy Central Workspace on September 8!
I have a zit on my forehead. It’s big and red and filled with all sorts of anxiousness. I’m going to go across the street to this $20 foot massage place. Get the knots pulled out and then come back and get stressed out again writing.
Yay, psychotic Kristina with the hyperactive schedule is back!!!
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Category: crazy, press
May 27th, 2010
Explaining to Steven Leigh Morris how my madness became brilliance. Photo: Jen Cleary
I am staring at blank walls in my home.
I have yet to put any pictures up or art, because I’m not sure who I am now in this new stage of life. I have yet to paint the walls– can’t decide what color I am. It’s the most uncluttered and undecorated home I’ve ever lived in. People who’ve known my past clutter come over and they can’t believe how little I seem to own.
I just like sitting here for the moment. At this point of potential.
I got some bad news. A young relative of mine (only 13) has what might possibly be a life threatening illness. I am in denial. I pray. She doesn’t deserve this. No person deserves this.
Life changes so fast. I’m not sure how other people manage to stay married for so long. People change so much.
I’ve been married to myself for almost two years now, and there were plenty of times when I wanted a divorce.
When I see my young relative, I pray for her, but am so grateful that the rest of family is here and in good health.
This blog entry is a break from the non-stop barrage of angst and self-deprecation typical of my blog.
I want to share the great week I had last week.
I had the honor of being asked to perform “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” for the NEA (yes… that’s right… the NE freaking A!) Fellows in Arts Journalism at their conference here in LA. Basically, it’s a conference of national theater critics who got a special fellowship from the NEA. I was the kick-off performance! I’m not sure if I will ever get to do this show in LA again (need you read this blog to be reminded how much work it is to put on live theater… especially in Los Angeles?) so I got on the email horn and told everyone to catch the show!
And they came. I packed REDCAT’s house at 3:30pm on a Monday. I guess free afternoon shows at the REDCAT really draw in LA people who tend to have flex schedules (ie the unemployed!). I’ve had friends here forever and so many had yet to actually see my shows. My friends even wrote very thoughtful blogs about the show. Check them here….
Quentin Lee (a wonderful filmmaker)
Michele Guitierrez’s blog with spoilers! (I led a workshop with Khmer Girls in Action when Michelle worked there)
I was pleased to get a full standing ovation at the end! The Q&A with Steven Leigh Morris was great. I’ve been reading his articles and reviews in the LA Weekly forever. It was the first show of mine he’d ever seen and I was honored that he seemed to “get it.” I felt so high on everyone’s energy.
I feel like my own low-rent version of Inside the Actors Studio during Q&As. And I’m finding myself becoming more and more honest about how vulnerable I was the last few years of making and touring the show. I caught myself straight up saying, “I’d bring people into my life who weren’t good for me because making the show left me feeling so scared and lonely.” It’s true.
I will probably always get teary at Q&As depending on how the conversations go. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.
I’m so glad to see what life on the other end looks like. It’s really amazing to be here.
Two days later, I did an excerpt of the show at UC Riverside. It was a completely different crowd. A smaller intimate crowd of students. And the discussion after focused a lot on mental health. Everyone stayed to talk. The counselor who moderated the discussion told me that it’s hard for them to find ways to talk about depression and suicide with students and that she was grateful for this show.
It’s so easy for me to get lost in the craziness of day-to-day survival that I forget why I’m here. And that my work is important. And that I came to this life and work for a reason. And how many people in the world have yet to see what I do. And that I must continue on.
This week, we finally locked down the sound mix for the Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Concert Film. That’s right. Finally, some permanence for my work! The DVD will never match the energy of being at the live show, but I think my director Mike Closson did a pretty fantastic job of capturing the show on DVD. Can I tell you how totally excited I am that this is coming out? Can I tell you how grateful I am that Mike Closson came into my life and that he and his wife Nancy believed in me enough to help make this DVD a reality?
Thank you Mike and Nancy.
I’m in an odd place in life now. It’s weird to own my own home as an artist with such flippy floppy schedules and erratic income streams. It’s kind of weird to cross over into this stage of adulthood.
But I love it. To feel worthy. To be able to take care of myself. To enjoy privacy and time alone. I’ve lived so much of my life not having enough, grasping towards someone to fix life for me, always pining for meaning. That it’s nice to sit for a moment and enjoy this. To accept this goodness. To know I am here. I feel like if I died tomorrow that I’ve done well enough with my life.
And sometimes, that’s the problem. That if I am this satisfied, what’s left to hunger for?
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Category: artist life., Open House, press, the quiet i am screaming for