Welcome back to another installment of FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A! We’ll be running these throughout February, so be sure to check back to read all about the great shows that will be taking part in the festival. Also – don’t miss the winner-take-all game of Rock Paper Scissors! Today’s Q&A is with Jayson McDonald, Writer/Performer of Boat Load.
Gary is a brilliant actor who needs a thousand dollars to participate in a high-profile performer showcase. Also, his cat needs a thousand dollar operation, but that’s too much money to spend on a cat.
answers by Jayson McDonald, Writer/Performer
Antonio Asks: What makes FRIGID such a warm and welcoming experience for your production?
FRIGID is run by a very lovely group of people who go out of their way to make sure you have a good time, and that your show runs as smoothly as possible. It’s a smaller festival, so every performing company has a chance to shine. And The East Village is my favourite part of the island, it has a great neighbourhood feel. You get to feel connected to the community with FRIGID, like you’re contributing something valuable.
Diánna Asks: What about this play do you feel most drawn to personally, and because of that, what message do you hope the audience walks away with?
I wrote this piece at a time when I was feeling very uninspired. Living and working for a very long time in a relatively small town, feeling insulated and unappreciated, I started to withdraw from my peers. I turned into a complaining bitch, jaded, boring and absolutely no fun to be around. Then one day I realized the reason I wasn’t getting anything out of my life is because I wasn’t putting much into it. It hit my like a fist to the face (which hurt my nose more than my pride, actually). So I started writing Boat Load to make better sense of what was happening and to describe the rewards of the inevitable introspection that I’d backed myself into. In the end, the show is about taking responsibility for your own happiness, appreciating what you have, waking up to the beauty that’s already in your life. I’m hoping the audience will see some of their own blocks and outdated programming in the protagonist, and be buoyed by the fact that at some point at least, everybody is their own worst enemy.
Karen Asks: That’s some title. How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?
Gary, my protagonist, describes his creative muse as a cruise ship piloted by a drunken captain who doesn’t know where he’s going. The boat is full of Gary’s friends, family, and contemporaries. The structure of the piece is a bit meta-fiction – the show turns in on itself, revealing itself to itself now and again – and the title is meant to illustrate the boatload of characters, themes and metaphors that Gary uses to tell his tale.
Stephen Asks: You must have a favorite part of your show. What makes it your favorite?
That’s a very difficult question! I enjoy performing every bit of this show – it never gets tired for me. The characters are all so much fun to play, all based on archetypes or amalgamations of people in my own life…but after having played them so many times, they have developed lives of their own. Sometimes they surprise me by doing something or saying something new in performance (that sounds crazy, doesn’t it). I think my favourite part of this show is its continuing development.
Lina Asks: How much of your show was inspired by true events?
Ehrm…this and that. There are tiny little bits of me throughout, but the show itself is total fiction.
THM Bonus Question: If you could play a virtual game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with another FRIGID Show which show would you take on? And what would you throw?
How dare you, The Happiest Medium. How dare you pit us all against one another in a deadly contest of wills, where the victor is crowned with eternal glory and the losers are unceremoniously dumped into a watery grave. I’m gonna be a gentleman and throw Tired Wave Stop a life preserver.
Thanks Boat Load - for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A. And for damning me in public about pitting you all against each other in this Tournament of (mwah-hah-hah) Death. You’re absolutely right. I’ve been treating it like my own personal Thunderdome. Oh, wow. I see now. I see so very clearly now. I hang my head in shame. Still, officially I have to call the ref in on this one. I’ll get back to you.
This is how it works in the crazy world of the VIRTUAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT!
Meanwhile, for the rest of you – don’t forget to check out Boat Load!Boat Load Presented by Stars and Hearts London, ON Canada The Red Room (85 East 4th Street) $14 Fri 2/25 @ 6:30pm, Sat 2/26 @ 3:30pm, Mon 2/28 @ 8pm, Fri 3/4 @ 9:30pm, Sat 3/5 @ 11pm, & Sun 3/6 @ 3:30pm
FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at www.FRIGIDnewyork.info or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.