Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?
Organic. Raw. Vegan. Local. Gluten-free. Free range. Hormone-free… STOP THE INSANITY! After a chance meeting with a 1990s infomercial health guru, Dan radically changes his relationship with the food he consumes. But will his journey into the rabbit hole of food politics isolate him from humankind?
- Fri 2/21 @ 5:30 p.m.
- Wed 2/26 @ 10:15 p.m.
- Fri 2/28 @ 5:30 p.m.
- Thurs 3/6 @ 7:05 p.m.
- Sun 3/9 @ 2:05 p.m.
Answers by Dan Bernitt
1. Your tag line is out there on postcards and press releases so we know the PR version of what this play is about. But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?
Friend: You’ve got this show coming up. Sounds interesting.
Dan: Yeah, so, remember when I used to be a vegan, and how I was really insufferable about it–
Friend: None of us can forget.
Dan: And I used to listen to all those podcasts and watch those videos and do yoga in my East Village apartment in my tiny 55-square-foot bedroom
Friend: Oh my god, I know, that bedroom was awful! I don’t know how you fit so much in there.
Dan: IKEA + InDesign. You can design the best rooms that way.
Friend: Okay, so your show is about IKEA?
Dan: NO. Back on topic. So, I totally lost it. I lost my shit.
Friend: Yeah. You really did. You were batshit.
Dan: Well, we all know that guy was annoying. But – I learned to make fun of him.
Friend: So you make fun of yourself?
Dan: Yes. And maybe you’ll understand why I went so damn crazy.
Friend: Didn’t you meet some infomercial health guru while you were out in the desert, too?
Friend: What was her name? She was, like, uber-famous.
Dan: Oh God, just come see the show already, everything will be explained. And then we’ll laugh and drink after.
2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink. What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?
DB: “So, we know Dan’s making fun of what he used to think, but isn’t some of that stuff true? Like peak oil, global warming, monocultures… Get me another Jameson.”
3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?
DB: Character rushing down the rabbit hole of the theme.
4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?
DB: In Minneapolis a man stopped me on the street. “I went to the wrong venue, and as soon as I sat down, I realized I was at the wrong show, but I thought, ‘whatever, Fringe shows are only an hour, I can do this.’ I can’t tell you how happy I am I made that mistake. I’m so glad I got to see your show.”
In a coffee shop in the same city, a mother told me, “My daughter and I both saw your show last night. We loved it. My daughter said the only thing better than seeing your show was the episode of ‘Doctor Who’ she watched later.”
5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. Would that change the production itself?
DB: That kind of money would make me do crazy things that would probably kill the production.
6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints?
DB: An escalator like the one in the Union Square Whole Foods. It has to be on stage. I take back my answer to the previous question. I’d put a goddamn escalator on the stage.
7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?
DB: It really depends on how much people like roasted Brussels sprouts. Some audiences have salivated. One woman grunted from the back row. One guy pretended to write down the recipe (I was so tickled by him I told him I loved him). But that short moment about Brussels sprouts is followed closely by what’s turned into the most iconic line in the show that will make any literate person lose their shit laughing.
8. What’s your favorite line from the show?
DB: I can’t tell! It has everything to do with Greek tragedy. But that’s the line that gets an enormous laugh. I’m particularly fond of one line that only one person’s commented on: “Ankles go places like they got secrets to tell me.” (Boom!)
9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?
DB: Absolutely. Walk into any health food store or farmer’s market or gym and boom: here’s the inner monologue of a decent portion of the people you see — merged into one absurd rendition of it. I’m still conflicted on whether or not I want this world.
10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?
DB: OMG, IT’S SHEILA E! COME UP ON STAGE, LET’S SING THIS SONG TOGETHER!
Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH
In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?
CHALLENGES: Questions of the Heart: Gay Mormons and the Search for Identity. We meet again, good sir.
~ East in Red who threw SCISSORS – that’s a DRAW …
~ THE CANUCK CABARET who threw ROCK – that’s a LOSS!
~ How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gardaí who threw ROCK that’s another LOSS!
Oh, Yelling, I really was pulling for you – but I can’t deny the fact that your Bananas got mashed to bits by the rocks of your competition. Fear not, we still love the heck out of you, and your bananas. So just keep yelling in Whole Foods and we’ll come rescue you. And your apparently useless scissors.
Thanks Yelling at Bananas in Whole Foods for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2014 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially SCISSORS in any and all challenges. You may win, you may lose – who knows! This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!
For the rest of you don’t forget to check out Yelling at Bananas in Whole Foods!
Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 8th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 19-March 9. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at www.FRIGIDnewyork.info or by calling 212-868-4444.