Friday, May 31, 2019

Brigham Mosley on his show Critical, Darling!

Brigham Mosley presents Critical, Darling!

We did an interview with Brigham Mosley a while back about his show Mo[u]rnin'. After.

Here we catch up with the prolific performance artist and chat a bit about his background and his new show Critical, Darling! which will play as part of the 2019 Dallas Solo Fest.

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Q: You took a workshop with Tim Miller when you were a student at Southern Methodist University. How did that workshop and Miller’s approach inform your own work?

A: Tim is one of the great mentors of my life.  He changed the way I think about performance and about theatre in general.  One of the many brilliant things about Tim and his work with students is that he comes at performance-creating from a thousand different directions - dancing, speaking, writing, drawing, etc - he's all about keeping your creative self on its toes and pushing to find moments when that uncensored, multi-layered, pure Truth can come out of the creator.  Tim seeks out those complicated, murky, resonant moments of identity-formation as foundations for exploration/scripts/shows.  I've followed a similar path in my own performance-making - I'm always trying to disrupt my process and go deeper into a truth that is more complicated and more honest (and maybe less polished or noble).  It's important to me that my shows - and my performances - aren't "The Shiniest Side of Brigham" but something braver, something more flawed, something more human.

Q: You lived in New York for a while after college and got involved with the downtown queer theatre scene. Any experiences that have stuck with you and influenced your present work?

A: Yes!  PERFECTION IS FOR ASSHOLES!!!  Also perfection is not super interesting!  Being a part of that downtown scene taught me the magic of risking.  Seeing a performer choose to leave the Rehearsed in order to pursue what was happening in the moment (whether that be interacting with a heckling audience member or living in a bombed joke) - and often failing in that pursuit!  And the failure is the delight!  That cabaret sensibility felt really cozy to me and much closer to the theatre that gets me jazzed and that I am interested in making.  I push myself to risk failure in my work.  Perfection can never be the goal; the goal is the bravery to risk.

Q: Tell us a little about your newest work, Critical, Darling!

A: Critical, Darling! is a big ole gnarly piece!  It's about safety and fear and "How-do-we-be-happy?".  It's also full of original songs and me in a lovely yarned-out drag number!  Critical, Darling! is a dismantling of the world around us and how we interact with each other, all-the-while attempting to regress back to the last time I/we felt safe.  It's funny and pop culture filled (because that will ALWAYS be my gig!) but sorting through the fear/anxiety/fatigue I think every American (and maybe Earthling?!) is feeling.

Q: What inspired the piece?

A: Fear!  Lolz.  Yeah, I think fear.  I'm so afraid of how afraid I am - and how afraid everyone else seems to be.  We're all so scared and desperate and angry - and for so many good reasons, right?  But it's exhausting to constantly be in this state.  And what's the alternative?  To turn into a child again?  Become apathetic?  That's not a way to live either.  So where is the space between?  I want my life to mean more than my anger.  I am a campy, pop-culture-obsessed, busted drag queen.  How does my anger and my apathy get reflected through that lens?  How can I remain critical without losing my darling?

Q: What are you hoping the audiences will walk away feeling/thinking?

A: I hope they feel seen.  I hope they feel safe.  I hope they think about being quiet and being still and what makes them happy. 

Q: What is next for Brigham Mosley? Other projects? A tour of Critical, Darling! maybe?

A: I'd love to take Critical, Darling! on the road!  Right now though I've got a couple projects with my constant-collaborator, the brilliant Janielle Kastner.  For the past two years we've been working on a play about journalism, based on 100+ hours we've spent shadowing and interviewing folks at The Dallas Morning News.  We'll also keep on with our ongoing Movies That Should Be Musicals series where we turn cult-fave movies into the musicals they so desperately deserve to be!  We'll re-assemble the MTSBM crew for another musical this fall!

Q: Links?

A: For the latest haps...

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