Misquoted: A Parody – Part the First
The shameless plug division of the Festival Blog was working hard recently on ways to promote Josh McIlvain’s 2010 Philly Fringe show, Boat Hole, which opens on Wednesday night. Josh was the “editor” of the Festival Guide, and did “a bunch” of “work” alongside us earlier this summer.
Nicholas Gilewicz: I understand that in addition to writing plays, you also write and play music. When did you get the performance bug?
Josh McIlvain: It all started when I abandoned my family, being a young father is a tough gig and playing rock is a much funner gig—but I have a new family now so it’s ok that I ditched the first one. Anyway, I got my start at Irish Sean O’McDay’s, a bar in Fishtown that turned into Bieber’s—you know the place?
JM: It’s hidden away. Now they only play Justin Bieber, whose music I don’t care for but I think he’s really cute—not in a gay way, more like a father-son way since he’s about the age of my first child, whom I haven’t seen but I suppose I’ll run into some time. What a conversation that will be, right? SEXCOP, my band, came from the lies I’ve been telling girls at Bieber’s. When you say you’re an SVU detective, and that you investigate sexual murder, godDAMN can you pull some ass.
After the jump: Dancing for nickels, Stalin, and time to hide the drugs.
NG: How old were you when you abandoned your family?
JM: Old enough to have a family, but not old enough to think it was such a good idea. If you’re over 30 it’s not cool to walk away like that, but as long as you’re under 25, it takes an explanation, but in the end it’s accepted behavior. If you’re under 20 and knock up a senator’s daughter, you get a reality show.
NG: Good to know.
JM: No charge.
NG: So you start gigging at this bar . . .
JM: The barmaid took me in, and treated me like a bar dog or bar cat. I had a little nest by the bathroom, and she’d have me dance on the bar for nickels.
NG: Like go-go dancing?
JM: No, interpretive.
NG: I was not aware of your background in interpretive dance.
JM: That was a pretty common path to the rock n roll stage back in the late eighties, early nineties, a lot of musicians started off performing interpretive dance in dive bars, then the whole grunge thing happened so it’s kind of forgotten now.
NG: At some point you turned to playwriting.
JM: Yes, again, that’s tradition. Typically, after the rock n roll stage and a little race car driving, people turn to playwriting. That’s what artists do anyway. I don’t actually write the plays themselves, I just do submission calls, then I take other people’s material and put my name on them.
NG: Isn’t that plagiarism?
JM: Exactly, it’s very effective, and playwrights are generally very poor and can’t afford a lawyer. They also tend to be very weak and are susceptible to physical intimidation.
NG: So the name of your Fringe show, Boat Hole, originally came from another writer?
JM: No that was my contribution. It came about from a recent one-night stand.
NG: In what capacity?
JM: Like you don’t know.
NG: I really don’t.
JM: Would you like me to demonstrate?
NG: Let’s move on. Who has been your biggest inspiration?
JM: Well a lot of the humor in Boat Hole draws on Stalin. He was pretty fucking hilarious. I mean sure he killed a few people, but you can’t conflate a man’s art with his life. As an artist, especially, I need to look beyond that.
NG: To see his humor?
JM: Like you don’t stay up at night and masturbate to his speeches.
NG: I don’t understand Russian.
JM: That’s what makes them so great—he spoke gibberish, but he’s completely unfazed, he just kept speaking even though no one understood a word he said. Hilarious!
NG: Russians, I think, understood it.
JM: Whatever, you can’t trust what they say. Foreign language is just a big bunch of pretend as far as I’m concerned. Only thing worse is a translation—I don’t trust anyone who makes likes than 80K a year. Once my theater phase passes, I’m going to be a historian and expose a lot of truths.
JM: You’re supposed to say, “I look forward to learning the truth.”
NG: Your breath smells like whiskey.
JM: No, yours does.
NG: It’s part of my man-musk. But your breath reeks of it.
NG: I’m not fat. I’m just big-boned.
JM: That’s what your mom said last night.
Tomorrow: McIlvain objects! (And I didn’t even print the worst of it!)
Boat Hole opens on Wednesday and runs September 15 through 18 at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia. 7:00 pm each night, $15.
Photo stolen without permission from Josh McIlvain’s Facebook page, and poorly doctored by Nicholas Gilewicz.