Go Deeper Making Art in 2017: Nick Jonczak on Doppelbanger

Making Art in 2017: Nick Jonczak on Doppelbanger

Posted September 16th, 2017

Photo by Robin Stamey.

Name: Nick Jonczak

Show in 2017 Festival: Doppelbanger

Role: Creator, Performer

Past Festival Show: Exile 2588 with Almanac Dance Circus Theatre

FringeArtsTell us a bit about your show.

Nick Jonczak: This show is probably the most personal and definitely the gayest piece I’ve ever created. About three years ago, a man broke up with me by saying, “I think I could love a version of you, but I don’t think it’s a version you want to be…” which is kind of a terrible thing to say to someone. At that point I was really consumed by what the best “version” of me is and how I could manifest-build-shape-sculpt-summon that facet of me into being. I became really aware of how this man and many others had shaped the way I hold and use and think about my body, and I also became really aware of how I, like so many other gay men I know, pursue men who look similar to themselves. Doppelbanger tries to tackle these ideas through a collection of stories from my life where I was left wondering: do I want to be him, or do I want to be with him?

FringeArtsHow have your interests in or approach to art making changed in the last year? Have you found yourself taking anything new into consideration?

Nick Jonczak: I’m absolutely terrified of solo work—this is the first public solo show I’ve ever performed—so I’ve really come to rely on my director, Vanita Kalra, for her amazing sensitivity and sensibility to help me understand the core of the piece, which has definitely evolved over the past year. Originally I was much more concerned with the piece as a reflection of the LGBT community, but, with Vanita’s invaluable guidance, the piece has shifted to a much more personal reflection on formative experiences. I tend to be pretty skeptical of performances that rely heavily on personal narrative, so in making this piece I’ve had constantly, gently give my self permission to make the content about me—and trust that it will resonate with audiences. Trust is hard!

Photo by Robin Stamey.

FringeArtsTell us about an instance from 2017 where your interaction with art provided some much needed solace or refuge from outside troubles.

Nick JonczakNoFace recently performed Matins/Lauds, the third installment of their Abbot Adam series, at The Barnes Foundation—a six-hour structured improvisation from midnight to 6am. Absolutely stunning. Mark and Jaime have such beautiful souls and their work is part of what makes Philly theater so robust, provocative, and nuanced. Covered in a blanket with my head on a pillow at The Barnes, watching these two sublime performers, I was reminded that theater is limitless. Its core lives in our imagination and so is only bounded by our curiosity. Mark and Jaime are two incredibly curious artists and their performance was a reminder that curiosity—the willingness to listen, to receive, to look, to try—might just be enough to save the world. Fuck yes, art.


Nick Jonczak

$20 / 60 minutes

Sept. 21-23 @ Mascher Space Co-op, 155 Cecil B Moore Ave