As I was not invited to the Vancouver Writer’s Festival, I decided to contribute a number of performances to the Delusional Writer’s Imagined Performance Series. The first work was a performance of my rap-opera tribute to Steve Fonyo, 'Can’t Run Forever'. This has been a passion of mine for over 10 years and it was great to see it all come together at the Spitzer Masonic Hall staff room on Saturday night. I want to give a special shout out to Jerry Schroeder for allowing me to adapt his novel into this rap opera and for helping to make this production a reality. Of course, a shout out to the man, SF, for all his troubles, peace.
Production-wise, the stage is sparse, just myself as MC plus Descending Light Explosion providing the back beats. I do a couple of costume changes and some dancing but otherwise it’s a minimalist rap monologue performance piece.
A decent crowd was assembled in the room when the funky beats of Descending Light Explosion rocked the place and I came out to deliver the opening lines:
I do it like I does in the old days
I do it like I does in the old ways
I kicks it like I does in the days of Steve Fonyo
At the end of the first act, I do an 18-minute beat box routine to give the band a break. Unfortunately, they used this time to take some mushrooms that started to kick in during the second act. They needed to take a short two-hour break to work some things out. We kept the vibe going by handing out pakoras while Jim Bowen entertained the crowd with some killer lip syncing. He kicked off with Love Gun by Kiss, before moving to more appropriate material such as De la Soul’s Buddy and Ya Mama by Pharcyde.
We were finally able to get the final act going just after midnight when I turned on the smoke machine and came out to deliver an imaginary monologue by Fonyo:
I’m not retarted, I’m just broken hearted
‘cause I did it and I’m forgotten
not like that other guy, what’s his name
Here’s the story, I gots the guts and he gots the glory
By this time, the crowd was cheering, breaking down in tears, throwing cheese. I looked out into the crowd and saw a young man holding up his iPhone and recording the concert. He gave me a big smile and a thumbs up and right then I knew we were doing something special.
Next up is my 12-hour reading of de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom, '12 Hours of Sodom', at Captain's Sub & Pizza Shack on Kingsway.