“She smokes too much, you see, and it’s hard to keep her in cigarettes, hot dogs, and cough drops on my salary. It’s hard out there in this insane world, and she’s not looking so good these days, shambling down the street in her red vinyl miniskirt, mile-high tangled platinum blonde wig, multicolored fake fur half-jacket, and oversized sunglasses, chasing one more impossible dream.”
Standing alone on the stage and armed with nothing more than a microphone, an original score of music and sound collage, and some basic lighting cues, I spin some stories you’ve likely never heard before, telling fairy tales that may as well have fallen from another dimension, in which I dance surreptitiously with a man in the Watergate, take up with a porn shop raconteur, am nearly stabbed to death by an angelic chanteuse, and look for messages in the handiwork of sign language interpreters on early-morning educational television. Alternately funny, sharp, plaintive, and spiritual, the piece is about real stories in an unreal world, told in a way meant to touch the head and heart at once.
My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much made its in-progress debut in February 2004, in an abbreviated 25 minute version included in a concert of mixed works by the Baltimore Composers Forum at Baltimore’s Patterson Theater (with a great audience response), and returned to the Patterson in April 2005 in its nearly-completed sixty-minute stage version, attracting a sizable and enthusiastic audience. On the strength of this performance, I received a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2006.
To watch the complete 2005 reading of the work-in-progress at Baltimore’s Patterson Theater, click on the player below to start the playlist (the piece is split into 9 sections because of youtube time restrictions):
2015: I’ve completed a fully fleshed-out all-the-bells-and-whistles version of My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much, using new technology for managing sound cues on stage to open up the space for improvisation in telling these stories, and will debut the wilder, remixed, expanded, full-tilt version of the show on 10 October 2015 at the Kranzberg Art Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
© 2005-2015 Joe Belknap Wall