Mad King Thomas, by Emily Gastineau

The King is Dead! Long Live the King! 

Pleasure Rebel, Bryant-Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater

April 30, 2014


Dear MKT,

Since I’m the one to break the seal here, I had some questions about what form this piece should take.  I think that a maybe-lazy, blurted-but-crafted, Chris Krausian epistolary confessional has to be it.

Dear Theresa,

I want to talk to you about this series of three moments: 1) You were lip-syncing. 2) You took a mic but kept lip-syncing into it, and we caught our expectations. 3) You started to actually vocalize into the mic, with a raw quality and your head thrown back.  I love how this elided the real and the fake, but we all knew what the difference was.  This way, you give yourself multiple voices, and we get to hear them every way we want.

Dear MKT,

I’m a little ashamed to say this, but I cried most of the way through your piece.  I can’t not look at it in a personal way because we come from the same blessing-curse liberal arts place, you guys a bit before me.  I am not sure if I would live here or do this if you guys didn’t do it first, truly.  I have held at least one of your hair back as you vomited.

Dear Monica,

The strongest image I will keep is the harlequin-you on the chair, a garbage princess in the sublime light.  You did a conflation of laughing and crying, showy and genuine.  I get what’s at stake here, the depth of investment and the effort of keeping one’s head high.  How old can you get and still keep wearing trash bags?  I think you wonder.

Dear MKT,

You guys did a BLB classic tonight, back to your basics–there had to be gold, you had to take a shot.  There’s a great pleasure in that, doing (and seeing) what you know.  When you’ve tried to shift up your format lately, I’ve missed that, but at the same time I want you to break out of your form the same way I want to break my own.  How do you maintain irreverence and iconoclasm when you’re no longer an upstart?  Does that currency have an expiration date?

Dear Tara,

I feel like you held this piece together, running up and down the stairs explaining things as you changed your clothes.  You began the dirge, giving a preface about three pairs of nipples ringed in cubic zirconia.  You blew out your candle but the light didn’t go out.  I think it was a bike light but I have context for that assumption.  It was blue to the candle’s yellow; it was the fake to the real flame, but it was real as a bike light.  And you used it to show yourself the way out.

Dear MKT,

I walked home in the rain after your show because I don’t have a car, and after several years without I’m not sure I can claim to know how to drive anymore.  But on the way I passed this huge turquoise pickup truck with a for-sale sign in the window, and instantly I thought, “I could fuckin’ drive that.”  I think that is Mad King Thomas.

But I think you guys do know how to drive now?



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