This Friday will be our third performance as part of our Infiltration series, a collaboration with Salonathon and us Neos in our State Park space before TML every Fri in August and September. Since I’ll probably be frantically setting my props for TML during Sid’s performance and won’t get to see it (shit!), I thought I would interview her and get a little insight into who she is.
I love your name. It reminds me of Fernet Branca, a digestif that I enjoy over ice. Do you have a preferred digestif?
Thanks! Every time I see those Fernet Branca ads around town, I feel like I have some really wacky cousin running around that I haven’t met yet. I would love to hang out with her. I actually really love Fernet Branca, and weird bitter intense drinks in general. I am also a huge fan of Malört–bartenders all over this city regularly make fun of me for ordering Malört and club soda, which is called a Lake Michigan and is totally refreshing and great.
When did you first encounter Salonathon? Would you consider it your artistic home? What keeps you coming back?
So in an attempt to figure out when I first went to Salonathon, I searched for “Salonathon” in my gmail archive. There were 920 results, daaaaang. The first related email is from July 18, 2011, so I guess I’ve been attending since near the beginning of this whole crazy thing. The first time I performed at Salonathon was December 19, 2011, at the request of the lovely Kelly Kerwin. The theme was, appropriately, Endings/Beginnings. I did a monologue that included the line “This hangover has taught me that today is a new day and that the future is ours,” which in hindsight was pretty on point.
The Salonathon community is definitely exactly that for me–a community. The people I have met and grown closer to as a result are some of the most important people in my life. I’ve seen a lot of really incredible work, and a lot of daring and beautiful attempts at something new. I’ve witnessed people change and grow as artists over time. I’ve begun collaborations. I’ve fallen irrevocably in love, over and over. I’ve gotten to share many things both rawly new and intimately familiar with a room full of people I value.
The world is a kind of a terrifying and overwhelming place to me a lot of the time, but I know Salonathon has my back and that means a lot. It’s that, as much as the performances themselves, that keeps me coming back whenever I can.
What is your favorite article of clothing right now? Why?
I recently acquired this big red plaid flannel that makes me feel like a character on The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and I am really excited for fall weather so I can wear it constantly until I am gross.
Where do you live? What’s your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
I live in Ukrainian Village! I love all the signs in Cyrillic lettering, and the weird little dive bars, and the bells of the church across the street from my house. But I think my favorite thing about where I live is my roommate, Amanda. She is my best friend and is great, and a room of our apartment is essentially the main office of First Floor Theater, of which she’s the Managing Director and I’m a company member. She is eating a croissant next to me while I am typing this and I am obviously trying to figure out if she can see what I am typing right now.
I feel like every time I see you, you have a different look. Would you consider yourself a chameleon?
Totally. I try to approach every day of my life like I’m attending a theme party, but I’m the one who gets to pick the theme! Sometimes I will even assign myself one, or ask my friends for a prompt. (I often also try to dress in response to a given Salonathon theme even if I’m not performing that night.) I am a complicated and somewhat fractured person with a lot of different interests and like, so many feelings, and it’s sometimes fun for me to try and channel those into different looks. Artistic practice is often a process externalizing some kind of interior experience, and that’s also on some level happening when you decide which black band t-shirt with the sleeves cut off you’re going to wear that day, ya know?