Hidden treasures discovered while digging through Frank Moore's huge archives.

Category: Performances (page 1 of 4)

Lower Links, Chicago 1990 – Part 1

Frank and the Chero Company performed “The Outrageous Horror Show” at Lower Links in Chicago on October 11, 1990 as part of their “Year of Peril” series.

Here is the pre-show article from the Chicago Reader:

Frank Moore 

October 5, 1990

By Albert Williams

“I have a body that is ideal for a performance artist,” says Frank Moore, who was born with cerebral palsy and is 99 percent physically disabled. Moore’s performances are touching in the most literal and provocative sense. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts performance art fellowship in 1985, Moore shares with Karen Finley (who’s also appearing in town this week) the distinction of being on the “hit list” set up by the fearmongers who seek to set the arts agenda these days. (Performance spaces that receive NEA grants are investigated; if they have presented certain artists, such as Finley and Moore, their grant-worthiness is called into doubt.) But if, to paraphrase the title of Finley’s controversial show, the oppressors keep their victims ready, Moore refuses to play victim. In his group piece Outrageous Horror Show, he and his company, Chero, employ erotic play, nude exhibitionism, audience participation, and unorthodox concepts of narrative, space, time, and beauty as means to challenge the barriers society erects around sexuality, cripples, and art. Moore’s appearance is the first offering in “Year of Peril (The Censorship Issue),” a series of performances that will also feature Annie Sprinkle’s Sex Education Class and filmmakers Monte Cazazza and Michelle Handelman’s True Gore later this month. Club Lower Links, Thursday, October 11 (954 W. Newport, 248-5238), 7 PM. $7.

Poster for the show produced by Lower Links
Another poster produced by Lower Links
Poster by LaBash

Here is the script for Frank’s performance:


A review from the Chicago Reader:

The Plucky & Spunky Show 

December 20, 1990

By Anthony Adler

THE PLUCKY & SPUNKY SHOW

Remains Theatre

I might have liked The Plucky & Spunky Show a lot better if I hadn’t seen Frank Moore first. Frank Moore has cerebral palsy. He rides around in a wheelchair, his head and hands move spasmodically, and when he tries to talk the words come out as a series of incomprehensible whines and screeches.

So naturally he’s a performance artist.

I saw Moore’s show when he came to Club Lower Links in October. The evening was long, strange, and very trippy–picture a student pageant at the Jimi Hendrix Memorial School for the Disabled, circa 1971. I found myself squirming almost as soon as I walked in. There was Moore, facing us from his wheelchair, howling and gesticulating to music–his torso straining up against his seat belt; his hands wild; his tongue lolling out of his mouth; and Sonny & Cher on the box, singing what else but “Laugh at Me.”

Drinks were being served. The audience applauded after every appalling number. I was thoroughly upset: my sense of dignity was being assailed. Not my sense of my own dignity, but of Moore’s–my sense of the dignity of the handicapped. What amusement, what pleasure was there in seeing this unlucky man demonstrate his incapacity for us?

Then, whoosh, I saw how completely I’d missed the point. Or rather, how completely I’d fallen into it without seeing it. Moore wasn’t playing to anybody’s prejudices. Just the opposite: he was attacking them. Attacking them with his whole writhing, caterwauling being. His simple presence constituted a challenge to conventional notions of what a performer may and may not look like. And by extension, what roles disabled people may and may not assume. He was all wrong, and yet there he was: sitting center stage, rocking out–even turning sex symbol when his wife appeared, half-naked, to croon “I Got You Babe” with him.

I realized then that my solicitude was actually condescension: a healthy man’s attempt to put a handicapped man not only in his place but in his persona. I wasn’t really angry at the audience for demeaning Moore–the fact was that I was angry at Moore for playing against his assigned type.

The Plucky & Spunky Show offers similar insight–but in the form of a punch line rather than a revelation. Where Moore got in my face with his difference and defiance, Plucky & Spunky came at me with a big hug, a patient look, and an easy laugh. A comedy revue about the peculiar difficulties of the handicapped–written by wheelchair veterans Susan Nussbaum and Mike Ervin, and performed by a mixed ensemble of blind, deaf, paraplegic, and even tall actors–Plucky & Spunky pretends to a certain amount of wiseass irony; we’re supposed to take the title with a heavy dose of attitude. And yet the show’s overall tone actually expresses the pure essence of pluck and spunk. Nussbaum and Ervin are out to cajole us into enlightenment. They tend to teach by ingratiation.

Not that there aren’t darker modulations here and there. Nussbaum gives herself some rich, surprisingly sharp passages–as in the skit where a spilled order of shrimp in black bean sauce momentarily knocks the spirit out of a paraplegic woman. Or the one where Nussbaum and David Pasquesi play wheelchair-bound lovers debating their chances of maintaining a long-term relationship in a world of hostile architecture and patronizing strangers.

Then, too, there are some plain funny bits–plain funny loosely defined here as anything with Pasquesi in it. A Second City mainstage regular, Pasquesi brings a stunningly specific comic imagination to everything he does. As just a small for instance, there’s a scene where Pasquesi comes between a man and his irate, deaf wife: the wife signs the word “sorry” on Pasquesi’s chest and Pasquesi goes giggly from the feel of it. The tickle’s a minor detail, but it has an unexpectedly major effect, simultaneously grounding the scene in physical reality while making it fly as comedy.

Mostly, however, Plucky & Spunky goes for the warm and runny. The warm and runny and pat. An ongoing story about former poster girl Spunky and her search for identity ends with the requisite I’m-Just-Me song. Even the shrimp-and-bean-sauce tragedy closes on an up note. The revue format itself tends to defuse any dangerous interplay between show and audience, its familiarity breeding a complacency that’s never challenged. People with all their limbs and all their faculties can see The Plucky & Spunky Show and sympathize with its agenda without ever examining that agenda on a personal level. Wild Frank Moore would never permit that.


The “Year of Peril” brochure by Karen Briede:

1990 was also one of the busiest years for Frank in terms of travel!

What the Frank Moore for President campaign did …

One of the significant achievements of the Frank Moore for President campaign was to research and catalog the requirements for qualifying as a write-in candidate for President in each of the 50 states.  See http://writein2008.blogspot.com/  This proved to be a long and sometimes challenging task, and in the process the campaign not only forced several states’ elections divisions to clarify and refine their procedures, but in some cases, challenged the legality of elections procedures, and in other cases both challenged and changed those procedures both before and after the election.  In states such as Vermont, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Nebraska and others, the campaign had the effect of familiarizing elections officers with their own procedures, which they did not know before the campaign contacted them. 

In Arkansas, the campaign challenged the Elections Department’s stand that “Write-in candidates are not allowed in presidential, municipal, or primary elections.”  With the invaluable help of Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, the campaign talked with Tim Humphries, the legal counsel for the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, pointing out that there is no basis in Arkansas election code for a prohibition of write-in candidates for President, and that in fact the state of Arkansas had allowed write-in candidates for President in 1972 and 1976.  In the end, this served only as a challenge … Humphries would not admit that there were significant inconsistencies, and did not even realize that Arkansas was in a very small minority of states that do not allow write-in candidates for President.  An article about this challenge is located here: http://writein2008.blogspot.com/search/label/Arkansas

In Pennsylvania, the campaign got an elections official to admit that Pennsylvania’s system is “archaic and not good”.  He said that there should be some kind of pre-certification of write-in candidates like those that operate in other states, so that the county and state elections boards are all on the same page as to who the write-in candidates are, who to count votes for, etc.  He said that if PA were to actually follow their own elections code which states that in order for a write-in vote for president to count, the candidate’s 21 presidential electors must be written in (and not the candidate’s name), it could be legally challenged, and the challenger would easily win the case. 

In Wyoming, the campaign began correspondence with Kelly Dagostino from the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Elections office to find out what a write-in candidate needed to do in Wyoming.  As we talked back and forth, she began to realize that what she thought we were asking about was not really it, and that she actually did not know what the procedure was for a write-in candidate for President in Wyoming, a candidate outside of the major parties, without the money it would take to get enough signatures in the state to get on the ballot … to simply be a write-in candidate and have his/her votes counted.  She said, “What does this say about our country, and this democracy” that she didn’t know how this can work in Wyoming, that they were not set up for a candidate outside of the political machines … she should be the person to know, if anyone knew.  She said, “But I am going to find out!  And I’m going to call you!”  In the end, the elections office in Wyoming refined and clarified their procedure through this correspondence, and it is noted here: http://writein2008.blogspot.com/search/label/Wyoming

With regard to Utah, it was Richard Winger who alerted us that the information we were receiving from the Utah Elections Dept. might be incorrect.  We had ruled out trying to qualify in Utah because we were told by the Elections Dept., several times over the course of months, that a write-in candidate for President had to come to Utah in person and pay $500 in order to qualify.  With persistence, we were able to get to Mark Thomas in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, who was surprised to learn of the information we had been getting from their Elections Office.  He would have to make sure that they knew the correct process.  Filing for write-in candidacy for President was a much simpler process, only requiring a form and a follow-up questionnaire by phone.

As the election approached, on October 24th Frank received a rejection letter from the Elections Division of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.  His filing for write-in candidacy had been received in early July, but they were only now writing to let him know that they had rejected it.  The letter said: “Your document has been rejected because, for the office of President and Vice President, the candidates must be residents of different states.”  Again, with the help of Richard Winger, the campaign challenged this rejection, and won!  The Minnesota Elections Division consulted their legal counsel, and had to admit that the rejection was in error, and that Frank would be officially qualified as a write-in candidate for President in Minnesota.  See: http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/25/minnesota-secretary-of-state-rejects-presidential-write-in-filing-for-frank-moore/

And http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/27/minnesota-now-accepts-frank-moore-write-in-filing/

Several days after the election, Frank received a call from a woman in Santa Cruz informing the campaign of a vote-counting practice by the Santa Cruz County Clerk which would exclude write-in votes cast for President where the vice-president’s name was not also written in.  This was not only a change in the way Santa Cruz county counted write-in votes for President, but went against the “voter’s intent” legal precedent already set in California and in most other states.  The campaign consulted Richard Winger, and again challenged this procedure both with the Santa Cruz County Clerk and with the California Secretary of State.  Due to this challenge, and the pressure put on the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office by other interested parties, including supporters of Ron Paul (who was also one of the four certified write-in candidates for President in CA) the Secretary of State’s office confirmed that they would continue to count write-in votes for President where only the name of the presidential candidate was written in!  See: http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/11/10/california-will-as-usual-count-write-ins-for-declared-presidential-candidates-even-if-voter-didnt-vote-for-vice-president/


Presidential Campaign Speech & Poem – Enough! Tour – Il Corral
Recorded Saturday, September 15, 2007
at Il Corral, Los Angeles, California
With an introduction by Stephen Emanuel.
For more about the tour visit: http://eroplay.com/Cave/LA2007-september/index.html
Frank Moore For President 2008: http://frankmooreforpresident08.com/

Notes on “Season of Hidden Hope”

Frank originally wrote the poem “Season of Hidden Hope – a radio musical” for his appearance on Barb Golden’s KPFA radio show, Crack O’ Dawn on December 2, 1993.

Here is the original script with the poem and songs that Frank would sing as part of the reading of the poem:

Walking along cold dark homeless roads clogged with ice fears my only friend is the wind chilling my bones into longing and lost and beyond… into a cynical loneliness. Herding my sheep, looking in windows of unattainable desires, looking at presents useless because I don’t have anyone to give them to, looking into the past soft colored warm homes that are no longer mine. Everyone has left, everyone is gone. Even the sun has left long ago, long before the manger. And the sun will not come back ever again. This is the season of dark depression and fragile suicide. Yes, I know I can always bum up the $29.95 to buy the plastic hope and faith at 7 Eleven and pretend it is my wonderful life playing in the video store’s window. But instead I wrap myself in a jaded pretense of dry ice isolation of not caring, and drinking the stale but warm wine of regrets.

1. Meatloaf’s “2 out of 3”
2. Dodie Steven’s “Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”
3. Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”

The birth of new hope has always been hidden within the long cold winter darkness. Huddle together, clinging to our tribal warmth as our only protection against dying into the scary black unknown, we always have been blind to the evergreen hope of life. It has always been the first time the sun and easy hope have gone away. So we always think they will never come again. The evergreen hope has been hidden away in the womb of the humble and in children’s dreams. The forces of greys have always overheard the possibility of the hidden hope…have always searched for it to pervert it into human isolation…or, failing that, to kill it for all time. But the forces of power always overlook the hidden human hope rocking in the baby’s cradle. As power goes on a desperate killing, chopping hacking gorging, eating the old world up……we huddle together in the silent night upon the hill, rocking together in our tribal body warmth. The shaman, the holy woman, the medicine man have always shifted our attention away from the dark cold outward fear, have always shifted our gaze to the guiding light of new birth…at first in the stars, then in the roaring tribal fire which pulled all human feelings within it, and still later into that corny home hearth crackling with bright colors popping. Into this fire we have always gone, hearing the drumming of our innocent heart beating in a slow excitement, meeting again our love of life. We curl up with our love and wait for warm spring to arrive…as hope grows into knowing.

4. Elvis’ “Silent Night”
5. Johnny Mathis’ “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
6. Bing Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy”
7. N.K. Cole’s “O Holy Night”
8. John Lennon’s ”Happy Xmas (War is Over)”


Scan of Frank’s original script

Here is the recording of the reading of the poem from the show:


Below is the front and back of the postcard that was mailed out to Frank’s mailing list (snail mail at that time!) promoting the show:

Photos from the postcard “photoshoot”:


Here is the complete Crack O’ Dawn show from December 2, 1993:


Christmas 1993: Frank, Linda, Mikee and Kittee.

Carlos

In the early days of people being diagnosed with AIDS, one of Frank’s students, Carlos, got the AIDS diagnosis. Frank told him his job now was to bring death into life and to live and die joyfully. Carlos followed Frank in this and was a joy and inspiration to all of us around him.

Frank believed in type casting. After Carlos found out that he had AIDS, Frank cast him as the “dying man” in his performances. At the 5+ hour ritual performances Frank had nude, body painted Carlos wearing his “I have AIDS” sign around his neck inside of a small tent. Each audience member was led into the tent before entering the performance space and Carlos talked to them briefly about death, that it is not something to fear, that it is not painful in itself, it is part of life. When Carlos passed away he was in a very peaceful, joyful state of mind. When we got the word that Carlos had passed we looked at each other and said let’s have ice cream sundaes!! (Eating ice cream was one of the indulgences Carlos allowed himself with Frank’s encouragement, as part of his dying process.)

Carlos, street performance at The Lab, San Francisco, 1988. Photo by Linda Mac.

Below is a transcription of an excerpt of a conversation recorded December 10, 1995 at Father George’s house in San Francisco. Frank Moore, Linda Mac, Mikee LaBash, Corey Nicholl, Father George, and Louise Scott were present. (Father George was a friend of Frank’s during his time in Santa Fe, New Mexico when Frank lived with Louise Scott and her family.)

Linda:  What, the house?  No, Carlos?  Um, one of Frank’s students, Carlos, died of AIDS-related stuff.  And he’d been working with Frank for a few years when he found out that he had AIDS.  And Frank said, “O.k., your job is to die as lustfully as you’ve lived, and to bring death into life.”  ‘Cause it was a whole group of us that were part of like the community that were working with Frank, and doing performances and stuff too.  And so, well he did fine for a long time …

Frank:  I …

Linda:  … You cast him, Frank cast him as the dying man in performances, after he found that out.  And so people, it was in the all-night ritual performances, people are lead in by nude body-painted dancers, and it’s like all very ritualistic and quiet, and there’s body music playing.  And they would be lead to this little kind-of cave made out of back-drops, and Carlos would be in there, nude and body-painted with a sign that says he’s the Dying Man.  And it would be like two people at a time, and they’d be left in the room with him for like a minute or two, and he’d give them a rap about death.  And he said, that death is not painful in itself.  And it’s not something to be feared, that it’s just a transition.  And then they’d be lead out.  And most people actually didn’t realize that …

Louise:  … that he really was.

George:  … that he was really dying.

Linda:  … the dying man.  And …

George:  Did he do it when he was really sick?  I mean, did he continue doing it?

Linda:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Oh yeah, right up to the time he died.  And at the point where his body really started to go … he was like really fine up until that point.  And then, he moved upstairs with a couple that had been his friends, so they could take more care of him.  And they called us, and they said, they called us one afternoon and they said, “We’re worried about Carlos because he won’t get out of bed and he won’t eat.”  And we had a tour coming up to Portland that Carlos was planning on going on with us.  And so, Frank gets in the car, we drive over to San Francisco.  Carlos is lying in bed, doing this Camille thing, you know, that was his like picture of himself dying. (all laughing)  And Frank said, “Look, you have to look and see if you’re dying or not.  If you’re dying, tell us, and we’ll help you die.  If you’re not dying, (Frank screams), you have to eat, you have to start having fun with us.  Eating, you have to be in shape  to go to Portland.”  And he said, “Take the night to think about it, and tell me in the morning.”  And he said, he told Carlos that people are afraid to push him because they’re afraid that he’s gonna die if they push him.  And he said, “I don’t care if you die, because it’s better to die than to live and be a wimp.”  And so, you know … and next morning they call us and they said, “I don’t know what you did, but not only is he eating but he insisted on getting up at the table.”  (George laughs)

And it kind of went up and down for a while.  We started going to his house for sessions ’cause he was too sick to come to meet with Frank.  And Frank had everybody …

Frank:  He came to …

Linda:  Oh, an all-night thing?  Yeah.  He had never gone to one of the twenty-four hour, like Frank does these twenty-four hour like workshop type things …

George:  Carlos had never gone?

Linda:  … and Carlos had never done one of them, and he really wanted to.  So we had one scheduled, and he was in the hospital, and he got out like the night before, he was in and out of the hospital a lot.  So he shows up with like, it was like a portable hospital room … Well he was late.  O.k., so … when he had first started meeting with Frank years before, he was late for everything.  And that was one of the first things that Frank said had to go.  You know, “you have to be on time anytime you say you’re gonna be some place.”  So he was always on time then.  And now, here he is, like really sick, depending on other people, and he’s like a couple hours late for this thing.  And so, while we’re waiting for him to come … a lot of the people that were in the workshop had never, didn’t know any of us.  They were just doing this workshop they had signed up with to do with Frank.  So Frank said, “Well I have someone coming who’s gonna be playing the part of a dying man.”  And he starts giving this whole rap about how he’s gonna pretend he’s dying of AIDS, and he’s going to da da da da …  And so Carlos shows up then two hours later with his entourage of like he’s on oxygen, he has all these medications for his skin and all this stuff.  And he’s in tears.  He’s so upset ’cause he’s late.  And he comes in, “Frank!”  You know, and he’s like … and Frank, you know, lets him talk for a minute, and  he turns to everybody, he says, “This is him.  See?” 

And Carlos is looking, and Frank said, “I told them that you’re playing the part of the dying man.”  And Carlos just looks at Frank and goes, “O.k., Frank!”  You know … (all laugh)  And Frank had set it up so that he could set his own pace, ’cause we didn’t know like what he’d be up for.  And he said, just join in as much as you want.  And by the end of it, he was off oxygen.  He like was totally, you know, back into everything and he was involved in everything, through the whole thing.  He didn’t like take a break at any point.  And he said that it, you know, he felt a lot better at the end of it.  And the process of him, he would kind of go in and out of being o.k. …

George:  Yeah.  That happens pretty regularly.

Linda:  Yeah.  At one point when we were over there, he told Frank that Frank didn’t know what it was like to have to depend on people for your every need.  (all explode screaming/laughing)  Which he denied saying.  He said, “Frank, you made that up.  I never said that.”  The thing would be, Frank had, you know, everybody that was part of this little community, somebody was with him all the time, and they’d just hang out with him, or play cards or just whatever, you know.  And he would be this, (plays Camille) like “Ohhh … you knowww … I’m in soooo …”  Like that.  And then we’d get a card game going.  Boom.  He’s sharp, he’s fine, nothing hurts, he’s winning.  (all laugh)  You know, and so … that was like during his period when he’s going in and out of things.  One time he’s in the hospital and the Portland trip is approaching and Frank had told him he has to be able to walk, you know, to go on this tour.  And, we get there and it turns out, he’s not walking.  He’s not getting out of bed, he’s not moving.

George:  He’s in the hospital at this point.

Linda:  Yeah, he’s in the hospital, this is one of those like three or four day things, and then he’d be in and out for different things.  And, Frank said, “O.k., I told you you should be walking.  I want you to lean on Michael,” and another guy that was with us, Rourke, “and walk as far as the door and back to your bed.”  And he says, “Well I’m not gonna lean on anybody then.  I’m just gonna walk.”  He gets to the door, and the door is open.  He waits ’til he gets to the frame so that he’s in view of the nurse’s station, and GRABS onto the frame, trying to get Frank in trouble!

And Frank just yells at him, and says, “I told you to lean on Michael and Rourke.  Now you lean on them to get back to bed.”  And that all happens, and he goes through this trauma over that, and we play cards, he’s fine, you know.  And we’re leaving and the nurse calls us over and she said, “What did you do to get him to walk?”  It turns out that they’d been trying to get him to walk.  He said he needed a physical therapist.  They brought a physical therapist.  The physical therapist said, “You should be able to walk.”

“Oh no, I need a doctor.”  They bring a doctor:  “You should be able to walk.”  No, he can’t walk.  And then they see him walking, you know.  And so Frank said, “Well, not only that.  He’s supposed to walk a step more each day.”  The nurse said, “Fine, I’ll enforce that.”  (all laugh) 

So by the time he died …

George:  You should have billed him.  (all laugh)

Frank:  Uh huh!

Linda:  You did!  Oh yeah, he paid.  He paid all the way to the end.  By the time he died he was pretty consistently at peace with it, and a pretty jolly soul with it all.  It was very neat, and … so it actually felt, you know, it wasn’t as drastic a thing when he died, ’cause he was so kinda right there with us.  Yeah.

Frank:  We ate …

Linda:  Right.  The day he died, we decided … you know, his whole thing when he was dying was that, his fantasy had been having ice cream or something, something like that.  And Frank said, “Pffft, you know, you’re dying, have as much ice cream as you want.”  So he used to have the people he was staying with make him milkshakes, so he could get up in the middle of the night and drink a milkshake if he wanted it.  So, the day that he died, we’re sitting there, and we said, “Well, let’s have a sundae.”  You know, so that started like a ritual.  So on his birthday and on his death day we go out and we have these decadent sundaes, and it never makes us sick, you know …

George:  (laughing)  Banana splits …

Louise:  Right, you just do it.

Linda:  … if we did that on any other day, it would be like “Ooohhh.”  You know, but we do that …

George:  Oh jeez …  People do dance around dying, though.  We’ve certainly, we have people who come this close, you think they’re gonna be gone in two hours, and then they back away.  And then … for another couple months, and approach it again, and back away.  Just never know …

Linda:  Yeah.

George:  … but we’ve never had anyone eating ice cream on the way out.  (laughs)

Frank:  Carlos was joking …

Linda:  … with the nurse, as he died.  Right.  He was getting a transfusion, and he was joking with the nurse, and he just passed.

George:  He was getting, what, how did, did he have cardiac arrest, you know, was that the thing …?

Linda:  I guess that was it.  Did he have cardiac arrest as he was having the transfusion?  (Frank – yes)  Yeah.  Yeah.

The Lab, San Francisco, 1988.
“Journey to Lila”, EZTV, Los Angeles, California, 1988.
“Wrapping/Rocking” at Poetry Bash, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, 1988.
Poetry Bash, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, 1988.
“Journey to Lila”, ATA, San Francisco, California, April 8, 1988. Photo by Linda Mac.

This is the text that displayed in the “Dying Man” tent along with a large photo of Carlos wearing his “I have AIDS” sign at performances after Carlos died:

I AM CARLOS. FOR THE LAST YEAR, MY ROLE IN THESE DREAMS HAS BEEN TO GREET THE PEOPLE, AND TO PREPARE THEM FOR THEIR DEATH WHICH THEY (AND YOU) WILL EXPERIENCE IN THIS DREAM. I TOLD THEM THAT DEATH IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE FEARED, SOMETHING THAT IN ITSELF IS NOT PAINFUL. I TOLD THEM, IN MY MARVELOUS VINCENT PRICE VOICE, THAT DEATH IS A PART OF LIFE TO BE LUSTFULLY RELISHED AND ENJOYED.

I WISH YOU COULD HAVE HEARD MY VINCENT PRICE. I TRIED TO GET HERE IN MY BODY, WHICH WAS FINALLY FITTING THE BODY OF THE DYING MAN. I EVEN FANTASIZED ABOUT DYING HERE WHILE I WAS TALKING TO YOU ABOUT DEATH. BUT THAT WAS NOT TO BE. 2:35 P.M., JANUARY 30, 1989, MY HEART STOPPED. BUT I AM HERE WITH YOU BECAUSE LIFE, WHICH DEATH IS A PART OF, GOES ON.

WHEN I FOUND OUT A YEAR AGO I HAD AIDS, THE KNOWING I WAS DYING LIBERATED ME SO THAT I COULD LIVE MORE FULLY, MORE HAPPILY, MORE OPENLY, MORE PEACEFULLY THEN I EVER LIVED BEFORE. FRANK, ALWAYS A BELIEVER IN TYPE-CASTING, CREATED FOR ME THE DYING MAN ROLE TO SPREAD THE LIBERATION TO PEOPLE WHOSE DEATHS ARE NOT IN SIGHT. A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT THE “I HAVE AIDS” SIGN I WORE AROUND MY NECK AND THE DYING MAN WERE FICTIONS OF THE ART. BUT WHEN THEY DISCOVERED THAT I WAS REALLY DYING, THE DREAM BROKE OUT OF ART, AND INTO THE REALITY OF EVERYDAY. I HOPE BY MY BEING WITH YOU IN THIS WAY IT WILL SPREAD THE LIBERATION TO YOU.

The sign that appeared outside of the “Dying Man” tent (painted by LaBash).

Videos with Carlos

EZTV – Wrapping/Rocking & Statues
Los Angeles, California, September 9, 1988.

Playing with Reality
(in two parts)
Berkeley, California, November 19 & 20 1988

The Outrageous Horror Show
Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California, October 29, 1988

Gestures – Part 2

Here is the list of “adjectives” … see the previous post about Gestures here:
http://eroplay.org/gestures/


arousingly

joyfully

gently

suggestively

deeply

warmly

desiringly

playfully

SWITCH PAIRS

lovingly

child-like

knowingly

healingly

passionfully

magically

calmly

confidently

happily

JOYFULLY

exploringly

softly

vulnerably

soothingly

calmingly

intimately

pleasurefully intensely


Gestures Ritual – An excerpt from Frank Moore’s The Uncomfortable Zones Of Fun, recorded Saturday, February 27, 2010 at Temescal Arts Center, Oakland, California


Gestures

Gestures was a ritual that Frank developed during his three year performance series at University of California, Berkeley in the 1980s and that he continued to use as a module in many of his performances for the next 30 years.

It is based upon the book MANWATCHING by Desmond Morris. During the ritual, those who choose to participate are paired, then strips of paper are drawn randomly from two bags and read aloud; one bag filled with the gestures (the complete list is below), one bag filled with adjectives.

The Gestures bags
Adjective and gesture strips.

Here is the introduction to the ritual that was read during a performance:

A Chanter sings:

“This is a ritual, a magical ritual, a ritual of Gestures which will open up a physical, magical force within those who choose to participate. At times the ritual will be very silly. At other times there will be a raw vulnerability, an intimacy that is not limited by social taboos, not framed in by romance or sex.”

“This magical ritual operates on the random principle. Magicians and mystics have used the factor of change throughout the ages to get past the rational, the logical, the linear, to get to inner knowledge or to universal wisdom. Shuffling the tarot cards and the throwing of the yarrow sticks for the i ching are but two examples of this random principle. In this ritual, the random principle, pulling gestures out of the box, will direct the ritual. Some gestures are silly. Some gestures are intense and intimate. The random principle makes each gesture equal. The random principle will remove the linear limiting taboo, sexual, romance context.”

“Linda will now pair people … to do the gestures.

The Chanter waits until Linda finishes pairing. Then the Chanter sings:

“Slowness is important in the quiet gentle sounds and laughter will help the magic. Watchers should refrain from talking during the ritual.”

“Each gesture has a special time length. You should keep doing one action until Linda sings the next gesture.”

“You will start releasing the physical force of eroplay in your bodies. This ritual will take eroplay out of social, moral, sexual, and romantic contexts, so that the focus will be on the pure magical fun and pleasure. It is important that each act be done gently, slowly, softly, completely.”

The Chanter quietly exits. Linda takes over.

“Gestures”, U.C.B. Series, Spring 1985. Photo by Mary Sullivan.

Here is the complete list of gestures:

HUNCH YOUR SHOULDERS

PUT YOUR HANDS OUT PALMS UP

TILT YOUR HEAD TO ONE SIDE

LOWER THE CORNERS OF YOUR MOUTH

RAISE YOUR EYEBROWS

HUG YOUR LEGS

CROSS YOUR LEGS

CROSS YOUR LEGS

CROSS YOUR LEGS

CLASP YOUR HANDS ON YOUR THIGHS

OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

SHAKE YOUR WHOLE BODY

SHAKE YOUR WHOLE BODY

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

WAVE

SMILE

LIFT YOUR EYEBROWS UP

BLOW A KISS

SHAKE HANDS. Focus on having all touching and exchanges be deep, gentle, firm, self-confident, and fun.

SPREAD YOUR ARMS AS IF YOU ARE GOING TO HUG

LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER, VISUALLY EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER, PASS TABOOS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BACKS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S RIBS

PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS

MAKE BRIEF EYE CONTACT WITH THE OTHER, THEN JERK AWAY

HOLD HANDS

RUB EACH OTHER’S HANDS. Feel the gentle warming pleasure

EXPLORE EACH OTHER’S HANDS. Feel the gentle warming pleasure

HOLD HANDS. We have started releasing a physical force in our bodies, EROPLAY. We feel this EROPLAY now as we hold hands. This ritual will take EROPLAY out of social, moral, sexual, and romantic contexts, so that the focus will be on the pure magical fun and pleasure. It is important that each act be done gently, slowly, softly, completely.

RUB NOSES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BARE ARMS.

RUB FORHEADS

RUB EACH OTHER’S HEAD, HEAD TO HEAD. Turn on each other’s scalps. Make one another feel like a puppy having its belly rubbed.

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BARE ARMS, ARMS ON ARMS.

RUB FORHEADS, FORHEAD TO FORHEAD

RUB EACH OTHER’S HEAD, HEAD TO HEAD. Turn on each other’s scalps. Make one another feel like a puppy having its belly rubbed.

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S ARMPITS GENTLY

RUB CHEEKS, CHEEK TO CHEEK

LOOK DEEPLY INTO ONE ANOTHER’S EYES

RUB ONE ANTHER’S FEET. Turn them on to an intense warm glow of relaxing pleasure.

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

CURL UP, HUG YOURSELF, AND GENTLY ROCK BACK AND FORTH. Rock into comforting trust

JERK YOUR HEAD VERY SLIGHTLY

SHOW EACH OTHER YOUR BARE BELLY AND RUB YOUR BELLY

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BARE BELLY LIKE A PUPPY’S BELLY, SOOTHINGLY

RUB BELLIES, BELLLY TO BELLY

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BELLY

HUG ONE ANOTHER

SQUEEZE ONE ANOTHER’S HANDS

SHOW YOUR BARE CALVES TO THE OTHER

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CALVES

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S CALVES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CALVES, CALVES TO CALVES

RUB ONE ANOTHER, ALL OVER

RUB HEADS, HEAD TO HEAD

STROKE ONE ANOTHER’S HAIR

RAISE YOUR HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD AS HIGH AS THEY WILL GO

PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR GENITALS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BACK

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BACK

LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER

PUT YOUR HANDS ON ONE ANOTHER’S GENITALS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS AND NECK

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST, CHEST TO CHEST

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS, BREASTS TO BREASTS

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS

EXPLORE EACH OTHER BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BODY BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BODY BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BODY BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

RUB YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

EXPLORE YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

PUT THE OTHER’S HAND ON YOUR GENITALS AND GUIDE IT SENSUALLY

RUB EACH OTHER’S GENITALS, NOT FOR SEXUAL REASONS, BUT FOR BODY COMFORT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK TOGETHER

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BACK

LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS AND NECK

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS

PUT YOUR HEAD ON THE OTHER PERSON’S SHOULDER. HUG AND ROCK TOGETHER

RUB FACES

RUB FACES, FACE ON FACE

EXPLORE FACES

STICK YOUR TONGUE WAY OUT

LICK ONE ANOTHER’S EAR

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S KNEES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S THIGHS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S KNEES, KNEES TO KNEES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S THIGHS, THIGHS ON THIGHS

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S KNEES

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S THIGHS

HOLD ONE ANOTHER’S WAIST

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BUTTS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BUTTS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BUTTS, BUTT TO BUTT

RUB YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

PUT THE OTHER’S HAND ON YOUR GENITALS, GUIDE IT EXPLORINGLY. RUB EACH OTHER’S GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT, CALMING AND RELAXING

RUB ANYWHERE ON ONE ANOTHER’S BODY

EXPLORE EACH OTHER BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

RUB YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

RUB EACH OTHER’S GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

IN VERY SLOW MOTION, RUB YOUR BODIES TOGETHER AND TALK TOGETHER


Gestures at University of California, Berkeley, July 24, 1986

Music Jam – A Poem

A poem by Teresa Cochran about “The Jam” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, May 28, 2000, with Teresa Cochran, Giovanni Moro, Walter Funk, John The Baker, Corey Nicholl and Frank Moore

Hi Frank,

Here’s the poem I wrote about our jam in May. I wanted to surprise you with it on LUVER! 🙂

Music Jam

Here we are
In the Shaman’s Den
The Shaman on piano,
Bringing music out of infinite spaces,
Inviting us to follow.
We find our own parallel musical paths,
Each one different,
But present,
Like a harmony.
Joyous play
With shamanic toys;
We are all here.
The silent one, Booya,
Is no less present.
Here he is
With headphones;
An omniscient being,
While we trust him
To stay with us
And participate in our adventure.
And o the magical recording later!
It contains things we could not, did not hear
In our shamanic journey.
I feel as if I have lived
At least one lifetime
During that one-hour jam.
Condensed, yet timeless.

Love,
Teresa

Listen to the jam here:


Teresa is a Featured Artist on eroplay.com. You can read more of her poems here: https://eroplay.com/feature/teresa/index.html

Dotty

Excerpted from Frank’s letter to Annie Sprinkle, February 17, 1987, describing Dotty, the character Annie would be playing at Frank’s first Franklin Furnace performance, INTIMATE CAVE, May 14, 1987.

For about eight years, I have been working with the character whom you are playing. I call her Dotty. You remind me of the woman who originally played Dotty. I have tried to get other people to play Dotty in different pieces, with not much success. They have lacked the depth and freedom and control needed to pull it off.

Dotty is a zombie, mentally retarded … has no I.Q., no intellect. But she is not dumb. She is very slow. She takes a couple of minutes to waddle several feet. She does not speak. But she makes loud, long, slow laughs without obvious reason. She makes funny faces and distorts her body [Howie Mandel may have copied her moves]. She gets sidetracked very easily. A bit of dust can stop her in her tracks as she focuses to explore it. In a strange way, she is very focused. Once her focus is on you, she is locked on you until her curiosity is satisfied. She is a ball of emotional, innocent curiosity. This gives her a gentle power over people, allowing her to break taboos, sitting on laps, crawling on people, unbuttoning shirts, gently pushing limits.

In this piece, she is looking for warmth, for intense physicalness. She looks for this in the audience at first. She does not force this on people. But she does not settle for less. When she finds that a person has quit going with her into that physical intimacy, she loses interest and moves on to another person.


Dotty Gallery

Painted Bride Proposal

Letter to Roni, dated in pencil Dec. 1986:

Frank Moore
1812 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94703
(415) 540-0907

Dear Roni,

Here is the packet including two proposals, my resume, and articles about my work. After we talked to you, I started thinking about the problem about The Painted Bride. It seemed if I did a performance there, I would either put you at risk in your job or would have to compromise … probably both! I am not willing to do either.

But it would be a shame not to do something at The Bride if it is possible. So I came up with the idea of doing the lecture there. Ideas and words are safer and more acceptable to administrators than the physical acts which put the ideas in the real world. The lecture would plant seeds, at the very least.

The performance at the other gallery should be a day or two after the lecture to give the physical product of my ideas.

Although there is nudity in “Wrapping/Rocking”, the piece has proved to be very accessible and gentle. I am looking forward to doing it there. I will need one female performer [how about you?] and up to two other dancers for the piece.

In L.A. I have attracted young artists who perform in my pieces down there. I have a dream about this also happening on the East Coast. Winter is turning out to be proposal-writing time of the year. One of the proposals is to the Yellow Springs Institute in PA. If I get accepted, I would want to work with some of the same people I will worked with in N.Y.C. and Philly this time around.

Linda and I are looking forward to seeing and talking with you on South Street … and at Cafe Roma here.

Love,
Frank

Here is Frank’s proposal for the lecture:

RAPTURE PERFORMANCE – A MAGICAL ART
a proposal
for
a lecture
by
Frank Moore

There should be a kind of art that magically alters human reality, alters consciousness, subverts the existing order, and expands the limits of morals. Performance art can be such a channel of revolutionary, empowering change … if it focused on invoking the state of rapture.

In the lecture, I will go back to the primal roots of all art around the fireside and in the cave. The urge of creativity was a spiritual and communal attempt to affect, to change, the outside reality, both the natural world and the surreal world of gods and spirits. Art has hidden rituals in which power came from the acting out, not from viewing the art.

I will deal with how art, along with formal religion, lost its primal focus of change and became an object for viewing. Art became fragmented and isolated. Art failed the people.

The lecture will talk about how the avant-garde tradition, including performance art, was a reaction to this failure. It was an attempt, mainly unconsciously, to get back to the magic.

I will maintain that this magical art is still possible in this yuppie decade. In fact, it is vital for our collective sanity to have such art of rapture. By talking about what I do, I am hoping that tactics will emerge for this underground war of art and magic.

Frank Moore

Roni’s reply, undated and handwritten on Painted Bride letterhead paper:

Dear Frank and Linda,

Happy 87 – hope all is well with you. Thanks for sending me the information – I showed it to Chris Hayes, the program director, and Chris is willing to do one weekend evening in May (*see note) around your NYC visit (either before or after) for Wrapping/Rocking. He asked if you would work for a minimum guarantee (say $150) against our standard 65% of the gate. (One hundred people at 6.00 each would be about $400 for you, if I figured correctly).

So let me know EXACTLY what your plans are regarding trip east; we can house you here, of course (do you like dogs – you can stay with me – I’m on a 1st floor.) and if you want to do Kitchen 1st or Bride 1st.

We have some ideas on getting the public out (”SEX, NUDITY, SOFT EROTICISM”*) and we also think we can get the art opening crowd out.

Hope to hear from you soon.
love to you both.
& happy 87!
Roni

*we’ve come some way, I guess.