The Frank Moore Archives

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

Menu Close

Tag: NEA

NEA Diary – Part 2 – Anti Club, L.A., CA–“Cabaret of Chaos”

Frank Moore, “Cabaret of Chaos”, Anti Club, Los Angeles, California, January 24, 1986

from NEA Diary:

The next night, we were in a totally opposite scene than Irvine … the anti-club, the L.A. art/punk club. I was doing my CABARET OF CHAOS, which consisted of me singing along to taped message songs such as “Better Sit Down Kids”, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, “I Am Woman”, etc. When the packed punk house saw this weird crip (me) sitting on the stage yelling into a mic to bad music, they started jeering at me, pulling at my feet, and in general tried to give me a hard time. I loved it. I started kicking their heads playfully, sang all the louder, and interacted with them. They started liking it almost in spite of themselves. They started clapping along, then singing along, then rocking along with me. Amazing. Hard-core punks got on stage to dress me in their spiked jewelry and even to give me a back rub while I sang. After 45 minutes of this, they demanded more. When I finally got off the stage, they crowded around me, touching my body.

I could never dream up this reality.

The letter Frank wrote to get the gig:

July 1985

To Jack Marquette
Anti-Club, Los Angeles

Dear Jack,

Paul McCarthy suggested I contact you about my doing a show at The Anti-Club when I am in Southern California in late January. I will be doing performances at U.C.L.A., with the help of Paul, and at U.C.S.D. for the performance art class of Eleanor Antin. But what I would do at your club would be very different from these other performances.

I would do a very silly and tacky musical revue which grew out of my Outrageous Beauty Revue which I did as the Saturday early show at S.F.’s Mabuhay Gardens for three years in the late 70’s. The show has wacky characters who murder songs from the 60’s. The show could be from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your time requirements. I don’t know why, but the show is the most accessible thing I do.

I am enclosing the cover story that High Performance did on my work and the article about me that the editor of Metier wrote. They should give you the feel for what I do.

Paul told me that you manage Johanna Went. Ever since she and I performed on the same night at the Mabuhay many years ago, I have wanted to perform with her again … maybe I could open for her at your club.

Hope to work with you.

Frank Moore

The “Cabaret of Chaos” song list

“Cabaret of Chaos” script and stage instructions:

Various press clippings:

L.A. Weekly January 24-30, 1986
Los Angeles Times Calendar, Sunday, January 19, 1986
READER January 24, 1986

NEA Diary, Part 1

As part of receiving an NEA grant, Frank was required to keep a diary during the year of his grant. This is the first time Frank wrote these familiar words.

From Frank’s NEA Diary:

October 20, 1986:

“We are in the cave of dream. We are in a battle of an underground war against fragmentation. The battle is on all realities. The controllers have always tried to fragment us. Fragment us from each other. Imprison us in islands of sex, color, religion, politics, classes, labels, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. They fragment our inner worlds, they blow our individual realities apart, and play the pieces against one another. They are us, or a part of us. They are the controllers, the politicians, the sexists, the women’s libbers, the pornographers, the censors, the moralist, the church, the media, the businessmen, educators, the victims and the powerful.

They are us. They have divided us from our power, from our beauty, from our lust of life and pleasure. They have divided us from most of reality … divided dying from living … sex from living, sex from pleasure. We are kept in boxes of fear, of mistrust. We are kept waiting … kept waiting to do what we want … waiting for enough money, enough schooling, for everything to be right. We are kept waiting and protecting and hiding and suffering.

Time to do battles with the boxes.

Our tools are magic, our bodies, and dreams.”

November 1, 1986:

“The last (above) entry is part of a larger essay of my philosophy, and was read at my L.A. five hour piece (CAVE OF DREAM) and was read at my U.C.B. piece.”


Press release for the “Cave of Dream” performance in Los Angeles, October 18, 1986.