Mike Daisey has recently posted two Comments, but in case they get lost amidst all the others, let me feature them here to make sure they get heard.
Comment on my first post yesterday:
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:53:00 PM
I probably shouldn't even engage in this--my blood pressure is shot enough as it is--but I do want to clarify something.
"(Daisey has been performing "Invincible Summer" for months, but apparently still works from a handwritten outline within which he improvises. To each his own, when it comes to working methods, I say. I just sure hope, for his sake, he's at least made a xerox by now, if not actually typed it on a disk.)"
I am an extemporaneous monologuist--I perform exclusively without a script, and the handwritten notes are meticulously created for that purpose. There was a profile about exactly how this process works in the New York Times in January--here is a link:
This blog is a fairly well-read theatre blog, and the writer spends a lot of time writing very long posts about this incident. I do not understand why you would not spend a small amount of time with Google and other resources and inform yourself about the work I perform--it is not obscure or difficult. It's really tiresome. I find it insulting, your use of the term "still" in reference to my notes, and it tells me you don't understand my work in the least--you've never seen it, and you apparently don't read about it either.
As for the rest, it's a free world (for now) and you have your opinion. You think I didn't react well--fair enough. I certainly would have preferred to react even better than I did. I do find it contrarian and bizarre that you're as concerned as you are for my behavior, when I'd posit there is other behavoir that is much more chilling, but hey--I love contrarians.
Brief response: while it's true I didn't know much about the specifics of Daisey's work beyond his reputation when I started commenting on this Monday, I have since then read the Times article he links to, his Wikipedia entry, and other assorted reviews and appreciations. I do admit I hadn't fully understood the extent of his "extemporaneous" process, and for that I apologize. However, nothing I've read about him or his work in the last few days substantively changes my mind about anything else I've said about the incident.Comment on yesterday's second post:
Two clarifications:Factual clarifications are certainly welcome. As are Daisey's comments in general.
1) Yes, David apologized--that is clear in the writing, I believe, and let me just say it again. He said he could never ask for my forgiveness, and then I gave it to him.
2) I am not a therapist, and I would never engage in therapy with this person--that is repulsive to me. I spoke with him, I listened to him, and I responded. I did my job as a human being--it is not rocket science.
Updated Addendum (12:15pm): To say something I recognize I outght to have made clear at the outset--I do respect Mike Daisey as an artist and do feel bad for what happened to him on stage that night. Anyone who has performed (and I have) knows that it takes a certain amount of bravery to act on stage at all, given how exposed and vulnerable you are to a live audience.
Since I don't know Daisey personally and don't know his work very well, this automatic sympathy soon gave way to a more distanced and critical perspective, based on what struck me as personally interesting about the encounter. I recognize I've said things and made judgements about Daisey that might be hurtful to him. I can't apologize for them, since such is what critics risk doing every time they write. But I do understand why there has been such outpouring of support for him, especially from fellow theatre artists.