THE EROTIC CAMPAIGN
8th Street Studio, Berkeley, California
Saturday, September 13, 2008
A performance can be built on a good title…like THE EROTIC CAMPAIGN…FEEL, TOUCH THE POSSIBILITIES. The title creates a bubble of expectations that set off reactions which build a reality. The excuse for this performance was the U.K. Eurotrash tv show SEXARAMA…the title tells it all…wanted to do a piece on the campaign. I grabbed onto this excuse to do a 3-hour inter-active ritual. For the last few years I have been only doing band gigs. I knew probably the t.v. people would boil the hours of magic down to 5 minutes of sleazy fluff. But I am willing to risk! The difference between a band gig and an inter-active ritual is the band gig has fairly defined frames. But in an inter-active ritual I don’t know what will happen from one minute to the next. I do enter the performance with pictures. But it always becomes quickly obvious those pictures ain’t what is going to happen….so dive in and float!
Everything clicked. Great band full of my long-time Cherotic vets…a great space…an audience ready to combine politics, erotics, music, and personal magic. I had to just not block it!
We had our coffee and got ready to head out to the gig. The space was amazing, so cozy with great lighting a beautiful floor lots of pillows and all the band members we had not seen in a while came out of the woodwork, John the Baker, Lob, Steve from LA, Dr. O and Tomek!!! What fun. We got the space all set up and decorated in the Frank Moore for President decorations and Jen and I set up the swag table!!! It looked great!!! And the people were arriving, 25 in the end and they all stayed. The TV crew from England was there and getting set up, "So, its just Frank's performance for the whole 3 hours?” they wanted to know!!! The performance started and Frank went around and asked people how they heard about it and then Kene-J was there or the Archivist, hip hop rapper who has been on the Shaman's Den and who owes Frank a pot roast one of these days. He sang a beautiful song and at the end of the performance said that he felt so inspired and would go home and write five songs. Then Frank and John did a few duets, amazing, powerful, a song about freedom, then crack baby and Fuck the Fascist USA. Frank had a couple of people read his two presidential speeches while Frank, Linda, Jen and Erika did a sexy, melting nude dance with slides going on top and everything in the room melted. The Frank Moore Cherotic All Star Band jamming in the back ground. It was a powerful and amazing night. The audience loved getting gotten by the three naked girls at the end and now they had someone to vote for in November!!!!! After the show we cleaned up and talked and said good bye to people who came to the performance and band members.
When we got to the 8th St. Studios, most of the band was there hanging out in the lobby, Steve and Jen, Lob and his girlfriend, Dr. O, and Jen was there too ... and the 8th St. Studio was filing out, tons of people ... Everyone helped unload the cars, and then we realized that the previous group had gone and locked everything up! We waited for a bit, tried calling you guys, and then magically this older guy showed up and seemed to know that we needed to get in! He opened it up for us, and then you guys were there! And the performance set up began! What a beautiful space! First the ramboard went down, then the rugs, and quickly the space was transformed into a magical campaign stop, the Frank Moore for President campaign vinyls and banners interspersed with Mikee's swirling erotic painted backdrops ... really neat! The xmas lights ...
The band set up and started playing ... an amazing journey of music and sound that continued throughout the entire night, feeling like it rooted everything. It was really neat to see JTB again after what seemed like a long time! And Dr. O! It was like a homecoming ... it felt really warm and close, really good. Jeremy from BNG and his girlfriend Bobby were there too ...
It felt like everyone who came was ready to just go with whatever ... open, willing to follow wherever this was going, which we didn't know! It was fun Frank talking to Nick and David, the camera guys from British TV ... we were saying today that there is a feeling that everyone who comes into the space is automatically together because we're all going on the same journey together, following along ... Frank having Kene-J come up and do a song was so great! It was neat that he came ... everything about the night felt like what folks were saying later about what a country under a Frank Moore presidency would be like ... like Lila, everyone together, everyone close, no competition, jealousy ... everything was really heartwarming ... John and Frank doing the ripping duet!! And then talking to all the band members, getting a sense of the long-term relationships that people have with Frank and us, a really deep sense of community, that it felt like everyone automatically was able to be part of by just being there. We really noticed later how a lot of people said, "Well, this is my first time ..." and it felt like they could sense that what Frank was doing was a long-term thing, something to be experienced over the long-term, and that they had a sense of this being just one part of a much longer experience of community on some level ... and that they could see themselves coming back again to continue the experience ...
And then Frank had Jeremy undress Linda, Erika, Jen and Mikee slowly while a guy from the "audience" came up and read one of Frank's campaign speeches, getting more and more inspired as he read it. It was beautiful and intense ... the vision of Frank and the huddle of naked bodies with the words of Frank's speech resonating through the room, with the music playing ... a dream of a new world ... and it only deepened as Lob's girlfriend took over reading a longer speech of Frank's, and the lights went out and the slides and strobes started while Frank, Linda, Erika and Jen played under the mind-altering combination of slides and bodies and music, and passionate vision for society!!! It is really hard to describe how it affects you taking all of that in ... it comes in through so many openings at once, through the pores ... you feel like you are not thinking really in the usual way anymore, just soaking it up ... it was amazing to see how everyone else there was having the same experience of it, and so inspired and magically altered by it ... transformed ... grounded by the music that just kept swirling things deeper and deeper ... so beautiful. The things that people said afterward were really amazing ... the woman who said in all earnestness that she had been thinking of voting for Obama, but was going to vote for Frank now ... Kene-J saying that he was so inspired that he was gonna go home and probably write 5 songs! Such a wide array of people, and everyone so open and willing ... Alexi said later that Jeremy and Bobby left early because they had to pick a friend up from the airport. They had asked him if it would be ok with Frank if they left early, since they had that obligation ... Alexi said it would be ok, but might be better after the undressing! Because Frank was just about to have Jeremy undress people ...
The playing under the slides while Lob's girlfriend read Frank's speech was amazing visually... liquid, erotic, mind-melting ... and then when Linda, Erika and Jen "got" everyone, it was so deep and so satisfying ... you wanted that feeling to go on and on ... and it really felt like it did, that it penetrated the talking afterward and the space itself, and that there was no dividing line ... that everyone left the space carrying it with them out into the world. Very very deep and powerful ....
Then we dismantled the space, always amazing to see a space restored to its blank slate again after so much has happened in it ... we were talking about the performance, packing up, snacking, farting!
The space was great! Very big and beautiful with wood floors. Started getting carpets and blankets down. Then when you guys showed up Erika and I got the table of swag decorated and set up. The place was transformed pretty fast and looked beautiful with all the banners and posters and lights. Who knows what was going to happen! Was really exciting just to find out. It was a lot of fun to see John the Baker again, and Dr. O, Steve, Lob. Met Tomek for the first time and he was great. That band was classic and core. Really great.
Frank started out talking to everyone and I was just memorized like always. Love the way you work a crowd erasing division and expectation, like we're all discovering what is happening together. Never boring! Archive came up and sang which was a great rap about shakin' it and that loosened everyone up a bit. Then you played with John and that's always a lot of fun too - crack baby and other hits with John throwing his guitar after felt like old times. Then you talked to the band and it felt like John was really deeply feeling how much we mean to him. Lob is funny with the mic and he's so there with us, and you could tell that Dr. O felt great being back. Steve had been another great musical connection and really gets it too. Tomek was quiet but very present. Talking to the band like that really anchored what we did next.
You asked the couple up front if they would be undressers and the girl said no but the guy that works with Corey at bng said yes! With Josef reading the short version of Frank's speech, he slowly undressed Linda, Erika, me and Mikee. Excitement was building as to what was coming. That was such the tip of an iceberg, I wish that couple had stayed to see all that happened next. The reading of the speech started out a little slow and fumbly but then became very impassioned by the end as it was really talking about us living our dreams in a real way and that is such a powerful thing - most people really deeply how much we need to do that.
Then the lights went down and we got up to do the ritual. We started right in with Lob's girlfriend reading the long version of Frank's speech that provided a great context for everything. Playing nude together is always so beautiful, feels so soft and relaxed. Moving together touching and rubbing - the whole body is alight and in tune - turned on. Felt really good. Then we went around the room and got everyone. We started with the band. Felt so good, felt like family. Then we spread out into the audience and brought them all in. The three of us just following each other went to every person and embraced them in us. Everyone accepted us and felt like they melted with us. We were in Lila and this was something you could feel every person wanted, wanted life to be like this with everyone. How great and amazing and wonderful. When the mic was passed around it was great to hear how everyone enjoyed it and how some of them let it change them right then. When Mikee got the mic I knew it would eventually come to me but I didn't know what to say. I was just feeling so good and it was difficult to pick out anything specific at that time. When Erika got the mic she said that it felt great to go and hug everyone. I felt that too and it was great to hear her say that. Then Linda spoke and it was my turn next. I was just counting on the feeling that I had would produce words when I had to but that didn't really happen because all that kept coming out was how great it was, how great it felt. Speechless, just smiling from ear to ear.
I have always been amazed at what you do, but now I'm here with you and it's us, so it isn't really amazing in a way because it's life everyday. But in the context of us in a performance bringing others in who are willing to come, it still feels amazing because it is so easy to do. It's so right here now and needed, craved. It felt as though everyone was waiting for us, beckoning us to get them. And when we got them it felt as though the energy of what we are was going out through their lives into other lives and out and out expanding into the world. So small and intimate, so practical and simple, but so powerful! The kind of power that can really change things.
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