Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Performing Oneself or Someone Else /An Interactive Interview Between Linda Mary Montano and Nicolas Dumit Estevez
[Dear Reader: please insert your own questions or responses in all of the blank spaces following an L or an N. After filling in the blanks, you can perform Linda or Nicolas by inviting a friend to read the interview aloud. If you find yourself alone, you can perform both people. Create different voices for L and for N]
N: Linda, after attending your performance Mask On/Mask Off, at the Gershwin Hotel in Manhattan I was wondering if we should invite the reader to wear a wig, to tease his/her hair or to do his/her hair in a different style before engaging in this piece?
L: Great idea. Now everyone put on your extensions!!!!!!!!!!!
N: For nearly a lifetime you have been performing so many characters. Can you tell us where they come from?
L: I was a "silent selective mute" as a child. That term I made up ....but I remember staying in silence forever. My family was very quiet and silent, My Italian grandparents didn’t talk much because they didn’t know English or didn’t like America maybe? Not sure. And my other grandparents who did speak English were quiet also. So I watched everything very closely and when TV first came to the house and people were talking, I learned how to talk from all of those characters I imagine. Senor Wenslous...very difficult, very easy. Remember? And then there was the church where I spent hours in silence, very happily, dreaming of how to become a saint.
N: Can you give us some suggestions for allowing hidden aspects of our personas to come to the surface and to take on a physical shape? By this I mean to become a tangible character that can be explored privately or publicly?
L: Everybody does this already. We play around with friends and talk differently, fooling around, using accents and personas with them. I would say, the next time you get in a tough spot, have one of your personas work it out for you. Also see who is in your unconscious, lurking there, and give that persona a voice and task.
N: Why Masks? Mask on and off? Are you implying that we wear masks in our day to day?
L: We are always performing and sometimes a persona will take over and confront or stay too long inside us and the idea of seeing this dance as a mask dance is helpful to me. No mask is a bad mask. Each mask is take-on and take-offable. On our death bed, there is only a death mask.
N: Would you consider leaving a blank L for the reader to fill in or maybe asking him/her a question? You are welcome to choose.
L: What mask do you wear ? How does your spiritual practice help you play with your 902348309248 daily masks?
N: Unfortunately we are running out of space. Is there another place or dimension where the reader can continue this conversation with you? Perhaps electronically or astrally?
L: Of course. I give classes on the phone, I have workshops , I do skype, I have published books: (ART IN EVERYDAY LIFE, 1980; PERFORMANCE ARTISTS TALKING IN THE 80'S, 1997; LETTERS FROM LINDA M. MONTANO; 2005, YOU TOO ARE A PERFORMANCE ARTIST: THE ART/LIFE INSTITUTE INTERACTIVE BOOK, (pending) .These books have all of this information in them and then there is my blog (http://lindamarymontano.blogspot.com), which includes my MASKS essay....Or get a wig, a good CD and go for it by yourself but remember TO BE SAFE, BE CAREFULL and never hurt your body or mind or anyone else’s.
N: Thank you for your time. Would you like to add anything else?
L: Sometimes we have to practice being the persona we need to be in order to function more beneficially or we adopt a mask to help us empty the refuse from a subconscious persona who is living in the dark dungeon of our memory. Masks smooth that journey to knowledge..WHO ARE U????
LINDA MARY MONTANO, SAUGERTIES, NY DECEMBER 6, 2009
Photograph: Nicolas Dumit Estevez