My Ongoing Problems with Kindness: Confessions of MOGO Girl
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Zoe Weil
September 24, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Writer and Performer.
Do you consider yourself a writer who also performs, an actor who also writes, or something else?
First and foremost I'm an educator, specifically a humane educator who's trying to create a more just, healthy, and humane world through education. I've been teaching and writing about human rights, environmental, and animal protection issues for 25 years. I decided to create my show, My Ongoing Problems with Kindness: Confessions of MOGO Girl, to entertain people while also educating. The idea came from seeing shows like The Vagina Monologues, which make us laugh, cry, and care. My show endeavors to do the same but with another goal: to inspire audiences to also act.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one in United Solo that...?
... will (hopefully) inspire you to change you life - to make new, more humane and more sustainable choices! I suspect plenty of United Solo shows will make you laugh and will entertain you, but my goal is to entertain you while motivating you to make a difference in the world.
Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
I hope that the audience will talk about my show for weeks and months to follow! That might be pressing my luck, but the show is thought-provoking and challenging. The audiences always laugh a lot, but my hope is that they also leave truly considering their own lives and the choices they can make to live according to the MOGO principle (that MOGO Girl strives to live herself!) to do the most good and least harm to themselves, other people, animals, and the environment.
Which famous solo performer has been most inspirational to you: Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo, Lily Tomlin, or Whoopi Goldberg?
All four of these solo performers have inspired me so much! Spalding lay the groundwork; Lily inspired me since I was a child; John is a new hero, and Whoopi, well Whoopi played Guinan on Star Trek (which plays an important role in my show), so beyond her comedy, she's been a fixture for me.
Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I'm counting on theater being able to bring about societal change. That's why I'm doing my show - to bring about change through entertainment. There are so many shows that have introduced audiences to pressing global issues. These ignite change and do so by reaching an audience who didn't necessarily set out to be changed. People who go to see a theatrical production aren't heading out to a meeting of an activist group - they want to be entertained. In fact, I'd venture to guess that theaters aren't usually filled with activists (who are busy at their meetings and may not have time for theater!). Yet, all of us have a role to play in contributing to a more just, healthy, peaceful and humane world, and I want to reach those people who love the theater and love laughing and being moved.