La MaMa Blogs: 6 QUESTIONS: Marga Gomez

Monday, June 2, 2014

6 QUESTIONS: Marga Gomez

Acclaimed solo performer and comedian Marga Gomez is bringing her new show, LOVEBIRDS to La MaMa, June 6th - 15th. Here, she answers our six questions.

1LOVEBIRDS is your 10th solo show. How have your process and interests changed over time?
In my other shows I wrote about me: my flamboyant immigrant show biz parents, my youth bouncing from Washington Heights to Long Island, my perpetual awkward adolescence, and trying to make it in Hollywood. In all my shows I try to touch upon narcolepsy, lesbianism, death, paella, anal bleaching and Queen Latifah - my co-star in the major motion picture flop Sphere.

My process is: when my well runs dry I check Craigslist for nude modeling jobs and suddenly the next show pops into my head. Then I run my idea by the director of four of my best shows, David Schweizer. If I can get him to laugh his helpless laugh I contact performance venues looking for booking. Then I write the show and abandon my social life. My process hasn’t changed much since I started working with David in 2000, but in LOVEBIRDS my interests have changed. It’s not about me anymore. Marga Gomez has left the building and a band of fictional characters run the action.

2. What led you to create a performance taking place in 1970's Greenwich Village?
When I was 18 I had a crush on a woman who dressed like Jane Fonda in Klute, lots of boots under mini skirts.  She invited me to a lesbian bar on 3rd and Thompson called Bonnie and Clyde's. She said, “You’re a writer. You can write about this.”  Which I believe was her way of saying “I’m not into you.” She planted the seed by introducing me to Bonnie and Clyde's, a live lesbian pulp fiction nightclub with a hypnotizing disco soundtrack in the heart of Greenwich Village, which to me is still, viscerally, the sexiest neighborhood on earth. Forty years later my heart was pounded in a stupid, tragic breakup. The only way I could move on was to write LOVEBIRDS, an ode to romantically challenged men and women, set in Greenwich Village during the most wondrous time in my life.

3. You're based in San Francisco. Which places and performers are you most excited to see while in New York?
My dance card is still to be determined. I will see what else is playing at my mainstays: La Mama, Dixon Place, The Public and PS 122. I did reserve my ticket for Justin Vivian Bond Celebrates 20 Years in NYC at Poisson Rouge. When I get to town I’ll consult with performance pals Carmelita Tropicana and Murray Hill on what’s good below 14th street. The day I fly in I will be attending the La MaMa memorial for Lisa Mayo of Spiderwoman Theater. I love those women. They were my first friends in radical theater. I met them in Europe and I’ll never forget how joyous they were. RIP Lisa.

4. How does performing stand-up affect your work as a solo performer, and vice-versa?
Honestly, being a solo performer could be hurting my stand up. The comedy persona is very guarded and controlled. Irony has replaced emotion. And I enjoy being a hot mess on stage sometimes. Good news is I prefer theater to the hassle of comedy clubs. Theater audiences are involved in the art and history of the form. Comedy audiences seem like they walked in from the mall. But my stand up background helps me stay present with the audience when I’m in character because an unexpected disturbance will happen at live shows. And people remember a good comeback.

5. How would you describe your aesthetic?
Lowbrow meets arched-brow.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
La MaMa means I’m in Ellen Stewart's house. I feel her energy and hear her voice. It means power and truth telling, family, respect for women artist and artists of color. It also means proper dressing rooms. My last show in San Francisco, I got ready in a day care room. And it means 'don’t wear green'. La MaMa is also where I got a GLAAD award for my show Intimate Details directed by David Schweizer. GLAAD never did send me a certificate or trophy, but I have a screen grab of my name in the announcement.

La MaMa presents:


By Marga Gomez
Directed by David Schweizer

June 6th – 15th, 2014
Friday - Saturday @ 10pm / Sunday @ 5:30pm

The Club @ La MaMa
74a East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults - $13 Student/Senior; ten tickets priced at $10 are available, in advance, for every performance via web, phone or box office as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative. 10@$10 tickets not available day of show.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

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