Wierdy Beardy

Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 24, 2011

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What I did
Coney Island

Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, June 27, 2011

In the morning we go see Lois at her apartment also in the East Village – it's a beautiful 'one room’ apartment with kitsch furniture and pictures everywhere and a classic NY fire escape decorated with flowers. (the massive stiletto chair upholstered in leopard print is my favourite item). Very Lois.

We talk about what work we want to get involved in and she chases Dixons Place for me. Claire is going to be Lois’s PA for the summer, helping to plug Shit Theatre and buying her coffee etc… (the next day Claire has to go to Lois’ apartment to get her passport number for her so she can fill in her tax return… it begins!). Lois also tells us about a show her, Peggy Shaw (the other half of Split Britches) and Lori E Seid (Stage Manager to the stars here! That’s an actual bloody quote. Brilliant) are going to in Coney Island that night. It’s a bearded lady called Jenny Miller who is a performance artist and has worked as a sideshow in the famous Coney Island Freak Show.

After leaving Lois we decide to go to Coney Island to see the beach so get on our first subway that takes us all the way there in 45 mins. Coney Island, which is being spruced up and cleared of gang violence by the NYPD is a weird mix of gawdy 1950’s carnival, fairground and pleasure beach. Its where they have an annual hotdog eating competition for 4th of July and they have a massive billboard with the all time top scores on it and cheesy photos of the past winners. The competition is the creation of Nathan’s, a famous Coney Island fastfood store who declare its hot dogs to be world renowned… they are pretty rank to be honest as the picture explains.

We decide to leave the rides that are operated by children and look like they were put together by children  from flat packs to another day when we are a bit more settled. Instead, while we wait for Lois and all to arrive for the show we go to ‘Beer Beach’ for a couple of drinks. Its just an open bar with garden furniture set in sand and music that’s too loud but then everything seems too loud here.

While we sitting trying to remember how to play various card games and shouting at each other over the music, a huge white bloke with scars all on his neck and tattoos that read something about being Irish and ‘Brooklyn’ on his hand, but with a big drunk smile nevertheless, asks if he can buy a fag. We tell him he can have a fag and he takes a seat with us to roll one up.  Kyle is very nice and has a thick Brooklyn acent. He’s wearing a t-shirt that says ‘celebrating pride’ so I think he is probably alright. When I ask where he got it he says "free from work". When we ask him what he does he is amazed that we aren’t that bothered when he explains he was in prison for 11years and that he now works with newly released convicts. Even ganstas say ‘awesome’ here (he thinks we are apparently).  When the bar man (a little mean looking guy with teeth missing and a little man complex) take a joke of Kyle’s wrong they threaten to throw him out. Although Kyle would like to  ‘knock that fool out’ he keeps is cool and is very nice when he says goodbye. Fun times in Coney Island!

We meet the others at the proper Nathan’s fast food place along Surf avenue (we thought the shitty little one on the beach was it) and we go to the show. The bearded lady is all we could have hoped for. Her show is basically a 6+ character farce on American politics and it is chaotic, basically incomprehensible for the most part but the audience whoop through the entire thing and its brilliant. Jenny Miller (weirdy beardy) when performing is part Shakespeare, part Monty Python all with an American twang. Great stuff. 

After the show we are exhausted and get a lift with Lois back to Manhattan, sitting on the floor of their van so that we all fit in.

Finally back at the apartment we drink beer on the roof with Robert until 3am. He says he will fix us up a meeting with a producer friend of his so that we can discuss how to get Louise and Becca a full house when they come to perform in a few weeks. We have no idea what this really means (and even less when we actually go to the meeting – to be continued), but are happy to meet who ever  and see what we discover. 
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