CofC Arts Management professor Jeanette Guinn is the co-host of ETV Radio’s Spoleto Today, produced with the help of Arts Management students in Simons room 101. This week, she had an interesting conversation with monologuist Mike Daisey regarding his work and some of the highlights and scandals of his career as an orator.
In the interview, Jeanette and Mike discussed one of the most talked-about events of his career: the incident where 87 members of a Christian group (apparently Paris Hilton fans) walked out en masse in protest against the content of his show, and one disgruntled audience member actually took to the stage to douse his hand-written notes in water.
Mike Daisey wrote a blog post concerning the experience here.
“I sat behind the table, looking up in his face with shock. My job onstage is to be as open as possible, to weave the show without a script as it comes, and this leaves me very emotionally available–and vulnerable, if an audience chooses to abuse that trust. I doubt I will ever forget the look in his face as he defaced the only original of the handwritten show outline–it was a look of hatred, and disgust, and utter and consuming pride.”
The incident raised an interesting dialogue regarding the arts and moral censorship. While the protestors were well within their constitutional rights to make a statement by leaving, as Daisey says, “Find out what show you’re going to before you see it”! From an arts management standpoint, the incident highlighted the necessity of highlighting controversial content in publicity and press regarding an event to allow audience members to make their decision regarding watching the show with the best possible information available.