Friday, February 26, 2010

FRIGID New York Interview - John Murdock of Ramblings of a Gentleman Scumbag

By Byrne Harrison

Name: John Murdock
Show: Ramblings of a Gentleman Scumbag

How did you first get involved in theater?

I have been performing professionally for twelve years, however when I sobered up over three years ago Keisha Zollar, Joe Covino, and Penny Pollak led me to expand my horizons. Once I found Horse Trade Theater Co., they were so supportive of my weirdness, I never looked back. They are an East Village treasure.

Who are your biggest influences?

The Drag Queen Show Hostesses of Lucky Cheng's (most importantly Paulina Princess of Power) Keisha Zollar, Master Lee, Penny Pollak, and Killer Kelly Dwyer.

Tell me a little bit about your show.

Ramblings uses sketch, stand-up, story telling, and a snippet of video to illustrate my life as a dirty balloon man at a Drag Restaurant, a street artist, a man of no God or gurus, a raging drug addict/alcoholic now sober, working in the middle of the party, cursed to remember everything that now happens. It takes my personal experiences of decay and degradation and relates them to society at large. I am not the only Scumbag, we all have it, the inner Scumbag just manifests in different ways for different people. It takes a ridiculous man to point out how ridiculous we have become.

What inspired you to write it?

Penny Pollak inspired the original, and Joe Yoga has his fingerprints all over the latest incarnation. He is a performance beast.

Who are your collaborators and how long have you been working with them?

Joe Yoga is a musician, poet, comedian, and incorrigible force of nature based in New York City. We collaborate on his monthly show, Grudge Match-Music vs. Comedy, and mine, God Tastes Like Chicken. Joe Yoga lives and dies by the art. Scout Durwood is a brilliant actor, comic, and singer/songwriter, no really she can do all three at an absurdly high level. She is dangerously smart, and yet unafraid of looking silly. Which is awesome. She shares this trait with the entire cast. Sara Gaddis is a comedic force, and a provocative writer. Her improv chops are impeccable. Sherri Eldin is an actress, singer/songwriter, dancer, storyteller, and Jersey Girl (NOT the "Jersey Shore" kind). Sherri really has excelled at all of these pursuits. This rythymless comic bastard is insanely jealous their multiple avenues. Natalie Underwood is an artistic storm. Her writing makes me feel childish by comparison. She is a passionate performer who regularly stuns people with her monologues, acting, or (she is too proud admit it) comedy set. Paulina Princess of Power and I go back the longest. She is the main Show Ho at Lucky Cheng's. She can dance, she can sing, she is one of the quickest comedic minds in the world. She is also one the hardest working people in Show Biz. Everyone should get a chance to work with Paulina. She like the rest of the cast are regular performers on the monthly show - God Tastes Like Chicken, a mock religious service involving healthy doses of music and comedy.

What's next for you after FRIGID?

I am currently negotiating with a publisher on a how-to dirty balloon twisting book. I will continue to overload myself with shows. The Chicken will continue to rise, and so will I.

And finally, if you could say anything to your potential audience, what would it be?

Take it from a ridiculous man, the world is ridiculous, and in fact, YOU are ridiculous. If you deny this in a world where we give grown men cowboys access to nuclear weapons, Sarah Palin a book deal, and Paris Hilton a music CD, you might be dangerously ridiculous.

Ramblings of a Gentleman Scumbag
By John Murdock

UNDER St. Marks
94 St. Marks Place

Wed 2/24 - 7:30 PM
Sat 2/27 - 8:30 PM
Thu 3/04 - 6:00 PM
Fri 3/05 - 10:30 PM
Sun 3/07 - 7:00 PM

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