New Youngblood Members
KRISTA KNIGHT & BRENDAN HILL
Use Technology to
Speak From Opposite Coasts
At Serious Length About
Ayn Rand, Family Mottoes, Ska Band Names, Desired Hair Height and Theatre, Eventually
Brendan Hill: Arright.
Okay. So! How do you think we should do this?
Also, how are you?
Krista Knight: Hi! good
I liked the idea of personas but maybe we just want to interview straight up
and then try to catch each other online when we're drunk and addendum something wacky :)
I mean I'm not saying I'm NOT drunk now - just, on guard.
BH: Considering your answers and their influence on your google results.
KK: oh dear
then again - the other Krista Knight is a porn star - so there's really nothing I can do to soil the name
BH: It could also be a super hero name. It sounds like a secret identity kind of name.
I'm the drummer in Blues Traveler.
KK: Who is winning on google search?
BH: I'm never gonna overtake him on google.
I barely show up!
Do you google yourself a lot?
Or, I mean
is your position in cyberspace something you track?
KK: oh man
something i'm struggling with today
my collaborator told me I don't understand the internet
so I'm trying to become more savvy
but I can't fucking get my tumblr to sync with FB when I post from my phone
If you had to succinctly define your internet presence, what would you say?
BH: It needs some work.
I live half my life on the internet.
But as a lurker.
is that like a troll who doesn't post?
where do you live the other half of your life?
BH: Nooo. Trolls gotta post! Trolls are all about being seen. Trolls and artists. Always "PAY ATTENTION TO ME."
I just like reading things on a screen.
I spend the other half of my life in bed.
That's probably not true. I go to work. So there's that. That eats up a lot of a life.
How are you not internet savvy?
Didn't you grow up with it?
I thought we were all innately able to master technology?
KK: I know right!
I'm from silicon valley
I guess because I can't get fucking tumblr to sync with fb when I post a photo from my phone. my collaborator has got me there
BH: Who is your collaborator/what do you collaborate on/how do you collaborate ?
KK: Barry Brinegar of the band David's Pegasus. We call ourselves a 'retro-forward musical theatre writing team. So far in the style of bitpop (salamander leviathan), surf rock (doomsurfing), hardcore (hissifit), and bastardized holiday classics (the snowman frosty), we collaborate a lot over the internet actually (how we met).
BH: Silicon Valley -- does that show up in your work?
Either as a setting?
Or as an influence, specifically
Beyond like, "Obviously I grew up there and that influenced me because that is just how it works."
KK: Very much. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Also CA heavily indoctrinates
I wrote a play called CLEMENTINE AND THE CYBER DUCKS that takes place simultaneously in the 1849 gold rush and 1994 dot com boom
BH: A family of tech entrpreneurs?! Are they objectivists or anything?
KK: like ayn rand?
BH: Yeah, aren't a lot of tech people into that? Maybe I am making assumptions.
I love and also hate fountainhead
in the way Rand's description of Dominique's rape is repulsive and also hot
sometimes I reread it when I need a little solipsistic indulgence of the artist
but then I remember art is about community and humanity is about generosity and I try to read something else
BH: I've never read it! To be totally honest. I read ABOUT it a lot and then sort of dismissed it on principle. I've watched interviews with her, though and wow. She's like the unhappiest robot.
The unhappiest Russian robot.
KK: the book I really want to reread I'm avoiding because I don't think it does my mental state any favors.
BH: What book is that?
KK: Looking for Mr. Goodbar
I got obsessed with it after seeing Waterwell's GOODBAR at last year's Under the Radar
(speaking of which I'm so upset to be missing everything this year!)
BH: I'm gonna google that. It sounds kind of familiar but I might be thinking about the candy.
KK: where are you from?
BH: I am from Northern Virginia which is just Virginia, really, but also just the suburbs of anyplace at all. It was boring so I left. On the upside, where I grew up is why Virginia has swung for Obama in the last two elections. But still, no, very very boring.
KK: what's the thing you find hardest to write about?
BH: Um. Family stuff.
That is to say
not my own personal family stuff
(though maybe that too?)
but families in general. Familial relationships. I don't really understand how to make those interesting.
So I just avoid them at all costs. I write everyone like they never had a family.
KK: what's your family's philosophy? if they have one
BH:"Root for the underdog, but don't blow anything up over it." Or like, I remember my mother, when she'd pick me up from playing at a friend's house would always remind me to say "Thank you for having me over."
I feel that might be closer to it.
KK: haha: so gratitude and tempered provocation for injustice
KK: I think mine's is: one foot in front of the other.
BH: Go slow, be careful?
Or more like
step by step?
KK: more like: you. just. have. to. keep. going.
BH: What is
you hate about theatre?
Like hate. Can't stand. Want to see abolished.
I hate when Playwrights mouth the words along to their plays.
I have little tolerance for one's own appreciation of their brilliance
BH: I did that once! It was totally involuntary! My girlfriend was like, "Hey! Stop it. You're mouthing your words." I had no idea at all. I was just lost in it. It was a total nervous thing.
KK: lost in it is a good excuse
BH: I hate a lot of things. But they're all pretty well-trod ground. You know, the cost, the privilege, the age, the whiteness, the barriers to things.
KK: oh yeah - I do not like paying more than $15 for anything
are we made of money??!
BH: RIGHT. DOES IT GROW ON TREES NO IT DOES NOT.
Though, you know, just text-wise
I was just saying the other day how tired I am of plays about grief and about family secrets.
KK: oh sure - everyone hits their cap of molestation plays for the year
wouldn't it be funny, if based on that irritation, you decided to only write plays about state secrets?
10 years after your death, how will people describe your work/canon?
BH: "He sure liked having women vomit on stage."
you and Sarah Kane
BH: What about you?
KK: what I would hope: "fantastical. heartbreaking. one hell of a good time"
“totally never made rape sound hot”
BH: People mess that up ALL THE TIME.
KK: even the literary greats, MS RAND
what are you working on now?
BH: Right now? Short-term, I am trying to figure out how to adapt a 1989 wrestling storyline for the stage. Long term, I'm hesitant to say because it's still so rough and I think it's gonna be my Bloodworks piece? But it's about the moon. And the future. And a love triangle? Maybe a love triangle. What about you?
I like both people punching each other and space travel!
ohh maybe you combine them and then you will have people punching in zero gravity
I'd pay more than $15 or that
KK: you got it!!!
I was hesitant, but then when this chick ripped the air pipe out of this other chick's space suit - I was like - there's something for the ages here
I'm working on that female primatologist/King Kong play
I met this girl at an EST party actually whose mom is a primatologist
we're friends now
BH: Really? After you had already started it?
BH: Can I ask if/how/does this relate to your trip to Kenya?
Krista: you can! it doesn't
was flown there for screenplay research
I'm writing a screenplay
sometimes I think of it as 'attack of the killer tomatoes in africa'
geo-political sci fi
Kenya was great - but work trip - so lots of writing
my best friend from middle school happens to do public health in nairobi and speak some kiswahili so she took us around
do you/do you ever think about writing in other genres?
film/tv/graphic novel etc
BH: I write a lot of bad poetry.
And, you know, I'd love to write for television. As a goal.
KK: what TV character are you most like?
BH: I'm not sure. I don't see myself in a lot of the TV I watch. You know, I watch a lot of Serious HBO Serialized Dramas. And wrestling. And basketball. And clips of old things on youtube.
Do you remember the character Telly from Sesame Street?
He's sort of been phased out.
But him, probably.
KK: he plays the trombone doesn't he?
BH: The triangle! And then there was an owl who played sax, I think.
I played the trombone, though.
For two years.
I wanted to be in a ska band.
KK: what is the name of your mythical (or actual) ska band?
BH: Her Skatanic Majesty's Request?
KK: I imagine you break the shit out of tea cups and grandfather clocks
BH: Do you have a play title you really want to use?
Or a good fake title?
KK: ohhh fun
"Hunger and all its cravings"
BH: I like that!
My favorite fake one is "Body of Christ, Brain of Dracula."
And I stole a good real one once
from this online play title generator
that some theater company set up
and then, I think, sorta abandoned?
And it's "The Shovel and the Drinking Done."
Which I've never been talented enough to write a play for.
KK: ohh I like them
in both, I kind of have a hunch someone gets smacked in the head
BH: A woman vomits on stage in both.
it's the Hill signature
BH: YOU GOTTA HAVE A HOOK.
LIGHTNING ROUND 1:
1. Is there a name for that excellent hairstyle that you rock to events?
2. What, precisely, are you up to on the West Coast
3. What play/playwrights should I read?
1. Mentally I refer to it as: desired hair height for openings.
ie - 'am I at my desired hair height? no? let's try this again'
2. I'm teaching a January Term playwriting course at St. Mary's College in the bay area
and also teaching a playwriting master class at my former high school
3. I'm totally obsessed with Dan LeFranc (Big Meal, 60 Miles to Silver Lake, Origin Story) just
saw his play Troublemaker at Berkeley Rep. Also love: Jordan Harrison, Pig Iron, Anne Washburn, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Hunter, Sam Marks, Dave Malloy...oh Leslye Headland
and of course: Fornes (particularly The Danube), Churchill (particularly far away)
I'm forgetting a bunch
Paula Vogel, Naomi Iizuka
Lauren Yee - who I went to grad school with
LIGHTNING ROUND 2:
1) how would you describe the message of your beard
2) what's something your proud to admit but wouldn't unless pressed (pressing now)
3) what writers should I read?
1) "Please don't mistake me for being 15."
2) I'm proud of the fact that I've been public schooled my whole life and while I have no particular plans regarding grad school, if I managed to find immense wealth and fame without that, I would be quadruple proud.
3) Boy. Let's see. Wallace Shawn. David Adjmi. Peter Barnes. Mark Ravenhill. My favorite play that I have read-but-not-seen is Venus by Suzan Lori Parks. My favorite play that I have read-and-seen is Lear by Young Jean Lee. Or maybe The Evildoers by Adjmi. And then with dead people I really like The Skin of Our Teeth by Wilder, and anything by Jean Genet. Oh and then back to living people, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety by Krisoffer Diaz. And Lucy Thurber's stuff has messed with my head a lot, for sure.
KK: final question: what is your gchat away message quote from? ["I've never been into partying or anything like that, so while my friends are at the bars, I'm usually enjoying the world class entertainment of Coldplay."]
BH: It's an article in Mother Jones
about how North Korea only follows three people on twitter
and one is this random American
who is a huge Coldplay fan.
KK: no wonder they don't like Americans.
BH: I like America and I like Coldplay at about the same level.
Please link to one to three online videos that best summarize your world view, ideology, passions or self.
1) the one I'm most recently obsessed with.
2) the one I'm in.
2.5) the one I created.
3) the one that best demonstrates the wonderousness and humiliation of existence
BH: This El Dorado video is getting me.
KK: I think maybe I cried
BH: I favorited it.