As we started the day with an actor/artist type, here is another that we’ve been wanting to share for a while: Katie Eisenberg. Eisenberg is an “up and coming” actor type and doesn’t dabble in visual arts. She instead is one of those performers whose work often visits more abstract performance and writing styles, relatable fields to the world she is in but not quite “the world she is in.” One project–Here Is A Man–stood out as a writing and gender performance exercise, where Eisenberg slips into the guise of a man.
The story of this man is told in vignettes, twenty nine exactly. They vary in length–some a sentence, some six paragraphs–and all have this slight seriousness to them that you learn is half-serious, half a front for vicious neurosis. Similarly, they wax and wane in their abstraction and poetic qualities. Some entries read like personal accounts and others third-person descriptions, some are read by guest males and others are just the words (which we actually prefer however it does add an interesting element to writing, performance, etc.).
We caught word of this project by Eisenberg a few weeks back when she e-mailed to let us know she had recently moved out here after finishing school at NYU’s Tisch School. She was very involved with experimental theatre there. The project is the result of her occasionally inhabiting a male point of view, which she misses. “I began to miss making my own work, which is what I focused on back in New York: generating exciting new material with an ensemble (or not),” she said in her note. “I also missed being able to play boys and men, which is pretty much all I did. I started to channel my excess energy into [this] project. It began as a series of short fiction, and is now evolving into a multimedia audio-and-visual installation with the talents of many, many fantastic people on board.”
It’s interesting and, for those who like reading and performance, it may be for you. It’s abstract and often weird and isn’t without its moments of self-indulgence. That being said, go into it open minded and looking for fun. The seriousness of the man is often a mask for him being quite a goof.