And by being on stage, I have these lights, I have power. Then I owe it to people to take off the mask even though I am just playing myself. It’s the same person.
And go to the lobby so we can actually talk to one another as human beings, and generally when there are confrontations they happen there.
Or in the manner of the modern age people send me anonymous emails.
Brian Lamb: Have you had any confrontations with politicians in Washington the many times you’ve been here?
Mike Daisey: Uhm a few ah by politicians, you know? Uhm I believe the functionaries of some functionaries, but so never an elected official not yet anyway.
But I have had uhm ah I did it on the monologue called If You See Something Say Something which is about the Department of Homeland Security and its history.
And also the rise of the Military Industrial Complex, and I had people uhm ah who are affiliated with and have interest in defense contractors, you know?
Really upset about the implication that, that their, that their industry actually exist to create a kind of American empire.
Brian Lamb: Well so often in Washington a lot of these theatres are underwritten by some of these big corporations.
Mike Daisey: Yes they are, they are.
Brian Lamb: Have you ever been kicked back on that? Where you weren’t allowed to appear somewhere because the underwriter didn’t want in there?
Mike Daisey: You know uhm? It’s interesting that it’s true that they are underwritten and like uhm, ah uhm, generally, I’m really proud of this wealthy American theatre.
There is a lot that’s wrong with the American theatre.
I’m really proud that most of them, most of the places I’ve worked. Uhm have worked hard to ensure some degree of separation between their programming and then their underwriting. They’ve really tried to do that.
Where I have experienced ah pushed back is. I do actually monologue about the American Theatre called “How Theatre Failed America” that really uhm you know?
Sometimes you say things and they hit you where you, where you eat and so there where a number of theatres across America that found it too uhm close to the bone.
I’m talking about the problems endemic with theatre and so I won’t be working with them anymore.
Brian Lamb: Let’s go to another monologue and it will connect your father and present day, and some of what you allude to earlier. Let’s watch this and tell us where it came from.
Mike Daisey: All he wants to talk about is Iraq because he’s afraid that we are going to war in Iraq.
My Dad works as a therapist for the Veterans Administration and he knows, he knows the government done with those kids.
He’s gonna see ‘em, he’s gonna see them next. He’s really, really worried about that. And it’s funny because when I was a kid.
When I was a kid ,growing up in Maine I have friends you know? Their father’s sometime lose their jobs at the mill and that happen every time the family went to ship every time.
And I got really worried what would happen if my father lost his job? I’m really worried about that. I noticed you know? That all the veterans my father, they’re all Vietnam Veterans and they are all like getting older.
So I really got worried what’s gonna happen when my father runs out of veterans? And I actually asked him once, I actually asked him.
What’s gonna happen when you ran out of veterans?
And I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget he laughed and said (laughs) “Oh Michael that’s never going to happen.”
Brian Lamb: Where is that from?
Mike Daisey: That’s for a monologue called “Invincible Summer” which is about in part uhm the history of the New York Subway system,
And it’s also about my neighbourhood in Brooklyn before and after 9/11, and it’s about the changes in my life and my family’s life and in my country in the years that follow 9/11.