Nogales at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre


by Richard Montoya and directed by Sean San Jose

After attending an intense workshop led by Sean San Jose at California Institute of Integral Studies I went to check out Nogales at Magic Theatre. Here I was told an amazing story of a murder, investigation, and performance making that can truly instigate change.

On October 10, 2012 Jose Antonio Elena Rodrigues was shot fifteen times by a US Border Patrol Agent. The investigative performance given by Carla Pantoja, Richard Montoya, Sean San Jose, and ensemble was informed, intelligent, raw. Nogales magnifies truth and highlights chaos.

When confronting such crushing social justice issues you have to be able to laugh to stay engaged with the terrifying testimony.  Nogales is no exception. The quick wit and cutting  reality was delivered unapologetically and kept us on the edge of our seats. Most of us stood up to give a standing ovation.

“Thank you friends for your standing applause! For those of you who remained seated, please have a safe drive back to Walnut Creek!” Richard Montoya kept us laughing past the end of the performance. I observed the people who had remained seated. They laughed in spite of themselves. Bravo!

The art you seek is the art you should be making.

photo-on-2016-09-06-at-11-44-2Me at school, taking pics with my shitty computer camera. As soon as my federal scholarships and loan hits and my expensive ass school’s for sure covered, I’m getting a new camera. My YouTube vids look like they were recorded with a calculator.

If you’re a writer, what your favorite books? That’s what you should write. Mine’s noir mystery (clearly).   Deirdre Visser is a Creative Inquiry Professor and the active Interim Chair of the MFA department at CIIS, whom I work for. Over the weekend Deirdre said something that has stuck in my head for days. “The art you seek is the art you should be making.” Brilliant.

It may seem disturbing and at times intensely grim, but I’ve always been attracted to the dark. That’s why the lives of San Francisco’s lesser denizens, strippers and showgirls fascinate me.

A dancer named Alana Temple inspired me to write North Beach. She’s been very generous with the details of her life, and in turn my interviewing her has inspired her to finally write her memoir, A Year In The Life of a Penthouse Key Girl. I’m very excited for it, and will keep you up to date. Until next Monday. Meow!

What Bare Naked Prose managed to draw out of Matt.

The Bare Naked Prose writing room with posted storyboards.
The Bare Naked Prose writing room with posted storyboards.

I was surprised what one of my writing prompts pulled out of Bare Naked Prose writer, Matt Garcia. Matt has given me permission to post his inner dialogue. Thanks Matt!

Below is the result of Matt’s writing prompt from 05/12/16:

“You know this is meaningless, right?” I look side to side, uncertain of where that voice came from. But slowly and surely, I begin to piece it together.

“Oh, it’s you again,” I respond, with a hint of disgust.
“Look at you,” he says, “you’re barely keeping yourself afloat on this one. I mean, you know this isn’t going to work out, so why bother?”
“I’m sure that’s what you’d like me to think.” That’s the best I could come up with. I’m still developing this muscle, you know. “So what if I’m not enjoying this week. What right do you have just waltzing in here and causing a scene?”
“You realize you can’t get rid of me, right?”
“Sure, but that doesn’t mean I have to listen to you.”
“What are you talking about, you ponce? You’re listening to me right now!”
“You know what I mean.”
“Whatever, the situation stands. You’re in a tough spot and let’s face it, you’re fucked, pal!”
God, he is annoying. But he’s persistent, I’ll give him that much. I try not to let him get to me.
“I’m not fucked. I’m just having a rough week. Ebb and flow.”
“Ebb and flow? Are you seriously calling to mind that rubbish Lindsay’s telling you?”
“It’s not rubbish if it’s right. Now please, leave me be. I’m trying to do this workshop.”
And then he goes for the low blow.
“You’re just trying to hide from the fact that you’re a boring failure. Take some responsibility, man!”
“I am taking responsibility. Me doing this workshop has nothing to do with hiding. I’m trying to better myself as an artist.”
“Whatever, man. Seems to me like you’re just afraid of being alone.”
“Hold on a second, we’re not even talking about what you were bothering me about earlier.”
“Oh, don’t worry, you’re still fucked. F. U. Q. E. D. Hey, did you just make me sound stupid?”
“Sure did. That’s the beauty of these writing prompts. I can depict you however I please.”
“Nice try, asshole. Now you’ve got my undivided attention.”
“Oh, I’m glad to hear that you’ve been half-assing this the whole time.”
Seriously, he’s like the guy who won’t leave the party even after it’s over.
“Okay, how much longer are we gonna keep doing this?”
“I dunno. Maybe when you’re finally defeated.”
Blog 2
RIght before my gallery reading. My selection was a risky choice. Thank the gods my nervousness doesn’t show.