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!