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Notebook on Cities and Culture S1E4: Chitlin’ Circuit with Eliza Skinner

Colin Marshall sits down at Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood with Eliza Skinner, comedian, musical improviser, comedic rap-battle impresario, writer, and the woman of the one-woman show Eliza Skinner is Shameless. They discuss a Scotsman who left his wife possibly due and possibly not due to what he felt in her onstage spirit; the one-way intimacy of performance; the proper cultivation of one’s personal brand; the odd confluence of skills required for the non-career (absent an eccentric billionaire) of musical improvisation, and the fear some have of practicing them; when New York felt like one big “last call”; the apparent ease of performing in Los Angeles as a buoy for the spirit; breaking the shackles of “musical improviser” as an identity; the women of Shameless like Amy and Karen, who compulsively complicate their lives in ways they don’t understand; matching mother-daughter breast implants; the lack of female characters who are lovable yet not likable; the fact that nobody, given that everyone plays the hero in their own story, thinks of themselves as an asshole; the fears of being misunderstood, of foxholes, and of getting stuck in underwater tubes; Tyler Perry, who honed his craft on the theatrical “chitlin’ circuit,” as the ideal career model; the logistical requirements of setting up freestyle rap battles; and what it takes for RuPaul to deem you “shelarious.”

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed here on iTunes here.

(Photo: Tyler Ross)

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