Mike Daisey told the truth and lied to This American Life

Mike is the only other solo performer I know who didn’t “lock” his scripts besides me. Back when he first toured his first big hit Doing Time At Amazon he told me it was difficult to get theatres to allow this. It’s something I do because my shows are interactive and they’re designed to shift every time in part based on who is there. The Agony And The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is the first script that Mike Daisey locked. He also gives it away for royalty-free performances Creative Commons style.

Locked. As in sure. Air tight. Even in his playbill asserting it is non-fiction. This is perhaps one of the reasons I didn’t go to see the show. But it is now the biggest story in solo performance / performance art (whatever handle it is people like to use to describe telling a story on a stage.) This is what I do ( although I spend a lot of time creating the space for others’ stories and participation). I have not stopped thinking about this revelation of Mike’s lying since I heard about it. And I imagine it will inform my own thinking about my own work for quite some time. The This American Life Retraction Episode in which he is grilled and dissembles and I would say performs, is absolutely riveting. And it is unscripted and all about Mike Daisey. Even when he does his best to say it’s not.