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Two Performance Artists book by Scotch Wichmann
Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss And Do Things With Him
Inspired by my crazy adventures as a performer on the road, this is the story of two performance artists who cook up the ultimate performance: to kidnap their billionaire boss...and turn him into the wildest performance artist the world's ever seen.

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Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

Kicking Book Tour Ass From LA to Washington DC

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

The book tour has been racing ahead full steam, with exciting stops in LA, Fresno, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and this week, Washington D.C.

Though I’ve said it before, I’m still shocked at just how few indie bookstores remain compared to 10 or 20 years ago, with so many replaced by soulless stucco-and-glass monoliths. Thank the gods for indies—or better, go buy some books from them!

With so few non-chain bookstores remaining, and their calendars so packed with authors hungry for stage time, and their budgets continuing to thin (some have elminated book readings altogether because they can no longer afford event & marketing costs), traditional book tours are becoming a rarity. Even Barnes and Noble stores were an impassable challenge, which we tried to book in towns where there wasn’t a single indie bookstore left. Some B&Ns no longer hosted readings at all, it turned out, while the others were just too disorganized to recall a conversation from one phone call to the next, until time finally ran out.

But that doesn’t mean Book Tours are dead. Far from it. The thriving indie bookstores we booked were a dream. Skylight Books & Book Soup in LA—and my San Francisco favorite, Green Apple Books, with its old creaky floors & eclectic selection—pulled out all the stops, with mobs showing up crazy-excited for a performance art novel. (Full disclosure: though I’d like to think it was all due to my book’s appeal, part of the draw might’ve been rumors preceding me that I do wild things with a fish during my readings, but I’ll take crowds however I can get them!!!)
Two Performance Artists Do It With Duct Tape
Scotch Wichmann signing Two Performance Artists in San Francisco
Scotch Wichmann signing Two Performance Artists in San Francisco

With the novel being about art & performance, we were also able to book some killer art, gallery, and alternative theater spaces, thanks to curators who were game.  SoapCo. Gallery & Theater in Fresno’s Tower District, Mermaids Tattoo in SF, the Show & Tell Gallery in Portland, and Seattle’s The Project Room were not only white hot creative collaborators up for anything, but also fitting for a novel about two subversives who unleash peformances in sweaty underground galleries where art spectators go increasingly mad for performances that shred convention. Finding a way, hell or high water, to still get the book out felt like dancing amid the publishing industry’s ruins—and fucking punk rock performance art.

One of my favorite events was the tattoo happening at Mermaids Tattoo in SF. The evening began with a hilarious standup comedy set by SF favorite Loren Kraut, then a performance art piece by yours truly. Then came the finale: with the audience watching, Mermaids’ owner-and-tattoo-artist Anne Williams inked a tattoo that’s described in my novel onto my torso while my wife read the chapter aloud. It was surreal, grimacing under the buzzing needle while hearing my words echoed back to me. In the novel, protagonist Hank tries to tattoo himself while wearing a vest made of meat that’s being attacked by a massive dog; in the interests of public safety and my needle’s sterility, I forewent the meat and mutt.
The Project Room features Scotch Wichmann doing performance art

You can catch more photos on the book tour’s web page.

Two Performance Artists Wins Bronze Medal in 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Two Performance Artists by Scotch Wichmann wins Bronze Medal at 2014 Independent Publisher Book AwardsOMG, WE JUST HEARD THE NEWS: Two Performance Artists just won a Bronze Medal for Best Regional Fiction in the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards!

The novel is set in San Francisco’s rough Tenderloin neighborhood, which is where I started writing the book in 1999. In the four-block walk between my apartment and Polk Street, I’d pass liquor stores, pan handlers, people of every color, a blowjob in progress, art galleries, a vet in a wheelchair, mom-and-pop restaurants with flies buzzing in the windows, psych ward escapees, a gay salon, the rich, the destitute, software geeks on kick scooters, a gaggle of transvestite prostitutes checking their hair, drug hustlers and drunks…it was beautiful.

The awards ceremony will be held May 28 in NYC just a day before the kickoff of the BookExpo book convention. I can’t wait! Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this little dream come true!

***UPDATE: The ceremony was a blast! Held at NYC’s historic Providence space—it was once a church, then became a lavish recording studio where Sinatra, Hendrix, Streisand and Stevie Wonder all recorded—seeing my name in lights was surreal. There were two floors with views of the stage, but not enough guest tables, so a lot of attendees had to stand around with their plates of food, including the people on the second floor, who thought it was a good idea to balance their plates on the balcony railing. Every few minutes I’d see a cracker or piece of cheese fall onto the head or plate of a guest below. That—and being there with my hilarious & gorgeous wife—were my favorite parts of the night (you can see where my priorities are, I guess—haha).
Scotch Wichmann wins Bronze Medal in 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards

100 Performances For The Hole Coming to San Francisco

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Scotch Wichmann performing at SOMArts' 100 Performances For The Hole
SQUEALLLL! I just found out I’ve been selected to perform at the 4th annual 100 PERFORMANCES FOR THE HOLE show Saturday, January 4th at SOMArts in San Francisco! If you haven’t heard of this, it’s crazy: 100 performers each perform a 4-minute piece in a 6′ x 4′ hole in the gallery floor. That’s right: A HUNDRED PERFORMANCES BACK-TO-BACK! The show’ll run from about 6PM until at least 12:30AM. If you live for experimental performance, DO NOT MISS THIS! My 4-minute slot starts at 11:34PM. It’s gonna be wild! Tickets are $12 in advance, or $25 for VIP (includes free beer!). If you live in SF, I’d LOVE to see you there! General info is here, and tickets are on sale here.

Two Performance Artists Book Trailer!

Friday, November 1st, 2013

The TWO PERFORMANCE ARTISTS book trailer is here! You can play it below, or watch it on YouTube.

To learn more about how it was made, check out the novel’s FAQ page. And to the tireless cast, crew, and volunteers who made it all happen: THANK YOU!

My first drive-by shooting

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

I went to dinner at Farina, a Ligurian joint in the Mission district last night. Being only 10:30, the place was filled with diners, clinking wine glasses, and chefs’ lively Spanish and Italian banter.

Suddenly I heard the high-pitched pops of Chinese firecrackers right outside the restaurant’s front window—one, then two more, then yelling, then something in my gut screamed, “Get down!” and I hit the concrete floor about the same moment as everyone else around me. We heard more bullets popping and people running outside. I glanced up and saw women in dresses sprawled flat, men in suits, busboys, waiters, napkins, bits of food . . . anybody looking in from outside would’ve seen a desolate restaurant full of empty chairs. A woman next to us started having violent muscle cramps in her hamstring with her back arched—looked like a grand mal seizure. A few of us asked another woman who was face down if she was ok, but she just shook her head and refused to lift her face from the concrete—too scared. I crawled to my cellphone as the manager dashed for the restaurant phone. Gangbangers in black hoods were scattering in all directions outside, then police car lights, then a dozen cops darting past on foot—it was like being on the sideline of an insane foot race.

It’s hard to describe how surreal it is to suddenly receive a gut message to violate social norms and throw yourself to the ground without knowing for sure if your gut is correct or not, and at the risk of looking like a freak if it only turns out to be some crazy outside with crackers and a lighter. It’s not the same as your nervous system automatically throwing you out of harm’s way; with gunfire it takes a second to register if you haven’t heard it before—it sounds higher-pitched in person than it does in movies—and to overcome the sheer disbelief that this shit is happening right now. I still feel wobbly. My thoughts go out to anyone who has to face that regularly—in Iraq or on the street—developing that awkward reflex to dive. Oh my god, I’d have to wear a diaper.