Today, I talk with Dana Morrigan, wonderful human, wry wit, queer nonbinary transfeminine spoken word artist, writer, performer, and epic karaoke host! It’s about her quest for self-knowledge across many parts of her life: in her cultural affiliations, in her work, in her relationships, in her gender and sexuality, in finding her creative callings. And the through-line is really that the process of finding ourselves is lifelong, and, if you’re doing it right, you can help other people find themselves, too.
We talked about: growing up in the Catskills of the ‘60s and ‘70s; identifying with cultural outlaws like Tiny Tim and Harpo Marx, and identifying with genderfluid and sexually free hippie culture; we talked comedy and improv; performance; writing, both creatively and professionally; copywriting; the demands of academia; heteronormative relationship expectations; gender and sexual discovery; finding the language to better understand oneself; the lifelong project of integrating one’s sense of self and belonging; finding and creating community; queer and trans performance; queer open mic; karaoke…and so many other things!
Karaoke With Dana on Facebook
@KaraokeWithDana on Instagram and
@KaraokeWithDana on Twitter
Melville’s Bartleby, The Scrivener
Walter Sobchak doesn’t roll on Shabbos
Bob and Ray radio shows
One of the main open mic events Dana performed at was The SF Queer Open Mic. They no longer hold events, but you can still find the community on Facebook
And at the SF Queer Open Mic archive
Dana also participated in the Fresh Meat Festival of Trans and Queer Performance
El Rio in San Francisco
Glen Campbell performing “Rhinestone Cowboy”
Johnny Cash performing “A Boy Named Sue,” written by the great Shel Silverstein
At the very end of the episode, I referenced “Rogerian,” i.e., Carl Rogers’ psychotherapeutic approach, which informed non-directive play therapy. This was when Dana and I were talking about the therapeutic effects for queer and trans folks being in karaoke community. The history of this modality, though, preceded Rogers and was expanded later by Virginia Axline. Here’s a brief history of the modality
Thank you to ALL my patrons for making this podcast happen, and for making it better! A special shout out to all my Failure & Redemption level patrons: Lisa, Marck, Kurt, Bonita, Barry, Amy, Heather, Noah, Jeannie, and Jen, AND, to my Serendipity level patrons: Dorian, Brittany, Steve & Cyndi, Micharelle, Jodi, and Kristi!
Additional music in this episode
TRG Banks – excerpt from “Evening Journey,” used under a CC0 1.0 public domain license.
Find his music at Bandcamp
Anthem of Rain – excerpt from “Adaptation,” used under a CC BY 4.0 license.
Find their music at the Free Music Archive
Tintamare – excerpt from “Propane,” used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license
Find their music at Bandcamp
And sound effects by
jackjames_tomknevItt – Zip dot Wav, used under a CC BY 3.0 license
Find their audio on FreeSound
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The banana peel is by Max Ronnersjö
The theme and interstitial music is by Jon Schwartz