And The Next Thing You Know podcast
Episode 012: Dana Morrigan, epic karaoke host
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.
Themes we talked about in the podcast
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!
Dana's performance history
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 and archive online.
Dana also participated in the Fresh Meat Festival of Trans and Queer Performance.
In this episode, we talked about a ton of cultural influences that touched Dana’s life, including:
Henny Youngman, Tiny Tim, Melville’s Bartleby, The Scrivener, Bob and Ray radio shows
Glen Campbell performing “Rhinestone Cowboy”
Johnny Cash performing “A Boy Named Sue,” written by the great Shel Silverstein
Walter Sobchak doesn’t roll on Shabbos
El Rio in San Francisco
At the very end of the episode, I referenced “Rogerian,” therapy, referring to psychologist 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.
Additional music in this episode
Tintamare – excerpt from “Propane,” used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Find Tintamare at Bandcamp.
Sound effects by
jackjames_tomknevItt – Zip dot Wav, used under a CC BY 3.0 license.
Find jackjames_tomknevItt on FreeSound.
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!
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The banana peel is by Max Ronnersjö.
The theme and interstitial music are by Jon Schwartz.