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Fierth i-ON interview with Mark Allen

Written by BRIAN MILLS. Posted in *NEW, FEATURED, i-ON, PEOPLE

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MARK ALLEN

Published on January 13, 2012 with 1 Comment">1 Comment

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Fierth gets to know Mark Allen, who is a contributor to The New York Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, Vice, and DJs at the freeform radio station WFMU. He has performed storytelling & stand-up at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Dixon Place and 92Y Tribeca, and runs his own NYC show called Pitch! Mark used to get naked on bar tops for a living, and once got  jokingly  ”cured” of my homosexuality by a NYC ex-gay church, live on stage at Upright Citizen’s Brigade..  Get into Mark Allen

 

FM:     What is your name?

Mark Allen

FM:     What is your motto?

MA:     Second impressions are more important.

FM:     List 5 quirky things about yourself.

MA:     Try to avoid “quirky.”

FM:     How do you keep it real?

MA:     Cringing at myself. Regretting things you’ve done feels rotten, but it means you’re growing.

FM:     What exactly are you wearing right now?

MA:     Black sweats and crocs, and our cat Noodles on my lap.

FM:     What were you like as a child?

MA:     Nervous

FM:     What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

MA:     Being too good.

FM:     As a teenager where did you think you would be now ?

MA:     I was raised in a Southern Baptist home inTexas, so I thought I’d be a closeted gay man, married to a woman, with kids. I was kind of resigned to it.

FM:     What were you doing right before this interview?

MA:     Talking to my husband Jim on the phone

FM:     What do you think about and are the first three things you do first after waking up in the morning?

MA:     Turn the alarm off, pee, make coffee.

FM:     Do you know how to cook? What do you most like to make ?

MA:     Coffee

FM:     Describe a time/event in your life that you’re nostalgic for.

MA:     Running away to NYC in my early 20′s. Those were fantastic years.

FM:     Tell us about an actual accidental adventure you’ve had.

MA:     The summer I was 19 I hitchhiked fromManchester,UKtoInverness,Scotland, because I wanted to see the Loch Ness Monster. When I finally got toInverness, it was 3AM and no one was around. I walked down to the edge of the loch, which was much bigger than I’d thought. There was no moon and it was real dark. I spontaneously stripped down to my underwear, and swam as far out into the pitch-black, cold water as I could, mentally daring the monster to appear. When I got too far in, I changed my mind and swam back to the edge. It took a long time. I’ve never been so terrified.

FM:     What’s the strangest thing you’ve done this week?

MA:     I performed a beat poet-style, screaming rant about my own ass, with free-jazz fusion drumming accompaniment by my husband Jim, for a middle-aged, upstate crowd. They clapped afterwards.

FM:     What’s something about yourself that no one knows?

MA:     I ran through a sliding glass door when I was in kindergarden, really horrific, and doctors had to totally reconstruct my nose. You can see the scars if you look close. I five-year-old shouldn’t have to lie about having “work done,” but I had to.

FM:     If you could choose a superhero power, What would it be, And how would you use it.

[ Invisibility- Ability to Fly- Super Strength-

Read Peoples Mind’s – Elasticity- Super Stamina ]

MA:     Invisibility. There are so many people I’d love to spy on having sex. Is that shallow?

FM:     Which stars, if any leave you star struck?

MA:     I dunno…they’re all so dull now. The last star I was inspired by was Madonna, who I still pay attention to. I think James Franco is interesting. I know, terrible answer.

FM:     Who are your main inspirations?

MA:     My superego.

FM:     Whom do you despise?

MA:     My id.

FM:     What brings you the most joy?

MA:     Being alone

FM:     What makes you angry ?

MA:     Anyone with anything to prove.

FM:     What motivates you in life?

MA:     Seeing other people accomplishing things that impress me.

FM:     How would your best friend describe you?

MA:     As a stranger.

FM:     What are you reading right now?

MA:     “Uncreative Writing” by Kenneth Goldsmith

FM:     What is your favorite song?

MA:     “Expressway To Your Skull” by Sonic Youth, or “Boiled Dove” by Butthole Surfers

FM:     What is your favorite sound?

MA:     Wind rustling through leaves on trees

 

FM:     Describe your home in 6 words or less

MA:     Grey Gardens Fading To Black

FM:     Do you collect anything? If so, what?

MA:     Pre-internet paper magazines: British fashion mag i-D (pre-1985 only), Spy (pre-1990 only), Starlog (pre-1980), Omni (pre-1982), lots of others. They’re expensive now!

FM:     Do you have any obsessions right now?

MA:     The televised GOP debates. It’s the most brilliant dark comedy going. I hope they never pick a nominee…I don’t want them to end!

FM:     What’s the weirdest item you’ve ever mourned losing?

MA:     A plastic baggie of grass I ripped off the top of James Dean’s gravesite inFairmont,Indianaearly one morning in 1986 when no one was looking. My Texas driver’s license that Andy Warhol autographed the organ donor line of (a few months before he died).

FM:     If you could buy anything regardless of cost, what would you buy?

MA:     Hmm…off the top of my head: Marilyn Monroe’s skeleton. If Michael Jackson can, why can’t I? I’d prop it next to me on the couch and we’d drink wine and watch movies. Do you think Marilyn’s skeleton likes wine and movies? I bet we’d get great tables at all the best restaurants.

FM:     What is your greatest extravagance?

MA:     Red wine.

FM:     What is your guilty pleasure?

MA:     Drinking red wine and watching movies.

FM:     What were you doing last night at Midnight?

MA:     Drinking red wine and watching Yasujiro Ozu’s “Early Spring.”

FM:     Who was the last person you talked to last night before you went to bed?

MA:     My husband Jim

FM:     What do you think about before falling asleep?

MA:     Saying my prayers, then thinking about things that are bothering me.

Photographs of Mark Allen by Hans Fahrmeyer

FM:     What is the funniest joke you have ever heard?

MA:     Once I was at a dinner party where someone was kvetching about the food, until someone finally said to them, sarcastically, “Oh, you’re such a talented food critic, emphasis on CRITIC.” Without missing a beat, they drolly replied, “No (eyes bulging, loudly), FOOD.” Thinking about that always makes me laugh for some reason.

FM:     What are you reading right now?  

MA:     “Uncreative Writing” by Kenneth Goldsmith

FM:     Let’s play word association , I am going to say a word , tell me the first thing that comes to mind:

Bitch: Where?

Money: Where?

Love:  Red

Unique: Old store on Broadway

Power:  Bill

Hate: Skull

Moist: Vagina

Sex: -y

Dirt: Vacuum

God: Whatever

Cozy: Alone

Fame:Bowie song

Funny: SCTV

Best:  Boring

Good : Bad and Ugly

Bad:  Moon rising

Worst: Liver

ME: Mirror

FM:     Do you believe in karma?

MA:     No. I think people who believe in karma too much, or endlessly talk about it, are untrustworthy.

FM:     Do you believe in reincarnation?

MA:     No.

FM:     Have you ever felt hopeless? How did you get through it?

MA:     By doing something constructive, keep moving…

FM:     You can trade places with any other person, living or dead, for 24 hours. Who would you choose and why

MA:     Any female. Too many reasons to list.

FM:     What’s the sweetest thing anyone’s ever done for you?

MA:     Left me alone.

FM:     Ever had a rumor spread about you?

MA:     Yep

FM:     What are you going to do next?

MA:     Get on the horn and try and convince some old French tricks inParisto let Greg Walloch and I stay with them for free, during PITCH!’s planned upcoming European mini-tour.

FM:     Which causes do you believe in the most in, and why?

MA:     Maybe the ability for people within causes to speak their mind freely when those movements become too stagnant, fascistic or misguided and insular.

FM:     Leave us a quote to carry on with :

MA:     What doesn’t kill you fucks you up really badly, and you’ll be lucky if you ever get it together again.

FM:     How can we find out more about you :

Facebook

MarkAllenCam

Twitter           

Pitch ! 

Email:   markallen@wfmu.org

 

  • http://chriseverettonline.com Chris

    Long before Facebook, Twitter, etc., I saw the Hans Fahrmeyer photo of Mark Allen in the Iron Maiden shirt and then discovered Mark’s MarkAllenCam website. It was a revelation with a view into the amazing world of a true creative and the ongoing adventures with his NYC circle of friends. I’ve been a Mark Allen fan ever since. It’s rare to find anyone with his unique sensibilities and it’s an inspiration to see his continued journey in free expression.

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