I have performed publicly since my childhood, when my father would take me to Greenwich Village parties to sing with him (mostly left-wing ditties from The People's Songbook) and I acted in productions by the Greenwich House Children's Theater Group. Even made a TV appearance on The Dave Garroway Show circa 1954, demonstrating the presumed advantages of block-printing over script.
More acting in my teens, plus the founding of a short-lived radical street-theater group, Organized Insanity (shut down by the FBI). Then political activism and public speaking, mostly in the context of the late 1950s-early 1960s peace movement. After that, singing in rock bands on the west and east coast, then the teaching and public lecturing that came in conjunction with my professional work as a critic, historian, and theorist of photography.
So, from my early days, I have rarely been very far from getting up in front others and presenting . . . something. When I returned to creative writing in the late 1980s, then, I took it for granted that I'd end up performing what I wrote. To a considerable extent, that assumption shapes the writing (indeed, all my writing): I write for the ear as well as the eye.
Nowadays I perform my creative work wearing, as it were, several hats: solo and alongside others, as Allan Douglass Coleman; under the same name, in various configurations with my fellow members of The Sepoy Rebellion; and disguised as The Derrière Garde, alone or accompanied by my accomplice, the beautiful and mysterious Pink Haitun.
Performances presented under the auspices of The Sepoy Rebellion get listed and, if documented, posted in still and/or video images at that collective's website here at The Nearby Café. Actions and appearances undertaken as The Derrière Garde appear elsewhere in this Villa Florentine section of the Café. Solo and group appearances under my own name you'll find immediately below.
- San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair, TX, 1995.
- U Knihomola, Prague, Czech Republic, 1996.
- "Little Black Dog" series, Bero Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 1997.
- Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC, August 2000.
- spine, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, March 5, 2001.
- spine, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Staten Island, NY, June 8, 2001.
- Selected poems, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Staten Island, NY, June 8, 2001.
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- Art's Garage, NJ, 1993 with Joyce Carol Oates, Edmund Keeley, Daniel Halpern, others.
- Oklahoma Arts Institute, Quartz Mountain, OK, 2002 with James Ragan.
- New York Public Library -- with Ellen Aug Lytle and Marguerite Rivas 2003.
- "Quim," at the Bowery Poetry Club, Manhattan, NY, January 14, 2006 (with Amy Greenfield, Pink Haitun, and others).