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Friday, June 18, 2010

Risk/Reward profile: MIKE PHAM

In anticipation of the Risk/Reward Festival tomorrow, we’re presenting daily profiles of the artists involved.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! MIKE PHAM IS IN THE HOUSE! (Performing in the 8pm showcase).

Hand2Mouth has been friends with Mike Pham since way back in June 2007, when we shared the bill with Helsinki Syndrome (the performance art group Mike runs with Rachel Hynes) for the NW New Works Festival. As I recall, we instantly bonded over the fact that both our shows involved balloons and pop songs and total chaos (though theirs, unlike ours, also featured purple costumes and ribbon dancing).

We brought them down to Portland the first time in September 2007, to perform a late night show at our space during TBA time. Then the next summer we brought them down more formally in what was the first official Risk/Reward Festival. They brought their first draft of a blown apart version of The Importance of Being Earnest, which featured Prince, Godzilla, King Kong, and dozens of instant pudding packets.

Then in August 2009 they invited us to come to New York and do a split bill at the Ontological. That’s when I first heard Mike talk about his fascination with figure skating and Bolero. Little did I know he was already plotting a solo show!

So here we are. He’s made his show, and he’s back in Portland to sprinkle his magic fairy dust on our heads.

You can read reviews of Mike’s show at NWNW here and here and here. My favorite quote: "Mike’s performance was unexpected, without genre, shocking, sexy, funny, morbid, retro, futuristic and well hung.” (from the On the Boards blog)

And in case you’ve been admiring the postcards and posters, Mike designed those! He’s multi-talented.

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