By Heather E. Schwartz
In Dion's blog post titled “44 Simple Steps,” he outlines his journey from trailer park to “The Tonight Show” White House. Here are just a few of the steps he took in developing his show, “The Only Brown Kid in the Trailer Park,” at Proctors August 30.
1. I took hot baths and listened to the creative voices that speak whenever I’m still for that long.
2. I used Tony Buzan's tool of mind-mapping to map out the old memories from my childhood.
3. I explored the theatrical viability of various aspects of my past in my two-person show with Ali Farahnakian (former “Saturday Night Live” writer and founder of The People's Improv Theater).
4. I’ve been culling this tale since the summer of 1997, when I first started doing Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: Morning Pages exercise. The story began to spill out on its own.
5. I shot a documentary called, “Real Father,” searching for my birth father. That led me down to Maryland where it all happened. Being back there after years away, knocking on doors and visiting the old haunts, clarified a lot of things for me. I got to relive the body terror I was in when confronted, as a boy, by racism. I let go of a lot of old demons while trying to learn how to tell this story.
6. I’m now close to two decades sober from drugs and alcohol. Much of this story surfaced in the absence of anything with which to stuff it down or squelch it.
7. I had therapy.
8. I looked with excruciating detail at every past moment of my life. Both under the care of a therapist and under the auspices of recovery work.
9. Doing stand-up comedy off and on in NYC since 2000, I discovered that the raw pain of these events could be explored via the discipline of joke-writing. Jokes force concision and should make people laugh.
10. I have been thrilled to have audiences relate to “The Only Brown Kid in the Trailer Park.” I’ve learned that everyone has felt, at some time or another, like the unloved outcast. And now I know that nobody has to stay there.
MopCo Presents: Dion Flynn "The Only Brown Kid in the Trailer Park
THIS SUNDAY, August 30th @ 7pm, GE Theater at Proctors!
Take a Master Improv Class from Dion Flynn:
After his show on Sunday, he will be staying to teach an improv class on Monday evening!
You may have heard that our friend Dion Flynn, who plays Obama on the Tonight Show, is doing his one-man-show at Proctors on Aug. 30. We are so excited to announce that he is doing a workshop at Mopco on Monday Aug. 31st from 7-9.
Dion is amazing. He may be the best improviser we have ever seen, or at least is right up there with the best, no kidding. And he is an incredibly insightful teacher.
Meet the author
Heather E. Schwartz has always had a passion for writing, grew up to make a career of it, and was surprised when she struggled to write this bio. In addition to writing, she loves laughing, improvising, and dreaming up crazy ideas.