Reading at the Make-Out Room

In keeping with my latest trend of being asked to write stuff really, really quickly and then immediately present it to an audience – see last post about the Instant Play that I helped create for the Magic Theatre’s gala – on Sunday I was one of the participants in the Portuguese Artists Colony’s live writing challenge.


For new readers, I’m a member of a literary group called PAC. We are not Portuguese, and we are not a colony, but we do present occasional evenings of art: readings, music, and something called live writing, where four writers are given a prompt and ten minutes to create something that’s immediately presented to the audience.

This show was a special show. First, because we were kicking off our new residency at the Make-Out Room, a fabulous place that has all the things I care about in a space: a bar and a stage. Second, because all the readers were from our sister reading series in Los Angeles: David Rocklin, Zoe Ruiz, Aisha Sloan and Joe Loya. Third, because we had an amazing musician named Jethro Jeremiah. Fourth, because Silvi Alcivar, who normally writes spur-of-the-moment poetry on a typewriter with no chance for revision, got to come back with a finished piece started last show. And fifth, because the live writing was Los Angeles against San Francisco.


That’s right, we had an epic throwdown between the Portuguese Artists Colony and our Los-Angeles-based sister series, Roar Shack. Daniel Heath and I represented SF; Zoe Ruiz and Julia Ingalls stood up for LA. In the end, Daniel remained undefeated, but all the stuff was extremely good, and I think I may have the beginning of my next short story, about an Eagle Scout who places many, many “Missed Connections” ads on Craigslist.


We also had a fantastic photographer there to document the whole thing, which is why I’ve included so many of them in this post. I like how the red light makes everything seem kind of seedy and dangerous, like writing should be.

Next show is in July. Follow the PAC blog to know exactly when.