When the actual performance time passed fourteen hours and the topics of the script had drifted far afield of his original concept, he reluctantly admitted that the project was out of control and technically impossible to present without substantial funding and a crowd of theater techs. Taking the failure as an opportunity, Joe used the skills and techniques he’d gained in the meticulous construction of This Nonstop March… and went on to concentrate on smaller, self-contained performances, emerging with a minimalist exploration of dream life, titled “A Troubled Sleep,” which he performed to popular acclaim at Loyola’s McManus Theater in 1996. A wacky, but loving, tribute to his grandmother, “Easy Listening in Baltimore” followed, a year later at Slayton House in Columbia, MD, and he performed “This Nonstop March,” a small-scale exploration of the themes present in the now-abandoned piece, at Baltimore’s First Unitarian Church in 1998. In 1998, Joe began a long relationship with the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, brought into the fold by his long-time friend and mentor, Lorraine Whittlesey, and has since developed a series of annual performance pieces in association with the museum, integrating sound design, music composition, and storytelling with wild costumery and street theater in a series of evolving characters much-loved by patrons of the museum. Joe started writing his blog (or journal, as he prefers to describe it) in 2001, taking the outlet presented by a new medium to return to his love of writing, and honed his skills, eventually writing pieces for Radar Review magazine and an essay for the Link arts journal that brought him an award from Baltimore Magazine for the best arts essay of 2001 in their “Best of Baltimore” annual edition. Since then, he’s performed a number of pieces, from “The Laser Farm Monologues” to “The Trampoline Spectator,” at venues around the Maryland region, culminating in his first full-length narrative performance, My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much, which debuted in 2005 at the Creative Alliance’s Patterson Theater, in Baltimore. Joe lives in Laurel, Maryland, with his dog and piles of sound-making machinery, and is currently finishing a book of essays, entitled Scaggsville, and working on the first in a trilogy of pulp novels about the fringes of American culture, 9/11, and Dolly Parton, tentatively dubbed The Closest Some of Us Will Ever Get to Heaven. He recently performed a live electronic soundtrack to the 1914 silent film His Majesty, The Scarecrow of OZ at the Patterson Theater, and is making detailed notes and sound studies for another full-length one-man show, Higher Beings in Broken Glasses, which he hopes to complete in 2007. Having worked in the grim world of office work for far too long, Joe escaped the rat race in 2004, taking up a new career as a journeyman carpenter, remodeling contractor, freelance writer, web designer, and general purpose jack-of-all-trades before being hired full-time by the American Visionary Art Museum.
At AVAM, he works as construction engineer and general purpose jack-of-all-trades for the second phase of the museum’s mosaic wall project, which is gradually covering the bare concrete walls of the building with a mosaic of mirror, broken pottery, bottles, and other ephemeral items found around town. There are still more dreams yet to dream. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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