Irrelevant Questions with Gerard Harris

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What is the first thing you notice about Gerard Harris? His funny accent? His infectious energy? His creepy preoccupation with maps? Whatever catches your attention, one thing is sure: you’ll be spellbound. World traveler, IT manager, and comedic screenwriter, Harris is most notably a charismatic storyteller. Although he claims performance is only a hobby, his hit stage show “Let’s Start A Country” with Shane Adamczak and Holly Gauthier-Frankel is now in it’s third run at Zoofest. A success that calls for celebration! But whatever you do, don’t buy the man tequila.

Read our previous interview with the cast of “Let’s Start A Country”

Guilty pleasure?

Talking too much when I know people are done listening? No, that’s just being a dick. Maybe my guilty pleasure is being a dick. What’s the difference between a guilty pleasure and being a dick? I’m not sure, I’m exploring.
My guilty pleasure food is Twiglets. You know these? They’re a Marmite-dipped wheat snack that I have to have sent from England at six times the price. I simply can’t live without them.

Silk sheets or cotton?

Cotton! Who sleeps on silk? People like that? No, no. Silk nothing, actually. Too silky. Not even tofu.

Thoughts on socks with sandals?

I don’t mind other people wearing them. I will never, ever do that though. I try to wear as few undergarments as possible, actually. They’re unnecessary.

Alcohol you puked most as a teenager?

Tequila. Although I don’t think of tequila as an alcohol. It’s like a mollusk: not quite an animal, not quite a plant. Tequila is not quite an alcohol, not quite a drug. It’s somewhere in between. I don’t know. And that’s my point. Any other time I’m drunk at least I can tell myself, “This is a bad idea” and the next morning I know who to call to apologize. With tequila, no. It’s all goes black. Amazing. So I never touch it.

What’s with “spastic faces in fantastic places”?

Oh, I was hoping that would never get noticed. It’s meant to take the piss out of tourists. You know, those people who go to the most beautiful, historically significant places in the world, and just stand there for a photo. That’s the Colosseum or the fucking Taj Mahal. Get out of the fucking way! So I go to places and purposefully ruin them. Like everything I do, it comes from a very intentional effort to make a point, but it’s done in such a stupid way that not everyone gets the joke.

Feelings on jaywalking?

I’m never ever going to accept that law. It’s a wrong law. It’s up to you to take personal responsibility for dying. You shouldn’t be fined for it. If I ever get caught jaywalking, the way I look at it, I’ve broken the law a thousand times, so really I’m only paying a tiny increment for each infraction. They’re welcome to it. I might just send the government a check at the end of the year anyway. I definitely owe them.

[…and one relevant question] What’s “Let’s Start A Country” about really?

It’s an extremely dumb show. But I’m serious in my intent. It comes from a real-life fascination with mircronations, enclaves, exclaves, and protectorates. For example, there’s a village in India surrounded by Bangladesh, which is surrounded by another circle of India, surrounded by another circle of Bangladesh. So it looks like an archery target. It’s crazy. And what does it mean? Nothing! These villages existed before the concepts of Bangladesh and India, before map lines ever existed. I love the arbitraryness. There’s a fascinating disjunction between the land as it is, and the land as we see it.

Photo Credit: Joey Tanny

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