VOTM: What's the most unusual experience you've ever had at a reading?
MATT: About a month ago I competed at Literary Death Match in San Francisco. In the spirit of fictional violence, I read from one of the more colorful, bloodier scenes in my book, accenting the reading with a cap gun which I first produced and then, with Checkovian flourish, fired twice during the reading. The other reader--Tanya Egan Gibson, who's a terrific writer and a friend of mine--read a section from her novel in a more conventional style.
During the judges' evaluation, the performance judge--Russell Blackwood--complained that I had stood too close to the microphone, and thus had been too loud. It's a fair point. But I brought a frickin' cap gun to a literary reading--there's an aphorism in there somewhere--which is inherently awesome, and sure to outweigh a little loudness--right? Incredibly, Blackwood didn't even mention that--instead he criticized me for not painting over the orange cap gun barrel--and, when the votes were tallied, I lost. Which is fine. What wasn't fine was that Blackwood, while issuing the verdict, lectured me once more on how I'd stood too close to the microphone.
Come see what weaponry Matt will brandish at Vermin on the Mount on Sunday, September 26 at 8pm.