Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mike Daisey's Gambit

Performance artist Mike Daisey's show at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, "The Last Cargo Cult," started with the attendees being handed US currency (notes ranging from $1 to $100) as they came into the theatre. As Daisey's show drew to a close, he revealed that the money the audience had been given was the entire sum that the theatre was paying him to perform that night. He then asked the audience to give back some or all of the money based on their impression of the show -- and if they liked it enough, they were invited to give even more money back. At the end of the show, Daisey had not only made back all the money he'd given away, he'd also cleared $1,169.005 (yes, someone gave him half a penny!).
Not only is that gambit pretty fucking baller, but the source I read this in was, the so-called "Directory of Wonderful Things." It's basically as internet as internet comes -- the sort of tech geekery hub that is populated by people who'd rather be watching machinima steampunk short films on YouTube than go to the theater.

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