"Spoiler Alert: This Is How My Life Ends" is a solo variety show featuring monologues with songs, puppetry and animation documenting growing up queer in a fundamentalist household and finding my way out of the many societal and self-imposed closets. The impetus for the show came after recalling details of being molested as a boy and the secrecy surrounding all things sexual in my upbringing. Coming out was a difficult task, particularly after having my journal read by college dorm mates.
Spoiler Alert is a celebration of a life that cannot be squelched by sexual trauma or peer pressure. Whether reenacting an early experience with the Diana Ross drag queen in Cher’s 1980 Las Vegas show or getting a less than enthusiastic response to singing the Ado Annie signature song from Oklahoma! in the fifth grade talent contest, it’s obvious this is a life that was going to be lived to the fullest no matter what anyone thought.
At the Bedpost Confessions monthly series, an early reading of my story about being molested made me realize that people who have dealt with similar issues find comfort and strength in hearing my story. It became clear that by diving into painful memories I was not only purging my own demons but was also offering hope to others making their ways toward recollection and recovery.
Spoiler Alert centers around four monologues with songs; puppetry and animation are used to illustrate briefer memories deemed too embarrassing or graphic (i.e., equating first orgasm with a religious experience; trying to “learn” how to ejaculate; fear of becoming a child molester). Some of the material is as dark as the closet it forced me into (contemplating suicide after my coming out journal was read), but the humor and spirited style of storytelling allows all audience members, regardless of sexuality or past traumas, easy access to the story of a larger-than-life personality who refuses to be silenced or closeted. –Jay Byrd
Funded by Austin, TX (April 2014)