Tell us about your show. Why should we go and see it?
Activities of Daily Living, written and performed by me, Joanna Lipari, is a memoir show but not like any memoir show you’ve seen. Sure, it’s about my life, but what it is really about is how we become invisible as we get older. Once you get that senior citizen invisibility cloak, you could rob banks.
Well, I wrote this show to illustrate that each one of us senior citizens had a life, with some interesting events. My stories are my own, but you will see yourself in them as well. No matter what age you are. And more importantly, you will never look at another elderly person and ignore them. You will actually “see” them for the full-bodied lives lived and the wisdom acquired.
But most importantly, come and see Activities of Daily Living because you will love it!
Are you flying solo or are you part of a team?
It’s fun, funny, poignant, and has incredible, innovative animation. The animated characters are actually the other performers in this play.
Although I am the only human performer on stage, my stage manager is “acting with me”, serving up over 165 animation cues. So, we are definitely a team.
What are your hopes and dreams for the Fringe?
This is a very good question. I’ve never attended the Fringe before. For most of my acting career, I was working doing voiceovers on tv shows, including the entire Star Trek franchises, and recording during August.
Going to the Fringe was always on my bucket list. And performing at the Fringe, a dream.
I certainly am hoping that people in the UK will like my show and that there might be some opportunities to perform further there. But just the opportunity to perform my show daily during August at the Gilded Balloon…well, you just can’t beat that!
What makes you laugh?
Everything. There’s humour in all things – even during tough times, there’s something that can make you laugh. But I’m also partial to good timing, and silly physical stuff like Monty Python, and straight up intellectual humor like Dave Chappelle.
What is it that made you a performer?
My complete addiction to understanding human behavior and the power of the imagination.
When I was growing up, us neighborhood kids played a game called “Monster”. Andy, who lived across the street was always the monster, and Rhonda (my best friend) and I…and sometimes others in the neighborhood had to hide from the monster. We were all afraid of being caught by the monster aka Andy. I can recall hiding behind some rocks, my heart pounding as I heard Andy approach, and then suddenly my mom called out, “Ok, kids. Dinner time. Everyone go home now.” And just like that, the terror would end. We’d come out of our hiding places, say goodbye to each other and decide when we’d meet for the next day. Our hearts were no longer pounding. Once the imaginary circumstance was over, our bodies – and heart rates – returned to normal.
I was fascinated at that. Fascinated with the power of the imagination. And that fascination continues to this day. When I tell my stories in ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING, I am back there in those events. I’m experiencing them again. Experiencing them for the audience to experience with me. And yes, sometimes my heart is pounding.
How will your audience think/feel differently after an hour in your company?
Happy, I hope. Entertained, I hope. And more aware of those elder citizens around them, I hope. My show helps pull the shroud of invisibility off the elderly. And they’ll feel happy and entertained by the stories I tell. And how I tell them!
Whose show – apart from your own – are you looking forward to seeing at the Edinburgh Fringe?
The wonderful Loree Draude’s gripping show about her life as a US fighter pilotI FEEL THE NEED at The Assembly Rooms at 1pm. Jonathan Tipton Meyers funny and poignant show about being an Uber driver in LA, WE ARE TRAFFIC at The Assembly Rooms at 5pm and the THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at 3.15pm at Surgeons’ Hall, which for an American visiting the UK, ticks all the boxes for a foggy Victorian tale mystery and suspense.
What’s the most useful piece of advice you’ve been given?
Relax and have fun. Perform your show and see shows. Bliss advice.
Do you have a favourite Fringe memory?
Not yet…but I’m looking forward to this experience.
Who is your showbiz/Fringe idol and why?
I have so many idols in showbiz, but specifically Fringe, I guess I first learned about the Fringe when I saw Dudley Moore in the film, ARTHUR. I searched for information about him and discovered his comedy sketches with Peter Cook. I loved them. Dudley’s buffoonery and Peter’s dead pan.
Activities of Daily Living, 13.24, Gilded Balloon, August 16-29