Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Performance artist Brian Feldman resides in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Orlando, however, and the first time he performed TXT was at the Kerouac House six years ago. In D.C, he performs TXT weekly. In February of 2010 to protest the ban on gay marriage, Brian let everyone on social media know that he would marry anybody who showed up at the Orange County Courthouse on the set date. Three women showed up on that fateful day and Hannah Miller was one of them. He chose his wife with the spin of a bottle of water he got from a courthouse vending machine; the bottle pointed to Hannah. After the wedding Brian and Hannah went their separate ways, but she made the perfect wife since she firmly believed in the cause of equal rights in marriage. Her interviews were emotional and heartfelt. In January of 2011, Brian and Hannah's marriage was annulled on the grounds that it was never consummated and they were never in love.
The TXT performance on May 5th at the Winter Park Public Library was a fundraiser for Brian's ex-wife, Hannah. She has become incapacitated by a neuromuscular disease called Myasthenia Gravis and a chest tumor that her doctors believe is associated with it. She is a Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome Type 3 patient, also diagnosed with Grave's Disease and Refractory Celiac Disease. Hannah is a fun and creative puppeteer, but like most art forms it can't pay the insurmountable medical bills. This performance was a fundraiser, with 100% of the proceed going to Hannah. I emptied my wallet, but I know it is just a small drop in the bucket. Hannah and her boyfriend Jack Fields came to the performance and they sat in the front row. This was the first time I saw how Hannah's mobility was being limited. Despite the medical setbacks she still manages to joke about her situation.
At a TXT performance the entire audience is asked to take out their cell phones and log into anonymous twitter accounts. They all tweet, and Brian reads every tweet out loud while adding some creative flourishes. I remember that one person thought I was taking notes to report on individual's deprived rants. People were confused and reluctant at first, but once they understood the premise they embraced the creative flow.