Running With Scissors

Long Beach's dangerous but gentle performance art

After that, people rallied to her aid: a young blond guy who seemed like he was from Philly or somewhere equivalently East Coast macho came forward and delicately cleaned up the front as best he could, and an old black homeless guy who'd been watching for a while also attempted damage control. He was extraordinarily careful with the shears, but he handed them back again after a few moments. There was nothing more he could do.

Much of the world is performance-art-free, although there are exceptions. In Valencia, so many CalArts students are assigned public performance pieces that there are signs in the mall warning, "No performance art." Jade Gordon's fucking brilliant one-woman show Art Star sent up the bizarre egotism of performance artists (and was very badly adapted into Allison Anders' Sugar Town, with the performance artist changed to a wannabe rock star). And there's always our homegrown Squelch, who was so drunk he peed down his own leg when arts-personage-about-town Randy Pesqueira went to adjust his Squelch's penis, which was dangling out of his leopard G-string.

Long Beach has a kinder, more whimsical performance art, one designed to remind the good folks of Long Beach that there's an art scene trying to birth itself in the unsexy, un-redeveloped East Village. No one is pretending to shoot up, for once.

And the bemused folks of Long Beach are enjoying it, especially when they get the scissors in their hands.

Guerrilla performance pieces take place every day throughout September. Contact

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