The polls are looking a little bleak lately. Trump's numbers are rising in key swing states, and if you're a liberal, you've probably Googled "moving to Canada" once or twice over the last few weeks.
Yes, it can feel genuinely shocking, but one person who is not shocked at all is Mike Daisey. The author, actor and acclaimed monologist started working on his highly praised one-man-show, The Trump Card, more than 14 months ago just when rumors began that Trump was going to run for president. And while Daisey admits that even he didn't anticipate that Trump would be on the verge of winning the presidency, he says he did see it coming way before anyone else did.
"I didn't expect it at first, but I'll be honest, I expected it sooner than other people did," says Daisey. "I spent a tremendous amount of time researching why Trump is a unique person in a way that is deeper than the analysis in contemporary journalism. There's a remarkable lack of analysis when it comes to Trump, including the fact that he's fundamentally a performer and so am I. And fundamentally, journalism doesn't understand performance."
Daisey's research for the show—which makes a San Diego stop at the La Jolla Playhouse (tickets are $25 to $42 at lajollaplayhouse.org) for six performances starting Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 9—included reading four biographies and dozens of articles on Trump. The finished product is ostensibly Daisey telling the audience a spirited story of what he found out. He says Trump made for a "perfect subject," which is saying a lot since Daisey already has a strong track record of theatrically exploring what he calls "megalomaniacal people" including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. When asked about the parallels between politics and theater, Daisey, as is always the case, doesn't mince words.
"There are no parallels. It's the same thing. Politics is theater."
The film industry is heading south for the San Diego International Film Festival. From Wednesday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 2, more than 100 indie and international films will screen in the Gaslamp and La Jolla. Out of the 2,000 submissions, the most buzzworthy picks includ, Garth Davis' Lion and Otto Bell's The Eagle Huntress, as well as a preview and panel for Theodore Melfi's Hidden Figures. Aside from the film viewings, there is an opening night afterparty, festivities at Horton Plaza Park and a food pairing to complement the showing of Ants on Shrimp, a documentary about world renowned chef René Redzepi's restaurant Noma. Plus film critics Jeffrey and Ben Lyons will co-host a red carpet event where Annette Bening, Kate Beckinsale and Simon Helberg will be honored. Times, locations and prices vary per event, but individual screenings are $15. sdfilmfest.com
Admit it: you felt a little tingle up and down your spine every time the Stranger Things opening credits played. Part of that could be your body's physiological reaction to spending eight straight hours binge-watching that popular series, but most likely it was the delightfully retro soundtrack that caused those shivers—just proof of how influential those bleak, synth-heavy horror movie soundtracks were (and still are). Fabio Frizzi—who scored Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and Zombi (you'll never see a more beautifully composed shark vs. zombie scene in a movie [seriously])—will make a rare stateside appearance to bring his pioneering music scores to Brick by Brick on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. Only the brain-dead wouldn't enjoy it. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 day of the show. brickbybrick.com