Story and Photo by Victoria Clack
Harvey Katz uses a mixture of spoken word and storytelling, in his show in Hiener Theater at Whatcom Community College on May 21, to shed light on lives that rarely get airtime, as well as makes sure the multi-cultural community is properly represented at colleges around the country.
Katz is a 33-year-old transsexual, “which means, I used to be a young lady…and now I am a fine gentleman,” he said. He introduced himself by telling of his fear of flying and the different reactions of people around him. He had experienced many different types of people on airplanes from therapists to dirty old ladies, he said.
Katz introduced his first story by asking his audience: “want to hear a story about planes and dirty old ladies?” This was the story of Fancy Nancy, an 80-something-year-old dominatrix and her husband, who once sat next to Katz on a plane.
The tale started with some excerpts from Nancy’s various anecdotes that, according to Katz, made her husband blush. But this story turned sorrowful when Nancy told of how her world had fallen apart when the AIDS outbreak killed her friends and her way of life as a dominatrix was forced into the dark, said Katz. He used his unique way with words to get the interesting story of Nancy out into the world.
Katz also created several spoken-word poems to explain some of his views and ideas. One, which was called “Lindsey Lohan Was Right,” used lessons from Mean Girls to look at the difficulties of fitting into society.
The poem “Emma Dilemma” (which is also called “Jumping on Oprah’s Couch” on the CD of his works that he sells at his shows and on his website: athensboyschoir.com) told of someone he had fallen in love with who did not return the affection.
Later, a poem about having an addiction to someone who had left Katz brought heartbreak into a funny light. “It’s like you left me in the crack house, but you took all the crack,” said Katz.
“My grandma used to tell me you’ve only got one set of teeth,” said Katz in a poem about living your life to the fullest because you’ve only got one.
Another poem called “The Seat Cushion May Be Used as a Floatation Device” told of Katz’s fears and the many fears of life.
Katz also had some parody raps that told of some of the different issues he has encountered surrounding gender equality.
Overall Katz’s show touched on the many issues of life, from love and fear to gender equality and acceptance.