Friday, February 13, 2015

INTERVIEW: Eliza Gibson at The Rogue Festival

Eliza Gibson is trained as a drummer and classical pianist, has been a humanitarian aid worker, and is a writer and stage performer. She’s bringing her one woman show to the Fresno for The Rogue Festival later this month. “And Now, No Flip Flops?!” has been described as fresh, spirited and true and entertaining.

Meet Eliza: divorced with an ex-wife she couldn’t legally marry and cross-country co-custody of their 72 pound dog. Her search for a way to breathe again takes her from indoor sky diving to drill team tryouts, to making fish flashcards and yes, to losing her favorite flip flops. BRING YOUR EX-WIFE! SHE GETS IN FREE!

The show opens at The Voice Shop on February 28th and plays on dates through March 7th. Get your tickets HERE (Web Address: ) Visit the website for The Rogue Festival at

Give us a little background on you.

I live in San Francisco where I’ve led the startup and operations of a free health clinic for working uninsured adults for the last six years. I started working on my current one woman show – And Now, No Flip Flops?! - two years ago. I’ve performed excerpts of it in the Bay Area and am looking forward to its premiere at the Rogue Festival. 

How do you go from classical pianist to humanitarian aid worker to writer and performer?

I started playing classical piano when I was six years old. My first solo performance, other than classical piano concerts, was in the sixth grade. I dressed up as a cupid and sang my book report, as a handmade stuffed heart broke in two and flew from my chest into the audience. My social justice and artistic interests collided in the former Yugoslavia when, as a humanitarian aid worker, I had the opportunity to get involved in a documentary about war orphans and refugees. When I returned to the US, I wrote and performed my first full length solo show, which focused predominantly on the precariousness of war, of how one day your name is just your name, and the next, it can mean life or death.

What motivates you to write?

Being human is endlessly absurd and interesting. After my divorce, I was set up with a guy who was “superman hot.” It was my very first date after my wife left me, and my first date with a man in almost a decade. The guy turned out to be so “superman hot,” he was gay. 

How did the idea for your one woman show come to be?

I realized at some point about a year after my divorce that my life had reached a level of insanity that was quite entertaining. And that grief is a great human connector. Though while we are in it, it can be the loneliest place on the planet.

How did you become involved with the Rogue festival?
I learned about the Rogue Festival from fellow solo performers in San Francisco. It has a reputation of having great audiences, so I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I’m thrilled to be premiering And Now, No Flip Flops?! at the festival.

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