Leonard Pitt: My Brain is on Fire: Paris & Other Obsessions
KPFA Radio 94.1FM presents
My Brain On Fire: Paris and Other Obsessions
Hosted by Thomas Farber ...............................
Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 pm
Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley
advance tickets: $12 : http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2494739 :: T: 800-838-3006 or Books, Inc, Pegasus (3 sites), Moes, Walden Pond Bookstore, Diesel a Bookstore, Mrs. Dalloways S.F. - Modern Times. $15 door, KPFA benefit www.kpfa.org/events
My Brain On Fire is Leonard Pitts story of growing up as a total misfit in Detroit in the 1940s and 50s. In a later age he would have been put on Ritalin and paraded before psychiatrists because he couldnt pay attention in school. In 1962, at the end of a misguided foray towards a career in advertising, he took the ultimate cure - a trip to Paris. There in the City of Light, Leonards mind exploded. And it hasnt stopped since.
Pitt (Paris: A Journey Through Time, 2010, etc.) grew up in Detroit always feelingout of place. A poor student, he did not begin to find himself until high school, when it became clear that his strengths lay in art and design. It was then that Pitt began dreaming of Paris and of the grand bohemian life he could live there. After dropping out of art school and working briefly for an ad agency, the author took the advice of a former teacher and followed his ambition to go to Paris and study mime with Etienne Decroux (the teacher of Marcel Marceau). His intention was to spend six months figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. Instead, Pitt stayed for seven years. During that time, he lived in a garret, sold newspapers, and fell in and out of love, all while learning to see bodily movement in intriguing new ways. Decrouxs method stressed connectedness to the ground, yet other forms of movement, such as ballet, emphasized a separation from the Earth. Pitts training allowed him to understand people in terms of their physical presence and, in particular, the light he saw emanating from their bodies. At the same time, his insatiable curiosity to make sense of the world led him to explore everything from the history of the French cafes to the reign of Napoleon III. What makes reading Pitts book so enjoyable is not only following the intellectual leaps he makes between his many and varied topics of interest. It is also seeing the creative connections among apparently unrelated subjects... From start to finish, Pitts memoir is a lively autodidactic romp through a life well-lived in both mind and body.
Leonard Pitt is an actor and author. He has written two books on Paris - Walks Through Lost Paris and Paris Postcards: The Golden Age, plus A Small Moment of Great Illumination, about the life of 17th Century healer Valentine Greatrakes. He currently codirects The Flying Actor Studio, a conservatory for the study of physical theater located in San Francisco. He has performed and taught around the world.
Bob Baldock firstname.lastname@example.org 510.848.5006
Hillside Club (View)
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709