Theatre

Seeing the Apple story

Mike Daisey  

Mike Daisey is a large beefy man whose face melds into his body but he tells the story of a reed thin iconic man called Steve Jobs. He doesn't tell it, he shows it. He brings it alive on the stage. “My fascination for Apple began when my grandfather gifted an Apple II. It was a time when there was a brain virus that made parents think that their children will be left behind if they don't know how to use computers. The computer had a room where it sat. The computer room,” says Mike sitting in a city hotel, a day before his performance at ISB, Gachibowli.

“Now I keep tinkering with my Macbook Pro all the time, I play with the beta software, I take apart the hardware and then put it together,” says Mike with a laugh.“Having given a performance in Chennai (as part of the MetroPlus Theatre Festival) and knowing a few Indians I know that the audience was emotionally open unlike in the U.S. I work on the gestalt of the idea so I grasp how the audience is reacting to it. I like it that way,” he says about the monologue which plumbs the depths of despair and the peaks of euphoria as he talks the walk of a man who is emblematic of the times we live now.

Why Steve Jobs? “He is a real inventor. He has done it thrice at a time when people are not able to invent even once in their lifetime. He has blended his persona with his company's in a seamless fashion. He is arrogant, vain and obstinate. He is driven. But he has taste. How many people in the technology world have taste? He knows what he wants,” says Mike, a confessed tech addict, about his continuing fascination for Jobs and his mythic image.

For Mike, Steve Jobs and Apple are not just a story, they are a passion. Mike spent a month in Shenzhen to understand the Foxconn story. “It becomes a part of the performance here. I don't use an iPhone 4 as I know what was involved in its creation of that particular piece of technology. That story has been purged from memory, but I show it. I generally have an outline of the performance. But I mould it according to the audience. The performance is an evolving thing. As Balzac said, it would be over the moment it stops evolving,” says Mike, who touches the corporate and tech facets of Steve Jobs but keeps his personal life out of the picture.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 2:41:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/Seeing-the-Apple-story/article16134184.ece

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