“Ten Reasons Why I’d Be a Bad Porn Star”: Fun with oversharing at the Minnesota Fringe Festival

Print

At the beginning of her Fringe show Ten Reasons Why I’d Be a Bad Porn Star, May Lee-Yang compares the relative advantages of working in the performing arts versus prostitution versus porn. One thing she has going for her as an artist, says Lee-Yang, is that she’s Hmong. “People seem to think I’m an important voice or something.”

There is a certain reductiveness to always citing an artist’s race or gender when you mention his or her work (as in, “Toni Morrison is a great black writer,” or “Joan Jett is an amazing woman in rock”), but in the Twin Cities—home to one of the world’s largest Hmong populations—there is no overstating the importance of Lee-Yang as one of the too-few performers communicating a Hmong perspective to a broad audience. Especially valuable is that Lee-Yang is not afraid to take it there—and by “there,” I mean there. And also, there. And, yes, even THERE. (She even sends a couple of lucky audience members home with tubes of lube.)

Ten Reasons is a loose and fun show largely performed by Lee-Yang, with support from Saymoukda Vongsay as a porn star who tries to show Lee-Yang how it’s done. Lee-Yang’s offhand tell-it-like-it-is style is enormously winning, and the packed Sunday evening audience responded enthusiastically—even to segments (for example, a creepy polar-bear video sex workout) that left me unamused.

The show feels a bit padded—but then, so are a lot of porn stars, probably. If you know Lee-Yang’s work, you’re probably going to want to see the show. If you don’t know Lee-Yang’s work, you should.


Photo courtesy Minnesota Fringe Festival

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.