Wonder Dave on Being on “Team Feelings”

An interview with Wonder Dave, from The Write Stuff series over at SF Weekly:

Wonder Dave is a writer and performer from Minnesota living in San Francisco. His work has been featured in literary journals and anthologies such as Divining Divas (Lethe Press) and Aim for the Head (Write Bloody Press). He’s been a featured performer at schools, burlesque reviews, poetry slams, science fiction conventions, and bowling alleys across the country. Dave is currently a regular cast member at the monthly Oakland underground variety show Tourettes Without Regrets.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them … ?

My business card says “Writer, Performer, and Swell Guy.” I also tell people I work at a tiny restaurant in SOMA.

What’s your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

The same thing I think lots of writers struggle with: actually sitting down and writing. If only I could get paid to read whatever I wanted.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

Learn to listen. Read. If you don’t read you’re going to be a terrible writer.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Yes, I enjoy my life and there are people in it I can be vulnerable with. Also I have more Twitter followers than there are people in the town I grew up in. @TeamWonderDave y’all!

When you’re sad/grumpy/pissed off, what YouTube video makes you feel better?

Well because I am a terrible person I’m gonna go with this clip full of swearing Barbie Dolls:

And since I often struggle with the concept of being vulnerable this one. It’s the incredibly popular Brene Brown TED Talk. It’s been viewed over 9 million times and I’m still embarrassed to admit I like a video that basically is about being on Team Feelings.

Do you have a favorite ancestor? What is his/her story?

My maternal grandparents are wonderful people. My grandfather was a champion dirt bike and snowmobile racer and my grandma was a champion go-kart racer. I lived with them when I was young and the family room was full of trophies.

Who did you admire when you were 10 years old? What did you want to be?

George Carlin, Catwoman (Eartha Kitt although I didn’t know her name then), and my mom. I wanted to be an actor.

Describe your week in the wilderness. It doesn’t have to be ideal.

When I imagine being in the wilderness I see me as a newborn babe crying, carried to a forest by a huntsman who cannot bring himself to fulfill the wishes of an evil queen who wants me slaughtered. So instead of killing me he leaves me stranded. My cries attract a mother wolf. She eats me. My soft bones don’t even cause indigestion.

Would you ever perform a striptease? Describe some of your moves. Feel free to set the mood.

I’d rather show than tell:

How much money do you have in your checking account?

None of your business.

Are you using any medications? If so, which ones?

Clobetasol, it’s for my psoriasis. Which everyone knows is the sexiest skin condition.

What are you working on right now?

A poem about the different relationships I’ve had with my own body over the years. It made me miss my stop on the last BART and I had to take a cab back to the Mission from Glen Park.

What kind of work would you like to do? Or: what kind of writing do you most admire?

My favorite work makes you laugh and think. I really admire St. Paul MN Poet Laureate Carol Connolly for that quality in her work.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?

At first I thought about the two-headed albino snake I saw once but I’m gonna go with the after-hours parties at the Renaissance fair instead.

What are some of your favorite smells?

All of them are food-based. Yams in the oven, brown butter, garlic infused olive oil, pizza.

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