the link below to read how Richard Thompkins intitiated the process of
American Muscle as his solo performance thesis in London, and to
understand the ecclectic influences that went into the piece,
including: Bruce Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Zen, Sam Sheppard, and Terence
Malick. American Muscle: The Raw Elements
A Q&A with Richard Thompkins
The following is a Q&A conducted between Richard Thompkins and Broadway.com (for the 2006 NY Fringe show): Tell us why the world should see your show in 20 words or less. Fast badass Cars. Badass soundtrack. Cocaine controversy. All true stories. 29 minutes. John Delorean (created Back To The Future car). Approximately how many miles and/or hours did you travel to get here? I live in New York, but the show originated in London. So conceiving it in London, gathering it in Washington, D.C. (where Iím from and so is the other main character, my Dad, who hotrodded DeLoreanís first famous creation, the Pontiac GTO), then back to London to put it together and do it. Then a year later in NYC for the Fringe. Thatís 3 cross-Atlantic trips. Not sure how many miles that is. Any words on the origination of your title? Muscle becasue of the Muscle Cars, and titles that are American ísomething elseí always have a nice ring to them, and it sets the expectation bar high. What are the best and worst parts of by-the-seat-of-your-pants theater? The best part is the fresh energy is constantly coming from nowhere, because youíre just out there. The worst part is that the fresh anxiety comes almost as often and unexpectedly. What sort of fundraising methods, outlandish or otherwise, did you employ? Fundraising has come from incurring debt. Probably not very smart, but thatís what itís been. How many of your costume pieces, set pieces and props are homemade? No homemade anything. Dickies from K Mart and a workshirt made in a little shop just outside of D.C. in Hyatsville, MD called A1 uniforms. If your show had a mascot, what would it be and why? The macsot would be the Pontiac GTO. Itís sort of a through-line of the story. If you ever run into any troubles just sic the GTO on Ďem. Itís got a pretty ferocious growl. If you could have anyone in New York come to see your show, who would it be? Martin Scorcese. I heard heís going to direct the biopic of John DeLorean. Iíd love for him to see this. Other than him, any automechanic in New York would give me great pleasure if they would attend my show. It pays homage to them. Describe a particularly hilarious or hectic moment so far in your Fringe journey. Iím going through a hectic moment now. Iíve bought a new Mac computer which I canít afford, and plan to return to the apple store after I burn the DVD off for the films that appear in the show. Iíve had to do this because my roomate moved out Friday, and out went the Mac with him. In fact, Iím headed upstairs to do this now. Itís midnight and Iíve had to skip the Fringe Opening Party.