Q&A: Dana Norris
PleasureTown wasn’t built in a day. In fact, it originally started as a play that blended Chicago’s thriving storytelling talents with the city’s theatrical sensibilities. What we got was an incredible show that had more life in it that we could have imagined.
One of the original contributors to PleasureTown is Dana Norris. Dana originally wrote and performed in the role of The Doctor, an East Coast transplant who masks her true female form by assuming the role of the town’s male doctor. For the podcast, she continues to write segments for The Doctor and lends her vocal talents as well to other town inhabitants.
PTown: Tell our readers a little about yourself.
Dana: I’m the founder of Story Club, a monthly storytelling show in Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis. I’m also the editor-in-chief of Story Club Magazine, and I teach at StoryStudio Chicago.
PTown: Seems like you keep busy. Any publishing credits?
Dana: You can find some of my work on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, the Tampa Review, and I’ve been featured on Chicago Public Radio.
PTown: Describe your character in terms of known personalities (e.g., half Hank from Breaking Bad, half Ralph Kramden from the honeymooners.)
Dana: Doc Holliday meets Victor/Victoria.
PTown: What do you have in common with your character? How are you different?
Dana: I’m also an avid reader. I’ve loved books ever since I was little and I find it horrible to consider living in a society/time when education for women was frowned upon. I’m also horrified by the idea of being reduced to my youth/fertility – the idea that you need to make a lifelong commitment to a basic stranger when you’re just barely out of high school is terrifying.
PTown: What was the greatest challenge in finding your character?
Dana: The greatest challenge was figuring out how to both suppress her femininity while leaving enough behind to justify her future choices.
PTown: If you lived in PleasureTown, what would be your occupation and or/pastime?
Dana: I’d probably be the owner of an opium den. But a really classy one. Lots of couches, lots of indirect lighting, tassels on everything that can have a tassel.
PTown: You do a lot of storytelling in the Chicago scene. How can people keep up with you?
Dana: You can find my upcoming performance schedule at dananorris.net and follow my Twitter feed at @dananorris.