Q & A with Wes Borg

Derwin Blanshard season 2
photo by Ilijc Albanases
Derwin Blanshard season 2 photo by Ilijc Albanases

Graham McDonald: May and June are typically pretty busy months for the performing arts in Victoria; what do you have coming up over this time?

Wes Borg: Well, sir, May 25 marks the penultimate episode of Season 2 of “Derwin Blanshard’s Extremely Classy Sunday Evening Programme,” and June 22 is the season finale, so that’s my main focus. I think we’re doing something that’s subversive and satirical and fucked-up and beautiful — and therefore, we are not terribly well attended. But we’ve got the mayors of Oak Bay and Victoria on the next show, and the lovely Bob McDonald from “Quirks & Quarks,” so maybe…

Here’s the thing… I seem to belong to a tribe that is scattered across the planet and isn’t all that big. I’ve spent my life doing shows with the absurd faith that “my audience” is out there and that we will find each other, but I’m beginning to think that’s all bullshit. It’s one of the main things I bitch about when I drink too much. Other than that, I sit around and wait to see if any of the traps I set for the summer come through. It’s looking kinda bleak though, dude, if I’m being honest. Maybe I need to apply for a Canada Council Grant for my new piece on “The Decline Of British Colonial Imperialism & The Resurgence of New Art™ Via New-Media and Social Networking” as an oppressed and marginalized Ginger-Canadian.

GMc: Any longer term projects that you are excited about?
WB: I look forward to senility. The peace that must come with being totally confused all the time. I’m half way there already and it’s wonderful.

GMc: I drifted off the other day and got pushed around inside a dream in which Derwin B was trying to convince me to direct a movie called The Grand Bootyfest Hotel, which he insisted wasn’t full-on pornography. He was very emphatic that it would be good for my career. I’ve never met the guy, so I didn’t really know how to read him. What can you tell me about him?
WB: Well, as near as I can figure, he’s a bit of a lighthouse. When he is pointed at you, the world is full of light and passion and urgency, but then he moves on and you’re back to a world of darkness where nobody gives a shit about you. Other than that, I can’t tell you much… he doesn’t like me very much.

GMc: We are interested in the incredible community response that emerged after you were robbed earlier in the year. A really terrible feeling turned into a fantastic act of friendship. Care to share your perspective on both sides of that experience?

WES: My daughter went to work at 4 am.
<VIDEO: Door closing. MUSIC: Something menacing>
Wes: I was home sleeping, as was my other roommate. Sometime between 4 and 9, some ASSHAT walked into our Fernwood house and stole everything valuable in the living room.
<TITLE: Between 4 and 9 AM>
WES: I lost my laptop and my friend’s HD video camera. I whined about it on Facebook, hyperbolically implying that all crack-smoking Caucasians should be put on a barge and then blown up.
<STILL: Wes’s Facebook posting>
My friend, the amazing Kelly Hudson, started a Kickstart-esque campaign to raise money to replace said items. Within a week, we raised 3,000 fucking dollars.
<VIDEO: Wes running through a field of flowers in slow motion, but occasionally being stung by bees>
WES: I now have a laptop that is ever-so-slightly better than the stolen one and I only lost 2 weeks of work. Friend’s video camera has been replaced thanks to several amazing people who contributed on average 20 bucks. I am simultaneously furious with the asshole who stole my shit, and reinvigorated with faith and love for most of humanity. It’s very confusing. And wonderful. And terrible. And lovely.

originally published in analogue magazine’s May 2014 issue

Check out a gallery of photos by Ilijc Albanese here