Challenge,  Fun Stuff,  On Writing

Katy Perry

Kris and I Went to Her Show Tonight…

Katy Perry has had a residency at the Resorts World Hotel and Casino here in Vegas for the last two years.  It is called “Play.”

And it is a whacked out version of Toy Story combined with Pee Wee Herman’s Playhouse, twisted a couple dozen more times and then put on steroids. For the entire first two acts I sat with my mouth open in shock and awe at the writing and the over-the-top everything.

And the background animation and the between-acts animated transitions were just stunning and clear. Sometimes the animation in the back screens I could not tell if it was real sets or on the screen.

And “Play” has two meanings, which a lot of the stuff in her play does. It is the story of a Katy Perry doll in five acts. And, of course, the music was wonderful. The sets were amazing.

Basically, this is a Broadway musical with Katy and her songs as the focus, in five acts.  It is not a concert. It is a show.

Sadly, her residency is ending in November. We might go back just because I missed so much with so much going on. And she climbed more stairs in one hour and forty minutes than I can ever imagine climbing. Climbing onto the giant talking toilet (maybe forty feet tall) by climbing up stacks of giant rolls of toilet paper was one instance that impressed me. And she got down. And never once with help or a spotter.

Sometimes seeing real art is impressive. Tonight might be up at the top of what I have seen in my life. Real writing, real art, and no fear.

I edit Pulphouse Fiction Magazine. I know writers who write with fear and thus write dull and writers who have managed to get past the fear and write amazing stuff. Katy Perry has no fear, or at least she got past it putting this together, and tonight’s completely sold-out show on a Wednesday after two years of shows proves how clearing out the fear can really pay off for a writer or any artist.


  • Philip

    Great post, Dean. So much of today’s writing advice is to be the opposite of bold and creative: hit the “beats” and mimic the styles of bestsellers. If you “succeed” at that, why would a reader come back to YOU? You’re just a commodity at that point. Readers follow writers whose Voice and bold vision they enjoy and are excited by.

    • Anitha Krishnan

      Need these reminders on getting past fear every so often, Dean! Thank you!

      Hi Philip,
      I came here to say I value your comments here as much as I value these posts themselves.

      One comment you made a few months ago left a lasting impression on me: you talked about how even though indie publishing created a way to get around the gatekeepers of traditional publishing, over the years indie authors have ironically managed to create their own gatekeepers in the form of beta readers, developmental editors and so on.

      I had never looked at it that way before, but it’s so true! When we’re given all the freedom we want, we set out to build cages for ourselves. If someone tells us we can write whatever we want, we come up with excuses as to why we can’t/shouldn’t. Remembering this helps me ignore Critical Voice often these days. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Cheers!

  • Kris Rusch

    I know some of what was coming, but I didn’t warn Dean. I wanted him to be surprised. And he was. I was too. No review can encapsulate this show. It was amazing.