David Crabb

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Author, actor and storyteller, David Crabb joins us this week to talk about his memoir, BAD KID (Harper Collins, 2015), based on his hit NY Times Critics’ Pick solo show, BAD KID.

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David Crabb is a performer, writer, teacher and storyteller. He graduated from Texas State University in 1997, and then got an MFA in Photography and Performance from Cranbook Academy of Art in 1999.

David is a Moth Story Slam host and winner. His solo show BAD KID was met with critical acclaim  (AdvocateFlavorpillNYTheatre) and named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. A memoir based on the show was released in 2015 by Harper Collins.

He is two-time winner of The Moth storytelling slam. He has appeared on stage and on screen, and has also worked as a sound engineer. He was a regular member of the off-Broadway theater company Axis Company NYC as well as a producer and performer for Ask Me Stories and RISK! Show.

David was one of seven performers chosen by Time Out New York for their 2013 New York Comedy Festival line-up. The Wall Street Journal praised him as a performer capable of guiding a crowd “from belly laughs to pin-drop silence.” He was the co-creator/producer of the live storytelling series ASK ME and currently cohosts the Los Angeles storytelling series “Never Shut Up.”

David is lead instructor in The Moth’s High School Slam program. He has coached performers and directed shows at NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) & the People’s Improv Theatre (The PIT). David has taught storytelling with The Moth, Occidental College, Indiana University, Kevin Allison’s The Story Studio, Washington DC’s Story League & NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2012, the New York Times showcased one of his classes in their Arts Section. David also serves as a writing mentor for veterans across the country with The Writers Guild Initiative’s Wounded Warrior Project. David has designed and taught corporate storytelling to Twitter, Google, Facebook, Fidelity, Uber, & Bravo among others.

David has been a member of NYC’s Axis Company Theatre since 2003, developing original material in New York, Paris and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

David resides in Los Angeles with his husband, actor Jack Perry, and their dog.

BAD KID by David CrabbIn praise of BAD KID (Harper Collins, 2015)

“The author’s story wonderfully captures the awkwardness, strife, and even terror of his experience as a gay teen; it is also upbeat, endearing, and achingly funny. A vivid and dramatic slice of adolescence.” Kirkus Reviews

“…[An] engaging memoir…Crabb presents this hormone-fueled roller-coaster ride with humor and sensitivity, and draws moving portraits of the people who provided him with a community. Crabb’s exploration of the intensity, and necessity, of teen friendships especially resonates.” —Publishers Weekly

“With just the right mix of humor and pathos, Crabb recounts cringe-worthy teenage milestones like a forced first kiss and the unwanted gift of a car. Not everyone had to face what he did, but all can empathize with Bad Kid.” —Booklist

“I expected a memoir from David Crabb to be funny; what I wasn’t prepared for is how touching it is. It’s a story of finding oneself in adolescence for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.” — Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine and Kapitoil

“Crabb winds up taking us to the sweet spot of literature: the truth. I rarely laugh or cry when reading. Bad Kid moved me to both.” —Brad Gooch, author of Smash Cut

“You simply won’t find a more hilarious and captivating storyteller than David Crabb. His tales of a misspent youth are jaw-dropping, but clearly, his head and heart stayed gold.” —Kevin Allison, writer and performing member of MTV’s The State

“How can this author’s painful coming-out story-set in Texas be so utterly hilarious? Only David Crabb could transform loneliness and awkwardness and heartache into a laugh-out-loud, ‘90s-music-blasting, eyeliner-dripping joy ride. Bad Kid is a must-read.” —Diana Spechler, author of Who by Fire and Skinny

About BAD KID (Harper Perennial, 2015) —Kirkus Reviews

Reflections on growing up goth and gay in Texas at the dawn of the 1990s—based on the author’s one-man show.

As a gay teenager in Texas, writer and performer Crabb suffered the abuse of having his head smashed with encyclopedias and enduring hate speeches from his classmates. By the time he entered high school, the author’s denial of his sexuality was tested when he began listening to George Michael’s “Faith” and was introduced to Interview magazine, with its glossy, artful spreads of male models. Suddenly, the message that seemingly everyone else around him had received made sense to Crabb, yet he persisted in repressing his feelings, despite his first crush on the mysterious new student named Greg. To make matters more confusing, he came of age at the height of the AIDS epidemic and hysteria, when “you couldn’t watch MTV for more than ten minutes without hearing about AIDS.” Crabb’s gradual sexual awakening and comfort with his own identity coincided with his friendship with Greg, who also admitted to being gay. Together, the two acclimated themselves to the “freak” crowd, circulating in the teen club scene around San Antonio and excessive experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Their friendship forms the backbone of Crabb’s narrative, as each relied on the other to help understand his identity in the face of intolerance and violence. Though the author’s story wonderfully captures the awkwardness, strife, and even terror of his experience as a gay teen, it is also upbeat, endearing, and achingly funny. (The mall-rat generation will be especially at home with Crabb.) The author experienced all the highs and lows of adolescence, from the reckless pleasures of youth to the inevitable distance and loneliness of outgrowing relationships.

A vivid and dramatic slice of adolescence.

For more information, please visit DavidCrabb.net. To hear David on Moth Radio Hour, click here, and the trailer for BAD KID, his one-man show.  You can also keep up with David on Facebook and Twitter.