At what point did realize that you wanted to do performance artist for the rest of your life?
Since I was a young boy, I enjoyed entertaining people with my silly antics. I was fascinated by my Deaf parents’ friends and always wanted to be in the middle of their conversations. I loved watching their friends share stories. In turn, I told stories to my friends. It wasn’t until I left Gallaudet to pursue acting in Hollywood, when I realized this was my dream to be a performing artist. I joined the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) and toured for two years before returning to college at CSUN to complete my Bachelor degree in Deaf studies.
What is a performance artist? Tell us about the ranges of work you do?
A performing artist is someone who expresses artistically through stories, whether it is on stage or on camera through a variety of mediums such as ASL, mime, dance, music, or even photography. I consider myself to be an entertainer, in that I love to entertain people, especially to see them laugh. I do hosting, stand-up comedy, ASL stories and poetry and improvisation. I also act in productions and most recently just completed a feature film called NO ORDINARY HERO: The SuperDeafy Movie to be released September 2013.
What is your best performance that you’re proud of so far?
There are so many performances I am quite proud of. It is hard to highlight one performance. But the one development I’ve been working on is having a Deaf superhero. I created the character SuperDeafy back in 1997. At first, people did not understand who SuperDeafy was but overtime, he has developed a mass following and it seems as if SuperDeafy is finally being embraced by the ASL community. He is loveable, silly, and has powers to change the world, by educating ignorant people about Deaf people, and to love regardless of their uniqueness. 16 years later, a movie is being produced featuring SuperDeafy. It is exciting to see something I created come to live on the big screen, being accepted by not only the Deaf community but also the hearing community as one of their allies. That is something that I am most proud of, an idea that was once doubted by many people but is finally being celebrated and loved by people everywhere.
If you could give a young performance artist advice based on your experiences so far, what would you recommend that he/she should do?
If I could give advice to young artists, my advice would be to never doubt themselves, and to not let others close their doors. It is up to them to keep those doors open by believing in themselves, by having perseverance, and to take risks. You never know what life has in store, therefore, they need to seek out opportunities rather than sitting back to wait for those opportunities come to them. I can say that 80% of what I do is because I went out there and opened those doors myself.
What are your future plans?
My future plans include releasing the feature film, NO ORDINARY HERO: The SuperDeafy Movie, and make appearances at screenings around the world. I will continue to perform The John Maucere Show, which is constantly updated with new materials. I also am responsible for entertainment on the next all-Deaf cruise by Passages Deaf Travel in October 2014. For more information, you can check www.johnmaucere.com, follow me on FaceBook and through twitter @johnmaucere for the latest news.
Completely Silly Random Questions:
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
I would love to be Elvis. He was such a rock star and seemed to always have fun performing on stage. His costumes were great!
What’s your favorite flavored Pringles?
I love all things spicy, so spicy flavored Pringles would be awesome!
You have the choice to live with a gorilla who knows sign language or a dog who sings lullabies, which do you choose?
I would choose to have a dog that sings lullabies simply because my children are KODAs and they love dogs and music. I will do anything to make my children happy.
What’s the weirdest thing you have done while driving?
The weirdest thing I’ve done while driving was trying to put on a prosthesis chin prior to a performance when I was impersonating Jay Leno a few years ago. My plane landed late, and I had rented a car. I was rushing to my evening performance, and thought I’d save time by doing make-up in the car. Luckily, I got to the show on time and was ready to go!
My favorite part: The questionnaire concept was originated by French television personality Bernard Pivot on his show Apostrophes, after the Proust Questionnaire.
My favorite word/sign is::
What is your least favorite word?
What turns me on?
Seeing people laugh, especially my family
What turns me off?
ignorance and people littering the streets with cigarette butts
What sound do I love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
Any sound that is high pitched
What is your favorite curse word?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Be a CEO of Apple, Inc.
What profession would you not like to do?
Be a pathologist for autopsies
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Thanks for making everyone laugh!