Filmed December 20, 2007
John Iskander is a promoter in Dallas, Texas. I played a “Christmas show” John Iskander organized with Attractive and Popular, a hardworking band from Hot Springs who claimed to have been on tour for five months straight, and Oklahoma’s own El Paso Hot Button, one of the best one-man bands I have ever seen. ‘Twas the season to be jolly, and all made merry on December 20, 2007 in downtown Dallas, rockin’ a Christmas party a few football fields away from Dealey Plaza which, as you may be aware, distinguished itself amongst plazas by playing host to John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963.
Of the 22 video portraits I have filmed, I find John Iskander’s most fascinating. I did not know John Iskander before playing in Dallas and, though I consider him an able promoter and will return to Dallas if he will have me back, did not speak to him much while in Dallas. Since I left Dallas, we have had no contact. Yet, John Iskander makes for a hell of a portrait subject. Before we began filming, he was in a fine mood. Once I turned the camera on, he suddenly seemed infuriated. For the entire length of my three-minute portrait, he stayed infuriated. Then, once I turned the camera off, he was in a fine mood again. Was his anger real, or some kind of remarkable put-on? Because I do not know John Iskander, I cannot say. However, this uncertainty about John Iskander’s “true self” versus the “John Iskander” he presents to the camera is the stuff of good art.