Los Angeles performance artist from Fresno pens new book

The Fresno BeeApril 5, 2014 

Writers are told to base their works on something they know. Hoover High School graduate Scotch Wichmann has done just that.

The first novel from the writer and Los Angeles performance artist, "Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss And Do Things With Him" (Freakshow Books, $17.99 paperback, $8.99 e-book formats), is a caper comedy about a couple of San Francisco performance artists who kidnap their billionaire boss and try to turn him into a performance artist.

It is available Thursday.

"My novel was inspired by my 20-plus years as an experimental performer. The first performance I ever did involved snorting lines of shaved mouse fur. I've been going ever since, performing at galleries, museums, colleges, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and many other venues," says the Fresno native.

The path from Fresno to Los Angeles started — so says Wichmann — with his family living behind Saint Agnes Medical Center. He split his early years between Dumpster diving and finding a love of books through the summers he spent reading at the Politi Branch Library.

Wichmann got his start as a performance artist in the early 1990s as a protégé of Southern California performance art cult figure John White. Before moving to Southern California and into the world of performance art, Wichmann worked as a radio announcer at Fresno's KKAM (AM 1340).

"My performance troupe, Wet the Hippo, was nominated for Best Comedy & Best Stunt at the 2013 Hollywood Fringe, and we're now in talks with a veteran reality TV producer about shooting a pilot starring the troupe," Wichmann says. "And in a bizarre turn this past January, Shia LaBeouf was caught plagiarizing from my performance art manifesto during his performance art tweeting. Craziness."

Wichmann will hold a book signing at the SoapCo Gallery & Theater, 1470 N. Van Ness Ave., on May 10.

Others of local interest

"Realm of the Unknown" (Inkwater Press, $4.99): Fresno native James McPike has followed up his first book, "Final Outcome: An Apocalyptic Mystery Thriller," with this biblical thriller.

In "Realm of the Unknown," an investigator is called in after several people in Israel are killed. Some experts believe the deaths were caused by a supernatural force. That's when the investigator finds an ancient artifact that leads him to the Antiquities Authority, where, with the help of a historical specialist, he learns the artifact is linked to an ancient secret society.

McPike's first book won the "2012 Readers Favorite silver medal for Christian/Fantasy" and was nominated for the 17th EVVY Awards.

Both novels are available at www.amazon.com or www.bn.com.

"You Can Overcome It" (Tate Publishing and Enterprises, $10.40): Fresno author Jonathan K. Archie shares a message in his new book designed to strengthen readers faith and trust in God. It's written as a guide to help people learn to cope with obstacles in their lives.

It's available through bookstores nationwide or at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, www.bn.com and www.amazon.com.


TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at www.fresnobeehive.com.

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