“In my show, you touch and are touched,” says one-man-band Jeffrey Beringer, aka Mono Mono, whose cheeky act crosses KC and the Sunshine Band with the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. “The music is electronic and danceable, but the subject matter includes taboos, from pansexuality to promiscuity, profanity, gender bending, sacrificing virgins, and extraterrestrial life.… I wrestle [audience members] in a plastic sumo [wrestler] suit until they scream.” He says that when he goes full Monty, audiences scream even louder.
“I started out as a sheltered but fierce gringo from the suburbs of Philadelphia,” says Beringer. “I majored in sociology at a small Quaker liberal arts college, but I was always an artist and activist at heart, and I’ve always known my calling is to somehow mix art and activism.”
After moving to San Diego in 2000, Beringer says, “I fell in love with Latino culture and developed a passion for border issues. I lived in my pickup truck for seven months while working as a social worker for the county, showering at 24 Hour Fitness gym and eating mostly peanut butter and jelly while I saved enough money to put a studio together.
“Twelve thousand dollars later, I moved out of my truck and into an apartment with room for a music studio.”
In the past three years, Mono Mono has played almost 200 venues and events in the U.S., including the House of Blues, San Diego Latino Film Festival, the San Diego Pride Festival, as well as in Mexico at the Corona Music Fest, the International Festival of Electronic Music, the Forum Jai Alai, Victor’s Bar, and Cafe Luna.
“Venue managers are sometimes horrified when they see me launch my massive hurricane of confetti, streamers, and foam. But drink sales are usually high, and cleanup is easy and quick, at least if you have a big broom, so I almost always get asked back. Sometimes things get a little rowdy, but I’ve never had a notable injury to report.”
“At present, my show is completely soft, stainless, and dry. Or, at the very least, it evaporates quickly.”