This is Ed Pinto aka Eduardo Pienta aka Eddie the Jagoff. I met Ed in January 2017 at a fundraiser organized by Viva Valezz to support the ACLU. His body was covered in ink, the ‘script’ of a performance spoken word piece. I was impressed that he could do a backbend and had very pretty hair. We spoke very briefly, but I started to notice him other places and spaces. I don’t think we actually had a real conversation until People’s Pride 2017 when he was filming a Phat Man Dee performance.
To say Ed is an interesting guy is like saying Pittsburgh sure has a lot of bridges. He lives a bold adventure, infused with a tenderness toward his friends and an unabashed understanding of his work in this world – to restore beauty and functionality, to create space for creativity, and to be the white cis dude who says “fuck it” to other white cis folks. His social media feed reads like a calendar of alternative and edgy events along with a healthy dose of self-deprecation. And so many glorious shots of that bathtub in his ‘old hause’ known as Pinto Manor.
I’ve been poking Ed for years to complete the #AMPLIFY Q&A, but he is always both too busy to sit down and type it AND convinced that maybe no one cares about his story.
I challenged him to do this specific project with me because I know he does value the project and the every day stories from all 294 of yinz who have completed it. And I bet most of yinz would like to learn more about Ed.
thus we have a performance art piece in the making …
So here’s the deal (go to the Facebook fundraiser to chip in a few bucks, will ya?)
– when we reach $500, Ed will promise to make the time to complete the Q&A on his own within 30 days. This may mean he can’t come to your event or sleep one night or bake a few less pies, but he’s a man of his word.
– if we reach $1,000, we’ll make it more interesting. I will personally go to Pinto Manor and type Ed’s resposes as he dictates them. He will have a final review of the end product and we’ll publish. Did I mention that we’ll do this while Ed is in his infamous bathtub? I will not be in the bathtub.
– if we reach $1500, we will take some photographs of our interview and send a special signed copy to each donor.
– if we reach $2,000, we will video record the entire session (not live) and include that video in the #AMPLILFY archive. We will include a few snippets of FB live here and there during the interview.
– if we reach $3,000, we’ll do something even more absurd and lovely.
– anyone who donates $100+ will be able to submit a question for Ed to answer in the video session as an extra feature at the end of the interview
– anyone who donates $250+ will be invited to watch our interview process live and in person at Pinto Manor.
All proceeds will go to the AMPLIFY project via our fiscal sponsor, Persad Center. And best of all, anyone can read the final Q&A (and watch the video/photos, etc) without any donation at all. Ed has graciously agreed to help us with fundraising by offering up and laying out his reasons for dragging his feat and having some genuine fun.
Important to note – Ed will not receive any funds. The funds go into the larger project.
There will be some Ed nudity (not on video) and we may have unexpected visitors and guests. Who knows what will happen? We’ll have to wait to see how much you REALLY want to hear Ed’s coming out story or about the first LGBTQ person he ever met or what he thinks the Q&A should ask …
And while Ed probably does have some amazing stories to tell, he also has quiet typical everyday guy stories – like the time his daughter mistakenly used his stack of newspapers about his professional work to make paper mache for an art project so her project had her Dad’s photo all over it. Or that Sunday night he came to our house to fix our doorknob because it was cold out and he didn’t want us to be without a working door. Or the pies he’s baked, the people he’s housed, the many small projects he tackles simply because he can. He’s not a saint, but he is a reminder of the robust identies of folx in our community.
You can share your own Q&A using our online form – contributors should be LGBTQ identified, 18+, and have ties to Western Pennsylvania.
And please be sure to chip in a few dollars to show Ed that his story (and your story, too) really does matter!