Moky's Life 101

Moky Huynh, self-help jackhammer, is inspiring, abrasive, and one of a kind

The shy guy in the hall hands me photos from his L.A. performance at Starbucks, introduces me to his dad (who's doing lights), and then jumps onstage at the Exit Theater's small cafe like a preacher on a pulpit, preening like a Southern diva and letting us know what's on his mind. This is Moky's Life 101, and the audience of four is instructed: "Listen to learn. The truth will be painful. I am here to help you." Moky (pronounced like "hockey") Huynh dropped out of USC wanting to inspire a "Malcolm X kind of change" in the world, and has transformed himself into a self-help jackhammer, pounding out motivational (if trite) aphorisms to audiences he addresses as "folks," "people," and "boys and girls." Some examples: "It's all or nothing." "Don't exist in your inertia of fear and insecurity." "Life won't turn out like you expect; it will turn out better." Alternating between hope and intolerant anger, he machine-guns articulate rants about education (good), financial security (bad), corporate America (a way to pay your rent while chasing your dream), gays and lesbians (good, "but please no lewd behavior"), adoption (he's doing it), and organized religion (search for God yourself). Moky's got a lot to say, and is at times inspiring, abrasive, and, as when he performs a spot-on Michael Jackson dance to a Tupac Shakur song, one of a kind.

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