Potylo knows about method acting. In the early 2000s, he created his Roadsteamer persona, a cock-strong ass-kicker whose cult hits included faux-Springsteen charmers like "I Put a Baby in You." But in Supreme he found a roleplaying model; unlike Potylo, Supreme is a veteran political absurdist, adept at aiming jokes at the establishment, and at saving less experienced radicals from getting cracked by ornery police officers.
"I visited Occupy Boston down at Dewey Square a few times, and I've performed at the [MassCann] Freedom Rally, but when it comes to politics, I haven't done much," says Potylo. "Vermin completely blew me away. I didn't realize how much of a liaison he was between the cops and the protesters. For him, it's not always us-against-them; he kills [the cops] with kindness, and finds the humanity in people. Even his just being there diffuses a lot of the situation — it goes a lot farther than just performance art."
By his second day in Charlotte, Potylo was right up front with Supreme, not just playing the flack and fucking with reporters, but leading his own tangential protests. Trolling Jesus freaks and journalists outside of the convention hall, Potylo — now sporting cat ears — turned anti-abortion activists into an even bigger laughingstock by juxtaposing their bloody fetuses with a placard announcing "The McRib Is Back."
A political curmudgeon was born, and two weeks later Potylo followed Supreme to New York for the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, where the duo recorded a YouTube video in which they serenade NYC cops with a ditty called "Someone Put a Condom on My Dreams."
"It's a creative union," says Potylo. Adds Supreme: "We have a natural improv camaraderie simpatico. After we made such good magic on the screen, I thought it would be fun for him to work in protest land, which has been my stage for many years. I've been working that niche, and creating new things in that tired old demonstration format. I thought we would have fun doing it, and it ended up being very good entertainment. We seem to play well together."