Well, look at me. I’m posting a second blog entry. Technically, it’s tomorrow already, but I haven’t been to sleep since I last posted, so I consider this to be two posts in one day. This is, naturally, a pace which is unlikely to be maintained.
The show was pretty good. It sort of ran out of steam by the end, though. The audience wasn’t especially crude, they just didn’t want to say anything at all. We do a structure called ‘hesitation’ to warm up the audience near the start of every show. In short, we play a scene but will occasionally pretend to be at a loss for words, and gesture invitingly for the audience to suggest a word to finish our sentence. The classic example is something along the lines of, “I was excited on Christmas morning because I opened up a box under the tree and I got a ummm… ummmm… ummm…” The audience gets to shout out whatever it is that the player got, and he states that it was exactly what he had been hoping for, and offers some token justification. I think that the most common answer seems to be Nuclear Reactor, but I haven’t bothered to really keep track. Anyhow, most audiences will get the concept pretty quickly. It may take one or two promptings for suggestions before they start to feel comfortable, but tonight’s audience consistently took an annoyingly long time to come up with anything. It really slows down the scene when you are prompting for a bunch of suggestions in the middle of dialog.
Since I have started by talking about the show, I guess I can give a basic summary of all the structures. Show summaries will be an easy enough way to fill this blog up with content every week. We started with Hesitation, which took place in a tattoo parlor, and was about the crazy fad of young men all getting tattoos of grilled cheese sandwiches, particularly on their bottom. When the tattoo artist suggested a nice mermaid tattoo, the potential clients compromised to get a tattoo of a mermaid either eating or grilling a grilled cheese sandwich.
The next scene was Forward Reverse, AKA the DVD or VCR game. A caller gets to tell the players to go backwards, forwards, switch to alternate language tracks, go in slow motion, etc. The suggestion for a task you actually like doing was “going fishing for crabs.” John and I were fishers, and The Markle was a crab. The Markle ate John. it was fun.
Third scene was “Open Replay,” in which we repeat a scene various times according to genre suggestions from the audience. The basic suggestion was washing your car with a vacuum. This is one of the slightly nonsensical suggestions we sometimes get which sparks a slightly absurd scene. Last week we got oil mining. So, I drove into the scene, got out of my car, and started vacuuming the hood. The Markle decided to help me wash my car by throwing a bucket of water on the car while I was vacuuming, which electrocuted me. Then, he came closer, and was electrocuted, and Michael stopped by to notice.
Then, we asked for some suggestions of movie, literature, and TV styles, and replayed the scene. First up was Shakespeare. I rode my horse onto the scene and started vacuuming it. After all this time, that was the first time I have ever gotten to do Shakespeare with this troupe, and I had almost nothing to say, and I spent most of the scene as a corpse. We used to do Shakespeare stuff all the time with Denver Improv Repertory Theatre / The Weiss Men. (That’s one troupe – it’s just gone by a lot of names.) Second was in the style of the TV show MASH. None of us have seen MASH in ages, but I flew my helicopter into the scene and started vacuuming it. Lastly, we had action movie. I crashed my car into the scene and started vacuuming it.
Fourth scene was interrogation. It took forever. It’s a guessing game where the ‘suspect’ is sent out of the room while the suggestions are taken, then he is interrogated until he is able to confess to the absurd crime of which he is accused. I was the suspect. The crime was that I flipped “the bird” to Barack Obama in Wall Mart while driving a golf cart. Golf cart took forever because the other guys apparently know golf a lot better than I do, so they were dropping references to things like a brand name of golf balls, but I didn’t get any of it.
Fifth structure was Slide Show. I’ll explain it later, but we all left the stage on the third slide, leaving our audience volunteer standing all alone on the stage with no idea what was happening. That was probably mean, but it was also funny as hell. I need to make a small wiki where I have definitions of all the structures so I don’t have to explain them here.
Sixth was our musical number Doo Run Run (Or Die.) I won, so I still haven’t had a chance to die by giving out promotional flyers for safety awareness week.
Seventh was Jeopardy. I tried a new character who is completely paranoid. “Possibly David.” It wasn’t anywhere near as well received as other popular Jeopardy characters “Chip Friendly,” or “Angus MacLeish.” I’m not certain if Possibly David is just a worse character, or it was the audience. I’ll have to try him again at some point. I’m always torn with trying a new character for Jeopardy because my stock characters are generally popular with the audience, but I hate to be so repetitive that I’m just doing the same two characters every other week.
Next up was Superhero. I played a superhero called Leprosy Man. It wasn’t that great. I tried to save the world from Bugs Man.
Lastly, we had Arms Expert. I was John’s arms. It was about Magic Koalas. It was going fine until we got to the audience Q and A section,a nd the audience just sort of awkwardly sat there and didn’t ask any questions.