Archive for the ‘ Stage Presence ’ Category

This and that

Tonight I’m performing in Mortified at Comix! You should come. If you want to hear a story I wrote for 10th grade English about the New Kids on the Block and a story about a witch who kidnaps two young lovers, this is your night. It’s a Halloween show, it’ll be scaaaary!

Also, another recap from everyone’s favorite reality show, The Pickup Artist 2, is up at VH1.

Also also, I interviewed the first contestant kicked off of the Pickup Artist here.

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No weak links in this chain

Have I mentioned that Chain Reaction was the funnest thing ever? I’m not sure if I made that clear in my last post about it. In order to even get on the show in the first place, we had to fill out several questionnaires about ourselves, you know, to ensure that we did not have the personalities of doorknobs and would make GOOD TV! But the problem was that we had to answer the same question over and over, it was just like “tell us something interesting about yourself” re-worded 20 ways. Do you have any special skills? Do you have any special talents? Do you have any special hobbies? Do your teammates have any of those things?

Not really, but thanks for re-asking me all those times. After a while, Kate, Glennis and I were sort of at our wit’s end (well, not really, since there is no limit to our wit). But we were annoyed because it’s hard to answer questions about yourself and try to keep sounding clever and wonderful. It was like setting up an online dating profile, only, if you did it well your date would be money instead of a human person. So after coming to that realization, we forged ahead. Then we came to a section not about ourselves, but about Chain Reaction host, Dylan Lane. If your Google-search for your name has brought you here, welcome, Dylan.

We tried to take it seriously, but at this point, it was like we couldn’t contain ourselves.

What are your thoughts on our host Dylan?

Replied Kate: He’s no Roger Lodge but he’d do in a pinch.

Replied Glennis: I find him foxy.

Replied Moi: I enjoy when contestants veer off into dirty mind territory with their guesses, and he seems to enjoy it too.

What do you think Dylan would find interesting about you?

Replied Glennis: That I find him foxy.

Replied Kate: That I know that I am not the first young thing to pit him against Roger Lodge. I also hope against hope that he was named after Dylan McKay.

Replied Moi: My nephew is also named Dylan and he thinks it’s interesting when I make fart sounds on my arm and give him wheelbarrow rides. What’s in a name? Hopefully the same interests.

Of course, what did they choose to talk to me about during the interview portion of the show? How I make fart sounds on my arm to entertain my 3-year-old nephew. Yes, America, your first national glimpse of me will be when you experience my thoughtful musings on farts.

I’m no stranger to the interview portion of the game show – it’s the main reason I even watch Jeopardy! at all, it makes the audience at home familiar with the contestants and can at times persuade them to root for one person over another. There have been many a time when a contestant with a story about mis-conjugating a verb in French and boy did their Parisian waiter have no patience, har har! has lost me entirely and by default I choose to root against them. Should you, the Chain Reaction audience at home, have a particular soft spot for farts, I just may be in luck. Air Date is a tentative March 27, audience!!

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Low Res

I spent my whole 2006 resolving to not be a performer, and here it is 2007 and by January 12th, I will have been involved in 3 shows. So it looks like my resolutions are really only good for one calendar year. Last week, I performed in Glennis and Kate’s “Always the Bridesmaid…Scaring the Bride”, thank you to both people who attended, by the way. And this week I’ll be in Mortified on Wednesday at 8pm at Makor, and a story I wrote will be performed at the PIT this Friday at 11pm. I won’t actually be in this show because I will be in Massachusetts, but how about you stop getting technical about things?

I did not resolve to write in the blog every day, as you can see. But in the meantime, here’s a picture I took from the Circle Line tour last Sunday. It’s relevant to this post because it has low resolution.

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Mortified in Massachusetts

No, it’s not the next Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com. It’s me. Tonight.
I’ll be performing at Mortified in Somerville. Get tickets now if my parents and everyone they know haven’t already bought them all!
mortified

This Recess is indoors- but it lacks all the nerds playing the Oregon Trail

I will be in this show tonight at 7pm at the PIT! Yay!
pit
Come out! Enjoy the weather! Come get margaritas after!

Too much light makes me need to adjust my attitude

I have been trying to get out of an all-or-nothing rut in my life. The way I think, there are only two options for all things, basically boiled down and reduced to a nice consommé of “good” or “bad”. For example, considering myself “successful” or “unsuccessful” based on crazy high standards I have for my career goals. Or loving or hating something – a movie, a TV show, a book. My life leaves little room for gray area. And randomly, my office was cleaning out stacks of old magazines and I found a year-old Real Simple magazine that had an article about how not to see life in black and white terms, so even the magazine gods are trying to tell me to stop being rigid. I even struggle with this blog, lord help me. But it’s true: I emotionally struggle with a blog. What do I want it to say about me? Should it ONLY display my hilariosity or should I show people that I also have a poetic soul that cries in the night and wants to change the course of humanity? Will people accept my puns as an art form or will they be judged horribly? Eh. To that I can only say, if you don’t like the way I blog, stay off the sidewalk! See? It’s that kind of statement I worry about making because it only further proves my dorkiness. But also, I’m making that into a bumper sticker for subscribers of WordPress to put on their computers. “My Other Blog is a Broom” sticker comes free with purchase!

Having a narrow view of life is limiting, but I bet you people with a healthy outlook on life knew that. I have just always thought it necessary to give things labels instead of just letting them roll and happen and organically just be. Healthy, no? I am a label whore. Michael of Kors I Hated Crash. Marc Jacobviously I am a Failure. This is especially difficult for me when it comes to comedy because I have super high standards, for both what I create and for what I watch. Of course no one person can be a fair judge for everything but as I write that sentence I realize that that assessment of life is one that I have yet to actually accept. If someone were to say that aloud to me I’d brush it off with a pat to their arm and a dismissive “Ohhhh-ho-KAY”. Creativity is subjective and exists because it is judge-able, though. Isn’t that the point?

Last Friday I saw Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, whose goal was to showcase 30 plays in 60 minutes. At the top of the show, one of the cast members described what we were going to see and explained that not every play was funny, not every play was dramatic, not every play was even good, but he encouraged us to take away from the show what we wanted. While in a way that felt like a disclaimer, it was what I, as an audience member needed to hear. I went in thinking I was seeing a comedy show (how black and white of me to think a show can only be comedy or drama), had I continued to think that way I would have been disappointed.
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I always think of when dramatic actors say “It’s so much harder to do comedy than drama”. Maybe. But what they don’t know is that it’s harder for an audience member to watch comedy than to watch drama. The expectations are higher. You, the performer, expect an audible reaction and sometimes we can’t live up to that expectation. I appreciated the dramatic and visual scenes from this show for that reason – they were obviously not trying to be funny and they worked. Some of the scenes were monologues about personal lives or politics, some wordless physical movements (whose value should never be underestimated), and some were just musical freakouts that took place beyond the theatrical fourth wall (a wall that was down for the entire show).

I think many writers and directors work a clear angle of humor or tragedy, black or white, whatever, and Too Much Light snuggles into all those angles, whichever ones they happen to be feeling when they write their material. There was a huge gray scale of variety which doesn’t often happen often in most shows. While sometimes the gray seems muddy as a result of some jokes trying to force their way in , it never stays that way for long, there’s no time for that in this show. The next scene has already started and it’s an entirely different shade.

Freulein Maria reviews: We Used to Go Out

Last night Von Trapp gave me the night off – said he still felt bad about the pine cone incident at dinner and wanted me to take some “Maria Time” which was cool. I know, I KNOW I should still hate him for not changing my whistle call to “Since U Been Gone”, I mean I don’t even care if he downloads a ringtone and uses it to call me when he needs something, but I think he’s h-o-t HOT! Do-Re-Me so horny for the Captain, raaor!

Anyway, I toyed with the idea of making new outfits for the kids out of my duvet but I feel like lately all my sewing seems a little too much like a Project Runway challenge. Sister Margaretta made fun of me last year for jazzing up my habit with silk charmeuse like, “Oh look someone thinks she’s Austin Scarlett!” and I was like “Shut it, Wendy Pepper! I know you sings songs about me!”. Literally, she is toxic and totally contaminates our love for God and nature and stuff with her negativo attitudo. She and that bitch Baroness Schrader can both take a flying leap off a beautiful Austrian mountain top and make a hard landing in a crisp, stony brook that is very deep and very fatal, I dont care. Speaking of Project Runway, Santino has toootally grown on me! Who knew, right? Marta still hates him because he has yet to produce any outfits with a pink parasol, but that’s just a matter of personal style, I say. We are all entitled to our opinion as long as you respect others, that’s what I’ve been trying to instill in the children while we “watch what happens” on Bravo. That and don’t be a Nazi.

Am I getting off track or what? I actually have a point here. So, last night. I had the night off, right? And I saw We Used to Go Out at the UCB and I (emoticon hearted) it. I know, Chelsea is a long way from Salzburg, but somehow I managed. I sang a song and by the end I was in New York City. Have you not learned that when music is in your life, anything is possible? Don’t make me take a second role as a singing nanny to prove this point.
weusedtogoout

I laughed so hard during this show, I worried that I might pee in my homemade pants. Luckily I didn’t, and there were actually other audience members that were more distracting than old Maria and her snort of a laugh! Like the guy in the front row who looked like he was eating a stick of pepperoni.

Cured meat-eaters aside, the show was hilarious and at times the relationship stuff was a little too real for my “I deny my feelings for men who aren’t God” lifestyle. On my scale of reviews I give it 5 out of 6 Favorite Things, but only because I couldn’t find a picture of schnitzel with noodle. Stupid Google Image search!
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