Journey Into Terror

Well, I’m in the Minnesota Fringe Festival again, and I’ve barely got any time left to get my show together.

This is not a new situation. Everything I’ve ever done has come together late. My method, if we can be generous enough to call it that, is to fret and stew and worry and panic for weeks, and then throw everything together in a mad rush. Somehow it works. Or rather, it has worked so far. We could be way overdue for a fall here.

I’d like to think that what’s happening is this: my subconscious is doing all the writing. The stewing and brooding is the part of the writing that doesn’t involve typing. I’d like to think that. What is probably going on is just blind terror, spewing everything out in blind terror because there’s no time left to over-think things. Lord knows over-thinking has been a major problem in my life.

Right now, I’m deep in the woods of Whatthehellamidoing. I can’t see the forest for the trees. I’m too in the middle of everything. I don’t know if the funny bits are funny. I don’t know if my character is sympathetic. I don’t know if there’s actually a plot. What if people think it’s more autobiographical than it is? What if people think it isn’t autobiographical enough? But everyone doing some bit of creative work goes through this phase in the creative process, I tell myself. And I should know. But what if I’m wrong?

Last year, I was in the Fringe Festival with a show called Death Perception. I was big sweaty mass of fear throughout the whole writing process. I put it off and I put it off. I wanted to do the show. I didn’t want to do the show. Finally, there was no time left, and I threw what felt like the biggest Hail Mary pass of my life, writing most of the script in a blaze. I didn’t have an ending for the show until 4:30 in the morning, the night before I had tech rehearsal. I sighed. What was done was done. But once the run was over, I was astonished how many people told me the ending was their favorite part. Chalk one up for fear.

So odds are good I’ll stagger into tech right after an all-nighter, bleary-eyed, mainlining coffee, and bumble through a run, script in hand. And it’ll be fine. Unless it isn’t. We can’t predict the future. That’s life, isn’t it?

So that aside, please come to my show! Someone Is Wrong On The Internet, presented as a part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival, at HUGE Theater, 3037 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN. Show times:

Saturday, August 4, 8:30 PM

Sunday, August 5, 2:30 PM

Tuesday, August 7, 10:00 PM

Wednesday, August 8, 10:00 PM

Saturday, August 11, 10:00 PM

Now to write the son of a bitch.

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Stage Match

For years, Six Ring Circus was the Brave New Workshop’s student showcase. Kind of like an ongoing grad school for improv. Well, it’s gone now. In it’s place is Stage Match, and I’m in it.

Six Ring was the crucible in which most of Minneapolis improv was forged. There were other outlets, Stevie Ray’s, ComedySportz, and much later HUGE Theater. But (and I could be wrong) I think Six Ring predates them. All of those organizations owes a ton to the Brave New Institute. For ages, Six Ring was the only venue where a new improviser could get in front of an audience, do their thing, get a fire lit under their butt, and improve. I’m going to pull a statistic out of my ass right now, but I’d imagine 95% of all Minneapolis improv you’ve ever seen and enjoyed owes something to Six Ring. It was really the primordial atom of Minneapolis improv’s Big Bang.

It’s sad to see Six Ring go, but I think Stage Match has the potential to be an exciting replacement. For one thing, it’s on Friday nights, prime time for live entertainment, as opposed to the hinterlands of Tuesdays. For another, instead of set teams, it’ll be more of an ad hoc set up, with improvisers regularly working with new people. It’s a new era, people. And we need you to support it.

Opening night is tomorrow, June 29th. I’m scheduled to be up June 29th, July 13th, July 20th, and August 24th. Tickets are a measly five bucks. Please stop by and keep this improv thing going.

http://studentunion.bravenewworkshop.com/SUPerformances/StudentUnionShows.aspx

Procrastination

If there’s a single thing that ruins my life, it’s procrastination. There are a large number of things that ruin my life (847 at last count), but really, it all boils down to procrastination.

I am in the Minnesota Fringe Festival again this season. I’m doing another one-man show, entitled Someone Is Wrong On The Internet. And by “doing,” I mean “staring at Microsoft Word and wondering why it doesn’t have a button I can click to automatically compose a show.” Many writers say the hardest part is just getting started, but come the fuck on.

Oddly, this situation does not have me panicked. Call it experience. Writing last year’s Fringe show, Death Perception, was a terrifying experience of a late start and long stretches of not doing shit. I didn’t come up with an ending for Death Perception until 4:30 AM the morning before I had tech rehearsal. I did tech script in hand, throwing myself on the mercy of the court, so to speak. Occasionally, I’d be thrown by this weird noise, sort of a burbling murmur, muffled by walls and glass. I was shocked to find out it was the tech, laughing. The script worked! So anyway, I have some small track record of getting shit together at the eleventh hour, and that is an immense comfort.

But I am panicked that I’m not panicked, if that makes sense. I just have an ice cream sandwich and it goes away.

It’s not like procrastination is without benefits. I have never been so on top of laundry in my life! I had so many clean clothes, I needed to clean out my closet. Ragstock is about to be flooded with a lot of Nineties-era shirts. That was a nice little project to get done. Lacking industry in your personal life? Just write a show! You’ll be living in House Beautiful in no time.

Wow. It’s past 7:00 PM already? I’ll get started tomorrow.

 

PowerPoint Karaoke April 2012

Every once in a while, I’m in this thing called PowerPoint Karaoke. It’s a monthly show down at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, produced by Theater Arlo. My friends Bill Stiteler and Melissa Kaercher come up with a bunch of weird-ass PowerPoint slides, and the guest performers improvise a presentation.

People don’t always get the concept, so here’s a video of the show from April 2012. The hostess is Sharon Stiteler, and the judges are Bill Stiteler¬†and Joseph Scrimshaw. The contestants are Dawn Krosnowski, Joe Bozic, and myself. Oh, and this other guy named Bill. Bill Corbett. He was in some puppet show. I forget the name. Greg the Bunny maybe? Let’s go with that.

This video covers the whole show, so it’s a big honkin’ 54 minutes long. The me-centric bits are from about 4:00 to 14:40, and about 44:45 to the end . But check out the other bits when you’ve got the time. It’s a lovely video, it is, with a nice split screen effect so you can see the performer and the slide… at the same time! I love living in the future.