Monday, March 10, 2008

ski tour part 2: Lander of the Lost

i actually wrote this entry long ago. it was significant enough that i wanted to have record of it, so i wrote it on my laptop in the van.

here's that archived business for your reading pleash.

january 10th: Lander, WY
This town is a perfect example of how a SC show isn’t a good fit for everyone.

We had done a bunch of bits, for no real reason, about how we were going to hate Lander. It was really just because none of us knew where it was, but we made up a lot of stories about what happened in Lander and what the people were like, how much they’d hate us, or how we were gonna trash the town. Well…

In an archival scene called LIES, the ubiquitous game of two truths and a lie is played. The scene starts with a boyfriend meeting a group of old pals, and one character suggests they should play the old game. Everyone does, but each character has two truths that are insane and a lie that is ridiculously benign. The benign - as you may have guessed in a pure comedy turnaround - is the one that is true. This sketch is – bar none – usually one of my top ten favorite scenes to do, some because of the fun involved, and some because of audience reaction.

During one of these later chunks (I think I'm fourth), my character screams a very simple, funny line in retort to another that often gets enormous reaction – in fact, I’ll write it out right here, so you can see it for yourself:

Susan: Okay, okay, my turn - I got one. I was the leader of my Christian youth group -
Andy: You better have been.
Susan: I have seen naked pictures of Brad; I have injected myself with Brad’s sperm using a turkey baster.
(pause)
Jack: Youth group!
Susan: I HATE God!

…and then all the characters in the scene prance around and do semi-ridiculous actions that mirror that statement. Some of us grow devil horns, throw rock signs, shoot pea soup and have my head spin around, stuff like that. This is a very delicate scene to direct because if it gets too gross, crass, or the physicality of the scene gets too “wild”, then the audience has gutteral reactions to the admittals that often result in complaints. For instance, us doing the things listed above are approved, however us showing Jesus on a cross is okay at home but not away. Another example of this comes in the scene when a character admits they’re “not Chinese” and we run a series of bits like bowing, karate chops, and rickshaw running, but cannot use an affected accent or do something insane like slanty-eye kid bits. These last two things DID happen on the home show stage in the original revue, but are prohibited on the road. Interesting, no? That one's for you, comedy geeks.

Anyway, during this scene, we used precaution and expected nothing crazy. The scene had been running really well on the road and all was well. When we came upon a line before it, however, they seemed grossed-out by another person’s reveal (that they have gonorrhea and syphilis) – it may have been a forewarning for my next, but it wasn’t. When I said my line and all actors proceeded to react to it, the audience went ballistic. No less than 30 people booed and about 20 walked out. My castmate Katie was really shocked by this, and luckily, there were about 350 people there so I sort of didn’t notice, and just barreled through.

Obviously, the people that boo at this line are idiots. It’s a show. It’s a comedy show. And the sheer audacity of the line is supposed to exemplify how insane and unreal these people are, as evidenced by every ounce of the scene. So, if you are reacting strongly to that line, you’re obviously missing the whole point.

We won’t be back to Lander.

tdometer: nietzsche-esque - comedy is dead

4 Comments:

Blogger Scotty 2 Hotty said...

Pfft, while you're at it avoid the rest of "Oh God, why?-oming."

It's not as bad as Nebraska, but it's still on the list of places that embody desolate.

I'll give you an example of the kind of Wyoming-ness that keeps me up at night, shivering and wishing they made the water that's hot enough to wash these thoughts away.

On the Urban Dictionary page for Wyoming, someone from the state has posted a long, defiant list of defining features of the state. Proudly written is the following:

"where a rodeo is more popular than madonna"

Christ! They're using Madonna as a yardstick of popularity. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to take another rape shower to wash away the shame of looking up "Wyoming" on Urban Dictionary.

- Scott

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Chicagohaskins said...

I missed the bloggin, lady! Glad it's back! Lander? I hardly even knew her!

Thank you, I will be here all week.

10:53 PM  
Blogger tara d. said...

oh scotty, i'm so glad you're still reading. and glad you're still reading urban dictionary. ;)

believe it or not, wyoming looks up in a real shocking turn of events. i'll do my best to recount.

12:25 AM  
Blogger tara d. said...

oh haskins, sweet shit, i'm so glad you're back.

try the veal and stick around.

12:26 AM  

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