Half-way through the woods

I had two extra “gigs” with Unexpected this past week. One I had fallen into pretty randomly a month or two ago: I was performing at one of our oft-underattended 7 PM shows, and it turned out there was a woman in the audience from ReMax who was scoping us out for their Christmas party. She loved the show and specifically requested the five of us who had been performing that evening. The party itself was interesting in a down kind of way… the real-estate company has obviously been struggling in the bad economy, and the owner determinedly made a speech about how when you’re half way through the woods, it’s just as far to press on as it is to turn back. (I’m sure he intended for it to be more optimistic than grim, but I don’t know that he succeeded.) The show itself was somewhat mediocre by our own standards but the small group of 25 or so people were eager for some levity and relief, and we made a lot of good use of getting them up and participating with us in our games and making it a very nice and personal experience for them, so I think it was a success overall. Plus in addition to gig pay I scored a $30-off coupon to Ray’s Boathouse, which I will have to try to use in January.

The other gig was a special breakfast performance of Improvised Christmas Carol in front of about 400 members of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. We had to trim the show’s usual running time of 75 minutes or so¬† down to 30, which was difficult in spite of our cuts and preparations. I think it was a rather weak performance on my part but Fred kicked ass at Scrooge as usual and the show held, even though the audience wasn’t terribly responsive.

In spite of that gig, I think I’ve been doing much better at Crachit and the show in general. We had an excellent show on Thursday which I recorded and put on YouTube, split into ten segments:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4ymqhGfvC4

Unfortunately the faces are all blurry because the camera doesn’t focus well at the distance I have to keep it. You can get to all ten segments here, or jump directly to the third segment if you want to skip the suggestion-gathering phase, which takes a good ten minutes for us to collect the many suggestions that are used as a kind of giant mad-lib with the Charles Dickens tale.

I have this weekend’s final performance of Christmas Carol in a couple of hours, and I’m still utterly exhausted from yesterday. I made the mistake of not taking an antihystamine before helping a friend move, and the exertion combined with the hair from her pets left me short of breath and drained. It got better, but triggered again when I tried to make up for a Theatresports that wasn’t going particularly well by going into physical overdrive. The audience was especially unruly and we were playing games I wasn’t very familiar with, which aren’t excuses for lousy scenework but didn’t help matters either. The second half was better… we did a particularly solid narrative collage that was almost great, except that I missed the perfect ending and started talking again just as the lights were going down, forcing us to find a second, less satisfying end to the scene. I never claimed to be perfect.

It began snowing yesterday as well, but fortunately not before we had finished the move. The snow isn’t sticking to anything but the grass yet… hopefully it won’t get any worse.

I would love to simply sleep through this week, but it’s already booked solid with various holiday and birthday parties, not the least of which is my own. If you’re reading this, then come on down to the theatre and celebrate it with me!

Dan.

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