Sketchfest - So how'd it go?

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Bare crew backstage
The crew backstage

(Right after the show I went straight home to pack for a work trip to New York and that's been keeping me busy for the last couple of days. I'm sitting in LaGuardia right now waiting for the plane home and I finally have a few minutes to write this*.)

Mustapha prepares for his first role

Well first off, let's talk about* a one big difference between a sketch show or a play and the improv that I usually do -- the day of. With an improv show all I have to do is make sure I'm dressed nice and then show up at the theatre an hour early or so, mainly so that the house manager or producer doesn't have to worry about whether I'm going to show up (it happens -- people flake). With this show, not only did it occupy most of my free time for the month up to the show, but it completely occupied the day of the show with last minute printing out set lists and organizing and making sure props were in bags and so on and so forth. But the time we were packing the truck to leave for the theatre I had already put a day's worth of mental energy into the show.

Shaun traded his station wagon for a pickup truck this summer (and I got rid of my beast of a 30-year-old sports car) and we had so many props and a live cat to transport, so we decided to make two trips. I drove Shaun over early with a load of props and then came back for Mustapha and Erica.

And forgot the jackets.

The jackets that Megan slaved over for weeks. The designed-then-redesigned jackets. The I-bought-a-new-leather-jacket-just-for-this-show jackets. The start-off-the-show-with-a-bang jackets.

Erica even asked "Do you have the jackets?" before we left the house the second time and I answered something along the lines of "Of course (I'm wearing a jacket)". Because I was. Wearing a regular jacket.


I gave Brian and Megan the keys to our house and sent them off to get the jackets. Which, of course, induced more panic (on my part, anyway) that if they were delayed, we wouldn't have the jackets nor Brian and Megan to play their parts.

The dancers backstage

Shaun and Greg
Shaun and Greg go over the tech

Oh, and Greg had had a simple request for the tech setup. He was going to be running both light and sound cues by himself but he had discovered that the CD player in the tech booth was behind him as he sat at the light board. He had asked that I bring a small CD player that could be placed beside the light board so he wouldn't have to turn around. I forgot that, too. We suggested that he recruit the Sketchfest-provided tech guy to run the sound cues off his verbal commands.

Well, Brian and Megan made it back with the jackets and Greg (I found out later) recruited Rachel Michalski, Superpunk's tech goddess, who had come along to see Superpunk do their 30 second bit in the show. Ten minutes before Rhythm Method finished we were escorted from the conference room where we'd been hovering into the just-off-stage dressing room.

And then we did the show.

Patrick Brennan MCing
Patrick Brennan MCing

And it almost all worked. And what didn't work (sound cues, mostly, and Mustapha freaking out a little more than we expected him to, and me staring blankly at Shaun for a solid 10 seconds when I spaced on my first little dramatic speech before I remembered it) all seemed to fit into the motif of the show, about our partnership and our show falling apart.

People were wowed by the dance (which got us off to a great start) and tickled by Ben's bumps and confused by all the interruptions to the show and they actually laughed at many of the bits, even the ones that we just wrote so that Don could interrupt them.

Dancing booty

I never set out to do anti-comedy or anything, but Shaun and I seem to be pretty good at shows that leave the audience half-amused and half-wondering how much of what they had just seen was real.

All in all, I was happy with how the show turned out. I don't think we'll be doing it again any time soon -- too many people and things to organize. And I'm not sure Mustapha will want to do the show again.

Erica and I took some shots backstage and then Erica snuck out and took some shots of the opening number, so that's what I've got here. Aaron Gang came to the show and took shots throughout, so I'll put up a gallery of those as soon as I get them.

Erica the hottie
My hottie girlfriend sitting around being hot

And hey, thanks to Tom and Kate for coming to the show (I happened to see them after/before the show -- thanks to you, too, if you came to the show).