Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We're the judgment

So, we opened the show and it's doing well. Now, of course, the judgment comes in full force. By that I mean reviewers. It's a weird relationship that artists have with reviewers. We need them, in a way since they help spread the word about our shows to the masses. And, they need us. If we didn't do shows they would have nothing to write about.

But we don't do the shows for the reviewers. By that I mean that during the creative process we never stop and think "will the reviewers like this?" If you did that you'd drive yourself crazy. We do the show that we think is the best. We do the show that we think is funny. And, we hope that others will find it funny also.

Now...I'd be lying if I said I didn't read reviews. We all do. But I never take too much stock in them. After all it's only one person's opinion. Even the good ones are just one person's opinion. The only way to really find out is to come see the show yourself. This is especially true with comedy. Everyone laughs at different things. Something one person finds off putting or offensive you might find hilarious. For instance, several reviewers have brought up the gay related humor in the character Barney Frank of our show. Many of them have said the jokes are offensive, crude, or tasteless. That's fine...that's their opinion. But what they should also mention....but rarely do is that the audience laughs their asses off at virtually all of those jokes. Is it because they don't like homosexuals? No...I doubt it. It's probably because the jokes are funny.

There is a famous story regarding Michael O'Donoghue, who was one of the first writers for Saturday Night Live. As the story goes...O'Donoghue was at an event when a woman approached him. "I don't like your style of humor, she said I find it sophomoric". O'Donghue replied, "All humor is sophomoric lady, that's why it's funny."

So...don't just take a reviewers word for it. Come on out to our pageant and see for yourself.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Love Rush Limbaugh

As this journey has gone along, one of the questions I get asked most often is, “How can you play someone like Rush Limbaugh?” That’s usually followed by things like…you two are completely opposite in your thinking, etc.

There are tons of “actor things” I could say about preparations and such. But one story stuck in my mind. Several years ago, I directed the awesome comedy actor Pat Shay in a one man show. It was called “In Their Own Words” and told the stories of Sir John Gielgud, Richard Burton, and Laurence Olivier. Below is an excerpt from that show regarding Olivier.

Olivier was fresh off of his big Henry V film and really thought he was a badass - then he goes back onto the stage as a character named Sergius in Arms and the Man, and gets panned.

So his good friend Tony Guthrie comes up to the second performance: "I dawdled about the removal of my makeup to give Tony plenty of time to come round and cheer me up with some advice on my problem, but he never came. I see, I thought. I see.

"On my way downstairs, Tony and Ralph Richardson emerged from the star dressing room - Sybil Thorndike's - and we all went out together.

"Then Tony separated from the others and turned to me. 'Liked your Sergius', he said.
" ' Oh Thank You Very Much'.
" ' What? Don't you love him?'
" ' Love that stooge? That inconsiderable - God, Tony, if you weren't so tall I'd hit you.

"Then he said something to me that changed my actors thinking for the rest of my life.
"' Well, if you don't love him,' he said, 'Then you'll never be any good in him, will you."

It’s Opening Night…and I Love Rush Limbaugh