taking control: pamie with a whip

not as sexy as one would think.

So as I mentioned before (or did I?), the director of our show is now me. Sort of a group decision to change the direction of how the show was going, and now I have exactly two weeks to put together a forty minute show of some of our best work to re-audition for the Aspen Comedy Festival.

So if we don’t go to Aspen, don’t think someone isn’t going to blame me.

That was like a triple negative sentence. I’m all conscious of that now, what with reading two articles about how grammar is important in this month’s metajournals. I’m pretty much in that same mindset… I hate trying to decipher an entry because the writer never bothered to hit the spellcheck button and has no concept of what a period is for… but now that I just read about the evils of literary massacres, I’m doing them myself. Typical.

Anyway, so this week I’ve been holding the rehearsals. Me. Just me. This has never happened before. Usually there’s a co-director, someone who shares the work. Usually you have a couple of months. But not this time. It’s just me and I have two weeks to put together a show. With fifteen people. And they all want to be equally represented. Yeah. It’s that kind of stress.

So yesterday I took a look at all of the sketches that could be ready by showtime, and tried to decide the best way to do them all on the stage we are using, with the people we are using, for the people we are performing for. Throw in the gross-out sketches, the bathroom humor sketches, the crowd pleasers (or the “Aaaah” sketches, as we usually call them), and the quick one-liners. I was manipulating the set list and trying to find the best way to please everyone.

But that’s not going to happen.

I don’t like being the bad guy. Somehow I keep getting put into positions where it looks like I’m maliciously calling the shots and stepping on someone’s toes. I’m just trying to do the job assigned to me.

So this time I thought, well, if I’m just straight with them from the beginning, we shouldn’t have any problems. I made a rehearsal schedule (which I’m pretty sure has never been done before in this troupe) outlining what we will do for the next two weeks. I made a list of sketches that I’m considering, and sat down for rehearsal.

I started at seven, regardless of who was late and who wasn’t. I kept on task. I gave them the schedules and they all were like doe eyed. “For me? Structure? Really? We’ll know what’s happening day to day in advance? Brilliant!”

So it seems for now, they’re on my side. The final dress rehearsal, however, may be another story.

I’ve also noticed that many of the older sketches in the troupe (before four women joined at the same time) were really male-oriented. The female never won. Recently there’s been more girl power in our performances, and I’m glad to see that happen.

Oh, are you guys wondering how the dirty sketch is going? Apparently it shocked the audience so much last weekend that they didn’t know what to think. So I’ve been working on it so you see where the sketch is coming from. I guess when the first woman on stage says “ram your foot long dick” it makes the audience go, “What did she say? That’s not being a lady.” But if one of the guys had said it, it would have been like, “Silly boy. What a potty mouth.” And when I read it (and when I wrote it) I never thought that people would have reacted that way. I mean, the language is in their faces, but it’s a mockery of what those letters to Penthouse are… I mean, who talks that way, really? If she really said all of those things, who is she really? Oh, what am I doing?

what am i doing?

i’ve got two weeks to pull off a show that’s supposed to be better than the l.a. show.
the l.a. show that we put three months into.
the l.a. show where there were only eight of us.
the l.a. show where we had some new material.
the l.a. show where people were really, really committed.

I’m getting lip ulcers. Last time I was sleepwalking. Now I’m getting lip ulcers. How sexy is that?

Okay, don’t panic. I can do this. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.

My FronteraFest application was approved, so my next play has a production date. It’s in February, so I’ve got to write it next month.

As soon as I’m done directing this show.

I’m sure there’s someone I’m supposed to be calling right now.

It’s funny, directing a comedy show. (I’m not really done with that statement there, but just look at how stupid that sounds. “Oh, is it funny?” Jesus.) Anyway, when directing a sketch show, you find yourself saying things that normal people don’t say, and everyone in the room has absolutely no problem with it.

“Andy, when you first stand up with the erection, don’t let us see it. And when we see it, let us laugh before you say anything.”

“Okay, when she says ‘purple love monster’ you need to move over there.”

“I thought you were going to say ‘hi’ before she said ‘fuck off.’”

“After he masturbates, I want you to sing.”

“Has anyone found Lambchop?”

“No, it’s not ‘Oh.’ It’s more like ‘Ohh.’ Understand?”

“Has anyone seen the gun? We have, like, three guns. I just need one.”

“I think I like you as Billy Crystal more than Norm MacDonald.”

“I don’t think she’s bleeding enough.”

“Okay, shoot Jim in the leg, and then the other leg, and then just keep shooting him.”

“Cody, run to your car and get your crutches.”

I mean, what’s up with that? I sound like a crazy person, but everyone is in with me. Only in the theatre.

The show will be fine.
The show will be fine.
No one hates me.
The show will be fine.

Just a little Stuart Smalley there for you. I get a little panicky right about now, because we’ve got two weeks, you see, so anything could happen. The show could be a miracle. The show could suck ass. It’s too early to tell. That’s the problem. Check back in a week with me and I’ll tell you what I think.

Have I mentioned before that I don’t really like directing? I can do it, and it’s fun and I enjoy the end result and all, but the actual “You have to listen to me because I said so” stuff makes my stomach ache. I just want to be on stage. I just want to write sketches for my friends.

i want my own sitcom where i write funny stuff every week for all my funny friends to say.

how hard is that? why hasn’t that happened yet?
it’s such a small dream.
people make sitcoms every day.


Last night’s Scrabble Tally:
Games Played: 1
Games Won: 1
don’t mess with me

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