No posting on Friday doesn’t mean the show was shit. Friday passed in a bit of a mushy haze, Saturday was spent travelling back to Austin and yesterday was unpacking, laundry and wasting time reading websites and blogs. So a recap.
The show on Thursday night went well. My piece was up first and I was pretty nervous. Since quitting stand-up, it’s been a while since I was in front of an audience. My biggest fear was forgetting my lines, even though they’re lines that I’d written. I had my script next to me but really didn’t want to refer to it. I didn’t and of course managed to forget a crucial piece of information in one of my monologues, which naturally was all I could focus on afterwards. But I got some great feedback from the audience and was uncharacteristically proud of myself.
Friday night was the performances by the second half of our group. As I was heading into the theater, I got my best piece of feedback. A man was walking a few steps ahead of me and said ‘Diana’. At first I thought he was calling to his wife because he hadn’t acknowledged me in any way. Then I realised he was talking to me, because in my show one of my characters is a Princess Diana impersonator. I felt like a bit of an idiot and said ‘oh you’re talking to me, I’m sorry I didn’t realise…’. He kept on walking and didn’t respond so I started babbling as I do when I feel uncomfortable with silence. As we got to the theater he said ‘yes, I saw your show last night. It needs a lot of work’. I should have been prepared for it. This man had been to some of the other solo shows by our incredibly talented and experienced guest artists and was a complete arse then too. At the opening event, during the Q&A session, he asked the performer if she’d ever done any pantomine work and when she said no, he suggested she do so, as it would help address some of the problems in her show. Brilliant. A couple of nights later, we saw a film of a stage show by Ntare, a Ugandan performer. During this Q&A the miserable old bastard asked whether the performer had considered subtitles (the accent was quite strong but perfectly clear if you really listened). He then strongly suggested Ntare invest in subtitling.
Had the feedback come from anyone else, I might have been upset, but I figure that in him choosing to critique my piece I’m in good company. I’m most annoyed that I didn’t take the opportunity to offer him some feedback of my own but I was so taken off guard that when he said my show needed a lot of work, I lamely said ‘don’t we all’. Yeah, that really showed him Gallant, you certainly gave it to him. Maybe this is the reason I need to go back to improv, so I can cleverly shoot down my critics.
Erik’s final project was Friday night and I got to see his animation up on the big screen. At the start of the two weeks, Erik was talking about going home, he was the worst in his class, he didn’t deserve to be there. On Friday night, his piece was one of the best of the 36 in his class. I hope he puts it on his website. He’s incredibly talented and maybe he’s finally beginning to realise that.
We all went out on Friday night, I did karaoke again, with Lesley one of my classmates. We sang Dancing Queen by Abba which wasn’t my choice but was definitely my era. People said I was even better than last week but that may have been because I was only mouthing the words. Well except for the line ‘young and sweet, only seventeen’ which I shouted as I pointed to my fine body.
Saturday morning we had our final group meeting/goodbye. I wasn’t going to cry, I was going to be stoic and tough. I was the first to blub. Much more of this and I won’t be allowed back into England.
At some point this week I’ll dare to look at my script again and try not to think that it’s trite or boring. Or that I need to ‘laugh it up a bit’. Damnit, I used to be sort of funny.