Sunday, March 13, 2005

Schmuko + Astronauts = Bad Comedy

Alright, so this past Sunday I had another show at Second City. I'm not going to lie, I was kind of looking forward to this show. Even though my first show I made a fool out of myself with the "Your shirt looks good on my boobs and ass" comment, I still had a good time performing. With one show under my belt, I thought why not have my parents and sister come. They wanted to come to the first show, but I told them that was not a good idea. So because they would be in the audience I really wanted to put on a good show for them.

Before the show started I was friggin nervous as hell. More nervous this time, than I was for the first show. I knew the reason why I was so nervous had to be because my family was in the audience. Right then, I realized it was not a good idea to have them come. Backstage, before the show I turned to my buddy Mike and said "Is it normal to be more nervous for your second show, than your first show?" I do not remember his answer, but I'm sure he was thinking "Man, you sure are a spaz."

Anyways, it was time to go on stage and put on a funny performance. Well, at least try to. The way the show was set up, is that everybody in the class would do an improv game together at the beginning and at the end of the show. In between, each classmate would perform in one improv game. I was doing the improv game "Jeporady." I felt pretty comfortable doing this game because I was performing it with talented people and I did fairly well when we practiced it in class. In the game "Jeporady" each contestant (4 of them) is given an occupation from the audience. The host will then give the audience a category and then the audience will come up with an answer. Each contestant will then give the question to the answer, in the character of the occupation that was given to them. So lets say somebody has the occupation "baseball player." And the answer the audience gives is a straw. In a baseball player's voice the contestant would say "What is the tool I use to take streroids with." I am fully aware that this example is not funny, I just want all of you to understand this gem of a game.

So it was time to get the occupations from the audience. This was one of the reasons why I was apprehensive about doing the this game. I knew I could get screwed by the audience, if they give me some occupation that I knew nothing about and could not make funny. But I was willing to take the chance anyways. There were four contestants playing this game and I was the fourth one. The first person was given "Stripper." (Good one!) The next person was given "sewage worker." (Another good one.) The next person was given "martial artist." (Also, a good one.) So I started to think maybe I'm lucky here. These audience members are giving some pretty good suggestions here. All three of those oppcupations have strong personalities and are not too difficult to come up with characters for them. It was now Schmuko's turn to get his occupation from the audience. And I was given "Astronaut." Yes people, this is no joke. I was given "Astronaut." Mother f#cker! What the hell was I suppose to do with that?

So the game starts and each contestant is suppose to give a little intro of who they are. The stripper, sewage worker, and martial artist all give these nice little, funny intro in different character voices. So when I do my intro I just say in my natural voice "Hi my name is so and so and I am an astronaut." I vaguely remember seeing a few blank stares. But my feeling was why even attempt to be funny, if there is no possible way to be funny in this situation. The first category are things you find in a hospital. The audeince yells out the answer, "Scapel." I then began to think to myself right now, "What the hell am I going to say funny about an astronaut using a scapel." The three contestasts did a great job of coming up with good questions to the answer of "Scapel" and are getting some good laughs. Being the last contestant, you usually are supposed to give the biggest punchlines. Boy, was I out of the place! Struggling for an answer, I then said (Hold on to your seats and get ready to burst out in laughter folks!) "What is the tool I use in space to eat my cheerios with." Not surprisingly, I did not get any laughs with this shitty line. As the game went on, I of course continued to struggle with the "Astronaut" character. So I see no reason to share with you what I said and I'm sure you get the point anyways.

After the show, I greeted the fam by holding my finger in the shape of a gun to my head. (You see, I'm getting better with my object work.) They of course gave me some positive comments and understood that I was kind of put in a tough situation. One thing they mentioned was that I never smiled once on stage and that I need to loosen up. My mom went as far to say that I looked "constipated" on stage. Well, I better get a new facial expression if I ever plan to get any improv groupies in the future. I'm pretty sure that the "I got to drop a duece look," is not that appealing for the ladies out there.

In conclusion I have learned two very important things from my two perofrmances at Second City.
1. "The shirt looks good on my boobs and ass," is not funny.
2. Me playing an astronaut is uncomfortable to watch and may give you gas.

I'm out!

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