Saturday, September 26, 2009

No Shame Iowa City 9/25/09

Thanks for audience and performers for a great show! Order in the comments.

20 Comments:

Blogger evan schenck said...

1) The Last of the Steam-Powered Trains OR the Spirit of the 19th Century
by Evan Schenck

2) An Appropriate Amount of Sex and Violence
by Mirri

3) In the Act
by Montgomery Scott

4) Bonjour mon chere~!
by Alaynna

5) A CSI Remake of a Childhood Classic
by Chicken & Biscuits

5.5) Why Most Men Don't Wash their Hands
by Oliver Coselaff

6) Theresa puts on a show
by A. Theresa

7) Actors' Telephone
by Eric Jesteadt

7.5) Some Redneck Tomfoolery
by Penny

8) William Walker (1824-1860)
by James S. Roth

9) Adam and Jeremy
by Samantha Tucker Iacovetto

9.5) "Hat"
by Katy Baggs

10) God Does not Play Dice with the Universe
by Herr Böhr, Einstein, Fermi, Maxwell, Planck, et al.

11) Alcoholics Anonymous
by Mirri

9/26/2009 12:29 PM  
Blogger Eli Wilkinson said...

1) The Last of the Steam-Powered Trains OR the Spirit of the 19th Century
by Evan Schenck

-This was pretty funny though it seemed that the audience took a while to figure out it was a comedic piece. I don't know who's fault that is but needless to say I liked it.

2) An Appropriate Amount of Sex and Violence
by Mirri

-A very good song. This one was shorter than the usual Mirri song and I really liked it.

3) In the Act
by Montgomery Scott

-This was OLD School No Shame. This is the kind of piece I would see when I came to the show when I was a kid. So I loved every second of it. Others would be wise to think like Mr. Scott did with this piece.

4) Bonjour mon chere~!
by Alaynna

-This was cute. I never associated pimples with French accents and I definately thought it helped. Hopefully she comes back and performs again.

5) A CSI Remake of a Childhood Classic
by Chicken & Biscuits

-This didn't go over as well as I thought it would. I was disappointed. Not in the performances but with my writing.

5.5) Why Most Men Don't Wash their Hands
by Oliver Coselaff

-Cute. The added line really helped

6) Theresa puts on a show
by A. Theresa

-I'm SOOO sorry about the light mishaps. I usually bring the lights down and back up and didn't know you wanted them down until you were set. That aside the skit rocked. Reverse stripping was a good idea.

7) Actors' Telephone
by Eric Jesteadt

-This didn't work. Most of the comedy came from the volunteers confusion. Eric, make sure you clarify your thoughts and are able to present them in a clear manner.

7.5) Some Redneck Tomfoolery
by Penny

-This was also cute. I liked it.

8) William Walker (1824-1860)
by James S. Roth

-Good but could've had some fat trimmed off it and a stronger delivery. But James you are on the right track. Just remember a strong stance and connection (probably though eye contact) with the audience would be the thing you need to work a little on.

9) Adam and Jeremy
by Samantha Tucker Iacovetto

-This was nice. It was nice to see such a nice loving piece at No Shame. It was pro gay marriage which I liked but also showed personal connection. Also if I interpreted this right was "Adam" Adam Burton and did he get married? If this is so, congratulations!

9.5) "Hat"
by Katy Baggs

-Lol. Just a short 'wtf' piece. I liked it.

10) God Does not Play Dice with the Universe
by Herr Böhr, Einstein, Fermi, Maxwell, Planck, et al.

-I don't know. This piece bombed in my opinion. Sorry David. You committed a cardinal sin with this piece. You second guessed your script. I was reading along with you and often you added lines that were not necessary and it was obvious. They felt very sloppy. Also try standing still. Your pacing wore out some of the black paint on the floor. A strong stance always helps. Shows confidence. As for the script itself. I was lost. Parts didn't seem coherent and the ideas were out of the grasp of everyone. It sounded like a bad trip and for us it was like going through one. David, try simplifying all your writing. Trim the lines you do not need. A good length for a monologue would be about a 3/4 to a whole page, single spaced, times new roman, 12 pt. font.

11) Alcoholics Anonymous
by Mirri

I felt like this was funnier than what laughs it got. I don't know if it was weakened by everyone still scratching their heads from the last piece but regardless I really liked it. Sex robots seem to come up with more regularity than you would think.

9/26/2009 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Adam Burton said...

Ah, no, I did not get married -- a couple of friends of mine named Adam and Jeremy did get married recently though, and that was the maid of honor's speech at the wedding.

As for me, I've decided that prior to getting married I should start seeing someone. Things like linear time and cause and effect can be a drag, but such is my lot! :)

9/26/2009 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Adam B said...

A recounting of some things I enjoyed from this week's show.

"Hat," by Katy Baggs. I enjoyed this very committed, brief character performance by Katy Baggs -- she arrived on stage with a specific voice and presence that captured my attention, hard to describe but it was big and odd, saying "Where is it? I've been looking for it, but I can't find it!" without any indication of what it was, and after not much more elaboration she discovered "it" -- her baseball hat (which she identified as "My baseball hat!") atop the head of Evan Schenck there in the front row. So she demanded it from him, he handed it to her, she placed it on her head, and then informs the audience "I found my hat!" And, scene. For some undefinable reason this was pleasing to me, which is to say that it had that certain je ne sais quoi ("I don't know what") about it that totally made it work for me. There is an art to a short short piece. The only ever-so-slight hitch was the lack of something at the end that would make it clear to the audience and the board op that it was time for clapping and lights down, so there was a bit of "thanks, that was it" to it at the end. Maybe it needed jazz hands and a freeze? :)

"Bonjour mon cher!" by Alaynna -- A woman (presumably Alaynna) performed this piece about being the zit on "your" (the listener's) nose, in a French accent. I didn't think it was an amazing piece, but her commitment to the role (and the accent, there was no hesitation about diving into it!) won appreciation from me. That commitment can often be the leap from passable to memorable.

"Theresa puts on a show" by A. Theresa. In the darkness between skits, a woman (presumably A. Theresa) comes out on stage wearing not much, and carrying an armload of clothes -- as revealed inadvertently by the light booth operator, who is trying to do a standard lights down/lights up, having apparently received no guidance to the contrary on the script. So the lights dim again, pause (also someone off to the side of the stage fumbling with a boom box in the dark)... pause.. lights begin to come up again, woman on stage appears to be wearing a sexy bra, and a black midsection undergarment akin to undersized hotpants, and she's still sorting through the stuff she's brought on stage... After a couple more attempts at lights up, the booth op asked them to holler when they were ready -- but even though this was a bit of a process, the audience appeared to be entertained throughout (including me) and it's one of those moments that makes live theatre truly live theatre. So finally they're ready, and the music started and the lights came up, and the woman was topless, standing behind a chair. So she steps forward around the chair with a bit of a bounce to the music, the word "jauntily" comes to mind even though that's not particularly a type of movement, and when she gets in front of the chair she turns her back to the audience, still moving gently to the music, as we read on her back the words "Reverse Stripping" -- and she proceeds to put on her clothes as sexily as possible (refreshingly honest-and-not-lewd sexiness interspersed with moments of being careful to retain balance while putting on stockings, for example), and it'ss naughty lingerie sorta stuff being added piece by piece while people holler "put it on!!!" -- and she got her greatest round of catcalls as she finished with the overcoat and walked off stage. It was kinda wonderful. :)

And due to a silly character limit on posts, I'm putting the rest of this in the next message.

9/27/2009 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Adam B said...

Continuing:

"Adam and Jeremy" by Samantha Tucker Iacovetto (performed by Margie Dubé) -- obviously I like this piece or I wouldn't have recruited someone to perform it at the show. For those who weren't there, it was a fun first-person retelling of Samantha's meeting the two halves of a very lively, vibrant gay couple. Sam was the maid of honor at their wedding this past weekend. But consider this background collision that somehow did NOT occur to me until the moment Margie walked out on stage to read it: There's a guy who I've been communicating with online this past week, and I ended up inviting him to the show (which would be our first in-person meeting). I said I'd save him a seat, he said no worries, we could just meet up afterwards. I didn't recognize him in the incoming crowd, but I wasn't watching every single person that came in. So as Margie goes up to read this piece about Adam and Jeremy and their love and their wedding, I stopped to think... "Holy shit, I've invited a guy named *Jeremy* to meet me at No Shame tonight." So I heard the whole piece as if it were flee material for my invited guest. :) But it turns out he took a nap before the show and overslept, and therefore arrived at midnight, just in time to see the last skit of the evening. I'm sorry he missed the gems of the night, but I have to say I'm not sorry he missed this piece! :)

And then I have a feeling that I would have enjoyed the last piece except I was distracted 'cause this guy I've been talking to online had just walked in.

Also -- I had a total blast performing "In the Act" (by Montgomery Scott) with Margie, and I hope to extract more performance material from him in the future.

9/27/2009 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Adam B said...

P.S. When Mirri (I think) went up to Evan (who was "dead") and moved his hand from his chest down to his crotch before leaving the stage -- that was hilarious. Was that written, or just inspired?

P.P.S. I'm going to shut up now.

9/27/2009 2:03 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

Adam. That was in the script. Originally she was supposed to put his hand on the other guy in a funny and inappropriate manner but they fell too far apart.

9/27/2009 3:27 PM  
Blogger luke said...

I was pretty gross feeling Friday so most of the show was over my head and beyond me but here are some things I remember and would like to comment on.

Anything with words I tuned in and out of, so if I had to follow along it was a lost cause.

Alaynna was performing so strongly. She should come back to the show and do that again.

I stepped out to go to the bathroom and get a drink of water during why men don't wash their hands and Theresa's show. I figured I was a man so I would know why I don't wash my hands, but I didn't know that it would be so short that I would miss the next piece. Oh well.

I think what Eric wanted to have happen for actor's telephone is a game that Paperback Rhino plays. I don't think anybody else knew that though. It always works out fine for PBR though.

I think James S Roth should take a red pen and try crossing off every word that isn't an operative word. Make it into Hulk talk. James write story. No Fluff. and then add in only words that are really juicy. juicy like fat maggots feeding off three day dead, puss pulsing eyeballs forgotten on the side of the road where people only go if they're teens looking to have sex or if they're those same teens a few years later looking for a place to ditch their meth labs.

I think I've enjoyed everything I've ever seen Adam Burton perform in or bring to a show. Thanks Adam

the HAT thing reminded me of Dora. Everybody loves Dora. I really had the urge to say "It's behind you!" even though I didn't know what was going on. I mean. It's ALWAYS behind Dora. Maybe it's always behind Katy too!

David Route. See James' note. Moving is effective only when it has purpose, and I don't think you needed to move more than a few times. Referring to people with gender identity issues as "it things" isn't nice. They're people too. I think it would seem more odd that god would have 1000 arms than what kind of genitalia god had. This piece also needed levels. You started with the exact same energy you ended with.

Sorry for being a Grumpy Guss. I think I'm in a mood.

I'll bring something to perform next week. Promise

9/27/2009 5:29 PM  
Blogger evan schenck said...

Hey, guess what, I am really happy about how No-Shame is going. Good pieces are getting done, good numbers of people are coming to the show, this is all great. I hope it continues along this vein.

A review by Evan Schenck +4.

Eli said,
"-This was pretty funny though it seemed that the audience took a while to figure out it was a comedic piece. I don't know who's fault that is but needless to say I liked it."

Okay, the thing about this piece is that its first title, the working title, was, This Piece is Not a Metaphor, by which I meant everything in the piece actually was a metaphor. The comedy comes from the fact that you just have to laugh because you can't stand to cry, when you think about the 19th century.

2) An Appropriate Amount of Sex and Violence
by Mirri


I loved this song. I've heard it performed before but it seems like rehearsal and performance has let Mirri iron out the nervousness and the polish came through; her ability as a musician and writer came through. The rhythm was good and the lyrics were great. I think this might be my favorite song of Mirri's.

3) In the Act
by Montgomery Scott


In a night of good pieces, this was the best. Performance and writing, both sterling. I think the particular talent that No-Shame most lacks at the moment is stage presence and acting. I've seen Adam Burton, I've seen Margie Dubé, I've seen Michael Tabor, and I've seen Chris Stangl. I'm not sure we have anybody like that right now. Experienced and explosive actors would help NoShame a great deal, I think. If I'd known this piece was going to rock so hard I would have opened or closed the show with it.

4) Bonjour mon chere~!
by Alaynna


This leads me into my review of this piece, which is that I concur with others in that the writing was good, better than most, but what really delivered the piece was the acting. Alaynna sold the shit out of it. Come back if it pleases you to be adored!

5) A CSI Remake of a Childhood Classic
by Chicken & Biscuits


From the stage I felt like this actually went pretty well, but what do I know? When you're alone, writing a piece, it's hard to know how something will be received. Last Friday's show was kind of intense and sexually charged; on a different night this piece might have done better. I added a couple of CSI flourishes in the physical sense. Part of what makes CSI work as a TV show is the constant cuts; I dare you to watch any CSI series and find a shot that last three seconds before cutting to a different shot.

5.5) Why Most Men Don't Wash their Hands
by Oliver Coselaff


Last minute revision pays off in the end. David, in spite of the weird, intense way you were staring at me and silently rebuking my criticism, can you deny that I was right about the gag?

6) Theresa puts on a show
by A. Theresa


This was a wonderful, hilarious, sexy, brave piece. Excellent.

7) Actors' Telephone
by Eric Jesteadt


I think I liked this piece more than most people did. I liked being in it, anyway. Part of the way that Improv Troupes are able to get their performances together is that they practice; so a random selection of people who have to figure it out in five minutes won't produce good improv.

7.5) Some Redneck Tomfoolery
by Penny


A terrible piece that I and every other sensible, sensitive person loved. Penny, whoever you are, please send more.

9/29/2009 12:46 AM  
Blogger evan schenck said...

8) William Walker (1824-1860)
by James S. Roth


I liked this piece more than most people would like it because I know who William Walker was and what he did. I have two pieces of advice for James S. Roth, (1) if he intends to pursue history as a career and wants to be an Americanist then he should find a good niche and (2) be less referential because you and me and maybe one other person knew what you were talking about.

9) Adam and Jeremy
by Samantha Tucker Iacovetto


A cute piece, and topical in light of the ongoing national furor over whether we should let people live as who they are or discriminate against them because they were born different. Also, if you thought Adam Burton was married you should have checked his Facebook, genius. All important events in human experience are cataloged therein.

9.5) "Hat"
by Katy Baggs


She found it. It was her baseball hat! How do I praise the woman I sleep next to without it sounding obligatory? Katy is maybe the best performer at No-Shame right now. She does so well on stage.

10) God Does not Play Dice with the Universe
by Herr Böhr, Einstein, Fermi, Maxwell, Planck, et al.


I think people have already criticized this piece to the extent that it needs to be criticized, and I agree with their assessments, so I'm just going to point out the details that I think are worth preserving. Basically, David has an awareness of science and a feel for science fiction that should be developed. I think he has a good sense for that stuff. Science fiction pieces can be really good; during the doldrums of last year Katy Baggs did a couple of awesome sci-fi pieces (about the breakfast sphere and the engineer and pilot) that were really great, so there's definitely room for that kind of stuff to succeed. So for David I would recommend a kind of peer review; try to get your friends and others to review your pieces and send you comments, No-Shame pieces are never more than five pages long, so it's not too much to ask your friends to do. And when you perform it, stick to your guns and don't go off-script. A monologue can benefit from a bit of ad-libbing in consideration of the audience but if you try to compose a whole new thing you risk getting hung up on something you never thought about. More than one person winced about the "he/she/it" line that was repeated in the piece. Running stuff by somebody before you do it is just good practice; practically every piece I do is read by a couple of people before it gets performed.

11) Alcoholics Anonymous
by Mirri


I liked this piece. It was evocative and squalorous, a little rap about the twin horrors of ignorance and sloth.

Also, where did this shit about the character limit per post come in? Fuck you, Blogger! Go fuck a goat, you shit! Is this something that can be fixed administratively or is a constraint of the software?

9/29/2009 12:47 AM  
Blogger ERIC L. said...

A long-standing No Shame tradition continues: I miss the female nudity. Why does this always to happen? Is it karma or a conspiracy? Do you all wait until you're sure I'm not coming and then pull out your naked pieces, or does God not want me looking at nude women onstage? I have seen more penises at No Shame than breasts (3-0 at this point), and while there was one occasion where I saw female genitalia, I know I missed at least one if not two or three more instances of that. I'm not a pervert; I just think it is a challenge for women to exhibit their nude/semi-nude bodies onstage without it being entirely about sex, and if a woman is able to do something with nudity that works on a more than superficial level, I feel it is a creative accomplishment. I would simply like the opportunity to see women take those kind of chances onstage at No Shame, and I get a little upset when I miss it. Plus, even if the piece fails, I still get to see live boobies.

9/29/2009 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE BOOBIES!!!!!!!

9/29/2009 2:57 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

Eric, the next show you come to I am going to whip it out and flaunt it. Just watch me.

9/29/2009 5:36 PM  
Anonymous David Rout said...

Evan,

What the menstrual fuck are you going on about? You mean my way of trying to tell you that you weren't telling me anything I didn't already know?

With the "All-of-her clothes-off" piece, I knew it was a stretch; hence the revision. You weren't right because that thought wasn't yours originally, to begin with. It was mine, and ergo I was right. I don't see how you fit into that equation.

However, I do not know at all what you mean by the line, "silently rebuking my criticism," which is what I said "what the menstrual fuck" to. Can you help me understand what you meant by it?

10/02/2009 3:01 PM  
Blogger evan schenck said...

"With the "All-of-her clothes-off" piece, I knew it was a stretch; hence the revision. You weren't right because that thought wasn't yours originally, to begin with. It was mine, and ergo I was right. I don't see how you fit into that equation."

I don't see how I fit into the equation either, largely because it doesn't make any sense. It isn't really possible for my thought to have been derivative of yours because I didn't read your mind before voicing my concern about the piece not working (I could have, but didn't). You may have some luck thinking about it in terms of a second, disinterested opinion confirming a suspicion that you already had but did not act on, or maybe you won't. Whatever.

If I was somehow in error in assuming a causal relationship between my offering input on your piece and your later making a revision that addressed the problem I pointed out, then I guess I apologize.

"Can you help me understand what you meant by it?"

The ordinary result to my giving somebody input on a piece is a short, good-natured conversation about that piece, after which they either change the piece or don't. Your reaction to my input, which began with you staring at the space behind my eyeballs and continues in the post above, was and is pretty atypical by those standards. I'm not complaining. Everybody is entitled to their own personal style.

P.S.-
Is that actually David Rout or is it just another blog troll attack? Both?

10/03/2009 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What the menstrual fuck are you going on about? You mean my way of trying to tell you that you weren't telling me anything I didn't already know?

With the "All-of-her clothes-off" piece, I knew it was a stretch; hence the revision. You weren't right because that thought wasn't yours originally, to begin with. It was mine, and ergo I was right. I don't see how you fit into that equation.

However, I do not know at all what you mean by the line, "silently rebuking my criticism," which is what I said "what the menstrual fuck" to. Can you help me understand what you meant by it?"

Wow dude. Just take the fucking criticism and grow from it. No one is attacking you. We all have duds. It happens. Get over it. Use the experience to improve.

10/05/2009 3:41 PM  
Anonymous David Rout said...

Dearest Anonymous,

Don't take this the wrong way, brah, but do kindly remove yourself from this conversation. Your lack of grasp on the subject cannot be more outlined than by your clichéd bits of wisdom you must have felt weren't long enough to be a post by themselves, since you decided to quote my post (incorrectly) directly.

In short: there is no "fucking criticism" to take. I have been holding the bridge of my nose in my hand ever since this debacle started because, for the life of me, things will always play out how they do and I cannot change that. What Evan has failed to notice from the beginning is no concern of yours.

Shoo.

10/05/2009 11:14 PM  
Anonymous David Rout said...

Evan,

Thank you. It is as I expected from the beginning. Your yes-and-no, off-and-on thinking lead you to believe that you had somehow squashed some of my "hope" for the piece, thereby causing me to revise it (perhaps out of spite?). This is blatantly incorrect. I was already considering paths to revision when it was called to my attention that my piece's spot in the line-up was in contention, and for it to stay in the line-up, I had to see you about it.

The intense staring you mentioned earlier was a vital clue, a link to what I was trying to tell you: I knew. Already, I knew. I knew all of this that you had said, as it had been brought to my attention already. It was all old hat wrapped in a shiny, silver band by the time it came to me by your mouth.

However, I have never found a socially-acceptable way of communicating my awareness of such things to others, as all past attempts tend to do is lead to a giant, filthy mess, quite like this one. I'm sorry I didn't act like a know-it-all sooner.

Face it, Evan. You stole my thought right out of my head. If I had copyrighted it, you would have owed me royalties. It's okay, though. There's no such thing as original thought anyway.

Cheerfully,
David Rout

10/05/2009 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about we quit talking about this show and move on to the next show? Where's the order?

10/06/2009 8:30 AM  
Blogger luke said...

David,

Next time try "Thanks Evan, I was just thinking the same thing." It works for me every time.

Luke.

PS: What you got against menstruation anyway?

10/06/2009 5:09 PM  

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