Sunday, February 28, 2010

No Shame Iowa City 2-26-10

Order in the comments guys!

Labels:

21 Comments:

Blogger Katy Baggs said...

1. A Song for Bob Dylan by Nick and Al

2. An Evening with Laughtrack

3. With Kjai by Alaynna

3.5. Pop Culture Moment Part 1 by James S. Roth

4. Dicks by Fish and Chips

5. An Evening with Laughtrack Part 2

6. Shank You Very Much by Morgan Miller

6.5. A Scathing Indictment of the Medical Industry by Calvin

7. Here Comes Success by evn skenk

7.5. Fill Me Up, Buttery Crescent Roll by Penny

8. Balloons Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time by Asher Stuhlman

9. An Evening With Laughtrack Part 3

9.5 No Patient Parking by UI Hospital Parking Ramp IV

9.75 Swear Jar by Katy Baggs

10. Into The Eye: The Contemporary Poet's Tragedy by the Contemporary Poet

11. An Evening With Laughtrack Part IV

11.5. Pop Culture Moment Part 2 by James S. Roth

12. An Evening With Laughtrack Part V

13. Adventures with Captain Buttplug by Dr. Mondo Buttplug (no relation)


(piece numbers changed to reflect actual piece length - now review, everyone!)

2/28/2010 10:12 PM  
Blogger LSK said...

1: I liked this a lot. The poem was memorable, but the best part was how the drumming kept the energy up.

2, 5, 9, 11, 12: One stand-up piece a night is about all I can take. It's not that they're bad, but I go to No Shame for No Shame humor, not stand-up humor.

3: Is this a true story?

3.5, 11.5: Very well done. I maintain my comment that these should be weekly.

4: dick sea cup

6: NOTE: Not a scientific survey.

6.5: I love this sort of piece.

7: don't remember

7.5: I'm not sure what to make of this.

8: Well, they did.

9.5: I'm impatient already! Wait. That doesn't work.

9.75: I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

10: don't remember

13: Not as endearing as some of the good Doctor's pieces have been, but still pretty amusing.

2/28/2010 10:59 PM  
Blogger Katy Baggs said...

OOH WAIT WAIT: ALSO

10.5 Charlie Haystack Something Blues by the Poet Lady

I liked this, but does anyone have a full piece title and author name for this piece?

2/28/2010 11:44 PM  
Blogger Katy Baggs said...

I mean she was hanging out with Alayn(n)a but I didn't catch her name

2/28/2010 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Jjaro said...

1) I couldn't get into this one, but that's only because I haven't had the Bob Dylan experience. Make something that relates more to me, personally, dammit!

2) Well, fuck. I'm not sure which one this is. It'd be nice if there were some explanation as to which one this was, like a sentence or something, but there isn't, so, oh well!

3) Shit, I don't remember this one either. If only the order had been up the same night, when it was fresh in my mind!

3.5) The whole audience giggled. They're bad people. They laughed at dying kids! Who does that? Bad people, that's who!

4) Ha ha ha! Two girls calling each other dicks, talking like they have them! Oh, the hilarity!

5) Again, not sure which one this was. Also, it's mentionable, how much of the show was dominated by Laughtrack. I wonder if they had to pay extra for it.

6) This was akin to the creative thoughts I was having when I was in first grade. Way to go!

6.5) Was he supposed to be old? I'm sorry, I couldn't tell. He had no gray hairs anywhere!

7) Oh Evan. If there's any more proof of your idiocy, I do not know it. It was cute, though, the way you thrashed about. But I saw through you. I seen the truth. It set me free. Thank you.

7.5) Penny is refreshing by being unusual. Enough said.

8) The crowd wasn't into this; maybe there wasn't enough drinking or sex involved. I wonder just what it would have taken to make them riot. Stick to the clichés, my friend!

9) Was this the one with the guy breathing in and out a lot? Or was this the Jack Black ripoff? I'm not sure which.

9.5) This was forced and predictable. Do better.

9.75) Again, creative ideas I had in first grade, claimed by other people as their own. Makes me sad. Aim higher, Katy!

10) I don't remember this one. Be more memorable!

10.5) Poetry is hard to do at No Shame because you're expecting your audience to think and they're just not going to do it. Dumb it down, if you do come back.

11) Okay, was this the guy with the fake puke who fooled have the audience? Who do you think you are, Dimitri Martin?

11.5) Amusing delivery. How do you keep that serious face? Should have been longer.

12) See all above complaints concerning Laughtrack. Also, as comedians, you aren't that good. You don't know what you're doing, and you haven't picked a personal style yet! Be *you*!

13) This was terribly clichéd. I couldn't gauge the audience's reaction due to all the pain I was in.

3/01/2010 12:32 PM  
Blogger luke said...

I don't want to do a full review because I was in the booth and couldn't really hear a lot of things or see everything all that well. Here are some of my thoughts from the show.

@ the laugh track people: Stand up comedy tends to not do well at No Shame Theatre. No Shame lends itself more to performances with things for all the senses, and doesn't have the time allowance for the audience to go somewhere with the comedian. I don't mean to say that it can't be done. You can do whatever you like. If you want to do stand up though, I'd take a hint from Adam Winters' performance, and be there in the moment. Stuff that is prerehearsed/mightaswellberecorded doesn't work well with a live audience.

Also. I'm okay with making a mess on the stage @ No Shame, but if you want to do it, ask to go last or have a cleanup plan so we don't have to stop the show for a few minutes while I pick up your damn pasta. Everybody gets bored. I get fake vomit on the light board. It's just not worth the gag.

I liked the Bob Dylan but it could have been 1/2 or 2/3 as long.

Thanks Evan for bringing down the lights at the time you did with the balloon thing. It had run its course.

Good stage presence Alaynna. I couldn't really hear up in the booth, but I'm sure that stuff that rhymed with Kjai was wonderful.

Poet Lady who is friends with Alaynna: Thank you for doing something with some substance. I know you might have felt out of place, what with having no dicks in your piece at all, but I assure you I would like to see some more performers like you peppered into the show. Thanks again.

Let's try fewer .5 punchlines? kthx!

3/01/2010 2:22 PM  
Blogger luke said...

Jjaro, remember that you aren't entitled to a good show every week (or at all). You're only spending $1. And if you want, you can make 5 minutes of the show good by bringing in your own quality work.

Try leading by example instead of pissing on other people under the cover of anonymity on the blog.

3/01/2010 2:53 PM  
Blogger luke said...

I guess I misspoke. I like the .5's I don't like the dead space between the .5's.

3/01/2010 3:37 PM  
Blogger ERIC L. said...

I wasn't at the show but have some thoughts on standup and poetry at No Shame:

Standup is really difficult to do well at No Shame because of the time constraints. It takes a couple minutes to get an audience primed and by then you've used half your time. Some people try to do 3-5 minutes on a single topic and others try to throw in as many rapid-fire one-liners as they can. Personally, I think it's better to stick with a theme so that it comes off more like a monologue. Plus, since a full standup set is usually divided into several bits addressing different topics, a person can come back each week to fine-tune one part of their act rather than trying to cram a full set into five minutes.
It was pointed out that people don't come to No Shame for standup, and I agree to a large extent. No Shame has evolved as a sketch-based and experimental venue so that more people have more chances to try new things. Standup is individual and rarely experimental, and the fixed dynamic of one comic telling joke after joke while everyone else just sits there creates a more passive atmosphere. It is No Shame THEATRE, and standup isn't very theatrical in my opinion. Again, monologues and storytelling work fine at No Shame, and standup can be based around stories and monologues. I just think that traditional joke-punchline standup doesn’t really work at this particular venue. Feel free to prove me wrong though.

As for poetry at No Shame, I like it a great deal, and I take umbrage with comments that it doesn’t work because the audience is “just not going to think.” It’s true that most people come to No Shame for comedy, but first of all, comedy does require thought, and second, a serious poem or monologue can be really effective because it is such a change of pace from the usual No Shame fare. It can be really daunting to perform poetry in a comedy-heavy venue, and I applaud anyone with the courage to do it. It takes real commitment to the material because a poet can’t fall back on the “yeah, I know this is stupid, isn’t it funny how stupid this is” trope that comedians sometimes do. The No Shame audience DOES want something other than dick and fart jokes all night, and poetry is a different kind of performance art that can and should have a place at No Shame.

A note to all commentators on this blog: We should share our honest opinions here, and if you think something sucked, say so. But at least say what sucked about it so that performers can glean something worthwhile from your comments. The whole purpose of this blog and No Shame as a whole is for us to help each other develop as writers and performers. Just dumping on somebody gives them no assistance or incentive to come back and do better next time. I try to make my comments specific and helpful, and I hope that everyone else will be good enough to do the same.

3/02/2010 8:22 AM  
Blogger Katy Baggs said...

Yeah, Landuyt had some good points up there. Oh, and the reason there was so much Laughtrack in the show was that I was handed five tiny slips of paper with an almost identical title, so I assumed they were a series of .5s with an arc and I threw them in. They turned out to be five full-length pieces, but at least they were five different performers. Nervous guy with the notebook, the second guy, was my favorite. He was screamingly funny. Maybe I preferred it because it was the least "standuppy" and came off more as a character piece.

I just want to take a minute to reiterate another, unspoken-at-the-top-of-the-show rule: we really prefer that you only bring in one piece a night. In longer shows we want a variety of people performing, and in shorter shows it at least prevents a night from leaning too heavily on one writer/performer. I give a pass on this sometimes, like if someone has two .5s that are related, or if someone can come up with another piece if the order only has 7 or so pieces, but we want to hold to it a lot of the time, so...bring an amount of content equalling a full piece for a show, I suppose.

I don't have anything to say about dick and fart jokes vis-a-vis other kinds of material other than to repeat what's already been said, which is that of course it's awesome when people write something different, or push themselves to be more ambitious, and we liked the poetess and hope she comes back.

But I want to say this: I like dick and fart jokes. If a dick and fart joke is clever, well-written, surprises me, and has something new to say in matters of dicks and/or farts, I will defend it. But there is a definite difference in tone between that kind of joyful vulgarity (and the occasional nudity) and the shocking-for-the-sake-of-being shocking humor that is more mean-spirited. Rape jokes and the like. You're free to come onstage and put on a "retard voice" and tell us how your girlfriend is a nagging bitch, or perform a monologue where you call a gay character a "faggot" like twenty times and joke about him getting raped (by a moose!) and we won't stop you because we don't censor people. But it generally makes the audience feel icky and uncomfortable instead of feeling entertained. Just take this as another observation on how what kinds of material tend to be received at No Shame.



omg i just typed vis-a-vis who do i think i am a library

3/02/2010 10:47 AM  
Blogger Katy Baggs said...

oh also nobody said "retard voice" in the show

i used the term to get across the tone of the humor but i will not put the word in someone else's mouth when they did not use it

a difference of scare quotes and quote quotes internet is insufficient sometimes

3/02/2010 11:05 AM  
Blogger ERIC L. said...

I commend your use of "vis-a-vis", Katy. I hope we all start using more words like "verbatim", "dichotomy", and "ergo ad-hoc."

3/02/2010 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Snot Nosed said...

Show me your bum-hole Jjaro! I'll show you mine! We terrorists of this blog must unite our bum holes!

3/03/2010 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snotnosed and Jjaro can unite and summon Captain Asshole

3/04/2010 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Jjaro said...

Correction: 'half' in place of 'have.' You know the one.

@luke: Oh, but I am! I'm entitled to every piece equaling its own sense of perfection; I demand the order represent a clever mosaic, like hundreds of cells striving for synergy; I want the light booth to know how people get hurt when taking steps in the dark. You know that now, don't you?

Nevermind.

Is that so much to ask? I think not, being a critic! If I'm being too critical, then your skin isn't thick enough.

(Or your skull too much so; see past the first path, find the second, see past the second to the third, go till there's no more, then make a path all your own)

//out

@ERIC: you can't spell 'umbrage' without RAGE! I'm outraged, myself, having been following you folks for some time. Seems most people in the audience simply shrug off the heavy shells. Seems like they've got it backwards! Then again, not everyone can be blessed (?cursed) with understanding.

Empirically, the audience loves trite, shallow things. Peer into a pool of puke and see your reflection! Are we, after all, not peers just for the reviewin'?

Who are we to deny them what they want? Don't we, after all, write for them?

//out

@Katy: It should be obvious by now just what I was doing with my supposed critique. I'm not going to be around all your life to help you; you're going to have to learn to do it yourself.

See what terrors come from assuming things? You should, from here on out, assume you're wrong, that it's unclear, and you ought to seek out clarity. I mean, why shouldn't you?

By my powerful observations, you systematically weed out anyone who might make your audience uncomfortable, and you do so in such a cloak-and-dagger manner. That's censorship. But it's fine. I mean, what evil has ever come from that?

I won't blame you for your lack of experience, though. You are, after all, just a kid.

//out

@Snot Nosed: You're cute. Look how you thrash about! If I could, I'd pat you on your head, you two-year-old child, you! *smooch*

Too bad my dad n mum would never approve of you. Oh well, have to keep looking…

//out

@A non-isthmus: The only thing I'll ever summon is/are the W'rkncancter. But only if you beg for mercy. Begging For Mercy Makes Me Angry!

///out

3/04/2010 10:17 AM  
Blogger evan schenck said...

Previous blog trolls were at least funny. This is just boring and sad. I mean, a xanga member? Seriously?

3/04/2010 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Snot Nosed said...

I'm bored by this. Do better.

3/04/2010 6:07 PM  
Blogger ERIC L. said...

Jjaro,
Are you saying we should pander to the audience by doing only shallow pieces or go to the opposite extreme with work that alienates them? You claim, “Empirically, (they) love trite, shallow things” and we “write for them.” Yet you also complain that, “by your powerful observations,” Katy (or is it the board? Or the audience?) is clandestinely censoring No Shame by forcing out performers who do something different. What is the actual problem?
You may or may not remember (depending how long you’ve been “following us folks”) the Michael Tabor-Jake Gontero-Jamal River group that used to perform at No Shame. They managed to be both trite and alienating by doing things purely for their own amusement, like calling No Shame “Big Butt Theatre” and making fart noises for five straight minutes. They also complained that the board was out to get them, but their gripe was that No Shame was TOO serious and pretentious (in those days, there were two to four serious pieces EVERY WEEK). Some people supported them, but the majority of people got sick of their material, and No Shame attendance dropped from standing room only crowds to just a handful of performers and their friends.
The point here is no one stopped those people from performing, even if they displayed a disregard for the audience that bordered on contempt. The board can only reject pieces that violate the rules (none of which address quality), if the order has already been taken and is full, or if a performer already has a piece in, and they have been monumentally lenient on all counts in recent years. The people I mentioned got to do exactly what they wanted to do regardless of whether anyone liked it. People voiced their opinions of it (both at the shows and on this blog), and many quit coming to No Shame because they disliked it so much.
Like it or not, the audience has to be considered because theatre doesn’t work without them. You may want them to laugh or cry or be disgusted or all of the above, but you wouldn’t get up onstage if you didn’t want them to do something. They may not do what you want them to, but if you are passionate about performing, you will try again and find the right way to make it happen. Of course, if all you want is their attention, No Shame makes that easy for you to get. If you’re honestly trying to express yourself and be creative, the audience will respect that even if they don’t particularly like what you do.
This whole situation boils down to a question of intent. Why do you come to No Shame? Why do you perform at No Shame (assuming you do perform), and why do you do what you do? Is it to please other people or yourself? If you perform something that you are satisfied with, great, and if you think the rest of the show is loaded with trite fluff, come back and do something better. One good thing the “Big Butt Theatre” debacle did was push people to write better pieces. The audience may not have loved every single one, but the performers who cared were pushing themselves and each other to raise the bar.
So, Jjaro, and everybody for that matter, make your own pieces as good as they can be. You can do basically anything you want and nobody’s stopping you. If you want some advice or need to bounce ideas around, try talking to the people who have some experience, and maybe we can all learn some things and get better. Or, if you think No Shame sucks and none of your pieces or criticisms will do any good, you can just quit coming to No Shame. Nobody’s stopping you.

3/05/2010 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jjaro was being sarcastic when he said every piece should be perfect and you always write for the audience. But then again, I can’t really tell half the time. Will peering into a pool of puke help us understand clearly what he meant? Or are we thin skinned, thick skulled people not blessed enough? See, I can be sarcastic too!

3/05/2010 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Snot Nosed said...

I have cancer in my bum!

3/05/2010 8:25 PM  
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