Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm Playing the Earl! ...Briefly.

Twinhead Theatre is a scrappy young theatre troupe who've done some interesting shows. They staged a non-Shakespearean Elizabethan play outdoors in nearby Cabbagetown park and Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Routines at Eyedrum--which I also walked to.

Thursday night they'll be having a summer camp-themed fundraiser at The Earl. The program features local band Sorry no Ferrari but includes a campy "talent show" in which I'll be reviving my puppet act from Free Parking and Within the Fringe.

Hope they serve Olde English.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Checkmate Death

Ingmar Bergman has died.

The intense and intensely intimate filmmaker inspired many a comic parody over the years.

Here's my old attempt:

Voice Over: Swedish art film legends Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann for Que Tips!

(Brief silence)

Bibi: … You have a lot of wax in your ear.

(Silence. Then cut to a stark shot of a ticking clock.)

Liv: …What?

(Silence. Cut to a stark shot of someone cutting the head off a chicken. Then of a crucifix.)

Bibi: …You’ve got a lot of wax in your ear!

(Silence. Cut to stark image of another clock ticking.)

Liv: …I’m sorry, I can’t hear. The deafening silence of an empty universe has turned me inward. … Plus, I’ve got a lot of wax in my ears.

(Silence. Cut to stark image of a wheel of Gouda.)

Bibi: … You need to take comfort in love …though it is always fleeting.

(Cut to quick recap of all stark images in an accelerating montage.)

Bibi: And try some Que Tips.


Voice Over: Que Tips. For when you’ve got wax in your ears.

The End

And here's the far superior work of SCTV where Monster Chiller Horror Theater accidentally books Whispers of the Wolf:

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ooph. This Looks Like a Slow Read.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Westbound and Down

"Breaker-breaker. This here's the Saddle Creek. I gotta get this load of Bright Eyes CDs to Texarkana in 48 hours. Any emo-hating smokies in the way? Come on back."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pointless Nonsense

The pianist drove an Oldsmobile Eighty Eight. It was a ’93.

He preferred uprights to grands because they kept him from slouching. He had prepared a piece for prepared piano, but the inserted bent nails, paperclips and newspaper clippings—the composer specified obituaries wrapped around every tenth string—just slid down the upright making Vector in an Indeterminate Key, the piece’s title, sound more like “Buffalo Gals.”

“That was grand,” said the hunchback. “I particularly liked your pedal work. I always judge pianists by how well they use the sustain pedal.”

“Thanks,” said the pianist. “I can’t always reach the pedals when I’m sitting upright. I have to wear lifts.”

“A lot of pianists start off using the sustain pedal well but then they can’t keep it up,” continued the hunchback.

“I found these shoe inserts on an elevator in London,” ignored the pianist.

“I used to love going to recitals while in college back in Indiana,” said the hunchback.

“Notre Dame?" asked the pianist.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oh! Srinigar?!

William Davison-Paxon was one of the original stars of the infamous theatrical revue Oh! Srinigar?! and has just come out with a memoir about his acting career titled An Actor Bares All. He recently sat down with The Self-Abasement tapes for an interview.

The Self-Abasement Tapes: Oh! Srinigar?! was an evening of sketches about sex and sexuality that featured flagrant full-frontal nudity from both the male and female actors. It debuted off-Broadway in the early 1970s and was universally panned as an artistic failure yet ran a record 2,000 performances at the Phallus in the Square Theatre. Let me start by asking why did you agree to do that show?

William Davison-Paxon: Well the short answer is I needed a gig (laughs). But more than that, I looked on it as a challenge both creatively and personally.

S-AT: You had to be nude in front of strangers every night.

WD-P: And Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, yes. Well, all acting is about overcoming inhibition. This was just taking it a little further than the Shakespeare and Chekhov I did at Brigham Young.

S-AT: The sketches were by some of the leading playwrights and cultural figures of the time: Samuel Beckett, Sam Shepard, even Paul Lynde. Why did the critics hate it so much?

WD-P: Well of course it wasn’t their best work. These were just little pieces they had lying around that had never been produced. The Beckett sketch was titled “The Quick, Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog.”

S-AT: How was that staged?

WD-P: A naked actress read it aloud while I wore a pair of fox ears and jumped over another naked actor wearing dog ears.

S-AT: It must be difficult to be in a play you know is badly written, gets horrible reviews, is considered crap by your peers … and you’re nude in it.

WD-P: It was a challenge. But any actor will tell ya, you sometimes learn as much from the bad shows as you do from the good ones--if not more.

S-AT: Well then you certainly must have learned a lot from your next show: Nude Carpenters. It featured another all-nude cast singing Carpenters songs. We’re you a trained singer?

WD-P: No, not at all. I’m terribly embarrassed whenever I have to sing, but … if you want to be in a show like Nude Carpenters ….

S-AT: After that came the shows Naked Line Dancing and People Giving a Toastmasters Speech in the Nude.

WD-P: Yes. A lot of people have a fear of extemporaneous speaking on an assigned topic. And I must admit I’m one of those people.

S-AT: And I imagine being nude at the time might add to the anxiety.

(William shrugs vaguely.)

S-AT: Next you did a show called Naked White Guy Holding Ice Cubes To His Balls While Standing Next to A Naked Black Man. The New York Times called it “pointless degradation.”

WD-P: Ah, well that show was very fulfilling personally. It was the first in which I approached the role using Mamet’s Practical Aesthetics technique rather than Stanislavski’s Method.

S-AT: And that helped?

WD-P: Oh yes, immensely. You see, the Method is so psychological that if you’re not careful it can really do a number on your self-esteem.

S-AT: So then Robert Altman calls…

WD-P: Yes, my idol.

S-AT: And asks you to read for a part…

WD-P: Oh, this is a painful memory. (Laughs.)

S-AT: In his 1987 film O.C. and Stiggs

WD-P: His best.

S-AT: But you blow the audition.

WD-P: Yes, I was terrible.

S-AT: What happened?

WD-P: … Nerves.

S-AT: … So then you go back and do a revival of Oh! Srinigar?!.

WD-P: Yes. This time we did it in the round and with all fluorescent lighting.

S-AT: Then it says here you played “Bottom” online. Was that an Internet production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

WD-P: (Cryptically) … No.

S-AT: Where’s your career at now?

WD-P: Well I guess I’m semi-retired from acting now. The roles seemed to dry up. Luckily I’ve always had a law degree to fall back on. I’d be willing to act again if I was offered a part I felt comfortable with.

S-AT: And what kind of part would it take to get you back on stage?

WD-P: … Just about anything, I guess. Accept a lottery commercial. I have my pride.

S-AT: Well thank you very much.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Only Good Language is a Dead Language

The Pope's really pushing the Latin Mass.

Hey Catholics! Do you love attending mass but find it too accessible and coherent? Tired of seeing your priest's face while he talks? Put off by all those sluts who prance around with their heads uncovered? Try the Tridentine Rite! Never pray in the language of your own thoughts again!

And remember, Catholicism's the only true path to salvation.

So what's hell like Gandhi? You may have sought transcendent spiritual beliefs in the quest for social justice, but you never knelt after the Sanctus.

Enjoying the unquenchable eternal hellfires Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.? You may have taken Christ's teachings as a call to moral purpose but you lack a traceable apostolic succession. Instead, you went to Crozer Theological Seminary. Dipshit.

And hey Anne Frank, you may have captured in honest, personal prose the inexplicable terror of a world given in to fanaticism so evil it calls into doubt any just God's existence, but you never said the rosary. Tough break.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Auditions/Call for Entries

En Garde Gallery invites electronic musicians, composers and sound designers to submit for its upcoming show Blasphony—an exhibit of soundscapes mocking Christ.
E-mail blasphony@gmail.com

English man seeks older Christian comedian to form a double act.
Call David at 770-555-6787. No e-mails please.

The Sunrise Assisted Living Community Orchestra seeks wind players.
E-mail SALCO@aol.com

Urban Vistas Photography seeks stark, existential shots of neon signs made to look all blurry for the upcoming group show Nightscapes.
E-mail info@urbvist.net

Threadbare Boutique seeks minimalist indie craft purses, shawls and cozies.
Contact through www.myspace.com/threadbare

Strata, A Gallery of the Opaque, seeks solids for upcoming show Dirge.
By appointment only.

Older Christian comedian seeks English man to form a double act.
E-mail Danny@christianenglishcomedypatteract.com

Sunday, July 08, 2007

And the Day After That

My never-filmed short film about poetic justice inspired by the life of George Wallace.


The Governor is standing in the doorway and addressing a crowd.


I’m standing here today to take a stand for segregation. And as long as I can stand, I’ll be standing up for segregation. I say segregation today, segregation the next day, and segregation the day after that!

(Crowd Cheers)

Now what do ya say I do the Segregation Two Step? Hit it boys.

Country music plays. The Governor begins to dance.


(Singing) Segregation is the way

Segregation’s here to stay

Let’s all stay segregated



INT. OFFICE – 1987

An older Governor is now in a wheelchair.


I regret some of the things I said. But it was a different time. I am proud that as Governor I introduced free textbooks to our public schools.



The Jews ain’t right. Some of these pointy-headed intellectuals in Washington are trying to tell us that the Jews are o.k. Well they’re not o.k. They’re Jews. And I swear by my right arm that they’re not o.k. And I’ll arm wrestle anyone who thinks otherwise right here and right now!


INT. OFFICE – 1988

The Governor is in a wheelchair and is missing his right arm from above the elbow.


It was a different time.

The Governor adjusts his glasses with his stump.

Some of the positions I took were obviously wrong and I regret them now. But did you know that during my tenure as Governor our state capital was the first in the South to become wheelchair accessible?



The Governor is at a podium.


Homosexuality is an abomination before God. Anybody with two good eyes can see that!


INT. OFFICE – 1990

The Governor now wears an eye patch under thicker glasses.


Well now I still believe that. But I bear no ill will towards anybody. Hate the sin; love the sinner I always say. This here’s my best friend.

The camera pulls back to reveal the Governor’s male nurse seated a few feet away. The nurse is an African-American man wearing a tank top, ear ring, and yarmulke.

He’s my best friend. He takes me everywhere…. To the doctor…and back….

As the Governor talks about and points to his nurse, the nurse gets up, slowly walks to the Governor’s chair, moves the chair about an inch, and awkwardly returns to his seat.

… My best friend.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Two Wrights Make a Wrong

Andrew Wright is an up-an-coming New York comedian who co-hosts one of them inventive, eccentric "alt"-comedy shows I keep wishing Atlanta had. But he's also a UGA alum and cut his teeth doing shows at DT's Downunder in Athens. I remember his DT's sets as smart, clever and with a vibrant urgency that put some of us lifeless pussies to shame.

He's now the aggressor in a blog war with Andrew Wright, Contemporary Artist from Canada. Apparently his eponymous enemy--who measures his penis in centimetres and paints with colour--has a higher ranking on google searches for their common name. I'm all for name-calling and childish taunts, but prefer them directed at a more deserving target than our mild-mannered, bilingual friends to the North.

Still, comic Andrew Wright has the fire in the belly to take his dreams to the big town while I'm still in Georgia and haven't started a pointless, ill-attended show in over a year. (How about a "comedy night" at one of those indie bookstores that always smell like wet cardboard. With comedians who read and some unpretentious, funny writers? We'd only need about 5 folding chairs and a little space over by Gender Theory.)

I'm not sure I cotton to these city ways, but Andrew's a talented young comic and it's nice to see him making noise in the New York scene.

Rock on.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Network Printer

My other sketch to make the recently-closed Free Parking show at Dad's Garage. A modest attempt at something absurdist--not my humor's strong point.

A few weeks after writing it I finally "read" Joseph Heller's epic exploration of absurdity Catch-22. Since I couldn't have been directly influenced by Heller I must've been influenced by his influence the Marx Brothers.

A Werewolf, A Blind Man with a Seeing Eye Dog, A Man Eating a Large Box of Oat Bran and Julie are seated as the Office Manager addresses them.

Office Manager: Mr. Werewolf, Mr. Blind Man with a Seeing Eye Dog, Mr. Man Eating a Large Box of Oat Bran and Julie. Someone in this office has been leaving their, ahem, droppings by the network printer. (Waits a beat) Julie?

Julie: What?

Office Manager: Did you leave droppings by the network printer?

Julie: No. Why would you think it was me?

Office Manager: Well you are the only woman in the office.

Julie: What does that have to do with anything?

Office Manager: Well if it wasn’t you than who else could it be?

Julie: Who else? There’s a werewolf, a blind man with a Seeing Eye dog and a guy eating a box oat bran?

Office Manager: Yes but none of them are women.

Julie: So? You really suspect me more than the dog?

Office Manager: What reason would a dog have to leave his droppings by the network printer?

Julie: ‘Cause that’s what dogs do.

Office Manager: Fine, I’ll ask his owner. Blind Man, did you see your dog leave his droppings by the network printer?

Blind Man: No.

Julie: Well of course he didn’t see the dog do it, he’s blind!

Biffy the Werewolf Shooter enters

Biffy: I’m Biffy the Werewolf Shooter. I’ve been chosen by fate to do battle with the forces of darkness. Specifically werewolves but metaphorically the horrors and anxieties that affect all young women and teens. I’ve got a silver bullet with somebody’s name on it.

She points the gun at Julie.

Biffy Continued: Get ready to say your last aaoooooooo.

Julie: What are you blind? I’m not a werewolf.

Biffy: Well if you’re not who is?

The Werewolf has stood up and walked almost offstage. He’s squatting but his head remains in sight.

Julie: That’s him over there. Taking a dump by the network printer.

Office Manager (To Julie): See what you’ve started?

Biffy aims the gun at the Werewolf then back at Julie. She veers the gun back and forth in confusion.

Biffy: Wh-which one is the werewolf? Which one is the werewolf?

The werewolf nonchalantly howls.

Werewolf: Aaaooooooooo.

Biffy: I just can’t tell!!

Julie: Oh for crissake.

The Werewolf points to the offstage network printer.

Werewolf: By the way, it’s out of toner.

The End