Thursday, May 19, 2005

Hate Corporations

But LOVE corporate credit cards! That goes doubly true in fine dining situations.

I went to see a friend's one woman show last night at the Comedy Central Stage. She was, as I'd heard from many people, really good. It was a genuinely entertaining one person show.

I say that because "really good" and "one person show" are almost never used in the same sentence. And in Los Angeles, it seems, everyone feels compelled to do a one-woman show at some point in time. Similarly, everyone in Los Angeles has been invited to these shows and I can tell you it's never a comfortable moment when someone you thought was merely a cubicle buddy, an occasional lunch partner, hands you that high-gloss postcard with her picture on the front sporting a ridiculous expression that just screams "I think I'm Wonderful and Different!" And on the other side of the card you get the rest of the information you need: date, time and the name of a theater you've never heard of that seats 20 in a questionable section of town where there's a fifty percent chance your car could be stolen if you park it on the street, or a forty percent chance if you use the valet.

You always hope beyond hope that the show will be good, or if not good, that there might be one scene or moment that made you laugh or almost cry. Because when the show is over you have to wait around for your friend to emerge from backstage, and when she does, you need to have something to say about the disaster you just saw. Unfortunately, "That was really interesting" can no longer be used because everyone knows that it's code for "you suck". And I always hate to lie, but sometimes I do because I'm put on the spot and my mind goes blank, and I muster an borderline enthusiastic, "Funny!" and nod my head. Nothing else to say. These events are awkward for everybody, but it's a torture one has to live with in this city. So it's refreshing to go out and see a good one, like Sharon's, who's funny and can also act.

I have yet to go through this rite of passage, but have been thinking about it a little bit. A tiny bit. I've decided that if I do my own show, I will have an emotional stunt double step in for me during scenes that require any kind of emotional honesty. I'll handle the rest, but I just need someone to make my pain seem important to others. But first I have to figure out what those scenes would be...

So after the show a group of us went to the restaurant Cafe des Artistes. It's a great little French restaurant in Hollywood that has a lovely outside patio. But the best part of the evening, aside from visiting with friends, was that the entire evening was paid for by a major corporation, courtesy of someone's corporate credit card. That meant pinot noir and fois gras for everyone. C'est formidable!

Wow. I went a long way just to get to the corporate card part.

58 comments:

Butternut said...

That reminds me, I still have to expense my business trip. Mmmm... Crème Brûlée . I hate French spelling.

I thought you already did a one-woman show? Does stand up count? Or is it not pretentious enough? I did a couple one man shows, called Best Man Speeches. Yuck.

Here are some phrases you can use when the performance isn't up to par.
"You really fueled my angst."
"That seemed like two shows in one!"
"That was so real."

Behm-Azis said...

I also thought you did your own show? Or do you mean more of a HBO, or Comedy Central all about you thing? That'd be pretty tight. What would your MO be? Do you know what direction it would take like the emotions that you talk about, would you come with the real? I think you should come with the real and let it hit home. To me the funniest comedy is the kind that I can relate too because I'm sitten there talkin about "yea that's me and my brothers!"

I haven't thought about a career in comedy but I'm currently "attempting" to write a book about my life and I've got some pretty funny and unbelievable stories about me and my brothers. Who knows what'll happen, success I hope. Peace

Laura Swisher said...

One person shows are usually more theatrical and "deep" than stand-up, and that's why bad one person shows are worse to sit through than bad stand-up.

I've only done stand-up on TV (aside from hosting and other bit things).

Antonio Gramsci said...

Well, there's a serious chance that you may be offered a stand-up spot in San Francisco in support of NPACH. A big theater, I'm guessing bigger than a "bit thing." I hope you accept it, because if there's one thing the affordable housing movement needs, it's more rape jokes and "4/19" humour.

(I really did enjoy the "get your bleep out of my bleep" joke, I'm not kidding.)

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