Last night’s house = 13. 4 patrons, 5 comps, a critic, our house manager, and the director. Still, a great show.
Tonight’s house = 3. ZERO patrons and 3 critics. Jose Solis / Talkin Broadway, Michael Sommers / Village Voice, David Kaufman / Theater Scene. It’ll be like a 90-minute audition for drama school. One that isn’t taking on any new students. Well, maybe one, if you’re really lucky.
I’ve never been in a show where the pre-show buzz is so good but the sales are so bad. People from whom I have not heard in decades are messaging me about how excited they are for this show. Each time I bump into people in real life they tell how excited they are for this show. Whenever we post about the show there are often several comments from people telling how excited they are for the show. I’ve never done a show where so many people use the word “excited” to describe their feelings about it.
Not sure what we need to do to get people to come. My close friends tell me not to worry. That people wait to the last minute to get their tickets.
Erez pointed out that I’m not famous and the show isn’t about sex or beer. But we do serve beer in the theater. Right there in the audience. And they take plastic. I will not become famous by 7pm tonight and the show isn’t going to be changed to be about sex.
I can’t think of a subject that would be of more interest to people who see or do this work.
Last night one of the Show Score comps seemed to love the show. I know because she was the only person on the front row. She sat with her feet on the stage and smiled up at me all night. Whenever I looked back I smiled on the inside while I thought about the story of Katharine Hepburn stopping in the middle of a play, walking downstage, kicking a person’s legs, and saying, “Don’t you ever put your feet on my stage again!” before walking back up to her spot and resuming her dialogue. The SSC spoke with Aimee after the show and said she went expecting it to be a one-person show about a critic reviewing plays in front of the audience. She said both performers were good enough to do a solo show and that while she really enjoyed the show, she isn’t sure what she is going to tell people. It wasn’t what she expected.
I didn’t think this is what we’d be dealing with but ok.
Fortunately, we also had Barry and Catherine from Peculiar Works Project serving as Captains of the Audience. Laughing where the laughs are and helping the audience understand what they are seeing. We went out after the show and had a great time sharing stories. They have lived alongside a lot of the history in this. This is more of what I was expecting. This is what it was designed to do.
I know it’s been 4 years since I’ve created a piece like this. A generation and a half of indie theater people has turned over in that time. I know I’m not famous. I have about 12 people who come to see anything I do. Plus about 100 people who follow what I am doing online and tell me how great it is without experiencing it in person. I’ve gone from being a critic’s darling to dividing critics. I think I took a hiatus to figure out the missing ingredient. It wasn’t until this week that I figured out what it is. Part of it is explained in the show. Part of it was in the doing of the show. The joy of embracing life no matter how busy you are or what is thrown in your way. That isn’t going to translate to people showing up tonight.
Other than that, the show is going great. We’ve had one boisterous audience and one intimate audience. Marisol and I are having a great time performing this either way. I had a couple wordburgers last night but in the course of 90 minutes with my foot on the pedal, that’s bound to happen. A friend playing Hamlet years ago described it as the demon coming up in a different place each night. Last night, my line “You are like Daniel Day-Lewis in this character, you do not stop. Sir!” Came out “Robble robble de Lewis.Comma splot sir!” A little unfortunate but a sign of relaxing into the piece. They say don’t go on stage with animals or babies. Well, she’s like a cheetah. She said I’m like a laser last night, despite mouth meltdown I just described. Maybe if we add some Pink Floyd we could sell the laser and cheetah show.
I’m going to go to the gym and rest for most of the day so I can be ready to give what I can tonight to whoever turns up. Or not.
The exterminator provided by the building’s management just came for the monthly application of whatever it is that comes in the tube they squirt into the hinges of the cabinets. “I just need you to spell your last name for our records.” “Har…cum.” “M, sir?” “Ehmmm, yes.” That look came over his face I’ve seen often since middle school where they think I shouldn’t go around with a name like this or I should at least add the missing letter “d.”
Maybe if I did, it would sell more tickets.