Friday, November 20, 2009

Let It Snow Week 1, Performance 1

The show was a lot of fun last night and probably one of our best first performances of a run. The audience seemed to really enjoy it. (You can read a lovely email one of them sent me here.) I ran the opening and interviewed the audience member about the town. In the middle of it I realized I’d never done the opening of Let It Snow before and really had no idea what questions I was supposed to be asking, but I think I faked it pretty well. We got some good feedback during the talkback session after the show about what types of questions to ask. Very helpful.

The town was Vero Beach, FL. Here’s the official blurb:

The Same but Different – Thursday 11/19/2009
After finally asking Mary (Alyssa) out on a date to the Holiday Parade, Chet (Alan) gets conflicting advice from his friends Max (Bryce) and Carl (Dave) on how to treat women. Meanwhile Mary takes advice from her cougar mother (Karen) and octogenarian surfer father (Bryce). Watch your step in Vero Beach, FL (pop. 16,939) where the old folks still have lots of pep!

Things were very relaxed backstage throughout the entire show. No one was panicking about what should happen next or how we were going to get out of some hole we’d just dug for ourselves. The show itself was also very relaxed and character driven. For the first time ever, we had a show without enough plot. We just needed a little something else to happen to bring in a little more conflict and dramatic tension.

Why was there so little tension? Largely because of a split second decision I made in the first scene. Alyssa and I quickly became the protagonists and love interests in that first scene. After establishing that I’d been working up to asking her out to the Holiday Parade for two years, and singing a song about how I needed to ask her, I had to decide: Do I chicken out at the end of the song and make the show about asking her out, or do I just ask her out at the end of the song? Not wanting to bridge, I asked her out at the end of the song, and immediately felt the giant sucking sound of the plot flying out the window.

That is the sweet spot I need to find: when bridging isn’t bridging, but building tension. Still, personally I’m overjoyed that we finally went too far away from plot. Now we can pull back the other way and hopefully find the sweet spot.

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