Alturas Comedy Slam


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Since I still don’t feel much like blogging, mostly because I still haven’t finished any books, I did go to the comedy ‘slam’ tonight. Slam there has single quotation marks around it because don’t actually know what slam is supposed to mean in this context.

Anyway, so the Alturas Community Theater is working towards a new sound system, and has hosted a comedy slam for the past four? years, maybe three. As none of the advertisements seem to mention it, I suppose this must be the first as fundraiser for the theater. Next they will be fundraising for a 3D projector, which I didn’t like to hear as I think they could be focusing on, dare I say, more important things, but to a certain extent, I do think 3D is a fad. Or at least I hope it is, because though I’ve never bothered to see a 3D movie myself, I see way too many movies with several overly long, story-irrelevant scenes that are included for nothing more than to show off the 3D.

Apparently, the comedians are pretty famous, at least in certain circles. You may have heard of them. I had never heard of them, because I am part of very few circles, much less ones that can identify comedians. But here are their bios:

Marc Yaffee

…a co-star of Pow Wow Comedy Jam, seen on the Showtime Comedy Special Goin’ Native: The American Indian Comedy Slam. A former writer for George Carlin’s, Marc’s TV credits also include Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, the PBS special, Crossing the Line and the Latino Laugh Festival’s Funny is Funny. Marc has also been heard on Sirius XM, the Bob and Tom show and toured five times overseas entertaining U.S. troops.

Adam Stone

As a Native born member of the 50th state, Adam is constantly mistaken for being a member of other races with similar skin tones. He delights in using this platform to bring people of all races together through the healing art of laughter. Adam has been a regular performer at Harrahs and Catch a Rising Star in Reno. he has been seen at the Improv at Lake Tahoe and he is co-founder and President of Standup United, a charity bringing comedy to people in depressed situations.

Rick D’Elia

Originally from Boston, Rick has been a recurring sketch performer on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno whose keen observational humor & quick wit lead him to the finals in the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Competition. Rick has appeared on other TV shows such as Comedy Central’s Stand-up Stand-up, Comedians Unleashed, Grand Slam Comedy Jam, National Lampoon’s Funny Money and Starz/Encore’s West Coast Comedy. He has headlined clubs all across the county and entertained our troops in Japan, Korea, Italy, Bahrain, and Germany.

I just stole those straight from the program, so…

The show was funny. At least I was laughing, so I’m kinda assuming that as comedians they fulfilled their purpose. What’s that quote? “Explaining humor is like dissecting a frog…” and I forget the punchline. Which is why I’m less than inclined than to try to talk about why the show was funny or anything, and why, I hope, I rather don’t have much to say about it at all.

Of course, this being Alturas, not only did they do what I am assuming is their ‘typical’ routine, but each pointed out how tiny the town is and how tiny the theater and how tiny the audience. It’s too bad they weren’t there for the movie, or they might have realized they had a pretty good turn out. Not that I minded the tiny jokes, though, it’s just that we’ve made them all ourselves before.

Oh, and I forgot that at the end, Rick D’Elia and Adam Stone bantered and sang parodies of popular songs and played guitars as “Hits & Giggles”. They were selling cds and giving 50% proceeds to charity, but I don’t have any money and so had to forgo that further expense. Anyway, for most of their songs they had to share a microphone because the other died. So the general manager-brother jumped on stage and held out the wireless one for Rick. Then Adam got jealous, and other brother come out to hold his. The two comedians found this hilarious. I found that amusement appropriate, as the brothers are pretty much born showmen in their own right.


Crazy, Crazy Day

Swiss house under demolition (so internal stru...

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I pulled myself out of bed promptly at six this morning. So early that the sun wasn’t up yet, nor even the cats—though they did slink around the corners a bit. It’s a nice time, and for once I had the house to myself. This could do wonders for my mental health.

Having a goal made the endeavor far more palatable. Not that it was much of a carrot, it still gave me purpose.

I revised my short story. It’s not a good story, and never was, but hopefully it’s a little better. Got some of the little edits in, playing with paragraphs and sentence structures, that sort of thing. Most importantly, I filled in a sort of missing scene. The story itself had no indication that this scene existed, much less missing, but it builds the step between the ignorant beginning and the “epiphany” of the climax. Nothing quite so grand actually, but it’s far too late after my early morning to remember what the term I want is. Oh, the shame!

Then at 7:40 I got the call to sub. Maybe I planned the early wake up as me time, but it certainly made it possible for me to get to school that quickly. And it was the last day I needed this month to pay the bills.

And at 4:30, my brother and I had to head toward the theater to set up the movie. But brother had locked his keys in the projection room. And when he finally called other brother, he found that the other set of keys was in other brother’s car. Which my mom was driving, since other brother is out-of-state. So we went home. I remembered to pick up my jacket if it got cold again at night (it didn’t) and my glasses to focus the movie. We got back to the theater and brother got started setting up the movie, and my friend came over to hang out since we hardly ever see each other. Brother was kind enough to let me get away with this. Friend and I made fun of a certain book that she had lent me from her sisters’ collection.

Now, we could have finished the day off like this, the three of us: setting up the movie, and watching it (to check for errors of course). Except M.P.A.T. schedules “blocking” (play practice) at the theater on Thursday evenings. I forgot to inquire as to why this is so.

I had to go and walk about on stage while trying to read my lines and several actors not present.

It wasn’t much fun. I’m the only newbie on set; as brother put it, I “haven’t been in a play since kindergarten.” I told him that was a little excessive, because who could count kindergarten pageants plays? Other than possibly parents. Nothing against kindergarteners here. At any rate, I can’t enunciate and I don’t know what to do with myself on stage. As every other person in the cast has, I think, several years experience at least, I found this to be hugely embarrassing. Maybe not hugely. And even ’embarrassing’ doesn’t convey all that much, as I get embarrassed by almost everything. Although at least I can finally spell the word.

We finally cleared out the play paraphernalia (that is to say, the metal folding chairs on stage) about 8:30, at which point brother and I were finally able to eat dinner. An over-backed bake-at-home pizza. It was hot though, and dad delivered honey too, so it was almost palatable.

Brother helped me actually set up the movie—run the film through the projector and flip most of the switches. And we finished the rest of the flip switching by eleven.

Crazy, crazy day, I tell you.

The Community at Large

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Since mostly all I do is read online and off, and am not working, I’ve been trying to push my boundaries.

That’s mostly been volunteering at the library and theater, or trying to make myself exercise. Or sending hand written letters to friends, which is all the harder when there is no subject matter because I do so little.

My brothers are good at doing community-type things. One such thing is acting. Both were in drama club in high school, and are excellent actors. When I was in high school I read all the time and never managed any extracurricular activities except when band had required events like playing for the football team. I just read all the time.

However! the Modoc Performing Arts Theater (M.P.A.T.) group is putting on The Curious Savage at the local theater. The play focuses on Ethel Savage,  a wealthy widow who checks herself into a sanatorium called The Cloisters, which has some rather bizarre

I really, really did. And actually, wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be. Whether that’s in spite of, or because, there were only the casters(?) and no one else showed up to audition, remains to be seen. At any rate, I was reading for the part of Mrs. Paddy, who is an uncomfortable character, in that she doesn’t speak at all because her husband ordered her not to years and years ago—except on the five occasions she reminds everyone that she hates “everything in the world” and then lists them in random order, like “broken glass [and] eels” (except she likes to go on). Or as I tried to read it, “broken eels”: although if she hates everything, that would still be perfectly valid.

Anyway, see that number? The five? That’s why I auditioned for her part.

  1. However random her lists, that’s only five times she has to speak, and only after being addressed. My brother assures me it’s easier to remember your cue when you aren’t the first one to speak.
  2. Despite the whole not speaking because your husband told you not to, she sounded like a fun character. Sometimes I hate everything too!
  3. This is not the same as the first. But only five lines! I like small numbers, when it comes to things I’ve never done before.

And it wasn’t much of a risk to try, because even though my brother told me they didn’t have many people showing up to the auditions, I’ve never had anything to do with drama before. Well, other than attending my brothers’ plays. It seemed fun to try out because it’s practically family tradition! At least I’m pretty sure both sets of grandparents were involved in the community theater. I need to look more into the details of that, although I’m pretty sure my paternal grandparents were once really active in their theater. But I’ve never been particularly inclined to act, am often shy (or at least oblivious), and have been told I’m inaudible in general conversation.

So I wasn’t particularly worried about getting cast. It’d fun to audition, yeah, but probably safer if I didn’t actually participate.

I just got the call a few hours ago. I’m not Mrs. Paddy. They cast me as Mrs. Willie.

She’s a better part. Mrs. Willie is part of the staff at The Cloisters, who is very kind to all the residents, and is even married to one. Except her husband has no idea who she is, so she pretends she’s single. Yes, she’s loyally waiting for her husband who doesn’t remember a thing about her, and resides in a sanatorium—but hey, the play debuted in the fifties. What more can you expect?

So I’m going to be on stage.

This is me not freaking out. Yet.