Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ghost of Comedy Past

We uncovered a DVD case of old SC revues in our prop bag this week. Friday night while everyone else partied and “had friends” I holed up and watched. I watched the most acclaimed revue from the past ten years, the one Obama himself came to. I watched the revue starring Carell, Colbert, and Sedaris. I watched the revue that bumped an acquaintance of mine to SNL. And then I found the first revue I ever saw. I held the disc in my hands tenderly. I was almost nervous to see this thing that angled me throughout my life to be where I am right now. I pulled out Easter candy remains—five Peeps—for the occasion. Watching it, remembering so much, recognizing what flew over my head and what didn’t was truly an almost spiritual experience.

I’m about to sound painfully cheesy, but (to the tune of “It’s My Party…”) it’s my blog and I’ll cheese if I want to. (Cheese if I want to, CHEEEESE if I want to.) The experience of being in my cold single, clutching my stuffed ship, hair still curled from performing as a cast member of SC transcended time. I felt like I was in middle school again discovering this smart universe of satire. I felt ancient, like I did when I heard a geisha perform in Japan—she sang and strummed like her mentors’ mentors’ mentors’ did before her. And I felt like a piñata of gratitude. Holy cow, I work for this theatre. I have performed on that very stage.

I felt the pull of the comforter. My eyes drooped. Very strange—the actors bowed but the tape didn’t end. It was black. Wind whistled. The video recorder seemed to be outside. People walked by, on the street? Was this in the Piper’s Alley garage? Maybe just Wells Street. Very late. Must have been late. But whispers float in. Why is it recording? Is there something at the end? My room was pitch black now that the TV was dark. I felt a shiver up my spine. Was it Comedy itself calling? That scene with Bruce Willis in his office with the audiotapes in The Sixth Sense. Then, CUT. Blue screen. DVD over. Something from Chicago in 2002 trying to reach me. I wonder if it did.

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