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A Quick Burlesque Show Post-Mortem...


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The Burlesque Show was good. Very good. If you attended, you know this. If you didn’t, be patient—I’m sure now there will be another one. The troupe will be doing a post-mortem Sunday, 4 October; I won’t be able to be there—I’ll be en route to the next job interview in southern Oregon, the state Fish & Wildlife one in Trail. I’m anxious to see the video (I understand it was videotaped as well as podcast).

One reason I want to see the videotape is I want to see the crowd’s reaction to the songs I did. I did “Electronic Love,” “The Termite Song,” and “Can I Have Your Car When the Rapture Comes?” and I’m not sure how they went over. I was doing the de-focus-my-eyes-because-the-crowd’s-big-and-scary trick, and consequently wasn’t seeing the audience. (I peeked a little during the last song.) But I also missed (being backstage most of the time) all but one of the dances, and judging from the crowd’s reaction (which I could hear) they were very, very good. (I did get to see one of Peggy/Lanolin’s fire dances, and it was impressive.)

I myself liked that we had a plot, and that it carried all the way through the show; I think the dialogue needs to get sparser as the show goes on, though, because the audience is getting more bibulous over time, and more interested in music and the dancers, and not really paying attention to people speaking. That’s particularly the case after the intermission, during which the audience have taken the opportunity (as encouraged) to purchase additional brain cell destroying materials from the bar.

The sound guy may have had the most difficult job: he had to cue not only the music for the dancers, but also the dialogue parts from “Alex,” the computer that’s officially the troupe’s manager, and “Jill,” the GPS unit he has the hots for, and the moderator from the “FBI This Week” show (which is a real show), and keep it all rapid-fire so the show doesn’t drag. He done good.

So what’s next? Well, in the next show I should be doing different songs, I think—not because these weren’t good, but simply for the sake of variety. Among the “sleazies” that’d be possible inclusions are “The Taboo Song” (about the 15 things you’re not supposed to write songs about), “Sam & Melinda” (about VD, auto accidents, and killing your lover), and “The Cat with the Strat” (if we’re going to murder a poem—this show did e.e. cummings—why not Dr. Seuss?). Of those three, though, only “The Taboo Song” is short.

Actually, “Dirty Deeds We Done to Sheep” would be perfect for this crew, but that one is really best done with a band to have the greatest impact. (One of the troupe is a bass player, though. She may well know others.)

There are the non-sleazies, of course, but I think sleaziness is one of the purposes behind burlesque.

I learned from one of the bouncers at the theater (lesson: always talk to the staff) about two more venues for solo acts; one is the Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, the small bar attached to (and owned by) the theater, and the other is a 24-hour coffeehouse in Beaverton. Both do solo, acoustic acts—people like me, in other words. I’ll contact both, and plan on stopping by on my next trip to Portland (which will be Wednesday, come to think of it—I have that job interview in Woodburn in the morning).

And I have, I think, the perfect eulogy for Sharma—“Crosses by the Roadside.” It is about death by automobile, after all—and it is a song for those left behind. I’ll need to re-record it.

Joe

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