Theatre of TED
February 22, 2003
Dan Huffines---Joel Burden---Jennifer Mickelson
Pete Guither---Zach Frazier---Steve Jawor
*There are also 26 other New performers who took part in Zen Chaos
(Italics denotes a new performer at TED)
Technically, there were 32 performers at this weeks installment of Ted
This week's attendance at Ted was 32
Everyone's heard of the actors' nightmare. I myself have experienced it on 2 distinct occasions. Tonight, I experienced the Ted nightmare. Question: What happens when you get a crowd of non-theatre people (mainly frat and sorority), and no theatre people are there to perform? Well, that was my predicament as midnight rolled around this past Saturday. It is greatly encouraging that 30 people came to Ted because of the word of mouth that they had gotten. They had heard a lot about Ted and really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I would say that, other than myself, there were 3 theatre majors in the crowd and I scrambled to get some stuff together. There was no one that I could really improve with at Ted and definitely left me feeling some concern.
After realizing this fear, I came up with a solution. I didn't have it for last night, but I did get enough out of last night to know what to do in the future. I will now forever bring to Ted at least 3 individual performance pieces: A couple of public service announcements (by candle-light of course) and maybe even the Penis Monologue written by Jeff Blum. Throw in a copy of the Vagina Monologues and one person could kill half an hour, without really killing the crowd.
Yes, all of this has been done before, but if you have a crowd of all new faces, they won't know and even if it was a "rerun" Ted, the audience would be seeing it for the first time. Therefore, I now almost welcome another Saturday like last night.
Speaking of the crowd, I had a few members of first timers that I really thought I was connecting with. But whenever I got into trouble I could find comfort by seeing Joel and Jenn. I really thought that Jenn was getting a kick out of watching me squirm, but I'm sure it was probably entertaining, maybe in an uncomfortable way, but still kinda like a car wreck...you just can't look away.
With that being said...
Notes from TED
"Theatre of Ted, Enthusiastic Applause"
Ted started a bit late tonight...about 12:15 actually. From the above personal reflection you can probably see why. I had to get some stuff together. I wrote my introductory monologue, and prepared a couple of pieces for the evening as Pete came up with a different incarnation of Chaos.
I started by talking to the crowd of course, and describing a little bit of what Ted was about and how it's the people who make it up (desperate cry for someone to sign up to perform), and even inspired Zach Frazier to get on the list. Go Zach!!
I then discussed some issues with my roommate and how I almost got him in trouble by telling all the people at the bar the other night that "He LOVES the Cock!" I had to publicly apologize for the comments and set the record straight, because my roommate does NOT like the cock. Oh no, in fact, he is exactly the opposite. In fact he is so homophobic, that he won't even touch his own penis. (Ba-Da-Bum).
My stellar stand-up routine also covered things with a new group I will be forming next year---The name will either be "Theatre of Bob," or it will be known as "The Improv Special Olympics." From there we took some headlines about special Olympians and how one special boys dream would come true.
The crowd was really...err...wasted by this point, but we were having fun and we were off to a good (or at least mediocre) start.
Joel was up next to give us a little Unrefined Poetry. His poems were relatively short, but had a nice range (variety) to them. I don't think that this was the typical supportive Ted crowd where this kind of work would be appreciated. That in itself is a shame, but Joel stayed true to what he was doing and presented some very interesting stuff.
Zach Frazier made his Ted debut with a short poetic piece entitled "Ode to Alcohol." It was probably the most well received piece of the night, primarily because he was a newcomer among his peers who got up and performed a piece. The piece had its humor and got a good reaction from most everyone.
Pete Guither introduced Zen Chaos to everyone at Ted who was new (which was like, everyone). He talked a bit about performing at their first Ted and gave everyone the chance to do that. Pete had come up with different chaos activities for everyone to do. Nobody had the same activity and this chaos had a lot of randomness to it. (*Sigh*, what a random night). Some of the activities included being in love with other people's elbows, acting like a variety of different animals, having to walk around and introduce yourself by telling each person that you "LOVE the cock!" Oh yeah, and one guy was told that he was a stripper. But more on that in a minute.
I put on some music for the coming Chaos and I chose the ever prevalent classic, "I Touch Myself." Everyone seemed to really get into it and had good energy about it, but the stripper, a business major by the name of Steve Jawor did his strip tease around the room and found himself in the center of the room, down to his boxers, with everyone's full attention. He really did Dare to Suck, as a first time performer, in his first ever trip to Ted, he went full monty and proceeded to bronco around the room. Oh hell yeah!! People loved this. I think the guys liked it more than the girls...I'll let your minds speculate on that one though, because I'm not here to imply anything.
I decided that since we didn't have the typically theatre crowd at Ted, I'd try to reach them with a monologue, but something that had a pop culture feel to it. I asked if anyone had seen American History X. About two-thirds had and as I introduced the monologue, people (some) seemed genuinely interested in it. The monologue itself was a rerun for me, but it kinda gave me the idea that with an all new crowd, why night just have a rerun. After Ted, I got a handful of compliments and a couple of guys who wanted to talk about the movie. It always feels good to do something that at least gets people thinking. I'm not saying it was a stellar performance, in fact it was a bit weak and my characterization was way off, but then again I was doing it for drunks.
Jenn Mickelson presented The Bitch List. It seems that Jenn had a pretty good week overall, but understood how some might not have had. So here she was willing to take issues and topics from the crowd to rant about. She would then bitch for 20 seconds on said designated topic. Really good idea, especially with a random group. The crowd had a laundry list of things that upset them and that list included: Kermit the Frog, Toilet Paper, Not Getting Laid Enough, Women Drivers, Naked Guys at Ted and, of course, the female orgasm(or lack thereof).
Joel came up with another poem to end the night and it was from the perspective of a guy in prison. Before he began a guy in the crowd asked "What's it about? Is it about female orgasms?!" Joel responded with "No, it's about a page and a half." Again, there were a couple of guys being dicks as Joel was performing (all in good fun though), but more of the crowd seemed into this piece and really seemed to get some meaning from it.
Announcement to the crowd: "If you've never been to Ted and you loved what you saw here tonight, please visit us again. If you've never been to Ted before tonight, and you came because you'd heard such great things about it, and you hated everything you saw here tonight, please come visit us again, when performers are a plenty."
"Theatre of Ted, Enthusiastic Applause"
***The running time for Theatre of Ted was 50 minutes***
List of Performance Pieces (in order of performance)
(There were a total of 7 performance pieces at Ted)
Not so Stand-Up
Ode to Alcohol
Monologue from American History X
The Bitch List
Joel w/Another Poem
And the ballots are in.......
(It got a lot of people into what was going on)
Performer(s) of the Week
Steve Jawor (The naked guy...)
WoW MoM moment(s) of the week
When Steve got naked and did his dance around the room to the ode of "I Touch Myself!"