Gig 13: The Occasional Cabaret @ The Yard Theatre, Hulme – 1st October 2011
October 3, 2011 3 Comments
If you were to read through my gig diary posts, you should be able to glean two things about my performances:
1) They don’t always go very well.
2) I have an almost masochistic tendency to try new and different things.
So, it’s with this in mind that I tell you about Saturday night when I appeared in a wrestling double-act (Sheee Beast Vs Masked McGee) at a clowning cabaret. Oh, yes, you really did read that right.
My friend Vic is well into clowning and has been on several courses run by Clown Lab. I don’t know what clowning is, to the extent that just thinking about it makes me feel confused and angry. Vic was working on a wrestling character – Sheee Beast – for Clown Lab’s second anniversary show, The Occasional Cabaret, and following some mucking around (a professional term for workshopping an idea), I ended up joining her as Masked McGee (an idiot in a mask).
This was my first creative collaboration, so whatever the outcome, it was going to be an interesting process. We came up with the basis of the material by improvising in character and then picking out the bits that seemed to work, before threading it together into a story. The concept was based on Sheee Beast, a successful female wrestler, performing a promo in which she announces her retirement. In classic wrestling style, she is interrupted by her nemesis, the buffoon that is Masked McGee. We then trace their complicated personal relationship before the inevitable physical confrontation.
I didn’t find collaborating particularly easy, basically because I don’t like having to compromise. There’s something comforting about the idea of succeeding or failing on your own ideas alone. However, the fact that it wasn’t particularly easy is what makes it something worth pursuing.
So, to the performance. It was quite a difficult one to judge. We both noticed quite a few uninterested faces in the audience (which is understandably quite off-putting), but we also got quite a few laughs. I was a bit baffled by the blank faces especially when I entered, because I thought I’d get more of a reaction just for the weirdness of it.