Sunday we did a private comedy house concert in a gorgeous home in Malibu. It was at a newly rebuilt home of some friends whose place burned down in the fires a couple years ago.
My boyfriend learned several pre-show songs that I asked him to play and opened for me! They’re the songs on the pre-show playlist. “One Day” by Matisyahu, “Better Way” by Ben Harper… and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon. So dreamy! Set a great tone for the show!
He even learned “Man in the Mirror”, but he needed the right amp and the right mic to sing it properly. He’s a consummate professional, and he only does things if he knows he can do them perfectly.
I, on the other hand, only do things if I think I can get away with them. I’m kidding. But I am little different in that way. I’ve been performing for many, many years now, and I know that even when I’m workshopping a show, partially reading from a script, I am embodied and animated enough to slay. And if it’s a house concert, sometimes I do that.
This show though, is extremely tight, and I know it really well. In fact, I’m two weeks away from filming it.
It’s a feature length standup comedy show. Some people call it a solo show or a one person show. I call it comedy.
But so, I wanted to try something out that I saw at The Magic Castle last week. There was a Danish magic duo, and one of their bits was to throw confetti after a small bit of magic. It was a repeating motif that cracked me up. The look on her face was clown-like. I’m sure she trained at clown school. I recently got a top from BCBG Maxazaria that I’ll be wearing for the filming, and I sewed a small pouch into the cleavage where I could store my confetti.
I have a bit (a bit is a joke) about how “loving yourself is like tickling yourself. It’s very difficult to do it to your self.” And that’s where I pull out the confetti. It doesn’t quite work. It’s too hard to pull the confetti out quickly (like she does). And her confetti is somehow just the right color and shape and size (I think 1/2″ square and purple) to float perfectly to the floor. I literally text my boyfriend, “Square confetti is funnier than round confetti, huh?” “Yeah.” So I might have to get out the Xacto knife and literally cut my confetti by hand. Maybe sew a better pocket.
I brought my wireless mic, but I had no speaker, so he brought a 50 lb guitar amp, which saved the day, as these older folks would not have been able to hear me otherwise. Sadly, the room arrangement was terrible, and their expensive furniture was literally immovable. Both because it was too heavy and also because they didn’t want to even consider moving it. I understand. But it really didn’t work for the show, and we should have held it in a different room.
It’s always best to plan ahead, arrive early, and sew everything up. But there are times you can’t.
This blog is really about how to create a fabulous house concert that goes right. And the truth is, every house concert is its own creature, and no matter how much you plan, it’s just going to go how it goes, and the best skill you can learn is to roll with the punches with ease and grace.
I’m going to talk a lot about “energy”. Take that any way you like. You can think of it as the flow of and proper movement of attention. The more energy you can build, the more you can direct as you choose, the better the show goes.
Stay tuned for the next installments. In Part 2, I’ll share my 29 point list of pointers.