Monday, July 17, 2006

Shoutouts and Whatnots

I’m gonna make this entry very short and scattershot, if only to move on from the previous entry (since I’ve been told the polls for the NYIT Awards have closed).

Thanks to an entry from playwright-blogger Jason Grote (and a response from playwright-blogger George Hunka), I was pointed in the direction of this little gem. It’s an open letter from comedian David Cross to comedian Larry the Cable Guy. It reminded me why I think Mr. Cross is one of the best and most honest comedians working today (his double-disc album, Shut Up You Fucking Baby being arguably one of the best stand-up comedy albums to come out in the past decade). Mr. Cross’s letter to Larry also reminded me of one of the more insidious things our current President, the Christian Right and the Republican Party (among others) are doing to gain popularity: pandering to the lowest common denominator in the South with a fraudulent “We’re Jes Like You!” persona. There are so many quotable lines from his letter there are too many to point out here. Despite this, I will point out this line that got me giggling loudly at my computer terminal at work:

“…[Y]ou are very mistaken if you think that I don't know your audience…I cut my teeth in the south and my first road gigs ever were in Augusta, Charleston, Baton Rouge, and Louisville. I remember them very well, specifically because of the audience. I remember thinking (occasionally, not all the time) ‘what a bunch of dumb redneck, easily entertained, ignorant motherfuckers. I can't believe the stupid shit they think is funny.’ So, yes, I do know your audience, and they suck. And they're simple. And please don't mistake this as coming from a place of bitterness because I didn't ‘make it’ there or, I'm not as successful as you because that's not it at all. Since I was a kid I've always been a little over sensitive to the glorification and rewarding of dumb. The ‘salt of the earth, regular, every day folk’ (or lowest common denominator) who see the world, and the people like me in it, as on some sort of secular mission to take away their flag lapels and plaster-of-paris jesus television adornments strike me as childishly paranoid.”

Anyway, check it out.

Over at Matthew Freeman’s blog, a conversation about the problems with the Actor’s Equity Association is continuing. I put my two cents in there for those of you who are interested. I’ll add another two more by pointing out (what a number of theatre bloggers are bringing up) that there is little to nothing that playwrights, producers, designers and directors (in other words, non-union folk) can do to change the Showcase Code. After all, we are — in the eyes of Equity — the Enemy. The Showcase Code can and will be only changed by people in the union (in other words, Equity actors).

Also, good luck to (wait for it) director-blogger Matt Johnston (a.k.a. MattJ) on his (temporary?) move from the Rotten Apple to my old stompin’ grounds, Boston. Have fun, Matt. I know you will. And again, check out the Pour House on Boylston Street for the cheapest burgers on the East Coast.

I also have to extend congratulations to the Alick siblings, Claudia and Jesse; to Claudia, for a fine staging of her brother Jesse’s fine semi-autobiographical play, Come Back To Me, and to Jesse, for writing it. Also, congratulations to Isaac Butler and the rest of the Rapid Response Team for a very fun “Best Of” show.

Linking his day away,

James “Damn These Meta Tags!” Comtois


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