Just Under the “Annual Update” Wire

I really wish I would have done a bit more (or any, really) blogging of the creation of my last show, which has now been changed from “Barry Smith’s Baby Book” to “Me, My Stuff and I.” I’m kind of a DVD extras guy. I love behind the scenes looks at how bits of art are created. Sometimes more than the art itself. I’ll usually watch the “Making of” features for movies that I thought were shitty.

I’m hoping my new show – the one I’m writing now – won’t be shitty. But just in case it is, I’ll always have this record of how it was created. Starting…now…

“Every Job I’ve Ever Had.”

That’s the working title. Also the description. It’ll be a solo, multi-media comedy about, well, you know…

I have a few deadlines for this new show. The debut date will be at the Ottawa Fringe Festival in June 2010. But before that, on Feb. 27th, I’ve booked an evening at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale, CO, just a few towns over. I’ll be doing a “here’s what I’ve got so far” script reading.

When I did such a reading for a show that I was calling “Click,” it was one of the more humiliating moments of my life on stage. Even worse than my 5th grade spelling bee debacle. (Who the hell doesn’t know how to spell “character?”) I carried that ancient pain with me right up until after taking the stage to give my initial script reading of “Click.”

I probably hadn’t put quite enough time into “Click” to really be reading it aloud. I made a cool poster…

click poster blog.jpg

…got the local paper to do a story on it, with pictures…

barry paul conrad click photo.jpeg

…even did a web page, but all of that time would have been better spent working on the actual, you know, script. About 5 minutes in I realized it was going to be a long hour. Oh, it was brutal. Here’s the audience from that night.

click reading audience.jpg

Notice how some of the people are smiling? Don’t let that fool you. They were in pain. Look at some of the other faces and you’ll see what I mean.

Long and painful story short, I regrouped from that reading, salvaged the parts of the show that I thought worked – literally about 5% – and created a whole new show around it, the one now called “Me, My Stuff and I.” Given what I knew at the time, there was no other way to go about it. The public humiliation was a strong motivator. Alas, it was after the fact.

Well, now I have a chance to avoid that. At this point I have approximately 6 weeks to get a rough draft together. I just finished scanning the last of my old family photos, so those are in the computer and ready to be quickly and easily added to the “multimedia” part of the show. Finishing the scanning feels like turning all the puzzle pieces face-up before beginning the assembly. Only I don’t have a box top to refer to.

Lot’s of work to do, lots of good, focused, productive work. I drew this little cartoon this morning to help me focus.

It’s already not working, as I kept fucking around with it, making the mouth different, adding eye wrinkles, and so on.

focus cartoon.jpg

That’s irony, folks.

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