So I took advantage of a rare Friday night without other obligations to head downtown to the Coalition Theatre for what looked to be a fascinating one-man show.
It was worth it. Jim Zarling’s “Destroy The World With Me” was funny, fun, sometimes touching, and had an audience sing-along to “Bohemian Rhapsody”. All of it. That won’t happen again anytime soon. 🙂
In the post-show mingling with people I don’t see too often (because I’m at “my” theater across town), one of them (who will remain nameless to protect the over-exuberant) said “someday, I want to see Rob Hoffmann’s one-man show”.
What I told that person was that it took a decade to finally try improv. I’m probably another 20 years away from a one-man show.
But on the ride home, I figured out the real problem with me ever doing a one-man show… I’m as white-bread as one gets. I’m fundamentally, boringly, average. And where’s the humor in that?
I’m middle-aged, single, childless, pet-less… there’s nothing in my life to hang a show on. I’m the person someone who is funny uses to show that they’re different. I’m not the funny one – and the straight man doesn’t get the show.
And I guess the timing is off. My most-recent improv show was my worst by far. I had nothing – I couldn’t get out of my own way and I didn’t do anything to help my team. I found out later that my show earned the theater a nasty Yelp review – it was live briefly, before the reviewer pulled it down. That’s been on my mind for a while (to the point where I didn’t sign up for the Coalition’s Sunday night jam because I didn’t want to be terrible on someone else’s stage so soon after being terrible on mine).
Between wondering if I have the talent to pull off a one-man show, and realizing that I don’t have the material to do so, I guess that one friend will just have to be disappointed that they’ll never see me doing a one-man tour-de-force in this lifetime.
And we also talked about their interest in finding people to produce shows. I’ve thought about doing that at CSz, but we get into a similar problem. The things I’d enjoy producing would be fun for the performers and fun for me to organize – but they wouldn’t draw 10 cents if you spotted me 9. My tastes in light entertainment are the one thing about me that isn’t average – and that’s even worse, because I like stuff that nobody else watches. If nobody else watches, nobody’s going to buy a ticket. And without ticket sales, no matter how fun a show is, there’s no point in putting the effort into it.
I guess what I’m saying is that not everyone is cut out to be a solo performer or a producer. And that’s not bad, it’s just what it is. It takes all kinds to make a world, right? Even us fundamentally, boringly, average types.
Good thing I’m good at IT support. 🙂