sometimes ya gotta wonder

So I was invited to see a show last night with my friend Rich. Actually it started as “a modest proposal” which of course got me to thinking all kinds of strange thoughts (read Jonathan Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal”)

EMAIL SUBJECT: a modest proposal

I just had an idea (too much coffee at work). Remember I told you about my friend the Burlesque/Caberet girl? Her one-woman show is next Friday, May 4th at this place called the Funhouse. My friend and I are going. Do you want to go? I’m not sure what to expect from the show, but she’s really entertaining and says it will be a mixture of comedy/music/caberet and a gameshow (??).

Anyway, I was thinking she would be a perfect person for you to record an interview about creativity for your future radio show. She’s a single mom, works her ass off entertaining San Diego 7 nights a week (seriously, her resume/work schedule is off the hook), is a great storyteller, and I’m assuming the show will be very creative. I think she’d be an interesting subject–she’s EXTREMELY candid–and I can set it up easy if you’re interested.

Whaddya think?
-rjb

I didn’t know what to think…. except first off, I’m not doing a radio show! I’m writing a book. Or at least I’m supposed to be. Even though the idea of a radio show has been tossed around, and I LOVE audio. Bottom line, this proposal stressed me out on so many levels. So, after several emails back and forth, by which time I’m sure Rich was like “sheesh its just a show/idea/email and I had no idea Jenn was so damn neurotic.” I suggested we start with I would (forego First Friday Open Mic) go see the show. (Note: Rich has read most of my memoir, so he should know how neurotic I am)

Of course I stressed about the First Friday thing all Friday long. I mean I’m a REGULAR at First Friday. I’m comfortable there. People KNOW me. I’m in the IN crowd. sort of. I mean I get invited to dinner after the show. And best of all if the show is bad, wait three minutes, someone else will be on!

But this… trapped in a tiny theater. Watching a One Woman Show. Put on by a burlesque dancer. I was skeptical, but I decided to reach outside my comfort zone and go. Besides, I like Rich (I’ll fill you in on him in another post– he’s an awesome writer and I promised to review his manuscript).

So it wasn’t as bad as I thought it could be. But (there’s always a but!)it wasn’t as good as I had hoped either.

The One Woman is a woman named Laura Jane of San Diego. Wilcock she’ll tell you… not Wilcox, only one cock, not two cocks, one cock dangling at the end of her name just in case she needs one. is that funny? she likes to say the word “cock” a lot. Oh, and Celine Dion is a slut. whatever that means.

Laura Jane has a lot going for her:

  • She actually CAN sing. Of course she yucks it up with a lot of crude humor, but she has a decent voice.
  • Her poetry is pretty good as well. Delivery campy of course, but some fun word play.
  • Some of her “skits” (for lack of a better word) were funny (she does bill herself as a comedienne). I particulary enjoyed her song medley of different impressions from Lou Rawls and Elvis to Carol Channing, Britney Spears, Cher… sans Celine, of course.
  • And she has a lot of guts getting up there on stage and baring her… well you knew that was coming, didn’t you… more on that later…
  • It was acceptable to brown-bag booze, but I didn’t know that ahead of time

For me, what the show lacked was a coherent story line. Or an added layer of some sort of social commentary.

Maybe I’m a snob, maybe I’ve become an old fart, a stuffed shirt, I don’t know, but the humor was the kind of thing I would have laughed at when I was 13.

I wasn’t offended by any of the crude humor, I just didn’t think it was very funny, and often, instead of getting more complex, digging deeper, I felt like Laura Jane was going for the easy laugh, the cheap shot or just trying to be shocking.

Nudity was to be expected, especially since Rich said she was a “burlesque/caberet gal,” but the full frontal boobage didn’t really add to the story, except perhaps to give Laura Jane an opportunity to show off her very ample and pendulous breasts.

The “skit” which afforded Laura Jane this opportunity was when she told a story about her being torn between wanting to suckle one of the pastries or some chick’s breasts… so she came out on stage, topless of course, carrying a full plate of pastries. It was predictable.

The game show portion of the show, thank god didn’t involve me as a contestant. I won’t go into details, but one of the gals that was with us actually won and the gift prize bag included a small bottle of Jaeggermeister and some Red Bull. And kindly enough 4 plastic glasses. So we silently toasted Laura Jane from the back row. And let me tell you I thought Red Bull alone was bad. It’s three times as bad mixed with Jaegger. bleckh.

So. I’m glad I went. It was amusing. Kudos to Laura Jane for getting out there and doing it– whatever “it” is. She does appear to have an audience of regulars who enjoy her show and had lots of opportunities to laugh. It’s just not for me.

As to an interview. Well, we’ll see. I’ve got a May 18 deadline to mail my manuscript. So I don’t really have the time right this minute to work on a radio show of any kind. Maybe next month.

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