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10 minutes til showtime

Monday, May 25th, 2009

I run a sketch comedy stage show called Pop Co.

We had a show this past Sunday night.

This was our big ‘coming of age’ show. The theater that puts us up gave us a big chance to run at an earlier time, which is awesome. I can only assume that they were giving us 1 chance to show the world that we are worth spitting on. We accept said challenge.

I gave up directing chores to George, who is a delight. I did this against my better judgment. Not due to him, but because I am wont to cease control.

Through the whole process I feel real fear. I was not given all of the verbage I was used to. I am used to being the guy in charge, and this time I was in the back seat, with idea where we were going. I trust the people I was told to believe in.

We do the tech rehearsal, and suddenly I feel joy. This shit is actually going to work! We have a show! Everyone is wonderful! Let’s do this shit!

60 minutes til showtime, and we are ready to do it up. I get a text; ‘We are swamped at work’. I get nervous.

I text back things like ‘Well, what’s up?’

I get back things like ‘Well, things are really busy at work.’ I start to question life in general, I start to ask legit questions. Things like ‘How long can we hold curtain’ and ‘Oh shit, how much time do we need to learn this scene’ and ‘Why didn’t you take this day off of work like I did’?

We start to plan to stall the show because one of our featured performers is still at work. Oh my God why does my life suck? We have the biggest audience in the history of our show in the ‘make it or break it’ show of our lives, and I have a guy still at work? FUCK!!!

I get a text at 9:30 ‘I just got cut, should be there soon’. Oh thank God. If we stall like I have planned out, we should be fine. So i come up with 3 contingency plans off the top of my head. George (Our director tonight) elects to take plan #2. Hold curtain for 10 minutes, then start with a video.

Now, granted, this video was hinted at during our tech. I had heard of such. But had not seen a whiff of (And still have not seen even since after). So, we opened with this video to give my actor friend more time.

OH WAIT!

I got another text 10 minutes til showtime. “Dude, They un-cut everyone, don’t know if I am going to make it’.

FUCK!!!

So, here we are, 10 minutes til the show, and one of my featured performers is not going to be there for the biggest show we have ever had. My life sucks fat donkey dick.

So, here we are, 10 minutes til the biggest show in Pop Co history, and I have an actor not showing up. Yay! Huzzah! FUCK ME! So We do what we got to do; Deal with it. Bennie learns the Ren Faire sketch, George learns the Wrestling Sketch, I learn the Woody Allen and Manny Ramirez sketches. Ha ha ha, let’s all throw away all of what we rehearsed so that we can learn some shit in 10 minutes before the show!!! Seriously? YES! Welcome to a moment in the life on Almighty Ray.

So the show starts, I give up all illusion that we will have said featured performer. We’re rolling by on the sweat of our balls on the biggest show we have ever done.

The show starts and we do what we got to do. As my pal Mike Hughes has said, and I quoted such that night, ‘The audience does not know the show that you intended them to see, they only know the show that they saw’. So we persevere.

We do the show, it is slightly helter skelter. I know the show I saw in rehearsal, and that shit was strong. The actual show we put out there, was not as much. It was decent, but let’s be quite frank, not exactly what I (or anyone else for that matter) intended.

i was much put out (Y.I.K.) by what was going on around me. I personally had a sketch that I knew cold, but got stuck in when it happened in real life, I can only assume I let some bullshit get to me. When you are in the moment, this does not happen. When you are wondering in the back of your mind if you even have a clue what you are supposed to do in the next sketch, it does. God Damn It.

Anyways, the show ends, and we survived, everyone manned up and brought their A game. Well, everyone but me, I felt deep down that I let the cast down. I was not the man in charge. I was not the guy did not show up for the show. I was just some dickhole actor who tried to be the glue which held the shit together, and I felt like the weak link in the process. I felt like I was worthless as an actor. I felt like all my training and my experience had failed me. What am I doing in this fucking town? I’m a shitty actor and a terrible stage presence. The stage is better with me off of it!

Granted mayhaps we are all lesser when we need to learn our parts 10 minutes before hand. But that is but an excuse, and whilst in high school Mr. K taught me that excuses are for losers. I am no fucking loser, I will win. Never doubt that I will fucking win.

We draw the biggest crowd in the history of Pop Co. Partially due to the fact that it was a holiday weekend, and partially due to all the shit I did to bring people to the show. Damn it I burned up some wax to get that candle burning. And in the end it paid off.

So here we are. i wish there was some great ending to this story. Truth is, the next month worth of shows is already posted, and despite drawing 60 people, we are not on it. So it goes my friend, so it goes. Whatever the challenge put before u,s we shall fight and we shall win. If you ever think that I will not win, please come closer, so I can punch you in your fucking eye. I will win.

I sit here mildly content, slightly pissed, but mostly calm. Whatever shall come shall come. I just know that when faced with a ’10 minutes til showtime’ dilemma. Me and my gang of thieves rose to the occasion and won the day. And for that I shall be eternally respectful. Those be my peeps, and I shall never forget when they manned up for me. I shall never forget.

I just hope that we get another chance to prove how awesome we are.

-Ray