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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Let's Revue

Okay. I've done it. I finished another script. It's a collection of sketches and songs called "Let's Revue." Truth to be told, it's more a case of rewriting a script than writing one.

This script started out life as an act I intended for the corporate entertainment market that I called "The Amazing Three-Man One-Man Show." The idea came to me in the late '90s that Rule of Three, the by-then defunct comedy trio I was part of, could reunite and make money by doing some corporate gigs. Although we had done some live performances, we never really had an act that was designed for live performance. Mostly, we just recycled things we had done on audio, not all of which successfully transferred to the live stage.

In the months before implosion, we did a one-night thing that was an attempt to come up with a theatrical presentation. It was a kind of variety show with guest acts and a through line about how much one of the three of us hated working with the other two. (I was not the one.) There was one new sketch and some recycled stuff and some passive-aggressive scenes written by the member of the team I'll call Disgruntled Guy. The whole experience turned out to be the straw that imploded the camel's back.

Still, my naive optimism led me to think that we somehow had a future together. This belief and the non-cynical idea that the gentlemen I was dealing with were decent at heart and that the problems we had could be surmounted and corrected proved to be the source of a very deep and enduring pain for me. I've learned cynicism from two very astute teachers.

But before the knives were inserted and twisted, after only a few kicks to the crotch and slaps in the head, I thought that it might be a good idea to assemble our more stage-worthy bits and songs into a form appropriate for either theatrical or corporate venues. In the late evenings of less than a week, I assembled what I thought of as an outline in draft form, a starting point, not an end. True, I had written some new stuff and uncovered an old chestnut or two from the files that hadn't been previously performed, but I had also figured that we could all three rewrite the whole thing, trim it, change it, and make it our own.

When I presented it to my former writing partner, he was cold toward the project (after all, it hadn't originated with him), and I didn't even bother to present it to Disgruntled Guy, who had long since gone out of his way to be as insulting and condescending as possible to both my wife and me. He never told me that we had problems that we needed to discuss or even that he felt we were no longer friends. He was just a shit.

Eventually, I gave up. Every time I extended my hand, I got a slap in the face or worse. At last, the pain became great enough where I had to give up on them. That's when I started developing this show.

The script that I finished today is very different from "The Amazing Three-Man One-Man Show." I cut, I refined, I rewrote. I made it my own. For what it's worth, I made it my own.

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