Rough-Night Riders

Holy Hannah, last night’s performance was a tough sell. I am the first to admit when there’s an even remote possibility that it’s my fault, or when the cast as a whole seems a bit off – but for the most part last night we put in a dang good show, and the audience just wasn’t having it. Sure, there were laughs here and there, and at one point I could see that one of my lines thoroughly delighted a woman in the audience; but overall, it just wasn’t grabbing them.

The backstage charades commenting on their cadaverous nature were a hoot: there were pantomimes of pulling teeth, slitting throats, in addition to desperate goofy dances. In the green room there were lamentations about waiting for the rigor mortis to set in, and suggestions of streaking across stage between scenes, or perhaps some strategically placed fellatio – ANYTHING to wake them up. Alas, we plodded onward as scripted.

It makes me wonder if audiences truly understand the power they have to make or break a show. We feed off an audience’s energy so that we can reflect it back upon them, and last night they sucked all of our energy out of us…they were the black hole of funny. I thoroughly believe they had a combination of the Friday Night Sleepies and overwhelming dread of the show ending and having to go back outside (a -9 standing temperature with -35 degree windchill will do that to people).

To top it all off, Monday night I came down with a nasty cold-slash-cough – and have been doing everything in my power since then to fight it, of course to no avail. My throat was dry, I couldn’t hold in all my coughs, and my concentration was spotty. The singing was going generally okay, though, until I totally botched the last song; leaving Dan-the-Rockstar-Guitarist out to dry (my continued sincere apologies, friend!). So any joy the audience would have walked away with quickly turned to pity. Um, oops.

I call a do-over.

To end on a positive note, here are some great reviews from last week: St. Paul Pioneer Press (I’m included in the “Rat Pack”) AOL City Guide – Top Five Picks of the Week