Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Ville-The Final Curtain: Showdown

After a very long first day, I halfway expected to collapse into a decent night’s slumber. A combination of separation anxiety from my wife mixed with some overamped andrenals caused me to pretty much a toss and a turn all night. It didn’t really matter a fig to me since I was raring to go the next morning (with some caffeine induced assistance of course). My first day felt like I had just taken a swim in the pool from COCCOON and I was ready to take another dip ASAP.

Initially, my intentions were to arrange some non-Pollardville activities during my four day weekend. I hadn’t been in the area since my mom passed away in 2001. I really did feel a need to contact some family and friends separate from the reunion.

But early Saturday, I found myself right back at the Ville, lured by the possibility of watching one more gunfight on the mean streets of the Ghost Town, featuring owner and operator Neil R. Pollard, to my mind, the funniest man on the face of the earth. Alas, twas not to be, since Neil had to juggle both the reunion and running the restaurant, busier than ever in its last weeks before closing itself. He had no time at all to play the town goofball, at least not in a street skit anyway.

I had been recruited to perform in said gunfight with two of my former partners in crime, Cory Troxclair and Greg Pollard, known in another life as Harsky and Stutch. I knew every gunfight forwards and backwards, except for the one they threw at me. Who knew these guys would come up with some new material after all years? Since the bit was a variation on old themes, it wasn’t too hard to piece together without a rehearsal as such. The difficult part, if you want to call it that, was trying to get through without laughing ourselves silly like the three blithering idiots we were at one time and thankfully, still managed to be.

A much younger me getting and a happy hostage

The gunfight itself went off without a hitch. Whatever seemed unfamiliar to me about the bit was easy enough to follow so that I could just jump in with my own two cents, the same as both Harsky and Stutch.Basically, it was just another excuse to make complete and utter fools out of ourselves just because someone asked to. We riffed, improvised and stumble-bummed our way through about ten minutes of low brow comedy that entertained us just as much as the audience we performed before, if not more so.

Those few minutes playing the dirt again served to remind me what an invaluable training ground the Ghost Town had been to those of us fortunate enough to work there. We were able to learn characterization, performing in the round, improvisation, comedic timing and even some stunt work without destroying our bodies too much. On top of that, we got to shoot guns!

The gift of that gunfight came with a price. I ended up trashing my voice like a rank amateur during the gunfight. This, combined with working without a mike during the run-through the night before was starting to take a toll on me. I still a show to do later. It was, after all, Saturday night.
That's something I hadn't had to consider for a long time.

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