Tomorrow night (Thursday), Sketch22 premieres its third
successive season’s production of all-new sketch comedy. Like past shows, it will combine both video sketches and live on-stage sketches. And, like past shows, I’m excitedly nervous about presenting these new sketches to our audience.
With comedy, it’s always a nervous time when you are about to present new material. After rehearsing it for so long, the “funniness” of the sketches has more or less evaporated for us, and we have to trust that audiences will find them as funny as we did when we were originally writing and rehearsing them. Also, with new comedy, there’s really nowhere to hide when you present it. Eitherpeople laugh or people don’t. You know whether it works or not. With dramatic pieces, you can sort of convince yourself that the audience’s stillness and lack of response is supposed to happen.
But with comedy, you pretty much know when you perform it whether it’s working or not. Another slight worry after rehearsing sketches that you think are funny: when rehearsing, you don’t really pause for the laughter you expect to happen after certain lines. So, during the first performance, your timing can kind of get screwed up because you’re not used to waiting for laughter. And, of course, the opposite
problem is expecting laughter at certain lines and not getting it. That, too, can throw you off. My approach over the years, I think, has been to never assume a line will get a laugh, and always assume that a line you have no expectation of laughter will get huge laughs.
I think this year’s crop of new material is our strongestyet. There are a couple of sketches in particular that I simply cannot wait for people to see. One of them, I’m very worried about because I have yet to get through rehearsing it even once without laughing. Usually, I am able to control my onstage corpsing, but this sketch, particularly at one moment (which actually is a verydramatic, tender moment) just kills me every time. I wasn’t particularly pleased with some of the video segments we presented at our Christmas show (we were too rushed, and the scripts just weren’t ready for production), but I think we have a strong bunch of videos for this summer. A couple are pretty “out there” as far as concept go, and I’m a little worried that people won’t want to come along for the ride on those, but I think they’re really funny.
What else? We play every Thursday and Friday until September 8, at the Guild in Charlottetown. Tickets are only $15 plus tax . This year, you can reserve tickets beforehand by calling the Guild box office at 620-3333.
If you come to the show (and I really hope you do), I hope you enjoy it.
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