Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reflections on being a State Park Fool


(or, new ways to make friends and influence others)

Since this is the final week for the State Park Fools to perform, I figured I should reflect on the experiences I had, the sights I saw, the reactions I encountered and the like while taking part in The Fool (Returns to his Chair). This has been one of the most creative, random and inspiring things I've ever been involved with, for realsies.

Since this was really my first time doing anything remotely 'acting' in front of people (outside of this one time in college when I dressed in drag and played slide guitar and banjo for a production of Cabaret), I probably went into this being one of the greenest of the potential Fools! I figured I could draw on my performing experience with bands and other ensembles for my 'piece' – which led me to using the orange ukulele to perform some absurd songs a la Tiny Tim, all foolish in some way. I never thought I'd be complimented for singing 'Lovefool' or 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' in falsetto!

My task was a bit difficult though – after wracking my brain for ideas and using Kurt and John as sounding boards, a live goldfish was decided on as the basis for my task…until I had four different goldfish die on me within a week! Other ideas came and went until I simply got a deck of cards and tried my best to build a house out of them (sometimes using massive amounts of Scotch tape and plastic cups as aids), and/or playing various card games with silly rules, either by myself or with curious audience members. Alas, some of my other task ideas proved to be too complicated or large - such as rigging up an old reel to reel to create some delays around the room to disorient people or building an office cubicle in the middle of the State Park and fielding business calls on a toy phone, but maybe some other time, eh!

Now, I should really mention the influence the other State Park performers have had on each other! I think all of us have had a great time seeing what we've all come up with, egging each other on to see what crazy things we'd do on a whim, and even coming together to cause one giant fool spectacle in the middle of a performance on one occasion. (That's what all the stomping and the giant 'ole' was about that one legendary night!) Everyone's different contributions stick out in my mind, like Peter's redundant survey, Dina's cookies and introductions, Justin eating dog food in front of stunned patrons, Diane's coloring book letters, Berianne's karaoke with a fish, Dana chasing a rubber ball with a frying pan and many many more!

Big hugs and thanks to the Fool cast, the Neo-Futurists and everyone else for being so fun, supportive and for offering great advice, such as the tips I received on building a house of cards one night at the Edgewater!

Anyway, I had fun, everyone else had fun (as far as I could tell), the audiences looked visibly entertained, and now that it’s nearly through I’ll have to keep being a Fool somehow! I now have an urge to take a class or two and attempt things like ‘blocking’, lighting design and perhaps even writing! Dangerous.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Foolish Talk Back


We had our first, out of two, talk-backs last night. I think it went pretty swell. The Audience seemed genuinely interested in how we proceeded to create this chaotic world. The one thing I'd like to do different the next time is try to get more of the audiences opinions of their experience. I don't quite know how to do that without sounding like that bad actor friend that stares you in the eyes after the show pleading silently "what did you think? What did you think?" Since I still want to pursue this type of theater, this type of image driven, emotional work predominantly staged from actual historical texts, I want to know how it worked for people. The cast seemed excited to talk about their process, in discovering a fool or having to discard a fool, and finding that that fool had still somehow seeped in. We talked about risk, and challenging ourselves in performance. We talked much about outcasts, failure, and darkness, and transformation. It helped me. Perhaps the cast talked too much, perhaps I made them talk too much, but it seems fitting for this show about overloads of information and imagery. It seemed fitting to add to that a discussion about the history of The Fool returns to his chair.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Extension


The Fool is extending. Two weekends. Tell your Friends!!!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Monty Python - International Philosophy

This is much more important than a Fool's extension

An Angry White Guy in Chicago: REVIEW: The Fool (Returns to His Chair)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Influence of Fools is imeasurable

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New audience

Hey, apparently we've been mentioned in tarot.com

The audience demographic opens yet another door. Here come the mystics.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

fools at fashion week



This look was actually sent down the runway at New York Fashion Week just days ago by designer Thom Browne. Those of you who have seen of the show will realize this means that FOOLS is not only on the cutting edge of theatre but apparently fashion as well. Does our cultural moment know no bounds? And should Dean Evans consider a lawsuit?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

F.I.A. - Fools in Action

So you haven't seen The Fool (returns to his chair) and you really have no clue what you might be in for. Or you have seen it, but your friends simply do not believe the fantastical tales you brought back of the Milk Crate Metropolis. Well, be you among the uninitiated or those met with incredulity, I have got the visuals for you. New footage has been smuggled past the borders of Folly, providing new photographic evidence of the be-crated madness that lies within. Incredible as it seems these photos have not been doctored (they also haven't been properly named or tagged, but give it time). Check it.