WARNING: The following blog is the sort of thing you write when you are very annoyed and very self-righteous. Those of you who prefer Mr Trivia’s more upbeat persona should look away now.
Long time readers of this fledgling blog, may recall that I said I would get back to you with a report on how the script went – the one I wrote for a local awards show. See that original blog here: Procrastination.
Well, we just did the awards show. It was a live event recorded to be screened soon on local television.
We had a television personality from one of the commercial networks doing the hosting. A man who has done comedy before, has acted before and now does lifestyle programs. We thought he was a sure thing. We believed that the laughs were a lock.
We got cocky.
TV Man decided to be a little experimental and attempted to take scripted gags and turn them on their heads. Thus, he attempted punch-lines before feed-lines. In many cases he said the feed-lines badly, and then didn’t do the punch-lines at all. And then he wondered why the laugh never came. And then he got under-confident!
Seriously, almost all of the gags he had where he did the feed and the punch-line sharply, got some kind of laugh.
I sat at the back and watched him getting nervous. I saw him attempt to go sideways into some of the material, hoping that he could get a laugh through ad.libs. And he got some. But not enough.
I was particularly gratified when I heard, “I’m just an actor reading a script” which was his way of saying – “I’m not responsible for writing this stuff. Don’t blame me if it isn’t funny.”
I look at it another way. When you’re an actor, you’re responsible for learning your lines, Cue-Card Man. I hear tell that when some people go from acting to presenting that they get lazy about things like rehearsal.
I was brought up with an apology reflex. I am usually one of those people who when you walk into me, I will apologise.
However, the reflex just isn’t kicking in this time.
My reaction to, “I’m just an actor reading a script” is this.
Next time, read the f***king script properly.
And next time, don’t blame your tools.
Excoriating the Unrehearsed