Behind the banter – what goes on behind the scenes of Comedy

Before the laughter preparation is an imperative key for any successful show.

Ku-Wait a minute!

Touted to be Kuwait’s first glimpse at proper stand up comedy, George Tarabay (GT) did not fail to deliver what he promised – a fun-for-all evening of laughter and hysteria, despite setbacks and delays that would have had any rookie comedian in tears and shambles before the show.

Yesterday was an eye opening experience into the occurrences backstage before any show goes live. There are cables to be set up, sound to be tested, projections to be projected etc. to name a few.

T-2 hours to the proposed start-time, mayhem ensued. Missing cables and audio jacks. This techie (me) had to step up and turn into a messenger. First came a trip to Al-Dawliah (opposite Freej Sawailah) – fast paced dressed in formal work clothing. Unfortunately, they did not have the part I was looking for, fortunately however they did have the exact opposite, as I learnt from the helpful salesman, and whereas this would usually tick me off, it served as a life-saver, but that would only be revealed much later.

Return to Tiatro – the clock is ticking and the wires still are not set up. We needed a VGA PC cable and an audio jack converter input 2.5 output 3.5.

Another trip to Marina mall to check Xcite was fruitless. In the end, it was decided that I would have to drive to City Center, losing my prime parking spot smack-dab in front of the venue. Picking up one of two items at City Center left me at the mercy of an obnoxious fellow countryman with a cartload of items who refused to allow me to quickly pay in cash for my single item. At these trying times it is important to maintain your composure and not proceed pull the man’s frilly white dress over his head as you proceed to use his body as a punching bag, no matter how tempting that may seem (he had the audacity to ask me to “forgive him” after he was done, I merely looked on and gave him my best sneer).

Upon returning from my quest with one of the two items, we were already past the proposed start time. I was told by the venue manager that I would have to drive to Bida’a roundabout to get a wire; with the kind of instructions more familiar to a James Bond movie whereby you find a specific house by its looks, call a number, inform them XYZ sent you, and they would hand over a package. At this point in time, after understanding what it was I was being sent to retrieve, a quick brainstorming session with GT lead to a dim bulb illuminating the world – work backwards! At that moment I ecalled what part was available at Al-Dawliah, and we decided to use it along with a new audio cable. Long story short, after a quick run back towards ‘em (in formal clothes again! All the while surrounded by cop cars and thinking “please don’t look suspicious, please don’t look suspicious) and catching them at precisely closing time, we had what was needed to get the show on the road!

As with any performances, it is imperative to get documented video-graphic evidence for the dissection process after the show. Once the camera was set up in place, the lights dimmed, the music died out and I introduced GT, after making sure the audio was recording, his entrance music played.

The venue manager comes up to me, after the intro and proclaims he does not know how to start the camera, and worse, he wanted ME to ask the PERFORMER who was ON STAGE and in the middle of his LIVE show “how do I start your camera?” as if I did not have enough to worry about at the time what with sound recording and playing the video’s. nevertheless, I obliged and interrupted a running show, which GT took in good stride by incorporating me as a desperate single man (that’s what you get for getting in the line of fire). Afterward my tech friend in the audience came to my rescue (Thank you Ayman!), and it turned out the settings knob on the camera was not set to capture images, not video. Mental Note: check the camera FIRST before attempting to interrupt a performance.

My second goof up came when the music I was supposed to play refused to play. Again, all eyes were on me, and again GT lands on his feet and just as he was about to pull out the “desperate single guy” card, the music played! Hallelujah we were saved!

However, never count your chickens before they quack; I was later called upon again when I cried out for being single – as was asked! The natural reaction to the question, “any single people in the house?” is “Wooooooooooo!”, so this time GT decided to cut me a break and attempt to play match maker (thank you Sara for calling out first ^^). Fortunately there was a lone taker (thank you Sonica [I’m sorry I’m only familiar with the spelling for the hedgehog!]); by virtue of our professions we were a match made in boring heaven.

The crowd was to learn that everything sounds better in auto-tune, no matter what you were saying, regardless of any tune that is playing, if you belt out any phrase in auto-tune you are bound to sound like a suave croon.

After the show drew to a close, the music kept playing. And as my running buddies from the q8FootSoldiers were in attendance, I decided to throw a quick 10-second rendition of Gangnam Style (with the music playing of course!) in recollection of my first stage appearance last November after the Kuwait Charity Run. No sooner did those 10 seconds pass did the venue manager walk up behind me to whisper “no dancing” in my ear. Talk about buzzkill. It wasn’t even dancing, it was gangnaming!

All in all, it was quite the comedic experience, in more ways than one!

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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