Monday, May 23, 2016

Wild West Comedy Fest and how not to act during a comedy show

In the past, I have been extremely excited about the Wild West Comedy Fest, which has been rolling through Nashville  during May for the last couple years. Maybe it's my early 20s crush on founder Vince Vaughn [Tangent: DO NOT JUDGE ME!] or the fact that I really enjoy live comedy- but it's definitely something I look forward to year after year. [Tangent: You can read my enthusiastic post from last year here.] This year was weird. I felt like there wasn't as much publicity around the event, which was apparent because the tickets I did get were either half price or completely free through last minute online promotions. Shows that were amazing, and rightfully should have sold out simply didn't...which makes me fear for the future of this event.

We ended getting $10 tickets for Trump vs. Bernie (a faux debate between the James Adomian as Bernie Sanders and Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump). This was highly entertaining and hilarious if you have any vested interest in the election and watching the bat shit crazy of it all unfold. If it is coming to your city the go see it, or you can watch a version of it online here. Bonus, the guys were super nice and came out to meet and greet after.

 We also got free tix to TJ Miller [Tangent: Erlich is basically my favorite part of Silicon Valley and I love anytime he is on any podcast, so it was something I didn't want to miss.] He was awesomely weird and dark and nihilist, and I laughed incredibly hard throughout...despite the fact that the audience around us clearly had never been out in public before. [As is the norm when I go to any public gathering, I spend the majority of the time getting distracted by peers in the audience acting a fool, so thus most of this post is going to be dedicated to the details of their behavior. Apologies in advance to TJ Miller, who is now forever partially obscured with the distractions I witnessed.]

Sometimes, disability seating means you sit pressed against the stage and lose sight of what everyone else is doing so you can immerse yourself in a performance. At TPAC, that is generally not the case. I am usually seated in the back by the ushers, but the view of the stage raised above tall people, so no complaints on that end. It just generally means I am directly behind people who are unaware that they have witnesses to their awfulness. Such was the case Saturday night.

The following events unfolded in the row in front of us in the span of an hour, whilst a person was displaying a talent, which they were paid for, onstage.

  1. The group of four played musical chairs and got up every 5-10 minutes in varied pairs of two to get more drinks (or use the rest room or go smoke or do cross fit....or whatever the hell was happening in the lobby that seemed to keep beckoning them!) Though the were on the end of the row, it still often involved multiple people in their group standing up to accommodate and an usher flashing a flashlight to the doorway.
  2. When new drinks were brought into the mix, there was a coordinated celebration [EVERY TIME!!] and shout whisper of "cheers" across the group. One would think, "How many overpriced theater drinks does one go through in such a short period?" My guess is at least 3-4 apiece and their enthusiasm for this ritual did not wane.
  3. The gent on the aisle texted for at least half of the show.  When not reading or sending texts, he was scrolling through old messages or checking his Facebook page. [Tangent: He must run the social media for a Fortune 500 company or have a sick family member in the hospital on life support.]
  4. At one point, the mystery texter on the other end sent a video and the considerate gent played it....volume on. He then realized that this might be declasse, so he instead lowered the volume and enlarged the video.   [Tangent: I think this is not really an improvement and more just a lateral move on the "dick move" scale, but I commend him for trying to modify his behavior in some capacity.]
I was so irritated. I can't comprehend why people would go to the trouble of parking downtown on a Saturday night or even just putting pants on for that matter...if you were going to not give a shit. Am I just old and crotchety now? 

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