Thursday, April 29, 2021

No single point of failure

 We have a philosophy that there should be no single point of failure for our shows. This applies to people as well as tech, but this document is going to concentrate on the tech. For people it means we both know how to do everything that needs to be done and every item in the main set of tech is light enough for either of us to carry unassisted.

With tech, when we say no single point of failure, we mean that if any single item gets broken or fails we have a workable solution that will allow the show to continue. This doesn’t necessarily mean a direct replacement, it means we have something else that can substitute for the broken item and we know how to apply it. It is acceptable that the replacement is not as good or as easy to use as long as it lets us present the show.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Virtual Fringe Festival

A huge number of live performances have been cancelled around the world in 2020, including the festivals that helped many creatives find audiences.

We've watched this with much pain & have decided to create a fringe festival of live streamed events & shows in August and September. Like many other fringe festivals, it is unjuried (open access). Unlike other festivals, we don't restrict the number of shows that can be in the festival.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Live Streaming Comedy

I just watched an experienced comedian struggling with the live streamed experience. It's a different environment & simply not the same as performing before a live audience. You just have to imagine they are there & are reacting. Streaming through a medium like Facebook means you not only can't hear the audience reaction, but there may be a non-trivial delay before the audience even sees your video and hears your joke, IIRC you need to allow 30 seconds, which means you can't rely on text "ha ha" comments arriving at the right time.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Not watching other comedians

After a lineup show other comedians sometimes ask me for "notes" (feedback) on their performance. I usually can't do this in a useful way, this is specially true for shows I'm helping to run such as our own One Mic Stand-up but also applies when I'm just a member of the line-up.

If I'm at a show, I'm almost always there to work. I may be a performer, I may be the MC, or I may be the producer.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Grin Reaper at Auckland Fringe 2020

It's finally no longer under embargo. We're putting our comedy play The Grin Reaper on as part of Auckland Fringe in 2020.

The shows will be at 8 PM 26-28th February at TST Studio, 37 Mt Eden Road. That's right next door to The Powerstation.

This won't be quite the same show as we did in Palmerston North. We're going to have three cast members which means that the monologues we wrote to cover costume changes won't be needed. Two of them advanced the plot enough that they'll be kept and the others will be gone. This should make the play much tighter.

Tickets will be on sale soon & meanwhile you can follow us either on Facebook or our dedicated website The Grin Reaper.

Monday, October 28, 2019

DEATH as a "small man"

Two years ago today I wrote this on Facebook.
"I am a fictionalizing philosopher, not a novelist; my novel and story-writing ability is employed as a means to formulate my perception. The core of my writing is not art but truth. Thus what I tell is the truth, yet I can do nothing to alleviate it, either by deed or explanation. " -- Philip K Dick
Substitute comedy/comedian for novel/novelist and this is remarkably similar to what I aspire to do with my comedy. Tell my truth through jokes and hopefully get some of the underlying message to my audience. Who knows, maybe I'll change the world for the better in some tiny way?

I then proceeded to forget about it it until Facebook reminded me.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Interesting anniversary

Interesting anniversary. Four years ago today I announced that I was dropping out of comedy for a few weeks. Except it wasn't as Julia Clement I announced it, it was done under my birth name.

At that point I was living a weird mixed life where in a very few contexts I was Julia & not in others. Tessa Clement knew & I think I'd made contact with Genderbridge. What I didn't say in this post was that my plan was to return to the stage as Julia.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

That Question (Short Story)

I looked straight at him, I had guessed this question would come and I thought I was prepared. I had a well rehearsed answer, an
answer I had told myself so many times and occasionally told others I knew it by heart. It
was an answer I believed.
In retrospect I should have seen the danger signs.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Characters and Cast of Ten Years a Comedian

I've just added a page listing the cast and characters for the 10 Years a Comedian show to the website. Obviously Julia, Tessa & Nicola are the cast while DEATH is a character and it was easy to list all four. Then there were three interesting cases.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

DEATH's Literary origins

This is a follow-on to my previous posting about DEATH the character.

Basically Terry Pratchett's Death and DEATH are both parodies of other personifications of death and we've both used pop-culture references as a starting point but ended up in different places.

I drew on similar sources to Pratchett, especially Bergman's The Seventh Seal and was aware of Death Takes A Holiday (Although possibly not the same remake as Pratchett used as a basis for Reaper Man) & obviously have read Pratchett. I was definitely influenced by psychopomps like Tarakeshwara & Charon.

Friday, November 30, 2018

DEATH returns

I'm having fun posting on Facebook as DEATH. Since I decided to revive the character for my 2019 Auckland Fringe show 10 Years A Comedian, 3 In A Skirt and created a page for it, it's taken on a life of its own. (Sorry about the puns). My rules are fairly simple:

  • Anything I publish as DEATH is in character
  • DEATH is not cruel and does not kill, just shows up at the time of death and so has a detached attitude to death considering even disasters as more-or-less equivalent to attending a rock concert. Fortunately I've yet to go to a concert that bad. Other than that DEATH has a pretty human set of emotions, especially when discussing its relationship with the other three horsemen
  • DEATH has a love-hate relationship with human technology. In many ways it is a geek. 
  • DEATH is self aware to an extent. The original 2008 script contained "I AM AN ANTRO-MOR-PHIC PER-SON-IFIC-ATION I AM A  MET-A-PHOR AND NOT AN IN-TRO-SPEC-TIVE ONE EITHER" and I have no intention of retconning that away.
  • DEATH doesn't draw the obvious conclusion that it is a fictional character and is incapable of noticing anything saying that it is one or that I portray it on stage.
  • DEATH is aware that I exist and am doing a show in which DEATH appears, but, as mentioned above, can not be aware that I am portraying DEATH in that show
  • I'm not intending to have DEATH break the 4th wall.

These rules mean that it can interact with my posts and even comment on me outside the forbidden knowledge but I don't want to go down the path of metafiction to places like Spike Milligan arguing with the fictional Dan Milligan in Puckoon or being like the characters in Illuminatus! who wonder if they are characters in a novel after encountering the Leviathan. 

Thinking about it, I'm finding it interesting that my first outing onto the comedic stage was as a conscientious but slightly geeky grim reaper and my second was as a hygiene nut who started off talking about wanting to kill 100% of germs before revealing the ultimate futility of it all. I wonder if these were MET-A-PHORs for the way I was holding on to the cisgender myth I had constructed for myself.

I have to admit that I have become fond of DEATH and am seriously considering recycling the character with new scripts for my 2020 show.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Needed code optimization

My introduction to SQL was circa 1995 when a large data warehousing project had managed to build a month-end data analysis routine that they discovered was going to take more than 31 days to run. They read somewhere that embedded SQL was faster & I was asked to rewrite it in C with embedded SQL. I worked with an SQL "specialist" & I did the C part, except he occasionally modified the C when I wasn't available.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Not losing uniqueness but gaining an ally

I am the only M2F transgender stand-up comedian I know of in New Zealand and on Tuesday coming I will have been that for 3 years. It looks like that's coming to an end.

From the archives: Rats in toilets

This is another one from 1992 in alt.folklore.urban. Someone had asked about the possibility of the urban legend about rats swimming around the S bend and biting people where it hurts. My reply:

Saturday, September 22, 2018

From the archives. Snuff movies

I just stumbled across this reply I made in 1992 on UseNet to the question "What's a snuff film?":
  1. Snuff is powered tobacco often with added aromatic substances. A snuff film is
    a government announcement which shows how using snuff slowly addles the
    brain & causes the habitue to fall into a degenerate state.

    A prime example of the gendre is "Snuff, devil's powder from hell" (193?) which tells the
    story of a couple of typical teenagers who fall in with a bad crowd. At first it is fun, then
    the cravings, immorality, and Jazz sap their wills & ...
  2. Snuff is a transitive verb. It is something you do to candles to make them stop burning.

    Snuff films are training films from the candle industry demonstrating safe ways of
    extinguishing candles. Distributing these films prevent the candle makers from
    encountering multi-million product liability suits: "They made no attempt to warn me
    not to eat the cake before blowing out the candles"
  3. Snuff is a dog my neighbour used to own. He has some "good" home movies of
    his kids playing flying disk games with Snuff.
Obviously I was having fun that day.