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.