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Setting a Plane on Fire and Landing It: Last Night’s Show Was Spectacular

December 6th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

I was all squirrelly last week leading up to last night’s show — wrangling machines, sending e-mails (so many e-mails) and in between the cracks, getting my own stories ready.

And it tickles me to no end that the show was a success. It was Tauntaun weather out last night, the first seriously cold night we’d had in New York this year. Anyone in their right mind would have been home under a blanket watching TV, but we had a full house. And they weren’t ALL our friends, either!

A bunch of people — total strangers — saw the flyer on BoingBoing and came on out to check it out, too. That’s so exciting to me, and that’s the Internet at its best: connecting people who never would have known about each other otherwise.

Everyone else’s performances were tight (say what you will about mine, I’m hardly objective) and the thing ran perfectly.

Here’s Brad Lawrence, hosting:

Brad Lawrence at Under Saint Marks' Theater

And here’s Cyndi, Magdalena Fox and Maggie (my girlfriend and a patient, helpful lady) waiting backstage:

Ladies behind the show

Brad managed to forget his story midway through last night, embodying every shy person’s worst nightmare. He stood there in the lights and flopped around his own brain looking for it for a minute. I tried asking him questions to jog his memory. Then the audience tried yelling questions to jog his memory. He said “listen, people, interviewing me as a group is just not going to work.”

Then he managed to pull a story out of nowhere and COMPLETELY save himself in a way that was even better than if he’d gotten the story right in the first place. It was a verbal tightrope act over a pit of slobbering lions. When he was finished, the whole crowd just screamed and screamed and clapped and laughed. If you could grind up the feeling right then into a powder, Mexico would be out of business permanently.

Or, like D.Billy said: “He set the plane on fire and then landed it.”

I feel so lucky to have such great, talented friends to have helped put this thing together, come and sat in the audience and helped spread it around the Internet. For example, Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing has been a tremendous help to me, posting my videos and promoting this show. Tracy Rowland and her patient boyfriend Mike Goodwin taped the whole thing, and we’re hoping to release the show on Vimeo once Tracy gets some time to work for free and edit it all together. Maggie helped wrangle lavalier mikes and D.Billy did A/V and Kelly Ferraro and Julia Marden did some other video and overall it was just a well-oiled team machine.

I’m looking forward to having it out there in the world for all the folks who couldn’t make it to the show in person. Don’t worry — I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

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