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Theater Schmeater gave us two weekends is August to do Questionable Content in prime time (August 7 & 8 and Aug. 14 & 15). Two weekends, four shows, 11 panelists, hundreds of cards. There was a lot to do. There was work to do in the many weeks leading up but those last two weeks, ever since getting back from the Oregon Coast, it was go, go, go. Come the first of August there wasn't a day I didn't have some work on to do. From promoting the shows, to getting in more sponsors, to running around picking up more prizes, to wheeling and dealing for a new venue so that we can stay in a prime time slot aft August, I was an insanely busy lady. The big build up was the lead up to that first show. That was when I was most anxious and had the most on my plate. It's actually kind of a blur, now.

New signage. :D

August 7 & 8

The first show was fantasic. It felt really good. It's a pity we didn't have the camera ready in time to film that show but we did an audio recording of it. We had about 12-14 reservations, if I remember correctly but with walk ins we ended up with over 20. It was great to have Raymon back on the pannel after his hiatus while traveling. He's such a fun, loveable guy on stage and actually there was a moment where he kind of stole the show. For Getting to Know You, the question was "What tourisy Seattle thing do you love to hate" and Ray, as well as another panelist on the other team, mentioned the gum wall. But when Ray emailed me his answer he also provided a link to his Yelp Review of the gum wall I knew we had to use it. So I took a screencap of it and asked John to put it on a slide after the game. That first night it was a surpirse to David and to Ray to have it up there and it was just comedy gold. David read it with gusto while Ray sat back with a somewhat embarassed look about him and laughed. The audience was rollin'. It came up the next night, becasue that game is the same both nights, and though the audience laughed, it wasn't quite the same. There was definitly magic in that element of surpirse.

Phill's team deemed "Lovely Lady Flaps" by the audience.

The Lovely Lady Flaps during Precious Things

Yeay Raymond is back!

Gotta say, Alison is pretty adorbs.

That said, the second night was all right. We had a couple more people than the night before, 25 or so, and that night we had the camera rolling. Although the show was good it was not quite as sharp as the night before. We had some grumpy pwople in the audience who left at intermission. The rest of the audience really seemed to enjoy it, but they were not a vocal audience, which is a bummer when you're trying to record a comedy show you want people laughing.

All in all though, the first weekend was a success and I felt pretty damn good about it. We even got a good review on Goldstar. So somebody who gave it a random chance, came in totally blind to the concempt came and dug it.

August 14 & 15

The second week was a bit different, and actually completly flopped around. Some of the pressure was off, having got through the first weekend. However, sometimes coasting can be the worst time. I spent the week obsessivly checking the ticket sales. Obsessivly seeing if people who said they were going to come were acutlaly going to show. I was at about 17 reservations for each night before I left for the theatre on Friday afternoon. That day a thunderstorm hit Seattle that just put a weird aura in the air. I'm all for thunderstorms. I miss them. However this one was not your typical summer thunderstorm that kind of comes, does its thing, and goes. This thunderstorm it got dark at like noon and I mean DARK. Noon August the light was like that of it being like 4:30 in December. It was eerie. Plus the downpour, once it came,it  didn't change the humidity and wreaked havoc on traffic (plus we were up against a Seahawks pre-season and Hempfest which didn't help traffic). So I was really nervous about the panelists and the audience showing up on time.

The show started ten to fiftteen minutes late.That night I had my boss and his wife in the audience, Andy's boss and his wife in the audience plus Amy and Josh. We ended up again with like 25 or so. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, and the schmee was short staffed that weekend so I had to train my mom and a new staff member on box office whilst trying to do all the other stuff.

My boss and his wife were sitting right behind me so I was very cognicent of when they were laughing and when they weren't. I recoiled in horror at one moment when I realized my editorial fail. On the very first Pin the Tweet question there was one of the multiple choice options that was not funny, inappropriate. When i was editing the writer's board I rembered seeing it and thinking "oh that has to go." As I sat there I couldn't think of what to replace it so I thought I would come back to it, and I forgot about it and so it never got changed. i was horrified to hear it alloud right off the bat, and David was pretty pissed ot have to read it on stage. The show was still funny and had funny moments but the night was just off. From my editorial flub, to misread words, to some panelists coming off like they didn't want to be there (an observation from my boss, unforutnatly), to sassy ausience memebers who kind of threw David off his game, it was not the tighetest show. On top of that, the manual focus was on the camera so it wasn't focusing or white balancing propery and we ended up having to stay behind at the schmee becasue beacue I had to fix the box office sheet, the lights didn't go out properly and there was a major clog in one of the toilets, we didn't get out of the theatre for another hour after the show got out. It was just an all round weird night.

Saturday, however was a new day. I wasn't about to let the night before get me down. Besides we has 28 people on th books! I had some notes for David and the panel for improvement. And luckily the horror of the editorial flub night before gave me a more critical eye to the questions and what was getting through. I asked for Andy to take a look at one of the "Police blotter" stories and made a last minute decision to pull it and replace with another. This last minute edit made me way too busy to do some of my other important tasks like train a new staff memeber on box as I should have, but she's quick she got it. My dad was out of town, taing the park show to Chicacum so Dave was on the booth, which was fine but different. I was overwhelmed with frantic energy before the show but it pretty much all got done. That night I had Dani, Tracie, Rob and Raye in the audience. Dani also donated some Hawaiian stuff for the show which we gave away.

Usually, from my experience, Friday nights are the better nights. I usually attribute that to the energy. That anxious energy, the jitters, usually make for a really good show. It's usually Saturday nights, were we and the panel come in kinda like "we got this" that the nights usually fall flat. The last weekend this was not the case, but that was what I was planning for. So I kind of erred on the side of bootsing Saturday night up with a higher percentage of the better material from the writers board. Unfortunitly, for Fridays show the standard was not upheld in this case. Friday was an off show, with weird energy, and Satuday was packed, had great energy and had a lot of the best content. Goes to show that you just can't predict these things.

Saturday night's show was a blast! Due to Andy filming, which takes up a lot of space and blocks out seats, we were filled completely to capacity. We had over  A Schmee board member was in the audience, which made me happy. The crowd was energitic. The camera was working properly. David, John and the panel were on it. It was a really good show. It was a rush, having such a great show and feeling that we left our two week run on a high note.

Closing night!

Coming up...
My intention is not to go back to late night. I think the show has grown to know what it is and we've found a way to do it efficiently. We can benefit more in putting more behind marketing and helping it find it's audeince but it can't find it's audience at 11pm in Belltown. There's only so much we can do. That's just a hard sell. Long ago I could forsee that if we went back to latenight--after a run of geting half full houses--going back to only havinging at best 7 to 14 people on a good nitght (at worst only 3 or 4) would just really break morale and bring everyones confidence down.

So technically we are in a state of flux. Before our run began, I had a meeting with the Pocket Theater in Greenwood and had a really good discussion with the founder there. He asked me a lot of questions and offered me a lot of advice on the show. He advised against being monthly. I was worried aobut loosing momentum or losing the attention of staff if that was the case but right now, after that two week run I gotta remember that I place a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and even if other people are keen I have to make sure that I don't burn out. Also, as he pointed out there is more talent in comedy in this town than there is an audience for it, which I've noticed. After the show I tend to friend the comedians on FB and there are SO MANY  SHOWS, many of which I want to go to but I just don't have the energy or I go to shows and there's not a lot of folks there. So I see what he means. He also argued that a monthly show people are more likely to skip it beacuse they know it will be back the next month and that hurts numbers. So, we might not be monthly.  I've got all this to consider. I've also got to deal with some unsettled business between talent and Schmee. I want to make everyone happy and enjoys this ride together but I've also got to make sure that all parties get theirs too. I want to do an end of the year Big Fat Quiz, type of show at the Schmee but I'm not sure if it can all work in harmony as I'd like. There's also some other oppertunities that have come up to be explored too. The show I negotiated with the Pocket is a trail basis thing and we're to go from there based on the numbers we pull in. I'd love to have the show go on tour and do different venues around the city and keep building up it's audience and maybe that's the way we have to go.

Suffice to say I'll get this sorted out, and despite feeling relived to have this run done I've still got a lot of work ahead of me. Nevertheless  we are scheduled to be back on stage at the Pocket Theater Ocotober 16 at 7pm. Mark your calendars people.

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