Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Gong Show

I work in The Arts. Which usually means I clean dilapidated buildings, sit at the front desk, tell actors where to stand, and drive artists and performers to gigs. But sometimes I am called upon to use my powers to stumble through some master of ceremonies impersonation or other, and that's what I'm doing this Saturday night, as O.R.P.H. Inc tries to get its excrement assembled and buy a much-loved theater. (While we're on the subject, "theater" is the word when you talk about the building, "theatre" is the spelling when you talk about the organization.)

There was a time (before the Boomers made everything self-centered, passive, and avaricious) when people would leave their houses and go to see live performers. Because they didn't have TeeVees. Whew, lucky those days are gone, you're saying.
Well, some old-fashioned sticks-in-the-mud (some call them preservationists, some incorrectly call them Luddites, but that's another journal entry) want to keep this old theater from falling any more apart or turned into a WalMart or parking lot.
In the old days, all you had to do to preserve an old dandy was get up the money to fix'er up. Nowadays, however, you have to fight against the general phony poverty most people insist they're suffering in while buying a second car and having a sixth kid. And they demonize preservationists and artists in general for being communists or goof-offs. And make up some other ignorant reason to watch their neighborhoods turn to shit so they can have something to complain about and tell everyone what they would have done.
So, some people choose to do something they'll be ridiculed for, and that's O.R.P.H. Marlaina Gaspardi put together a nifty school project (all right, stop making fun of young professionals, old man!) Which you should read. And yeah, that's me, getting back on stage for an evening of "fun raising."
Here's a tip to anyone getting interviewed by an eleven year-old (what did I say about that?): Make sure you attribute to others stupid things you say extemporaneously at a photo shoot. Tonight, I'm going to have to deal with an entire city-wide festival (AHA! New Bedford) full of people saying bon mots like, "Raise any funs lately?"
In the meantime, "Mr. Carroll" is my father, and I didn't see him at the interview. Also, Chuck Barris' Gong Show wasn't early 20th Century vaudeville. Even if you weren't alive when it was on TeeWee. And I wish they'd used my other headshot. The outfit is much nicer. See?
Theirs:

And better hair:

2 comments:

Dr. Momentum said...

I was wondering about that "early 20th century" comment, too. Was that a shot?

ThirdMate said...

Marlaina was so sweet I had to turn up my insulin pump. She diligently wrote down every word I and others said, explaining that she had heard complaints about misquotes by other "writers" at the S-T. She didn't get some words in the correct order, but...
I know for a fact that the editor of Coastin' has had a rotten cold, so that might explain the article's, erm, quality.
"A shot"? No. Playing up the vaudeville thing was a bad idea on somebody's part. I just host these affairs now. Easier on the worry bone.
I'm dedicating the show to Chuck Barris anyway. That was TeeWee after school. It's how I got here.