Aug 14 2009
I was delusional last week. I legitimately thought I’d be able to take a break from the internet while on tour. Instead of spending several hours each day staring at my laptop, I thought I’d check email once or twice per day and just focus on work. Well, that’s clearly not gonna happen. I can already tell from just two screenings that there are going to be waaaay too many things I’ll want to write about.
Long story short: I’m back, baby!
And now, my assorted thoughts (musings, if you will) on the Portland and Seattle screenings:
- I’m going to die. Or at the very least, age dramatically, gain weight, and develop a mild addiction to Tylenol. I know my limit for the number of days in a row that I can drink before my health starts to dwindle. Be on the lookout for my obituary in The Maryland Tribune.
- Everyone knows Tucker is hilarious, but I think Nils Parker is going to be a pleasant surprise for all the people who come to these screenings. That guy is hysterical, and his wit is lightning fast and razor sharp. A lot of the funniest lines came from Nils in the Q&A, and I had to make a strong physical effort in order to keep the camera from shaking too much whenever he dropped a one-liner.
- Bill Dawes, the comedian who’s on tour with us, was cracking me up. He was doing impromptu interviews with people before and after the screening in Seattle, and at one point we came across a crazy homeless man. Bill walked up to him and said, “Excuse me, sir. What did you think of the I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell movie?” The guy starts ranting nonsensically and we both quickly realize… he has an enormous stutter. He rambled for about 10 seconds, never addressing that he hadn’t seen the movie, then paused. Dawes, with a completely straight-face: “And what would you say to your friends who want to see the movie?” This provoked a lengthy tirade about Vietnam.
- The dynamic for filming testimonials is weird — I knew this from doing similar stuff in the past — but some people switch from super high energy to mannequins as soon as they’re on camera, and vice versa. I think a lot of people just don’t like having a camera unexpectedly in their face, because they’re basically obligated to talk to a machine while trying not to embarrass themselves. We’ll have to think of some ways to overcome this and quickly uproot any timidity the person is feeling. That being said, Bill and I got a few great testimonials. We had two people tell us it was legitimately the funniest movie they’d ever seen. Another guy was so enthused and over the top when he sung his praises for IHTSBIH to the camera that I thought, “Damn, we’re not going to be able to use this. It looks set up.” Just then, Bill stepped into frame and said, “I swear to god, we did not pay this man.” And while a bunch of people said it was better than The Hangover, we did find two girls who were hesitant with their answers. I think one of them decided they liked IHTSBIH more, and the other preferred The Hangover.
- The PA system at the Seattle screening drove me insane. We set it up and tested it beforehand, and it sounded great. Then Nils’ mic wouldn’t pick up his voice during the Q&A, and Tucker’s mic’s volume was all over the place. Lavalier mics suck. We’re going to have to get some wireless handhelds.
- There was a guy wearing a wolf shirt at the Seattle bar, and I’m pretty sure he was not wearing it ironically. So everyone started chanting for him to ditch his shirt. He took it off and walked around shirtless for awhile, which was pretty funny.
- The after-show in Portland was… weird. Two bros followed Tucker to the bar, and both of them had had a toxic amount to drink. And when I say ‘toxic,’ I do mean that. At one point, the younger of the two was just standing there saying, “Ah, my shoulder hurts.” As he reached up to rub his shoulder, he fell down. He didn’t trip. He didn’t say, “Ah, my LEG hurts,” and then try to balance on one foot. No. The act of raising his arm caused him to lose balance and fall down on his back. Meanwhile, his drunk friend had decided to play Jeff in a game of pool. He volunteered that, if he lost, he would allow Jeff to choke him out. Ah, the logic of the town drunk. Jeff beat him one-handed (literally), then proceeded to choke him out. Unbelievable.
- The most surreal moment (for me, at least) was when someone in Seattle recognized me from my e-book. Bill Dawes had just finished interviewing two guys in line, and I think he mentioned my name or something. Then one of the guys said, “Wait, are you Charlie Hoehn?” He then told me how he’d read RPGrad, recommended it to his friends, and was excited to implement some of the ideas. Truly awesome, and something I won’t soon forget. I get emails from people every now and then, but I almost never get to hear their voices or see their faces. This incident suddenly made things very real for me. So thanks, Bradon.
If you read my stuff and see me at a screening, please don’t hesitate to say hey. I’d be happy to chat with you, even if I’m running around frantically and sweating profusely.