Archive: October, 2009
|Courtesy of Rookie Card|
Atheists in heaven and angels selling clouds are just a few of the things you might witness at a Rookie Card improv show. Though Rookie Card is not exactly a veteran improv team ' only forming this past March ' these guys are no rookies (hardy, har) at comedy. The five members ' Marc Reber, Jake Alvarez, Jesse Kimball, John Di Santo and JP Boudwin ' are all grads of the Philadelphia Improv Theatre, and together they form a crazy bunch willing to discuss almost anything on stage, from religion to Hitler to weird sexual relationships. They'll be playing at the Philadelphia Improv Festival tonight at 9:30 p.m. at Society Hill Playhouse (507 S. Eighth St., 215-923-0210), for $10. I caught up with them (minus Boudwin) at the Raven Lounge this week before one of their shows.
Critical Mass: So how would you describe your style of humor?
Marc Reber: One of things I notice is that we are kind of fearless as a group. We do a lot of jumping in on scenes and changing the focus of scenes, so each of our scenes have other scenes within them.
John Di Santo: I would say our style would be just kind of, like ' sloppy.
Jesse Kimball: Absurdly juvenile meets dark and tragic ' in a kind of sloppy, fearless way.
Jake Alvarez: Our show has been described as being really clusterfucky.
Jesse Kimball: They say you need to learn the rules before you break 'em, but that's not true ' because we still don't know the rules, and we break 'em.
CM: How do you start a show?
JK: The form that we do is called the 'Herald.'
JA: It's a very basic form, but we're one of the few groups in town that does it.
JDS: You have an opening with a word suggestion, and you have three scenes all in the first round.
MR: For example, the word is "hippo."
JK: So we come out and we're in a safari, and then because hippos have big teeth, Reber and Di Santo are doing a dentist scene, and the next scene is a pool cleaner and this lady trying to seduce him. And in the third beat, you find out that the dentist is actually the pool cleaner's husband.
JDS: In the third scene, you try to find connections among all the previous scenes.
JK: It's like Pulp Fiction, kind of.
CP: What kind of audience do you like?
JDS: The larger the audience, the more energy that's generated and the better generally the show becomes, because you're kind of guided by the audience.
JK: It's a lot like a DJ playing, because whatever they're playing, people are getting into it, and then they'll spin it into something else. The audience influences what the next thing is going to be.
CM: Do you guys follow specific character roles?
JA: I tend to fall into the devil.
JK: Reber plays Jesus a lot. I play a wife a lot. I like to play coming-of-age teenagers that are seeking a male figure.
JDS: I usually play a hot Latino woman.
CM: Why did you choose improv over standup?
JDS: What I like is that the sum ends up being greater than the individual parts. There's a term called 'group mind' where everyone ends up thinking on the same wavelength, and that is like a high. That's the best part.
JK: It's like havin' sex with four other dudes at once, but less messy.
|go eagles! (click to enlarge)|
They've finally debuted their Philadelphia design, which is so beautiful I need to get my hands on it, like, now. Good thing it's hella cheap: $22 for a poster, $27 for a signed screenprint, both 10 by 24 inches. (Color choices: Black and white; light and dark blue; green and white; and even Eagles-themed teal-and-tan.) Gimme.
Says Chicago-based Ork maven Jenny Beorkrem, Philly, with its 8.1 million itty-bitty neighborhoods, wasn't easy to wrap her head around. "Philly does have a lot of neighborhoods ' it ended up looking similar to D.C. with the street grid diagonal to the compass and bisected by creeks/rivers," she says. "You have to spend more time on the type to make it look acceptable."
What do you think, CritMass readers ' has she passed the city-shaped-like-a-pork-chop test?
"It was supposedly 300 years old, this alien, because they live a lot longer than we do": Q&A with Bird's Eye View's Cybela Clare
|Courtesy of Prism Pictures|
Cybela Clare walks around in public with a big red parrot on her shoulder talking about alien abductions and government conspiracies. "I think this is the most fun, amazing, amusing, exciting subject on this planet," Cybela says. It's also the subject of her upcoming quasi-fiction documentary, Bird's Eye View (read Molly Eichel's review), about Cleo (played by Cybela, who also wrote and directed the feature length film), who goes on an investigatory mission after her favorite parrot mysteriously disappears. Eighteen years of research culminates in the film's world premiere this Friday at the Roxy.
Cybela on how to protect yourself from aliens:
I think basically, if they really want to abduct somebody, it's very, very hard to avoid it.
Cybela on why extraterrestrials are invading our planet:
If you were going to go to the best resort in the universe, it would probably be planet Earth.
Cybela on not being crazy:
I've interviewed people in Brazil, all over Brazil, and there are judges and lawyers and doctors in Brazil who claim they've been aboard spacecraft and they've been put in some kind of nitrogen liquid and they've been on other planets and, and ' you think I'm crazy, right? I mean, I'm not, I'm just telling you the truth.
Cybela on where to learn more:
There's just so much information out there that anybody who really wants to know should just go on the Internet and write in "UFO" or "extraterrestrial cover-up" or anything and they're going to get thousands and thousands of Web sites of people who know a lot more than I do.
Cybela on angel figurines made by Yanni Posnakoff, who plays the spiritual guru living in a cave and communicating with alien life forms:
A lot of them have gold on them, and like, you know, real gold paint, you know, like gold, that looks like gold and the wings are gold and they glisten ' they're real gold.
Cybela on government intelligence:
There are a lot of presidents who tried to get this information for themselves, even Clinton couldn't find out ' Jackie Gleason, um, Nixon ' he was a good friend of Nixon's and Nixon knew about these aliens and these underground bases and he took him to Florida ' I think it was called Holmes Airforce Base in Florida, and he showed Jackie Gleason in a special base there, a dead alien behind glass, you know, inside of a place, and Jackie Gleason ' he made a house in upstate New York that looks like a flying saucer.
Cybela on aliens in Philadelphia:
But to be honest with you, I don't know anybody in Philadelphia, anything that's happened in Philadelphia having to do with UFOs or abductions. I think it's a very unknown subject here ' I hardly knew Philadelphia until now. And now that I'm back promoting my movie and that I have a place here now, I am totally in love with Philadelphia and I'm just thinking, how could people in New York not know how amazingly beautiful Philadelphia is and how much cleaner the city is than New York and how much sweeter the people seem to be, how much more mellow the people seem to be, how much more beautiful the people seem to be? People are so beautiful and attractive here and they're so friendly and they all seem to love my bird, which I really like, and they're so kind about my bird. I mean in New York, you can walk down the street with a bird on your shoulder, nobody will even look at the bird, won't even notice you have a bird, they'll scowl at you like you're crazy. [Giggles] I'm serious.
Cybela on alien life expectancy:
It was supposedly 300 years old, this alien, because they live a lot longer than we do.
Cybella proving that biblical angels were really aliens:
There are all these paintings in the Vatican that have UFOs in the paintings.
Cybela on the Q&A format of this interview:
In other words, what do you mean, like, you give a question and I just give an answer, right?
Bird's Eye View, Fri., Oct. 2-Thu., Oct. 8, Roxy Theater, 2023 Sansom St., 215-923-6699, birdseyeviewthemovie.com.
Read about Kurt Vile, a local, lovely, lo-fi (ooo, alliteration) musician in this week's issue first, and then stream his new album below. My first impression is that it's just what I like in an autumn album ' a little angsty, at times a throwback, and full of references to spooky hunchbacks, heart attacks and other ailments. What do y'all think? He plays this Sat., Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St., 866-468-7619), for $10.
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