Production…unscripted
Monday, 09 April 2012 03:04

Radical Ryan Rodrigues and Joe Scully

A couple of events ago, I asked the committee person how their sponsors were enjoying and perceiving the show.  Their comment was in form of a question, and it is one that comes up a lot, "How much of this is scripted?" (and they couldn't believe the answer was almost zero.)

I'm not a fan of a script… it only leads to potential mistakes, the fear of mistakes, and the distraction thereof.  Even when I work with a clown or specialty act and they hand me a script, I ask them to give me the "hits", i.e. the lines that they need me to say verbatim.  Those I refer to, but everything else we fly by the seat of our pants.  Only once I had a clown cover his mic and say to me, "stay on script!", but as they learned and eventually became to appreciate, we're going to go in a different direction every time.  I will try and one-up a punchline mid-skit, or lead the conversation in a circle before we get to a "hit".  Mostly, this is to advance timing, delivery and packaging of an interlude, but it is also to keep it interesting for the main players and repeat spectators.

One of the greatest opportunities I've been afforded is to work with some of the best entertainers in the Industry.  Our rhythms and personalities sync, and when we begin talking to one another in efforts to "fill time" (without it being obvious), we have no idea where the conversation will go, but just know that there will be a lawf in there…somewhere.  Even most Sponsor Tags / Mentions are "freestyled" for a more personal and entertaining delivery.

The greatest compliment I ever received was inadvertently by one of the Industry's greats: "…he needs to figure out whether he wants to be an announcer or a clown…"  When I prefer to have clown-announcer banter to be un-scripted while polished dialogue similar to "morning radio", I couldn't be more honoured.  While watching one of my mentor's work the two largest events in our Industry with the same mentality (i.e. funny, serious, humorous, informative…all at the opportune times), I took confidence in the direction that I am taking my craft.

Overall, it works well 99% of the time.  Not every time Babe Ruth went to the plate did he hit a home run, and even Superman has to take a washroom break.  Sure, we've bombed the odd occasion, but even Jerry Seinfeld tells a dud on stage every now and then. (sometimes a bombed joke is even funnier, though)

I enjoy the compliments and appreciate the criticisms.  At the end of the day, we're performers, and as such, are susceptible to how we're percieved.

Accepting this, for the time being, my answer to the question, "how much of this is scripted" will be borrowed from Sirius-XM Radio Host Ron Bennington - "If [the show] was scripted we certainly would have written it better than this." … haha.

 

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