Thursday, February 10, 2005

Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, CO - Day 2

It's Thursday, February 10, 2005 (at least you can pretend it is if you're one of those people who have an imagination and live in a fairy world and have no sense of reality and only focus on the past. I can say with utmost confidence that you are NOT reading this on February 10, 2005 as I'm actually writing it on March 19, 2005. It's a little trick called adjustable date syndrome - like when you let some air out of your inflatable girlfriend for a softer ride (let out too much air and you may as well be dating a Hefty bag - take it from someone who knows)).

Anyway, pretending it's Day 2 of the Aspen Comedy Festival, Erica and I got up when the notion took us and got ready for a day of laughter. "Hee hee hee," I warmed up my laughing chords. "Ha ha ha," she practiced (I hope) as I walked by in the nude. Once giggling warm-ups and dressing and primping were complete, we took ourselves to Aspen (from Snowmass) in hopes of securing one more ticket for tonight's Eddie Izzard show. If you don't know why we were one ticket shy, please take the time to skim the prior posts and get up to speed. It's the least you can do (and isn't that what we all strive to do, the least possible?).

"Hey, you got tickets? Tickets? Tickets? Who's got tickets? Give me tickets. I want tickets." I asked. I said.

"No." "Get bent." "Sorry, butthole." "I'm looking too." "Good luck, jerk." "I do, but not for you." These are replies, real and imagined. No ticket for me to be had, not for tonight's Izzard show at least. Not yet, at least.

Time for our day's programming to begin. It began with Shorts Program 3. Back to the Isis Theater. I like Shorts. They aren't long, so if they're bad, they'll be over soon. These weren't bad, so it was pleasant to have them entertain us briefly. During the final short, and because our next movie was to start within minutes, we got up to leave. Once outside the theater, we saw the lobby was jam packed full of assholes clamoring to get in to where we had just departed. That's because it was where our next screening was being held, so we slunk back in and found our seats again. We could just stay there for the next show, so no bother getting up (though it was too late for that).

Once the shorts ended and the seats were being cleared of all people who wouldn't be staying to see the next show, I agreed to go out into the lobby to get Erica some popcorn and a drink. My sinister alternative reason was because I, myself, wanted to see if there were any possible portroid subjects to be portroided (new verb, I guess). Guess what? Outside, talking to some tall guy I had seen around a lot was Patton Oswalt (whose show we laughed at last night. Not "laughed at" like you do when a retarded kid stumbles over a drunken bum on the sidewalk and then starts punching the drunk in that way retarded kids love to punch people, but "laughed at" like you do when you are tickled inside by something you relate to in an unexpected way). Man, it would be awesome to get Patton Oswalt's portroid, but he keeps on talking to this guy who I don't know. Ah, fiddlesticks! Maybe later.

The next screening was a film called "Tennis, Anyone?" directed and starring Donal Logue, who you may remember from such things as talking on his phone in front of the St. Regis, and walking around chatting to some dude in the St. Regis, and sitting in the lobby socializing in the St. Regis. Same guy. Also in this film is, hey, it's that tall guy I've been seeing around, the one who was unintentionally hording Patton's attention when I wanted to go up and awkwardly ask if I could take his picture. His name is Kirk Fox. He turns out to be a pretty decent actor and so I forgive him for my not knowing him before. I'm pretty magnanimous.

The movie was an independent film striving hard to be independent (and I don't say that with condescension or derision or mocking tones - it's just that they specifically said they wanted it to be independent and to have the feel of independence). It was strongly autobiographical in that "this is what I know, so this is what I write" kind of way, similar to how novels by prolific novelists tend to have a protagonist who just so happens to be a novelist. This movie didn't have the "based on a true story" tagline, but from the Q&A afterwards, it seemed to be. This is neither positive nor negative, just something to write about the movie. I enjoyed it. That's also something to write about the movie. Something else to write would be to say it had it's obligatory share of quiet drawn-out moments where the character is "feeling" something, the staple of independent films, the silence of reflection that adds boredom to the interesting parts and separates it from those bastard mainstream "Hollywood" popcorn pictures. Because without the scene of the main character breaking his own heart with self-pitying self-realization, how the fuck are we supposed to know this art means something? We're not that smart.

After the movie, which I feel I need to reiterate I enjoyed, we were all invited to a champagne mid-day afterparty across the street to mingle with the filmmakers and ask poingnant questions. This would be my chance to get that longed-for Donal Logue portroid, but I wanted to go to McDonal's instead and get a two cheeseburger meal. Super Size Me wasn't playing this year (that was last year's hit), so I didn't have the associated guilt of killing myself with bad-for-me food. Ah, the delights of forced ignorance. Erica had a case of feeling barfy from the popcorn and wanted to get some "real food" in her in a hurry. She also lost her hat in the Isis Theater. That place eats winter wear.

After our late lunch, it was time again to go to the St. Regis to check the Exchange Table for last minute Eddie Izzard trade-ins. Time was running short and panic was starting to creep into my normally cool facade. No luck. No one had any and those who did weren't budging. I still had hope.

Upstairs in the lobby we saw Tom Green. You might remember him as the guy who lived on the boat in Charlie's Angels (maybe he didn't actually live on the boat - you're the expert - you tell me.). If you only remember him from that film, you must see some pretty crappy movies and you must not have watched MTV or Canadian Public Access Television (CPAT) from like 1994 (start CPAT) to the Year 2000 (end MTV) and/or you didn't see any of the other crappy movies he was in. I like Tom Green, but he was in a rush out the door, so I didn't get his picture (so don't go looking for it - because I'll tell you now for the last time, I never got his picture).

The next picture we saw was 'Bob The Butler' starring Tom Green. He was there and introduced the film (and no I didn't get his picture. I said it before, and I hate repeating myself, I DID NOT take Tom Green's portroid on this trip. Not at all. Not even once. Quit pestering me with the same old questions). In the audience with us was Christopher Lloyd. He had a big bushy mustache and an Aztec-ish print fleece jacket. He fit right in in Aspen. Kind of half-cowboy, half-hippie. After the movie, I saw both Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Green in the lobby. I was going to take a picture of each of them, but decided not to. I don't know why. The timing was oh so right. I just didn't feel like it, OK?

Oh, and I found Erica's hat.

While waiting for the next show (The Chippertons) to start, we checked one last time the Exchange Desk, only to be mocked and scoffed at as if our our own increasing desperation for the elusive Eddie Izzard ticket wasn't demeaning enough. There's nothing sexier than desperation, but couple that with the embarrassment of public rejection and damn that's hot!

We killed the remaining time watching Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder broadcast live their Majority Report radio program on Air America from the St. Regis Lobby. While we waited, Stephen Tobolowsky passed through. He had on a coonskin cap. No picture. No proof. I could be lying. I could say he was wearing a Sherlock-Holmsian Deerstalker and you wouldn't know if it was true (unless you were there). Maybe he wasn't wearing a hat at all. Maybe he wasn't even there! Maybe I wasn't there! I was, though, and he was, and he was wearing a coonskin cap. You've got to believe that. You've just got to.

The Chippertons - it was over in 45 minutes, but seemed like a full hour. The tediousness reminded me of riding 'it's a small world' twice in a row. I know that doesn't sound all that tedious, but try it. You'll drown yourself in the ankle-deep waters before you hit Mexico on that second go. I think the monotonous happiness was supposed to play into the satire, but it was too annoyingly real to work effectively. The fake commercials were funny though, and given another subject, I can see how the "troupe" could make comedy work.

Taking the long way 'round, I've finally come to what I've been yammering about for three days. The Eddie Izzard Show. 8:30 PM at the Wheeler Opera House. We got there at 7:15. There were five people in the ticket holders line (Erica joined them), and one person waiting in the ticket buyer line. I was going to join the ticket buyer line, but was told by staff that because I had a Black Diamond Pass, I could wait in a new line all my own which gave me first priority for an extra seat after ticket holders had been satisfied. I would've been better served in the ticket buyer line.

As showtime grew nearer, the ticket buyer line grew, the ticket holder line grew faster, and my middle of the road line grew intermediately. We got moved to the far edge of the sidewalk as the sidewalk became more and more crowded. Behind me in line was my friend Al who I had met the day before. He was also seeking tickets to Izzard. He was also without luck. The ticket holder line stretched for blocks down the block. Erica helped by asking people in line if they were willing to sell a ticket. They weren't. I noticed, though, that some of the people from the ticket buyer line had moved over into the ticket holder line. It seems some ticket holders had given away their seats to what they thought were the first awaiters. Curse my across the sidewalk line! We were missing all the opportunities.

I waved goodbye to Erica as she and her front-of-the-line friends went into the theater. "Don't worry, I'll get in," I said, trying most to convince myself. A British guy in line behind me and behind Al and behind Al's wife made the astute comment that America was indeed not a classless society. This was punctuated by a special breed of new arrivals - the VIPs. VIPs get ushered in through the backdoor in hordes. The theater only seats 400-some people, but these swarms of More-Important-Than-Me-ers weren't worried because they held the golden ticket - knowing someone who knew someone who is someone. I knew no one. So, now it was VIPs, then ticket holders, then me and my ilk, then ticket buyers for priority entrance. Things were looking grim.

Oh, and take into account that we had now been standing outside for an hour and it was cold as a warlock's cock in a brass jock.

The ticket holder line never seemed to get any shorter, no matter the number of people allowed ingress. It was like a clown car in reverse. Until they hit capacity.

They filled a backflow room where some of the remaining ticket holders could watch the show on monitors, but it was standing room, and once that room filled, that was it. About 150 actual ticket holders still waited outside waiting to get in. We, in the standby line were told to no longer stand by. In the independent movie of my life, this was the moment where the close-up of my face revealed the inner destruction of all my hope, the self-pitying moment that spoke quietly the inner torment of my failure. I held this pose for as long as it took to bore anyone watching, and then I left. "This means something," I wanted them to think.

Rick
portroids@hotmail.com

No comments: