Sketch comedy is my first great love as a writer. I spent several years in my early twenties doing The Flying Turtle Show, where I worked hard at developing my voice. The sad part was the show ended just as I was putting out my best work. I set the sketches aside for years as I put my energy into comics, film scripts, and my day job.
As I was in the limbo between being laid off and starting up again as an independent, I starting fleshing out these ideas into full sketches. Most were simple, two-character pieces inspired by my experiences since the show ended. Last year, I found myself sitting on several years’ worth of short scripts without much to show for their creation. That’s when I decided to collect and publish them. The result was my book, Hold On to the Good Stuff. The Marx Brothers inspired the title, as they made sure to never let go of their best stage bits. Over the years they worked them into their movies and promo pieces. Like them, I didn’t want my good material going to waste.
The book’s been out for almost a year now and I’m happy with it but at the end of the day, scripts need to be performed. I’d been noodling with the idea of producing them again (and several for the first time) before contacting the St. Clair Theater Guild with the idea of producing it through them. We’ve nailed it down now and the live show of Hold On to the Good Stuff will be hitting the stage on August 26 and 27 in St. Clair, MI. Auditions are coming up on June 8 and I’m looking forward to putting my work in front of an audience again.
The first time my work was ever performed for a real audience was the first Flying Turtle Show, performed at Dirty’s Cafe in Kalamazoo, MI back in 1996. I had two nights of weird dreams beforehand and when a big crowd showed up for it, the fear of stinking of the stage landed on me. I lamented making Trappers the first sketch we performed. It was about two animal trappers in the city who caught a jogger in a bear trap. I realized before going on it was my weakest sketch (I didn’t include it in the book). I can’t even begin to express the divine relief I felt when it actually got laughs (much thanks to Earl Brown and Jeremy Brown for making it work). I’m hoping for a similar experience in August.
So please come check it out and if you haven’t already seen the book, I promise you it’s worth the investment. You can buy a hard copy or download it at: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/hold-on-to-the-good-stuff/11273150?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1