every year at faire, there is a gong show. it's like a talent show, only nobody has called them talent shows since summer camp. it transpires at night after the public has gone home - it's for rennies by rennies. I've watched it every year since I started working faire. there's an excellent MC dressed as a troll wearing fishnets and thigh high black vinyl boots. he's a sexy bitch, tell you what. this year, two of the hottest girls on the list of hot girls I know dressed up as the toohot trollettes and filled corsetes and filled roles as fill-in back-up hotness relief.
last year, I saw robin, a guy from my juggling styx booth, do the best contact juggling routine ever. he won - and was cooler than flick's tongue on the frozen flagpole.
the year before, I saw jessica, jason, todd and dennis, also from my juggling styx booth, simultaneously spin fiery juggling styx. they won - and were hotter than ralphie in the pink bunny suit. we wanted to maintain our winning streak more than we wanted a red rider beebee gun.
every year, the gong show has a handful of jaw dropping acts and handfuls of handfuls of acts ranging good to decent from bad to goofy to decent to barely tolerable to must-be-gonged-immediately. some professional performers perform. some "well... you've got to admire their guts" performers perform.
a back back christmas story: prelude to the music
desert sin put on an amazingly thought out talented costumed spectacle of a show. one of the acts had this overwhelming technoish music - originally by mochipet and brilliantly mixed together with some other music and some bone crunching sound effects by windows to sky. that was my introduction to mochipet's music - you should check it out.
a back christmas story: the music
the weekend before the gong show, it was decided that spinning fiery juggling styx had kind of been done at this here gong show. that we needed to do something new. as it so happens, new is right up my alley - so far that I can no longer see the street. not wanting to do a half assed act, I went about figuring out some fully assed music, costumery, and other stuff. I mean, I could have just picked a song, got on stage and done something freestyley and improvvy. but I've done that before and I wanted to put more effort into this one. don't forget - there is a handful of amazing acts every year.
my first thought was to use the same windows to sky remix as the desert sin piece. I set about getting permission from windows to sky and desert sin. simultaneously, I asked my brother if he could mix me some music. I didn't know if windows to sky + desert sin would let me use theirs and I didn't know if my brother would have time to whip me up something of his. meanwhile, at the hall of justice, I also set about finding some songs for my brother to mix, in case he said yes but didn't have time to pick stuff out. I split my eggs into three iffy baskets instead of just one. my brother hasn't eaten voluntarily in over three years.
my brother, the various permissions, and andy, from whom I sought advice in music picking, came through. I was aflood with musical options.
I listened to the original desert sin + windows to sky piece and though it's excellent, it was distinctly crafted for the particular act for which it was hand crafted. unless I wanted to rip off the desert sin dance more than I wanted to rip off the desert sin dance, I couldn't really use that music.
what I ended up doing is giving my brother sweet emotion, a techno remix of spin spin sugar, and the windows to sky + desert sin music. I specified intro time, exactly how much time I wanted and a few various things. the reason time was so critical is that I wanted a finale coordinated with the music at exactly the time that my fire was extinguishing. this was about thursdayish. my goal was to leave my house around 4pm friday for faire. which leads us to...
a christmas story:
after a herculean effort to get me music in such short order, my brother uploaded me the finished product around 6pm friday. I listened to it a couple of times, burned two cds, and walked right through the door.
the cd player in my car has been acting rather gimpy lately. after playing the song about five times, it gave up the ghost and wouldn't play for the duration of the drive. my car was scut farkusing me.
I got to faire and played the music for todd. todd's to do a bad ass flaming sword intro to the act. we went over a bit of timing and blocking and things seemed to be fine. though, I still had wild visions of practicing a few times with the music. I gave one of the two cds to a kind soul volunteering to load it onto their mp3 player so I could listen and spin. but it was not to be - they lost that cd. horror! one cd down and one to go.
at least costumery worked itself out with only a small hitch. the costume I put together was black leather bracers, black leather pants, and my magic shoes. my magic shoes are the flamey converse I've worn in 4 countries, black rock city, rainbow gathering, the first time I ever spun fire, and some etc. they're a bit worn down so nowadays I only bust them out for special occasions. the aforementioned hitch was that I didn't have any bracers - I intended to buy them at faire that day, but it turns out that new bracers require breaking in. I borrowed a pair instead of buying my own. relative hitchlessness.
about an hour or so before the show, we brought todd's car onto the faire site and we were just going to play the music a couple times in his car cd player. more horror - his car was having none of it and said the cd was bad. his car was playing grover dill to my car's scut farkus. I scrambled to gingerly feed the cd to a boombox, with a great sigh of relief, it played. at least the last remaining cd isn't busted. I retained a faire amount of dread that the dj's stereo would santa claus me and shoot my eye out by refusing to play the cd. I kind of gave up on the idea of practicing and I turned toward hoping that the somewhat complex timing issue of fire extinguishing and music ending would work itself out.
I took the stage having heard the music about 10 times and having never practiced with it. everything leading up to the act was quite harrowing. once I took the stage, however, everything went off perfectly. the techs successfully killed the lights. the dj started the music about on time. todd looked like a badass with his flaming sword. I managed to not smack the cabana boy or the judges or fall off the stage. I remembered the music enough and managed to intentionally work my fires to make them go out at exactly the right time. I don't think others noticed, but through the whole act I was paying a huge amount of attention to the status of my fires and constantly switching faster and slower as I estimated how much time was left in the fire and how much time was left in the music. overall, the whole thing couldn't have gone all that much better.
the crowd loved it - lots of ooohs and aaaahs. we didn't get gonged, I didn't shoot my eye out, and despite some excellent acts that knocked my socks off, the judges bought our malarkey and we won. we got an A + + + + + + + ... this victory comes with a $300 cash prize!.
following the act, and following me regaining respirative powers, I thanked desert sin, windows to sky, mochipet and my brother for the music. burn the man quoth todd.
we decided to give $50 to mochipet for his music - his website says it's free for non commercial use. and though my use wasn't really commercial, we did get paid. besides, his laptop was just stolen. we donated the remaining $250 to our prometheatrics burning man scholarship fund.
we kicked the crap out of little orphan annie and ovaltine combined.