Learning curves as doors open

Tyson & Sandi during a skit at Innovations

I’ll admit I had no idea how to start this post.

There’s just so much that’s happened and it’s a bit of a blur.

Ok, here goes:

The whole ROAR Comedy thing seems to have gone cold. A week later and I’m no closer to knowing whether or not they considered me after my e-mail catalogued my performance experience here at Rhodes.

In the meantime, I hadn’t revealed that I’ve had the blessing of being cast in one of the drama department’s National Arts Festival productions – Antigone. It’s an adaptation of the classic greek tragedy and that whole process (we’ve been working for a number of weeks) has just been intensely eye-opening.

Let me add one more thing on that: Remember the name Jen Schneeberger.

Jen is the director and her approach to theatre gives me the feeling that she’ll be cited in textbooks and someone out there will plagiarise her genius for their essay someday.

Jen told me bluntly that she wants to yank me out of what she called my “comedy comfort zone”.

She’s doing exactly that.

The character I play, Creon, is a control-freak of note. In a nutshell, his niece has disobeyed a pretty serious law of his and he’s REALLY ticked off. Did I mention he’s a royal pain in the bum?

Yes, he’s a king.

OK, so that’s me done with my little marketing stint [cough, cough – the play runs on the 3rd, 6th & 9th of July]

Then there’s Innovations.

Innovations is a production which the drama department stages each year. It’s basically a platform for any undergrads to strut their stuff on stage in whichever way they please.

Anyway, this year’s organising committee asked me as well as the immensely gifted Sandisile Dlangalala (a fellow drama student) to be this year’s hosts.

Sandi is an impeccable talent with a knack for all things comical and I really hope, for the sake of entertainment, he remains a performer.

Why us? – They “knew we were gonna be funny”.

No pressure, then.

Work on Innovations started about 3 weeks ago. I have never in my experience of shows been exposed to this level of creative leeway.

Sandi and I went nuts. The most random skits which we would bounce off eachother in rehearsals were greeted with emphatic approval from the committee.

By random, I also include a rendition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller which consists of minimal lyrics and an exaggeration of his mannerisms.

The show was staged on the 6th and 7th of May.

We kept it comical and it worked for us, thankfully.

Comedy is such a…. I don’t even know how to describe it. If there’s someone out there who loves, awes and seeks it just a fraction of the way I do, then they’re freakishly into it.

The good Lord has also shown me another door handle, which I’m pretty keen on turning.

The arrival of Matthew Jackson on these shores brought with him an ambition to establish an improvised comedy troupe here at Rhodes.

What a jaw-dropper.

This is an amazing shot at developing performance skill as well as flirting with one of my favourite beings : Comedy.

In another dose of awesomeness, the annual cultural variety show hosted by the Hindu Students’ Society has emerged as a very likely event which I could host. I’ll keep you in the loop on that one.

I’m just so grateful to be experiencing so much right now.

I’m pretty chuffed that you’re here to share in all that.

Keep visiting.

-Tyson

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