Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Let's make some art!

When I gwow up, I wanna be like Mr. The Famous Mysterious Actor. He makes me go all laughy. And then I go “ewww” too at what he does, but it’s a good “ewww” cuz I’m waughing then too…

Excuse me. Regressed a bit. Last night my inner widdle kid – and my inner Beavis-and-Butthead, and my inner other-parts-of-me, the actual adult and adult-like bits – enjoyed my first in-person exposure to the Famous Mysterious Actor Show, performance art done like a Troma-produced TV talk show. My old neighborhood’s own theatre, Sabala’s at Mount Tabor (recently renamed and remodeled) got taken over by a Wayne’s World-level collection of knocked-around desk, worn couch for guests, suspended microphones all in a row, stage lighting, toys, sugary drinks, and beer. There’s also a painted-sheet backdrop of Portland, complete with our Big Pink skyscraper and an exploding volcano. And amidst the smoky, beer-fueled haze of my fellow Portlanders, hilarity happened. Including for me, who was sober as a stone.

The Famous Mysterious Actor wore a rust-colored jacket, a dark-and-dirty fright wig and a Mexican wrestler’s mask. Contrary to my expectation, he didn’t sound like Strong Bad; his voice is more like Jon Lovitz’s SNL character Annoying Man, high and squeaking. His sidekicks include one guy who speaks only in German, while a producer who looked like a cross between The Matrix’s Merovingian and Ben Affleck oozed Show Business Weasel smarm from just off stage.

The show’s supposed to have guests, but last night was not-as-planned in that (to the FMA’s apparent surprise) none showed up. Artist-writer M. E. (Mike) Russell was apparently sick, Movie Madness video store owner Mike Clark had had to cancel, and some people (both, by the way, named Mike) were apparently just AWOL. At first, the best they could do was bring up a guy pretending to be Mike Thrasher, who books shows for Dante’s downtown, but then they did better by bringing up a former Movie Madness employee. Who was a babe. (To be exact, it was Jen Lane, expert on drunken Portland nightlife.) So all was forgiven. Plus watching the FMA’s exasperation over the best laid schemes of mice and men gang-ing aft aglay, to borrow awkwardly from Robert Burns, added to the amusement. And you know I’m all about adding to the amusement…

A video screen broadcast clips and commercials produced by the Intrepid FMA Show Staff, about a sports drink with alcohol and the many, many uses for an FMA Show T-shirt (use it to… Look good! Wipe your butt! Save your life!), plus re-edited movie clips that make it look like “Crocodile” Dundee somehow causes nuclear destruction. (Really.) It all got surreal and random, with explosions and fire on video and candy-throwing in reality. I could go on trying to describe this, but instead I’ll link you to M.E. Russell’s comic strip about the show. And speaking of the unaccounted-for Mr. Russell, whom I’m becoming a fan of (check out his website at Culture Pulp), last night he got a sale: I bought a copy of his not-for-kids’ illustrated book Santa’s Lil’ Gimp, a heartwarming tale of Christmas death, booze, disease and elf felonies.

The Famous Mysterious Actor Show. The smoke and the spirit linger on…
Tags: portland
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