Sometimes You Have To Bloody Up an Audience to Get Through!

martyrsheart.jpg

If you saw a Schadenfreude show from 1998 to 2004, you probably saw me strip down to my lady underpants and rip a beating heart (caro syrup/food coloring) out of Sandy and bite it. The blood would trickle down my face and my body. It was a great, weird ending to a solid sketch comedy show. I learned a couple things along the way to the art of the “heart pull”…..

martyrsheart.jpg

If you saw a Schadenfreude show from 1998 to 2004, you probably saw me strip down to my lady underpants and rip a beating heart (caro syrup/food coloring) out of Sandy and bite it. The blood would trickle down my face and my body. It was a great, weird ending to a solid sketch comedy show. I learned a couple things along the way to the art of the “heart pull”.

martyrsheart.jpg

If you saw a Schadenfreude show from 1998 to 2004, you probably saw me strip down to my lady underpants and rip a beating heart (caro syrup/food coloring) out of Sandy and bite it. The blood would trickle down my face and my body. It was a great, weird ending to a solid sketch comedy show. I learned a couple things along the way to the art of the “heart pull”. You can fake the power by flailing your elbows, then when you bite you just bite a small portion of the plastic bag holding the sauce and let it trickle down. The avoids spraying the audience. But I learned to do that through trial and error.

Last night, I went and saw the hilarious talent show “Impress These Apes“. Each week, 8 contestants try to impress a panel of ape judges for cash prizes and to avoid getting destroyed. Each week, they are given an assignment. One week was to write a song and play an instrument. The next, they were to create a dance number. This week? A magic trick. I really loved the show. I thought it was a laugh out loud, infectious, addictive show. I want to go back next week and cheer on the contestants, cause they stay the same each week. One performer did an awesome bit where he was the amazing “Illustro” and his pretentious act was derailed because the temp agency didn’t send a Magicians assistant that he requested, but they screwed up and accidentally sent him a Teachers assistant. He ends this hilarious bit by doing the “I will shoot the card out of the TA’s hand with this gun”. He misses and kills the TA. The TA releases a blood pack to simulate a bullet wound. Now are you ready for the point of this story?

The blood splattered into the audience. It hit……..me.

And not just anywhere. Right across the face. It was on my bald head, my mouth, my ear. It stained my brown shirt, jeans and all over my shoes and jacket. The woman next to me got it on her fake white fur coat. The other woman had to take off her shirt and go with her tank top because the blood was all over the place. Normally, I would be pissed. But, come on…..this is fucking karma and you know it.

When ripping a heart out, I learned that if you forcefully bit into a tightly wrapped bag of fake blood, it would fly up in the air. In learning that, I bloodied up front rows. I bloodied up relatives. Hell, I bloodied up a critic. Yep, a critic from the Sun-Times got in the THIRD ROW!
It prompted a pretentious theater manager to say to us one time “yeah, we’re gonna have to cut the blood bit”.

Now, a lot of this came from high energy, the desire to make a big splash and lack of preparation on our part. Over the years, we figured it out. We now make it look like high energy and still make a big splash, but the prep is very solid.

So after I got hit with the blood, I lost total concentration. I couldn’t even tell you what the next bit was. Chaos reigned. I then realized what it felt like to have all eyes on me and to be the one who got bloodied. The Bloody shoe was on the other foot for once. It was unsettling. I kept checking my clothes over and over. I kept looking at the people around me for companionship.

After the show as I cleaned up and assured the show that it wasn’t a big deal (it wasn’t), I heard all the same things I used to tell people. “Ah, man I am sooo sorry – don’t worry though, it comes out. It comes out, that’s what they told me. It’s based in water. So it won’t stain. Here’s my e-mail”. I swear I’ve said that a thousand times.

But now I realize what I have to do. I have to apologize.

I apologize to the woman in the white shirt at the first Chicago Improv Festival. I did at the show, but now I really do. I apologize to Becky Cruz, who came to my show super super stoned and I remember looking at her after the bit and seeing blood hanging from her hair. I apologize to the number of front row innocent bystanders. I apologize to anyone who got it on their shoes. I won’t apologize for the bit, because it was a good bit. But I apologize.

I told Julie this morning what happened. She asked me what I was wearing. I told her I was wearing my Banana Republic brown shirt. She ran over to the hamper and pulled it out. Yep, it was all over the back and sleeve. She sighed. But in her heart, she knew that it was bound to happen someday. Karma’s a bitch.

Here is the clip. Great job by Impress These Apes to get it up so fast. If you want, the actual blood is at 6:40ish. You see me in the bottom right hand corner wiping my forehead after the display. Enjoy!

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