Into the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
Everybody's working for your weekend
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
12:52PM, Fri. Sep. 2, 2011
It's funny, really,
how much planning this thing takes.
Look: The OOB sprawls like a citysized wino
across the five days and nights that encompass
Labor Day Weekend here in Austin, Texas.
The OOB occurs (simultaneously, some nights)
in four venues in the ATX – the Hideout, ColdTowne,
the Velveeta Room, the State Theatre – and comprises
dozens & dozens of troupes and solo acts – improv,
sketch, stand-up, weird hybrids of all of those –
from all over the city and the state and the country.
(And don't let's forget Canada. Oh, and Amsterdam.)
And so, as you might imagine, planning out
where and when all these people are going to perform
, and how the shows' schedules will be disseminated to the public
and how reservations & tickets & preptime & downtime
are going to be handled, well, hell, it's a bit like
trying to invade some foreign country with a ragtag army
of professional but half-stoned cat-jugglers, y'know?
Jeremy Lamb, executive producer, our hat's off to you.
[Note: Editorial "we" or not, we don't actually have a fucking hat but you know what we mean.]
We won't even get into the shows themselves in this blogpost.
We won't even mention what must've been the high point of Curtis Luciani's career.
Instead, we'll just say that the potential clusterfuck status
that the OOB could've so easily & immediately achieved
didn't even threaten to manifest itself.
Goddam juggernaut ran like beautiful clockwork all night Thursday night.
Sure, we got to sit next to Rachel Madorsky during the Tom Booker Roast,
because her husband Dave Buckman had to be up and Pacing The Floor In Producerly Concern.
But what the hell was he concerned about?
From the moment we entered the Hideout at 9pm,
to the moment we dragged our laughter-wearied carcass
out the back door to head for home, the whole thing
ran like – c'mon, don't make us say "clockwork" again.
Box office manager Matt Pollock,
who's been abetted in his duties thus far by Jennifer Paine and Jen Dorsey,
was like the concierge you'd find in some heavenly version of a five-star hotel:
Organized, efficient, welcoming – just on top of it, generally,
making sure everything ran smoothly for all concerned.
And OOB technical director Ace Manning,
seemingly everywhere at once, adjusting lights, setting up stages,
moving furniture, coordinating with the producers and the performers
and his crack teams of volunteers it was like watching Danny Ocean perpetrate a heist,
where both the lead-up and the pay-off was to Make Shit Work Right.
Done and done.
Yeah, we're not even going to get into the warped brilliance of DHT,
that troupe from Los Angeles who boggled brains with their amazing Harold-derived antics.
No, we're just going to tell you, blog reader,
that if things ran this well at whatever H.E.B. you patronize,
why, you'd never have to wait in line behind some slow-motion schizophrenic
with thirty manufacturer's coupons and a dozen separate brands of moist cat food ever again.
Y'know what we're saying?