Busan Night Live Performance

Hello friends! We have been so busy so blogging had to be put on hold. But, we are back with a goal to write at least once a week. I am going to update you on our social lives and Jason will write to update you on the school life.

Randomly back in February I came across an ad on a Korean foreigner website called www.koreabridge.com for open auditions. It was two days before they were to be held but it took me all of two minutes to decide to do it. I was really excited because it was for a sketch comedy show that would be held right in BUSAN! I knew that Seoul had a comedy group, but Busan??? I was shocked and really excited to do something different.

I attended the auditions with an open mind. I really didn’t know what to expect because the ad wasn’t very specific with the type of sketches, if they had been written already, how long, how many….the list goes on. But, I showed up along with about 25 other people to strut my stuff. I did have some experience acting and making people laugh but never in sketch comedy. I mostly dabbled in improv and just straight acting. But, if there’s any chance for me to use my accents, I’m there.  There were about 11 sketches that had been written over the past 2 months by a variety of people, including some Brits and Canadians. We basically just chose which ones we liked and went up on stage with about 2 min. to prep and read. I picked my way through a few and read to the best of what I thought would be funny. As it turns out, I can be funny and was casted in 4 different skits (one to be added later on). So began my life of practice 3 days a week, with a 40 min. subway ride each way.

Even though practices felt like a pilgrammage after a long day at school, I really loved getting to express myself and ideas with the crew. The director, Kady, was really open to other people’s ideas and opinions which made everything fun. All of the cast members were open and willing to take ideas and run with them. I immediately felt at home with people who seemed to have as many crazy ideas running through their heads as I did! Practices were long, but always rewarding and fun. We had 5 weeks until show time and we worked almost every minute. At the end, we had a great show with 13 sketches, two video clips, and a lighting and sound crew that any concert junkie would envy.

Everything was coming together. I was constantly practicing my lines and Jason was probably sick of hearing my different characters in the shower. I even would break into character on the elevator to random Koreans.  But, I felt pumped to develope some outrageous quirks just for a good laugh(hopefully). After 5 weeks, we were all getting nervous. Were we funny? Were people coming? Would we forget our lines? Who was bringing the soju?

Finally, opening night came. The official title of the show was “Busan Night Live (BSNL)” and it was run very similar to the TV show, Saturday Night Live. On the show’s facebook page we had over 200 confirmed guests for the first show!!!! There was a buzz in the Busan community, and I was so anxious to see it all come together. I was so full of energy the night of the show Jason sent me for a mandatory run. The show was held in a club called “Fabric” in the Kyungsung University Area, which had

a stage and very high tech lighting and sound system. Since it’s a club, there was limited seating for about 75. The rest was standing room only but people didn’t seem to care at all. Well, on opening night we filled the place with over 200 people who were ready to laugh. We were all backstage, ready to go.

The opening number had to be great so we had devised a special number. My friend Cullen was elected to dress like Lady Gaga and strut his stuff. Myself and 5 other girls were his backup dancers. We drug him out onto the stage and started dancing a sweet choreographed number to “Bad Romance” while he tried to run off the stage (out of embarassement that he was in 4 inch heels, a white skirt, pink wig, etc.) but we pulled him down into our clutches. He emerged a new Gaga, ready to go and belt it out. Cullen then danced his ass off and we rocked it out behind him. The music stopped, we froze in our finishing pose and we welcomed the crowd by screaming “Live from Club Fabric, It’s Busan Night Live!” The crowd erupted in screams and we knew we had a great show ahead of us.

After a 15 second costume change I was back on stage for the first skit. I felt a little pressure because I had the main part in the first skit of the night. I was the host “Dana” on a hardball type show with a panel of guests from the coffee world. We were to discuss the lack of coffee houses in Korea (which is the opposite of the truth). I couldn’t just do a host, I had to do THE HOST> so I decided to tape my entire face in clear masking tape to make it appear that I had too much plastic surgery. I also added vaseline to the mix to make sure that I looked nice and plastic. I delivered my lines with emotion and determination, all while not moving my face. I guess I sounded like Barbra Walters and Joan Rivers put together. I was pretty frightening but the crowd loved it. The plastic surgery face came into play at the end when I ask the audience to join me again next week “when we’ll discuss another pressing issue, is plastic surgery being unfairly targeted by ugly, poor people, simply because they can’t afford to fix their revolting selves?” I had never taped my face for Jason and he was more than shocked at the transformation. The skit was amazing and each member did a great job interacting and improving. We were a hit and the material was great. It hurt taking the tape off but it was well worth it.

I won’t go into detail about every sketch that I was in but I did play a career counselor with an obnoxious “ummmmmm” after everything I said, an Iphone application, and my favorite, Michealangelo from the Ninja Turtles. The Ninja Turtles skit was probably my favorite because it was really clever. The NT were being sent by splinter to kill a women…for $800 bucks. The NT had never killed before even though they are trained assassins. Very hilarious and many people said that was their favorite. Ninja’s don’t fight for honor we found out, that’s Samurai.

The first and second night of the show filled the club with over 200 people. We really made people laugh and so many people were asking when the next show was! I don’t know if it will happen soon, but I hope so. The whole experience was beyond my wildest dreams. The positive response that I got from my friends and co-workers who came was enough to make me blush from here until next year. Maybe I should pursue this?? Food for thought.

I wanted to give a special shout out to my new friends from BSNL. I really enjoyed getting to know you all and spending my evenings laughing with you. Also thanks to the many people who came out to see the show. All of my Korean teachers came with a cheesecake! I couldn’t have asked for better support. Now, I just need someone to hand me a fake award because that sounded like an acceptance speech. Wow, maybe I need a break from the spotlight.

Cheers, Ash

2 Responses to “Busan Night Live Performance”

  1. J & A says:

    I think that is definitely in order. A blue wig might have to make appearance this time though!

  2. Courtney says:

    Love re-living the skits! Your talk show host was priceless, Ashley. So glad I moved here in time to see it. Hmmm…maybe we can demand a re-enacment at wine night?

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