Friday, October 26, 2007

I am on my way to Ithaca for a warm up performance of "The Two and Only". This means I am carrying more characters than a normal working trip.

In Orlando I am going through security when the TSA agent looks at the xray image of my carry-on. He says, "Sir, do you have three heads in your carry on?"

I say, "I'm sorry how many heads are you allowed to carry on?"

All I can say is, the TSA has no sense of humor.
As you were,

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jo Ann the publicity lady for the Majestic Theatre in Dallas wrote to me requesting video footage of The Two and Only for publicity. It is not material that I have possession of. This is something the producers usually take care of. It is, after all, in their own best interest to promote the show.

So, I write to three members of the Broadway team, the publicist, the marketing guy and the lead producer, asking them to send the material to Jo Ann.

I immediately get three emails back. One from each of the people I

Publicist says, "We will get it sorted out."

Marketing says, "I'll get right on it."

Lead producer says, "Who is Jo Ann?"

As you were,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I just got a letter, addressed to me, mailed to the Helen Hayes Theater on July 9th of this year. The letter is from a gentleman named, Joseph Thiyoga Rushan Fernandopulle, of Negombo Road, Dankotuwa, Sri-Lanka. (If I were doing stand up at this point I would say, “I’d like to buy a vowel, Pat.”)

Mr. Thiyoga Rushan Fernandopulle is writing me for permission to translate “The Two and Only” into Sinhala, the language of Sir Lanka. His goal is to do my play for the dramatic theater of Sri Lanka. Although flattering to think that someone would think of my “play” as good, translatable Sri-Lankan drama, I just don’t see how it would translate.

A year after I got married I worked as a writer for a bilingual educational children’s television show. It was supposed be the new Sesame Street but it was canceled.

One of the things I learned from this experience is how difficult it is to translate jokes. The show had to be balanced with equal segments in English and Spanish. Once in a while the producers would come to me and say they were light on Spanish and needed to translate my sketch. There would be a language person that would accomplish this task. In a read through the next time I would hear my sketch (which I thought was extremely funny) it would get no reaction from the Spanish-speaking writers. At first I assumed it was professional jealousy but soon realized there were no jokes left after the translation.

It reminds me of a Johnny Dark routine. He did his act for a Japanese speaking audience one time. He found out they only knew three words in English,
“You, not funny.”

Mr. Thiyoga Rushan Fernandopulle said he learned of my show from the Internet so I assume he has not actually seen it. The fact that he thinks it is a drama is not a good sign. He may be reading this right now. I have sent him an email explaining that it really is a show that involves my art as a ventriloquist and not intended to be performed by anyone other than me. However, on the chance that I could do well in Sri Lanka I have decided to learn Sinhala. The way the tour is going I think I may need to look for other venues.

PS. Don’t forget to tell your friends about “The Two and Only” in Dallas.

Dallas: Jay Johnson The Two and Only

As you were,

Friday, October 05, 2007

Finally Dallas has posted information on Jay Johnson:The Two and Only! It is not on this website, but for those who want to know you can go here and get all the info.

Dallas: Jay Johnson The Two and Only

I can't wait to do the show again, and I hope you will all be there.
As you were,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Performing on a ship I have passenger status. I'm in a passenger cabin not crew accommodations and I can do any activity the passengers can. It also means I have to participate in the life boat drill, even though I have done it hundreds of times before. I hate it. It is hot and boring. Old ladies think it is sad for a person to be traveling alone and invite me to have dinner at their "red hat" table.

On one trip I decide not to go to the boat drill. They announce "security will check every room to make sure everyone complies". I do the math and figure there is no way they can check a thousand rooms in the time they have. So I hide in my cabin.

I am kicking back; the drill has begun, I figure I am safe, when I hear the door lock start to turn. Shit! - They do check every room! In a quickly ill-concieved plan I jump behind the curtains. (I think I saw this done in a Marx Brothers movie once) I figure security will open the door, see no one in the room and move on.

But that is not what happens. I hear the cabin door open, then the bathroom door open and someone walking around the room definitely not leaving quickly.

I figure it is only a matter of time before I am discovered so I poke my head through the curtains. I see it is not security but my cabin attendant Dolores.

Dolores is a portly Jamaican woman whom I have become friends with in spite of her superstitions about my career. She is very cautious of a man who works with, in her words, "graven images".

Her back is turned to me as I whisper her name. I want her to know I am there, but not call a lot of attention to my absence from the drill. She looks nervously left and right but not behind her, where the voice is actually coming from.

One more time I say in a stage whisper, "Dolores". This time she looks behind and sees... my head sticking through the curtain; to her perception it looks like a disembodied head floating above the floor calling her name!

She screams and jumps on the bed, doing an adrenaline fueled Jamaican voo doo dance. I come out from my hiding place to calm her down hoping her screamimg has not alerted security.

We will laugh about that for the rest of the trip, but the next week she transferred to work on another deck.

As you were,