Please Enjoy This Next Scene… But No Peeking!!

August 4, 2012


Every August, one of the theaters here does Sneak Peek Week to preview the upcoming season.  It’s a bit of a misnomer, because you really don’t have to sneak in and hide behind the seats or anything, you can just watch.  “Peek” is closer, but that suggests you have to watch through a window or through your fingers.  Finally, it’s not a week.  But it rhymes, so fine.  I understand that “Watch Excerpt 4-Days” might not have the same sizzle for the steak they’re selling.

Hey! That guy dropped a quarter! That counts as a donation! Grab it!

Anyway, it’s like it sounds – a scene from each play from the season is done amidst extensive soliciting for people to buy season tickets, or just a ticket, or hey, mister, that’s a nice watch; can we have it?  It’s all in good spirits – the scenes are blocked out minimally, most of them aren’t memorized.  I agreed to be in one of the scenes: a play spoofing Hitchcock, who I love.

(Side note: hey!  Did everyone see that Vertigo has replaced Citizen Kane at the top of Sight & Sound’s “greatest films” list?  Didn’t that just blow your mind?  No?  You don’t know what I’m talking about?  Oh.  I see.  Very well. Moving on.)

Don’t be a spellbound psycho, Marnie! Row that lifeboat in a north by northwest direction, with the current. I confess that maybe I’m the man who knew too much, but I think that rowing against the current is for the birds!

Turns out the play is modeled after Rear Window, but besides that it just rather, well, bluntly spoofs Hitchcock by cramming in the titles of his movies.  “Come on!  It’s not far, it’s only 39 steps away!” or “Who lives in that apartment over there, the one with the torn curtain?” Stuff like that.  Also it’s a murder mystery with 7 characters – the 2  couples who think they witness a murder, the guy they think committed murder, the cop, and 1 other character.  Can you solve this labyrinth of a Rubik’s cube of a Rube Goldberg device?

Well, long story short, now instead of 1, I’m in 3 scenes, which is waaaaay more than I’d hoped, but there kept being crises, and someone would ask me, and they’d give my the puppy dog eyes, and it seemed like, oh fine, I’m here anyway…  I emailed a friend who’s an actor here about agreeing to be in three and he replied, simply, “Sucker.”

All this is a long, roundabout way to say that the jigsaw puzzle we were working on – which only has hard parts remaining – is now being worked on exclusively by my wife while I’m at the performances.  It’s like I’ve been demoted.  But I can live with that.  I have no shortage of hobbies to make me feel lame.

Which, of course, brings us to your lame hobbies!  It was really tough compiling finalists for “what’s your lamest hobby?” because, well, if you’re winning it sounds like you’re losing.  A couple people mentioned blogging, which is simultaneously perfect, and wildly depressing.  But each of these hobbies makes me like the person all the more, so I hope it goes without saying that I come to applaud your hobbies.

So here’s a few finalists to look at.  Think it over, and vote for whom you think has the most awesome lame hobby.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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41 Comments on “Please Enjoy This Next Scene… But No Peeking!!”

  1. Go Jules Go Says:

    Ha! Awesome. I forgot how lame I was until just now. No…no… never mind. I spend way too much time blogging to ever truly forget.

    You really tickled my funny bone with your sizzling steak line, Sucker. Are we going to get to see these thoughtfully-written scenes?

    And it sounds like Sight & Sound FINALLY got my letter. Except I said Clueless.

    Well. I’m off to a blogging conference. Ahem.


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      I couldn’t vote for you, Jules. I LOVE coloring. In books or without. Even pretty princesses. I’m sorry, but if you can stay in the lines, well, I think you are swell. Have fun at BLOGHER, meeting all the other cool kids. Please please tell us all about it, k?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      They’re not worth seeing. They’re really not. I mean, they’re fine, but not worth recording and watching without the free buffet and wine first.


  2. becomingcliche Says:

    It makes me sad that I have never, ever heard of Vertigo. I have no idea what era it is from or anything ,which probably means I haven’t seen it.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Really? You’ve seen homages to it, I’m sure. It gets referenced a lot. A lot a lot. It was one of Hitchcock’s biggest commercial failures, and most personal film in which he sort of revealed his own psychological shadows – he was never the same after doing so and being rejected by the public.

      It’s a very slow film, often feeling like two separate films, but hauntingly beautiful, and very dark.


  3. Blogdramedy Says:

    Gout. That’s a lame hobby, right? 😉


  4. speaker7 Says:

    This post made me laugh like a Psycho. Did you see what I did there? Yeah, I don’t either.


  5. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

    Shuttling my child to and from his hobbies. I should have entered, but it seemed hoggish since I recently won. Time for others to have a chance.


  6. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    Will someone with a video camera be present during your 3 scenes? 😀

    Umm, the most awesome lame hobby. I’m so confused…I feel like this could go either way. The most awesome lame hobby could be something that IS lame, but I enjoy it, therefore that makes it awesome. Or it could be something totally lame/boring that I wouldn’t want to admit to doing. Decisions, decisions.


  7. Valentine Logar Says:

    My hobby is only temporary though, once they are all cleaned out and all the ‘stuff’ is donated to either worthy causes or the dust bin I am done! Think of that, a temporary hobby.

    I don’t think Jules hobby is lame at all, I like ‘Adult Coloring Books’, they have those you know they are quite interesting.

    Personally, I think you agreed to 3 scenes to get out of the hard parts of the puzzle but that is just me.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Yeah, but cupboards and closets… they get full and messy even if you hermetically seal them after you’re done cleaning. It’s creepy. Someone should make a horror film: “The utensil drawer that wouldn’t stay clean.”


    • pegoleg Says:

      That’s a very, very USEFUL hobby, Valentine but, alas, also very lame. Unless you choose to take on a super challenge over at my house – then it’s the Olympics of hobbies!


      • Valentine Logar Says:

        If I did that though I would have to move into the realm of those ‘television’ clean queens. I don’t think I fit the mold. I am judgmental, sarcastic and basically mean-spirited about other peoples junk. But I am willing if you are.


  8. JenniferVaughn Says:

    I’m glad to share with everyone my lame hobby of bird watching for science. It means I didn’t have to reveal my lamest (and most favorite) hobby of logic puzzles. Wait… oh crap.


  9. Andrea Kelly Says:

    I love Hitchcock’s films! And coloring…


  10. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Consider my mind blown. I did not know that Vertigo had replaced Citizen Kane at the top of Sight & Sound’s “greatest films” list. I find this disturbing and I imagine all those hours of studying Citizen Kane in film class a total wast of time now. Does this mean I have to return my diploma?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Complete waste. S&S said that, yes, Kane’s been #1 since 1962, but now they think it’s crap.

      It does seem a little suspicious to me that around the time people have started grumbling that the compilers of that list are stodgy and inflexible (uh, maybe because almost nothing on the list was made after 1969?), suddenly BAM Kane gets bumped out of the #1 spot.


  11. tomwisk Says:

    We wuz robbed. Citizen Kane will always be #1. Hitchcock was great, but come on.


  12. k8edid Says:

    I love Vertigo and will watch it every single time one of the oldies channels show it…which is about once a week.

    As far as the 3 scenes, I think your friend meant to say “Suckah”


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Fascinating tidbit: for the European version there’s different ending. At the time of its release you couldn’t have commercially show a film in Europe in which someone commits a crime and isn’t punished. Since at the end of Vertigo the guy who set Jimmy Stewart up has gotten away with it (which is easy to forget), they talked on a scene of Midge painting, listening to a radio about the guy being apprehended.

      Because, sure Kim Novak’s dead, and Stewart’s either insane or dead, but… you know, as long as he didn’t get away with the crime…


      • k8edid Says:

        I did know about that morality clause – it is why the little girl in “The Bad Seed” gets struck by lightning at the end of the film – so she wouldn’t get away with “it”. I didn’t know the ending for Vertigo was done that way because of it, though. Much as I love Vertigo, Citizen Kane will still get my vote for best classic…


        • The Byronic Man Says:

          Well, that was just for the European version – it’s a rare instance of European film censors being more prudish and Puritanical than Americans. That’s great for the end of Bad Seed, though. You can practically hear the director saying, “We have to what? Seriously? Oh, Jesus, I don’t know then – have her fall in a hole or get struck by lightning or something. Who gives a crap.”


  13. anecdotaltales Says:

    I still think Citizen Kane is better. But let’s focus on you. If being 3 roles puts you at the end of your Rope, you could just adlib and become a Saboteur. Just claim Stage Fright (Or yell, “I Confess!”), and send your cast members into a Frenzy.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I think Kane is better, too. I love me some Vertigo, but Kane is brilliant in so many areas, and is the marker from early to modern filmmaking with its innovations. Vertigo is an exquisite work of art, but I don’t think quite measures up to Kane in terms of historical context, and breadth of genius.


  14. earthriderjudyberman Says:

    I absolutely love Hitchcock films. Still it’s hard to believe that “Vertigo” beat out “Citizen Kane.” Vertigo is a wonderful psychological thriller, but not Hitchcock’s best work.

    Anyways, I know I would be Spellbound by this spoof based on the works of this Notorious director. I’d be a Psycho if I missed this event. But if I had to pay, I confess I’d sneak a peek from my Rear Window. If I was spotted, it’d be Lady Vanishes all over again.

    OK. I’ll stop now. 🙂


  15. mistyslaws Says:

    That actually sounds like a really interesting play. Hitchcock was made for spoofing, I believe. Sorry you got sucked into doing so much, though. That’s really nuts! Some may even say it’s kinda psycho.


  16. Hippie Cahier Says:

    I can’t help but imagine your neighbor across the way watching your wife doing the crossword puzzle by herself and wondering what happened to her husband. . . . . What was in those suitcases she took out in the middle of the night? . . . . Why is that little dog scratching at the flowers in the garden?

    I recently spent some time with a friend with a broken leg. I took Rear Window to keep him company. There’s a great interview with Peter Bogdanovich in the bonus features. He tells the funniest story about Hitchcock on an elevator.


  17. Angie Z. Says:

    I almost fell asleep as I read through the boring activity answers from this week’s finalists. I seem to remember the last one had something to do with birds — I don’t know because I fell asleep mid-line — and when I awoke I felt as if giant blackbirds were picking out my eyeballs.

    I love Hitchcock so much. You are so lucky, even if you are a sucker.


  18. Lorna's Voice Says:

    You could ask to be Hitchcock in the play and just make a cameo silent appearance then poll the audience to see if any spotted you. Now that would be a lame hobby!


  19. pegoleg Says:

    Love your caption. Looks like someone dialed S for Shipwrecked. Good luck with the 3-acts, sucka!


  20. madtante Says:

    I never loved Vertigo and Citizen Kane was an enormous wank-fest…and I have a degree in Film from when they weren’t so old.


  21. thesinglecell Says:

    Um, I TOTALLY saw that Vertigo replaced Citizen Kane. But that was the just critics’ list. 🙂


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