If you've been keeping up with music or comedy scene in Boston, you might've come across Quiet Desperation (http://quietd.com/), a "Reality Sitcom" that follows the story of Boston area musicians and artists as they struggle to make their mark, with results equally poignant as they are hilarious. The story primarily follows musicians and comedians, but I think artists of all mediums, especially theatre artists, can learn from their example...
The show was originally conceived by musician Rob Potylo and film maker Joe Madaus as a showcase of local Boston talent, quickly becoming a local favorite and evolving into a mockumentary that walks the perfect balance between real and surreal.
I've kept up with Rob's career since 2004, when I first saw him perform a set at the Comedy Studio under the name of "Robby Roadsteamer." Now, notice I didn't say "comedy set". Rob's work over the years has always, in my opinion, defied categorization. I've always enjoyed the comedians at the Comedy Studio, but this particularly performance was like none other I'd ever witnessed. The comedy didn't stem from the "Jokes" or the "Character", but rather from the freedom with which he performed his set. His movement, his speech and most importantly, his ability to react to his audience, gave his performance an improvisational flavor that I feel is lacking in most comedy.
Moreover, it was an improvisational flavor that is lacking in most theatre...see where I'm getting at there?
I've only caught a few shows over the years, but I've been keeping up regularly with his music, videos and web content leading up to this latest project. He has gone through a transformation over the years, focusing less on character and more on spiritual naturalism. His characters are now himself and the community of artists he loves. The laughs are not about jokes or larger than life personalities, but at the absurdity of reality. The musician runs out of money and refuses to sell his cannabis plant, the hip hop duo loses the token Asian member to "2 Live Crew". The all out drug orgies and quirky social circles... These situations are absurd, but nevertheless the cast responds naturally to their reality. Because, in many ways this IS their reality. The whole project is based on truth.
Many internet videos come and go. I'll watch one episode of a series and chuckle, and move on. With Quiet D, I came for the laughs. But I stayed because of how DAMN REAL these episodes feel. Moreover, every episode I've watched makes me feel like I'm part of a greater community, that of the Boston arts scene. Now, as a member of the Boston theatre arts scene, I think that's something we can all be on board with. We're all in this together. We can all learn from each other. And we can certainly all laugh with each other.
Rob and other local favorites will be performing and shooting footage for their next episode at Great Scott in Allston:
Quiet Desperation presents the 32nd Annual WBCN Rumble!!
Join Quiet Desperation as we present the 32nd annual WBCN Rumble Finals at Great Scott Thursday April 29th! We will be paying tribute and doing a little filming for the show. It's a wonderful night of great music!
Performing live are...
Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
Rob Potylo (Full-band)
And the special guest band.... KING HELL!
Hosted by Shawn Sixx and Niki Luparelli
8pm, 8 bucks, 18+!!!
Rob Potylo's music can be found here:
Episodes of Quiet Desperation: