Tracker Pixel for Entry

Making strangers laugh again

Theatre | October 7th, 2020

By Scott Ecker

notharrisonford@gmail.com

Like many artists the quarantine seemed like a great opportunity to finally get around to some writing. I mean what else was I going to do? Looking on the bright side of oblivion, I could at least be productive.

I did a fair amount of writing that I am happy with. But overall COVID hasn’t been a great motivator. Part of it is that there isn’t a safe way to interact with an audience. My background is in improv, which I believe was created to give insecure people the quickest form of instant gratification. I’ve been missing that high for most of this year.

There have still been opportunities, like participating in one of Theatre B’s “B at Home” installments. But even that was one rehearsal for one performance. For that virtual play there was no in person interaction with anyone else in the show. The audience laughter came after the performance when my wife and I watched ourselves in the stream.

Art has generally been on hold or repurposed for most of this year. However business was only briefly slowed down. The stimulus check was a one-time distraction and all other expenses have continued. So I’ve needed to continue working. Surprisingly that’s where I have found that missing audience interaction.

Weddings started up again in July and I’ve had many gigs as a reception DJ. It is a nerve-wracking way to make money, as weddings tend to be common spreaders. But I still need to make money somewhere and this is a way to do that while getting a response from others. I wish those others would also wear masks and not approach me so freely. But I am truly getting something that I was missing from their dancing and laughter.

I’ve recently started running trivia and bingo events as well. Which is easier for me to social distance, although there is rarely anybody else wearing a mask. It has taken some time but I’m relearning how to interact and make strangers laugh again.

Looking on the bright side, I’m happy I can have some interaction again. To perform in some way and experience a group catharsis is important to me. Even if it is just hearing the joy of a B9. But I’m frustrated I can’t separate those good feelings from the nervousness that I may be getting it at the cost of this virus spreading.

As I’ve had to figure out how to continue my life I’ve been stuck with a blur of nonstop questions and frustrations. Questions such as “What if I am being careless by working out in public?” “Why do I have to keep finding work when it would be safer to stay home?” “Why can’t things go back to the way they were before?”

Coronavirus is an inescapable part of all of our lives. We can’t ignore the effect it has on the things we love. As such anything we need or want now has to involve it in some way.

Recently in:

Alicia Underlee Nelsonalicia@hpr1.com A midnight wedding ceremony at the Clay County Courthouse in Moorhead on August 1, 2013 was more than a romantic gesture. Eighteen couples made history on that day by exchanging vows in the…

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

Our opinion: Has Fargo lost its cool?By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com On April 24, The Forum reported that Zandbroz Variety would be closing its doors after 33 years, and the announcement hit like a ton of books. Upon hearing…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comIs It Possible to Move from a Tent on a Sidewalk to a Garage in the Sky? There have been wealthy people who added a car elevator to the mansion for their Bentleys so they could unload groceries…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.com Musicians in the Fargo-Moorhead area are often supportive of each other. They will attend each other’s shows, collaborate on projects, play as openers for each other, so on and so…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

By David L. Newellhistory@nd.gov If your Spidey senses are tingling, it may be because Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross is coming to the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum. The traveling exhibition, developed by the Bess…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Jim Fugliejimfuglie920@gmail.com I am an old man. I have been a politics junkie most of my life. I have been involved in many campaigns, but have not run for office myself. Each time someone has suggested I do that, I tell them…