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:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.eduGovernor Doug Burgum called for the removal of the anti-corporate farming law during the State of the State Address. The anti-corporate farming law is a contentious topic. Some…

By Alicia Underlee Nelsonalicia@hpr1.comAfter a year of darkness, the windows at the corner of First Avenue and Broadway – the building that sparked the Downtown Fargo renaissance – are once again aglow. Friends shrug off their…

Now-February 25Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargohttps://frostival.com/schedule/Whoever said there’s nothing to do in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo clearly hibernates through Frostival, because this six-week celebration of winter just…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: The sound of ND collectively holding its breathAs the legislative session nears one may notice a certain stillness in the air as a good part of North Dakota’s population collectively…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comCan a Sick Society Recover from Plagues, Pandemics, and Pandemonium?I wanted to check the dictionary definition of “pandemic”: Widespread; general; universal. In medicine: Epidemic over an…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comArea food fans are definitely excited about the new Asian and American Supermarket that recently opened just a few blocks west of its former location on Fargo’s Main Avenue. Just drive by the new…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comSick riffs, extreme vocals, chaotic energy: all these and more are among the reasons that people listen to…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comThe unbelievable fate of one of the world’s largest collections of physical movie media is the subject of “Kim’s Video,” a fizzy and entertaining nonfiction cocktail mixing essay-like…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comIf you’ve ever driven down the Enchanted Highway, the 32-mile ribbon of road connecting Regent to Gladstone in western North Dakota, home to the world’s largest salvaged metal sculptures,…

By Jessica M. Hawkesjmhawkes84@gmail.comIt wasn’t long after the founding of the railroad and river town of New Rockford that entertainment venues started to put down their own roots. Its population bolstered by booms of nearby…

By Jan Syverson  Jan.r.Syverson@gmail.comFor the past 30 years live, stand-up comedy has had a place in the Fargo Moorhead area, Starting with…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

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

By Breanna Sieglerbreanna@icehousefit.comNew Year, New You? I guess that means that I have to go to the gym three times a week and I should probably sign up for an event so that I can stay on track. I think I could maybe do a half…

By Stacie Hansen-Leiersubmit@hpr1.com I’ve been a resident of Valley City for most of my fifty-one years, with the exception of short residencies in Jamestown, Fargo, the Park Rapids Minn. area and five years in the Cities.I’ve…