I’m just going to come out and say it. Talking to people is hard. There. I’ve said it. Despite the difficulties I find with conversation, the art of conservation is something we all engage in daily. It is a necessity. And, when you take a step back and focus a magnifying glass on your conversations, sometimes you can find a unifying thread that links it all together. This is what I believe Nocturnal Fandango has done with their most recent show NOSH.
When I first heard that Nocturnal Fandango’s standalone show NOSH was going to focus on the conversations we have around food, I was very curious and, arguably, confused. I generally think of family dinners when it comes to discussions around food and not much else. Yes, this is a very limited viewpoint. I will totally attest to that. However, I knew that I would have my scope broadened on the subject matter going into this Nocturnal Fandango show.
As someone who struggles with conversation cues, NOSH was a perfect “safe” battleground for me to practice the art of conversation in four different scenarios. Each scenario I encountered was different and kept me on my toes, providing me with ample opportunities to not only listen, but also to actively engage within the conversation taking place in the scene. I got to learn the life story of a lovely woman while we were prepping cakes. The cake thread carried over into a scene that allowed me to bask in the all too familiar feeling of romantic rejection. Luckily, I didn’t get a chance to despair. I hurried along to what would be my first prom date (and what would be my favorite vignette of the night). The evening concluded in what could only be described as a reminder of the painful hell that is the interviewing process.
The beauty of these vignettes is that each one of them stands alone as is. The length of the scenes was just long enough to convey the information needed, but just short enough to allow time for audiences to move to their next scenes. Going from scene to scene gave audience members a short story that had the potential for further growth. However, this format of storytelling may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I can see how some audience members could be thrown off by bouncing from scene to scene if they aren’t used to that style of performance.
The aspect of this event that further solidified why I am a fan of Nocturnal Fandango is feeling like I am an active participant. To be quite honest, I have a difficult time engaging in scenes as an active participant. This stems from a general observation of being talked at by performers versus being talked to and openly pulled into a conversation. Being talked to creates that bond needed in a scene to keep the audience engaged and present in a scene. It also lends itself to more surprising improv moments like planning an all-out condom sling shot and tide pod war against an overly enthused father. It’s little things like what I illustrated above that keeps the fun happening for me in immersive experiences.
Nocturnal Fandango will be hosting another collection of experiences titled 13 DAYS REMAINING. This collection will include expanded versions of vignettes from NOSH. However, they will also be including new shows as well. Tickets are currently on sale, but they are almost gone! If you want to experience a Nocturnal Fandango show, purchase a ticket ASAP!
You can purchase tickets here: https://squareup.com/store/nocturnal-fandango .
Are you a fan of ARGS? Registration for Nocturnal Fandango’s Do You Know Jasper? is currently open and will sell out quickly. Check out http://www.doyouknowjasper.com/ and reserve your spot today!
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