Last night I showed up at My Tapes as a competitor but I left as a fan. My Raisin Gang associates and I entered our video confident in our superiority only to be met with a extremely deep well of talent and polish. This monthly show at Comedy Bar features some of highest quality comedy shorts I’ve seen gathered in one place in the city. Hosts James Gangl, Robin Archer and Kevin Whalen present the films and provide invaluable commentaries like, “My favourite part was when those three guys came out.” I’m not trying to be mean, it was actually a funny comment. I guess you had to be there.
“Reffies,” a cautionary tale about a mystery drug that induces TV centric hallucinations was voted audience favourite. Starring Kevin Lee and Picnicface‘s Mark Little featured as a deceptively friend drug pusher, the film drew positive yet mixed reviews from the panel. James Gangl said it contained the most convincing anti-drug message he’d ever seen but Kevin Whalen countered saying “I want to what my TV show would be.” It was concluded that it was probably American Gladiators. In a classy move, director Mike Fly offered half of his $100 prize back to My Tapes to put toward future prizes in exchange for an agreement from the audience to go and interact with Sexy Nerd Girl, another project he was involved with that had a video in the mix.
But the show isn’t just watching movies in the dark. One of the highlights was seeing Alana Johnston and Kayla Lorette of YTV’s That’s So Weird present an acting seminar… held exclusively for Alana. Apparently despite Johnston’s knack for comic flair, she lacks the ability to express genuine emotion – a minor setback for a professional actor. Kayla’s acting school is designed so she can criticize Alana’s acting without hurting her feelings. The audience got to glimpse a breakthrough for Alana who didn’t wink once. There may have been a few extravagant head bobs, but she’s well on her way to being believable.
Later we were treated to a panel interview with industry veteran Gary Pearson, whose writing credits include MADtv, 22 Minutes, Corner Gas and is currently showrunner on That’s So Weird. He seemed genuinely impressed with the offering of shorts but was worried the youth oriented comedy he brought with him from his show wouldn’t fit in with the content at My Tapes but it was well received. The sketch “Pizza Pants” was really funny and the lack of dick jokes was actually kind of refreshing. Gary’s insight into breaking into the industry was helpful but basically boiled down to “try really hard and keep doing what you love.” However, it was nice to have someone who had experienced success try and give back to the little people. Oh and he also plugged a twitter feed about himself @talkingaboutgary.
All in all it was a great night to see a lot of talent on display. Even more so, it’s proof that we all need to up our game.
More video featured at My Tapes last night:
From my sketch troupe The Raisin Gang, a promo for “Man vs Life” a new series on Discovery that we can all relate to. Too well even.
“Sam I Am,” a sketch about the trials of looking exactly like Samuel L. Jackson.
A charming murder plot written in magic marker called “My Plan To Kill My Roommate Greg,”
“Good Grief! Cancer Boy!” a chilling, soul-crushing take on a the classic Peanuts comics
Other videos included “The Human Centipede Audition Tapes” from Touch My Stereotype I wrote about last week, The slow descent into madness that is “Train,” and a short film from 83 Pictures about a the bond between a guy and his girlfriend’s dad that is due online any day now.