Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Return of The Thunderbirds

I am so easily amused.

In Thunderbirds are Go, we explored having actors puppet the musician around the keyboard. Since then, I've again found myself in that situation a few times... one of them with a twist.

A few months ago, on stage for Prognosis: Death!, my friend and fellow improviser Dan Beeston sang a lovely song as his character Ludwig LeStrange. The hospital staff were on a staff retreat, camping in the forest. LeStrange strode on stage with a mimed-guitar, and sang a countryish love song to his estranged fiancee. (OK, so the guitar didn't look like a guitar. Hey, it's impro!) Ha har, says me, I'll play a guitar patch and it will be lovely.

Now, Dan's a great musician and songwriter (check out his songs Superhero and Car Zero), and he knows his way around a guitar. I realised while he was strumming away on his mimed guitar that his left hand was moving around in a somewhat realistic fashion... he was making chords! Straightaway my brain clicked in to that "you must follow the action on stage" mode, and followed Dan's lead. Now, I can't say I copied what he was playing exactly. I'm sure, however, that (whatever key he was in) I had the distinct impression he was playing 1sts and 4ths and 5ths. I could see how he timed the changes, so I mapped that to 1sts and 4ths and 5ths on the keyboard in whatever key I was in. In effect, he was really driving me around the keyboard.

Now that he knows he can do this, I'm a bit worried about how he'll use this power next time. If he decides to make me bust out Achy Breaky Heart, I'm outta there.

Photo by Wanda Anderson

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