Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Evening With Russell Brand--Kind Of

The rose for Russell
On Monday night I went with my "other half" to Hollywood to see Russell Brand. My mother graciously offered to babysit and even though it was a school night we knew we had a sweet deal. We checked out the venue- The Central Comedy Stage at the Hudson Theater and learned that there were only ninety-nine seats.

My Mission Impossible
I spoke to Mr. Rat before we went and asked if I should wear a rose or something. He suggested bringing a white or a red rose and present it to Russell telling him it was from the Morrisseyworlders. I thought this was a brilliant idea and was quite happy to set out upon my mission.

I have always envisioned the worst case scenario in life. I have lived long enough to realize that one should not count on anything happening the way you want it to because it never does. My worst case scenario in this incident was that I would not be able to give Russell the rose. Or that I would not be able to speak to him in order to give him our message.

That was when I thought of the idea of attaching a tag with a written message just in case I had to just throw it on the stage or something. So with my son, Jovanny's help, we made a tag for the rose with the following message: "With love from Morrisseyworlders at the Twitterdilly Arms. Your messenger, @awillo9658" Of course I hoped to speak to him, but if not, he would get the message and perhaps even tweet me a 'Thanks.'

                                                     The Journey
One of the nice things about the journey to LA without children in tow is listening to music. On the way to there, we listened to The Milk Carton Kids, which is an acoustic duo from LA we saw back in September at McCabe's in Santa Monica. They are kind of somber in tone, but when we saw them live, they were hilarious. 

Below is a video of The Milk Carton Kids singing Permanent.  Great lyrics.

Jesus, Spider man and Rasputin
I always see interesting religious figures (Jesus) or superheroes (Spiderman at a bus stop in Santa Monica) when I leave behind the Orange Curtain and enter the "dangerous" territory of Los Angeles. This time I saw Rasputin at a bus stop on Santa Monica Boulevard looking quite serious-as he should. I know I need a better camera. And I need to have it primed and ready for shooting the unusual so I might share.

The Show
We learned soon after arriving that  Russell was performing for so low a price and such an odd night and in such a small venue because he is going to have his own television show and was practicing the format. What a treat we had. How lucky to be one of the 99 people.

I made sure we sat close to the front so we actually were in the second row. The venue was so small it felt like the theater at school when we have a staff meeting. It was intimate which was wonderful but at the same time scary for a shy person like me trying to find a way to present a rose to a very not shy performer. It was so small that had an audience member had to relieve him or herself, they would have had to cross right in front of Russell to get to the loo.

Nobody went to the restroom for the entire hour and a half.

Of course he was hilarious. He began by reading an excerpt from an article from the Daily Mail claiming that their sole aim is to create bigotry in the minds of their readers. So he went on reading about a vampire who fell in love with a cannibal in Sweden. I can't possibly retell any jokes because I don't recall them specifically and part of the joke lies in the delivery. He is just funny in his demeanor so I can't recreate that. 

I loved when he made fun of the name Grand Old Party (GOP-Republicans) for several reasons. I won't tell you what those reasons are so as not to offend anyone. The name 'Grand Old Party' really does sound like it should be said or sung by Al Jolson.

Several people have asked if he made any references to his ex. He did in a most subtle way. He spoke about how some people are soooo boring that you just can't believe you are listening to them. He then said sarcastically, "That's never happened to me, of course." But everyone knew he was talking about Katy Perry. He then said that he was sure there were journalists in the house. He seemed rather tired of it.

I wanted to ask him if he gets tired of being funny. I mean, he must feel pressured to be funny all the time. It has to be tiring. Even being naturally funny. Doesn't he just want to not HAVE to be funny?

The Rose with Many (figurative)Thorns
I have to admit that during the entire performance I had moments when I just wondered when and how I was going to give him this rose. I could have jumped up and said, "Hello Mr. Brand. I have a rose for you." But it was his performance and I did not want to ruin it for him or the audience.It also would have been really awkward. There was a little voice inside telling me to wait. That the best time would be when the audience was clapping. I could just walk up and hand it to him. 

So I waited and towards the end he wandered around the audience and talked to people and I was dying to give him the rose but truthfully scared shitless that he would try to engage in conversation and I just knew my brain would freeze up and I would turn into a blithering idiot. I would turn into one of those boring people he spoke of-like Katy Perry!

The end finally came and we applauded and I held up the rose very close to him but he did not see it most likely because of the lighting. So I immediately followed him close to back stage. Roland said, "That's a shame." And I thought, "I am NOT leaving here without giving him this rose." So a stage hand or sound man said, "Oh. Did you want to give that to Russell? I'll give it to him if you like." I thanked him and left with Roland. 

I kept kicking myself for not being more assertive but to be honest, it just isn't me. Despite the fact that I am a teacher, I am kind of shy. I was truthfully afraid to speak to him. So afraid of the thought, in fact, that I noticed I was shaking as we exited. 

I was so disappointed for my Twitterdilly friends I seriously considered lying and just saying, "Yeah. Gave him the rose. Gave me a cuddle. He's awesome." But I hate lying unnecessarily. I have faith that the Twitterdilly Arms will still accept me.

I never received a thank you from Russell (not too surprised) but I feel in my heart that he received the rose. I received a tweet from a Sherrie Brand from Manhattan Beach CA mentioning the event to me specifically. I don't know if she is a relation to Russell, a dedicated fan, or a fan who happens (coincidentally) to have his surname. In any event she retweeted my comment that my face hurt and I had to chip away dried tears of laughter on the way home--all very true!

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