Today I went to see Ben Kulp play at Scratch PDX, which the organizers bill as “Portland’s Performance Playground.”
Like a lot of performance nights in that vein, Scratch PDX had a range of talent, depth, and quality. Some stuff was pretty *wink wink* but overall, the performers were committed and the audience was generally apt to love what they were seeing.
I’m always fascinated by how the audience for something like this (or really anything) has a core group of regulars. It’s amazing because you think about this shared, communal experience, people going weekend after weekend to see 30 plays in 60 minutes, or, in this case, once a month for the non-summer months of the year to see the community at large perform works of varying polish. I found myself wondering what would happen if I decided to go for a year without listening to or viewing anything that was prerecorded.
[Side note: Ben was great. It was nice to see his first performance ever. It was fun to see public reaction, and see him control what he could and shrug when he couldn't.]
A night like this does two things for me, and I doubt I’m the only one who would say these things. First, it makes me realize there is a community out there for performance, and gives me a bit of a “wow, this was here all along, why have I never gone before?” response. Secondly, it inspires me to make work of my own–and in this case, it reminds me that I’ve got a background and a lot of training in this, and that I could so something worthwhile.
That’s exciting stuff. I’m glad I was there. I might be there next month, if they’d have me, to perform.