Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Every night of CRISIS there will be a pre-recorded 3D Client Meeting. The whole audience is handed 3d glasses. And each night the video is different and features some of our finest actors from all over Chicago. Here they are:
Executive Client Videos:
Sandy Marshal and Kate James
David Kodeski & Edward-Thomas Herrera
Sean Patrick Fawcett
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Neo-Futurists close their 2009-2010 prime-time season with real games, real cash prizes and real pressure from the boss in "Crisis (A Musical Game Show)," opening Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Regular performances continue through June 5, 2010: Thurs/Fri/Sat at 8:00 p.m. Champion Rounds are Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12. All tickets are $15. All performances take place at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. For tickets or information, visit www.neofuturists.org or call 773-275-5255.
Do you have what it takes to lord over your employees or are you doomed to a life in the mailroom? Find out in the Neo-Futurists' new interactive live musical game show. "Crisis" is modeled after classic game shows of the 70's, 80's and 90's, challenging players in areas of corporate ethics, percentages, creative potential, economics, and of course, pop culture. Players climb the corporate ladder and the top executive takes home up to a third of the door sales in cash! (With a sell-out house, that means over 500 bucks to a single winner!) Also, 3% of all ticket sales are donated to charities of the winners' choice.
Arrive at the theatre by 7:30 p.m. to take an old school Scantron test. The top eight scorers are the players for the night, forming two teams (corporations). Employees of the winning corporation duke it out in a free-for-all dare game to see who lands the highly coveted position of top executive. New questions and dares each night and new themes each weekend. It's never the same show twice! "Crisis" also features guest appearances by other Neo-Futurist ensemble members as well as real commercials that have been purchased and created for local businesses. Champion rounds in June put the top executives from the previous shows together for an ultimate game of superiority.
Creator John Pierson, states, "We're facing crises everywhere - our world's financial system, the environment, and job security are just a few. Crisis takes these disasters and spins them on their heels- using the pressure for good instead of evil." The three hosts are John Pierson, Daniel Kerr-Hobert, and Clifton Frei. Other contributors are: John Szymanski (Musical Director), Curtis Williams (Musician), Megan Mercier (Writing Staff), Steve Heisler (Writing Staff), Bilal Dardai (Question Designer), and Evan Hanover (Question Designer).
Friday, March 19, 2010
Many aspects of CRISIS (A Musical Game Show) change from night to night. In this spirit the following women have agreed to portray the much needed and glorified position of our rotating Vanna. What is a game show without a well dressed, adorable woman, turning over cards and pointing at things? "It's not a game show at all" That was our conclusion. So the following beautiful women have agreed to bring to our performance their interpretation of a Vanna-style game show hostess. (We all have a little Vanna in us wanting to get out. Don't even deny that you are excessively jealous right now.)
(Click on photo to see names and photos more clearly.)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Whoever said "Money can't buy happiness." never one a game show.
Crisis is looking for Test Contestants Wednesdays in April at 8pm. Email now to reserve your FREE spot: email@example.com (Participating does not disqualify you from being a contestant during the actual run.)
Friday, March 5, 2010
as Steve Heisler and i write commercials for Crisis!, we've forced ourselves to avoid parody almost entirely--which is pretty difficult when all advertising has ever consistently succeeded at since its inception (which i will not even pretend to know a date for) is set itself up for parody.
i don't watch much TV these days. i would estimate that spend anywhere from 1 to 4 hours a day on the computer. no lie. so i'm not going to get all high and mighty about how i don't watch TV because i've found plenty of ways on the interwebz to otherwise fry my fragile 80s baby brain.
because of the internet and its prevalence in my life since about 1997, my vast knowledge of television commercials is stunted beyond the mid to late 90s. i've seen enough to know that they freak me out, but i also can't think of a single thing i've wanted so desperately since then that was promoted through traditional commercials. this isn't to say that i'm not completely taken by advertising. moving to Chicago from Alabama changed my relationship with advertising ENTIRELY. i get it all from printed media--magazines, billboards, ads in the trains and buses. i've become more of a visual consumer minus the sound. i'll read the words a million times, and i don't want them underscored or overwhelmed with animation. i'm attracted to the same things most of America is taken in by these days. a few bold colors and start images (i.e. all print advertising for the iPod), randomness (i.e. the Burger King), humorous stylized imagery (i.e. Altoids, Halls Cough Drops).
i've realized, though, in working on these commercials how much i invested myself in commercials as a kid. they definitely worked on me, no doubt. i can vividly remember begging for cereals and toys and i would be willing to bet that some Pizza! Pizza! is still lodged somewhere in my large intestine thanks to the skillful art of advertising (not to mention the terribly convenient proximity of a Little Caesars to my childhood home). i got Crystal Pepsi, Fruit Roll-Ups, Gushers, Pop Tarts, Kix, even a P.J. Sparkles which, i would have admitted to you days after having received it to much begging and pleading that lead up to one year's Christmas, what the dumbest doll imaginable. i should have know. i hated dolls. what can i say? the commercial was convincing.
i should mention right now that whilst looking for an old PJ Sparkles commercial to post here, i ran across her distant cousin, Little Miss Singing Mermaid, which my sister got for some occasion or another. the commercial showed girls dipping Little Miss Singing Mermaid in and out of water. her two-bit trick was that she sang, like a poor man's version of Ariel from The LIttle Mermaid. the flawed vocals, i can only imagine, were meant to deter from any potential lawsuit more than insult the ears. the problem with Little Miss Slut Fish, it seems, was that she wasn't quite cut out for repeated evening dips in the bathtub. no. in fact, if memory serves me correctly (and i am unable to confirm this with my sister at such an hour), after several aforementioned dips, the poor doll warbled like something from the great beyond. in my matured years i would liken it to an apparition, like the spirit of a wood carved ship's bow mermaid who rotted away into the ocean only to find that she couldn't actually swim and is now doomed to eternal singing with a chest full of brine.
my point is that advertising like this is infectious and entirely successful. there is no real need to parody, because the joke is on me. forever. and you. forever. and therefore all of us. together. forever.
please enjoy the far gone wonder of my chain store bought youth:
Monday, March 1, 2010
Hey, if you have a company or know of someone who has a company and would love to have that company represented in our game show. Please pass this letter along. Plus it's tax deductible!
Dear potential supporter in this time of CRISIS-
The Neo-Futurists, Chicago's most engaging theater company, are creating an interactive live musical game show set to take the city by storm in late April through early June. CRISIS (The Musical Game Show) will allow audience members to compete against each other in game shows modeled after those of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, vying for a real chunk of change.
Seriously, we are giving away one-third of the door at each show to one lucky person. And did we mention there's a pre-show Scantron questionnaire? It's going to be a really fun time, a musical with three game show hosts about climbing the corporate ladder.
One of the most important aspects of the show is the inclusion of LIVE ACTED COMMERCIALS FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES, which will be performed throughout the night. That's where you come in. We're in need of TAX-DEDUCTIBLE sponsorships to help get our show off the ground.
All you sponsors, though, will be recognized with a commercial of your own. The more you're able to donate, the more you'll be recognized—aka, more commercial spots. We're going to make them a hell of a lot of fun, performed to a captive audience of average Joe's vying for our cash, and we promise they each have a bajillion dollars of disposable income.
The spots will be modeled after those commercials we loved in our past. We'll also video tape a rehearsal of the commercial so you can put it on your website, and we'll hang your logo and information in our audience holding area for the duration of the show's six week run—which means the 500 or so people each weekend who come to our hit show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind will see it too!
We think you'd be great for the show, and the show'd be great for you.
Here's how we're breaking down the levels of support. So inexpensive!
One spot to run 6 times (one per week) = $200
Another $200 = another spot, another 6 times. So much exposure.
Or, if you'd like, you can do one spot 4 times for $150
If you don't have a business that you think can profit from this you can also Sponsor a Public Service Announcement of your choice!
Thanks, and remember the magic words… tax deductible!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot today, or call John Pierson at 773-991-5580. Hope to talk to you soon!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
In Crisis, the 3 Game Show hosts each night will sing a song to their contestants. Each host has 3 different songs to choose from each night. That means there are 27 different permutations. That means you can see all 18 shows without every seeing the same combination more than once. On top of that we officially got our Scantron, so the audience will be able to take a test before the show in the state park, and the 8 highest scores get to be the contestants for that night. Based on an audience ranging from 20 to 100, the one winning contestant can walk out of our theater with 100 to 500 dollars in cash! And there are different questions and competitions every night, so an audience member can participate more than once. Plus there are 5 to 6 live commercials every night written by our very own Megan Mercier and Steve Heisler, and performed by a rotating cast of neo-futurists. Actually this post today was not supposed to be about this, I just get excited when talking about the show. What I wanted to post today was the lyrics of one of MY songs:
UNITY IN THE WORK PLACE:
Unity not animosity
You must build a bridge to your enemies.
Not to blow them up when they are crossing
But to share in the wonder of duality.
We must transcendentally trust
Without a you their is no me.
without a versus-them there is no us
After this round your team may pass away.
But remember tomorrow is always another day.
If you see these enemies on the street don’t greet them with a sneer.
give in to a delicious grin and throw your arms into the air.
We must transcendentally trust
Without a you their is no me.
without a versus-them there is no us
Musical Break with talk over.
Don’t point your finger if things do not go right.
Transcend the negative forces of your badly shortened sight
And winners remember this
We are all in this corporate tryst
To transform us into blissful, knowledgeable, capitalists
Unity not adversity
You must hold the hand of your enemies.
Not to pull it off but to shake it
And to share in the wonder of mutuality.
Friday, February 5, 2010
So in buying my pieces for the Quiz show buzzer system, I learned what an "Easy Button" is. It is a button that you can buy at Staples (or Amazon for twice the price), that when you press it, it says "That was easy." I told the cashier that I needed it to turn it into a buzzer for a game show. I told her I thought the Easy Button was a pretty ridiculous item to be selling. She told me that they sell alot. "It is good for kids. When they do something good, they can press the button and it says 'That was easy.'" I can see that, but it's being marketed for ADULTS in adult situations. That I don't quite get. But then again maybe an adult is just a large kid who needs talking objects to let them know that everything is OK:
Step One: Identify a difficult problem
Step Two: Press your Easy Button
Step Three: Listen to the reassuring message
Step Four: Smile and get on with your day
Step Five: Repeat as necessary
Step Six: Remove your brain. You won't need it.
(I added the sixth one)
If they don't have one already, I want to invent one that says "Panic." And when you press it, it starts vibrating and yelling, "Fuck! Fuck!"