In fact, it goes so far back, the details are now in large part lost to me. It was first conceived of about ten years back, and I cannot now tell you what it was that inspired in me this sublime vision, but the specifics of the vision are as plain to me now as they were then. Let me share this vision with you, so that you might bask in its glory and wonder.
Envision: Four people, standing at arms length from one another, all in a row, on a crowded city street. All four of them are dressed in costumes. Terrible costumes. The sort of terrible costumes that people who are invited to a sci-fi-themed costume party and who have no interest in or knowledge of sci-fi might create. We’re talking cardboard box robots with tinfoil antennae here.
As one, the four of them produce books. Each of them has a different book. Each of them is a Shakespearean play. And as one, each of them begins to put on a one-person performance of their respective plays.
These are not “good” performances per se; they are not acted out in any specific way, beyond perhaps different characters being given different voices (to the extent that any of the participants are capable of mastering some thirty or so different voices, or indeed willing to try to do so). The result is a spectacular cacophony of 16h century English literature which arrests the attention of one and all who bear witness to this brazen display of madness.
At their feet, there is a sign. The sign reads “The Sci-Fi Shakespeare Cavalcade. Donations welcome”. Set next to the sign is a bucket, such as one might fill with change.
The change, in my mind, is a bonus, and it is almost a certainty that the monetary compensation – especially when divided four ways – would be unequal to the effort which would go into the work. The value of the spectacle, however, would be beyond that which could be measured in cash or words.
Naturally, we would wish to have this recorded, in part or in full. YouTube would need to be notified of these proceedings, of course, in the form of a series of uploads.
Over the years, I have occasionally taken this dream down from the dusty shelves of my mind and polished it up a bit, paraded it about my social circle and shown it off. Over and over again, I’ve had a handful of people who expressed an interest in taking part, and indeed, at one point early on, there were three would-be collaborators who seemed earnest enough that I spent the money on a busking permit which would insulate us from hassles by “the man”. Sadly, their dedication was not the equal of my own, on the long run, and it never came to pass.
This summer, I have decided I would once again like to make the attempt. And this summer, I am putting it out there, beyond the mere confines of my social circle, to see who else would like to participate in this profound folly. Indeed, I suspect I may end up posting this to the livejournal Vancouver community and see if there’s anyone out there who finds this as titillating a notion as I do.
So! What say you, gentle readers? Do you have what it takes? And by this, I mean primarily “too much time on your hands, and a lack of capacity for shame”? If so, we could accomplish something altogether remarkable together.