Silent James Draws A Crowd at Speakeasy Dollhouse The Brothers Booth! This immersive theatre experience, set in the Players Club, called upon me to play the part I was born to play… myself!
As Silent James, I gave a completely silent performance of physical comedy and sketching audience members. I bruised my left knee pretty bad, but I feel that I have entered that prestigious group of silent comedians with my first performance boo boo!
I was part of the “Variety Show” in the first room- I kept the best company with the Taxi Dancers, Burlesque Performers and the wonderful band. Ashley Grombol did a marvelous job as host, singer, dancer and musician. I did an act with her and the super talented Hannah Rose to their musical performance of “Tea For Two”. Before this, I had only heard the song from the film Bronson (which I love), so it was a true pleasure for me! Lots of love to the Variety Show of Alexandra, Sara, Laura, Delysia, Francine, and the band Grandpa Musselman and His Syncopators.
It was wonderful seeing familiar faces, from past Speakeasy Dollhouse Bloody Beginning shows, in attendance. My lovely friend Victoria not only graced us with her presence, but dressed up as John Singer Sargent’s Madame X! It was incredible, as Sargent is a character in this show (played by the amazing actor E James Ford). Esther was wearing the most fantastic head piece of a jeweled peacock and feathers. She also made my boutonnière with a real callow lily, which many people were hesitant to sniff lest they be squirted with water. They have such imaginations our audience! It’s safe, I promise!
Solomon was also there dressed to the nines, no… tens! He got some in depth dancing lessons from the taxi dancers. Speaking of, Esther and I had a funny act going dancing around. I also had an epic 3min dance with the extraordinary WPIX traffic anchor Julie Grauert. I pulled out every dance move in my arsenal and she not only kept up with my nonsense, she kept me on my toes… literally! She’s super tall!
The second half of the night, I drew portraits of audience members. Let me just say, I was on fire. It’s not easy to entertain and draw and get it right the first time quickly. The guests crowded around to watch or wait their turn. One drawing I started of 2 wonderful lasses was cut short by a scene where the lights go out, but I finished the drawing in the dark. A lot of couples stepped up and the guys would step aside, I’d push them to get in the drawing. I have to tell you, the women were all so beautiful and elegant and the men where all chiseled hunks with classic good looks. It was so ridiculous, I REALLY hope some guests repost my drawings of them somewhere. If on twitter @SilentJamesL and on Facebook http://facebook.com/silentjames
The woman in one couple I drew loved the drawing but told me she’d rather have one with just her and I in it because her role was to flirt with Silent James. I took the drawing I did and threw it in the fireplace to hurry and start the one of us, all as a joke- there was no fire except for the burning passion for me her role suggested!
It was a very surreal experience, the nature of my part keeps me out of a lot of the story scenes so I didn’t get to spend much time with the actors in those. They are all so talented and I’ve gotten to know a few of them. It was also odd to be in a play with fellow actors I spend a lot of time with in the other show, but in this one I rarely see them. It’s like an alternate universe.
After the show was over and I could speak, I talked to Julie and she asked me if I should still be in jail (in reference to my character in the other play who gets arrested), to which I replied, “The police told me I had the right to remain silent!”