Collaboration is a peculiar process. Sometimes it is an arcane and dangerous art that produces something that no single collaborator could produce on their own. Sometimes it is a wrenching, painful experience that pummels the participants and yields uninspired and watered-down results (this is method known as "too many cooks spoil the broth.") Most often, the collaborative process is not collaborative at all, it is entirely political - alleged collaborators all jockeying for position, trying to convince the group that their way is the right way, going out of their way to sabotage the others and prove that there should be only one vision.
This is why I enjoy performing standup comedy so much. You have nobody you have to kowtow too, nobody's ego is in danger of being damaged, and nobody threatens to take their ball and go home. The rest of my life is all about compromise and collaboration. Most times, things don't work out exactly as you want them to, but somebody somewhere is happy with the end product, and your contribution to it, so you move on to the next thing, hoping someday to produce something you can stand and be proud of.
The most enjoyable, and the easiest, collaboration I have ever worked on has been "Talking Poofy." Toby Sullivan and Scott Brennan are both intelligent and hilarious writers and performers with a list of credits as long as your arm, and when all three of us get together, it really should turn into some kind demented ego battle. Instead, it is a joyous, delirious delight. Perhaps it's because we don't do it very often (lord knows we should). Perhaps it's because we are all on other trajectories when it comes to writing and performing. Perhaps it's because we truly enjoy each other's company, and all bring a different set of skills to the table. Perhaps it's just that the frisson is right and the comedy is effortless.
"Talking Poofy" is truly camper than the sum of its parts. This latest, one-off incarnation will be performed today at the Trades Hall in Carlton with a sausage sizzle! (how incomprehensibly appropriate is a sausage sizzle!) The doors open at 4, like a twilight match at the G, but homoriffic as opposed to homoerotic. It may well be a complete disaster, but we have had fun in the preparation, and will no doubt have fun on stage. If you don't like us, you can at least enjoy our wildly defamatory powerpoint demonstrations. If you have nothing on, pop along, I'd really love you all to see what happens when people enjoy their work.