“Take nothing seriously” is the mantra of a talented group of film and skit performers from the south of the island. Taichung had it’s first taste of the ROC in July – The Republic Of Comedy performed its first road show before a packed house at the 2nd Floor Theater (the old and missed Grooveyard). They bill themselves as comedy not unlike Saturday Night Live or The Kids in the Hall – a flat out ballsy comparison.
The 10 cast members, singers, musicians, writers plus technical crew have put a metric tonne of time, money and effort into what they do, which is straight up entertain and make people laugh for two full hours. Luckily they’re coming back in the fall.
I caught up to the founder of ROC, Scott Somethingorother, while he was in Canada studying the effects of Lucky Lager on the cognitive memory system.
How did ROC get started?
Five years ago, I was harvesting Christmas trees in the Highlands of Inverness, Scotland. My day started at 5:30, and I saw the sun rise every morning. One morning I was on break, having a spot of tea, watching the sun glisten off the freshly fallen snow, when a great bird came down from the sky and landed in front of me. His eyes were gold and glared straight through me. His wingspan covered the sun and yet he was as graceful as a marlin and as powerful as a king. We sat there for about 20 minutes just staring at each other until my boss shot it. Then he made me clean it. Disgusting. So, I guess that was my best cup of tea. Wait what was the question?
How did you find so many people to commit to such a project?
Positivity spawns possibilities. Most of the crew we met as friends before the ROC, so we knew who was the best person for each job. Then we just said the magic word.
We are extremely lucky with the people that have come with us on this adventure. I would feel privileged to work with this crew on many different projects for many years to come.
Does everyone in the group write?
We have a main cast of six who share a lot of the writing but we also are always open to other writers or comedians.
You have an idea. You bring it to an “open writers meeting”. You must take an oath that you will not be offended if someone doesn’t like your idea. Then you throw your idea around the room, stretch it out and take it in different directions. Finally, someone takes the lead on writing the actual script. Once that is complete then it comes back to a “script meeting” where we make suggestions…and usually laugh our ass off.
What are your plans for the ROC?
We’re hitting the road starting in October for a Taiwan tour. Then we’re planning a huge Christmas special for December in Kaohsiung that should display to people what the Republic Of Comedy is all about.
Do you prefer film or live skit comedy?
There is nothing like getting up on stage and making people laugh. The pre-production for both is pretty much the same, but when you put it on stage you lose control in a way. When the energy of the actor and audience combines you get something new every time. With filmed skits you have more control and can be more precise with the way you craft the comedy. To answer your question, it’s all good.
What do you have to do to get to where you want to ‘get at’ with this group?
My goal was to produce a comedy show that entertained and made people laugh. I feel as though we have accomplished that. I am always looking to improve and innovate as an artist. Repetition and traditions hold us back. Nothing should stay the same. I don’t know exactly where I want to “get at”, but when I’m there I will call you.
Music was a big part of your show, what is the secret of mixing comedy and music while keeping smiles on people’s faces?
A song and a skit are almost the same thing. You’re telling a story in 1 to 10 minutes – a good one makes you feel something, and the main objective is to entertain. The difference is, with a song you listen to it over and over, throughout your life, in different places and with different people, so a song becomes a part of a person. Like when you are at a club and a Black Eyed Peas song comes on, someone will scream “AHHH! This is MY song!” throw there hands up and hit the dance floor. The trick is finding those songs and then presenting them in a way they have never seen and will never forget.
『Take nothing seriously–凡事放輕鬆』，這出自一群來自南台灣才華洋溢的電影喜劇表演者之信念。The Republic Of Comedy（以下簡稱ROC）在七月時首次在台中演出，而在２樓劇場（令人懷念舊Grooveyard）ROC的首次路演就擠爆了現場！他們非常直率地比喻自己的表演就像Saturday Night Live及The Kids in the Hall一樣精采。