[20:43] <+Trace> Hi I’m Trace Beaulieu and I am helping some friends of mine with a Kickstarter campaign for a web series called VERMIN.
[20:43] <+Trace> VerminShow.com
[20:44] <~Dan> (Oh, sorry — please give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions.)
[20:44] <+Trace> (done)
[20:44] <~Dan> Thanks, Trace!
[20:44] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[20:45] <~Dan> So what is Vermin about?
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[20:47] <+Trace> VERMIN is a puppet show about a group of lab rats engaged in various tests. There is one rat RALPH who is super smart and he discovers something isn’t quite right about the lab. The Kickstarter page explains it better than I can here.
[20:47] <+Trace> (don)
[20:47] <+Trace> (done)
[20:49] <~Dan> Is this a dark comedy, or more lighthearted?
[20:49] <+Trace> It is light hearted. The whole family is welcome. (don)
[20:49] <+Trace> (done)
[20:51] <~Dan> Do you think the comedy will appeal to all ages?
[20:51] <+Trace> Yes. (done)
[20:52] <~Dan> (Oh, you don’t have to use (done) except whenever it may not be clear that you’re finished answering. 🙂 )
[20:52] <+Trace> K
[20:53] <~Dan> Sounds like it might be akin to Jim Henson’s Muppet-style comedy. Fair comparison?
[20:53] <+Trace> I think you can make that comparison. Sure. There is one human in the show, (so far) played by me.
[20:54] <~Dan> Now that’s interesting… Have you acted in “human form” before?
[20:55] <+Trace> Yes. I was DR. Forrester on MST3K. A teacher on FREAKS AND GEEKS.
[20:56] <~Dan> Very cool! How did you get your start in acting?
[20:57] <+Trace> I was in a bunch of play in school. Later I did stand up comedy and improv comedy in clubs.
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[20:59] <~Dan> Speaking of improv, how much of what we saw on MST3K was literal imrpov?
[21:01] <+Trace> the movie segments in the KTMA shows was all improv. The writing of the “rifffs” would become more polished as we worked into the First season on the Comedy Channel shows.
[21:02] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[21:03] <~Dan> Are you both an actor and a puppeteer on Vermin?
[21:07] <+Trace> No. Just an actor.
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[21:08] <~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx!)
[21:08] <~Dan> What is your role?
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[21:09] <~Dan> (Howdy, McCleverly!)
[21:09] <+Trace> I play Sam Lodgepole. A scientist.
[21:09] <~Dan> Is he the villian?
[21:10] <+Trace> Not that I know of at this point. I think he’s just a working Joe.
[21:10] <~Dan> Ah… Somewhat akin to Joel in MST3K, then?
[21:12] <+Trace> Joel was a janitor but I guess in human to puppet relationship, sure.
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[21:14] <+Vorthon> WELP.
[21:14] <+Vorthon> It seems they took Big Trouble in Little China off of Netflix. >_<
[21:14] <+Monochrome_Tide> Aww
[21:14] <~Dan> How different it it for you playing a human compared to playing a puppet?
[21:14] <+Vorthon> ((Whoops, sorry. >_>))
[21:15] <+Trace> I get to stand up instead of being under a table. 🙂
[21:15] <~Dan> Well, yes. 🙂
[21:16] <+Trace> Also, need to look the puppet in the eye not the puppeteer.
[21:16] <~Dan> Does it feel less like “you” when you’re playing a puppet, though? (If that makes sense.)
[21:16] <~Dan> Put another way, do you feel like you “were” Crow or that you “ran” Crow?
[21:18] <+Trace> When I was playing Crow I felt like I was him. Like playing any character I think I have to BE them as much as I can to get into the character.
[21:18] * ~Dan nods
[21:19] <~Dan> I was just curious if having the physical object between the “real” you and the office created a degree of mental separation between you and the character.
[21:20] <+Trace> If anything I think it helped to maintain focus with the character.
[21:20] <~Dan> Hmm. Interesting.
[21:20] <+Trace> For me anyway.
[21:20] <~Dan> Do you think having played a puppet makes it easier to deal with puppet co-stars?
[21:22] <+GenoFoxx> do you get to be the ‘straight man’?
[21:23] <+Trace> I think I know how to make them (the puppet) real to my character. That in turn should make them believable to the audience. That is if you can believe a giant green furry rat with three eyes is real.
[21:24] <+Trace> I think I’m the straight man, yes.
[21:25] <~Dan> Is that a challenge for you?
[21:25] <+Trace> I was more of a straight man with Frank.
[21:26] <~Dan> That’s true.
[21:27] <~Dan> So, since I met you at GenCon, I have to ask: Have you done any gaming?
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[21:28] <+Trace> I did not get to do any gaming at the con. I’m more into video games.
[21:28] <~Dan> Nothing wrong with that. 🙂
[21:29] <~Dan> Have you ever tried roleplaying games at all, though?
[21:30] <+Trace> I haven’t. I’m afraid I’m not really smart enough to remember all the details in games like that.
[21:30] <~Dan> It’s really not that much of a chore in a lot of games if you’re a player and not the gamemaster. To be honest, I think your improvisational skills would serve you well in gaming. 🙂
[21:31] <+Vorthon> That, and there’s plenty of systems out there that are absurdly short/simple. Heck, off the top of my head I can think of Microlite20, Risus, and at least one version of Fate (Can’t remember the exact version, though.)
[21:32] <+Trace> Perhaps. I’m more of a lone wolf gamer. Me… alone… on a mission.
[21:32] <+McCleverly> 🙂
[21:32] <~Dan> Fair enough. We’re not here to “convert” you. 🙂
[21:32] <~Dan> (But you’d totally love it. 😉 )
[21:32] <+GenoFoxx> we’re not?
[21:33] <+Vorthon> Yeah, if we were, we’d be breaking out gaming stories by now. 😛
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[21:33] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ2!)
[21:33] <~Dan> Do you think improvisation can be learned? Or do you just “have it” or not?
[21:34] * +GenoFoxx silently chants ‘one of us, one of us’
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[21:34] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
[21:35] <&Silverlion> (Allo)
[21:36] <+Trace> I think the fundamentals can be taught. The various games can be taught. You can be taught to overcome your “writing in your head” instead of being spontaneous. Some people are really, good and others are not comfortable with all the rules. I think so, but like anything you all need a skills.
[21:37] <+Trace> Skills, You know… Like TYPING. 🙂
[21:38] <~Dan> I ask because I’ve been trying to teach myself to improv better when I run my games. Are there any tricks to it?
[21:38] * ~Dan chuckles re: typing 🙂
[21:38] <+GenoFoxx> which none of us has mastered 😛
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[21:39] <+McCleverly> I’d hazard a guess to say that anyone who was at gen con is going to be taking penalties to basic skills right now. I know I am 😛
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[21:39] <~Dan> Indeed. 🙂
[21:40] <+Trace> There is a great book – TRUTH IN COMEDY. A good pace to start.
[21:40] <&Silverlion> One of the reasons I’m generally well thought of as a good gm is my ability to improvise.
[21:41] <+Vorthon> I kind of fall flat in that area, yet I keep trying to GM.
[21:41] <+Vorthon> Last big stumbling block was when the PCs in a campaign utterly curb-stomped a character I intended to be a recurring villain.
[21:41] <~Dan> Really? Do you think the principles in comedy can apply to thinking on your feet in a more general sense?
[21:41] <+McCleverly> I don’t really have a question except I wanted to thank you for being so nice to all us fangirls and fanboys who met you this con. It was probably the highlight of my year.
[21:42] <&Silverlion> Its awesome that you came to talk to us. (I’ve no real questions either, dan asked em all.)
[21:42] <+Trace> DAN – Yes.
[21:43] <+Trace> Thank you guys. I had a great time a the CON.
[21:43] <~Dan> Was that your first time around gamers?
[21:44] <+Trace> Oh, I have been around gamers before. A lot of my friends play. I just never got into it.
[21:45] * ~Dan nodnods
[21:45] <+McCleverly> Fair enough. 😀
[21:46] <~Dan> So in the time that remains, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up, Trace?
[21:47] <+Trace> I’de really hope that people check out the Kickstarter campaign – VerminShow.com and help us out. It ends Friday. Thanks!
[21:48] <~Dan> Absolutely, Trace!
[21:48] <~Dan> Thanks so much for joining us!
[21:48] <+Trace> Thanks to you Dan. Hope you feel better.