Wednesday, May 28, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Analysis of Skit #43

(Now featuring the official video from YouTube)

This is Skit #43 - Ranmasan productions: Battery Operated Twins! - that I was in.

First, a bit of backstory. This, for me, is my first big opportunity to jump from the small Masquerades of Sac-Anime/Sac-Con onto the big stage of FanimeCon, where more than 3000 attendees, hundreds of press ranging from photographers to video that go on the internet, and judges who have done this type of thing longer than you have.

Through the forums, I was able to find a group who were looking to do an Ouran High School Host Club skit, headed by Jessica (ranma12 on the Forums). I was interested, so I joined. I recorded my lines leading up to Fanime, while the chreography would be done on-site at the convention.

The basic premise of the skit is this - why are the twins they way they are?

For my character, I was supposed to be an outsider - more like a random person. I changed that title to "Student Council President of Ouran High School," because of my connections to student government in college. So basically I am someone who really doesn't understand the twins in what they do and why they do it. And honestly, if those twins did exist I would be asking the same question.

We were #43, which meant we were in the last strech of skits. By then, most of the attendees that I talked to said the same exact thing - epic fail. Too much Hare Hare Yukai, Rickrolls, and even Caramelldansen got played out - it felt like skit after skit involved some sort of dancing, dacing that was half-assed and out of sync. Our group believed that at least we had an original skit going, one that doesn't have dancing (I'm not counting the music near the end, since that's part of the skit).

Now, onto the actual video.

First off, you notice there's a big lag between the time when Ric Meyers, the MC for the Masquerade, leaves the stage and when the lights come on. Also, notice how the audio track plays (about 1:00) before the lights come on. By the time the lights do come on, you can already hear the cheers that is supposed to become because this is a Ouran High School Host Club skit. Now, I do wish my voice wasn't as high-pitched as I wanted it to sound - somehow my voice translates differently.

As I walk across the stage, you can notice the sleeping Honey and Mori who is sitting on a chair facing the backstage. The twins are standing to the back-left as I face the audience. At this point, I'm supposed to give a monologue while the twins play around in the background, giving the perception that I'm supposed to be the one out of place. He does address the twins, but also tries to catch them in the act of "incest." The whole "Battery Operated Twins" gets mentioned (1:26) here too as well.

About the 1:40 mark, he actually does catch them in the act, and you can see the exaggerated pointing that I do here, accompanied by the audience cheering because of the twincest. After this, Honey wakes up and asked what is going on. In the series, Honey doesn't like to be awaken from his naps, and has a pretty bad temper when you do wake him up. So, Honey runs up, knocks down the twins, and "knocks me out" (2:05). Again, he sees the twincest and blows it off.

Soon thereafter, Tamaki shows up - but if you look closely, it's Mori with a wig on. Unfortunately, the Tamaki that was supposed to be there didn't show up, so the Mori cosplayer had to double as Tamaki. By then, my character is supposed to set things straight with Tamaki, but gets the same answer...MONEY?

2:50 - Tamaki calls on the twins to bring out someone - bring out the women! Again, the twins fall to the ground, and crowd reacts. And then Tamaki had to ask the ultimate question: "What do you think of their 'brotherly love?'" You can probably guess the crowd's reaction to that one. And now my character just gave up, defeated at the hands of the Host Club and their twincest ways. You see the facepalm that I put on as the twins, up in arms, parade themselves on stage.

All of the sudden, I start to come backstage, to where Haruhi is now standing. I am supposed to court her, which I do. Tamaki, seeing this, goes into his own corner and sulks, just like in the series. Tamaki sees her, she runs, he runs, I run.

The skit ends with the twins humming offstage.

I think we could of done better - the lipsync wasn't as great, and the timing of the whole skit felt a bit off. We also didn't get to used this prop:

We were supposed to bring out this cake for Honey, since Honey likes cake. But we never did, so after the Masquerade I took the cake back with me:

You probably know me for asking "You want cake?" Most of them replied with "The cake is a lie" (a Portal reference).

Overall, we did ok with all the cirumstances that were given. I thought we were one of the more original skits, but not without the polish. I'll definately take this experience as I look foward to the rest of my appearances at future big-time Masquerades.

That concludes Skit Analysis...expect Final Report tomorrow.

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