Sunday, October 18, 2009

281 Days UP - "But now we spent the day so completely uninspired, askin' why oh why would I be tired?"

The Multiplayer Postcard. Still plenty of copies in stock!

Two years ago, before I became 'Paused' I wrote a one man show called 'Multiplayer' about 4 gamers and the world they live in. Writing it, putting it all together, and ultimately performing it for a few months at UCB Theater in NYC was what I consider to be one of the my greatest accomplishments and proudest moments, as well a wonderful convergence of my two biggest passions.

I finally got the show up on YouTube, and while there's certainly a bit of quality lost in live theater put to video, I think it holds us well enough to post it here. This'll also be a great chance for me to add some 'DVD Commentary' to my show as well. So without, further ado, I bring you Matt Shafeek's Multiplayer, circa 2007:

(JULY-ISH 2007

Part One - The Hump Day Challenge:

Fun Facts:
-This first scene was the impetus behind the entire show. While playing Halo 2 one day, I got the idea for a sketch centered around a guy in the most intense Halo match of his life having to contend with his teammate's mother while he played.
-The opening song, as well as all the music in between the pieces is courtesy of OverClocked ReMix, a video game music remix site that I highly recommend checking out if you're into that sort of thing. By the by, add 10 nerd points for each song you recognize.
-Any video game props, with exception of the Nintendo shirt in the second scene and the Luigi hat in the 4th I already owned. Hence, this is my original, crappy, taped-together original Xbox headset.
-It's very hard to eat and get out your lines when you already have a tendency to mumble on stage.
-All of the GamerTags mentioned except for my own (which I'm sure actually exists) are/were friends of mine on XBL.
-I think one actual Halo fan ever saw the show. He talked to me after the show and later friended me on XBL.

Part Two - Zack's 64-Bit Summer Vacation:

Fun Facts:
-This scene wound up needing the most work, and actually what you see here isn't the final version. I eventually made Zack put on a powerpoint presentation with real slides transitioning into his not so subtle video game slides which gave a much needed visual to what was going on on stage. The last slide featured an animated King Hippo gif that Zack put on boxing gloves and fought!

-The teacher's voice, done a la the Peanuts, are all sounds from Q*bert.
-Yes, that was my entire DS collection at the time.
-During one performance of the show I walked out without my wig, and had a silent mini-freak out. I wound up mumbling some line about "shaving my head" during my vacation and moved on, though it was definitely not my best performance of that scene.
-I want the Megaman 1 victory song to play for every one of my minor accomplishments throughout the day.

Part Three - Last Dance Dance:

Fun Facts:
-Yeah, I don't know what that accent is. I've been made fun of on more than one occasion for doing terrible accents in improv. This is probably as good as it gets for me.
-The dance is hard to see, but just know that it involved me sticking my ass out and in the air whenever possible.
-The song is actually not from any real DDR song. It's called "Burn The School Down" by Zebrahead, and it just so happened to be the song on my iPod that I was most able to envision doing this dance to.
-For you purists out there, yeah, there's no way anyone could actually play like that, but I DID make up a pattern to tap based on my limited experience with the game.
-I bet you're thinking: "Wow, such stamina! I'm surprised he didn't lose his breath!" Well...

Part Four - Teeger's Baggagecast:

Fun Facts:
-...Yeah, I'm still catching my breath at the top.
-This character is probably the least far removed from the real Matt Shafeek. In fact, over the course of writing this scene I fell in love with the fictional Katja and have yet to really get over her.
-I was so into this character and his relationship with Katja that I was tempted to shoot a quick video to play in between the sets of a snippet of a previous episode of the podcast to establish more history. Ultimately the idea was scrapped...because no girl could ever live up to the Katja in my mind.
-Note the portending PAX reference!
-I'd like to nominate myself for best portrayal of Luigi in any medium, ever. Again, note the amazing accent work!
-Some of the slides are not entirely visible in the video, but I have to say, I'm pretty proud of the whole motiff. It was basically a loading screen with some tips of being good to your game consoles. And boy oh boy did I have fun shooting pictures in all kinds of wackadoodle poses with game consoles. Amongst them: Waking up in bed with my GameCube and an unopened condom wrapper, being run over by an Xbox, and coming into a run with a R.O.B. robot that had hung itself with a letter reading: "See You In Hell."

Special thanks again for everyone who helped make that show possible, Rob Morrison, Dan Fairall, Pat Baer, Anthony King, and especially my brother Mo for doing the recording and eventually importing onto YouTube. And thanks to everyone who supported it when it went up. Special thanks to Robert Astley from A Life Well Wasted for lighting the fire under my butt and getting me to finally get this on my blog.

Seeing this show again makes me want to put together something else, something new. During production of Multiplayer I got so busy I mostly stopped playing games, and that's when I got the idea to go Paused. Maybe posting this video is completing the circle of creativity, and starting tomorrow I'll be in the market for my next big project.


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