Author Topic: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.  (Read 4546 times)

Offline liveFor10

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The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« on: July 29, 2016, 12:42:32 AM »

I know who likes sloths. One day while I was drunk I told him I was going to buy him a sloth as a pet.  I didn't want to buy a sloth puppet online sight unseen so I went to a toystore.  The one there was too small so I made my own.

I named it.  I named his keeper and friend, another personality I had in my head.  I gave them back stories.  Over Christmas I had my nephews and nieces give the sloth puppet a voice.  I wrote a 20 page script.  I cast(ed?) the part.

Look, on one hand maybe Only people that know me will think it is funny.  This whole thing has already gotten way more out of hand than I actually ever meant it to.  But now we want to know what other people think.  Cute, mildly amusing?  Best with alcohol?  Profanely narcissistic?  Borderline plageristic?

Have at it.

Offline heidi52

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 10:22:45 AM »
Sorry Livefor10, very few people are going to download something, especially by a first time poster. And especially one where the intro isn't particularly well written. Why would we assume the work was written any better?

If you are interested in getting feedback you should post at least part of it.

Artemis Quark

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2016, 11:02:07 AM »
Welcome to My Writers Circle, liveFor10.

Nice to have you with us. We don’t have a lot of rules around here, just enough to keep things running smoothly and welcoming to all. As Heidi pointed out, asking members to click on a link will not garner much response. Post a snippet instead. And please go to the welcome board to introduce yourself.

To make the time you spend here a good experience for you and others, plus, to learn your way around MWC, start by clicking and reading this link to our guidelines.

You'll find other blue Stickies at the top of the various boards to help you learn the ropes and make your time here more productive and enjoyable. One rule often missed by new members is the 2000 max word count for posts in Review My Work, 1500 max for posts in Review My Script and 100 lines in Review My Poetry. A reasonable limit considering critiques are often quite detailed. You will gain valuable feedback more easily digested in bite-sized chunks.

Please Take Note: With the exception of The Gallery, any work posted in the prose or poetry boards is subject to review by fellow members. You may find some critiques to be worthwhile. Some you may feel do not fit your work. Virtually all are an honest effort to help you improve your writing. Take what you find useful and disregard the rest. This is how we learn our craft.

As a newbie to MWC, you will not be able to edit your posts until you have reached the 50-post milestone. Should be easy, especially if you spend some time on the Games thread. It will also improve your vocabulary and hopefully bring on a few laughs. Have fun.

And please read and comment/critique other member’s work. You will find it also helps you with your own creative effort.

The moderators are easy to spot due to all the blue stars floating above our heads. If you have a problem, we are happy to help. Just click on the private message (PM) icon of any moderator and send along your question or problem.

Artemis Quark

Offline liveFor10

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2016, 04:40:35 PM »

Okay second things second.  I wrote above "I know who likes sloths..."  I should have said "I know *a guy* who likes sloths..."  I looked all over for a edit, remove, delete, or modify function but I guess I don't get to do those things until I post 48 more times.

My first post tells you *why* I wrote the script, but let me introduce the two characters such that you might want to download an attachment from a Newbie with a Rep of 1.

Mayhem is thee toed sloth and the star of the show despite having secondary billing to Ruckus.  He is loud, obnoxious, ridiculous, clueless, impulsive, self-centered, and demanding.  He comes off as rude sometimes but it’s never personal with him.  He loves passionately, is not afraid to be himself, isn’t afraid to criticize, and doesn’t anticipate possible consequences of his actions or even learn from his experiences.  Sometimes he is not so smart but he knows a lot about the few topics he’s cared to research.  Mayhem is a flirtatious trysexual. He defines a trysexual as anyone/thing that is willing to try having sex with a sloth or more specifically him.  He interrupts Ruckus and let’s face it everybody, doesn't always listen.  Mayhem is a sloth without a land.  His accent and lack of contractions are a mystery to everyone.  Sometimes he catches cultural references sometimes he doesn’t.  Mayhem sews, sings, quotes movies, pop songs, the bible and the Fourth amendment, does drugs, and (dis)likes what he does unapologetically.  He tells like it is.  He gets it wrong sometimes.  He is always the guy with the punchlines intentionally or not.  He loves Ruckus.

Offline liveFor10

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 04:47:48 PM »

Now Ruckus:  Ruckus is a human.  He is quiet, thoughtful, reserved, tries to be kind to everyone sometimes at the expense of himself.  Ruckus loves Mayhem and tries to be liked by him first and foremost but will never know if that has happened.  He is timid, afraid of almost anything, doesn't believe the things Mayhem does and gets away with—he would never have the nerve to attempt such things—and is the voice of reason in the relationship.  Ruckus is in charge of the show, writes the scripts, but is not the star.  He doesn’t mind…too much.  He wants Mayhem to get his due too.  To that end Ruckus holds himself back even when he thinks he could be funny.  He is the straight man after.  And he is straight.   And sheltered.  And inexperienced.  And just trying to make his way in the world today and it takes everything he's got.  Taking a break from all his worries sure would help a lot.  Yes he would like to get away and go somewhere where everyone knows his name...but only if they know Mayhem's name too and say hi to him first.

Artemis Quark

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2016, 06:45:21 PM »
Okay second things second.  I wrote above "I know who likes sloths..."  I should have said "I know *a guy* who likes sloths..."  I looked all over for a edit, remove, delete, or modify function but I guess I don't get to do those things until I post 48 more times.

You are correct about edits allowed only after 50 posts, liveFor10. You may not have noticed the Preview button next to the Post button. It allows you to proofread your post in final format prior to posting. Edits are allowed in the text box that still remains open while 'Previewing.' Also note there is a Spellcheck button to help correct spelling errors before posting.

Just in case you didn't see the feature. Keep writing, learn and have fun.


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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2016, 06:56:12 AM »
So you've come up with what you hope is an original idea. But what do you expect us to say after reading your last two posts? Without a sample of the script it's still impossible to tell how well you write or how well the interaction between your two leading characters works. On the strength of the two pitches - if that's what they're supposed to be - I'm not seeing very much to get excited about so far.

I admire your enthusiasm. You're obviously having fun and are thrilled with your creation - a show featuring a three-toed sloth and a human (!) - but seriously, I'm not getting it. At best it comes across like an out-take from Ice Age - yet another anthropomorphism of a creature that's meant to be humorous but is actually quite the opposite (unless you're a five-year-old). I can't begin to imagine what audience you have in mind for this project.

I'm afraid it's difficult to find anything positive to say without something a little more substantial. And like most on here I don't click on links. Post a sample so that everyone visiting the forum can get to see what all the fuss is about.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 08:32:42 AM by hillwalker3000 »

Offline liveFor10

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 06:27:12 PM »

Thanks @hillwalker3000 for saying (what maybe many other people were thinking).  I appreciate the feedback.

Regarding the intended audience:  friends, family, and friends of friends and friends of family...of both me (the guy playing Ruckus) and Adam (the guy playing Mayhem)--like 60 people +/- 20.  Maybe the low side if we keep it closed, maybe the higher side if we put out a facebook invites to groups we're members of.

Regarding the originality of the work:  Both Ruckus and Mayhem are based on me.  The goal would be to make fun of me.  Therefore the intended audience is also people who would enjoy a good joke at my expense.  But getting back to content.  Most the little bits are based on things that actually happened to me so sloth motif aside this work is not meant to have parallels to any othe published work.  ...except maybe conversations between Tyler Durden and the Narrator in Fight Club.

Regard downloads:  I will post the script as a message not as an attachment.  I thought the instructions encouraged a download and .txt file at that but I am more prone to give potential reviewers what they ask for.

Thanks again for all who have replied.  I think what I am learning is what I did and most would have suspected at the onset:  Limited interest outside of the few who would get the private jokes and exagerated self deprication.

Artemis Quark

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 12:15:12 AM »
Based on your latest PM to me, liveFor10, it seems you are having difficulty with word count limit. Try this to verify your excerpt is 1500 words max and post it. Only by posting some of your work, not by describing it, can we give you meaningful feedback. You do not have to abbreviate names, etc. since the limit is on words not characters. We are not Twitter.  ;D


Offline liveFor10

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 11:13:34 AM »
See "setup" and bios of the two characters in a post above.  Here is part 1 of what I think will be 3 parts:

M: Hi, I am Mayhem, and this is Ruckus.
R: Hi, I'm Ruckus, and this is Mayhem.
R: Hey I thought you were me…I thought that…
M: <menacing>
R: ok ok you do it
M: <contrived, slow>H e l l o e v e r y b o d y
R: <uncertain>
M: I am just kidding. I am a sloth, but I do not really speak _that slowly. It is a cliché that sloths do _everything slowly. I do not like clichés.
R: <haltingly>Uh ok, good to know…
R: So Mayhem, I have a question for you, I'd like to…
M: it was _Not nice
R: I'm sorry?
M: Oh you are sorry? Just like that?
R: I'm not sorry. "I'm sorry?" It's an expression. Like “Pardon me.” I didn't get what you were saying.
M: It was not nice. In there. In that..restraining device
R: backpack?
M: Oh is that what you are calling it?
R: uh Mayhem, what about our script? I thought we were going to stick to the script! You said
M: Fuck your script! Do not change the subject.
R: …ok…I just thought--can I say something--given your distaste for _clichés?_ …I wouldn't have thought a puppet show…and the first thing mentioned is the carrying case…you know that bit has been done before
M: <begrudgingly> Yes! You are right. I see that now…
M: That does however bring up a very important question.
R: Sure.
M: What is a puppet?
R: <robotically but not funny> Ha Ha May hem Say Bud dy What Have You Been Up To Late ly?
M: <mimicking, but typically unrelated to the line above> ha ha I know that a puppet is a movable scale model of a person or animal used in entertainment and typically controlled by strings from above or by a hand inside from within
R: <trying to get back on topic>That’s right. Say Mayhem, how have you been?
M: Well "All Is Well That Ends Well."
R: Well good?
M: Which is a bullshit quote. Who said that any way?
R: I think it was the title of a play by Shakespeare
M: Well he's stupid
R: do you even…?
M: So the worst things are “fine” if they “end well” A likely story!
R: I…Mayhem, what's wrong? What happened?
M: I…I do not know if I can talk about it
R: <disappointed> ok…
M: I discovered something about myself recently
R: yeah, that’s good, right? what it is?
M: …but it is so shocking that I think I could not possibly bring myself to say
R: <disappointed again> ok
M: <looks at audience>
R: What them? They're cool, right? I think this is a safe space. Can you guys keep a secret?
M: <Hesitantly> Well ok…
M: Well you know I went to Burning Man…
R: <supportively> yes yes
M: …and “they” say when something that big happens to you…
 …people can change
 …in a big way…
 …you know lifestyle-wise…
M: <looks a Ruckus and audience, not sure if he can say> so I
       have to…
       come out…
R: you can say whatever it is buddy…
M: There’s something you should know about my
M: You see…I like…
M: Dubstep
R: Oh Mayhem
R: Are you okay?
M: I am okay.
R: …you know what that leads to, right?
M: Yes, I have the internet too
R: Ok alright. Come talk to me later if you want to.
R: Hey I heard you had a new job…
M: A job? Well yes. I am self employed…
R: Ok cool. Tell me more. It's been a while and we haven't talked. How's that going?
M: not good I am afraid
R: oh I am sorry to hear that…
M: You see my title is Prognosticator of Matrinonial Statusing…
R: so you have a job; that's good news.
    I do not think I've heard of one of those. How does it work?
    wait, you’re a “P.M.S.?”
M: That's what it says on my business card. Director of P.M.S.

R: <quoting former self> ok…also something we should talk about later, but "I do not think I've heard of one of those. How does it work??"
M: Well I have a strange but powerful gift.
R: Ok like you somehow predict
M: I foretell the resolution of marital…
R: …Relationships?!
R: You can tell the future of people's relationships?!
R: So like people come to you and you consult by being able to tell the future?
M: <confused>People come to me? …No not exactly…
R: so you're mobile; you travel
M: Well I must go where I must…
M: …weddings mostly
R: <shocked> You give predictions of marriages At weddings?!!

M: <calmly> My visions come when they come
R: <small voice> …ah I heard that's very common in the.fortune..telling…business
M: And I am well a slave to the truth that must be told
R: uh oh
M: <almost offhandedly> And honestly I do not understand why my business is not thriving. I have a very valuable service
R: you've been showing up uninvited to weddings to foretell how those marriages will end?
M: My gift *invites* me and I must go to where I am called
R: ok so you go "where you're called" and you convince the bride or groom or a family member that they want to hear how it is all going to turn out and then perform a 'fortune telling?'
M: convince them? no! I do not talk with them mostly…
R: ok wait so you show to strangers’ weddings –uninvi-
M: <stern look>
R: …unannounced, and start telling people the couple's future?
M: well it is not like they have a choice.
R: uh oh
M: My sound team has control of their audio systems…
R: Mayhem.
M: Yes Ruckus.
R: I don't think that's a job.
M: Well it is a lot of work.
R: yes, but you're not *hired*
R: People didn't agree to have this "service" performed.
M: Well that would explain my open invoices…
R: You have a sound team?
M: <emphatically>Yes
R: <not wanting to take this further>OK
R: Mayhem.
M: Yes?
R: Are you ok?
M: I do not know. It is just that I have also been searching for Jay - Oh - Bees too.
R: <enthusiastically>Okay, that sounds good…so like applications and resumes and interviews…the…more traditional approaches?
M: Yes. I thought I told you. I met a guy in the elevator.
R: I don't think you told me that
M: Yes. He was quiet and very well dressed and I think we had a moment
R: in the elevator?
M: yes. I drew nearer.
M: I straightened his bow tie.
M: I looked into his eyes.
M: I put my arms around him.
♫ Roxette * It Must Have Been Love ♫
R: and
M: …and we were on an elevator and I had an interview to get to
R: and?
M: <not understanding> and I went to the interview
R: <pausing to see where this is going>
M: Oh I see what you mean.
M: You want to know why I did not get that job.
R: Well……<disappointed, confused> Sure. That too.
M: <waxing poetic>Well who really _knows_ why one does not get a job.
M: It could be that my skillset was not an exact match for that particular position…
M: Perhaps I was qualified but I did not communicate effectively…
M: It could have been that I was not meant to work there…
M: fate if you will…
R: …what?
M: I said fate if you will
R: I will I will.
M: …and indeed I may happen along a job that is a much better fit and that the universe has designated is my true place
R: well all that reflection and introspection sounds very mature and it seem like you've come to
M: <interrupting> Or it could have been that the interviewer smelled vodka on my breath and was a hyper judgmental jerk that did not appreciate my well thought out and insightful regimen of vodkaBasedPerformanceTraining
M: He said vodka’s not a vegetable. Vodka’s a vegetable, right?
M: right?
R: I
M: any way It could have been the hiring manager wasn't willing or able to listen with an open mind to my qualifications and assets…it could have been because he seemed to remember an incident where I would not give up my nailclippers in order to step through the metal detector, engaged 7 members of the security team, 2 members of the police department, attempted to quiz them all on certain clauses of the Fourth Amendment, made buzzing noises when they answered incorrectly which was most the time, pretended to slip on their floor and threatened to sue, and insisted as terms of my settlement that they all carry me up to the 21st floor where my appointment was


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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2016, 12:04:31 PM »
Oh dear.

You're making fun of yourself and you believe that's going to attract a following. How exactly?
You reckon your family and friends are sure to love this because they know you personally. That's fine - but if you're expecting a wider audience I'm afraid you need something more substantial than this. Family and friends are the least helpful critics because they never tell the truth for fear of causing offence. They'll never tell you you have an ugly baby, for example.

I'm picturing the Muppet Show on a slow day - but that was 40 years ago and it was mildly amusing most of the time. Unfortunately there's nothing amusing here because there's nothing happening and the deliberately stilted dialogue becomes annoying very quickly. Chuck Palahniuk writes very witty material and you tell us these things actually happened to you - so presumably they were funny at the time - but there's no evidence of that here. Maybe we had to be there.

And for the record, stage directions like <quoting former self> or <waxes lyrical> are unnecessary. How is an actor meant to do either? Your job as scriptwriter is to write the dialogue not coach the performer.

Just one opinion - feel free to use or lose.


Offline heidi52

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 12:17:29 PM »
Oh dear is right.

I'm going to assume that you were reluctant to post an excerpt because you were afraid someone would steal your writing or your idea. Fear not.

It's good that you have supportive family and friends, I'm sure they will be entertained and think you did a great job. I would stick with the intended audience.

And hey, at least you conceived and wrote something, so good for you. It's more than a lot of people accomplish. Keep writing.

Offline liveFor10

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2016, 06:02:00 PM »

So here is a potentially interesting way for us to start/further a conversation or get on the same page.  The script is about 20,000 characters or about 4,000 words; it depends what labeling I use, if the lyrics of the little ditties are included and some formatting.

I divided that up into 41 "bits" including the 10 tiny musical interludes.  (I also divided it up into thirds or "scenes" but that was just for posting convenience).  Then I thought my assessment of my work might be of use?  Don't flame me if it is not.  Just trying to start a dialog.  So I rated each of the bits.  There were no 8s, 9s, or 10s considering 10s would be a diety achievment and 8s are about the highest human achievement I've experieced.  I would never give those to myself.

There were 8 fours (20% of total), 15 fives (37% of total), 13 sixes (32% of total), and 5 sevens (12% of total) however.  On that chuckle/guffah scale five is like saying heh--a short snort and a mental move-on; not memorable.  It's the Meh of the scale.  Fours actually hurt; you are a worse person for having been exposed to that bit.  Even sixes are only slightly better but questionably memorable.  I only gave a seven for an original scenario, not a re-used one liner or a mildly amusing thing that makes you go hm.  Basically the Average, the Mean, and Mode all come out to 5.  There is one 7 in the first third and two sevens in each of the second and third thirds.

So maybe what I am saying is you probably couldn't? convince me those numbers are actually any higher.  But I think given the definition of this scale the numbers probably aren't way worse either?  Each of us would jumble up the fours, fives, sixes, and sevens differently but probably not in a way that would changle the bottom line stats?

So if that gives you anything, maybe all you have to say is which bits are not a 4 or a 5.  If this approach isn't useful of downright silly then please ignore this post.

Should I post the list of the bits (like as a scorecard)?


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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2016, 06:33:45 PM »
If this approach isn't useful of downright silly then please ignore this post.
Should I post the list of the bits (like as a scorecard)?

If you honestly think a statistical analysis of how many guffaws you would give each scene after reading your own script then go ahead. You might even get an award for the most bizarre posting in the history of MWC.

You have ditties as well? It gets even better. My advice - seek professional help while there's still time.  :D


Offline heidi52

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Re: The Ruckus and Mayhem Show Live!...and dead inside.
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2016, 06:50:03 AM »
If you have made a detailed "assessment" of your work and identified all the bits you think are funny and by your own score it averages out to the equivalent of "meh" - I don't really see what you expect any of us to say. This is your baby, and you love it, and even you can't give it a good grade.

Personally I didn't find any of the bits even mildly humorous. On your scale, I wouldn't rate any of it above a 2 and most would be 1.

The test we all use around here to judge our work is the question we put to our readers: "Would you continue reading?"

In this case, not even if I was paid.

Sorry, you wrote conversation but I really think you meant conversion, some miracle where if you explain it enough we will come to see it as the hilarious thing you do. It's like some joke a drunk tells at a bar that isn't really funny and when no one laughs it's because "you had to be there."

Maybe when you present this to your intended audience, you could give them score cards with which to rate the bits, and thereby turn it into a group performance piece. Now that might be humorous.  ;)