I've asked myself that question many times, but I finally paid to see a taping of Live Wire! and discovered that it's incredibly fun and well worth the money.
Waiting for Matt outside after my walk to the Alberta Rose Theater, I took a picture of the poster.
Our topic? High school fashion: the upside. Both Matt and I submitted our haikus to the Haiku Hotties, who were the Sweetpea Ladies Auxiliary. They would be a team of women cyclocross racers. They were all dressed in their racing gear.
We were sitting right by the producers' table which was awesome. Here, Robyn Tenenbaum (co-executive producer) and Courtenay Hameister (host, also producer/founder-type person) discuss some last minute details.
This guy (whose name is Drew Fint and who is the production manager & lighting designer) was doing something funny with his fingers. I figured out that he was screening the audience haikus and counting the correct amount of syllables.
Much to my delight (and surprise, as Matt didn't tell me) Erin McKeown was one of the musical guests.
We heard an interview with Andy Blubaugh, who is an independent filmmaker. He sat in front of us. "Who is this guy who is rocking the nebbish, hip, nerdy look?" I thought to myself when he sat down. It turns out he's a nebbish, hip, nerdy director.
On that computer screen, Live Wire! house poet Scott Poole (not seen because he was blocked by the woman) was writing a poem about the show, right during the show. Scott Poole's bio in the program says in part: "In his spare time he enjoys being a matador, weight lifting, bear wrestling, alligator dentistry, spitting contests, eating beef jerky and watching French cinema with the sound off so he can hear the soft reverberation of his own tears falling upon the velveteen carpet of his soul." Scott Poole's bio made me laugh hard.More Erin McKeown. She's so delightful.
See that round thing blocking the view of the actors on stage? That's Earl Blumenauer's head! Our own US Representative, sitting right in front of us!
Nathanial Boggess told a story about high school.
The Upsidedown played. They had a lot of musicians. Three guitars plus and a bass guitar, a keyboard and two, count them two, drummers. It was kind of a wall of sound, but not in a Phil Spector way, more of a "you crashing into the wall of sound repeatedly" sort of way. Their interview was pretty funny. When asked the question, "What do the Hollywood people look for when they are choosing songs for tv shows?" the guitarist quickly answered, "I think they are looking for the most awesome band ever. And they found it, in our case." Indeed. They have had songs featured on two television shows.
Then it came time for the Audience Haiku. Matt and I had already suffered the disappointing news that our excellent Audience Haikus had not been chosen as the winner. Some other woman was the lucky winner and was going to read her haiku on stage. But before she read hers, first, each of the three radio actors read their favorite. We heard the first one and laughed. Sean McGrath began to read the second haiku and Matt suddenly was overtaken by a very quiet fit: "That's my haiku! Mine! Me me me! My haiku! They are reading mine!!" This fit was accompanied by arm flailing and pointing and general excitement. I actually didn't get to hear the haiku because of Matt's excitement. Luckily he remembers it:
Despite your new clothes
The cool kids still won't like you
So wear what you like
Because his haiku was read, he got a CD. Here he is, waiting for his CD with the woman who got to read her haiku aloud.
This is actually the second time one of Matt's haikus has been read aloud. At a Portland Community Land Trust event a few years ago, there was haiku performance (it was awesome) and they read some audience haikus. Matt's was read at that event too. He still remembers it:
Our painting party
Greek food for our friend's labor
Tom Sawyer would laugh
Matt wishes to inform you that you can hear his Live Wire! Audience Haiku being read on the Live Wire! broadcast date 11/14. You can find it on iTunes. The Audience Haiku is at the end of the show.