Romantic love has long been one of the most capitalized on human desires. From the millions of dollars that E Harmony racks in every year to the plethora of rom coms Hollywood produces, to the racks full of self-help manuals in any given bookstore; no subject matter is more lucrative than the quest for a mate.
The romance industry has done an excellent job of convincing people that there is something wrong with being alone and encouraging people to patronize any one of its many businesses. The offshoots of the industries voracity include myriad blogs about the difficulties of dating, hundreds of angry Facebook rants and many one woman shows. Next to date rape, the inability to get a date has become one of the most popular subjects for the one woman show.
One of those shows comes to Portland’s Curious Comedy Theater on December, 26, 2014. Classic Singles: Ballads of Loneliness is a solo sketch comedy, featuring songs and skits, about being young and single. The show was written by and stars Jana Schmieding.
Ms. Schmieding is a comedian and actress who hails from Canby, Oregon. She currently resides in New York City where she works as a school teacher in the South Bronx. She has appeared in many improv shows at New York’s Magnet Theater. She also performs with group called 4Some, and plays in a two-man improv duo with Christian Paluck called Big Fat Liars.
The show is described as a collection of “stories about being without love told through the dark imagination and belted serenades of a broad who may or may not die alone.”
In a promotional video for the show Ms. Schmieding says that she thinks of herself as the “alone lady.” She says that although being alone may be frustrating, she is better at being alone than anyone else she knows. She claims she is glad that she never has to worry about having to take someone to the emergency room if they get injured, but then realizes that she has no one to take her to the hospital if she gets injured.
Ms. Schmieding often works with her fellow Magnet Theater member Lauren Olson. Together the two have worked on several projects, including the comedy sketch web-series 20/400. They also teach a “Creating Characters” workshop at The Magnet. Once a month, the ladies host Lana and Lauren Present which is a character showcase featuring a lineup of top NYC comedic actors performing new original characters.
Several of their previous pieces have examined the subject of being without love including their short film Babe, which features a woman (played by Ms. Olson) conversing with an unseen mate and This Isn’t Working about a man so afraid of solitude that he is willing to endure any kind of humiliation to stay in an abusive relationship.
Much of Ms. Schmieding’s humor centers on social awkwardness and frustration, such as in her video Tales of a Female Hunchback in which she plays a hunchback having a personal training work out with a pretty, tall, blond coach.
The Curious Comedy Theater is dedicated to, “improving the lives of kids, adults, and seniors through the art of comedy.” They are also committed to taking risks and pushing boundaries in theater. They offer their own classes in improvisation stand-up comedy and even business improv training.
The theater features a full bar along with a food menu. Tickets to Ms. Schmieding show are only $5.00. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. on December, 26, 2014.
Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
Eliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.