TJ is a writer living in Portland, OR.

Sidekick works on 'Sidekicks'

Sidekick works on 'Sidekicks'

For the last few months I’ve been part of the writing team for Action/Adventure Theatre's show Sidekicks. If you’re unfamiliar with Action/Adventure their bread and butter are serialized semi-improvised comedies which Portland seems to love.

When I first arrived in Portland back in 2008 I started going to their ongoing series Fall of the House (which was maybe in it’s fifth season by then?), about a group of twenty-somethings living together in Portland who were often trying to get their shit together. As someone who just arrived in Portland with no job prospects, no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and not sure to have real romantic relationships with other adults the show was immensely appealing. I also desperately wanted to be in Fall of the House, I missed preforming and working on projects with other people. I thought I might have enough improv training to cut it, but kept talking myself out of going to auditions because I didn't have the 'acting chops' (I didn't know how to fake cry, etc..). I eventually became friends with many of the company members, but that didn't seem to encourage me, it just made me self-conscious. I decided I was just wasn't meant for the stage and contented myself with watching my friends be funny. I was an Action/Adventure sidekick.

Late last year one of these friends asked if I wanted to be a writer for the next serial show that just happened to be about superheroes, a subject about which I know a fair amount. I said yes.

I didn’t have to go to as many rehearsals as other people working on the show, but I had enough days getting home after 10:00pm to make my day-to-day life frantic between the show, working, and trying to hit my writing deadlines for PQ. And while there is very little dialogue I can point to as something I wrote specifically (because we have no idea exactly what the actors will say) it was amazing to collaborate with other writers on a project, pitch crazy ideas, try to juggle multiple plots, see actors run with your work, and try to figure out what you can pull off onstage with what you got.

And the people I worked with are just some of the nicest and funniest people I know.

Episode One opens tonight at 8:00. Get your tickets here. I’m pretty sure this is going to be awesome.

Also, I will make my acting debut in an Action/Adventure show next week, but that's another story.

 Photos by  Pat Moran

Photos by Pat Moran

How to self-publish a book

How to self-publish a book

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