The tech behind my comedy troupe.

Asiansploitation, a local comedy troupe I’ve been directing since 2008, had their first-ever performance at The Toronto Fringe Festival last night. And I dare say it went pretty well.

So today I thought I’d highlight some of the tech that has made our latest revue possible…

1. Dropbox

With everyone in the cast using it I now see the true power of Dropbox. It’s a free but proprietary file synchronization and sharing service (free as in beer) but runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. Plus you get an extra 250MB for every new user you sign up.

Previously we had been using Yahoo! Groups for file storage but the browser-based interface is cumbersome when you’re in a hurry. We still use it for group email, but I personally am getting pretty tired of the spam tacked on to the end of every message. Maybe I’ll try to migrate us to a private Status.net server.


2. Netbooks

We’ve got no less than three of them among our ranks — the new Dell Mini you see above, an HP Mini 110 and my trusty Eee PC 901. It’s a good thing we rehearse in a lecture hall where there are lots of available power outlets.

3. USB Sticks

As a director I can’t tell you how comforting it is to have every note, script and musical cue for a 75-minute show with you in your pocket.

Because my Eee PC’s boot drive isn’t big enough to hold our 4 GB Dropbox I typically transfer all the files to a stick (or SD card) before leaving for rehearsal, then upload changes when I get home.


4. Audacity

Audacity is a lifesaver for anyone editing musical cues. And it’s FLOSS. And it’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

I had heard that the Linux version was a bit unstable; so far it’s crashed on me once but it managed to recover all the unsaved edits before it went down. It’s also ridiculously easy to generate fade-ins & outs or silence at the end of a track.

I can’t recommend this app highly enough!

5. Rathole Radio

Critical to any comedy show is hip music, playing in the dark to cover set changes in between scenes and also as the audience enters the theatre, to subtly reinforce the idea that they’ve walked into the coolest room in town.

And there’s no better place to find cool music than Dan Lynch‘s bi-weekly Rathole Radio podcast. Here are some notable tracks I’ve pooched for our show from his episodes — all with a Creative Commons License, of course:

Thanks, Dan!

And thanks to everyone who came out for our opening night. If you live in Toronto or are visiting over the next ten days or so Asiansploitation has a list of show times front and centre on their site — powered by WordPress.com, which was also suggested by yours truly. ğŸ˜Ž

3 comments:

  1. We’re pretty fortunate in that our comedy scripts have built-in encryption — without the additional layers (staging, music, characters, etc.) they’re not at all funny and are therefore fairly worthless.

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