A Sonic Rube Goldberg Machine with 100 Kazoos and a Shot of Tequila

Back in April I participated in 20×2 Chicago, an event where 20 people are given the same question. Each person is free to answer the question however they see fit (slideshow, spoken word, interpretive dance) but the catch is: they need to answer it in two minutes or less.

The prompt for the evening was: Where Do We Start?

I’ve done a lot of 20×2 shows over the years, and this time around… I wanted to try something a little different. The idea of audience participation got into my head, and I ended up coming up the idea of a Sonic Rube Goldberg machine.

My plan involved purchasing about 100 kazoos, training the audience how to play the kazoo, then leading them in a group performance that would end with a shot of tequila. Here’s how it went down:

Did you know that decent kazoos are actually quite expensive? After I got a box of 50, I was thinking of getting some cheaper ones to supplement. And then I figured – I’m this far into it, I might as well go all in… so I got another box.

I like this line from the magician Teller:

Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.

I thought of this line a lot. As much as I love it as a definition for “magic,” I think it also doubles as a definition for the word “folly.” And what a fine line there is, between the two.

Me on stage, directing an orchestra of kazoos in song… culminating in a shot of tequila. I’m not sure if that’s magic or folly, but it sure was a hell of a lot of fun.

20×2 Chicago is an awesome time. You should come out to the next one.

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