I meant to do this a while back but I have a free moment right now so it's time to talk about THE GIMMICKS.
I knew going in to this show that I would be competing at a tremendous disadvantage due to my lack of name recognition and advanced age, so I had to do something a little extra.
Obviously if I had gone on to the second round at F Plus Live I wouldn't have done the "box of mystery liquids" gimmick again. In fact, I had a second gimmick prepared, which I actually pitched to Lemon when he first asked me to do the show. But that was only one of many
concepts and stunts I considered, all of which I am going to reveal to you... right now.
GIMMICK ONE: THE FLEETWOOD
When Lemon asked me to do F Plus Live, I responded with a question: "In addition to the microphone, will i have access to a separate audio out feed into the PA?"
Then I sent him this video:
This clip depicts a furiously cocaine-addled Mick Fleetwood playing a special "percussion vest" made for him in the early 1980s. The vest has a number of pressure sensors on it, and tapping each one cues a different sample.
For the reading, I recorded 500 of the most common English words coupled with another 300 "likely Wikihow words" into my DAW. I then built a very janky replica of Fleetwood's percussion vest out of a cheap electronic drum kit I bought on AliExpress, cut up and sewn together. The intent was, when I got the reading, I would quickly assign eight words from the text to the sensors on the vest and perform the reading by speaking words not represented and hitting the vest for the eight words that were found in the text, combined with upsetting Fleetwood gesticulations (and yes, I did have the ball clackers that hung from the belt as well).
This was a completely ridiculous concept but it would have been a lot of fun. I originally was going to do it first and the box second but made an executive decision to switch them once I saw how the night was going, and I think that was the right choice.
BUT! Before I came up with the mystery liquid box, I ran through a couple other ideas.
GIMMICK TWO: THE BUZZER
I actually prototyped one of these devices before discarding the idea. When called to the microphone, I would give three objects to the other Ridiculists. About the size of a deck of cards, they consisted of a momentary switch attached to a battery and a small transformer. Electrical wire extended from the device to an electrode at the end.
The text would be given to the non-reading Ridiculists along with an index card and a Sharpie for each. Each one would be asked to choose a word that appeared in the text - could be a common word, could be one that only showed up once - and write it down on their card but do not show me.
While they were doing this, I would attach one electrode to my Adam's apple, one electrode to the tip of my penis and one electrode to my anus.
I would then take back the text and instruct the other three Ridiculists to press the button on their device when they heard me read the word they had chosen. That would direct a painful but non-lethal electrical shock to the region of my body corresponding to their device.
At the end of the time, I would then attempt to guess their three words.
I built one of the devices and it worked but as I was reading about it I learned that, even in healthy people, repeated electrical shocks have the potential to induce heart irregularities and potential death. Not wanting to leave a corpse on the F Plus's hands, I abandoned the idea.
GIMMICK THREE: THE STRIPTEASE
I predicted catcalls for nudity would go over pretty well, so I wanted to take off my clothes during the reading only to reveal a flesh-colored jumpsuit underneath those clothes, then remove that jumpsuit to reveal a Slim Goodbody-esque (see video below) anatomical jumpsuit, and then remove that jumpsuit to unleash a cascade of chicken gizzards, cow tripe and other offal all over the stage. If I didn't care about the venue or the event organizers this would definitely be something I'd do, but it wasn't right for that night.
I kicked around a couple of other ideas, including using a ventriloquist's dummy to heckle myself and building a large Bread and Circuses-style puppet, but time drew short.
Anyways that's the long-delayed behind the scenes of my approach to F Plus Live.