I had a great time Saturday night hosting The Arts Center’s Art for the Heart gala virtual event: with Arts Center Executive Director Cynthia Spencer and an army of volunteers at the helm, along with my frequent collaborator John Harris of Horsepower Productions, the event raised nearly $50,000.
Because it was live and virtual, technical problems were inevitable. We had bumps right at the start of the event — as I said during the program, I blame Facebook — but settled down to relatively smooth sailing after 10 minutes or so.
John and I planned to begin the event with three minutes of silliness, and I fear those of you watching at the start might not have seen our opening — or, considering audio difficulties, might not have been able to hear what was going on.
Now, no one has asked me what we were doing in those opening minutes. But, despite the lack of public demand, I’m printing below the script of the opening sketch — along with the key visual component.
If you read the script and say to yourself, “Well, that isn’t funny” — you had to be there. (Except it wasn’t that funny even if you were there.)
And before we get to the script, a couple of reminders: It’s not too late to donate to The Arts Center. And if you haven’t seen the current exhibit, “What Will Nature Do?”, you should make plans to do so.
And now, for the sake of future historians, here’s the script for the lost sketch:
JOHN HARRIS voiceover:
The Arts Center is proud to present Live! On-Line! From the Arts Center, Art for the Heart 2021 Edition!
Here’s your emcee for the evening, Mike McInally!
(The camera shows McInally huddled over what appears to be a child-size table. We see him from the back. He appears to be drawing something on a sheet of newsprint that is pulled from a roll on the floor. He seems to be holding a child-sized crayon.)
Mike? Mike? We’re live! What are you doing?
(McINALLY turns around and faces the camera. He might stand up. Or maybe not. Whatever seems to work best.)
Oh, John, hi! I’m working on a drawing of my own here. I’ve been so inspired by the exhibit “What Will Nature Do?” here at The Arts Center that I wanted to contribute my own piece.
JOHN (with hesitation):
OK. And your medium here is …
McINALLY (waves what we now see is, in fact, a gigantic crayon):
Crayon on newsprint!
JOHN (again, with hesitation, as if speaking to a gigantic 11-month-old puppy):
(He pauses and then says:)
You know that “What Will Nature Do?” is a juried exhibit, and that the pieces selected already have been up for a week now.
Well, sure. But seeing all these works based in science and so hopeful about how nature can react to climate change really got my creative juices flowing.
(He gestures around the gallery.)
And it looks as if there’s plenty of room on the walls.
Well, yeah, But that’s a matter of aesthetics; you want to be sure that excellent works like these have room to breathe. But I’ll bite. What’s on the drawing?
(McINALLY shows the drawing to the camera. It is a crudely drawn cartoon picture of a cat in front of a house on a sunny day. McINALLY is pretty sure he can draw this.)
JOHN (as if speaking to the same gigantic puppy):
Okay … that’s very nice. What’s going on in that picture?
Well … this is one of my cats. He’s outside on a sunny day. But now that we’ve made progress on climate change, he’s not too hot even though he has a fur coat! See?
JOHN (again, as if convincing that puppy to let go of a priceless object):
Very nice work. But the lineup for “What Will Nature Do?” is already set. Maybe … save that for the Howland Open? There might be room for that on the walls during that exhibit.
McINALLY (pondering a second):
That’s a great idea. I’ll just put this over here for the time being.
(He tapes the drawing on the “comments” white sheet at the exhibit.)
And now — let’s start with the show? Please?
I’m Mike McInally, he/him, a Corvallis writer and editor — absolutely not a visual artist — and I’m your host for tonight’s Art for the Heart Virtual Gala! I’m glad to be here live at The Arts Center, the current home of an extraordinary exhibit, “What Will Nature Do?” The exhibit, I should note for the record, actually does not include my drawing — but if you want to bid on it, go right ahead!