"Duluth is Horrible" made it's premiere Tuesday Jan. 11 at the Zinema in two screenings. There were about 50 or so people at the 7:00p show and an almost full house at the 8:30p. This is the first time DIH has screening publicly and in front of an audience. It appears people liked it but then again, most people (Minnesota nice or not) wouldn't come up to me and tell me I suck. Although one drunk woman told me she thought I sounded like a blithering idiot.
DIH was paired with my films, "KNFR From 7:00-7:30", "The Muppetless Movie," Toasters 'N' Moose: I'm Not Homeless Music Video" and the original Kickstarter video. These works are all quite a bit different than DIH which at least attempts to be dramatic. The 7:00p show was more somber. A few decent laughs throughout. I felt very comfortable alone on stage for Q&A, feeling a bit like a late night talk show host. This comfort has been an acquired skill, leading some to believe my Myers Briggs is an ENFJ but I'm not totally convinced.
As I walked out of the theater after the 7:00p show, I was bombarded with the swarm of people waiting outside for the next one. All this is to see my work? I was flattered and went all Oprah on the audience promising cars to anyone my finger pointed to. Because it's not Oprah till it's Oprah. My heart sunk slightly as I witnessed Duluth Mayor Don Ness walk in. I felt like an ashamed schoolboy. I offered the audience 30 seconds of abuse (old Graham Chapman gag) and asked if the Mayor would like to kick me in the balls. The Mayor got a comeback in the Q&A when he asked if I wanted a job in the sewer system. Touche.
The 8:30 audience was more livelier and seemed to laugh at just about everything. DIH played to decent to big laughs throughout, which I find interesting since I find it incredibly depressing & sad, though not without humor. Dark comedy it shall be. Hard to gauge what people think of my other work. The things that always get laughs got laughs. My "No on Norse" got bigger laughs here than elsewhere it's played. Must be a Swedish thing.
Afterwards I desperately tried to talk to as many actors & friends as I could. Alas, it was the only time seeing some of these folks for this trip. One day I'll learn to just take a vacation and not work on anything. Drinks were had as I basked in my celebrity. I don't feel bad reveling in it as I work damn hard for those few hours of success. That said, when it's over and I return to my Radisson hotel room, one goes through a depression that now you have to go back to your normal life. Flew back to SF today. My cat looks at me unimpressed and wonders why his litter box hasn't been cleaned. I have to return to my day job tomorrow at 9:00a.
It was an amazing night and I hope it was foreshadowing bigger better things. Thanks Duluth. You let me off too easy.