I remember Greencard Wedding from the beginning. I’m pretty sure they played their debut gig at Sticky at Bowery Poetry Club. I’m pretty sure they smiled alot, and were nervous in a very sweet way, and I’m pretty sure that we all had a fucking good time. Jody Christopherson and Michael deRoos make a great team: they are goofy, smart, funny, sweet, homespun, foreign, midwestern, and quintessentially downtown, all rolled into one.
But how do you make art when your collaborator gets kicked out of the country? You go solo, and that is both the pain and the glory in Jody Christopherson’s The Skype Show, which is based on the real-life split of art folk duo Greencard Wedding.
The sense that comes through in The Skype Show is that there’s been a time lost, a time that cannot be regained. We all have these times in our lives, times that were Times, times that were a crystallization of a moment, of a feeling, times that end. For my part, I’ve got those. I’ve got the downtown visual arts scene in the late 90’s, Philly’s Last Drop from summer 1994 through summer 1995, Bowery Poetry Club from 2007-12.
These are times that when they end must be mourned. I know I mourned the passing of these times. Sometimes those endings were marked by the loss of real true friends, or because I had to head back to school at the end of a year’s leave, or because my Club shut down. For Jody and Michael, a real true Time was had in their Brooklyn apartment, and playing the clubs and theaters of this fair City. Their time of collaboration, or as their first record calls it Forced Cohabitation, was always limited by Michael’s visa, by the impossibility of extending, and by the expense of filing new petitions. In a way I envy them. They did the work, knowing it couldn’t last, they formed a bond, knowing the truth even as they were ignoring it, that it would be broken in time, and by distance.
Director Aaron Simms’ has emphasized the separation between them, and live on stage it’s clear. Jody’s at her desk, on her Mac, and Michael’s on a big screen, delivering his part of the show over Skype (done live, muy cool). Much like the impossibility of actually meeting eyes in a Skype call, the duo cannot make eye contact here. Her back is to the screen, and we see the screen and live action side by side. As they regale us with past glories and plans for Greencard Wedding’s future, we can see what’s really happening. They have to figure out how to do it alone, how to realize their dreams and careers on their own. They hate it, but they learn to do it, and when they come back to each other, it is as two whole beings, knowing they can’t truly obliterate the distance, but ready to make it work, across the divide.
If you go (you should go):
The Skype Show or See You in August
script and music by Jody Christopherson and Michael de Roos
additional music by David Anzuelo
Director: Aaron Simms
A dramedy with music, written over Skype by two artists (Jody in New York, Michael in Holland) torn apart by visa regulations. This live Skype call is a testament to how technology can transcend boundaries, uniting artists and their audience.