What's in this Strange Tea?

Strange Tea is the little comedy group based in the Metro-DC area. We do skits, spoofs, parodies, improv, Rocky Horror, and generally muck about having a good time. Sometimes we get paid, sometimes not, and often we are asked to leave and to "put that back where you found it." But mostly we just hang out and laugh so hard, Punkie gets another asthma attack. ... bloop... ... bloop... We have a-peel... haw haw haw...

The History of Strange Tea

As time drifts like grains of sand between space and time, Strange Tea was created because people though I should do a comedy group. I was one of the main writers of "Prune Bran", a comedy group that existed from 1987 to 1993. I also acted in a few parts, avoiding major roles in favor of minor ones with bribes to the right people. Not that Prune Bran wasn't fun, no, in fact it was one of the best times of my life, but like all performance groups, it ended in a mess of politics, gossip, and tribal confusion. It is best reviewed in the skit I wrote called "The Cruel Skit", which will soon be up here. Or not. But anyway, we started at some convention I cannot remember, but it had to be an EveCon or CastleCon or something, and it was a disaster. Punkie had just gotten addicted to Mountain dew, and somehow decided to have a puppet show. But the sound cues were off, the special effects tape was lost, one of the puppets was missing, and suddenly, we were lacking a table for the puppeteers to hide behind. Add that with a tech problem where no one in the audience could hear anyone on the stage (due mostly to acoustics of the room, and a problem with the Mr. Microphone the puppeteers were using). And just to add that little spice of guilt and stress, it turned out we were the ONLY act for the hour-long opening ceremonies. We had 20 minutes tops of material. And the rest of the cast left poor Punkie to talk with the owner of the convention onstage after fleeing to the other end of the hotel between skits. Not that Punkie is bitter, oh no... not me... but they will pay, PAY for their crimes! AHAHAHAHAAAaaaaaa! [ahhh *gasp* ...wheeze ...wheeze] ... sorry... Anyway, we did improv for a while, and then settled into a comfortable Rocky Horror presentation at the sci-fi convention circuit.

We do the occasional performance for cons, and we have a album in the works, plus a video tape special which has been touted by some as "a feat not unlike others of its ilk!" by people we paid to say they didn't hate it. Soon clips will be available on the net, as well as through mail order.

Who is in it?

Grig "Punkie" Larson, writer of this page and web site, is often touted as the largest member of the group, and therefor the first against the wall when the revolution falls. A former Prune, he is the main writer, and motivator of the group, which isn't saying much considering the group is a machine that produces nervous sweat for the profit of public embarrassment.

Bradlee "Dragonpants" Redding, another skilled actor and ex-prune, is the only professional actor we have. He also knows all the cool Rocky lines, and is a wizard at improv and faking death scenes. He owns the server this page is on. This is starting to look more and more like some form of cyber-nepotism, isn't it?

Christine "Tak" Larson, is only a member of the group because we were short on hot babes to put onstage. She is the wife of Punkie, andů hey, this IS nepotism! Well, damn, who cares. She also has a ultra-sexy voice that would melt chocolate, and that is why she is no longer allowed in Herseypark. She was dragged onstage by the Prune Bran players more than once, but denies it well during lie-detector tests.

Amy "Rogue" Miles is to us what Tiffany is to Troma Productions. She is our hyper babe, completely out of control, and twice as funny as the previous three members put together.

Dan "Jester" Alt is so funny and talented, he left us and now lives in Ohio. Jerk. I hope you never find your fourteen-legged dog fluffy.

William "Tynie" Allen is a new member, also an ex-prune, who is larger than Punkie. Tynie is a great actor, famous for his deadpan comedy, and for reasons he has yet to explain to us, dresses in a large pink bunny suit.

We have also had satellite members, like Commander Platypus, Casey Severn, Chris Ross, and Geoff Adams who blessedly helped out in times of need.

What do you perform?

Remember that feeling of discomfort when you didn't do your report in high school, and instead of hiding behind the anonymity of "handing it in", the teacher calls for you to bring it up in person? That's how I feel writing this. The honest truth is, we have had only a few performances and improv spots since we formed in 1993, and the last time we performed, it was so bad, my cast fled to different parts of the hotel before the whole opening ceremonies was over. But we have some new ideas and skits, but since all of us have real jobs and real lives to attend to, we haven't gotten around to performing in years, with the exception of doing Rocky Horror at Science Fiction conventions. But when Rogue joined the group in 1997, things started to pick up. We're thinking of doing a cable special (it's a crime community cable exists if WE can get on the air!) sometime at the end of this year.

CastleCon Ten - The Nerd Takes Over

Agck! No, not the sound of "Mars Attacks", but something more vile has erupted from my throat. We had an Improv group as CCX (as they called it) this July of 1997, and to say it went badly is a new definition on the word "badly."

In one of the worst panels I have ever been in, I blame myself. Had I had a stronger itinerary, or planned things better, we would not have had the terrible disaster that we did. First, we had a small shy audience. Well, small and shy with the exception of ONE person, a person who I do not know by name but she dominated the panel with her own brand of humor... which was... well... on a different level. Let's keep it at that. But I think this "It's cool to be a vampire" phase of fandom is now officially dead after this girl. While minute after grueling minute this ... person continued to spew out a fountain of flat jokes, I desperately tried to regain control, despite at one time, this person asked Rogue if it was okay if she bit me. This person was like a fire, and eventually I had to cut off the fuel by canceling the improv concept altogether. We spent the last half-hour talking to our audience, using regurgitated stand up material I had collected over the years. Our poor, poor audience was the true sufferers in this fašade of humor, and it was all I could get them to do actually get the nerve to talk back to us. As my Swedish Grandmother would say, "Oy yoy yoy..." After the slaughter, Rogue, Brad, and I went to the bad to have a drink. Since I don't drink alcohol, I had a Sprite, but Rogue and Brad had no such limitations. Then we were all carded, and had to leave to find our wallets. Bum-mer!

Note to myself... bring a gun to the next imrpov... ... then shoot self...

EveCon 16

Wow, security blanket was a hit! We stole all kinds of people from FanTek security, and we were able to fenagle some real actors from the sci-fi community, like Julie "The Inter-dimensional Thrill Kitten", Montana Jon, and a few other ex-prunes. Rogue got to relive her part as "Unit Zeta," and the actors from Team Chicken Salad played the "Eta and Nu" part so well, I swear to god some of us were going to die laughing.

Rocky Horror

Don't dre-heem it... be-hee it... Rocky is not dead! We (Brad and I) have been performing Rocky Horror for the last few FanTek Sci-Fi Conventions. I usually introduce the movie, read the rules, and Brad does a majority of the screen tricks. His lines, generated from over a decade of doing Rocky himself (he's played literally EVERY part at one time or another, from Rocky to Janet), are chock filled with some of the best jokes, gags, comments, and spoofs. We only have a few rules if you wish to attend:
  1. No throwing of any objects. This includes rice, toast, toilet paper, dildoes, girlfriends, or tantrums. We have a lot of expensive equipment in here, and if any of it gets hurt, you get hurt. And if you don't get hurt, we'll make sure you get hurt. Real bad. Much worse than the equipment did.
  2. No open flames. By order of the Fire Marshall. This includes lighters, candles, matches, flame throwers, napalm, and detonated nuclear devices. This movie has enough flaming queers to keep you warm. If you need more flames, post something wrong in UseNet.
  3. No spraying water. No water pistols, spit, or juicy oranges. If you sweat profusely, please stay away from the equipment, in fact, stay away from the room, and seek professional help. We don't wanna know about it. Gross!
  4. Be careful when moving. There are cables on the floor, and expensive video equipment. We would hate for you to get hurt, since that would mean you probably also hurt the equipment, which is far more important than you.
  5. Note the Fire Exits. In the event that you have to leave suddenly, perhaps due to horrible disaster that we accidentally show a Doris Day film instead, the exits will be used to flee the room. Make sure to push, shove, and trample people in a panicked fashion, screaming, "My god, my god... the horror, I can't believe Baywatch is considered a popular American export to the Europeans!"
  6. Please note that this is a naughty film. Jokes both sexually implicit and explicit will be said and shown by both the movie and the audience members. If such sailor talk offends your little ears, I suggest waiting until later, when we will be performing "Deer Hunter: The Musical". That'll learn ya'... also, if you expected to hear the subtle nuances and witty dialog of this film, go home and rent it; this is full audience participation!
  7. Have fun! Remember, don't dream it... BE IT!!!
Then we scream, "In the beginning, God said 'Let there be lips!' and the lips were good... and the lips said 'F**k you!', but they also said..." And if you want to know what the lips also said, you got to come see us perform. We have a lot of fun doing Rocky. :)

Note: Strange Tea, all ideas on this page, and the word "bananasquid" are Copyright (c)1997 Grig Larson. "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is copyrighted and Trademarked to Fox Films. Lava Lite is Trademarked to Lava Simplex Intl. So there. Nyah! Go stick your head in a bucket of salty fish...


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