The Asides was an improv troupe.
Their press blurb, taken from a 2011 application to perform at The Hideout Theatre:
The Asides perform monoscenes, which are real-time narratives that take place in one setting, and create situations that act as metaphorical asides about situations in their lives that affect the characters on stage. For The Asides, making you laugh is as important as making you gasp through shock or tear up with sympathy or a gamut of other emotions. There's a definite sense of realism in their shows, but also a wonderful sense of absurdism too. So, while The Asides create worlds of fleshed-out characters who react honestly, those worlds may also have cannibal clowns and homeless people who look like Hulk Hogan. Life and death situations can, and often do, occur alongside everyday trivialities that make up The Asides's world, and they vie to have a stake in all of it.
"What's Your Deal?"
Their answer to the "What's Your Deal?" question on a 2010 application to perform at The Hideout Theatre:
We periodically break the fourth wall to create subtext for the show, which means there's a dual-layer of watching the story on the surface about the characters and the "real" story about the actors playing the characters.
We take a basic suggestion as usual for a show. A couple minutes into the first scene, someone says a keyword that tells everyone else in the show to hold their place. That person then steps downstage center to make a statement as the actual actor to clue the audience in on behind-the-scenes happenings before returning to his original spot and saying the keyword that lets everyone know the scene is back on. That new info now acts as subtext for the show. People stopping a scene to make a statement will happen a few more times in the show, each time building on and creating subtext for the show.
I'm in a scene with Marc where I'm acting as his father bringing him to work for the first time. At some point, I stop the scene, walk downstage center, and say, "Hi, this is Justin. The actor in the scene back there. If anyone feels there's an air of... resentment right now, it's because I told everyone a couple nights ago during rehearsal that I have to quit the troupe because my girlfriend got a job in San Diego and I have to go with her. They weren't exactly thrilled. So, yeah, just so you know." Then, I step back in the scene in the exact same place I was before and it starts up again, saying the keyword to signal to others that the scene is back on. That info about me quitting the troupe to move to another state with my girlfriend can then be filtered into the show by having Marc's character act like I'm abandoning him, being jealous that I have someone when he doesn't, or whatever else.
It won't always be about conflict, either.
- Photoset by Steve Rogers that includes their 8/30/11 performance in The 2011 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival.