THE UNTITLED SAM MULLINS PROJECT
See show info here
Like his fellow B.C. Fringe storyteller TJ Dawe, Sam S. Mullins recounts vivid, entertaining and circuitous tales about his life. His latest show uses an exercise from a stand-up comedy workshop he took several years ago as a springboard for four very satisfying autobiographical stories.
These range from an embarrassing experience performing in the Worst. Show. Ever. at university in Victoria to an intense, but alas brief, romance he had a couple of years ago on the Fringe circuit. The most richly detailed and moving story is one Mullins, now based in Toronto, tried out at the 2014 Next Stage Festival. It’s about the fleeting nature of life and concerns fathers, baseball and second chances. It will devastate you.
There’s no way to effectively sum up what Mullins does. He uses no props except a chair and a bottle of water, from which he drinks between stories. He frequently takes you on narrative tangents that fill in a bit of backstory, but soon gets back on track. He uses his lanky body, especially his arms, effectively but not excessively. He’s confident but not cocky. He has an enviable rapport with the audience.
What’s remarkable is how he fits four beautifully shaped stories into one hour, along with an introduction and final thoughts about his artistic philosophy and process. It must have taken lots of work to pare these stories down to their essentials. But while they’re well crafted, you’re not aware of the effort, just the human truths.