What is Sheer Audacity!
by B.J. Grogan
"Sheer Audacity!" is a sketch comedy show about SEX! It is "bawdy and ribald", "outrageously dirty fun", and "lewd, crude and nude". If I do say so myself. And I do.
It is my baby, my voice, my manifesto, if you will, of the wonderful and absurd world of sex and sexual relationships. Here you will get a look at my perverse way of viewing the world. I believe it to be funny, stupid, and sexy, but also insightful. And above all, never mean-spirited. It is meant to make you laugh, and maybe think a little bit.
Perhaps I should tell you a little about myself. I have always been a sexual human being. By this I mean that I have been aware of my sexuality as long as I can remember. Perhaps it was my early exposure to films and television, where there was always some sort of sexual situation, no matter what the rest of the story. Quite often these moments would end up being funny (or at least funny to me). Perhaps it has nothing to do with that. Maybe Freud was right, we are all born with this type of awareness. If so, what I am doing will strike chords and funny bones with people all over the world.
I remember being sexual from very early on. At 5 or 6 years old, I clearly remember taking little neighborhood girls to my basement, where we would kiss. I was continually seeking to have a "girlfriend" who I could kiss with. Most of the other boys my age were really into sports or fighting and I was considered the sissy (fag). Which is ironic, given the fact they were the ones spending all their time with their own sex. They were the ones taking showers together and lighting each others farts. I had my share of fights, but more often than not, it was about a girl. Or to impress a girl. That's how it was done in the movies.
Most of my time was spent creating fantasies and then searching for ways to fulfill this sexual awareness. I hit on acting as a matter of course, I was naturally funny and outgoing. I loved watching movies and television and then, of course there were always girls around. Lots of them. And almost always school plays were directed by some young, "just graduated college " teacher who would become the object of my puppy love humping. I was involved early in school plays and enlisting other children in the neighborhood or at school in our own private plays, usually something I had seen and would involve kissing. By giving out the parts. I was assured of at least one love scene. (early director).
At 13 I was the first guy in my peer group to have sex with a girl. I make this distinction because I think they were all having sex , but only by themselves. It occurred in the back room of my uncle's shoe store. I don't remember much, it was rushed, dark and very clumsy. But it was incredible! Once I had experienced that, I sure as hell was never going back to just kissing. The amazing thing was within a week after that day, I had sex with two more girls. I realized they were just as curious as I was. They were all around if you just knew how to ask And I began to get a lot more respect from the guys in my world. I knew girls, I spoke their language,(which does not mean I understood it) and I could get them naked. I was a hero to some. I remember one night having a girl stay in my bed for a night, with two of my brothers also in the room. It was a surreal time of my life,
To sum up, sex has always been the strong influence in how I view the world.I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19 years old. I became an actor/writer/whatever odd job-I-had-to-do. I did my share of Shakespere and other local theatre, at the same time writing comedy scripts for film and television, either by myself or with a partner. After early years of little success, I began working in summer stock doing what is known as "outdoor dramas", and touring with children's shows. In between those jobs I got some" if you blinked, you missed me" film work. But I was able to work steadily for years.
Throughout this I was involved in numerous relationships, both in Los Angeles and on the road. In the late 70's and 80's, there was a lot of having a lot of sex with a lot of people, but I can remember them all. I am not by any means a womanizer, I don't believe in seducing, persuading or lying to women for sex. I love women, but more importantly, I really like them too.! And women can tell when you sincerely like them. Thanks to my early training, I had become a very good kisser. This may sound like bullshit, but if I could get a woman to kiss me, I was half way home. I did try to maintain relationships. Was deeply in love twice (Sara and Mary). Monogamy just didn't sit well with me. Didn't(doesn't) make much sense.
Perhaps because sex was so prevalent, I also found there was a ridiculous side to it. The spectrum of things people will do to have sex, or avoid sex or how they justify sex. WHO can have sex! With WHOM! WHAT kind of sex can they have! WHERE can they have sex! WHY they can have sex! And HOW! It borders on the insane
Leap forward to New York, 1990, I was cast in the touring company of "Oh Calcutta!". For those of you who don't know about "Oh Calcutta!", it was a Broadway show that in many ways changed the way people could (literally ) look at sex. It was a musical comedy review about sex, performed in songs and dance and sketch. It was written by some of the most creative minds of the '60s and '70s, notables like John Lennon, Jules Feiffer, and Leonard Melfi. It was the first show to have full frontal nudity and simulated sex. It provoked arrests for the producers in cities all over the world. They challenged and won censorship trials in America and made tremendous gains for first amendment rights in entertainment.
"Oh Calcutta!" opened in 1967 and ran continuously until 1989. It set the world record for most performances of a show on Broadway. ( It has since then been passed by "Chorus Line" and then by "Cats".) More importantly perhaps is that "Oh Calcutta!" let people know that we all deal in the same sexual world. It opened a door to freedom of speech for millions. There was no longer any need to hide in the closet or wrap things in brown paper bags. We are a sexual people and we like to express it! Even those who view sex as a dirty, shameful or some sort of carnal act, feel their views very strongly. You need only look to the catholics, muslims and orthodox jews to see how crazed people can be about sex."Oh Calcutta!" was a natural fit for me. I had the opportunity to travel the world, while I got paid to dance naked, fondle and kiss naked women, and make of thousands of people laugh every night. We were very good at it. Audiences loved the show. We frequently played to sold out houses. Plus there was a lot of off stage sex to go along with the onstage kind . It was a great time. I found a perfect fusion for myself. Sex and comedy became my way of living.
I also found an unusual ally while doing "Oh Calcutta!". His name was Michael Lee Walker. He was my roommate and acting partner for more than four years. From the outside we looked like total opposites. I am on the short side, he was very tall and thin. His hair was dark, I am blond. I am a straight man and he was gay. But we worked very well together. We were both men who loved sex. Despite our opposing choice of partners, our basic thinking was the same. We believed that sex was the straw that stirs the drink of life. Michael and I shared a passion for the irreverent as well as the silly. Nothing was off limits as long as it was based in truth and not hateful. Much of "Sheer Audacity!" had it seeds in those days. And I came to see that there was nothing wrong with homosexuality, except of course for the cock sucking and the ass fucking. (That's a joke!) Michael died of aids in 1995. I miss him.
The only drawback to doing "Oh Calcutta!", was by the time we were doing the show it was the 1990s, and many of the references and themes had lost a little heat over 25 plus years. We wished we could add more up to date changes to freshen up the show. But "Oh Calcutta!" was it's own thing and set it's mark for it's time.
So in 1994, I returned to Los Angeles, where I immediately began again to fail at all attempts at acting or writing. I began waiting tables, which I still do today. But I began meeting many talented people who were in somewhat the same boat. People who were looking to Do Something Different!
In 1997, with the dawning of the internet, we had finally found a place to put these ideas on display. In November 1998, with the help of David Rickett, Steve Cioffi, Cary Thompson, and many others, the first "Sheer Audacity!" made it appearance. It has been there ever since. These are the sketches you now have access to.
I am very proud of the work and look to do more in the future. Check out a sketch or two, and I'm sure you will come back many times. AND SPEND YOUR MONEY!! If you do, I can promise that you will be seeing brand new sketches and more jewelry very soon. So don't wait. I'm tired of serving food to a bunch of people who aren't fit to sniff my shit. So I hope that this has answered the question:
What is Sheer Audacity?