Dare to be stupid

🕔Jun 07, 2006

Have you ever considered going out in public dressed as Michael Jackson and handing out fliers for a babysitting service? Or, better yet, portraying Freddy Krueger and engaging in a live battle with Jesus Christ? Of course you haven’t! What sane person would even think of such a thing?

Well, one person comes to mind, and his name is Matthew Mask.

In 2005, this small-town actor and comic embarked on a journey that would find him creating a comedy program for the communities of Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert, BC. “This is something that has never been attempted before in this region,” says Mask.

“Dare To Be Stupid” is not your average comedy show, but is based on some unusual ideas and concepts. Various skits involving vampires, pimps, celebrities, and even Spiderman take place in public areas and businesses, with little or no warning.

“These are a trademark of the show,” says Mask, “and it lives up to its title by forsaking common sense and saying that it’s okay to just be silly and stupid at times, and that stupidity is very freeing and fun.”

“That’s not to say that the show encourages stupidity,” he hastens to add. “The show encourages breaking away from mainstream ideas with scenarios and skits that seem odd or make no sense.”

“The trend in television today is reality TV, and shows that either humiliate or highlight the worst in people and society,” Mask continues. All of this was taken into account when “Dare To Be Stupid” was first developed, and Mask went into the project with the belief that the show would either be “loved, hated, or just generally misunderstood and picked apart.”

Mask says he will parody and satirize anyone and anything; no celebrity, character, or form of entertainment is spared by “Dare To Be Stupid.” Besides public figures, Mask has developed a stable of his own characters, such as Gothula, The Purple Weirdo, and the Evil Pudding.

Mask says it’s hard to try anything creative and different. Sometimes he encounters resistance to his brand of comedy, with its bizarre nature and sometimes controversial content. “You need a good sense of humour, and a high tolerance for criticism,” he says. “Not being prone to anger helps too.”

Matthew Mask performs skits live in public, dressed as a variety of strange-looking characters and celebrities, with a smile on his face. “Yes, I will hear the occasional heckler, but remain calm. I remind myself that they are there to guide and help me.”

Mask encourages others to follow their creative urges. “If you have the drive and the motivation to be involved in any form of media, I salute you and want to see you succeed,” he says.

Mask explains that even eccentric performers like him need some form of training in order to pursue this art. He recommends that teens hoping to get into television get involved with any school productions they can so they get a feel for performing in front of a live crowd. “Join the Technical Crew too, if your school has one, so you can also learn behind-the-scenes technical aspects,” he advises.

“And yes, you may be considered a geek—but you must suffer for your art!”

“And of course, always work on your writing, because it is what will help you most of all when it comes to developing good skits and scenarios,” says Mask. “Think of a really exciting concept and pitch it to your local cable access station and—who knows—you might end up with your own TV program.”

If all else fails, you can look him up on the web at: www.daretobestupid.piczo.com or www.myspace.com/matthewmask or e-mail him at kitimatsketchcomedy@hotmail.com