NOTE: PortFringe will be profiling PF14 Artists and their shows on this blog in the weeks leading up to the festival (June 24-29, 2014). The next snapshot is of Jetpack Superheroes – a comedy band from Fall River, MA, making their first PortFringe appearance this year. Recently we had the good fortune to conduct more of an extended interview with Paul Levesque of Jetpack Superheroes. Read on…
Artist: Jetpack Superheroes
Show: Jetpack Superheroes: These Things Will Happen
Description: The Jetpack Superheroes are a comedy band focusing on writing the most beautiful love songs in the world. Rather than regurgitating what you hear on Top 40 radio, these guys give you a fresh outlook on popular conventions while lampooning scenarios that everyone can relate to. This show proves that when you can’t find the words to say what you want to say, just keep talking. Maybe you’ll get lucky anyway.
PF: The JETPACK SUPERHEROES identify as a comedy band “focusing on writing the most beautiful love songs in the world.” This syncs nicely with your Facebook genre (“Comedy to help you get laid”). Tell us more about that. Related: any testimonials from happy fans?
Paul: Wow, we really just put it out there, didn’t we? Well I can tell you that if you come to a Jetpack Superheroes show, there is a %100 percent chance you might possibly get laid. I guess you could say we just like to help people. As far as testimonials are concerned, we are constantly receiving letters from fans – It’s like the letters section of playboy in Jetpack HQ. We like to keep our shows PG-13 though, so Portland, you’ll have to fill in all of the details with your dirty minds.
PF: So, Paul… are you guys really superheroes? Any special powers we should know about?
Paul: Yes. I have the certificate from the University of Phoenix Online if you’d like to see it. Like the Avengers, each Jetpack Superheroes member has their own unique abilities. For example, I’m really good at remembering to set the DVR so we don’t miss our favorite television shows. Jon has the uncanny ability to go on at length about his past accomplishments. David, on the other hand, is super good at stair hopping. That’s an extreme sport he made up in middle school.
PF: Quick. Don’t think about it – just answer – If you could choose two superheroes to be your parents, who would you pick?
Paul: Let me just say first off, as a superhero and an authority on the subject, I’ve given much thought to this subject. With that said, I’d want Batman as my father because he’d spoil the hell out of me. As for my mother, I’d want Storm from the X-men because I hate watching the weather channel.
PF: Tell us something we might not know about your Portfringe show.
Paul: Not to let everybody down, but we do not wear jetpacks on stage. Also, with each passing week our show becomes more and more elaborate. I’m not even sure that we know everything about our show yet! That’s what keeps it fresh and fun.
PF: Have you spent time in Portland before?
Paul: No, but if you ask us in about 2 months, we will say “Yes. And it was amazing.”
PF: What are you most looking forward to about PortFringe?
Paul: First of all, I’m very excited to put on a great show and have some fun at Empire. I’m also pumped to meet everybody who is out there working hard to keep Fringe Theater popular in Portland. Jon is particularly excited about the free breakfast at the La Quinta inn, but he also hasn’t eaten all day.
PF: Indulge us as we get a bit philosophical:
What does the term “Fringe Theater” mean to you?
Paul: To me, Fringe Theater is a bit like punk rock. It’s about going out and putting on the best show you can with a minimal amount of pomp and circumstance. It doesn’t cost money, it only costs effort and drive.
PF: And as we get even more existential:
Why is theater important?
Paul: Theater is the oldest form of entertainment on the planet. It came before television, film, and large media budgets. Theater is a living, human to human connection. It’s more intimate and personal. The fact of the matter is, it’s a wonderful thing to bring our wives to for an anniversary.
PF: OK. Enough of that. Tell us, Paul, are the JETPACK SUPERHEROES working on other projects right now?
Paul: Right now, we are 100% focused on making our PortFringe show the best it can be. After Portland, however, we are looking forward to filming some music videos for our songs and getting those out on youtube. We would also love to start work on a television pilot we have been kicking around for a while now. The idea is to retell all of the real life hardships and embarrassments that we have endured while working to establish ourselves. Spoiler Alert: We did start out playing ukuleles covering Metallica songs while wearing matching bandanas.
PF: What are some things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?
Paul: “Turn on the light”
PF: What do you think about when you’re alone in the car?
Paul: “Parking at make-out point would be so much more fun if I wasn’t alone in the car.”
PF: Lobster or Steak? Discuss.
Paul: As a betting man, I think a lobster could beat a steak for the following reason:
1.) Lobsters have claws, steaks don’t even have hands.
2.) Butter makes you slippery, so the lobster could escape any and all holds.
3.) Steaks can’t stick and move because they have no legs, Lobsters have six.
4.) A lobster’s got an exoskeleton, which is like a suit of armor. Steaks are mushy and able to be punched. Rocky proved this point perfectly, that steak didn’t even fight back.
PF: Let’s close this interview with a haiku. Written by you, for me. Ready, set, go:
Get ready Portland
We’re coming to the Empire
Thanks for having us!
SEE JETPACK SUPERHEROES’ “JETPACK SUPERHEROES: THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN” AT PORTFRINGE 2014!
Thursday, June 26 at 10:00pm – Empire
Saturday, June 28 at 6:00pm – Empire
NOTE: Jetpack Superheroes appears as part of a PortFringe classic “Double Ticket” alongside local group Motivational Works of Art and their presentation of “We Are the Broken People” (profiled here)
for more information about PortFringe, visit www.portfringe.com