Last night we had the pleasure of witnessing Pop-up Magazine’s first “live issue” in New York. The collaboration with ESPN The Magazine didn’t disappoint. We didn’t quite know what to expect when the lights went down in NYU’s Skirball Center for The Performing Arts, because, well, what the hell is a “live magazine?” Turns out, it’s a lot of fun.
The evening featured a slew of presenters, and each person performed an original piece for that night only. Much like a magazine, it began with shorter performances in the beginning, with longer pieces to follow.
The best part about the night was how each piece was so personalized. There was “Data,” by Neil Janowitz. The stage was completely dark, aside from a long beam of light. Then, from out of nowhere, Janowitz ran – in tiny shorts – and jumped across the beam. The reason? He was illustrating how long the world record for the long jump was.
“How-To,” by Alyssa Roenigk, was a short about the best way for fans to streak sporting events. For that, a man ran through the crowd in just a thong. Highlight or lowlight – you decide.
Others made use of the big projection screen on stage. Andrew Kuo had a collection of hilarious infographs on the screen, like one that illustrated all the time he spent thinking about the Knicks, as shown here.
One of our favorite features from the night was “Family Business,” by Daniel Engber. In his performance, we learned that Philander Rodman, Dennis Rodman’s estranged father, has a book (well, it’s a Microsoft Word doc) called As Dad as I Wanna Be. If you didn’t know, Dennis’ book is titled As Bad as I Wanna Be.
Oh, and we didn’t even mention that at one point in the night, they shot t-shirts into the crowd. Just amazing.
The night closed with ESPN’s Gary Belsky explaining that he loved working with the Pop-up Mag people. Judging by the roar of applause for all the presenters, other magazines should look into joining the fun.
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