Written and Performed by Sid Ross; Directed by Chris Clavelli
Part of the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Solo Show
Runs through 8.25.16
VENUE #4: Abrazo Interno at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street
by Shoshana Roberts on 8.15.16
Sid Ross in Becoming OCD. Photo by Nestor Correa.
BOTTOM LINE: Becoming OCD peeks into the life of an average Joe whose “crazy thoughts” turn out to be obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Sid Ross, the playwright and the performer of Becoming OCD, is quite a talented storyteller. Ross is your everyman—except for when he isn't. He is a stellar dad with a glint in his eye and “crazy thoughts.” These thoughts that plague him his entire life turn out to be from obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. Granted, Ross didn't know this while he was experiencing all of those feelings. Chronologically, we hear about events in his life where the OCD was more prominent. They affect interactions with his family, cause strange sexual thoughts in his teenage years, alter how New York City rubs off on him, and color his life with the need for reassurance and safety.
In Becoming OCD, Ross educates the audience about this affliction. There is the obsession, or the idea that one's brain is obsessed with, and also the compulsion, or what the obsession makes the person do. He delves into some helpful explanations for the audience so they can relate. This production assists in exposing a foreign world to the unknowing masses. It is a middle ground, though. There is not too deep of a dive into the science, perhaps so as not to turn off those who have no concept of anxiety. Ross keeps a smirk on his face and a quite jovial approach to such a serious subject. Becoming OCD is described as a “solo (show]) comedy-thriller,” but the obsessive-compulsive thoughts Ross discusses are anxieties my brain is all too familiar with, which made it difficult for me to hear the comedy in the story.
The audience at my performance laughed quite a lot, seeing the humor in the anecdotes. But what made me laugh the most was Ross's mannerisms. He has an oddity to his routine similar to the strangeness, yet normalcy, of Cosmo Kramer and Jerry Seinfeld from the sitcom Seinfeld. The seemingly opposite ideas of manic tendencies and normal activities that Ross demonstrates really channel their shtick. Becoming OCD is an enjoyable way to wiggle your toes in the ocean that is obsessive-compulsive disorder.
(Becoming OCD plays at VENUE #4: Abrazo Interno at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, through August 25, 2016. The running time is 1 hour, no intermission. Performances are Sat 8/13 at 2; Mon 8/15 at 8:45; Thu 8/18 at 5:15; Mon 8/22 at 7; and Thu 8/25 at 9:15. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more information visit becomingocd.com.)
Becoming OCD is written and performed by Sid Ross. Directed by Chris Clavelli. Lighting Design is by Zac Goin. Sound Design is by Zac Goin. Stage Manager is Julianne Scotese.