Tragic reports of a comedy show gone awry have surfaced from Gary, IN, where an up-and-coming improv comic suffered immediate paralysis when his scene partner failed to give him the customary “Yes, and…” reply.
Troy Beckham, 20, remains hospitalized in a state of shock after his classmate and friend of seven years, Jess Vincente, responded to him, “No, but…”. According to Vincente, who was interviewed by police and Backstage about the incident, Beckham had begun their scene as he normally would have, but unexpectedly froze when an answer she provided to him denied the reality he had just invented.
“He was crawling around on all fours and fake hiccuping, like usual, but when he called me a parsimonious lout and ordered me to fetch his kippers I had to push back and still keep the scene going. That’s when I said, ‘No,’” Vincente claimed. “Since then, he’s been just like that,” she said, alluding to Beckham’s motionless body.
Beckham has been active in local improv comedy since he turned 16, attending classes and performing at weekly shows and events for the last three years. He recently took on the persona of a paraplegic figure skater whose corn chowder was too hot, managing to retain his mobility throughout the convoluted episode. As suggested by Vincente, Beckham’s resilience during that period may be at least partially due to her consistent affirmations of his then assumed identity.
Of Beckham, Vincente revealed, “He takes it all the way. There’s no pulling him back. My guess is he’ll stay like that until he’s too dehydrated to stay awake. When he passes out, we can try snapping him out of it.” Upon being questioned about her apparent indifference toward the alarming condition of her friend and scene partner, with whom she carpools, Vincente admitted, “Yeah, well, I can always get a ride from Paul.”
As improv comedy accidents have been increasing year-over-year for more than a decade, Beckham’s affliction defies conventional treatment due to it being completely voluntary. An outpouring of support from his friends and family has been coupled with expressions of grief and anger toward Vincente, who is thought to have contributed to the tragedy.
As stated by Troy’s mother, June Beckham, “She should’ve just ‘Yes, and’ed him. That’s pretty basic. Now my son’s in a pretend coma and there’s nothing I can do about it.”