There aren't many places in San Diego, or planet Earth for that matter, where one can witness Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump having a wheelchair-dance battle with Stephen Hawking. Or Aunt Jemima flipping pancakes for Martha Stewart and Joan Rivers while Richard Simmons gets a roomful of costumed partiers sweating to the oldies. But these moments of WTF-ness are not so unusual at the Intense Individual party (intenseindividuals.com), where intensity is celebrated with raucous, unfiltered, unwavering— well—intensity.
No one walks through the door without sporting a costume of some one who could be considered totally intense, like Lady Gaga or Col.
Sanders. What sets this shindig apart from other theme parties is attendees' dedication to their character. No one breaks the fourth wall, unless he's the Kool-Aid Man making a very grand, literal entrance, says creator Lisa Comrie.
“That's what's really changed over the years,” says Comrie, who threw the first Intense Individual party back in 2001 in Michigan. “People really take their character seriously and they are The Beatles with Liverpool accents. I think what's great is that every year people take it to the next level.”
For example, Hawking communicated solely via a rigged laptop and Amy Winehouse drunkenly fell off the stage at Intense Individual No. 5, and Tony Little burned calories on his trademark Gazelle the entire night of No. 4.
Like so many legendary party ideas, Intense Individual was born in a bar in Baja California. Comrie, her brother and his friends were mesmerized by another friend watching the movie Man on the Moon with such fervor that it was “more entertaining to watch him watch the movie than watching the movie itself.” Since then, she's come to realize that intensity is everywhere, which, incidentally, has become the Intense Individual motto.
“Everyone is intense about something,” she explains. “And we're all individuals. So, technically, everyone is an intense individual. Some people just show it more than others. We're hoping [the party] opens people's eyes to the intensity that surrounds everybody every day.”
Intense Individuals will go off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at Brick by Brick (1130 Buenos Ave. in Linda Vista) with live performances by acts paying tribute to Queen, The Rolling Stones and Beastie Boys.
Proceeds collected from the $20 cover will go to 826LA, a nonprofit organization that supports students from age 6 to 18 with creative writing.