Tuesday, August 05, 2008

nothing to see here...

man, this joint is a bitz graveyard.
i know i'll come back here sometime, but for now, i need a little break.

the good news?
go here instead.

we'll meet back here in a little bit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ladies? all the ladies? louder now, help me out...

the beginning of february did bring some good things, one of the best being a panel discussion for women in improv. and i, thissss guyyyyy, was on the panel.

the panel, hosted by an organization called C-WIF, was honestly so fun i couldn't stand it. i had so much fun. on the panel with me was jet eveleth, susan messing, amanda davis, anne libera, and rachael mason. that's some fuckin' good company.

as i looked around at the del close theatre, at a room full of women, i felt excited for so much...
1, that so many women were doing improv,
2, that there were so many good layers of discussion happening and so many bits surrounding the discussion that were even better, and
3, that i, after however long, was a person now on a panel.

february. you're doing okay so far.

dating is hard, part 9000

and speaking of months in the interest of full-er disclosure (martin), for about a month in this little window, i dated a guy named erik.

erik lives in seattle. we met while i was on ski tour. erik was kind, giving, sweet, and 1800 miles away. we gave it a go. he visited one weekend in the beginning of february. we had a lovely time. spent a lot of time together, got some meals, saw a little of the city, and so forth. then, about a week after his visit, we sorta - maybe i - gave up. i hope he's doing well.

we're getting there, aren't we?

the end of january, the beginning of another.
the end of january brought quite a bit; a film/promotional shoot for the soon to open csz, a couple rehearsals, and all the catching up that needed to be done both with friends and general repair...visiting doctors, paying bills, getting haircut, general betterment. this marks the first week we'd been back in almost a full month, jan 28th thru feb 1st. it felt like christmas.

february 1st, we flew to liberty, missouri. now, you may wonder here - why on earth did you fly to liberty (5 hours away) and not to a place like, say, tennessee (9 hours away)? this question can only be answered by the gods of second city, so i have nothing for you. all i can figure is that liberty was followed by a saturday matinee, so they shipped us in and out quickly.

...or tried to.

february 1st was insane at o'hare. we were delayed by a massive snowstorm. massive. we were sure - absolutely sure that our trip would be cancelled - so much so that one cast member didn't show up for call at 7am. we were released at 7:15, and told we might be called at noon to try again to fly. all cab service stopped in chicago, so several cast members fit all their luggage and selves in sniffen's tiny jeep, and we trudged north. as we reached lakeview after about 30 minutes of driving, we were told to turn around and head back to sc. we were trying again.

the day was spent, 7am until 4pm, waiting at the airport. we couldn't even go past security, because some of our passengers had been put on standby since our first flight was cancelled. we sat outside security like a bunch of a-holes until about noon, looking like wet cats and bitters. finally, we got a flight, crossed our fingers, and hoped for the best.

soon, we rode to liberty, a cute town maybe outside of kansas city. this is one of those gigs you don't really appreciate until you do - we were absolutely ill from traveling all day and all month, and were terrified to even attempt being funny after a grizzling day. however, we got some sandwiches in us, and as we arrived backstage, the house had held for us to perform. they began clapping, frenzied and appreciative that we had tried so hard to arrive. despite the hotel after (a renovated comfort inn of sorts with construction going on - downsides: 1st floor, backhoe in my window; upsides: teddy grahams and milk in lobby for free - huh?)everything was up from there. what a relief.

though we were tired, it was a better beginning to a better month. the first day of something new. that was something i was ready for.

taxicab confessions

there's so much to write about. but, for now? here's what is important...

the musical taxi just drove by under my window. it's a taxi, lit up, with stickers all over it and stuffed animals crammed in the window and - oh, it's really something. this fanciful taxicab, probably operated by a killer of some sort, actually pipes out music similar to a christmas candlabra's caliber - sorta ice-cream-truck-ish. it has made a strange path as of late, passing by about once a week, and now my window is open on this chilled evening.

here, dear readers, is what was playing at the stoplight:

1) the godfather theme
2) (a slowed version of) you are my sunshine
...and the piece de resistance?
3) we wish you a merry christmas

so, don't say i never gave you nothin'.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"iowa f*cking city"

here's how stupid it is to travel so much - within a few days of ski tour at the end of january, we went to iowa city to do two nights at a pretty theatre right in a pedway mall. i am dumb, because I HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE, IN THE SAME PEDWAY, STAYING AT THE SAME HOTEL, BUT HAD NO IDEA.

joey and i had gone about two years earlier to help out the people of gayco (a second city outreach troupe that does sketch comedy primarily focused on the glbtqa community). it was a super fun gig, i think taking place in june of 2006, maybe?, right in the middle of pride. we had fun, and slumber partied all night, one of my favorite times with pals.

what a doof that i forgot what city it was in.

anyway, we had lots of fun at these shows. we strolled around town on saturday afternoon, awaiting our show sat night. we found a great little shop called White Rabbit, which had tons of screenprinted shirts and homemade journals and comic books written by locals. aimee mckay bought everyone on MightyMightyBlueCo buttons that read "iowa f*cking city"; i found a black hoodie that i love with little white screenprinted owls high across the front. it was 20 bucks, a steal of a deal, and i snagged it. it has become my top three fave hoodies (i have a lot of hoodies, i realized). only recently was my image of this hoodie changed when i walked into csz rehearsal the week following, and pat dwyer said -"oh, i get it - hooters!". he was right. that's why they were there.

i like it even more now.

we all do.

somewhere along the way, on some flight, i found this:
there is a god.

no rest for the weary

we had a homeshow the next day at sc. this meant we were there again, from 4-11pm, doing the same show we had just done, with only a rest in our own beds between. the good news? tim sniffen rejoined our cast this night, and did a good job picking up fast on this show. it was good to see him again. that's all i have.

on tuesday, i couldn't have been happier to go to comedysportz rehearsal. sweet god, i missed those guys. seeing 30-40 of your friends in one room does a lot to raise your spirits. we rehearsed at the new space, not yet open, and got excited about really being there for the first time.


sweet home, chicags

january 20th.
i cannot tell you how thankful i was this day.
i felt insane. and i may have been one of the last to snap.
we rode a prop plane to salt lake and then jetted it home outta there.
those rides were the longest of my life.
waiting at the airport for bags was the longest 20 minutes of my life.
i couldn't BELIEVE we were home.
nearly 20 days on the road.
never again.
i learned a lot. i had a lot of fun too.
...never again.

the homestretch - yippee ki yay, motherf*ckers.

days 16 -18: hailey, idaho.
oh god, oh god, we made it. we pretty much made it.look how tired i am again. cute, but tired. and probably drunk. and half the woman i once was (har, har).

our last stops on ski tour were housed in the town of hailey - a place funded by bruce willis and demi moore. the theatre we performed at both nights was funded by bruce, which you wouldn't necessarily know unless you noted a few pics just in the greenrooms. he had signed the wall, too. look, i've had a crush on bruce willis since moonlighting, so - i was pretty stoked to be there.

the shows were great. lots of fun.
shad and i taught a workshop here on saturday, and it was a blast. a woman who i loved (who since gave me her headshot - please ask me about it if you are in town, you must see this thing) brought me and shad a tray of cookies. we spend a lot of time pushing the community troupe/actors, and then spent some time just talking about what performing was like over oatmeal raisins.both nights, i got semi-trashed. i was over it. both nights, the night ended at "the Mint". i don't know how to describe this place. think coyote ugly, no mechanical bull.

i met a cowboy named aquila.
this is all i will say.
shut up, shad.

helena, montana

oh helena, i hate to tell you this - you are my 14th day on the road and i don't remember you. i remember driving tooooooo you. evidence:
please note how markedly tired we all look in this photo. i really, really can't believe how weary we look. this should wrap up this tour more than any pic.

sweet god, get us home.

don't judge a book

salmon, idaho. jan 15th. day 12 of roading.

we. were. terrified.
salmon, idaho, was a town of about 500. we were performing in city hall, next to the elderly home. we stayed at a place called the stagecoach inn, which is exactly what you think it's like. we passed the venue the night before we had to perform in it, and - well, essentially? - panicked.

100 people were coming.
we called second city and asked if we had considered doing a scriptless, a show where we do only improv and games for more community-oriented venues. they said they booked the real show. after our experience in lander and 12 days on the road, we were nervous. i was markedly the least nervous, because i was sure i had done shows in worse places, but certainly not a show like this one.

boy, were we all wrong about salmon.
salmon was hungry as hell to see a show like ours. it was a community of shut down mines and old fishing industry, and also a community of artists who purely did art for arts sake.

fuck us.
we were assholes about salmon.
salmon ruled.
the whole trip, in this tiny community center with 100 people, this was the most appreciative, laughingest, kindest audience we had ever had on the trip.

after the show and improv set was complete, we met lots of members of the community, one of which was annie, a masseuse and therapist in the area. annie BROUGHT HER TABLE TO THE STAGECOACH INN AND GAVE HALF THE CAST MASSAGES AND ACCUPUNCTURE.

for real?

jackson hole, part II

look at how cute meghan teal is.
this is a stop at the mangy moose in jackson hole.
this place had good gifts and moreover, provided fun pics of us doing moose bits.
not much else to ask for, here.

jackson hole, thank you

...for making us feel taken care of, finally.

jackson hole marked our 9th/10th straight day on the road, and we were all a little weary. the holiday run into new years into home show into travel had become a lot to take. we needed a breather. in came jackson hole - beautiful, and we had a dope ski resort called snow king, and finally were happy as clams.

we also all took fun pics on top of mountains where we look like snowboarders, annnnd we got to finally wear our "snowveralls" (victory!). it was 7000 ft up, so it was absolutely necessary... it was cold as balls.

the people of jackson hole were the best - super warm, really kind, and since we were there for two nights, made us feel really at home. we were recognized in town and a local coffeehouse bought us our breakfasts; a local improv troupe came to our show and bought us a round of drinks the night of our show. the hospitality was amazing. i'll also say this - jackson hole wins the hotttttest guys award from defran - everyone was all ski-y and curly haired and tall and dark and sporty and... mama like. and they were everywhere. and they were very, very anxious to meet women, but not in a sleazy way. these were cute, lodge-y, sit by the fire type dudes. supposedly, there are the highest percentage of hot eligible guys here in the west. you could tell these guys didn't see a ton of girls very much. ladies, get on it.

brian and i taught a real fun workshop here to people of the community, that was fun. some of us went tubing and skiing, that was fun. and we also went on the scariest ski lift ever, which was beautiful and amazing and ABSOLUTELY HORRIFYING. katie and i held hands all the way up and she didn't even have to take her anxiety meds. i sang her spirituals on the way up, and then hit on a bunch of guys (and one girl) on the way down on the other side of the lift (brave, no?). i'll do anything.

you may have noticed

...that for some reason, i'm blogging at sunrise.
i don't know why, i just am. sorta had a rocky night of sleep and woke up and thought - man, i have so much i wanna talk about... i gotta gun it through that blog and get on with it. i won't feel right if i don't catalog these trips. so, hi.

today is pretty so far. you'll like it.

prom queen of pinedale

well, the cleansing worked; our next stop the next day? pinedale, wyoming.

here's what was mindblowing about pinedale - the set up was EXACTLY the same. exactly. we were performing in the high school auditorium (probably like, a 400 seater) in the middle of what one would guess to be a relatively conservative area. the difference? the people. pinedale had advertised our show as nc-13 or something, a term that doesn't really exist, but that we were psyched about - that meant no kids (or babies) at our show, and the whole crowd had been warned about what they were going to see. they came, they laughed a lot, our contacts were great, and we were happy as clams.

better than even a great show? the best night out maybe ever. we were staying at a lodge next to a sinclair gas station (something i think i've only seen out west- the stations with the green dino on top), about a block down from the cowboy-est bar ever made. picture it: sicily, 1931. wait! picture it: we walked into this bar, pretty much the only game in town, and honest to god prrrrretty much heard the record screech sound you hear in every promo to alert you something has gone horribly wrong. city folk! then, every patron in this bar recognized us right away, cheered, and bought us a shitload of beers.

chicagoans, imagine a "real" carol's. that's where we were.

here's the cast of characters i met in pinedale that i can remember:
*catie, the bartender - this woman was maybe my favorite of all stops on this trip. brassy, ballsy, mid-forties platinum blonde with a nice rack, the kind of mouth a sailor would be nervous about. she wore her hair in a bouffant, had a farmer's tan, smeary black eyeliner, and a voice like fine sandpaper. she was the kind of lady that took no shit, but then quickly realized we were cool and was all winks and smiles. she got drunk with us and did a bunch of shots one for one and talked to us about the city. she had tattoos of her chakras up her back and pulled her tank top up to show us. no shame, nothing but perfect. she said she might come visit. this is my dream.

*scott christiansen, the marlboro man - a silver fox of a cowboy, a man i was just sitting next to, i believe, at the beginning of the night. he did not see the show (he's a fucking cowboy) but noticed the stir of all of us coming in. we all struck up a conversation, and before i knew it, i was wearing his hat and two stepping a bit. i don't really know what happened here. i know at one point, he said something like, "i'm old enough to be your daddy", and i was like, mmm, i guess?, but i kissed him anyway. just a little one, don't freak out. HE WAS A COWBOY.

*lulu, the bisexual girl of wyoming - earlier in the evening, as we were going into the bar, i saw a semi-butch baseball capped woman walking into the same bar we were going to. after about 10 seconds, i realized it was a guy. to meghan teal aloud i said "well, the only lesbian in wyoming is a man". she lost it, and we continued to wonder if there were any gays at all around us that were out; i found her, about 3 hours later and 8 miller lites in. lulu, the 22 year old native american bisexual. long dark hair, had a lot of words for me. i kissed her too. SHE WAS A BISEXUAL.

*the sheriff and his underling: bulletproof vested cops came in around 2 to make sure the peace was being kept. we took pictures with them and they threw us around a little while. i kissed them too - THEY WERE SHERI - just jokes.

brian jack, after my drunken debauchery and ragtag crew of fans, named me the prom queen of pinedale. i love this title. i really hope i win again next year.

upon stumbling back to the hotel, meghan and i were so drunk that we fell into the lobby. like, fell. and katie went to get us 14 packs of gardetto's, something i'll always be thankful for. we found a rye crisp the next on our bedspread, and i laughed harder than i think i ever have.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

ski tour part 3: the cleansing

now, when we last left BlueCo, as you may have guessed, we were a wee bit discouraged. some of the struggle of touring a best-of show where only 10% is original material? well - you get the thrill of doing this tried and true stuff that works and was written by people you admire, and also, you get blamed for material you commit to, perform hard, but didn't even write.

we stayed the night in lander, and i really actually enjoyed that night. once we were out of the space, i felt fine, and we all decompressed in our (shitty) hotel rooms about the show, and how lander had the balls to let children in (!) - something unheard of at the homeshow or on the road, usually. the stress level of a few members was through the roof, so aimee offered to give everyone "healings". this is something i love about aimee - she is in a couple sort of metaphysical courses in town, and you could easily argue this is something that doesn't fit her at all. somehow, though, it does, and it's so endearing; we all said yes to trying it after the week we had.

for those of you who have never had this dharma and greg-like experience - essentially, it consists of sitting in a chair, feet grounded, palms down, while aimee clears your energy by swiping at the air around you and pulling "bad" away. semi-craisins? yes. but what do i fucking care? like most things, i don't necessarily believe, but i don't NOT believe. i went last of the girls, placed my feet on the ground and waited, as aimee hovered magically around me cleansing my aura. i did, yes, actually feel something... kind of the way, i assume, you feel something when someone else is present right next to you. i remember playing this game - this game where you would put your palms up towards another persons palms, close your eyes, and get closer... and kind of call it when you could feel the other person's heat/energy/static/whatever. is that even a game? well, whatever it is, it felt sort of like that.

when aimee was done with just me, i felt badly and asked if she was tired being on her third healing of the evening, each of which took a solid ten minutes or so. no, she said, i actually feel better after yours. like you gave something back. that's the dream, isn't it?

moving on is where it's at.

Monday, March 10, 2008

ski tour part 2: Lander of the Lost

i actually wrote this entry long ago. it was significant enough that i wanted to have record of it, so i wrote it on my laptop in the van.

here's that archived business for your reading pleash.

january 10th: Lander, WY
This town is a perfect example of how a SC show isn’t a good fit for everyone.

We had done a bunch of bits, for no real reason, about how we were going to hate Lander. It was really just because none of us knew where it was, but we made up a lot of stories about what happened in Lander and what the people were like, how much they’d hate us, or how we were gonna trash the town. Well…

In an archival scene called LIES, the ubiquitous game of two truths and a lie is played. The scene starts with a boyfriend meeting a group of old pals, and one character suggests they should play the old game. Everyone does, but each character has two truths that are insane and a lie that is ridiculously benign. The benign - as you may have guessed in a pure comedy turnaround - is the one that is true. This sketch is – bar none – usually one of my top ten favorite scenes to do, some because of the fun involved, and some because of audience reaction.

During one of these later chunks (I think I'm fourth), my character screams a very simple, funny line in retort to another that often gets enormous reaction – in fact, I’ll write it out right here, so you can see it for yourself:

Susan: Okay, okay, my turn - I got one. I was the leader of my Christian youth group -
Andy: You better have been.
Susan: I have seen naked pictures of Brad; I have injected myself with Brad’s sperm using a turkey baster.
Jack: Youth group!
Susan: I HATE God!

…and then all the characters in the scene prance around and do semi-ridiculous actions that mirror that statement. Some of us grow devil horns, throw rock signs, shoot pea soup and have my head spin around, stuff like that. This is a very delicate scene to direct because if it gets too gross, crass, or the physicality of the scene gets too “wild”, then the audience has gutteral reactions to the admittals that often result in complaints. For instance, us doing the things listed above are approved, however us showing Jesus on a cross is okay at home but not away. Another example of this comes in the scene when a character admits they’re “not Chinese” and we run a series of bits like bowing, karate chops, and rickshaw running, but cannot use an affected accent or do something insane like slanty-eye kid bits. These last two things DID happen on the home show stage in the original revue, but are prohibited on the road. Interesting, no? That one's for you, comedy geeks.

Anyway, during this scene, we used precaution and expected nothing crazy. The scene had been running really well on the road and all was well. When we came upon a line before it, however, they seemed grossed-out by another person’s reveal (that they have gonorrhea and syphilis) – it may have been a forewarning for my next, but it wasn’t. When I said my line and all actors proceeded to react to it, the audience went ballistic. No less than 30 people booed and about 20 walked out. My castmate Katie was really shocked by this, and luckily, there were about 350 people there so I sort of didn’t notice, and just barreled through.

Obviously, the people that boo at this line are idiots. It’s a show. It’s a comedy show. And the sheer audacity of the line is supposed to exemplify how insane and unreal these people are, as evidenced by every ounce of the scene. So, if you are reacting strongly to that line, you’re obviously missing the whole point.

We won’t be back to Lander.

tdometer: nietzsche-esque - comedy is dead

ski tour, 2008; part one

okay. this has probably been what has caused the delay. i'm going to go for it, here.

thinking about ski tour is like - hmm, like, opening a can of worms. were there a ton of problems?mmm, no - but, it was inordinantly long, we missed home, shows were complicated in places; however, scenery was beautiful, we learned a lot, and had some fun (half glass full - if you were a bird, you'd go bonks over a can of worms).

we left for ski tour (the name given to the longest tour you can get as a member of TourCo that travels through several snowy, western states) on january 4th, i believe. we had a home show on NYDay, as well as several holiday shows on the 27th, 28th, and 29th that week too, so we were already a little spent before we traveled. still, though, we turned our holiday show over completely to a holiday-less one (for the most part), and we were psyched about the road and went for broke.
instead of a zillion posts, how about i just summarize some together and make these the longest posts in the history of time? we all on board? good, good.

january 4th & 5th-
we leave chicago at like, blip o'clock. we arrive to sc so early, mind you, that a news crew was outside getting footage for like, the 5:30am news. i think it was about the primaries and barack v. hilski. katie, chuck, and i all ended up on nbc, but didn't see it because we arrived that day in our start point, salt lake city.

salt lake was beauts. just beauts. tons of mountains, and as katie said many times, it looked like the land of something from star wars (nerds, i don't know). look how pretty the drive in was:

we flew into this town, packed up two cars and hit the road to park city, utah, the home of our first show about 2o minutes away. let's rank days by a new measurement system - won't that be fun? let's call it the tdometer (preferred pronounciation tid-ahh-meter, but tee-dee-o-meter also accepted).
tdometer for park city/salt lake city: excited

park city was cute, and we walked around and shopped and did shit like that. i fell in a snowpile within seconds of hitting town, but it felt like falling on a bed of peeps (done it). i laughed and laughed and we had lots of fun, had some good lunches, did generally fun things. look!
i was also excited because of these bullet points: on first night, bjack got a call that he was being held for a michael mann movie (great!), we knew we were close to olympic park (picabo!), and super stoked because i found out i had lots of friends from the provo, utah comedysportz coming to our SC show. super fun, super exciting. they came the second night of shows at the egyptian - ten cszers, only two i had met before. now, that's adorable. here's those jerkz with three of us:

hi micah! hi trent! hi, WCL! it made my day that all these guys came out.
we did two shows here at a lovely theatre called the egyptian, katie and i bought "snowveralls" at sportmart (a purchase i still really love and are strangely sexy). we got caught in a snowstorm driving from semi-closed olympic park (sads), so we worked back to salt lake to switch out said cars to cars with 4X4 for rest of trip. boing!

january 6th and 7th, travel days.
the 7th marked the BCS game between osu and lsu.
td-ometer: wet cat

january 8th - Gillette "the best a man can get", Wyoming.
td-ometer: still doing lovely/chipper as fuck, i guess

our first venture into wyoming. to be honest? i don't remember shit about this venue. we realized something about this trip early on - too many days off are killer. the 6th and 7th made us anxious for more shows, as idle hands are the devil's work. the days off consisted of a lot of car talks and naps, indigo girls interpretive dancing (pictured below),
and reading the shit out of usa today and horrible rags - say, Stars ARE just like us!

man, what happened in gillette? oh! i know what this place was. the show was fun, all was well. i only remember the green room here and not really the stage, so - i blew it there. i do remember meeting a really nice local waitress at applebee's (i said it) who gave us free junk after my horrible ride of the BCS gamewatch. she came to the gillette show with some comps we gave her and her husband. she was lovely, and had just moved to gillette, so was really eager for activity.

this performance night marks the first night of cast discontent, one initiated by a few parties wanting to do seperate things with our days off. luckily, it was figured out, and we decided to all take a long, long day trip to mt. rushmore in south dakota the next day. see?

i'm really glad we went, if only for the bit.

this was january 9th. i drove this whole day to south dakota from wyoming, and honestly, i'm not sure why i did. we swap driving here and there and teal is great about it, but today including all activities i drove a solid ten hours. we laughed a lot at mt. rii, and i decided here to begin getting a patch for every state we touched in tourco. i still like this idea.

td-ometer: driving to kill the pain, but generally still together

later, we rounded back to devil's tower, site of close encounters. the girls and i rode into the park at dark, and this may mark one of the most ridiculously scary moments that isn't that scary in my life. it felt like a slumber party; for instance, when we rounded the corner and saw the tower far off in the sunset for the first time, we all screamed.

td-ometer: scared shitless, but still braver than most those fux

we wanted to learn as much as we could but no one would move. i honked the horn of the car for warnings - like bear chimes in my head - and ran out of the car to read the sign aloud to the car. essentially, it was like - this is a holy ground for native americans, paranormal activity is thought to have happened here, blahblahblah and oh - watch out for rattlesnakes, ya dipshit.
and ooooOOOOooooo!, that's where i'll leave you for this afternoon. more coming tonight.

this is going well.

so... in retrospect...

and maybe i did give up a little.

i thought about my year so far - and, yeah, there are some positives, but generally? i'm motherfuckin' tired. thinking of blogging and looking back on these past two months makes me wanna curl up in a ball and just... ugh.

you get it.
it's 6:23am and i've been up all night.

my friend heather just reminded me i hadn't done this in a while.
i'll get there. maybe today.
for fuck's sake, i'm over everything.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

see, now...

...in months past, this is where i would just give up because i still have a solid two months to catch you up on. but not this time! it's time to forge ahead!
December, 2007

you know, maybe for this post, i'll just make it a dooz and write everything i have to post in one month right here, so it's all categorized and shiiii. yeah, let's try that.
december's hot topix!:

1) csz and iO out the wazoo; sc being sorta rescheduled
2)holiday parties!
3)dating someone again - Yowwww?
4)my family and how they rule.

okay, #1. as addressed in the other post below, things were all topsy turvy at sc because of the breach of contract, right? well, we were paid mostly for our original run and only scheduled to actually perform the week around christmas - meaning a few days before and a few after, plus double new years eve. fine. in addition, well, the good thing was i got to do about 5 iO roadshows and some DelTones and a taping... and at CSz, it was back to old times for this one, playing several csz shows a week. i loved it. lots of remotes, lots of buyouts - and let's not forget about early rising for the holiday season classic, Breakfast with Santa. this year i was a coneheaded mrs. claus, accompanied by either dreamboaty Nutcracker Prince Sam Super or Mike Kosinski. these mornings are early and sort of not worth it financially, but you're always happy at the end of the month to see that stuff add up. plus, it doesn't feel like Christmas now without seeing those kids. or, frankly, seeing mike kosinski grizzled. fingers crossed!

which brings me to 2,
holiday parties!

this year, i went to a couple private parties, but company-wise only felt up for hitting the SC party on december 10th. csz "postponed" theirs, meaning it's not really coming, all due to new space and pressure of all that. iO's came and went - something happened that night, i don't know what - it snowed a lot or something, and i just wanted to huddle up. SC's party was fun & standard - a gift given to the casts/workers (a thermos and travel mug, as well as a hoodie later to all touring members), a fun show put on by the box office/staff that is a parody of the two stage shows, and a helluva a lot of drinking. also, blueco's aimee mckay snapped this gem, for which i am now legendary:

look, i know. i know. but you have to hear how stupid this is - aimee was getting us to do like, american apparel bits earlier than this photo, like, after practice was done. we were all covered up, but coke addicty and smeary-eyelinered and bendy, you know - like american apparel. then, we got dressed for the party, and we found this red wall. we all took pics sorta goofy or emo-y, but then she asked me to "flip my hair and give sex mouth", so i did, as a bit. and then, this came out.

one friend (samantha) told me i looked like "a sluttier mariah carey" in this shot.

seems fine. fellas? speaking of fellas...

3) look, dating people is hard. i dated someone for maybe a month-ish here who was totally "not my type": ex-navy, nuclear physicist, full of tatts, kind of an introvert. south side irish rough-and-tumble kinda guy. this guy was lovely in many ways, and i actually sorta reveled in how he wasn't my type - since the people that are my type end up being relatively bad for me. as one friend said, i pulled a costanza and did the opposite*. it worked relatively nicely, we had lots of fun, he gave me a key to his house, i panicked, and yeah. it was a lot too fast. so, i tried to deal and then some strange things all sorta happened in a row. a lot of it had to do, long story short and anonymity here - with the military making people pretty unwell. it ended. good guy. generally good guy. every time i type good guy, i think of eric lindberg. lindberg, you reading this? he always used to say "nice girl, real sweet kid" right after he wanted to break up with someone or called a girl a cunt.

there's that.

*i can't believe i am quoting a seinfeld episode. america, please - please don't relate to life by noteworthy seinfelds. this is one of my pet-peeves in large doses. pot? hi, i'm kettle.

4) i went home for christmas to visit fam from the 23rd-27th, and it was the best. i got lots of hangtime with my nephs and niece and serious rock-banding. that ruled. my bros and their gfris rule. and my mom is the cutest thing ever. as one of their gifts, i got everyone involved a "Flip Cup Tourney" t-shirt with their names printed on the back. if you wanna know more about this new DeFran tradition, click here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

thanksgiving ruled.

there. i said it.

i saw my family, and besides being stressed beyond belief that SC had cancelled christmas (!) and my adorable croatian uncle mike asking me why i wasn't married yet, it was just lovely.

my nephews are 14x bigger and 8x my size. what happened, fellas?

my family is where it's at.
i love you guys.

silver linings

now, since my shows with SC were cancelled, i had the opportunity to do something AMAZING.

my brother vince came to town with his girlfriend candace, you know, just to take a weekend away. we watched the OSU-Michigan game, we drank, we hung, we sightsaw. and guess what? i picked up a comedysportz show and we got all their in-town friends to come... and they got engaged! right on stage at comedysportz, with vince's little sis as referee.

come on.
it was the best.
there's video of this somewhere! we'll find it.

two bros engaged. how about everything!

another one half-bites the dust

this is tim sniffen. he is very funny.
and because of some goings-on internally at SC, he was pulled from our show to stay home to run critically acclaimed Between Barack and a Hard Place for the holiday months after our Revue we had all written together.

if you're keeping count at home:

4 -teal (sm), defran (actor), mckay (actor), kunkle (1 month in);

4- lehrer (leaving, replaced by brian jack), haskins (leaving, replaced by katie rich), sniffen (temporary replacement, homer marrs), pompeii (left, not replaced, headless beast).

uh huh.

matt hovde swooped in quickly and whipped our holiday show into shape, until we found out that it was.... GASP!... cancelled that whole weekend. and then? remember the plans we made to see our family, only home for one day a piece, coming back to the city to do our holiday show by friday morning? oops! it was cancelled again the weekend after. and then, the weekend after.

the ccpa owner had breached contract. absolutely unheard of in chicago, really, and certainly unheard of with a powerhouse like second city. now, remember - actors aren't rolling in it. we looked forward to that money for months to help us get by - to help us pay for stupid stuff, like food and health insurance (tm, second city).

panic ensued. we booked out of everywhere else!, we cried - we have no work! you must pay us! please pay us! we have no leverage! sweet mother of god, what will we dooooooo?!!??!

spolier alert!: it all went well and we got some money. now the good part is, i took a zillion odd jobs, we had a lot of time in chicago, i hosted a chili-cook-off and taught deloitte and douche nimrods and played CSz and iO until my eyes bled. money actually was better in december than it would have been. but all that worry - well, it caused a lot of sheer madness throughout the entire month of november to mid december.


cliffhangers seem to work, huh?

by november 12th, we had to completely turn over to our holiday show. problem? well, we just lost our director (david pompeii, america's sweetheart - a black man with dreds i do an incredibly accurate imitation of) to LA, we were losing sarah to LA, and lehrer to vegas. all that original material we wrote? YIKES! it was really up in the air with only one day at home after sturgis. we were nervous.

now, in a half glass full kinda joint, i'll put this out there - we used that pressure to get us there, and completely turned over 1 1/2 hour show in one rehearsal. one! that's pretty amazing. things like this make you believe you can and will be able to write in a pressure-cooker, or not panic in crazy set-ups. we did a homeshow full of new material for 450 people with hardly an ounce of sweat, because that's what's expected. neat.

that being said,
so much turnover, so much terror, and a show to open that weekend for a six week run at the Chicago Center for Performing Arts...
or was it?


hey, you guys know i'm super positive, right? like, i'm pretty positive?
the second week of november (and really, the rest of the year, except in pockets) ate a cock.

we'll focus mostly on the pockets, because that's the right thing, but yeah - let's get through the shit right now...

haskins, dear pal, wrapped her second city experience up with us. it was sad to do so, and the week was full of lots of drinking and lamenting and lots of excitement of what was to come next for her. second city announced a pretty big shake up that affected people in our cast and the like, so we were a little spinny. in this week, tourco also went to sturgis, MI, with new addition katie rich (hi, rich!) who i adore and who has been so fun since. but, we're not there yet. on this trip, we also learned that michael lehrer was going to go to vegas, i think, along with my great pal robyn norris (greenco) to their resident stage there. another cast member gonesy!

sturgis ate it - i'm sure the show was fine, the show is always fine, no matter difficult probs, because everyone is so professional and wonderful. but i was in a bad place and felt down about some personal things and just wanted to get the hell outta dodge. this isn't like me too much at all, all of you know, but in the van for the first (and hopefully last) time, i was janey ipod and sniffles. we got through it. there was a lot of serious shit going on.

but don't worry! it only gets worse!

crawfordsville, indiana

november 2nd.
we went here.
whoops, i sure don't remember it. at all.
i do remember colleen doyle was in for sarah, and she was a gem. oh! i remember it was fall-y. and that we had a fun show. otherwise? yikes. all gone. oh, it was all dudes. it was an all dude school, somewhere.

this is why you should blog on time.

speaking of halloween...

this is what i was dared to wear had i been in town that friday night:

my friend heather and i thought it'd be good promotion to walk amongst the sexys (sexy cat, sexy nurse, sexy nympho, sexy janitor, sexy moses) and promote csz in sexy ref uniforms. problem? well, i wasn't home, and secondly, i would've been arrested.

scandalous, y'all.
y'all ready for this?

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