Friday, March 31, 2006

for those

...keeping count, 5 out of 12 shows are done for the weekend.
...who love comedo, my first SC PatchCo shows are tomorrow
(a "Best of" in the Black Orchid Theatre at SC), at 3:30, 8, and 11.

if you have noth to do, come to the 8pm!

also, bunny breakfast starts tomorrow. yep. more on this later.
i am playing a bumblebee.
spring has sprung.

work-ing ac-tor (clap, clap, clapclapclap)!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


... so i'm running outside as much as i can in the next two hours of non-stagey freedom. you guyyyys, chicago is RULETOWN when it's like this. 65, sunny, blue skies. what a tricky place- just when you're like, motherf*ckihatethisweather, it changes.
you've won this round, chi-town.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

stunt double

my internal wig outs this week have nearly outnumbered my sane moments- but after a nice night of sleep, some sopranos watchin', just general quiet time on monday, i feel like a new woman.

yesterday after two rehearsals, a friend and i went to grab dinner. i noticed my leg felt funny when i bumped it as i hopped in the booth. i pulled my pants-leg up and saw a ring of huge new bruises on my right calf, and when i got home, i curiously rolled up my left to reveal another track line of the same.

our director at SC gave me and another woman an archived scene called Wheelchair. in one of the coolest moves ever, this scene was written for two dudes, but he thought we could pull it off. not just cool for us, but has been sort of viewed in the building as a progressive leap; "a female Wheelchair? that's awesome!" is something i've heard more than once this week.

ah, but the bruises. i got cast in the scott adsit part, which is undoubtedly physical and has one severe moment. after really hurting myself twice but not wanting to lose the role, we altered a fall that still works as well and doesn't risk head injury. secretly, i like it... but the bruises, yikes.

dying is easy, comedy is hard.

punch list, part II

*offenders who call Joey Bland "Rudy"
*(the current) elizabeth hasselback - get a pair
*anyone who knows who elizabeth hasselback even is (including self)

Monday, March 27, 2006

memorex and memory

realized something today, as i was continuing to cram for my three scripted gigs this week. for however much theatre or singing or whatever i've done, i just realized how little i've had to memorize. or, at least, how out of practice i am.

in my life, i've never been viewed as "the ingenue". for a girl, sometimes, that's hard to take - especially when you're 16 and you just want to have a solo song in anything goes. i had a teacher in high school tell me that - though i was "smart, pretty and intuitive", i was "too big to be a lead" in some play i was in. that moment unasked for effectively tainted my self-esteem for a long time. notice i said "tainted, and not "ruined". i'm lucky enough to mostly be wired the right way in that regard - i'm proud of who i am, and retroactively flip that teach the bird. still, i certainly felt sad sometimes, not because of what i am, but because i've always felt capable, and always felt like i never had a chance. hurtful things said, sad things, things no one should hear when they're wide-eyed & dreaming.

however, i lucked out, because something in me - for the most part - is wired to not want it, anyway. i've always played the-wacky-best-friend, or the sidekick, the fun neighbor or the comic relief. moreover, i've reveled in that, and i love it. guess what? Janey LoveInterest is a Z-fest, and Lady FunTown is funtown, so you lose, assholes. if you work hard and do your shit, practice your timing and read your audience, then people will always remember FunTown. sometimes, rarely, not being viewed some traditionally great way can be very painful and hard to take; but overall - those painful moments sometimes shape you for the better, and those experiences helped me realize how important and awesome other things can be; it convinced me more of what i wanted to do with my life.

and now. now. now i work at the best places in comedy in the WORLD (holy shit!), and that stuff is revered, it's celebrated. and SC - the scripted one? well, guess what, friend? that funny role? it's the main thing now. lines just got a whole lot longer. suddenly, i have a lot more to memorize than one does as Eulalie McKecknie-Shinn.

ol' in-and-out sally here has to learn some practical tools for keeping that stuff in her head; generally, i just feel lucky to have that challenge now.

you can have both.
a challenge in scenework, along with the amazing energy and connection that comes with comedy.

just to show these things never go away all the way, the 16 year old me is choked up even writing about those things. something in me, though not always forefront, is still vulnerable and tender-hearted when it comes to this.

so for her - a stiff upper lip;
maybe i'm no ingenue, and maybe i'm a size 12, and maybe i played sports, and maybe i take control now and then, and maybe i make jokes, and maybe i'm not coquettish, and maybe i have something to do and something to fucking say, and maybe that's just fine.

take that, Sharon Alloway.

3 guys, a girl, and a taquiera

two shows at csz this past saturday. per usual, fun. good god, what is more fun? my iO team was kind enough to let me miss our show and stay home friday to get major work done, and apparently, had their work cut out for them that night at the theatre. it happens.

sidebar: homework on the weekend is for dumb-os!

had an audition this weekend for coke (the drink, not the drug). it was pretty fun. can't really say much about it since the deal is still pending, but generally, it's a fun parody for the Coke Museum kiosks in Atlanta.

in the interim, shad, cayne, dr. jim and i went to a burrito joint while we were wasting time near the office. mostly, the lunch consisted of us laughing at dr. jim's non-sequitors and me gleaming with pride that csz and improv had made us all friends. certainly, there is no other way i'd know dr. jim.

at one point, D.J. told us a story about someone spilling a carafe of hot coffee on his johnson in the 80s. it was so stupid but we all lost it. carafes + coffee + the 80s + a doctor's nutsack = funny.

that's just truth.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

people i'd punch in a dark alley, given chance, Pt.1

*Patricia Heaton (this is a constant)
*the woman walking on the left on Belmont who told me to switch sides a week ago
*someone who hands me another script to memorize
*Larry the Cable Guy

why am i consistently attracted to Tony Soprano?

you're watching it.
if you're not, you're blowing it.


a longy: a funny feeling about big G's something.
so, i'm actively (semi-)particpating in Lent, trying to hold my tongue when instinct says to say something nasto. we'll check in about that later. [i was really good week one and two, then blew it this last week. i'm only huuuuu-man, of flesh and blood i'm maa-aade... p.s., i guess we just checked in.]

so all this pseudo-faith think has stirred something inside me, and even though i am not a catholic by sheer politics-alone, i am a cathlo by family/lineage/history, so sometimes i hunger for some type of service. a check-in. alright, i'll say it, a mass - like, a pipe organ, holy water, and incensetown. even though it's not "me", i haven't found anything better for a formal engagement. i am generally comfortable with where my heart alone stands with the world and what i think on it, how i strive to be good, all those things, but sometimes i just want something tangible. just saying that bugs me, because i don't believe that's where the magic is more than anywhere else, just like i don't believe visiting a cemetary will help you high-five your lost.

several off-shoots to these thoughts...

i have a friend who believes that people who are happy are dumb. it is evident in the way he lives his life, the way he holds people at a distance, the judgement that's there about people i usually like to hang around. since he's chosen to live his life a certain way, he thinks that people who live glass-half-full are naive and transparent and unthoughtful. [this point will come into play in a second.] i hope that i am a constantly questioning, thoughtful person, and one who's been through some things; i believe that being cautiously optimistic is healthy, hard, and for me, simply unfalse. so, his way of thought (though accurate like many things are at least some-of-the-time) is not the way i choose to live my life, because for me - that's a sad way to live my life.

i went to church on sunday the 12th. i went by myself. i dipped my fingers in water by the door, sign-of-the-cross-ed, then immediately noticed how that LogIn with G made me feel sad. weird. throughout my life, i've had formal and informal talks with something - and the face of that thing has been everchanging. when i was younger, it was man-with-beard; during angry times it was a faceless, shapeless being; sometimes it's just been with the best version of me; right now, it's with nothing (or everything) -a force. force of light, good, it, whatever. whatever.

i noticed something in me present itself as i watched people around participate in this mass - and that thing, besides a shade of reverence, was sheer sarcasm. like the friend i have that doubts a person's IQ/EQ by how emphatically they embrace the day to day, i found myself judging the people around me for simply believing. what the hell? i mean, i don't feel like that. just because i'm not fully on-board doesn't mean that i think people are assholes for believing. i know that the me-est me doesn't feel like that - but where does that instinct of cynicism come from?

just like my friend who recoils at happsters, maybe iiii think there's an element of disconnect one has to do in order to have faith. well, faith like that. ...and because you can't know, you just CAN'T KNOW, have i unintentionally judged those who choose to wish there is?

and, here's where it ties into many of us do: maybe there's something about being "funny" that makes you unable to completely buy into anything all the way. that could be a sign of our generation as well... and for comedians, i mean, it's everything. the best at comedy, in my opinion, are those who truly observe the world around them as well as they are able, and if you become someone who "BELIEVES", or someone who LOVES People Magazine!, or someone who goes to John Barleycorn's, or someone who someone who someone who - you are one of them, one of something else, one of the masses, one of those you are supposed to observe. how can you provide a true critique on something that you, yourself, Are?

do you just continue to be anyway?
do we need to ultimately categorize ourselves in order to "get it"?
is it weird that part of me wants to be a faction a group that feels such conviction, while simultaneously thinking that some and their blind faith is exactly that - blind?

what do you think?

i mean, i just don't know.
see you guys in Philo tomorrow.

Ethan "Before Sunrise" Hawke

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sonic è molto bello!

today (well, after i sleep and wake, you know, that today), i am auditioning for a sonic commercial. do you guys have sonics? you can catch the national commercial here, even though there aren't any nearby.

there's a couple improviser pals here that do them already - they use improvisers because they can co-write (read: make up) the commercial with the Sonic advisees as they're shooting. pretty great.

get this though - i'm being called (at least in part) because i'm... diverse.
like, italian? or what?
time to get a spray tan, a push-up bra and acrylics.

on power hours of drinking

this saturday, we played an awesome show, and one hard one. the audience was classic 10:30 sat - 150-200 people, loaded. as some of you know, csz is mostly a "clean" show - meaning, they do their best to skirt the super dirts and dance coyly with innuendo. it's more fun than you'd think, because being that restrained makes everything funnier. anyway, when the host asked what's-your-favorite-food?, the overwhelming response was puss. punano. vajuju. we get it.

instead of losing it, magical good vibes were pushing me to stay as positive as possible, and i lucked out. i had a really fun time as i had all weekend, the audience was my friend.

a couple people there and around town were stressed out after fighting various crowds hard that night, so we hit a local dive called Parrots. super smoky and awful, and probably everything we needed. i think i've mentioned here that if i'm going to drink now i like to go for it, so i strapped on the old boozebag and circled my pals for century club, a game they'd never played. you know, 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes, also known as 60 minutes/"power hour" for you with a lower tolerance.

myself and hanson got to 67 when the bar closed, and robyn who joined later got to about 35. whoops.

america is wasted.

you wouldn't think shots of beer would do this to you, but oh my, it sure does.
we should probably do it soon.

as all drunks do, we peed where we had to, got snacks, laughed a ton and drunk dialed.

we proceeded to later break into comedysportz to pass out on the lobby carpet around 5am, talking fondly about days of yore and preemptively bemoaning the nonexistant rubble heap.

on shows

this past weekend, i played at csz 4 times (thurs, fri 8pm, and both sats). though that's a lot of c-spo, i feel like right now i can't get enough. i'm trying my best not to take the space for granted. at certain points, i found myself getting pretty wistful about the building being torn down in a month.

on friday at 8pm, we had one of the best shows i can think of in recent history. it was packed - full to the brim, a few people standing. lots of friends of friends there, and AMAZING fun.

major thanks to all the wonderful people that play there so often - you're a constant in keeping my improv morale high.

Monday, March 20, 2006

lest i speak too soon...

i think st. patrick's is finally over here in chicago.
after at least four seperate holidays, my street is returning to normalcy (meaning the drunks bag it up around 2am, instead of starting at 9am and ending at 5am). since the holiday fell on a friday, there were several excuses for green felt (and green vom-o) to explode all over our sidewalks. the south side parade is always on the weekend proceeding the holiday, and the northside's shamrock shuffle (a bar crawl) was the weekend proceeding as well. so for four days, our neighborhood has been a wreck. it's a trade off for living in a fun place, but wow.

before a daytime (buyout) show at csz last weekend, rance and i walked to walgreens to get snacks and chat. we saw a dude in the parking lot, laid out after hours of afternoon drinking, passed out on one of those island mulchbeds. i'mfinei'mfine, he said, and four people hovered around him dialing the police. his friend who had obviously abandoned him for the glory that is KFC staggered outside with a bucket of chicken, and mulchman immediately perked at the idea of chicken leg eatin' in a parking lot.

we laughed and walked on back to the theatre, only to be halted by yelps from above. directly four stories up, on the roof of a newly built condo, were two dudes holding a beer bong in the sky. below them, one story down, was the recipient of the treats in said bong, standing on the balcony underneath. STPATRICKSSSSS! he yelled, and we woo-ed back, then wondered how this guy's innards hadn't imploded and he hadn't dropped three stories after guzzling a tube of 23 beers.

make it stop.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

photo shoots cure everything!

sometimes, lots of friends are dealing with a bunch. and sometimes, you all feel bad at the same time, even if none of you were talking about it. forcing yourself to hang out is really hard when you just feel like hibernating, but what if you just do it, talk and laugh and synch up, and then have an unexpected photo shoot?

come on, that's good for anyone.

life is fun again.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

oh man! things just started looking up

but not necessarily for me...
two friends just sent me this horribly wonderful link:

gentlemen, start your engines, it's
Steak and BJ Day.

happy holiday, everyone.

friendship bracelet

hey, are you on myspace? it's trendy and silly, and i don't know why i love it so much, but i do. i hope we're friends there. let's make it happen.

in a bad place

first off, nothing big is wrong. so, thanks to that.
when i started writing this thing a while back, i was determined for it not to be very personal. well, you know what? that was sort of stupes. i mean, i'm not going to dump everything - but this is a blog, right?, so - maybe people reading this are interested in the stuff i've been through, and processing where they're at, too.

over the years where something has been severely wrong - and i mean, heavy stuff, i've felt better than i do at certain periods where not much is wrong. am i wired wrong, or wired right? is my body on defense, telling me i can tackle huge things but to certainly sweat the small stuff? how dumb. or smart.

lately - the past few days, i've been struggling a little. i just feel sadski.
i hate to even say this out loud, because i think i'm viewed a certain way here, and i think i just broke some dreams out there. i hope i didn't. everyone gets sad, right? it'll go away. that's the good thing - you always come back to good.

technically, lots of things are going really well. i love my friends and family, projects and career are thriving, health is good. so why then am i "in a bad place"?

instincts tell me that i'm dealing with change. when the new year kicked in this time around, i was cognizant that this year would bring a lot of change for me. i have a friend who is uber-supportive, who has constantly been telling me that This Is My Year. so, i'm doing my best to live up to that claim. i feel it. that's sort of neat, but change is scary, too. what if it isn't good change? what if it's good change that i can't handle?

recently, i've been frustrated with people, frustrated by situations, frustrated with performing, frustrated with dumb things like weather, frustrated with lack of time, frustrated, frustrated, f r u s t r a t e d. i hate it, because i don't think of myself as someone who thrives that way, you know? it's certainly human to be frustrated, but what's the right amount? what's a normal amount to sit with, to doubt, to work through? what amount of frustration reminds you that you need to DO something for yourself, and what amount makes you feel broken?

man, it's a lot of things.
i think what may be happening is that i'm slightly overwhelmed. i am OVERWHELMED by medical debt, something that i think about a thousand times a day, and how an actor's life isn't that condusive to getting unburdened by it. i am OVERWHELMED by the opportunities i have been given in my professional career, and want to honor those opportunities by doing my absolute best. i am OVERWHELMED by how much love i have to give and how there is absolutely no time for a personal life or dating that fosters healthy relationships*. i am OVERWHELMED by how much shit falls on my car from the el tracks. (true.)

[*we will re-visit this another time.]

so, i know the burden falls squarely on my shoulders to make sense of the overwhelming. all these things can be reshaped into positives if you look at them the right way - all except the car. seriously, what IS that shit?

you too?
are you acing it?

haircut - (minus) two bits

went to milio's sunday to get a haircut. shockingly, it's a fine haircut.
let me backtrack - i'm a big fan of milio's, in general. it's a place i generally support in chicago that cuts hair well - and moreover, is a liberal, proactive establishment that has punky workers and supports the pride parade, stuff like that.

on sunday, i walked out without tipping. i have never done this anywhere. i was fumed. i went to a dude who proceeded to sit me down, not talk, then leave me in the chair while he washed out someone else's color. he came back to me, didn't wash his paws, then continued cutting. the other girl complained about the dodgy color job he did, so he left me mid-haircut without saying a word and went and REDID HER COLOR.

at the end, when he came back to finish the cut, i looked what i imagine to be the equivalent of a wet cat. i was mad. he noticed and began yammering about me being pretty or something. i fake hated him and his suck up.

what just happened? should i feel guilty for not tipping?
i've never done anything like that. what is the etiquette here?

Monday, March 13, 2006

mt. ranier

on a particularly unnotable day, one of my favorite vague solo memories was born; standing outside our house my father built after school, barefeet on bricks in the pouring rain. it was afternoon and the sky went dark. i stood there, sopping wet, watching the sky open up. i think i started crying, but i don't remember why. maybe it was a bittersweet teenage thing to do or maybe i was stressed out about some things i should've known then i'd forget now. all i seem to remember is the feeling of warm tears mixing with rainface(tm), and not feeling bad anymore. i sat on our porch swing under an awning, and watched it all come down. my parents came outside and swung for a long time too. it was for some reason everything i needed.

it is just after midnight and it is raining outside in chicago.
there's a little lightning, and huge drops are pitter-patting against my window.
the train just passed by.
this could make anyone sleep like a babers.
that makes me happy.

my lenten promise, part 900

some of you who also read nerd-alert CIN (a web board for improvisers in Chicago) may already know this, but this year when lent started, i made a prom to myself for the running period. got a lot of neat private and public responses on what others are doing, and i realized i didn't talk about it here.

here's what i posted there and why, for other pals, family, and readers...
--- ---
okay, so one fun thing that's a residual left-over from my italio-catholic upbringing is that i like to give things up for lent. for me, it's just a nice self-challenge to check-in and be the best me i can be, or at least a better me i can be.

in early years, it was just kiddish hard tasks:
*in 5th grade, i think i gave up chocolate anything/candy.
*in 6th grade, i gave up pop.
*in 7th grade, i gave up chewing gum. hooo boy, was this hard in 7th grade. i mean, i think that's what you do, primarily, that year.

in high school and beyond, it got headier:
*one year, i think it was junior year, i gave up lying of any kind. this sounds stupid, and i'm no lie-bot, but i mean, quick, white lies too. like - "who are you on the phone with?" - "no one!", "have you done your homework?" - "yes, almost!", etc. no lies. no nothing. it really reframed the way i thought for the better for the rest of time, whether i kept it up or not.

this year, i want a good one, so i'm ultimate tasking myself by not-talking-shit-about-anything. one friend chastized me for this goal, arguing that i am already positive enough for his liking, which made me happy. but, i don't think i realize how i might do it just offhandedly, and that's not ideal, so though this is something i hope i don't do too much of anyway, i'd like to try it ALL the way. only positives! mental challenge! i'm not even rolling my eyes when some nutbag relative comes up and i'm biting my tongue about what-doesn't-work or who did the i'm-a-little-teapot-freeze-bit last night. who cares? the audience loves teapots! we're all people. i love people! i have 45 DAYS TO LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF PEOPLE. 45 LONG ASS DAYS!

this is why i'm not cathlo.
this is the only reason

improv friend challenge: what's your lenten prom-o? (bits allowed, but reals are just as good.)
--- ---

update: now i'm nearly two weeks in, and i broke it once this week pretty bad. after i broke it, i screamed "LLLLLLLLENNNT!", and i'm trying to get back on the horse. it's sunday. shake it off. sunday's a day off anyway. back in the saddle.

what did you give up?
or what are you changing?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

more people td would marry, continued

*america's sweetheart, george clooney (what am i, dead?)
*ad-rock, of the beastie boys (ultimate marry)
*peter saarsgard or mark ruffalo, maybe both
*joan jett, circa 1984
*jon stewart, times a million (sidebar: w&m shout-out! they grow 'em right!)
*ithamar enriquez, ridiculously goofy friend i started improv with

you name some.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

editor pants are the best fitting paaaants!

guess what?
i know if i like pants.
i am smart enough to know if these pants are pants i want.
great! you like the pants i like?
i know i mostly like these pants. you do too? they're your favvvvrrriiitts? great!
i don't need a dressing room started for me.
when it comes to starting, you can start stopping asking me to start things.
carrying this shirt also isn't a real burden.
why am i starting to talk like you? yay! wheeeeeeeeee! goo! ca-caw! z!
opening an express card sounds like 0% of a deal.
i know you're doing your job.
you're doing it annoyingly.
i said it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

this is what making it feels like

i can see how people get to my blog, who's on now and then, blahblahblah.
today, someone found my blog by searching for "ballgags".

we did it, you guys.

down. in. one!

the csz ladies brunched on saturday afternoon. it was awesome - just awesome. these people are a constant delight and bonding with friends is one of my FAVRO THINGS! we went to a place called joey's brickhouse, which has an all you can eat and drink buffet for TWELVE DOLLARS. TWELVE DOLLARS. i almost don't want to leave that in print, because i feel like america will know, and then, somehow, best-kept-secro will die. but no! spread the wealth! we're all friends here.

let's get down to business: being drunk in the daytime is probably one of the most fun things out there. in adult life, it's hard to do frequently - and for me, it conjures super college-y funandfancyfreefeelings. [though many have had the college experience of being drunk in the sunny hours, i salute my OU brethren who Palmer-fested and did the Shuffle. i did the 32 bar shuff, and lived on Palmer. here we go, Bobcats!]

this crew of girls was awesome. deanna, kat, niso, wolfson, rono, pfouts, hanson, halestorm, and sam's gfri, stacy. every one of us was in to have a great time. i led a strange charge that may or may not have made people start downing their drinks in one take at a breakfast boutique. sometimes we're all guilty of wearing our drunk stories like a merit badges of where we've been - and there's positives and fun in that, every now and then. right? i have not had much to drink this calendar year, and i "saved up" for saturday, knowing i could be a wasted mess surrounded by friends all morning. it was game day, so i didn't want to disappoint. i had 13 mimosas. this is probably the dumbest thing i've done in recent memory, but one of the most delightful.

we just weren't done after that, so we did what felt natural - staggered on up to big city tap (affectionately called "big t*tty tap" by chicagoans for it's illustrious 3am patrons) around 2pm. first off, it's like the twilight zone to go to a bar like that in the waking hours. secondly, we then proceeded to have 7 jello shots a piece in the duration of two or three more hours. we actually wiped the place out of jello shots. we had over 40.

our brunch went from 10am until 5pm.
we all took 10 minute naps, drank a lot of wats, and went and did shows.

bonded, delightful failures.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 are...NOT the mother

i want to build an extremely long hallway. i'll get to this in a minute.

sometimes, when i'm home in the afternoons now and then, maury comes on and i can't help but watch a few minutes. i hate this kind of tv much more than i used to, but after working at jenny jones for a very short while, noticed that every trash tv show has an overarching theme.

jenny jones: i used to be ____, but now i'm _____!
springer: ____ cheated on me with his _____!
montell: i'm a burn victim!
tyra: i'm going undercover as a ______ to see how hard it is!
maury: paternity tests. period.

maury consistently has women on who SWEAR that they've never slept with another man in their lives but Johnny Ballgame, then Ballgame blams some DNA somewhere, and Maury comes out with the news.

In the case of Johnny Ballgame and little Conique,
You are
the father.

[Cue mother for my favorite thing in the world, the hallway run. No matter how long you think this hallway is, I promise you that it is longer. My old roommate Beth and I used to run down our own hallway and do this bit as Maury was about to say the verdict.]

The mother is still running now, and the show has been over for eight minutes.

smack it up, flip it, rub it down - OH NOOOOooo!

today, i'm getting a massage. it is probably necessary. i am a case.

while i'm talking about it, ladies, you should treat yourself and go to thousand waves spa. it's a great place to relax. dudes, it's only for lade-os, but there's gotta be something comprable. they give you little slippers and a robe, and said journey begins. you can go into their sauna, steam room and hot tub. then, massage. then, DOJO! the dojo is a little reading room where you get tea and can sleep in little cot-nooks, and life rules.

this place supports women with cancer, a subject obviously near and dear to me. if you know someone or are someone with it, check out this program. it's super cool of them.

to the nook!

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