Sunday, September 30, 2007

remember other people?

somewhere in this period, seven8nine met for a quick meeting. under the guise of work, it was fun to catch up for a minute.

having talented friends that get taken everywhere sure can be a snooze.

sometime soon, i think our schedules might slow, and hopefully we'll see more of each other again.

Friday, September 28, 2007

major time out

hold on.
i'm trying to go back, here, and write about everything and update... but, in real time? it's sept 28th, and we all just found out about the cubs win/brewers loss aaaaand red sox win and yankees loss. SPORTS! ARE! ACING! IT! tonight is the best night ever!!!

i miss wrigleyville right now. ...or maybe i don't.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

the last leg

Michigan brought us everything we needed- and how.

The day before, we had spent a long time driving to Hammond, Indiana, after the FoD. We had a sort of strange show. Chuck Malone (MD) had a lot of his family there, and that was nice. Most of the weirdness came with a rough tech where not a lot was in order, and had extremely low energy after a couple members lost a battle to a bad Arby’s. in tech – a period before the show where you run tops and bottoms of scenes, there was a buzzing sound that didn’t let up and continued nearly the whole time the show progressed, which drove Malone nuts. Meghan scrambled and did well with the space, but there was only so much she could do. we just went for it and sorta got through it. Interesting to see that even when you’re the Temple of Satire ™ that things don’t always line up exactly as you thought they may. made me feel a little better about the shitfires that other theatres i know and love have been through with riders and stipulations unmet.

the next day, the 15th, we drove to Alma College, MI. A few friends from a group called Mission:IMPROVABLE had told me this college was a fun place to play, and they were right (for once). (you heard me, dudes.) we met with a professor and his high school son at the bottom of tech, and that was nice to see someone so excited about the show, just from watching the tech part.

but the biggest reward came after the show: a stay at a bed and breakfast in the town. it was a beautiful place called Saravilla, a gorgeous renovated mansion of a house with a wrap around porch, private bathrooms with clawfoot jacuzzi baths, a ping pong table, a hot tub, and a homecooked delish breakfast. downside: the owners, who were batshit nuts, and had about 90 faceless angels in the living areas (we counted). i’m nervous that they’ll google my ass and see that, but it’s worth it. Sniffen took a major shine to doing impersonation of the female, a witch like voice that ended in a soul-sucking sound, which was startlingly accurate and terrifying. even though they were pretty strange, they were relatively lenient with the downstairs space; when we were done with our show, we retired to the B&B with a case of beer and lots of drinks. we played a homemade version of apples to apples which made us laugh so hard we cried, quite literally. Sniffs lit about a zillion candles, which only made the faceless angels all around us seem even more faceless.

back to Chicago the next day for a whopping two days off. it felt good to end this leg on such a high note… but really, besides the lack of sleep, none have been low.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

no, it's iowa

after many, many late nights about midway through our tour of duty, we had hit the exhausto wall. everyone in blueco is so kind and playful, and that makes a world of difference. because of that, i thought this would be the kind of group that would maybe go for the idea that - just an hour or so out of our way – lay the Field of Dreams.

pitching this idea (har) was a real risk. i’d never been and didn’t know if it would be worth it, and the cast was on their last leg after two weeks of straight touring, van rides, airports, and early calls with shows each night. still though, Field of Dreams is one of my favorites of all time, and i had the hopes that even if i annoyingly prodded everyone to go at 7am, we would show up and – like the movie promises – be as happy as children upon arrival.

We were.

once we got to the winding roads of Dyersville, IA, we all sort of started to perk up and get psyched about what was in store. we busted into a McDonalds and a worker there held the door for me because of the baseball cap i was wearing (go sports teams!) and it felt like a good omen. we grabbed coffee and rushed to the field.

it was exactly what we wanted. the farm, the house, the field perfectly kept, the corn as high as an elephant’s. we ran from the van and squealed (field of driiiiiiis!) and burst onto the field – some of us running the bases and snapping photos, some disappearing into the corn and avoiding crossing the foul line, moonlight graham style.

we bought lots of junk and learned the owners of the farm do quite a nice business for themselves, which made us happy. a corporate jagoff had bought the other side of the field years ago and tried to turn a profit on the land, but this year, the original owners were able to swipe it out from under them again. Field of Dreams, indeed.

thanks, Ray.

it ain't over until you perform in an opera house

cedar falls, iowa: september 13.

blueCo was lucky enough to perform in an opera house with 5 levels – seating about 1650 for a double show night. the first show was a tame crowd – pleased but older. the perk of this audience was all the kunkles it contained; shad’s parents (tom and jeri) and several relatives watched our first of the two. it was fun to see where kunkle came from. it’s funny – in adult town, you don’t really get to meet your friend’s parents. you grow up inundated in your friends lives, knowing how their home life and family ties shape them. for that reason, it’s one of my favorite things to meet parents as we all get older… it makes me feel like we’re young again, and it reminds me to be constantly aware that the people i know exist beyond this limited scope i’ve met them in. neat.

our second show in the space was killer – tons of kids from Northern Iowa University showed up, and we had a blast. of our shows on the road, each on the college circuit has received standing ovations… well, all but Texas. …Come on. we're not magic.

Monday, September 24, 2007

september: seriously, where am i?

this month is a blur of activity. i have gotten to a few towns now and quite literally said "what day is today?" and "excuse me, but where am i?". for real. 10 states in one month and a van full of action will do this to a girl. you just forget because every night is sort of the same when there's a show every time; the only difference is the place you play, the hotel you move to, and the people you meet.

where have i been?

last weekish (sept 12th) , blueco went a few places, beginning with Grinnell College, IA. we didn't know a ton about the school, but became huge fans when we saw the pretty campus, packed gymatorium (you heard me) and met some great staff and students. we had some time between tech and the show on this one, so sniffen, teal and i walked around campus, lamenting our youth (meghan's 93), stealing those yellow campus bikes (which were demolished, but fun), and yoinking a frisbee from the ultimate team. we were treated like rock stars by the campus, and we partied hard at a bar called "the pub" with lots of students. again following all college campus rules yet established, grinnell wins with having the cheapest beer, keystone. it was 75 cents. 75 cents. nothing is 75 cents. i GIVE people beer for 75 cents.

this night soon became dubbed "75 cent mistakes", as we all got plowed and walked around walmart drunk with strangers. aimee snapped this photo of sniff and i where i tried to be unknowing party-city and while sniffs did his best "to catch a predator" bits. mission accomplished.

ooh! also, before i move past grinnell, i should say an improv dream that was accomplished here: michael and i did the outro at this school (meaning you wrap up and ask them if they want an improv set*). we have been getting standing o-s at the colleges, which has been so rewarding and fun, and as they stood, some kids in the bleachers started the kind of football-game-esque feet rumble, where you bang and stomp loud in approval. sensing they might do more, i dropped to my knees and started the we-will-rock-you clap as a bit on the floor, only to have the auditorium (wait, gymatorium) do it along with us, 750 people going apeshit. it made my life!

way to go, grinnell.

*people always answer yes to this, a resounding, screamy yes. one day, i hope a whole audience is like - mmm, no, we're good, thanks. i am dying for this to happen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

rummin' river rishes!

blueco just arrived in nashville, tennessee. every pamphlet tells us to get saved, so, we're thinking about it. more on this place after i catch up on the stuff i haven't gotten to yet (iowa - spoiler)!

anyway, this youtube dream came up in the van ride here - aimee and sniff had seen it, and i hadn't yet. this poor woman lost all the words to carousel just as the program begins. i went craisins with happiness over this, especially the second round where they actually provide subtitles. thank you, leslie uggams.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

critics choice

somewhere over this same weekend, the tour-cos found out we were Reader Recommended and made Critics Choice in the paper. it felt really nice to find out on the road, and right when we got back, we scrambled for papers and saw that BlueCo (my comp) was the photo in the section.

this whole thing, i've found, is really a ride. literally, and figuratively, a constant ride. it's thrilling and amazing, and in a few years i know i'll look back and miss the van rides and how tired you feel and bad road food and squeezing in workouts to feel normal and funny pit stops and road bits. still, though, in the harder times of being so busy and feeling disconnect with everyone other than your traveling band; it's nice to feel like someone is thinking about you, even that "someone" is a paper, another friend who validates that maybe it is all worth it.

texas - not just for conservos anymore!...but, mostly.

there's something i love about this.

remember that scene i mentioned a few posts back? censor? yeah. well, we ran that in tech - a time where you do tops and bottoms of scenes and glow tape the stage, mark areas, set props, and work out sound kinks. since we had only done censor once on the road, we ran the whole thing. necessary. normal.

maybe i should've explained before: censor is relatively racy, and it is what we believe prompted this sign, right, to be posted after our tech situation was over.

i won't give spoilers, but, um, yeah.
it's bad.

...and we really gave it to 'em.

later, we pool partied, got wasted, and somewhere in there (thanks to tim sniffen) i became the best drunk maya angelou that has ever been. i don't know how many i'm competing with, but still. i might be the best*.

see the show if you want to know what i mean.
unless you're from texas - then, run for your life.


friday night lights

texas, september 7th and 8th.

i drove the crew the 5 hours to DFW the next day, which was a fun first turn at bat in a badass rental we had. texas driving, we learned, was strange and sort of terrifying - normal roads immediately turned into one ways, long corporate drives split off of major highways. but, well, whatever. thank god i like driving.

this was our first day off that we'd had on any trip i'd been on - michael and sarah had to teach a workshop, but the rest of us (post-driving) got to max and relax in our crowne plaza. we all headed to get barbeque and then i promptly took a luxurious two hour nap, evidence that i had not been sleeping well until then.

i was woken up to find that kunks, malone, haskins and teal were heading to a high school football game - they had kindly called me to wrangle, and i ran from my room to join. this became easily one of my favorite things we have done so far, some for the spontaneity of the event, and two, because i really love bizarro outings. we promptly began rooting for the lions (see evidence, including chuck not being able to wrap his head around forming an "N"), who lost a shit-ton to none. that's all you need to know. it still ruled.


...lahoma. september 6th.

that stop was first, back on our first major leg of touring this month, after a busy week of home shows and the st. louis trip. we went to OSU, home of the cowboys, and had a helluva time. this was our first experience running a scene called CENSOR not on home-turf, and it was a ridiculous experience. the theatre was in the round, seating maybe about 450 or so. the show received a standing o, and we also had a super fun improv set at the end full of old chestnuts like sing it and new choice/take that back/ding/should've said. felt familiar and fun, and the kids were warm and kind after the show.

meghan, sarah, shad, michael, sniffen and i ventured out later to the strip, a place full of campus bars where miller lites were (wait for it!) - 1.50. i've learned a lot on these trips, one thing being that it is nearly impossible not to become an alc, if only because it's so affordable.

played a fun game of our own construction, where you ask a question and then elect a person at the table your winner, while giving reason. for instance - someone posed the quandry that you could have one person be your bodyguard at the table - who would it be? several people got votes - sarah because she could intelligently finagle the situation, shad because he gets out of weird predicaments, teal because she knows how to handle shit, me because i was italian (we get it) and charming as hell (thanks, haskins). michael asked if we were all beers, which person would you drink and why. michael himself voted for me, because i'd be nice and fun, make you stay up late, party hard, and fuck all night. for some reason, this was strangely flattering.

maybe we should play more drinking games.

anyway, 6 dollars a piece later, we stumbled to a bar called stonewall, a place that two campus djs (kevin and seth) had recommended to us during my recording of a campus podcast (hopefully coming soon). on the way, we passed our beautiful campus hotel (the fucking atherton) and averted a sexual assault (not a bit).

oklahoma really aced it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

travelin' man

man, i've really been at it.
let's talk about it real slow like, one entry by one.
i have a lot of catching up to do. come with.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

show me that smile again

i remember once on growing pains, mikey seav was hitting on girl. the girl was someone he had previously made fun of a lot, who then had a makeover before returning back to school. through tv magic, the kirk had no idea who she was at all. ex-brace-face was playing along and giving into his boyish charms, then told him who she was and dropped the hammer. kirk cam was shocked.

Seaver: Well... uh, Wow! Looks like you had a great summer.
Makeover Story: Yeah. And it looks like you just had a great fall.
(walks away, never to be seen again)

this is something that goes through my head for no reason, a lot.
a lot.

anyway, i'm looking forward to fall.
let's get some motherfuckin' fall foliage up in here.

a face that could launch a thousand... theatres?

as eric lindberg says, "It's not for marketing if Tara's not in it." i don't know exactly why, but i guess it does happen a lot; i'm not one to complain about being one of the faces of a place i love so dearly.

here's one of the new photos csz is going to use for the launch in october/november. an updated emo symph picture, just like the last. look at those adorable people. man, i sure do love that joint.
come on, new theatre! you're going to rule. only a little longer...

st. lunatics

blueco in st. louis.

we traveled to two colleges in ye olde blueco van, going to both Webster and Washington universities. one of these i loved, and one of these i didn't, but i won't say which is which. how's that for a veil of mystery?

i did love st. louis, though - a place i think i've been three times now, but hadn't seen much of. i went to st. lou the first time as a literal gateway to the west; after i graduated college, my girlfriend amy and my friends tara and nick from hs made that our first stop on a 21 day road trip across the country. hey, you know, i really loved that trip. do you ever have a moment in your life where - no matter how profound or mundane the moment, you can feel your brain sort of click over and memorize it? that trip was full of those minutes - swimming in clear pools in the middle of the black hills, avoiding brown bears by carrying bear chimes everywhere, hiking the badlands and feeling like we were in 2001:space odyssey, riding in a car with sun breaking through clouds above mountains, wall drug. all of it. and it started under the arch watching fireworks on the third of july.

i'd like to take another one of those trips, but even as i'm typing, i'm realizing that - well, i sort of am all the time. wait a minute. we may not be driving through arizona and glacier national park, but - the comaraderie is what is worth it most. man. lucky.

anyway, back to st. lou. we had a little time off the second day before our tech call, so we ran and took a little walking tour of downtownish areas. chuck (MD), sniffen, shad, haskins and i were bound and determined to arch it and get up in that shit, partially because of haskins major fear of heights. vowing to take care of her, i soon crumbled when i saw that the tram you ride in to the top was only four feet tall and three feet wide, a circular pod that would hold all five of us to the top. i guess i have a fear of enclosed spaces i didn't know about. or, the docent that told us that people got trapped in it one month prior might've been the problem. i panicked quick but forced myself into said pod, and we all co-panicked and felt fine as we moved. i wish we had a picture of this moment, but the speed of it all made us blow this opportunity.

anyway - after we ate and completed a complicated show, we relaxed at night afterwards at a jazz club. sarah knew a guy who owned a place called BB's in the city, so we went and watched some music, winded down, and drank our asses off, only to find it was all comped.


we did it.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

laborious days

it's funny; life has sort of changed.

touring has picked up quite a bit, and as i look back in my last few weeks here, i can't remember much that i've done but be at sc and rehearse for sc and travel to and from sc and... well, you get it.

i'm worried a bit, just about the state of disconnect which is inevitable while touring. i've traveled for work before - corporate comedy, the like, but this is a whole new ballgame. i am one who thrives in the comfort of these awesome friendships i've landed and having community really appeals to me. csz, io, seeing my own actual real family - all those things are sort of forced by the wayside due to a very busy month ahead, just for now. i think i just have to treat it like work in order to get through - a busy work month instead of a life change that will tank all interpersonal relatios.

as september hit yesterday, i already began the hunt for hours for myself and for others back home to squeeze in the quality time. it feels sort of like when you start school again - the wrap up of man-that-was-fun!s started as the weather dropped, and i've started to say keep in touch to my talented, everywhere-travelin' friends again. i hate that only few days remain of summer. my biggest hope is that there's only more time.

see you next year.


it ruled.

quincy is about 6 hours away but somehow still inside illinois.
we were billed in a big performing arts center, along with an ultimate cage match.

you heard me.

the people took great care of us, and we met a real cast of characters afterwards, including a man named riff and the happiest volunteers in america.
way to go, quincy.

part 93

the picture speaks for itself.

why weren't we all there?
...we really blew it.

stormy weather

about a week and a half ago, the perfect storm hit chicago.
it really couldn't have been more ridiculous or satisfying. even as funnel clouds streaked the green sky, everyone always said tornados can't hit the city.

we drove through this storm for a comedysportz remote out at a place called wellness house, a site for both survivors of cancer and a hospice for families and friends who had lost someone. the show was fun, and lighthearted, which it had to be - power cut out three times during the show, and i was quickly handed a flashlight to ref the spookiest dr. know it all out there.

we arrived back at the city to find old trees uprooted and overturned on almost every street in lakeview, each of them artfully dodging cars by only a hair. gutters were filled, signs bent to wind, leaves and branches everywhere, the lake bursting at the seams.

nothing is impossible.

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