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?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

there's only one october

so, yeah. let's finish october.

i got to play a comedysportz remote - that was fun, and got to hang with some pals. i think this remote was downtown somewhere, and i don't remember for who, but i do remember prouty, blanders, and rizzutto were on it. this never happens, so, yeah. i was stoked. show was fun, it was nice to be home, blahblah.

so, we went to loras college in dubuque, IA, on october 26th. i'm pretty sure this marked our last tour out with haskins on the road, so we wanted to have some fun. none of us knew what to expect from dubuque, but i'll tell ya, we were pleasantly surprised. there was an incline! there were candy shops and free t-shirts and an old place with a working train set that shad almost cried at! it was nearly heaven.

we were only slightly bummed to be away from the city on partytown halloween night - the friday before, when several improv parties happen. this was good and bad - halloween seemed to spread itself for many more days than were necessary this past year, but we were bummed to not hang with pals when we returned the next day. these are the downsides of touring, i supposed - but look at the upsides!:

this remarkable bar, a hole in the wall with so many locals it'd make your head spin. we quickly befriended the bartender (a cool broad who we mistakenly called karen all night who hated people, but then loved us and made us grilled cheese after we put on "suspicious minds") and a woman named connie i believe (who played a video slot machine and had the voice of a thousand cigarettes). they made our lives better and more insane, respectively.

who knew?
we then came home to do a matinee, say goodbye to the soon-moving sarah, watch the red sox win the world series, and get adjusted to some home time again.

the civil war stops

oct 19th - hattiesburg, MS
oct 20th - vicksburg, MS

lemme be honest here. i have no fucking idea what happened in hattiesburg. seriously, what happened there? haskins? any idea?
here's what i do know - i got drunk on one of these nights, because i was depressed or some shit (healthy, no?). i also know the 19th was my mom's birthday (she's the best), so i called her and i felt far from home and missed my family.
i also know that vicksburg was easily in my top three hardest tourco shows, a funny way to end our southern leg. we went to the civil war memorial in jackson, maybe?, and then had the show that night. the show had NO tech support and we were essentially in a gym with only 5 mics for the 6 of us. we had a casserole-ish sup and we hung out in our mini-dressing rooms as we waited for hell to start. notables on show: crowd was super drunk, it was essentially a corporate buyout that our tourco was doing, and some guy in the middle of sarah & i doing an improv scene said something remarkably dirty about me wanting to bend over more to think about doin' me and workin' my ta-s. comedy?

anyway, after watching play-by-play baseball on my phone all night backstage and gritting our teeth through the show, we gunned it outta there, but not before i could charm the waitstaff and snag a thousand beers from the kraft services people. imagine me just continuously nodding and talking about the show, but stuffing numerous brews in my shirt and pants. this is pretty much what happened, though i shotgunned a few. i ran outside and brought them to the cast decompressing outside afterwards, they went bonks, and then i'd go back in and do it again.

that night we went to a bar in town - shad was protective about my heart-choices, lehrer eyed the locals, and aimee mckay found a real love for techno. so, that's something.

continuous travel

...sure makes it hard to catch up on this thing. it's a dumb thing to lament over - like, oh no, i'm making more memories! my life is fun! poooooor meeeee! so, excuse that - only know it's making me crazy to not have caught up on tours from last year because i'm gone 25 days in january (BOING!).

so, back on board. let's at least finish the old year before we get to the new.

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