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.

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