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.

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