I should be working right now, BUT I wanted to share some stuff before tonight so that you can benefit as well. First, let me apologize for any typos or incongruities below, I am pretty tired right now. Then, read on!
I’ve been volunteering with the UCB show Killgore: The New Blood this week. It’s been a really interesting experience. People have asked me why I did this, since it meant a maximum of 3 hrs of sleep a night this week. Well, I wanted to see tech rehearsals. BUT, I saw and learned much more than that. Despite the fact that I have been a TV producer for so many years and that I have produced musicals in college (with live bands and all), I learned one thing or two about production with special effects. I had never done or seen something like this. I think the production is very well managed, although I already have a few ideas about how to make it better (well, it is ME after all - I can’t help but thinking ahead to the future).
I liked working with fake blood/vomit/poop (the key word here is FAKE), and John Robert Wilson was kind enough to show me the behind the scenes and explain what everything was (Poop = Hershey’s Chocolate syrup). I also “built” the shower room back stage - I had no idea that was possible, but we made it happen! I was also asked to take over laundry duty last night, which of COURSE I did although it usually means leaving really late and then spending the day washing and drying fake blood.
The wardrobe in the green room has 3 sets of clothes for each cast members for the 3 shows a night, so it’s important that the laundry is done on time and delivered to the theater before the show!
There’s also the cleaning crew, that works the HARDEST! They are always on set first and leave last, and have to clean between each show. They also wipe the stage between each sketch. They are pretty AMAZING!
Finally, it was really interesting to see John Frusciante direct. He is extremely positive and supportive of the cast. He si also clear with his tech directions, but he trusts the tech and prop people to do what they have to do.
I’ll write more about my learnings later, but I wanted to post links to the Flikr pages where I have stored some pictures of the rehearsals.
Go see that show, seriously, you CANNOT miss it. Did I mention it’s with a kick ass cast (including my 201 class teacher, Anthony Atamanuik, who has a special place in my improv heart).
Link to the show: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/2539
Link to Wednesday night rehearsals - the “Blood Rehearsals”: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21693513@N07/sets/72157625259653518/
Link to Thursday night rehearsals: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21693513@N07/sets/72157625266232174/
Which day would be better? Friday or Saturday night? My friend and fellow improviser Nicole Lee is in town and we’d like to host a show that weekend to invite friends and fellow improvisers to play with us - that would mean YOU!
Happy Birthday favorite movie of all time.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BACK TO THE FUTURE!!! Can’t wait for the Back to the Future Prov this Friday!!
It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write on this blog. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of performances, practice sessions and shows; and to top it all, work has been particularly busy and my coworkers especially annoying; and I’ve been sick. Of course.
Jeff Fahey is Tron has been on a roll. We have had up to three performances a week during the month of October. I am the Manager, the Agent and the Producer of the team, and let me tell you, I am EXHAUSTED! I am also a comedy crack whore, so on top of this, I have been to shows almost every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day (last Tuesday for example, I went to see a show at the Magnet, then the entire Harold Night and then The Movie), have been trying to catch up with friends outside of the comedy world (On Friday, I went to see Prison Freaks & the NYPD Sit Down and Shut Up Variety Hour, then caught up with friends in the EV and went to Thank You Robot; on Saturday, I had a 401 practice session, then went to Harlem to eat, drink and dance to 80’s French pop songs with old friends before I headed to the UCBW AutumnSlam), and have volunteered to help with more shows at the UCB. I am hopeless. And tired. But I am loving every minute of it!
We had a couple of shows we were really happy with. Keisha Zollar, who has been like a mentor to me since I have gotten to know her, offered us a spot on her show at the UCB: The Soul Glo Project. What a great show! And for us, what an opportunity! We started off thinking that we would have 12 minutes, then it went down to 10, and just as we were stepping onto the stage we were told 8. Oh well! We did a short version of our interview: we asked three people in the audience to tell us what was unusual about them. One person screamed “I’m black” (Really?? That’s what’s unusual about you?), and then we had “ripped abs”, “voice actor”, and “tax evasion”. We had so much fun with this! My teammate and friend Casey set the pace by editing the first scene really rapidly. We went from scene to scene, found the game right away, no time to think, and hit it hard: 1, 2, 3 beats, edit. We managed 7 scenes in 8 minutes with call backs and connections! We had a blast and the audience loved it! What a great audience we had too!
The other show we loved was our monthly show yesterday. Matt Little from Thank you Robot was our stand up opening act and our MC. Matt is a ROCK STAR! He’s funny in an intelligent way, he is positive, he is supportive. He is a blast to work (and to hang out) with. We also had Hens and Owls (Olivia Whelan and Stephanie Streisand for the night as the other ladies of the teams couldn’t be there), and they did a FANTASTIC, funny and witty monoscene. I love those ladies. Third up, we had The Martin Sheen Shower Hour, a PIT trained team who did a monoscene as well, and seriously nailed it! And then, finally, we went. We did our usual audience interview / input about what’s unusual about them and what makes them unique and tried a new format with monologues. The scenes we did afterwards were just so much fun - I think we have come to a point where we are not only hitting the game intuitively (without thinking about it; it’s almost become a second nature and we are also completely on the same page), but we are also able to have fun with each other and with our shows. As a matter of facts, some of the concepts we’ve learned have become so much a part of what we do, that during practice, we did a Harold without even realizing we were doing a Harold. It’s when we were looking back at it that we realized we did first beat, group game, second beat, group game, third beat, connections. Boom. We nailed it.
This week, I will be painting the stage for Killgore Wednesday night, attending a few shows between today and Friday, catching up with a good friend on Tuesday, going to DC on Saturday, coming back to a Halloween party that same night, catching up with old friends from Boston who are visiting, and doing our first improv 401 grad show on Sunday. Halloween people. It’s at the UCB (307 W 26th st, 4 pm - shameless plug). Oh, and maybe practice Wednesday and/or Thursday. If all goes well, I will also be finalizing the diversity Newsletter, UCB Difference.
Did I mention I have a full time job and a team to manage at work?
Sleep is overrated.