So, let me tell you a quick story:
My grandpa on my dad’s side came over from China when he was pretty young— grew up in Chicago. He was...
Tonight was my monthly talk show Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill.
I knew the audience would be light, NYC is in recovery mode, traveling into and within the city is a pain. So on my way into the city I decided to enjoy the lemonade I was going to have, because performing at UCB is always Lemonade.
That lemonade was about 7 paying audience members, a few UCB performers & the Friday night interns.
Generally my show requires 10 audience members to participate in the show, the lack of audience meant a special edition of Strangers Wanted would happen, real special.
More importantly my show is about meeting new people and having a good time.
So that is what we did, and we found a way to raise money for the Red Cross.
We sat in a circle and all shared things about us, some of us talked about our hurricane experience, the conversation eventually led to sharing stories about shitting and pissing our pants, or as audience member Caesar called his “I had a wet one.”
BUT THEN THERE WAS PAT REGAN. @POREGAN
Get ready to be psyched about PAT “BENDERTHON” REGAN.
Pat has been an avid runner his entire life, but he came to a point a couple of years ago where he wanted to put running into his past and move forward, but he wanted to find a way to do it. So for the past year he trained really hard for the NYC Marathon. He said he has been looking forward to November 5th for the past year. It was going to bring him closure to a part of his life, and he was going to move forward.
(Pat if I got any of the facts wrong, I apologize, but my words are now truth)
Then today he found out the Marathon was cancelled so he threw his hands up in the air and decided he was going to go on a 48 hour bender. My show was hour one of that bender.
I told Pat he can still run the marathon. He can do 4 Laps and change in Central Park, and he will have run a Marathon in NYC. A New York City Marathon. People can’t tell you that you can’t do it, You can still run it, you don’t need Bloomberg’s permission, you just need your own.
WE ALL HAVE PERMISSION SLIPS INSIDE OUR SOULS
I told Pat, if he did a marathon in Central Park on Sunday I would Donate $200 dollars to the Red Cross.
Then everyone else in the audience said they would throw in money also.
Gethard - $100, Drew - $50, Matty - $20, Oscar $25, Connor $10, Hallie $50, Bjorn $50, Megan $25, Caesar $10, Amy - $50, Jenny $10, Tobin $100, John $50, Abbi $50, Mimi $25 - plus a few others I forgot to write down (sorry!).
THAT IS $825 FOR THE RED CROSS
And we are calling it the #BENDERTHON
Pat asked if he had to complete his bender, I told him no, but he can if he wants.
Regardless, Pat is going to run on Sunday in the Park, get closure to his life, and raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
You can support in 3 ways.
1. Tweet encouragement at him @poregan and include the hashtag #Benderthon
2. Go to Central Park on Sunday and cheer him on, maybe have water for him when he needs it (time details TBA)
3. Donate to the Red Cross in the name of #Benderthon
If you have any questions you can tweet at me @spotastic or message me on tumblr.
Also, don’t forget you are surrounded by lemonade.
This is fantastic!!!
I figured, talking about Harold Auditions and advice, we might as well talk to Nate Dern himself. I did a quick interview with him for UCB Difference… ENJOY!
This is your first Harold Audition as the Artistic Director of UCB Theatre NY. Obviously, you’ve been on the other side of things. Tell us about your approach.
We did an invite audition in October, but you are correct that it is my first time running an open audition. And actually I haven’t been on the other side of things - I was out of town for the first audition I was eligible for, and then I was one of those schmugadoos who was placed on a team between auditions when someone stepped down from a team. I also submitted to be an actor on a Maude Team but wasn’t invited to have an audition, but then was placed on a team when someone stepped down. So I never auditioned for either but was on both. What a jerk!
This blog is mostly supporting the diversity initiative at the UCB. Is there any particular advice you would like to give individuals in this community?
Advice: try to relax, have fun, make your scene partner look good. Make choices that you think are fun, don’t try to do what you imagine the people in the room think the “correct” move is. Anyone reading this has heard this before, and it sounds cliche, but of course there is no secret advice I can give that you haven’t heard before. I could write even less and say this: do your best, that is all you can do. Be realistic - there are hundreds of people auditioning and only a handful will get on. Statistically speaking, the odds are you won’t get on.
Is there anything else you would want to add? Any general advice to improvisers / comedians out there?
I think that for Harold Auditions, as well as anything that you want but for which there is a limited number of slots, you should have the mentality that you are so good that of course it will be given to you, while simultaneously practicing a Buddhist-type detachment that you don’t need this thing for your self worth or happiness in a sort of Orwellian doublethink. We have reached a point as a community that there are more qualified people than we have slots for. Like the space program with astronauts. Them is the breaks. It is both good and bad. I think Harold Night is a great thing, obviously, but I also don’t want to overstate its importance. The UCB4 didn’t wait around to be put on a Chicago theatre’s house team - they formed their own comedy team and worked hard and got a sketch show on TV. Follow their example. Do the work/comedy/art that you want to do with the people you want to do it with. Right now. Don’t wait. Life is short and time goes very fast, especially your mid to late twenties I am finding.