I've had a hard time falling asleep lately. The past few nights have been spent half- heartedly writing screenplays or epic action stories, watching The Facts of Life on Hulu and eating cereal until the wee hours of the morning. I don't know what it is. I've just felt really restless and anxious. Maybe NYFA is making me a little nervous.
I stage managed a show in Brooklyn last night. By the time the show was over and I got back into the city, it was already past 2AM, so I decided to crash at my mom's place and sleep in my old room. I'm glad my mom isn't moving to FL anymore. I can still come over whenever I want, and she said when she's away I can invite friends over. My mom is awesome!
In the improv world, one of my teacher/coach/mentor/friends Joe Wengert is moving to LA. I'm sad that he's leaving, but I signed up for his 600 class in January (my third 600. Yikes!). It sounds like a great class. So far, I know that both my roommates are in it, as well as my friends Bridget, Katey, Matt Little (hopefully) and Benjamin Apple. I can't wait!
The last In A World... show was tuesday night and it was awesome! Such a fun class! I can't say enough good things about everyone in it. I learned so much from performing wth such a great cast of people, and I am extremely proud of both teams (especially mine)!
Here are some of my favorite moments from both groups:
Stephen: We've got to do something about this war between the Bloods and the Blues.
Stephen: We can mix Christmas with religion!
Dan being killed for watching Threes Company.
Joey as a crazy thug.
Katey: (as Anton Chekhov) Always pack a suit, even if you think you wont need it.
Hallie: Gah! I had another neighborhood watch flashback!
Johnny: Attention Yale students! There are lions loose! Curtis: Well, one of these books should have the answers we need.
Also, I got to establish myself as Isaac Asimoff and James McAvoy.
Please come see my 600 class' first show at UCB tonight at 11PM. It's a really great cast, and I'm super excited to be apart of it. The show features Dan Black, Joey Burns, Sarah Claspell, Rob Cuthill, Hallie Haglund, Ashley Hale, Katey Healy- Wurzburg, Abbi Jacobson, Johnny McNulty, Dana Patton, Curtis Retherford, Stephen Michael Rondel, Christopher Scott, Caitlin Tegart, Paul Welsh and myself.
Only $5, but its free with your Harold Night ticket.
I woke up this morning and Barack Obama was still president. How awesome is that? I am so happy right now. I was watching his speech last night, and all I was thinking about was how I couldn't believe that something this monumental was actually happening. It felt like a movie. It reminded me of how people who grew up in the 60's talked about listening to someone like Robert Kennedy, and it made me really excited to be living in this time where truly anything is possible. Way to be, America! We did it!
I was talking with Katey, Joey, Dan and Curtis about early 90's cartoon shows, and remembering how awesome they were. We're talking '91-'96 (maybe even '89) cartoon series that were fantastic. Some of them were really sophisticated and ahead of their time, some of them were just fun kids shows, and some of them were really bizarre, but I remember loving all of them. My childhood pretty much centered around these shows.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Samurai Pizza Cats
There are a ton of other shows I could mention, but these were the ones I held near and dear to my heart. Besides, I'm sure I'll have plenty of other chances to reference shows like Street Sharks or Reeboot.
One of the things I like about improv is that it forces you to be more decisive and make strong choices. This is something I feel like I lack in real life, although since starting improv I have gotten better. Still, I put way too much thought into things, and I often drive myself crazy worrying about the outcome of things that haven't happened yet, and as a result I've missed many possibly wonderful oppertunities, and beat myself up for it.
So, the note I'm giving to myself: Be Bold
Don't worry about failure. Just follow your gut. It'll usually lead you to the right places.
I performed in Bad Date IV: Book of Shadows on Saturday, where I got to play Nightcrawler in X-Menprov. It was one of the most fun shows I've ever done. All the costumes were awesome (thanks to Brett and Sam for helping with mine).
Last night I had a pretty rough class with Anthony King. The last excersize that Anthony had us do was pretty cool, though. We had to do a montage and every scene we did had to take place in a T.G.I.Fidays. This was to teach us that doing a good improv scene is like having good conversation skills; even if you're Captain Crunch talking to a martian, you still have to let what that other person says effect you. I tend to forget that sometimes, and it's definately something I need to work on.
I started my 600 class with Shannon o'Neill on Sunday. It is AMAZING! Truly a wonderful class. I walked out of that class feeling great about everything. The first class I've taken where I know and love performing with everyone in it. Everyone should check out our shows in November.
I've decided to go as Dr. Strangelove this year. The only hard part about the costume is the wheelchair; I can make the rest of the costume from stuff at home. I'm watching the movie right now for more research.
So, as I was walking to the R train to get home from Astoria, I was stopped by a van full of douchebags. They asked for directions to get somewhere, and I told them I didn't know. Then they asked if I was on the geek squad, and I started walking away. Just then, one of them opened the door and said "Hey! I'm gonna kill you!" This is where I pretty much shit my pants. There threats were empty, however and they just drove off laughing and continuing their douchey way.
This is the second time I've been acosted by assholes who happen to be driving. The first time, I was walking in my neighborhood around midnight. It was winter, and I had a hat on, and some guys in their car scream "Nice hat, faggot!" and throw a pizza at me.
Whatever. They probably got drunk and crashed. Less people to waste perfectly good pizza.
Friday I saw a really fun Rogue Elephant show. Robert Stack with Alzheimers was one of the funniest scenes I've seen.
Saturday I went to my friend, Nicole's birthday party and played Taboo and watched Bobby Moynihan's first episode on SNL. Bobby was awesome. I was pleasantly surprised to see him in so many sketches. I also got a haircut.
Today I teched a show for Veal at Under St. Mark's. It feels like it's been a while since I've teched a show, so I'm glad they asked me to do it.
So, today I was riding the W train through Astoria, and I looked out the window and saw the Queensboro bridge while the sun was setting and "New Slang" by the Shins was playing on my ipod. It was so beautiful, and it took me out of a glum mood I've been in this weekend. One of the best things I saw all week. I love my home town.
The past week and a half has been pretty heavy. My mom decided to buy me an apartment. That's right. BUY. We looked at a couple that I really like, but nothing is definate yet. My first reaction to all of this was, of course to reject it, and convince myself that I wasn't worthy of having my mom offer to buy me a place to live. However, after talking to some of my friends, I realized how greatful I should be and that I should stop whining and take the chance while I can. So, I'm still looking and hoping I can find somewhere close to the theatre (fingers crossed).
I've also made the decission of going back to school. I sent in an application to the New York Film Acadamy for their one year Acting for Film program. It's better than sitting around the apartment with nothing to do, and it's way better than sitting in my dad's office with nothing to do. At least now I can have some responsibilty, and not feel like I'm wasting my life.
I have a 501 class show at UCB tonight at 6:30. You all should come, because it'll be fun. It features some people from Iron Ruckus, Snacktime, Hot Lather, The Skuntz, Shark Tank and other shows. Come on down, y'all!
3. Listening to "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money on the drive through Indiana
4. Getting to see actual farmland
5. Performing in different cities across the country
6. Jim's Cheestakes in Philly
7. National Lampoons Comedy Radio
8. Being so tired, anything anyone says becomes hilarious
9. A spanish restaurant in Chicago with beautiful waitresses (I'm blanking on the name right now)
10. Getting the chance to perform at IO in Chicago, where I also got to visit Second City and stare at pictures of my heroes on the walls of the lobby.
The main reason I decided to go on this trip was to deal with a personal problem, and to show myself that I could stand my own ground. I'm not toally sure if I succeded or not, but at least I got to travel and see some pretty cool things.
We finally made it! It took a long boring drive through a couple of states, but we're here. We got here last night, checked into the smallest hotel room ever, and went to check out IO and the famous Weiners Circle. IO was awesome, but Weiners circle was awkward. Today, I'm gonna be a tourist until our show at midnight tonight.
This weekend felt very long. I helped Matt move into his new apartment on Thursday, which made me dead tired on Friday. I don't know why my brain didn't register helping someone move equals lifting heavy objects. I'm the LAST person anyone would think to do that. It wasn't that bad, though. Chris and I got free pizza and popsicles out of it. It did make me realize that I need to take better care of myself. There is a gym in my building that I have never used. Perhaps it would be a good idea to visit once in a while.
Also, both my teams had such awesome shows this weekend. Something I really admire in an improviser is the ability to hang back in a show. To really listen to everything that is going on, and then chime in at the perfect moment. I've been trying to do that in shows recently. To just practice listening and supporting, and not worry about stuff like "Oh, I haven't been in a scene in like seven minutes". It feels really good to not have that pressure, and to really trust your teammates, and just enjoy your own show.
So, I missed my 501 class because of the trains today. I'm a freak about being on time for things, so this was enough to put me in a sour mood. That AND I got a call from my dad yesterday. A call from my dad never ends on an exciting note. It usually ends with me thinking "well... that happened." Oh, and did I mention that I'm back working at his office on Friday?
Anyway, Siskel and Ebert fucking hate each other. Enjoy!
This may sound totally weird, but I have never seen a movie in IMAX before. In fact up until a few days ago, I didnt know what the difference between IMAX and a regular movie theater was. It's the truth. No explanation. Just how it is. Now everyone is racing to go see Dark Knight in IMAX and tickets are sold out all week. From what I've read (and I may be late in the game on this one, so stop if you already know this) this is the first major motion picture to use any IMAX cameras, so the movie was made to be enjoyed in IMAX. Seeing it in any other regular, plain Jane movie theater would be pointless. You'd be missing the most awesome parts of the film. If this is the case, then I guess I can wait another week to see what all the fuss is about.
I had this weird dream that I thought I might share.
I'm working on an assembly line with a bunch of other improvisers, and we're all sewing the american flag. Everyone is smoking a cigarette, but the ashes arent falling off, so we're just chewing on them and spitting them into a bucket. Someone says "But wait, there aren't any stars on them. Betsy's not gonna like that". Then Trevor Fitzroy (from the x-men comics) comes in and tries to drain everones lifeforce to fuel his mutant time traveling powers. At this point, my mom wakes me and asks if wanted eggs for breakfast.
I dont put much stock in the meanings of dreams, but if anyone has any interpretations, feel free to let me know.
Fat Penguin just performed on a public access show called "Who Wants To Be An Actor?". We did a ten minute set at the top of the show, and then they asked us questions about how and where we met, and what shows we've done. We didn't stay for the rest of the taping, but I guess the show itself is like American Idol. They have a bunch of actors come in and read monologues, and the panel of judges give them notes. I feel like I've seen that idea played out and parodied so many times, it was kind of hard for me to take it seriously. The episode airs in a few months, so I'll save my judgement until then.
The Del Close Marathon is quckly approaching, and I can barely contain my excitement. I just signed up for four workshops (Gethard, Gausas, Walsh and Corddry)and Fat Penguin is performing on sunday morning at the UCB theater. Yay! My favorite time of year! Can't wait!
So, I recently watched Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. I wasn't expecting a great movie, but I was still a bit disapointed. I guess I was expecting it to be more epic, kind of like the series. As far as plot goes, the two actually have nothing to do with each other. Unlike the series, the movie has Ryu wandering from town to town, while Bison kidnaps Ken and brainwasshes him to work for Shadowlaw. Chun- Li, who works for Interpol, seeks the help of Guile to take down Bison and Shadowlaw. It is never explained why Ryu is drifting around, but they manage to reference it from time to time as if it's supposed to be important. They also introduce characters like Blanka, Cammy White, Dhalsim, Zangief, Thunder Hawk and Dee Jay just to see them fight for a minute and then you never see them again for the rest of the movie.
Aside from my problems with the plot, the animation is great, the soundtrack is awesome, and the fight scenes are pretty cool. The best scene in the whole movie is the fight between Chun- Li and Vega in New York.
I still have my wishlist of fights I would have loved to see:
1. Blanka Vs. Cammy White in an airport
2. Dee Jay Vs. Zangief in a casino
3. Chun- Li Vs. Bison on Bison's aircraft
4. Guile and Honda Vs. Balrog at a chinese restaurant
5. Ken and Ryu Vs. Blank and Vega on a cruise ship
I hate hecklers so much, you guys! If anyone reading this decides "I'm going to go to a comedy show. I wonder how I should conduct myself." Here is what you do:
1. You pay for your ticket 2. You sit in your seat 3. If the show you're about to see is improvised in any way, and they ask for a suggestion, and you give them one, don't say anything else! 3b. The suggestion should not be "Do something funny" or "make me laugh" or something obnoxious of that nature. 4. You shut the fuck up. I dont care if you dont think its funny. Dont talk. Its that simple.
So, please support comedy and please be respectful to you performers.
I went to Nights of our Lives at UCB tonight. The theme this month was stories about our dads. This made me think of some stories about my dad. Here's one:
Dad is in the hospital after having hernia surgery. I walk into his room.
Me: Hey, Dad.
Dad: Hey, kiddo.
(Silence for ten minutes)
Dad: Hey, you wanna see something cool?
Me: (Hesitantly) Sure.
Dad: They put this epidural in my spine, so if I'm in pain, I can have all the morphine I want. All I have to do is press this button, but I cant do it too often. I just had some before you walked in. Let me see if I can get some more.
(He grabs the button by his bed and presses it. Nothing happens.)
Today I had lunch at Old Town Bar on 18th & park ave south. Then I went to Virgin Megastore and bought Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (not that piece of shit live action film with Jean Claude Van Dam), and then to Duane Reade to get some shampoo.