JoKyR's Jinglebells

Discussion in 'Journals by Improvisors' started by zgileadson, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Eric Tierney

    A few months ago, I was bitching about being snubbed by a journalist named Eric Tierney. I just found out he died this morning.

    I went to school with this guy. We were both in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. Had I entered the program the year that I enrolled, we would have been in the same classes. As it was, we still did shows together. I even saw him perform last summer in a 24 hour new play festival.

    He was a great performer, and a great guy. He was always very kind to me, and his passion for his work was infectious.

    I'm not sure what the exact circumstances are surrounding his death, yet. I was told that he had been ill for the past month with a viral infection that shut down his liver and affected his brain stem. I just called the paper where he worked, and apparently some people hadn't even known about his illness.

    He had told me that he was planning on reviewing JoKyR and Jesster in September of last year, but never made it to the show. I emailed him afterward, but never heard back from him. Now my mind is reeling, trying to figure out what happened. Had he been sick longer than a month? Was he preoccupied with health issues, or is it just a coincidence? Mainly though, I have to wonder how this could happen. Eric was young. Young people aren't supposed to just get sick and die. Speaking as someone without health insurance nor a flu vaccination, his death is both tragic and terribly unsettling.

    In any case, he'll be missed.
     
  2. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Article on Eric Tierney

    Here's an article on Eric Tierney from The Salt Lake Tribune:


    Actor dies hours after closing of SLC play
    Mortality tale: One of Eric Tierney's lines was, 'None of us may be around next summer'
    By Ellen Fagg
    The Salt Lake Tribune

    Actor and writer Eric Tierney died early Monday, just eight hours after the final performance of "Love! Valour! Compassion!" a play in which he had a starring role. Tierney, who was 26, died of liver failure associated with hepatitis B.
    Tierney performed last week in the first four shows of Wasatch Theatre Company's production at Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center before he fell ill and was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. Director Jerry Rapier, who filled in for Tierney as Perry, one of eight gay New Yorkers in the play, joined about three dozen friends and family members who gathered at LDS Hospital on Sunday evening to say goodbye.
    At the hospital, one line from "Beautiful Dreamer," the song that opens the play's second act, kept running through Rapier's mind: "Gone are the cares of life's busy throng."
    "In theater, you spend such a concentrated period of time together, you become a family," said Rapier, who had invited Tierney to audition for a role in Terrence McNally's play set in the mid-1990s about the AIDS generation. "To be doing a play about paying attention to your life because you don't know when it will end - well, all of these lines came to mean so much all of a sudden. There's a line that Perry says: 'None of us may be around next summer.' "
    Tierney, a graduate of West Jordan High School and the University of Utah's Acting Training Program, wrote an events column, "The Gay Agenda," as well as theater reviews and arts stories for Salt Lake Metro, the biweekly gay and lesbian newspaper. He had performed in local shows, notably the Salt Lake Acting Company's 2002 production of "Big Love," but his current role marked a return to the stage after several years away. "It renewed his passion for acting," said his mother, Lee Ann Tierney, of Butte, Mont., who in a phone interview on Monday recalled the witty name of a play her oldest son had written and performed in during junior high: "A Murder with a Twist of Lemon."
    The oldest of four children, Tierney was the ringleader in the family's parade who enjoyed teasing and prodding his two younger brothers, Chris and Kyler, and sister, Carey. He liked to direct his siblings in acting out a favorite cartoon, "Thundercats," his mother recalled. When his sister interviewed him for a high school paper last year, Tierney said what he wanted to be remembered for was "being good to his family, whom he loved."
    Throughout the day Monday, friends and family remembered the jokes he told in an Irish brogue, or the deadpan delivery that underscored his wicked sense of humor. In the hospital, when friends repeatedly asked the dying man what they could do for him, Tierney found the joke. "Well," he said. "Are you using your liver?"
    That wit was on display even in the song he liked to sing in his rich baritone on karaoke outings, "Mack the Knife," written by Kurt Weill for the 1920s-era "Threepenny Opera," the kind of song you might expect to hear from a 66-year-old, not a 26-year-old.
    "Being 26 years old, he had so much energy and enthusiasm," said Michael Aaron, Tierney's editor at SLMetro. "He was constantly bombarding himself with so many things. He wanted to be in so many different productions, wanted to volunteer, wanted to help all of his friends be bigger and better stars. He was constantly filling his plate up with more and more things to do, then trying to figure out how to get things done."
    He was motivated by Utah voters' passing of Measure 3, the constitutional amendment banning gay marriages, to become more vocal about politics, and was working with two friends on a documentary, "I Can't Believe It's Not Marriage." For a time, he even considered attending law school, but his role in "Love! Valour! Compassion!" rekindled his desire to act.
    "The dude had an unnatural disposition to be natural," said Lane Richins, a longtime friend who attended acting classes with Tierney at the U. "The guy could take a role, and no matter what it was, he could make it seem like a regular person. He would just tear into any role he had, like a wolf on meat."
    He was kind, too, Richins said, recounting one night back in their freshman year, when Tierney had driven all the way from home in West Jordan to a party. Once he arrived, about 2 a.m., he found Richins was drunk, and so he tucked his friend into bed, told him a bedtime yarn, and then drove across the valley to go home.
    Tierney and another friend, Pearce Danner, used to joke about how they planned to grow old together, a pair of crotchety old men bothering the nurses in the retirement home. "He was proficient in things from politics to wine to books to musicals, just everything," Danner said. "He and I could have an argument about something I thought I was well-versed in, and he put me to shame."
    And so early Monday morning, as Tierney's brain was swelling as a result of liver failure, Danner took his turn in the hospital room to sing his farewell, cheesy songs the pair had sung with their friends so many times, songs such as "America," the old Simon and Garfunkel song, and "Thank You for Being a Friend."
    Just another friend, dying too young. Gone are the cares of life's busy throng. "For those of us involved in the play," director Rapier said, "we found some comfort there, that he had found himself again."
    ---
    Contact Ellen Fagg at ellenf@sltrib.com or 801-257-8621. Send comments about this story to livingeditor@sltrib .com.


    Eric Tierney
    1979-2006
     
  3. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Finished!

    As some of you may know, I just finished producing the largest and most important improv event of my career thus far. The event officially ended Saturday night, and I've just barely recovered.

    To sum it all up, Joe Bill and Mark Sutton of BASSPROV fame came to Utah last weekend to teach classes and perform. Now, Utah has had guest instructors fly in before. Jesster was responsible for organizing public workshops from both Ross White and Jason Anfinsen, and the local ComedySportz groups have flown in instructors to teach private sessions. However, with all due respect to those wonderful teachers, this was the first time Utah has ever hosted a name as recognizable as BASSPROV. This was big. And exciting. And a nightmare to produce. If anyone's interested, here's how it happened:

    While I was the main force behind this event, I did have a lot of help. My family was a godsend, and Jesse worked his butt off promoting the workshops to other improvisers. I was also assisted by other members of a group called "The Slapstick Association." You see, we actually started working on this whole thing last September, at the start of the school year at the University of Utah. My status at the University is a very interesting one. I've completed all the actual requirements for a BFA in Theatre, and could actually have the U send me my diploma whenever I want, but I tried for an honors diploma, and my family ran into some bad financial troubles before I completed the extra requirements for the honors program. So, technically, I'm still a non-registered student. As such, I got together with a few friends who are actively registered at the U, and we formed a student group called The Slapstick Association, with the goal of petitioning ASUU (The U's Student Government) for funding to fly Joe Bill in to teach and direct "The Scramble").

    Detour: In February 2005, I had the opportunity to take Joe's Scramble class at the Miami Improv Festival for, get this, a whopping $150. I wasn't able to round up the funds before the class sold out, so I took Sutton and Hallal's "He Said, She Said" class, instead. I loved this class, but I later had a couple more opportunities to take it. I never got another chance to take The Scramble. Jesse, on the other hand, took the Scramble class, loved it, and found it to be an invaluable networking experience. I kicked myself for about a year, and then decided I would make it my goal to find a way to get Joe Bill to SLC, and to let me take the class for free. All this to save 150 bucks.

    Back to the story: We formed the club, and I was named acting Treasurer. We kept the whole thing pretty quiet at the time, because I didn't want to disappoint anyone if it fell through, nor did I want anyone beating us to the punch somehow. We petitioned ASUU and, after several budget meetings listening to liberal arts majors failing miserably at basic math, we received slightly more money than we had expected (although considerably less than what we asked for). This allowed us to expand our plans to include both Joe Bill AND Mark Sutton (which, to be honest, was in the back of my head the whole time), and I was able to secure additional funding from the University Theatre Department to have Mark teach a class for their Actor Training Program.

    All of this happened by the end of 2005. I then had to take a break from the project to move, and because Micki gave birth to our son, Dante Oso Rogan. Oh wait, did I forget to post that, here? Micki gave birth!!! Here's the announcement (Coming Soon):

    [​IMG]

    When I returned to the project in late February, I had to work fast and furiously. Everything seemed to be coming together, though, until Jesse went out of town to Disneyland. And all Hell broke loose.

    Prior to Jesse's departure, we had been told that we had to secure general commercial and liability insurance for the event. Okay, I naively thought, sounds standard boilerplate. So boilerplate, in fact, that the person scheduling all this seemed to assume that we already had an insurance company we worked with, and that they'd be able to help us get what we needed. It sounded so easy. Hahaha. Well, as we began checking into it, we soon found that 1) most insurance companies don't do policies for special events, and 2) it was gonna be significantly more expensive than we thought. We had never had to deal with this before. Ever. And, as we got closer and closer to the event, the various insurance agents we spoke to began to question if we really did actually need this insurance policy. After all, this was an event on the U campus, organized by a U club, and funded by U entities. Shouldn't we be covered by their insurance, already? And, if not, surely we would only need a bond, and not a full grown policy.

    So, with little more than a week to go, I brought these questions to the good folks at the U. Poor Barb Sturgis, who was our contact at the U, was justifiably upset at the last minute nature of said inquiries. But, that was nothing to match the bureaucratic fury of Mr. Jerry Allred from Risk Management, aka level five of the Inferno. Upon first inspection, Mr. Allred determined that our claims may have some merit, and after an hour long phone conversation with Joe Beatty, the Slapstick President, an unfortunate meeting was scheduled the following day at the venue. I call it unfortunate because it was less of a meeting, and more of an announcement that Mr. Allred had changed his mind and by the way you need to change that lightbulb before someone trips and cracks their head on this camera mounting. It took three solid days to convince Mr. Allred otherwise. In the end, though, all was well. Allred showed his sympathetic side, a compromise was reached, and instead of purchasing an expensive insurance policy, we were simply asked to hire two extra personnel at half the cost. Happy day!

    If anyone wants to hear additional anecdotes about this particular infernal debacle, they are available for a gingerale at a smoke free bar.

    And, did I mention that during this whole fiasco I was also told my position at Glendale Middle School would not be renewed next year, as well?

    I'll finish this post when I get home from work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2006
  4. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Finished! part two

    GRRRRR!

    I can't upload the image of Dante onto my web server because the default KYSOff.com email address has been flooded with over 400,000 spam emails. After days of trying to delete them, I haven't yet had any success. In fact, the situation has gotten worse. I tried updating my index.htm file, and lost it completely, so the entire site is down, now. I applied a filter to remove all the spam, but my computer times out every time it attempts to use the filter, which happens automatically every time I try to log into the email system, which means I can't even delete them manually! Now, I have to deal with ezpublishing.com's crap customer service (which has been an endless source of frustration for years, now).

    I'd say I'm thankful that this didn't happen during the BASSPROV event, but something like it actually did happen during the BASSPROV event. Both my KYSOff.com and Jesster's UtahImprov.com were used as primary promotion sites for the event, and they both happen to be hosted by ezpublishing.com. Which means they both crashed unexplicably for a few hours on Friday morning, the first day of the event. Bah.

    Anyway, back to the story. After the Risk Management detour, the event was pretty much on track, and went pretty smoothly. On Wednesday, March 22nd, Jesster and I taught a basic improv fundamentals class to help prep and select the students for Joe Bill's first Scramble class/cast. Only two people had signed up for this class, so I was very nervous about the turn out. (The Daily Utah Chronicle, as is their standard procedure, also goofed up our ad promoting this workshop. Fortunately, they apologized and canceled the fee for the ad, which I was able to apply to the extra personnel fees.) When I arrived, though, I was very pleased to discover that the event had been heavily promoted to the students in the Actor Training Program, and we had a quite decent class size. Not only that, but the students turned out to be extremely fun to work with. I always thought ATP students would make good improvisers -- it was all a matter of getting them to commit the time.

    Jesse, uncharacteristically, was late. He had just returned from Disneyland that day, and had somehow thought the class started thirty minutes later than it did. He seemed more upset about this oversight than I was. The class went swimmingly, and we came up with a very strong cast for Friday's Scramble.

    Thursday, Joe and Mark arrived and we all had a loverly barbecue at Jesse's place. I was very excited for my wife, Micki, to get to hang out with them. She had met Joe a few years ago, but never Mark. And, Jesse and I have certainly talked about them both enough. Plus, they're both genuinely nice guys. I'm sure Micki enjoyed the baby chat with them, too. Joe, of course, recently had his first daughter in January (during the Miami Improv Fest), and (I hope Mark doesn't mind me mentioning it) Mark and his newlywed wife are expecting. The evening concluded with an episode of 24, joyfully viewed on Jesse's new widescreen high def tv.

    By the time Friday rolled around, I was actually starting to relax. I travelled with my Glendale students up to the University for a school presentation of a dance group called Diavolo, which was fantastic. If anyone gets a chance to see them, I highly recommend it. I was only sad that their evening performances would all be at the same time as BASSPROV shows, so I couldn't go see one of their full concerts (even though both shows were on the same campus).

    After the field trip, I sent my students back to school, and remained at the U to take Joe Bill's Scramble class. I had a blast. The cast was simply awesome. And, while Joe threw around numerous improv terms and names that I'm sure 75% of them had never heard before, everyone was incredibly confident and comfortable, and were making really strong choices. Joe's direction was also wonderful. Jesse did an excellent job a few months ago of teaching a four week series on the Scramble, but working with Joe simply couldn't be matched. The Scramble is his baby, and the energy, joy and enthusiasm he brought to the process was incredible.

    To be continued....
     
  5. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Finished! part three

    The Friday evening performance went without a hitch! Jesse and I had a really fun set with Mark as our Armando. Then, The Scramble was a blast! It was probably the most patient Scramble I've ever seen, and the other actors blew me away. All in all, being a part of The Scramble was definitely worth the wait. It would have been worth the $150, too, if Joe had made me pay it.

    To crown the evening, BASSPROV was, as always, incredible. It was a fulfilled dream to finally show a Utah audience this show, and it was well received with a standing ovation.

    After the performance, we went out to the Desert Edge Brewery, and Stacey Gordon and Tommy Cannon arrived in town from Arizona just in time to catch us. It was a real pleasure to have the two of them stay at our home, and I think Micki and Stacey bonded pretty quickly... a mom thing, I guess.

    Saturday morning, the smooth sailing hit rough waters. I arrived at the workshop venue to find our production assistant late and one of our rooms double booked. I'm not sure why, but our assistant seemed to be angry at us when he arrived. It was incredibly flustering. I hope I wasn't overly rude to him, but I honestly don't know what he thought I did wrong, or why he was so frustrated with me. The problem, and the resulting argument, certainly didn't give off the most professional air, but the space was given to us for free, so what can you expect? Fortunately, we found another room for the morning session, and I asked Jesse (being much more intimidating than I) to see if he might be able to handle the situation for the afternoon session -- which he solved incredibly swiftly.

    I was also perturbed Saturday because of what I consider to be a low attendance rate for the classes. We had enough students to meet the financial demands, but I was really hoping to be able to give Joe and Mark significantly more than the minimum I promised them.

    The money wasn't the biggest factor, though. Much more than that, I was really disappointed in the Salt Lake improv community. We had actors come into town from Cedar City, and even Phoenix to attend these classes, and yet we only had a very small turn out from Salt Lake. Zero actors from Laughing Stock attended (other than Jesse and I, of course). Zero actors from ComedySportz Provo attended. A single actor from ComedySportz Salt Lake attended.

    It was really sad. Apalling. Embarrassing. Really embarrassing. I wanted to show Joe and Mark that Salt Lake has a really strong and vibrant improv community, full of actors who are eager for outside perspectives and instruction, but who are doing the absolute best they can with what they've got. An image to take back to Chicago and use to encourage other big name improvisers to travel to Utah, as well. Instead, I showed them an elitist insular community, full of hobbyists and small fish in an even smaller pond.

    Okay, that was harsh. Probably unfair to some. Lord knows Jesse's been on my back about saying things like that. He's expressed concerns that my attitude might alienate me (and him by association) from the rest of the community. The last thing I want to do is hurt his rep. And, I don't wanna piss off a bunch of people, or hurt feelings, either. But, I stand by my point. I was embarrassed. I realize there were a few improvisers that had very pressing commitments and couldn't attend, no matter what. But, those were the minority. Even if it shows people what an arrogant son of a bitch I really am, I have to say that I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people on Saturday.

    What could they possibly be thinking? Here are some guesses.

    I'm a short form improviser. I'm not interested in long form. Then, you're an idiot. Forget the fact that doing only short form will eventually bore you, burn you out, and/or turn you into a brain dead mindless slob. If you think that a short form improviser has nothing to learn from Joe Bill and Mark Sutton, then you're already vegetative. If Kieth Johnstone or Dick Chudnow came to Salt Lake, do you think I'd sit at home licking my balls? Of course not! Especially if they only charged $50. Leading me to...

    Thirty bucks is a lot of money. No. It's not. You cheap ass mother fucker. I'm not saying you're not poor, but you've gotta be starving to convince me that you don't have thirty bucks to spend on this. Take a five minute google search and you'll realize these workshops were the cheapest you'd find anywhere. You make ten bucks every time you do a Laughing Stock show. It doesn't take a genius to realize that if you're a working improviser, you can afford to take a class once in your lifetime. Even if you never get paid a penny for improvising, you should realize the value of these classes.

    Of course, a huge part of the problem is that Jesse and I each taught free long form workshops for years. It devalued the work. I'm through with that bullshit.

    Finally, there's the thought that I'm doing great! I don't need to take a class! Besides, I'm just doing this for fun. Fuck you. Even if you're the greatest improviser in the world, you can get better. And, if you don't constantly strive to improve yourself, then eventually everyone -- including you -- will be bored to tears with how stagnant you've become. It may take you a decade, but it'll happen.

    And second of all, if you're just doing this for fun, then stop taking a check. Stop acting for theatres that charge admission. Stop wasting the time of people who are trying to make this more than just a hobby. Just invite a bunch of friends over to your basement and perform for them.


    Haaaaaahhhhh. Wow. That felt good. I've written a lot of journal entries that I never posted because they were too much like this one. I may even delete this one in the next few days. But, for now, this felt good. I'm sorry if I pissed you off. My frustration is purely professional. If you now want to professionally snub me, that's okay. I've been getting less and less interested in the whole "community" thing, anyway. Utah's improv community is just way too insular. I used to not care about how insular it was, because I understood why it was like that -- a few select assholes spoiling it for everyone -- but I never thought that people would let this get in the way of taking classes from great teachers and improving their skills. I don't want to be part of a community that's like that.

    In any case, don't blame Jesse. He's much nicer than me, and will probably smack me up side the head tomorrow for writing all this. It's late and I'm tired and Micki is yelling at me to come to bed. Goodnight.
     
  6. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Finished! part four

    Good morning.

    I'm back for more.

    After Saturday's workshops, the event came to a very satisfying conclusion. Jesse and I once again did an Armando. This time, it was quite blue. Jesse was pretty upset about how blue it was, actually. So was a local High School teacher who attended -- he seemed to think I was insane that I would even consider promoting this show to High School age students. He honestly seemed terrified at the thought of any of his students attending the show, and a little betrayed that I had convinced him to tell his students about the show. Ho boy. This is a big can of worms. Do I want to open it right now?

    Yes, I do.

    I've actually visited this teacher's class and taught basic long form to his students. It seemed to go very well. Despite our apparent differences in sensibilities, I do have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I've also taught numerous other workshops at other High Schools. And, I've been in close contact with a High School troupe called The Impowitz. And, I also happen to be a Middle School Teacher. So, I understand this teacher's concerns. A lot of students would probably be offended by the average JoKyR and Jesster show. Worse, a lot of parents would be offended.

    But, I also understand how to cover my ass. I sent this teacher several press releases that said very clearly "This show may not be appropriate for all audiences." I had two signs posted in the lobby and box office that read "WARNING: This show is fully improvised. We don't know what is going to happen. This show may contain offensive language and content. Please watch at your own risk." And, any time I've spoken to students or parents, I've always mentioned that the show may be quite offensive.

    So, if the show is so offensive, why did I promote it to students in the first place? First, because I honestly didn't know it would be that offensive. I just knew it could be. Our second scene isn't always about molesting robot babies.

    More than that though, I promoted it to students because I'm not too naive to realize that a large number of them will LOVE the show, and that there are actually quite a few parents out there that DON'T CARE if their kids hear the occaisional "fuck," "cunt," or even "tea bag." As proof, I point to the aforementioned Impowitz, from Jordan High, who on several occaisions have put JoKyR and Jesster to shame in terms of blue content.

    I also tried to reassure Jesse about the quality of our performance. I had a lot of fun during our set. I felt good about it, and while I know it was blue, I didn't feel it was innappropriately or unnecessarily so.

    Jesse and I were actually involved in a very interesting discussion at a recent festival. Someone was amazed to find that we thought a show we had just watched was too offensive. "How could JoKyR and Jesster be offended? At what point does it become too much for you?"

    "When the show is boring," we replied.

    Even the teacher who was shocked at our content still complimented us after our set that it was enjoyable. For me, if a show is intelligent, witty, truthful, dramatic, interesting, or otherwise entertaining, then I don't notice the blue. I believe most theatre afficionados adopt this viewpoint to some extent, as well. The BASSPROV boys often use the word fuck more than Jesse and I did that night, but they rarely come off as being overly offensive because of the high quality of their performances, the intelligence of their words, and the truthfullness of their characters. Only when a show is inane, boring, pointless, or stupid does the blue really become objectionable.

    I think Jesse was also thrown by a comment he heard from an audience member that "Vulgarity is the lowest common denominator." So, what? If something is a common denominator among people, then it's universal. Is there something wrong with dealing with the most basic of human experiences? Mozart was criticized for being base, too.

    When our show is blue, we're not offending people simply for the sake of being offensive. We're not doing it to be funny, either. Our goal is to portray the extremes of the human condition. We want to show dramatic action -- people being affected by the actions of each other. And, if you want to show that kind of intense drama, it is incredibly difficult to do so without being offensive. When people get angry, they cuss. When people fall in love, they make love. When people lose control, then ugly, strange, disgusting, and occasionally beautiful things can happen. How can we be expected to be true to our characters if we are limited to what is appropriate? Real people are generally only appropriate when they have to be.

    Not that we can't do it. We've done non-offensive shows before, and they've been fun. But, they were also very difficult. Anyone who tells you it's easy to create drama without being offensive is either an idiot or a terrible actor.

    AND, last but not least, if you're gonna do a non-offensive show, then you need to start from the beginning. You need to start in an appropriate place and set up appropriate situations. Only then can you safely be true to your characters.

    This did not happen on Saturday night.

    It is no coincidence that some of our most blue performances have been Armandos with Joe and Mark. When Mark steps forward and delivers a monologue about masturbation, we have to be true to him just as much as we have to be true to ourselves. At that point, I think all you can do is have fun. And, believe me, we were true to Mark. I love Mark. :)

    Wow. Two rants in two days. I talk too much.

    I'll finish writing about the performance later.
     
  7. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Finished! part five

    Back again.

    I reread my last post about offensive content, and while it seems like it cheered Jesse up a little, I'm not sure I'm done with the topic. Despite my massively robust verbosity, I left something out. I've often heard the criticism or insinuation that to do an offensive show is lazy. I really take offense to this sentiment. However, with my repeated points about how difficult it is for me to do a non-offensive show, it may seem like I am only averse to it because I don't want to put forth the effort it would require.

    This is only partially true. As I mentioned previously, I can and have put forth this effort, and the results have been satisfying. But, unless I'm forced to do a "family friendly" set, I generally don't see any reason why I should go out of my way to protect the audience's sensibilities. I don't think non-offensive shows are superior to blue ones in any way shape or form. Given the choice of two equally entertaining performances, I can't say I would choose the non-offensive one over the blue one. There is no great artistic achievement for me in controlling content.

    And yet, it takes so much more effort... At least, it takes much more effort if you care about quality. It's easy to do a "clean show" for the kids, and plenty of people will buy it simply because it's for the kids. This is why the Olsen twins are so rich. But, it really takes skill to do a kids show and make it great. This is why Pixar makes so much more money than the Olsen twins.

    But, I'm not interested in just making money. And, I'm not interested in putting obstacles in my way just to prove to myself I can overcome them. It would take a great amount of skill to do a high quality improv show with a bucket of fish chum on my head and an alleycat in my pants. I don't care to try, though.

    But, I bet I could find some jerks who would.

    Okay, enough of the manifesto. I promise I'll get back to my BASSPROV debriefing soon.
     
  8. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Finished! part six

    So, after the JoKyR and Jesster set, there was a second Scramble recital. This time, instead of being University of Utah students, it was improvisers from the community. Once again, it was slightly embarrassing that the "SALT LAKE Scramble" cast had only two actors who didn't live in a different area code. The majority of the actors came from down South in Cedar City. Stacey and Tommy from Phoenix also participated. Regardless of the geographic composition of the cast, though, the show was great. Very impressive. Jesse has already mentioned how many risk management heart attacks I had watching it in the audience, though, after a pattern of knocking over chairs developed.

    And, again, BASSPROV got a standing O.

    After the performance was over and I had double checked that we were in the black, I allowed myself to relax a little and a warm feeling of satisfaction washed over me. We had a couple of the Cedar City boys over to our place for a big spaghetti dinner Micki made, and Micki got to bond more with the Phoenix folks (I think she's now really excited about coming with us to PIF). One of the Cedar City crew that attended happened to be Chris Bodily, the instigator of the chair tossing episode. After several death threats, I managed to compliment him on a strong performance, and he showed us several of his quite awesome flash animations over at http://www.hatrobot.com. I highly recommend you check them out.

    After counting the money again, I think I might have played Monster Rancher. I don't know. I was too tired. I know I managed to get a few hours sleep before helping Joe and Mark check out and driving them to the airport.

    Mission completed. Very happy.

    Overall, the event was a complete failure in terms of displaying Salt Lake's improv prowess, a nominal success in terms of finances, and a triumphant artistic coup. It was also a blast to hang out with Joe and Mark here at home, to see all the Phoenix and Cedar City folks that showed up, and to get to take so many awesome workshops. I'm very very very happy.

    Now, to think about next year.....

    Anyone wanna help? ;)
     
  9. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    PIF and CIF Reports

    So, I'm at CIF. I'm staying with an old friend from college, Leah, who has graciously put me up at the last minute. Last weekend I was in Phoenix, and this has been a crazy turn around for me (especially having just finished BASSPROV), so I was definitely not on the ball getting ready for this one. Thank God for Jesse and his motherly nagging.

    PIF was both beautiful and much more expensive than I was planning. Last year, I didn't bring Micki and the kids, and everyone was asking about them. So, this year, I made sure to travel with them. Micki was very excited, actually, since she got to bond a little with Stacey, and therefore knew she wouldn't be the only mother at the festival. So, we rented a minivan and brought Micki's youngest sister, Denise, along for help babysitting. We did a lot of price checking for van rentals, which didn't help, because the fees were not explained well to us, at all. I don't know how other rental companies work, but I'm not gonna go through "Dollar" car rentals again, since the actual price tag ended up being over 150 dollars more than what we were first quoted. Had we known more about how the fees worked, we wouldn't have purchased as much insurance as we did, and could've avoided much of the problem.

    In the end, we decided that this trip was our family's big fun expensive vacation, and we stopped worrying too much about how much it was costing. Instead, I worried about how the hell we were supposed to get to Phoenix. Why is Phoenix so FUCKING difficult to get to??? It's a big city. Bigger, I understand, than Salt Lake. And, it's out in a desert in the middle of nowhere. Are there really such insurmountable obstacles that there can't be a single major interstate built all the way between Salt Lake and Phoenix, or even Las Vegas and Phoenix for that matter, without going over Hoover Dam or through some treacherous mountain pass? GRRRRRR....

    So, as with most of our family road trips, I ended up driving all 13 hours myself. I tried sleeping all day Thursday, so I'd be awake for this venture, and had nominal success. Ultimately, I had to sing showtunes all the way there to avoid being drowsy. My throat was a little tired when we finally arrived at 3pm.

    Despite the trials it took to reach Phoenix, I'm very fond of the city. I don't think I could ever live there, but I always consider it when I visit. One particular reason is their total lack of daylight savings time. Hurray! It was particularly useful to gain an hour on our way, since I had to perform late that night.

    When we got to the hotel and checked in, I thought it might be relaxing or invigorating or something to go swimming with the family. This was wonderfull fun, but ended up draining me even more. So, I was pretty wasted by the time I got to tech.

    Jesse and the rest of the Hook wouldn't be flying in for a few more hours (I'm not sure they had even left, yet), so I had to tech our show alone. But, our tech time was combined with Men in Shirts and our joint project "Hemi and the Buzz." (WOOT!) I mentioned to Cliff and Chuck that Jesse and I were thinking of doing a Bat. I've always loved the form, and we had both just taken a Bat workshop with Joe Bill, so I was pretty excited about the idea (and I'm not ashamed to say it was... *ahem... my idea *wink). C and C also seemed to like the idea, although as we started mentioning it to others, the reaction was not too positive. I was really happy and impressed that we all decided to do it anyway, despite the hesitancy the idea was met with by others at the festival. As Jesse already mentioned in his journal, we had a really fun time with this form.

    Speaking of Jesster's Junk, Jesse has already done a wonderful job of reporting on all the cool goings on at PIF. I'll try not to be redundant. That shouldn't be too hard, since I honestly don't remember much of what I saw. I was just too damn tired. I remember Stacey Gordan riding the entire cast of Apollo 12 as a horse, Bob Fisher being awesome, and Cliff attempting to strike the set by himself (using his body as a wrecking ball) during the closing Men in Shirts set, but that's about it. As is explained below, I didn't get a good night's sleep until Saturday, and even when I was wide awake, I was often sharing parenting duties to keep our kids from screaming during the shows. So, let me just say that PIF is still firmly my favorite improv festival for all the wonderful reasons I mentioned last year. Everyone there is so wonderful, and it feels a great deal like coming home to family.

    In fact, Friday night we especially felt the family support when Micki began having intense pains in her stomach and lower back. It was worse than childbirth, and she was crumpled over in tears for several hours. We called her mother, who is a nurse, and she said it might possibly be her appendix, so we called 911. This alerted the front desk, who alerted Bill Binder, and soon the entire festival staff seemed to be flocking to our room to see how they could help -- all at about 4:30am. It turned out to be kidney stones -- very painful but nothing life threatening. After things had settled down, we felt bad about disrupting everyone so late at night, but it was really touching to feel all the love and support.

    And, thank goodness Denise was with us. We were able to leave Patience with her, and just take Dante with us to the nearby hospital. By the time we got to the ER, Micki was already starting to feel better. Still, we were there for hours. I eventually had to leave to teach with Jesse, and Micki had to stay and wait for the results of her CT scan. Eventually, they just told her to leave, too, and call back. Thus, armed with a Percoset prescription, Micki was able to take the kids to a park and enjoy the rest of the vacation.

    WARNING: GEEK ALERT!!!

    Later that day, I got to run off and attend the latest Magic: the Gathering prerelease (Dissension, for you gamers). I haven't missed a prerelease in years, so I went even though I only had a few hours. I thought I'd have to drop out of whatever tourney I entered, but all the individual flights had already started. I couldn't find any teammates for an official team flight, either, so I signed up to draft.... and I kicked ass! I'm not sure why I don't just draft at every prerelease. It's cheaper, you get better cards than a sealed flight (though a few less, and not as wide a variety), and it's faster. The only downside is that you don't get the foil prerelease card. I was very lucky, since I opened the new RB Dual Land in my first pack (a $20 card), and then was passed a buttload of awesome Rakdos (the new RB guild) cards from the person on my right. It was tight, but I quickly drew for first place, won four packs, and traded the dual land for the foil prerelease promo card plus some! All in time to make my rehearsal call for the Hook! I was floating on air the rest of the day. Definitely a highlight of my trip.
     
  10. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    PIF and CIF Reports part two

    Phew! Sorry for geeking out so severely. I just get too excited. All day after that tournament I was walking up to people and saying, "Ask me how I did at the Magic tournament!"

    I could write more about the Dance Dance Revolution party (look for hilarious video soon!), or the not one but two members of the Hook realizing they had lost their wallets on the way to the airport to go home (and crashing a huge pile of flats backstage during Great Adventure's set while looking for them), or the awesomely extraordinary PIF coloring books (I'm in a coloring book!!! My daughter is scribbling yellow crayon on MY face!), or running into someone who was reading Bob Bedore's book (he actually thought I didn't like the guy because he was too Mormon! ...not because of his backstabbing lack of ethics, or because he's been blacklisted for plagiarism...) but I've already been too verbose. To sum up PIF, I had a wonderful time. The weather was gorgeous, as always. Tommy Cannon was as happy as a school girl that he got to experience snow while he was in Salt Lake last month, and I felt good that he was able to enjoy it, but I was thrilled to be able to just walk outside in a tee shrt! Despite the medical concerns, the lack of sleep, and other difficulties, this was a wonderful experience. Thank you so much Bill, Jose, Stacey, Todd, Darin, Tommy, Shane, and everyone else too numerous to name* in Phoenix. You've made us part of something very special, and we're very honored, humbled, and glad you did!

    Before I move on to CIF, though, I just wanted to comment just a little on our JoKyR and Jesster performance at PIF. Jesster mentioned that we both felt a little lukewarm about it. As I recall, I felt considerably more luke than he did. But, I was exhausted, and I blame much of my brooding on the simple lack of sleep. As time went by, I began to remember how much fun I actually had in the set, and I felt better about it. As Jesse mentioned, we said we were gonna go blue, and we did. So blue, in fact, that I think we chickened out a little toward the end of some of the scenes, and cut them off too soon without a satisfying ending. I believe this is where most of my trouble with the set lies. But, I had a blast, I loved performing with Jesse in the other three sets we did at PIF, and I am once again looking forward with great anticipation to performing with him tonight at CIF.

    Speaking of which, I'd better rap this up fast so I can get to my tech rehearsal. Last night, I saw an improvised 1930s horror movie, an improvised Kabuki play, a group called "Let Them Hoes Fight," and a group of pimps collecting money for a battered women's shelter. Only in Chicago! I'll be back later with more CIF thoughts, both specific (man, Jonathan Pitts looks more and more like George Lucas every year) and general (how awesome is having all the stages at a single venue! Finally!!!), later.

    Oh, and be sure to ask me about my BFA!

    *If I left your name out, I apologize profusely. Yes, I remember you, and yes you're awesome. If you'd like to send me a sufficiently bitchy email, I promise I'll edit your name in. ;)
     
  11. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Edit

    Edit: Thanks to Mack from PIF, too! :)
     
  12. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    PIF and CIF Reports part three

    Finally getting around to finishing up these reports. It's been awhile since I got home from CIF. The whole experience this weekend was close to a blur. It was very bizarre for me.

    I started attending CIF in 2000, the third year of the festival. At that point, I was just a student, but it was a HUGE deal for me. I brought my troupe, Knock Your Socks Off, and we all crammed into tiny little rooms at the Days Inn Gold Coast. We got very little sleep. We stayed up and watched the entire "Improv till Dawn," did team building games, took the weekend workshops, showed up to the Friday forum wearing matching yellow tee shirts, snuck off to the iO to see their Harold show, and even rehearsed in the middle of the night. It was crazy.

    The experience was similar the next year for CIF 4... Except bigger hotel rooms, and an even longer stay in the Windy City. We had a whole week of Chicago Improv.

    Then, in 2002, KYSOff was accepted to perform at the CIF Showcase. Awesome. This was the pinnacle of CIF student trips. Insane. We took a huge cast, and once again crammed into the Days Inn. This was the first time I traveled to a festival with Jesster. We had a lot of fun. YesAND.com did a profile on us, and I got to be part of a festival roundtable. The mainstage performance went very well, and we even got a really warm review from ImprovReview.com. (We performed during the same block as KPR's new group, The Impatients.) To close out the weekend, I even hired Mr. Mick Napier to do a private coaching session with us (which later got us in a little trouble with Mr. Jonathan "Implied-Non-Compete-Clause" Pitts). This trip blew my mind. It totally redefined the way I look at improv. I've been telling people I started improv in 1996, when I founded KYSOff, but it really wasn't until this trip that my current views on the art started to take shape. For weeks afterward, my head was spinning, and I will always look back at this time as a profound turning point in my career and life. Ironically, my theatre complex and the performance troupe of KYSOff closed less than a year later.

    While my own art and spirit changed profoundly at CIF 5, I wasn't ready to do much with those changes, yet. I was finishing up my degree at the U of U (don't forget to ask about my BFA!), involved in an acting internship at Pioneer Theatre Company, and my family was going through some terrible financial issues. KYSOff's performance troupe (which was on its last leg) did not get accepted to perform at CIF 6, but even if it had, I would not have been able to go. Jesster went, but I stayed home to play an immigrant in the first three minutes of Ragtime, and to knock up my wife.

    About seven months later, KYSOff was officially on hiatus of all activities, JoKyR and Jesster had premiered, Micki was VERY pregnant, and my father had a major stroke. It was right after he went into the first of several brain surgeries, an hour after he first hit the floor, that I got the call from Jesster telling me that JnJ was accepted for the Duo venue at CIF 7. This was to be the second national festival that JoKyR and Jesster would perform at. It went very well. In fact, only recently has Jesse stopped using the tape from CIF 7 for our submissions. I brought Micki and newborn Patience (this was her second festival, too -- she came with us to PIF 3, as well), and we stayed at a friend's place from college. I attended the weekend workshops, where I worked with Dave Razowsky and Mark Sutton for the first time. This was also the first time I ever saw BASSPROV (Dan Castelaneta filled in for injured guest stars Barbara Harris and Mina Colb at the last minute in what was supposed to be a Mother's Day performance). Overall, a very intense trip.

    The next year, JnJ's invitation to CIF was not repeated. I was livid, and Jesster said I was acting like a jilted lover (because we would have had to turn down an invitation, anyway). But, we had a very eventful year, and attended a whopping 10 festivals (as well as producing several local showcases).

    And now, that brings us to the current year. 2006 is JnJ's third year of touring nationally. Jesster claims we're in the middle of some kind of five year plan -- we're at the point where we're breaking even and even making a tiny bit of profit on about half of our festival gigs (though, still operating at a substantial loss, overall). We've developed friendships and professional relationships with artists that we've admired for years -- Joe Bill, Mark Sutton, Asaf Ronen, Zach Ward, Jill Bernard, Shaun Landry, etc.. We're now receiving recognition as both national level performers and teachers. Part of that recognition, I believe, was this year's invitation to open for the Annoyance (in many ways our idols) at CIF 9.

    Wow. What an opportunity!!! And, I think we took good advantage of it. We had a blast. JoKyR and Jesster are now in a place that I couldn't have even imagined three years ago. Back then, I just wanted to not suck. Now, not only are we comfortable and confident with our ability to put on a good show, but we've discovered our own style. We're not just a long form improv duo. We're JoKyR and Jesster. Saying our name now means something more than just "long form improv." More, even, than "good long form improv" (though, I hope it still does mean that). It carries implications about what you'll see at our show. Stuff that has just happened... or been revealed as we've grown as artists and discovered who we really are as performers. When someone asks me what our show is like, I can answer that now. I have vocabulary -- dark, high energy, we bring our personal shit on stage with us. This is partly the reason we were paired with the Annoyance -- because stylistically we mesh well with them. I love it. I love every minute of it. And, I love performing with Jesse.

    So, I think our show went well. Although, I'm surprised they let us out alive with the content of some of the scenes.... ;)

    To be continued....
     
  13. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    PIF and CIF Reports part four

    Back to why this year's festival was strange for me. This was one of our "rock star" trips for me. In other words, because of my work schedule and flight itinerary, I only had time to fly in, do the show, and fly out. No time for workshops, or anything else, really. This resulted in many firsts for me:

    This was the first time I didn't sign up for the CIF Weekend Workshops. (Granted, if I had more time, I would have taken the pro series instead of the Weekend Workshops, but I didn't have time for either.) I always feel guilty if I don't take classes at a festival.

    This was the first time I didn't see a show outside the festival at CIF. I only had a little extra time to see shows, and it was simply too tempting to stay at the Atheneum, with all the CIF venues in one spot.

    This was the first time I stayed for less than a full weekend. In the past, I've always flown in Thursday or earlier, and stayed through Sunday or Monday.

    This was the first time I traveled to Chicago without Micki. This was the hardest part for me. She was there from the beginning -- always there to see my show, and often taking classes with me. We always found the time to do a little sight seeing, or even just have lunch at the Clark Observatory. Sigh. But, it was okay. We had just traveled together to PIF, which was plenty expensive and family-vacationy for us all.

    So, yeah, it went well. Despite the guilt, I do enjoy the rock start trips. They're definitely the easiest on the pocket book. And, despite not being able to take classes, I did still get to hang out a little with the festival crowds, Jady... and my old college classmate, Leah. Of course, I have to apologize to all those I didn't get to see, like Austin Nava from NC, or Lloyd and Marilyn (also college classmates). I was sad that we didn't meet up, even for just a few minutes.

    To close, here are some final thoughts on CIF 9:

    FUCK YOU LOCAL CHICAGO MEDIA!!!! No matter what the paper says, Screwbuki was AWESOME, and Imp is improvised CLOWN, not MIME! (AND WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH MIME, ANYWAY? IMP IS AMAZING!)

    The Josh and Tamra show was the big highlight of the shows I got to see on the second night. Simply incredible. And, their website is a great inspiration for me, too.

    I have a LOT of reading to catch up on. Asaf's book, Charna's new book, finish Peter Gwin's book, Guru, both the musical improv books. Ho boy. And, today some kind soul gave me a free copy of Fahrenheit 451. Oh well, I've been playing too much Final Fantasy VII, anyway.

    Adios Windy City! Much love!
     
  14. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    My BFA!

    Okay, okay. I just have to include this. I've been really busy lately with the end of the school year fast approaching, tying up the loose ends from the BASSPROV event (I think everyone has now finally been paid), getting the ball rolling for next year's events, and figuring out exactly where my paychecks will be coming from next year. So, I'll be brief.

    I'm now a college graduate!

    I didn't exactly do anything special, as of late, to achieve this designation, but I'm still quite excited. I actually finished all my classwork and degree requirements way back in 2003 (in fact, I walked through promotion with my Actor Training Program class). But, at the time I was enrolled in the U's Honor Program. I basically had two thesis papers I needed to finish (one on Futuristic Dystopia films, and the second on improv), and some according credits I needed to pay for, in order to get the word "Honors" tacked onto my BFA in Theatre (dual emphasis in Acting and Theatre Education, minor in Anthropology Education). Unfortunately, right at that time the shit hit the fan in my personal life, and I had to unexpectedly enter the job market. All my academic aspirations got put on hold indefinetely.

    Until this year. I finally got the financial requirements for my degree sorted out. So, I had a decision to make -- spend more money and take the time to try to finish the Honors Program requirements (with an ultimatum deadline fast approaching), or bite the bullet and tell them to send me my degree. Technically still being a student did prove to be usefull when I produced BASSPROV at the U, but I ultimately decided it was silly to go this long without my BFA. So, on the day I left for CIF, I called the Graduation Division, said "Screw it!" and they sent me a very pretty piece of paper... that has absolutely zero effect on my current paycheck.

    So, officially, I am now B Joe Rogan, BFA. (Brogan Grogan Rogan is my legal name, Joseph Kyle Rogan is my stage name, and B Joe Rogan is on all my school records. Weird.)

    Surprisingly, this event has had some pretty unexpected influences on my current state of being.

    First, I'm a lot happier about the whole situation than I thought I'd be. I mean really, I thought I would feel like a failure. I really wanted that Honors Degree. I tried for an Honors Diploma in High School, and missed it because of a technicality with the submission deadline. When I got to college, it seemed like a second chance. Plus, I found out that only one other Theatre Major had ever achieved a full Honors Diploma -- the unnamed High School teacher from my above BASSPROV rant about offensive content in improv. As mentioned before, I really look up to this guy (even though he wasn't MY drama teacher), and I think some part of me feels very inferior to him and desperately wants to be on the same level as he is... or at least impress the guy. So, having once again failed in an attempt to achieve an honors degree, I expected to feel guilty, and be angry at myself.

    Maybe I'm deluding myself into thinking that someday I'll get a third chance at the word "Honors" next to an MFA or something. Or, maybe I'm just proud of what I DID accomplish -- aim for the stars and hit Mars sort of thing. I don't know. I think a big part of it is knowing that I've now surpassed... ugh... Mr. Bob Bedore's level of education. There's been a nagging thought in the back of my mind for the past three years telling me that I don't want to end up like Bedore -- dropping out of college to simultaneously pursue a family and local acting career, getting stuck in neutral... and eventually breaking from reality and damaging both.

    Now, it seems like I have something more to show of my life. This degree is kind of an ensign that my life isn't necessarily going down the drain. And now... am I starting to pity Bedore? The man who used to make me shake with rage? The guy who has done so much damage to the Utah improv community? The inspiration for countless entries in this very blog, which I never published because they were so inflamed, but which might give you, dear reader, at least an inkling of what the heck I'm talking about, and why this is a major cathartic moment for me?

    Eh. Maybe. So what. Feeling bad for him doesn't take him off my (or any other sensible person's) blacklist. And, it certainly doesn't make me feel better when some naive little lima bean* who thinks they know the whole story rushes to his defense when someone calls him on one of his misdeeds. Anyway, I think I'm finally starting the process of letting go. But, carefully. I still have a lot of distrust for people that have continued to work with him, but it does finally seem like his influences on the Utah improv community are becoming less and less relevant.

    Wow. I really didn't intend to get into all this. I just wanted to talk about my BFA, and now I'm unloading all my personal baggage about our local improv community. But, I suppose the timing is apropo. I mean, after the BASSPROV event, I kinda detached from the locals for at least a month. Now, I'm starting to become involved again. I'm actively pursuing a deeper involvement at the local short form venue, The Off Broadway Theatre (OBT),** and I'm working on drumming up more community participation in future large scale improv events. I am, however, WAY BEHIND on my "biweekly" (hah!) colum over at UtahImprov.com. Part of it was my emotional detatchment from the local community, but part has been another unexpected side effect of the BFA: a sudden onset of sloth and laziness.

    This is the first time, for as long as I can ever remember, that I don't have some immediate academic goal to look forward to. I don't have a thesis paper hanging over my head. I don't have another school year to look forward to in August. Nothing for as far as I can see. And so, I feel a little lost. I haven't been actively working on either of the thesis papers since 2003, but I knew they were there. I could always tell myself, "you know, self, unless you've got something more pressing to do, you could always be working on one of those papers," and so I would usually find something important or pressing to do. It was a motivator. It was a source of my personal drive. And, now, I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to find a substitute for that.

    I hope I won't get myself into terrible trouble just to give myself something to wriggle my way out of. (Speaking of which... I've got some sales tax forms I'm behind on....)

    I know that I eventually want to go to grad school. And soon. I already feel too much like a character in Avenue Q (what am I supposed to do with a BFA in theatre?), and I cry (deeply and terribly inside) when I hear those puppets sing about going back to college. I want to go to grad school before I start getting really self conscious about my age. But, at the same time, I recognize that there is great value in what I'm doing now. I'm a working, professional improviser, who is attaining a level of prominence that many theatre students will never experience. And, I'm able to do this while still taking care of my family. So, I think, for now, I'm okay with where I'm at academically. I have a few more things I need to accomplish before I start applying for Masters programs. I just can't let myself become too safe and situated. I need to stay on my feet. I need to kick myself in the pants. I need to start looking at once again rounding out myself as a full theatrical artist instead of concentrating entirely on myself as an improviser. And, I need to get writing that article for UI.com!

    Excuse me, I've got work to do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2006
  15. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Footnotes

    Here are the footnotes I forgot to include from yesterday's post. oops.


    * I've been reading Max Bialystock's blog, The Producer. I like it. I'm excited to read more, though I hope this person isn't pulling our collective leg, won't crap out on us, and will actually start writing some practical advice, rather than just anecdotes from his/her sexual escapades. In any case, I may just start refering to improvisers as lima beans in my daily life. :)

    ** I really need work on my short form. I'm nowhere near as kick ass as I feel I need to be. I went an entire show on Saturday with only a single step out game joke. And, it was about strangling my little sister with a wire coat hanger. Not my best moment. Time to go to the gym.
     
  16. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    Random Thoughts

    Hurray! Max Bialystock has updated his journal! I particularly enjoyed this post because I finished my latest article for UI.com and it just so happens to be on a similar topic. I'd give a link, but Jesse hasn't posted it, yet.... I'm not sure why. I sent it to him way back on May 29. Maybe he was waiting for today, the first Monday of the month... Or maybe he's punishing me because I don't have our hotel arrangements sorted out for this weekend's trip to Lowell, MA. (I've almost got it, I swear!) Or, maybe he just hates me. :mope:

    One final thought:

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13126262/site/newsweek/

    I don't support our troops. If they sold magnetic ribbons for cars that said so, and I had better car insurance, I'd proudly display one.
     
  17. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

  18. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    :blush:

    Wow. I'm really blushing right now. I really love this person's blog. The Producer is obviously someone we can learn a buttload from, and I'm totally flattered that s/he would even take notice of my silly little column. Thanks for the kind words, Max!

    :blush:

    On a lighter note, I nearly burst a blood vessel in Jesse's eye, yesterday, when I put a kink in our travel plans for this weekend. Fortunately, I worked it out and narrowly averted a full Jesster explosion. In the end, I think it only wound up costing him $100. Another hour, though, and I think he might have plowed through my house with a 12 guage... or bitten the heads off my pets or something.

    I love this guy. :loopy:
     
  19. zgileadson

    zgileadson New Member

    So Much to Say, So Little Time

    I'm sitting in the Public Library watching the "minutes remaining" count down on a public computer. Nine to go. I know I won't finish this post in time.

    I've stopped hear briefly on my way to the Off Broadway Theatre to teach my first Laughing Stock Short Form Improv class ever.

    Pause.

    Eight minutes left.

    I'm crazy. I'm freaked out. I shouldn't be doing this. But I am.

    I just wanted to record my thoughts at this moment, because this is gonna be a very bizarre experience. Right now, I'm not the most comfortable person in the world with Short Form. I'm a full member of Laughing Stock, the OBT's resident Troupe, but I've only been so for less than a year. I'm not one of the most trusted performers in the organization, nor do I feel as comfortable performing at OBT as I would like. When I've been on stage at the OBT lately, I've often felt very self-conscious and judgemental of my work.

    And now, they've hired me to teach their class.

    I mean, I've taught short form before... a lot, actually. But, it's generally been for my own organizations. This is gonna be bizarre. I've created all the curriculum and lesson plans and everything, but I'm still not 100% sure of how, exactly, I'm gonna approach this class.

    We'll just have to see how it goes.

    I can do this.

    I'm an incredibly experienced improviser and teacher.

    I'm planning on writing a book, for fuck's sake!

    ...

    2 minutes.

    ...

    I'll let you know how it goes. :)
     

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