Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year's Resolution, 2010...Read a book every month.

January: Spock's World, by Diane Duane

I won this book in a White Elephant at the Roving Imp. It's, you guessed right, a Star Trek novel, and the book that launched my book-a-month idea.

This is the first non-fiction book I've finished in approximately 10 years (shameful.) I breezed right through it...Star Trek is fun to read. Some of the references were definitely lost on me, and there was more than a little fanboy pandering, but there was a really interesting narrative of the tribal history of Vulcan woven into the adapted-from-television format. Great literature? Probably not. But a tasty little treat, indeed. I'll have to work some more Star Trek novels into my future reading.

Holy shit...I just wrote a Star Trek blog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

ImpFest

I don't think there is any way this weekend could have been more exceptional. The inaugural ImpFest at the Roving Imp was a great blend of entertainment, learning, and hanging out with people who (despite our geographical proximity) I rarely get to see or work with.

A few highlights:

A breakthrough moment: I had the good fortune of taking one of Jill Bernard's workshops...Fix 'Em Up Shop. Jill has a great capacity for pinpointing what's holding one back as an improviser, and she hit the nail on the head when she told me what I was lacking was belief in myself. I've been looking back at the moments I've felt off onstage lately, and they all have one thing in common--the little "You suck!" voice in the back of my head. My goal this next month is to put that voice in a coma by whatever means necessary (it's funny how improv goals sometimes mirror real-life goals. :) )

Tim Marks: Tim's workshop activity of boiling down a scene to what's really important was an eye-opener, and he created a safe space where I could really take some chances and allow myself to fail...and, of course, as soon as you allow yourself to fail, you won't.

An audience largely made up of improvisers/seeing other people do improv:
There's an unfortunate reality that, as a community and due to concurrent performance schedules, we rarely get to see each others' shows. It was nice to see Spite, Tantrum, Improv-Abilities, Brownies Don't Lie, and Anomaly Orange perform: it was also nice to have these talented people in the audience. There is so much to be gleaned from watching improv as a performer, and I can honestly say I learned at least one thing from each set I saw. (I also enjoyed the crap out of them.) More on that later.

I could honestly kvell all day, and I'll do some more specific blogs in the near future. Short story-I leave the festival feeling significantly closer to improv nirvana. Success!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Improv Goals

At the end of every class at the Roving Imp, we're asked what about our performance that day we would like to work on the next time we're on stage.

My Saturday class goal: To let things simmer before I add the spice.

We're trained to have predator mind, to constantly be on the sidelines waiting to help out and clarify or heighten. The hardest part of this for me is knowing when the best thing to do is wait out a scene or, in some cases, stay the hell out of the soup. Case in point: A brilliant scene involving a kid and his dad discussing the dad's new wife. I immediately entered as the highly juvenile wife, instantly interrupting the action. I was so excited to, first of all, be a part of this scene and, second of all, play a really fun character, that I inadvertently jilted the balance of the scene. Everyone, including myself, could feel the awesome energy shift into weirdness. John's suggestion? Wait it out. This scene will be a lot more fun if you let the people onstage build a relationship before you come in and mess around with stuff, he said. 2 minutes later, I re-entered the scene when the moment seemed right, on a family outing to the zoo, and the character got a huge laugh.

In short, hold your horses. Sometimes the fun is in the build-up.

Monday class goal: Play a very masculine philanthropist.

Weird, overly specific goal, yes. But I've realized most of the men I play are either, A: Southern chauvenists or B: Midwestern chauvenists. My obvious issues with men aside, I need to play men who are good. I know they're out there (I know quite a few of them), and right now, my bag of characters isn't adequately representing humanity. It's simple, really. I won't threaten to hit my wife in any scenes. I won't demand my wife to make me dinner. And I'll play a man whose IQ is above the curve.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Goals

I'm unemployed and basically schedule-less. It's time for me to be my own drill sergeant.



My goals for the next month:


1. Find (and keep) an effing job.

2. Go to the gym at least twice a week.

3. Read a book.


If I write them down, I'll do them!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

6 Months Later

I have returned to the blogosphere! Oh, dear. Are they still calling it that? I've been away quite a while. Several factors have kept me away from this blog... writer's block, lack of consistent computer access, and (mostly) laziness.

Updates...

I quit my job! After 2 1/2 years of self-imposed torture, I got out. With no safety net. Thank goodness for supportive parents and a lot of luck, because I'm still unemployed, 3 months later.

I'm teaching improv! I've started teaching the Beginner's Class at the Roving Imp. It's been a while since I've taught, and this is my first experience teaching an adult class. It's a challenge, but in the two weeks I've been doing it, I've gotten a lot more comfortable and I think it's made me a more attentive performer in general. It's fun to revisit things in lesson plans I may have forgotten about along the way!

I got a puppy! Wrigley is half black lab, half something to be determined, and won't rest until I'm reduced to barefoot status. He's also quite the spooner. :)

I'm going to make an honest effort to keep this thing updated, I promise.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blog

I'm blogging! (More blogs to follow.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Makeout Party

This story came up in a round of "Cocktail Party" the other night at the Roving Imp. Some of you have heard it, some haven't.

Unfortunately, it's true. Here goes:


I was an awkward kid when I became involved in theatre. I didn't have much self confidence (some would argue I had good reasons: 1. I wore skirt suits to school. 2. I had, quite possibly, the nastiest case of chin acne in the entire county. 3. I was known to pound an entire box of Oatmeal Cream Pies in one sitting.)

My first show had just gone into production, and being the new-ish kid, I never expected to be invited into the "cool kids" room at a cast party. But, there I was, beckoned into the sanctuary that was (we'll call him JK)'s bedroom. I sat dorkily on the bed, expecting, I don't know, Truth or Dare (or something crazy like that!), surrounded by about ten of my castmates. In what seemed like a split second, they were all over each other, mouth on mouth, mouth on chest...things you might see illustrated on a piece of greek pottery. I scooted closer to the wall, my mouth betraying my shock. I stared at the popcorn ceiling.

All of a sudden, he was on top of me. We'll call "him" RF. I don't know what came over me, the need to be accepted, trying desperately not to look like a dork, or realizing this was the most action I'd gotten, since, well...since I had tongue-kissed that picture of Greg Brady. I puckered up. I must have looked like one of those twee porcelain figurines of little boys and girls kissing under umbrellas that sit on your grandmother's mantle. RF was having none of that. His tongue almost shattered my teeth. If it had gone any farther down my throat, he could have licked my aorta. I coughed, jerked my head away, and, remembering where I was, turned back to apologize to him. He was already tonsil-deep in JL's mouth.

First rule of the cool kids room? You don't leave the cool kids room, no matter how horrified you are. I bucked up. A few friendly pecks later, I tried to strike up a particularly un-interesting conversation with JL: "So, how do you think the sh..."

And then, SHE LICKED MY FOREHEAD. Hairline to hairline. Like a momma cat.

I spent the rest of the evening on the not-so-cool side of the door.

There are some things even more important than being popular. Like not being covered in your friend's saliva.