Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nervous for no reason

So I did it! I'm a performer on the I.O. stage. Last night was my first official show at the theater and it was great! To start off I was really nervous, but not of being on stage or because of it being the comedy club that it is. I was nervous because of my lack of confidence in my team. I knew that individually they are funny, but we've had major scheduling conflicts. The group had only met sporadically and there was one guy that I had never even rehearsed with. I spent the last week imagining the worst... We'd have bad onstage chemisty, some jerkpod on my team wouldn't shut up and would showboat every scene or we wouldn't get a single laugh throughout the whole show or worst off I'd follow Corey's lead and not just hurt my ankle, but fall on my face and break my nose which would be lovely for the wedding. It's weird too, because I usually don't think this way about shows. My tummy may get a little jittery right before I go up on stage, but then I'm fine. Anyways, my lack of confidence was clearly getting to me.

The shows started, we sat around and watched the first team perform. At this point I was actually enjoying myself. I had calmed down and figured, whatever was going to happen would happen. I was just going to have fun. Well, it paid off. We had a great opening, (for the first time), really solid, funny scenes and I was even pimped into rapping about being a virgin. It felt really great and I was totally comfortable with my teammates.
The only weird part of the night was during the dream sequence. Basically an audience volunteer tells us about their day in detail. Taking the idea that what happens during the day comes alive in your sleep, both teams make a dream like scene out of it. The jerkpod that told us about his day was clearly drunk and was clearly trying to be funny. As he was explaining his supposed day, he managed to be offensive to African-Americans, Mexicans, Asians, the military, women, mothers, blowup dolls, people that get high and overall the human race. In the end we made it work by tactfully making fun of his ignorance. It was hilarious.
It was a great night to remember. I can't wait for the next show in two weeks.



Don't forget to get your $.49 hamboogies and $.59 cheeseboogies from McDonalds today. They're all natural and freshly made from scratch the minute you order them. Don't you remember when the special was $.39 and $.29? Those were the days, those were the days.

Hamboogie Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Finally some rest

We finally got a little rest this weekend. The past week was another non-stop, back to back schedule. For the last few months, we are constantly on the run. I literally had somewhere to go every night of the week after work. We usually meet somewhere at an El stop so that we can either rush to a quick meal or try to enjoy the half hour ride we get together before going separate ways for the evening. Though it was busy, last week we were both pretty lucky, because we didn't just have rehearsals and (for me) hair appointments, but we each had three nights worth of shows.

The thing I don't get is why we do this to ourselves. We're both exhausted, the apartment is a mess and we're broke because, of course, after shows you have to go out to hang with the group, not to mention just the money we spend on rehearsing. I don't know about Corey, but I've been this way my entire life. Since I was a kid I was constantly on the go and just had to be where the excitement was. What am I going to miss? I don't know, but I'm going to stay awake to find out. Once I actually stop for a while, I get antsy, bored and lazy. I can't remember the last time I went to bed before midnight (or usually closer to 1am). It wouldn't be such a big deal if I didn't have to get up 5 1/2 or 6 hours later and try to keep my eyeballs alert at my wonderful office job (Yey, that suits me well).

Anyways, this weekend was great. After a 3am dinner at Garcia's mexican with a drunk Tyler, Garrett and Corey I got to sleep in on Saturday, kind of. I forgot about the cable guy coming over, so I was jolted awake at 10am. Still, 10am, not bad. My Saturday consisted of lounging around and taking two hour naps on and off throughout the day. It was awesome. Corey and I just couldn't figure out why we were so groggy. Well, Saturday was also the day we learned how addicted we are to caffine. After running a few errands, we stopped off at Joey's Brickhouse for coffee around 4pm. Literally within 1/2 a cup, Corey was a different person, alert, awake and back to his witty self. We ended the night with a Franchise show, karaoke and drinking till 3am. I'll post pictures later. It was good times, though I missed Josh's rendition of "Kiss" by Prince.

Though we had rehearsal Sunday, we were able to spend the rest of that evening relaxing and watching the first movie we've seen in months, "Sideways". Loved it ! Yesterday we even got to do the same after work. We made dinner and then did nothing all night, well, except lose 3 hours of our life in an oblivion called "The Aviator." Not horrible, but dear God, I'll never get that part of my life back.

So now we're back to "normal" life. Shows for both tonight, rehearsal tomorrow and shows throughout the weekend, work during the day, work at night at "my salon"... oh yeah and plan a wedding somewhere in between. Hey, this is what we moved here for, right? As tired as I am sometimes, I wouldn't change it. This is the life that works for us, though I am looking forward to our half-assed hiatus coming up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

You always remember your first...

Move to Chicago...check. Take classes at IO...check. Audition for the incubator program at The Playground...check. Perform long-form improv in Chicago...check. Complete IO training and have a run of student shows...check. Get cast on a team at IO...check. Start performing on the IO mainstage...check.

There are more goals yet to achieve, however last night marked the chance to check one of my main ones off the list. My IO team, Mr. Nice Guy, had it's debut. Before I go into any details, let me just say that it was a blast! The show went remarkably well. For a first ever show for a group that has never performed together before it was great. Take away all the caveats, and it was still pretty good. I'd grade it at least a B.

The night was pretty surreal. There we were all congregating in the bar before the show, 9 people with enough nervous energy to power a city. I was nervous, but mostly anxious to hit the stage. I was in a pretty good frame of mind, and for that I have to thank my lovely fiancee. There were errands to run and things to do earlier in the evening, but Mo made me say to hell with all that, tonight we relax before the show and I could get whatever I wanted for us for dinner. Of course I chose Chicago style deep dish pizza. Monique still hasn't totally gotten on board for this delicacy, but I think she's coming around. Regardless, pizza in my belly and relaxing on the couch was way better than running around town.

Pre-show warmups were commenced with and we got fired up as a team, expecting to take the stage first. We find out during, however that we're actually up second. Dammit! Now we have to wait 25 minutes or so before going on. OK, no problem. Get some water, enjoy the first show. I can't say that I remember anything that they did.

As we line up to go on, the excitement is in everyone's eyes and body language. The host announces our team and we hit the stage. One of the guys on the team has a bunch of family there, so we've got a great crowd. They're excited, on our side, and larger than a normal Tuesday night crowd. Great energy in the room. A suggestion is obtained and we hit our opening with complete energy and focus. It was the best opening I've ever been a part of, too. If you don't know, I normally cannot stand long-form improv openings. I think that they're typically the most pointless, gayballs, dumbassed things ever. This one worked, though. We were all on board, supporting the shit out of each other. The mood of the opening would crescendo, then decendo, then climb back up again, ending on a high note with great excitement and performers literally hanging from the rafters. The crowd erupts in applause as we scatter to the sides of the stage. Applause? OK, this is going to be fun.

The first few scenes are good. Nothing phenomenal, but solid nonetheless. In my first scene, to mask my nervousness I go to my fallback: object work. I get my first big laugh of the night, now I'm feeling it. The show goes along, scenes progress, games played, everyones supporting and setting each other up. I don't really want to get into specifics because I don't think it translates too well here. Just suffice to say, the pace was great, the support was tremendous, and the scenes solid.

The only kind of downer of the night came during the last beat of the show. I'm leaving a scene when I step awkwardly on the edge of the stage where there's a short little step down and roll my ankle. It's not bad, in fact today the swelling is almost completely gone, it just caused me to hang to the side after our show, and not really participate in the Dream. That's a scene that's played between the teams sets, utilizing all the players of all the teams playing, based on an audience member's info. I was really looking forward to that, but the ankle was killing me, so I didn't get in this time. No big deal, I'll be in there next show I promise.

So that's about it. Our coach had some great notes for things to work on in future shows, but generally gave us positive comments about the show. We went down the street for some post-show beers and to reminisce about the show that had just taken place. Overall, it was a lot of fun, left me feeling like I can't wait to do our next show, and made me proud of myself. And that's a feat I can't say I've felt much, in some other shows and auditions lately.

- Corey


OK, see the little "About" section in the top right of this page? It's small, I know, but there's an important aspect that you probably didn't realize. Re-read how it ends. That's right, "jerkpod". You won't find that in any dictionary, no sirree. No, Monique made up that word. And this post is simply to document that fact.

Currently, there are only a few references with that word, all stemming from Monique, mostly on our friend Pete's blog or various improv online bulletin boards. It's a noun meaning "annoying person; idiot; rude person or ass-munch." The idea is that it's the jerk of the new millenium. More high-tech, if you will. This doesn't mean the person you're calling jerkpod has to be high-tech, it's just the more modern word. Like "i-pod".

Anyway, Monique's plan is to get that word spread around such that it becomes commonplace in our American lexicon. Ideally, it will eventually show up in movies and television. One day, we may even see "jerkpod" translated into Spanish, French, Russian, and numerous other languages. That's where we need your help. Use the word. Don't make a big deal over it, just use it in your everyday language so that others hear it, and hear it used as casually as a word like "the", "house", or "molasses". Then they'll use it, and so on and so on, down the line, continually. Sort of the linguisitic version of Kevin Spacey in our own little vocabularic 'Pay it Forward'. Only with less burn scars. Then, when "jerkpod" takes off like words such as "bling" and "phat" you'll know exactly where the phenomenon began.

So get on it and start using the word, jerkpod!

- Corey

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Simpsons vs Family Guy

Is The Family Guy just a clone of The Simpsons? Clearly they are both hilarious, but are they too similar? Check this out. Yeah, they're alike, but so is Everybody Loves Raymond vs any other family, situation comedy or ER vs another medical drama. Ok, so these aren't the most specific examples, but the point is when you're working in a particular genre and media as another show, there's bound to be some similarities. Can you appreciate and enjoy both or do you have to choose one over the other? Besides, Family Guy is not quite the blantant rip off of The Simpsons as American Dad is of Family Guy. I mean come on, American Dad is the exact same show, down to a talking pet and wise-cracking, weird headed baby/alien.
If we much choose, then the hard question is...which is funnier? Is The Simpsons past it's prime? Will The Family Guy last?

Friday, July 15, 2005

One is the lonliest number

Ok, so today is suckin' ballz. I woke up this morning, refreshed and looking forward to the weekend. Corey and I are driving to Indianapolis after work to spend time with his parents. I came a' whistling into work and then noticed a new message on my phone.
Now first you must know my job. I'm a receptionist, but there are actually two of us here at the front desk. It's not really a 2 person job, but it's definately a one and a half person job, especially because we're not supposed to ever leave the desk unattended. Someone is supposed to be here during all hours of operation to answer phones, accept mail and generally be the office's bitch when needed. Because of this, I usually work from 8-4:30pm and she works 8:30-5pm, though today I was going to head out early.
So I get in and there's a message saying Jen (the other receptionist, aka Sheila McBoringass) is sick and won't be coming in. This means I have to cover for her and work until 5pm, which means not getting to Indy early and means fighting with rush hour traffic in Chicago.
What makes the situation worse is that today literally the ENTIRE office (all three floors) were invited to a Cubs game sponsored by the company . They all left at noon. Because we can't leave the front desk unattended and it wouldn't be fair to only invite one of the receptionists, neither of us were invited. So now as everyone else is gettting paid to spend time in the sun, drink and watch a ball game, I get to sit at my desk, by myself and not get to leave early. It's not even like the phones are ringing or there's really anything to do except watch my fingernails grow.

Hmmm... I need to find some havoc to wreak.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Chicago Tourists

Posted by Picasa Normally our time spent in Chicago involves working, partying with friends, rehearsing or seeing improv and other shows. This weekend we had a chance to see Chicago like a true tourist should. We try to save these types of things for when friends are in town. This past weekend, my best friend from Kansas City, Anna came into town and we had a blast. On Friday we walked around Michigan Ave, checked out an art fair and went to Millineum Park. It's so cool to see pure joy on little kids faces as they splash in the fountain.
That night, my company (Harley-Davidson) rented out the Shedd Aquarium. We had dinner (and drinks) on the balcony overlooking the lake. It was a gorgeous view, especially at night. It's so cool to see the pure joy on Corey's face as he drools over the buffet table. We had the entire aquarium to ourselves. We were able to just walk around and check things out at our own pace with beer in hand. Besides finding Nemo we also toured the crab exhibit, coral reefs feeding and the oceanarium. Unfortunately this is the same night that the Beluga whale gave birth to a still- born. I'm not sure if these two events are related, but I'm going to say "no," so I can sleep tonight.
The next morning we went on the architecture river tour. If you ever have a chance to take this, do it! It is well worth the $25. We learned all about the amazing buildings in Chicago and got a little sun all in one.
That evening Anna and I went to see Body Worlds at Museum of Science and Industry. This was awesome! Very educational and a little creepy. Corey chose not to go because he's a girl, but we loved it. We ended the night by laying back on picnic blankets with Thai food and listen to some dude in concert at the Folk and Roots Festival. It's not really my typical kind of music, but it was a gorgeous night. We were surrounded by friends and pretty good music, plus we got dessert after... Yum carrot cake!
By Sunday we were exhausted, fat and happy!


Thursday, July 07, 2005

This wedding planning is exhausting.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 04, 2005

More 3rd of July Pictures!

PIcture key:
Top Left - Ali and Jaime
Top Right - Dan hearts Doritos
Bottom Left - Tyler and Monique
Bottom Right - Garrett: The Breakfast of Champions!

Happy 3rd of July

Last night we celebrated Independence Day at our friend Tyler's place. He lives just a couple of blocks away from us which makes it very convenient to not have to worry about driving. We lived here last 4th of July and I think we even knew some of these guys from I.O, but we weren't really close yet. Now we consider this group some of our closest friends. It's really nice to feel at home here, though we do miss Pete's parties back in KC.

The afternoon started with the journey to Tyler and Garrett's. We brought some beer, hamburgers and chairs (of course we left all of it at their place and I fear they are eternally gone). There was a ton of food, especially buns. We had hot dogs, hamburgers, corn, chips, awesome cobbler, you know, typical bbq food. I lasted almost 2 hours before I had to take a nap. Damn, I'm not even old yet, but after some shut eye, I was good to go again.

Later in the evening there was an obstacle course on a pink bike. There were very intricate rules and points given and taken away for knocking down and picking up various toys. Seeing Owen and Tyler trying to steer this bike was hilarious. In the end I'm not really sure who won. We also had a round of throwing a cushy soccer ball, though really it came down to who could tag Owen or Tyler in the head by surprise. Then we broke out the ultimate game of night.... Flippy Cup. It's basically a relay race of chugging your beer and then flipping your cup from standing right side up, to upside down. As soon as the first person makes his cup land correctly, the next team mate in line chugs his beer, trys to flip his cup and so on. I don't know who ultimately won that game (Tyler or Owen), but I think my team only won once. But in the end... you're more drunk, so really we were all winners.

In the end we got our drink on, saw one firework, laughed our asses off and generally had a great 4th (ok 3rd) of July.

- Monique

Friday, July 01, 2005

Making wine

OK, this is hilarious. The link will take you to a site where you can play a video of a local news reporter doing a story on wine making. Just play the video and make sure your volume is on. Trust me, if you don't laugh, you get your money back.

Click here.