Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Union - Top Pick!


The Union is a top pick for Chicago Sketchfest! Check it out - Cheeky

If you missed us on this last run, come check us out in our 'Best of' showcase. Sunday, January 17th at 2:30pm in the north theater at the Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont.

Pass the word along!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Comedy updates

We continue to stay busy. Besides our regular Laugh Out Loud improv shows, we're also traveling to do holiday shows and enjoying attending some as well. We're also both starting to go on more commercial auditions. Corey's actually booked a couple! If you live anywhere that has a Firestone store, you might see him pop up in a commercial as "Donut guy." If you live in Chicago, you'll be lucky enough to see him this Spring in a commercial for a local costume store as the store manager. I'm getting closer and closer to booking, but haven't quite yet. It just takes perseverance. In fact the statistics show that you only book one in every 27 auditions, so I figure it's just a matter of time.

We're also very excited that The Union was accepted into the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival! We're looking forward to being a part of the biggest sketch festival in the country and spend two weeks saturated by sketch comedy from Chicago and around the country. Our showcase will be on Jan 17th at 2:30pm. So for those of you who said you couldn't see our last run because it was too late, now you have no excuse because we're performing in a matinee. We'll let everyone know more details as it gets closer.

I started writing headline jokes for the "This Just In" iLarious iPhone app. Of course Corey had to copy me (kidding) and recently started writing for them, too. If you have an iPhone, download the app so you can get current event jokes written by us, a couple of stand-up comedian friends of ours (Dan Telfer & Bryan Bowden), and even famous writers from shows like Craig Ferguson, "The Daily Show" and "The Onion." Plus, the more people that purchase the app, the more money we make.

Otherwise my trapeze lessons are continuing and I'm going to start learning how to play guitar as well as work on doing stand up myself and continueing writing scripts. It's all a part of my "turning 30 next year, bucket list." Hey, whatever it takes to get me moving!

- Mo

Monday, November 02, 2009

Fall Fun!

We've really lucked out with good weather so far this fall. And since we know it'll get crappy soon enough, we're making sure to take advantage of it. Somehow we keep ending up in Wisconsin. A couple of weeks ago we spent the day in Kenosha at "Elegant Farms," picking apples.

We went on a hay ride, shopped in the Ye Old Shoppe and climbed trees! Not only do you get to eat as many apples as you want, you get a sugar cookie before you go home. Corey and I brought home a peck of apples, with 4 different types. We baked two pies and have since kept the doctor away by eating an apple everyday. We still have a bunch left!















































Then this weekend, we got up at 6:30am to drive an hour and a half with friends to Mukwonago, Wisconsin just to get breakfast at Franks Diner (as seen on Diners Drive-ins and Dives) where we stuffed ourselves with the Garbage plate and French toast made with homemade bread. The restaurant is a tiny, packed train car turned diner. If you don't have a seat, you literally standing in the aisle and get yelled out by the waitstaff. Luckily getting there early helped us beat the rush and we got a seat right away.

But that's not the end of our Wisconsin travels. We're heading back up there in a couple weeks to celebrate a friends birthday by spending the weekend in a cabin, hanging out and enjoying the fire pit. Sometimes it's nice to do fun, non performance stuff.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Pinata

Last summer we wrote a short film. It started out as a sketch for a show we were helping to write, and when it didn't quite fit into that show, we decided to extend it and film our first short movie. Thankfully we had wonderful friends willing to help us make it. Though it took a while to finally finish, we're proud to present "The Pinata." Please check it out and if you like it, pass it along!



Also, don't forget: our last show of the run "A Very Civil War" is this Thursday 10/8 at 10:30pm at Second City's Donny's Skybox.

See you there!
Monique and Corey (The Union)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Marriage Counseling part 3

Hey kids, the third and final installment of our Marriage Counseling videos is up (be sure to watch it all the way through). We have just two more performances of The Union - A Very Civil War at Donny's Skybox, tonight is one of them. The show is at 10:30pm and we'd love to see you there!

Corey and Mo

Friday, September 25, 2009

So what are we doing besides 'The Union'?

Of course our show "The Union: A Very Civil War" has been the main thing we've been talking about lately (if you haven't seen it yet, please check it out. Only two more chances!), but per usual we are busy with lots of other stuff.

Corey is directing a Triple Feature show. These are twenty minute shows that go up as part of a series at The Annoyance Theater. This one is called "Cougars." It's a fun, campy musical written by our friend Gillian. She's even written a part for me, the spicy Latina. I know... quite the stretch. You can see it on Wednesdays at 8pm Oct 28th and Nov 4th.

We're of course doing our regular Laugh Out Loud shows in Schaumburg. Corey has been traveling a lot with them. My crazy busy wedding schedule makes it tough for me to do the away shows, but there are other fun new shows going up. The theater is adding Thursday night shows including a musical improv show (which I'm directing).

Corey and I are both focusing more on trying to book commercial work. I have two new agents! Corey is meeting with a new one next week and we're both being sent out on more auditions.

I'm also the new writer for Best Church of God, a hit satire show. I'm extremely proud to be part of this group. I first saw the show last year and the critics are right, it's HILARIOUS. It's a little creepy how accurate it portrays this parody of a church. I knew I had to be a part of it. Initially I'm going to be focusing on writing web content, but may expand out more from there. Here are a few of the articles I've written that have already gone up.

Global Warming is Cool

Top Ten Reasons to Home school your Kids

Monica shares how Christ made her skinny!
Make sure to sign up for the 'Weekly Word' and follow us on Twitter. And of course, come see a show!

- Monique

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Marriage Counseling pt2

Check out The Union's new video. Then come see the show tomorrow, Thursday 10:30pm at Donny's Skybox.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Union - A Very Civil War



Our sketch group, The Union, has a show opening at Donny's Skybox at Second City. It's on Thursday nights at 10:30pm, starting this coming Thursday, September 10th and running for 5 weeks, through October 8th. This show is directed by our friend (and Jeff nominated!) Amanda Blake Davis, who you may recognize from the Second City e.t.c. stage. We think this show's pretty funny and we'd love it if you can make it.

We've also made some short videos to help promote the show, and the first one is posted below. Tell your friends and pass it around. Let's make this thing viral!

- Corey and Mo


video

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Union is working hard!

Less than two weeeks until opening night of "The Union: A Very Civil War" at Second City's Donny's Skybox! We haven't posted as much lately because we've been busy working hard on sketches, videos and posters!

Plus, The Union was interviewed by Cheeky Chicago and you can read all about it here!

Keep checking back here, as we will be posting new stuff soon!

- The Union

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dual Duel Semifinals

The Dual Duel is a 2-person, long-form improv competition going on over at the ComedySportz theater. Each show has 5 duos performing for exactly 10 minutes, not a second more, and the audience votes the winners on to the next round. Mo and I entered as The Union and we won our first round matchup a few weeks ago. So The Union will be improvising at the Dual Duel semi-finals this Sunday, August 23rd at 9pm. The competition is stiff, so we'd love your support. Tickets are just $5. Hope you can make it!

- Corey

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's a circus around here

The last few weeks have been a lot of fun. We are continuing to write for our upcoming show, have decided on a title and have a few fun poster ideas ready to go. We're currently looking for places to preview our show before our run, so if you have a group looking for an opener, let us know. Though the show has been a huge part of our focus, it's not the only thing.

As many have heard me talk about on Facebook, I started trapeze classes, the aerial dance kind, not flying trapeze. I envisioned myself perched on the bar and gliding through the air with elegance. It could not have been more the opposite. That shit is hard! Though I'm proud to say I'm able to hoist myself up, it was definitely not in an elegant way. They teach you poses which eventually leads to other moves and more difficult poses and even the most simple were challenging. I have stigmata holes in my hands and bruises all over the back of my legs. The first 2 1/2 days I was really sore. Corey had to get the coffee cup for me or open a jar of sauce, anything to give my body a break. Still, I'm really looking forward to Monday when I have my second class. It's a great workout and a ton of fun.

Corey's staying busy with teaching and coaching an improv group, plus he'll be directing a Triple Feature show at The Annoyance that a friend wrote for her, me and a couple others. We're also going to take an on-camera commercial class to get better at auditioning. We wouldn't necessarily take it together except we're able to save money on the private sessions if we both go, so why not! Hopefully we can start booking these gigs we're auditioning for.

Otherwise it's about to be fall which means travelling for shows!

-Mo

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making the best of summer

Summer is kicking along and though the weather doesn't feel like it here in Chicago, we're making the best of it.

First an update on our shows...

Only two more chances to see Corey in Trignity at Donny's Skybox. Great cast and a ton of fun!

If you're in Milwaukee and looking for something fun to do next weekend, come to the Milwaukee Comedy Festival. The Union will be performing all new material on Friday Aug 7th at the 10pm showcase. We can't wait to see the friendly and hilarious folks up there.

Guess what, The Union won our first round of the two person improv show Dual Duel! And we did it without packing the house with just our friends. Seriously, it was just our improv skills. Shocked? Yeah, us too. Please come support us in the semi finals on Aug 23rd. The competition gets tougher each round, so we'll take all the help we can get!

Other than performing this summer, we've been having fun with friends and vacations.

We just got back from Southwest Michigan where we spent 3 days touring wineries and relaxing at a beach house. Great food, wine and some much needed rest. They recommend trying 4-5 wineries a day. I don't know how people do it, not because you would end up drunk, but because all the flavors of wine gets overwhelming after a while. We could only do 2-3 a day, tasting 5-6 different kinds at each and of course sharing each others. The wines were mostly really good (we ended up bringing home 6 bottles!). Apparently people in that part of the country like their wine sweet, so we definitely tried ones that were too sugary, but we also found some great dryer ones that we both enjoyed. Plus one of the wineries also had a brewery and distillery.
The little town we stayed in, Union Pier, had great restaurants with some surprisingly unusual foods and really fresh fish. One of our favorite things was picking fresh blueberries. We bought 12 pounds (for only $15). Yes, we saw what life will be like in 40 years.

Next time we hope to rent a house with a group of friends!


Gordan Beach Inn
Sunset at our private beach
Picking blueberries. They literally gave us a bucket and told us to just go out and pick. No lessons, no details, just us in a field alone.
Corey frolicking in his natural habitat!






It may not be Sonoma, but it was still beautiful!



- Mo

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Plans

We had a great time performing at Snubfest this weekend. Though we didn't win the contest, we were given great feedback from the audience and the judges. Three of the four judges have seen us perform in the past and all said that we have gotten better and loved our set!

It's finally summer (though it took a while for the weather to catch up) and we've got a lot planned, as usual. I'm continuing to stay busy with weddings, writing and auditions. Corey has been going on a lot of commercial auditions, which is just a matter of being persistent until something hits. Besides The Union projects, he's also been writing and rehearsing for another show. A friend is in the director's program at Second City. As their final project, they have to put up their own sketch show at the Second City's blackbox theater called Donny's Skybox. Corey is going to be a part of a three person original sketch revue that goes up in mid July! We'll post most details soon.

Once that gets up and running, Corey and I will go back to the drawing board. We were accepted into the Milwaukee Comedy Festival again this August. Plus, we'll be putting up a new show, because we got a five week run of our own at Donny's Skybox this September/October! On top of all that, we submitted one of our short videos to The Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival and it will be featured in their festival/contest on July 24th. The competition part is not nearly as important as the excitement of just being accepted among some very talented filmmakers.

If this sounds exhausting, you're right, it is. To help with that, we're planning a mini-vacation to a winery and private beach in Michigan later in July. It'll be a lovely laid back time to rest after what is going to be a very fun and very busy summer.

Stay tuned for more details!

- Mo

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Union shows this week!

We are stronger than the snub!


The Union will be performing not once, but twice at Chicago's SnubFest this week!

First, check us out on Saturday 6/27 at 10pm for "The Last Snob Standing" contest. Your laughter can help us win the prize of getting into other festivals.

Then we're up again for a longer set on Sunday 6/28 at 8pm for our showcase.

The shows take place at the Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Theater, 1420 W. Irving Park and tickets are only $10 so there's no excuse to miss it!

-Corey and Mo

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Status Update

Well we've gotten into a pretty lax habit of blogging around here. Maybe it's a symptom of the fast-paced Facebook/Twitter life we lead. Is there nothing to blog since we update our status' (stati?) and mini-blog on daily, sometimes hourly, basis? Maybe. But besides those updates, you add in the writing we do for The Union, then also a show that Mo directed and I acted in called "Zahara's Wake" that we helped write, not to mention another sketch show that I'm helping create...point is, there's no shortage of writing going on around here.

So here's our semi-monthly recap: We had a real nice visit from Josh and Kim. You can read more about it at his blog. We put up the aforementioned "Zahara's Wake", a show that Mo conceived as part of a show at The Annoyance Theater called Triple Feature. The idea behind our show is that you're at the funeral of Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 25 years in the future, and the cast played some of the other kids (both natural born and adopted) of Brad and Angelina. It was a real funny show and we had a blast developing and performing it. The Union had another fun show at The Playground Theater, and both Mo and I have been auditioning for shows and commercials and such. Also, I'm working with my friend Josh Chamberlain on a sketch show for his Second City Director's Program. I'm part of a three-person cast that is improvising to develop sketches for a show that will run for a couple months later this summer at Donny's Skybox Theater at Second City. You'll hear all about it as the show gets closer. If not here, when I Twitter it and invite you on Facebook.

- Corey

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Union Show This Weekend!

Hey kids - look over in the right-hand side of the page. Notice the new "Upcoming Gigs" area. Here you'll see a listing of the various shows and projects that keep us so busy. Check back often as we'll update it regularly (feel free to call us out on that if we don't).

The first item listed there right now is a show this Friday, May 15th at 10pm at The Playground Theater. We're appearing in a show called "Grafitti" which is a sketch comedy showcase. The Union will be debuting some brand new sketches, too, so if you haven't seen us in a while, it's a whole new show. Also performing that night is our good friend Sayjal Joshi, who is working on a one-woman show of her own. Tickets are $10 and best of all, The Playground is BYOB. It should be a real fun night!

- Corey and Mo

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Corey!

Today is Mr. Corey Rittmaster's birthday!

We all know and love him. And we all know the fantastic stuff about him. So if you haven't already done so on the ol' facebook, make sure to drop him a line.

Love you babe.
Monique

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Union rides again

OK, yeah, so it's been about a month since we last blogged. Sorry about that. Never intended to let it get away from us that badly. We should be better, with two of us and all, but things have been nice and busy, so that's the best excuse you're going to get.

First off, wanted to let you know that Monique and I will be debuting some new sketches from The Union this Friday night! We've been working real hard on writing some new comedy and even tried a couple sketches out in KC a few weeks ago, but this will be 30 minutes of all new bits since the Annoyance run at the end of '08. Show details are as follows:

"Grafitti" at The Playground
Friday 4/24 at 10:00pm
note: this theater is BYOB!
don't be late, The Union will be up first of the three groups going on.

So what's been happening since the last post? There was the aforementioned KC trip. We performed a show that was a fundraiser for our friend Brian Zehnle's upcoming Guatemalan Habitat for Humanity trip. The show was a split bill with The Union and our friends The Trip Fives, one of KC's best improv groups. We had a blast and there were tons of laughs and Brian raised some cash, so it was a win-win-win.

We stuck around in KC for a few extra days to be able to spend the first night of Passover with the family. We hadn't been to a family seder in a few years, so it was nice to get to do that again. The longer trip allowed us to see some old friends and try out some new restaurants in KC. Usually we're lucky to get to partake in one or two of the classics that we miss badly by living in Chicago (i.e. - Sonic, Minsky's, Taco Via, and any of the holy BBQ trinity - Gates, Bryant's or Jack's Stack). This trip we were lucky enough to do brunch with Billy and Allie at Succotash in the River Market. It was awesome! Mo had a blackberry pancake bigger than her head.



We also had dinner with my old friend Jodi and her husband Chuck at Blanc Burgers + Bottles. Again, really great! Gourmet burgers, fries with truffle oil, and an unreal selection of beers. Lastly, we hit up some new spots downtown with Dan, along with an impromptu tour of all the renovations and upgrades the Kansas City downtown area has undergone. Really impressive stuff.

After the trip to KC, we brought our neice Samantha back to Chicago with us for a few days. There was trips to the park, rides on the "L", lunch at Minnie's, a visit to Legoland not to mention taking in a performance of the hit musical "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle". It was a whirwind few days that was both exhausting and awesome. Below are a few pictures from Sami's trip.

So that's been what's up. We'll try and do better moving forward.

- Corey

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sightings

The latest uproar here in Chicago is over the parking meters. For our friends back in KC, a little background: The city sold them to a private company who has since adjusted the rates. This means now we're paying out the ass to park. In some places one quarter, which used to buy 30 or 60 minutes now only gets you at best 15, and in some places just 7 minutes. Are you kidding me? I haven't had to keep this many quarters around since we went to the laundromat. For the record, I did not vandalize this meter. However, I echo their sentiment:

Next, I'd thought we gotten past discrimination with this whole Obama election, and yet Walgreens separates our toiletries. I don't even know what makes a toiletry Hispanic. Do they work extra well or not hard enough? Is the deodorant spicy? Is the soap refried? Can I get my toothpaste in green or red? I could do this all day...


- Monique


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mousetraps and Water Torture: A Night of Dangerous Improv

Corey and I are proud (?) to be appearing in a new show starting at the end of this month. "Mousetraps and Water Torture: A Night of Dangerous Improv" at the Laugh Out Loud Theater.



Described as "Jackass" meets "Whose Line is it Anyway?", we'll be playing all the taboo games not usually allowed at most theaters. There's 'Water Deprivation,' the game where one improviser must must have his/her head submerged in a bucket of water during a scene. They can't come up for air until someone tags them out. Also, I haven't decided which game I'm the most nervous about. There's the one where an audience member snaps clothespins on your face, included the dreaded Frankenstein pins on your neck. Then there's also the scene you play blindfolded with mousetraps scattered all around the stage. We had our first rehearsal today and yes, the mousetraps hurt.


If you're in the burbs in March or April, come by and check out a show.

Check in with us to find out our schedule.


- Mo

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gutted.

So let me tell you about our weekend. Mo and I have been just hanging out, relaxing, watching some TV...you know the usual. Oh, and I had an operation and Mo has bronchitis.

I had been experiencing some discomfort in my abdomen for a little while, and being the stubborn dummy that I am, put off going to the doctor for a while. When I finally went, it didn't take but about 15 seconds for the diagnosis to come: hernia. And I'll tell you what I've told everyone else who asked. I have no idea. I don't know that there was ever an "uh-oh" moment when I tried to lift something I shouldn't have or anything. Apparently, that's often the case. I might have just strained the muscle a while ago, and it gradually grew into a hernia. It might have been a weakness in the muscle since birth, and it finally gave out. Regardless, it was becoming painful and nothing was going to change that without surgery. They go in, and patch the hole in the muscle with this synthetic mesh and it makes the whole area stronger once it heals. There are different kind of hernias, I guess, but mine was what's called an "inguinal hernia". It was located on the right side, just below my belt line, but not too low, thankfully.

The surgery was Friday morning, and everyone at the hospital was very nice. They got me all prepped and ready to go. The best part: my anesthesiologist was named Dr. Martini. Really. Let the jokes begin! The good news - the surgery was a success, it only took about an hour and I got to go home that afternoon. The bad news - I apparently had not one, but TWO hernias, one of which was described by my surgeon as "the mother of all hernias". So my recovery time will take a little longer than expected. No lifting anything over 20-25 pounds for the next 2 months. Generally taking it easy for a week before getting back to my daily routine, save for the lifting, and I have a freaky 5" slice across my gut.

It's painful, but the Vicodin helps. I'm managing the pain pretty well. In fact, just sitting or laying around it's not too bad now. It's getting up or sitting down that hurts. And laughing, of course. And when the medicine is wearing off. But I'm getting by. I got a great care package from my mom, and my cousin Anne has been a great help, I'm so glad she lives so close by. Mo has been an awesome nurse, too, especially considering she's been battling bronchitis this whole time. Unbelievable, if you ask me. She's amazing.

So that's been our weekend. Recuperating. Watching movies. Watching the Oscars. Taking medicine. We're like old people over here. But we're good. And getting better. I just re-read this post, and it kind of rambles. That's the Vicodin talking, I think, but what the hell, let's just post it. Also, here's a photo of my incision!

- Corey

Friday, February 13, 2009

09 Bride's Choice Award!

2009 Bride's Choice Awards presented by WeddingWire  Wedding Cakes, Wedding Venues, Wedding Photographers & More
I got an email this evening from The Wedding Wire Network informing me that I have been chosen to receive a 2009 Bride's Choice Award!

"Monique Madrid Styling was chosen to receive a 2009 Bride's Choice Award! This award recognizes the top 3% of vendors from the Wedding Wire Network who demonstrate excellent quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the company, the Bride's Choice Awards are determined exclusively by recent newlyweds through surveys and reviews. That means your past clients have spoken on your behalf and chosen you for this honor!"

Thanks so much to everyone for your support!
Monique

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back to writing

We're back to writing again. Not only do we have some shared projects, we also each have our own. We're going to start writing new material for another sketch show as The Union. We've also starting to write again for "Big News." It's a weekly news sketch show that was created by our iO television writing teacher, Michael McCarthy. It used to be up at iO and is now at The Skybox at Second City. It's nice to have an actual deadline and more than anything good practice to get in the habit of writing everyday. It's been a while though, it's not like anything genius is coming out...yet. Gotta get back into the habit.

I'm still working on varies TV scripts and am now directing a friend's one man show. He saw our show at The Annoyance and I was flattered that he liked it so much he asked. Corey just got word that he's been cast in a sketch show that is likely to go up at Donny's Skybox at Second City. Between all this, both of us teaching a class, both of us taking separate classes and the regular and off site LOL shows we may not get to see each other much. Guess it's nice that neither of us have typical jobs right now.


Sorry this post isn't more entertaining, hopefully the habit of writing everyday will lead to more exciting blogs.

- Mo

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Suck it, Sprint

After a few years of poor service, incredibly terrible customer service, being hung up on, being billed incorrectly, being outright lied to, and generally not even living up to low expectations we have officially dumped Sprint as our mobile carrier. We didn't call and yell, we didn't write a scathing letter, we didn't do anything rash and instead got the ultimate revenge: we left. Sprint will no longer get my money.

And who will, you ask? Well thanks for asking. Mo and I are now AT&T customers. Because you have to be to use one of these:



So, yeah, we're going to be those people. Deal with it.

- Corey and Monique

Friday, January 09, 2009

What The Netflix?

I logged onto Netflix today to add a few movies to my queue, and I decided to click on the "Movies You'll Love" feature to see what they suggested for me, based upon my ratings of other movies. This is what I'm presented with:
The Fog of War

Because you enjoyed:
This Is Spinal Tap
Fahrenheit 9/11
Arrested Development: Season 2
FYI, The Fog of War is not a comedy, but a documentary with this description:

Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara worked for both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, playing a key role in shaping both administrations' approaches to the Vietnam War. This Oscar-winning documentary directed by Errol Morris traces McNamara's career from government to the World Bank; but it's his work during the Vietnam years that's highlighted in this film, which features extensive archival footage and interviews.

So my questions are, but not limited to, the following:

  • how would those three movies link up in any way?
  • just Season 2? I rated all the seasons the same way.
  • what about that description of Fog of War suggests a fake documentary about a rock band?
  • is Netflix just screwing with me?
  • should I add Fog of War to my queue?
  • did I completely reference myself into a corner when I dropped a Spinal Tap reference in my improv workshop this afternoon with a group of high school kids?
  • have you guys seen this: http://www.thetyser.com/? I can't get over how great it is.

- Corey

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. The end of 2008 was particularly hectic around here. You got the holidays, our shows at The Annoyance Theater, shows at Laugh Out Loud Theater, shows with Rock Island ComedySportz, plenty of visitors from Kansas City coming to stay with us, etc. etc. It's been a ton of fun, but it's nice to have a couple days of quiet with nothing going on.

Looking back, 2008 was a pretty great year around the Madrid-Rittmaster house. Here are some highlights:

- The first performace by The Union (which wasn't named that yet) in January
- I quit my day job in March and began working full time for myself
- Mo wrote a spec script for The Family Guy, had a public reading of it, and will be submitting it to writing agents
- KU won the NCAA Championships in basketball and the Orange Bowl in football.
- Took a trip to Vegas with friends Scott and Lillie and Sean and Nissa and had a ridiculously good time. This is a great travelling group.
- Had our sketch show accepted into the Milwaukee Sketch Festival and put on a great performance, got great reviews, and had a great time.
- Went on a whirlwind tour of college shows in August, with Mo and I each doing about a week's worth of improv shows on campuses across the country.
- Reunited with the guys in Der Monkenpickle for the KC Improv Festival again. This time we had all 5 of us there.
- Took a dream vacation to Portugal and Spain.
- Were accepted by The Annoyance Theater for a 7 week run of our sketch show.
- Witnessed a historic presidential election from the candidate's home base.

2008 was a lot of fun, and was very successful creatively and professionally. The plan is to build on that momentum for '09. Hope yours is even better!

- Corey