Sunday, February 24, 2013

Me and Abbie Back at 2 Prov

I remember posting about Abbie Harper being my 2prov soulmate or something along those lines. Today, we finally got to play but here was the catch NO COACH!

I was a little scared. Wouldn't it be weird. Admittedly, we've been trying to schedule something but it never worked out. So, I maneuvered my way to her place to get two hours of play in.

What happened was pretty cool. First off, I should say that we would LOVE to have a coach like Louis Kornfeld, but he is a jedi and wanted by everyone and he is SOOOO busy. Plus, Abbie's awesome and I want to play with great people.

I get there we trade off little warmups no biggie then we do scenes. The first initial one was crazy town and it just got crazier. I kind of think we had to get that one out of the way.

We had one hour left, so we did 2 thirty minute scenes. It was in kind of a slacker form, at least the first one was.

Mother is making eggs. Father is disappointed because he's going to be late and everything is about scheduling. They passive aggressively lash out at each other, Mother decides to leave the Father but first she's going to pick up the kids at the pool.

Mother picks up kids. I believe it was James and Patty. James is just like his father, wants to be on time and logical. Patty is just like her mother does what she wants, as a matter of fact she had Dairy Queen instead of swim lessons. Mother and James have a similar fight to the Father and Mother fight earlier so she decides to drop James at the house (father is off at work) and he doesn't have a key. Mother leaves with Patty to Dairy Queen. James tries to break into his own house.

Bernie Leiberman, the neighbor, notices James trying to break into his own house so he invites him into his home to have a sandwich while he waits for his dad. James implies that Bernie and Mother may have had an affair, Bernie admits that he is gay and has a rainbow flag and flowers all around and would never do that. James is taken aback by this and decides to go home out of the blue.

Bernie is now playing go fish with his boyfriend an effeminate unhappy man. Bernie being the Jewish flagrantly gay is astounded by the homophobia while Chauncey (unsure of name) reveals that he hasn't come out to his family yet and that he hates the fact that he'll never have a baby and isn't happy.It is revealed that he had a fake wedding as well.

Father knocks on the door asking about the interaction with his child. Father asks for the china set back from the fake wedding that Chauncey had for his family.  Bernie gives it to him and reveals that he used to like him but now that he found that he is homophobic he doesn't like him anymore. Meanwhile, chauncey cries in the back. Father leaves with china, giving up on Chauncey, Bernie goes to Dairy Queen. We find out that Chauncey already went to Dairy queen that day.

At the Dairy Queen, Bernie runs into Mother, Mother flirts with Bernie in front of Patty and asks to her to sit in a booth. Bernie reveals that he is gay. Mother is furious and still in denial that he is gay and just assumes that he doesn't like her and just using this gay thing to get around it. Mother flirts harder. TIMES UP!!!

As weird as that show was it was pretty straight forward. And I loved every minute of it. The next story was amazing as well.

Hatfield Mccoy is selling a twobarrel shotgun to Ranger(a ranger (not sure of name)), he requests 32k in savings bonds coming out to like $125. Ranger needs the gun to shoot McCullen his dog who got caught in a bear trap and now has a gangreen stump. We meet McCullen begging for death. Hatfield offers Ranger the ability to shoot the dog in his backyard, he'll dig the hole and he could take him out there.

Hatfield digs as Ranger drags mccullen to the grave. As Ranger is about to shoot, McCullen dies. Ranger is happy he didn't have to shoot. McCullen revives, Ranger get's ready to shoot, then McCullen Dies. McCullen revives and Ranger pulls the trigger.

In McCullen's absence, Ranger wants to get a twig from his favorite tree and bring it to the grave to pay homage. Ranger is sad he just lost one of his only friends. Ranger and Hatfield drive to go to his favorite tree, Martin. We find that the tree is full of termites and rotting and listing to the side. Clearly dying. Hatfield brought a battery powered buzz saw, no refunds, which costs $120k in savings bonds. Ranger is about to lose his friend Martin. Ranger also has a  backseat full of Savings bonds of which he is paid with at Yosemite.

Ranger calls Hatfield a sly dog for his salesmanship. Ranger is about to cut and Martin straightens. Then sags. Ranger is about to cut, it straightens then sags. Ranger is about to cut and a bear comes out of the woods and pulls the tree on top of itself and is now dying.

This is Yogi, one of the only friends of the ranger. Yogi's child is also nearby watching his father being crushed by a tree.

Hatfield tries to sell Ranger a bear gun, and Ranger says why cant I just use my 2 barrel. To which Hatfield thinks "Got me", to which Ranger says, "You sly dog of a salesman".

Ranger unloads on the bear but doesn't kill it. Hatfield decides to give Ranger the bear gun for free, but the bullets will cost 12k in savings bonds, to which Ranger says,"You sly son of a bitch".

At this point, Yogi is now starting to eat his young in his pain and rage. Ranger gives the final blow. TIMES UP!

I felt like we were juggling three-four games and really having such a good time. SOmething about playing with Abbie, we laugh so much and crack all the time. That's what I think improv is all about, making yourself laugh. Finding something out of nothing. In amazement, we did it and I can't wait to perform in front of an audience with this girl!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Maybe Monogamous Rehearsal Inspiration

Hey All,

I'm on team called Maybe Monogamous with Amy Cohen, Kelly Rockwell, Bernard Maynore, and Julie Feltman. Tonight I had rehearsal and we were a 3-prov practice with Patrick Cucata as our coach.

I had never three-provd with Julie and Bernard before and I thought it would be fun.

If I could describe Bernard, it would be a wild card genius. He constantly gifts scenes with weird idea's and fun amazing mistakes. He also is a person who yes and's himself. If you call him out as a mistake being truthful, he will repeat you word for word as if to reiterate to himself this is the reality. It is probably the most entertaining thing to see. He is on a PIT team and he shines. Love him.

Julie Feltman is a bold firecracker. She makes moves that are both character and emotional. She sets premises and clearly knows what she is doing. She also has the most balls when it comes to a performer. She puts herself out there, isn't afraid of anything. She is on a musical pit team where she uses characters to just enhance every scene she is in. She's a jewel.

I think the main thing about these two when combined with me, is that we don't crack jokes we go on the ride. And improv for us has a tendency to go crazy if not surreal.

Tonight, admittedly, I was a little loose. I had 2 shots of whiskey at the pit maybe an hour or two before rehearsal.

Patrick had us do an interesting exercise. Follow the Leaver, where a person walks on and as they walk off the scene goes with them. I'm literally doing this step by step because I had the most fun I've had in improv in a while and I want to remember it but also analyze the steps.

1)Bernard initiates as Perseus and I am Zeus. He wants me to stop having sex with his wife, Telethon. It becomes apparent that every Tuesday Perseus comes to Zeus to complain. All during the conversation, Zeus shoots lightning at the Hannibal Cannibals who eat people. Zeus confesses that he is lonely and only has sex with Telethon to get these Tuesday conversation. Zeus agrees to stop having sex with Telethon as long as he comes to chat on Tuesday.


Telethon complains that Zeus has taken sex off his calendar. She explains that she has a schedule to keep and on Mondays she gets a manicure, has sex with Zeus, then does errands. Perseus is angry. Zeus shoots the Hannibal Cannibals.

2) Telethon is talking to her Manicurist about how she hates that she won't have sex with Zeus anymore. She explains Zeus is a God and shoots lightning bolts into her vagina. Her vagina is cavernous comfortable and well renovated.


A Cannibal yells from inside Telethon's cavernous vagina, talking about how amazing the place is, well renovated and comfortable. Manicurist decides to jump in and take a look.

3) Inside Telethon, there is a spa where if you push a button the inside warms up and bubbles. This excites Telethon. The Manicurist is amazed by the cavernous vagina and communicates that to Telethon as well. We find that the walls of Telethon are like the Willy Wonka walls and if you lick the walls you can takes schnozberry's. Manicurist proceeds to test it and it works.


4) Unbeknown to Telethon, the act of folding into herself has brought to to the Inbetween where she meets the inbetweeners of time and space. She now has become an inbetweener.


Oddly enough this excercise in itself  renders itself to kind of a narrative, you are time shifting and following similar characters. Other than being TOTALLY INSANE, it was fun because we are literally following the scenes. It seems like a movie to me. The film would have been a surreal adventure. We do another one.

Patrick asks us to use an item in the scene and as the item moves from place to place we follow that item.

1) I initiate as an old blind man who turns back a clock after it rings and sits down and works on another item. Son enters and talks to the old man. We learn that the father disowned the son because he was in love with a Native American. The son ran away with her. He came back to reveal that he has a son. The old man expresses regret and says that every day since the boy left he has turned back the clock for a few minutes and worked on an invention to be able and go back in time and fix all the mistakes that have caused regret. In a fit of rage, the Old blind man pushes the ringing clock out of the window.

2) A child looks at a clock that just fallen. Her father is in a treehouse trying to get away from the R indians much worse than the S indians. The child wants to go up into the safety of the treehouse as we hear the R indians incoming. Arrows fly but don't hit the child or father they scurry up the tree and go silent. Meanwhile a young R indian walks below the tree and steals the clock.

3) The R india brings the clock back to the tribe. They find that this is a great gift and we learn that it would be great to give to the blind old man as a gift and finally reveal the son to the old man. They use the clock to teleport to the shop.

4) The old man sits and Son introduces the grandson, he touches the face of the grandson in happinness and the grandson scalps the old man.

Once again, crazy town usa, but there was almost a children's story theme or tale to it. It felt like loss, connection, danger, family, regret, almost a Dickens novel. It was hilarious and funny as anything. The next two sets ended up being crazier than these, though these were narrative themes, the next ones were more theme based and those themes were horrible.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Cost of Improv: Interesting Stuff

There has a been a weird dispute going around about UCB and stand up comedians and who gets money and whatever.

Personally, maybe it's just how old I am, but I never expect to make any money whatsoever through improv. It's kind of a different dream than the one I had with voiceover or musical theatre.

With musical theatre, I always wanted to get to the point where I could survive on theatre alone, and for a year or two I did that, and it was amazing. As a matter of fact, I survived off the unemployment for an extra year. But, deep down I wasn't that happy. The 300th show came around and it was just a job, it was amazing but it was just a job.

With voiceover, I have the dream of making enough money to survive. Right now it has morphed into, enough money to survive and do improv. At the moment, I'm the happiest I've ever been. It's weird though, I don't feel like I'm excelling at voiceover because I'm dedicating so much time and money to improv. Though one has stalled, the other is moving forward.

So, it comes down to the cost of improv. I thought about it today after a 2prov session with Dmitry Shein and Louis Kornfeld. How much is this costing me? I love it, but how much is it costing me.

Take note.

1) Decent Proposal 10k team: 3 rehearsals a month $36 bucks a month
2) Adorable PIT Musical Team : 4 rehearsals a month $65 bucks a month
3) Maybe Monogamous 4 rehearsals a month $80 a month
4) Jam Academy 2-3 Rehearsals a month $60 a month
5) 2prov with Dmitry 4 rehearsals a month $80

Total= $320 (I've been unable to do my 2prov with Abbie due to schedule but that would bring it to 400 easily)

Classes I need to take:
PIT 3-5= $1050
Magnet 5-6= $700
UCB 3-4 and Adv = $1050


With the incoming Musical Improv Teams auditions, should I get it it'll be another $60-80 a month and I may have to lose a team somewhere.

Looking at this, I don't know how I do it, but I do know WHY I do it. Because I love it, I have never laughed harder than playing with people. I've never felt so proud of myself after I've done a good scene. Can I survive it, I hope so.Oddly enough, here is what I've already invested as far as money goes.

Magnet Intenstive + Magnet Lev 4= $750
Magnet Musical 1-3= $1050
Pit Musical 1-3 = $1050
UCB 201 = $450
PIT 1-2 = $700

Thats approx $4k in classes not including workshops.  For some reason I made it work, I'm amazed.