Who do YOU want ME to be?

I haven’t really been up to anything major this week, but I feel that I need to write something on this blog otherwise you people will forget it exists and never click back here ever again.  That would make me sad.

So OK, here’s something:  In my Acting class, we’re starting to work on some impersonations.  I need to figure out one actor and one political figure I might be able to imitate.  So, here’s a call for suggestions.  Can you picture me being any actor in particular?  Or is there any actor you would LIKE to see me try to do?  Because anything will help at this point.  Also, political figures: they can also be journalists or pundits.  I was thinking about giving Rachel Maddow a try.  Thoughts?  Obviously Tina Fey has the market cornered on Sarah Palin impersonations, so if you have any other non-Maddow suggestions, let me know.  (On that note, how AMAZING was Bill Hader’s Alan Alda on SNL yesterday? – I’ll tell you:  A-freakin’-Mazing!)

Anyway, help me out here friends! Reply either here or on Facebook!  I look forward to it!

 

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The Sketches

Hi all,

As promised, here are the YouTube links to my group’s sketch performances.

Enjoy!!

The Audition

Ritz to the Titz

The Country Doctor

Colonel Angus

Bill Brasky’s Funeral

Let me know what you think! 🙂

The FIRST Sketch Performances

Over the past two weeks, my assigned sketch troupe, aptly named the “Mimico Insane Asylum Players” (because part of the Humber Lakeshore campus used to be an insane asylum…,) has been working on putting on a performance of a collection of sketches already written by people much funnier than us, in our case, the good people at Mr. Show, Big Train, Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live.

Yesterday was the culmination of 2 weeks of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and pie.  And all in all, I think we all performed admirably.

Soon, a friend in the class will hopefully send over the video of our performance, but first, I’d like to, if I may, which I can, because this is my blog, discuss the fun and obstacles had when working on each of our skits.

Mr. Show – The Audition (Check out the original at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-ZNX1jqbOk)

I wasn’t in this one, but I think it came turned out really well.  Another group in the class had also put this one on, and it was really interesting to see how different they both were, considering the personality differences between both of the guys who played David Cross.

Big Train – Ritz to the Titz (Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7xgiO_NdkQ)

This one was a lot of fun because we got to play it really dry and deadpan, which I hadn’t personally ever been given the opportunity to perform before.  Also, it was the first time I’d ever heard of Big Train.  Hopefully I’ll be checking more of that series out along the way.

Kids in the Hall – The Country Doctor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD-hHa1_mdo)

The video for this one was put up in an earlier blog post of mine, but I put the link up there anyway, just in case anyone should have missed that particular post.  This was the sketch I had selected to contribute to our team, and it was a bit challenging because it was the only scene in which we needed two different settings.  There was action taking place in two different locations, which can be pretty difficult to do correctly, especially for a troupe performing for the first time.  But all in all, I think it went really well.

SNL – Colonel Angus (http://www.livevideo.com/video/EFD201BFC58542929B94AC369B58523A/-snl-colonel-angus.aspx)

This one, we pretty much had down after rehearsing just a few times.  Basically because it’s so hilarious.  (Sorry Mom.)  I think the casting was superb.  Everyone played their parts well and not one of us got out of character when Colonel Angus said “Colonel Angus might not smell like a bed of roses,” which for us, is pretty impressive, considering the rehearsals.

and finally…

SNL – Bill Brasky’s Funeral (http://video.filestube.com/watch,3930ae81ed27391103e9/To-be-Bill-Brasky.html)

We got a lot of flak for this one when we were rehearsing in class considering the noise volume required to pull it off effectively.  We thought it would have been hilarious if, at the end of the day, we performed it very quietly, and perhaps with British accents just to throw everyone off and get them frustrated about how needlessly loud we were being in class, but in the end, we played it straight and loud and after about a billion rehearsals, it came together really freaking awesometastically.

I can’t wait to start writing and performing some original stuff though!

… and to post these videos!!

TO BILL BRASKY!!!

The 2010 Canadian Comedy Awards

As luck would have it, the Canadian Comedy Awards took place in Toronto during this, my first year in Humber’s Comedy Program.  In September, students received an e-mail about volunteering in the festival and I enthusiastically signed up.  I’d like to say I did so in the spirit of supporting Canadian comedy and the arts in general in Toronto, but I’d be lying.

I signed up because…, well, I mean…, check out this line-up: http://www.canadiancomedy.ca/

(Congrats, btw… to one of my teachers for winning a CCA! And for another for receiving a nomination!   Not that they read their students’ blogs, but what the hell!   We’re all dang proud!!)

I think it’s safe to say that I can get pretty star struck.  I mean, I’m pretty sure I didn’t get a job working in Parliament because of my reaction to the possibility of potentially bumping into the PM… or into a politician I actually give a shit about…  But, it became quite clear in a conversation I had with my stand-up coach that I would have to become comfortable talking to other people in this business, if I’m to make any headway in the field.  So I figured, here’s an opportunity to aim high.

Over the weekend I met and mingled with so many wonderful Canadian comedians from all disciplines and from varying degrees of success and experience as well as other figures within the industry.  I’m thrilled I not only got to meet a handful of my Comedy Heroes, but over the weekend, I got to share drinks with them, introduce myself to them, and hear their encouraging wishes for the next generation of comics, including us Humber kids.  GAH!  There is SO much to look forward to: Next year, the awards will be happening in Ottawa, which means I’ll be needing a place to crash in the ol’ Lisgar place, guys!

It was pretty well one of the best weekends I’ve ever had in my 26 years on this planet.  (For best weekends had on other planets, you’ll have to access my Martian equivalent of this blog.)

The very last line in this video, which most of you have surely already seen, explains how I feel about my hopes for the future:

PS. I wanted to draw some attention to this remarkable theatre here in Toronto, where I had the pleasure of volunteering during the CCA Gala.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, check out this web-site to find out about one of Ontario’s most beautiful heritage sites: The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres: http://www.heritagefdn.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_9650_1.html

It doesn’t get much better than this, Kids.

Everyone,

Once in a while, there’s some sortof rift in the Space-Time continuum that makes it so impossible things become a reality. Let’s take yesterday, for example.  In reality, Brie Watson does not meet three out of the five Kids in the Hall in one day.

This conversation took place last night, waiting for a streetcar:

Brie:  “Sarrah, I think I’m dead.”

Sarrah: “Brie, you’re not dead.”

Brie:  “OK, but if I wake up tomorrow morning and Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney are making me breakfast, you owe me  a beer.”

And now I’m sitting here, making my own damn coffee, and I suppose I must accept that Sarrah was right about one.

One of the benefits of the Humber College comedy program, is that from time to time, they bring in people who are successful to some degree in the business of comedy in Canada.  Yesterday, a sketch workshop was organized wherein the second year students performed a few of their own sketches, and Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald of the Kids in the Hall were there to provide a bit of feedback.  This was followed by a Q&A with Kevin and Dave.  What a great opportunity for those second year kids, I thought,  to have your own stuff critiqued by Canadian comedy legends!

During the Q&A, a lot of students had questions about what to expect as a sketch troupe trying to make it in Canada, and how to attain celebrity, and all those other questions that you can’t possibly get an answer to that isn’t: “Basically, it was the 80’s, and we got really lucky.”  If there was a set formula for celebrity, I’m pretty sure a lot more people would be rich and famous, don’t you?

So, not to stand out, but just to fulfill something that a 16-year-old Brie would have only dreamed about, I wore my 10 -year-old KITH t-shirt purchased at their live performance in Buffalo, NY.  (The tickets and t-shirt were likely gifts from my family.)  The Kids in the Hall were my “Sweet Sixteen.”   Yeah, so I wore the t-shirt, raised my hand and this please allow me to relive one of the happiest moments of my life to date:

Dave: “Did you know we were coming?” (Reference the t-shirt)

Brie: Paraphrasing: “OK, so I was torn, because I was like: I’m not really sure I can wear this, because it’d be like wearing a t-shirt of the band you’re going to see, but then I thought to myself, I can’t NOT wear this shirt.  How can I NOT wear this shirt today?”

OK, everyone seems to think this is a fair point.

Brie: I’m just wondering if you guys plan to tour again?…because I’m gonna be needing a new t-shirt.

People laughed. Kevin and Dave laughed.  (Sarrah, I’m pretty sure I’m dead.)

At which point Kevin answered that the troupe are discussing an upcoming tour in the Spring, if they can coordinate between all five members, etc.

The exchange continues between classmates and comedy-idols, where kids in the program ask questions, generally more important than the fan-based diddy I pulled out.  But whatever.

After the Q&A we were able to get photos, during which I asked the boys to point to themselves on my shirt, which lead to further hilarious banter.

Dave, T-shirt & Kevin

There had been word that another “Kid” would be performing stand-up in town, and I won’t go into much detail about this one, not because it isn’t interesting, but just because.  Suffice it to say, Scott Thompson puts on a hilarious set and has a lot to say, in general conversation, about LGBTQ & gender issues.

Sarrah, are you positive I’m not dead?

Post-Turkey Projected Reflections

First off: Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The excitement from my first performance now over (especially now I’ve played back the tape enough times to be sick of the sound of my own voice,) has made me eager to share with everyone two new assignments I’m currently working on: the first being for my Physical Comedy (Shtick) class and the second for my Sketch course.

I’d fancy myself a physical comedian.  When I did improv as a younger person, I always enjoyed elaborate movement.  I remember at one point I jumped up into the air in a sortof Superman-esque-type pose and fell to the floor, on purpose, to get the laugh.  And this was just in a workshop.  I would probably take further extremes during actual performances.  Anyhoo, this new assignment for my Shtick class involves miming an action, or a series of actions which you perform daily.  I’ve decided to take on an action that I used to perform daily: threading a projector.  The catch here is that you have to act this activity out to the sound of music.  It’s almost like choreographing a dance, which is very exciting!  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

The next assignment is to rehearse and perform already-written sketches.  It shouldn’t be a surprise to many of my friends to hear how jazzed I am about putting on a Kids in the Hall sketch, or some old, great SNL bits.  We’re even putting something on from Mr. Show, which, despite having borrowed the DVDs last year, I regretfully did not get around to watching, at all!

This following sketch was my contribution to our troupe.  We’ll be rehearsing this one, along with four other sketches beginning next week:

 

The First Set

Our stand-up teacher tells us our careers as comics began in our first class, about a month ago.  But right now, I feel my career started last night with my first performance on stage at Yuk Yuk’s… Not that I got paid or anything.  Well, paid in laughter.  That’s a start.  I guess.

Anyway, physiologically, the adrenaline started kicking in in my Communications class at around 1:30 pm.  The performance at Yuk’s began at 7:30 pm, and I didn’t go on until well past 8:30 pm.  That’s a LONG time to be shaking, sweating and hardly in control of your bowels. I have this thing when I’m anxious, and I don’t know how long it’s been like this, but it feels like the memory part of my brain shuts down and I can’t think about anything beyond the here and now, which means all chances of revisiting and practicing my set were killed the moment I walked into the comedy club.

I went over to the club with my roommate, who so graciously agreed to shoot some photos of me while I was doing my set. (To come.)  She has a fancy digital SLR that I would love to play with if ever I earn her trust.   She’s also a comic, in her second year of Humber’s Comedy program.  She helped simultaneously pump me up and calm me down for my set, which was well needed and certainly appreciated.

I was also very pleased to see my neighbour and her boyfriend out to encourage local talent.  They had very high expectations of me, and it appears I met them to some degree.  Mission accomplished.

I was the most surprised to have a great friend, the nicest man in Canada and his ladyfriend & brother, come from out of town, which was totally unexpected but very much appreciated.

There were three other comics from my class performing that evening and I am pleased to say that each of their performances went super well.  We all did what we had to do, got some great laughs, and made it off stage alive to tell the tale.  What more can you ask for on your first night, am I right?  Many thanks to our fellow colleagues who were out to support us as well!

OK, enough of the gratefulness crap.  Let’s talk about how awesome I was! (It is MY blog after all!)

I was very pleased with my set.  With the exception of the one joke I forgot to tell, everything ran smoothly.  I don’t have much recollection of actually being up there, apart from bright lights, and one girl’s disgusted facial expression, at the precise moment I wanted the crowd to have a disgusted reaction to what I was saying.  The timing was JUST right! I felt very much in control, which is a pretty sensational feeling…like, driving a car or shooting a gun!  It’s not like at all like tour guiding or like any presentation I ever had to make at university. I think the last time I felt like that was when I did this one particular improv performance at a Public Speaking competition back in the day, which I didn’t win.  (and am totally not still bitter about…)

A few drinks, some awkward discomfort during the the non-Humber amateur show afterward, and a hot dog later, we went home, where I lay awake for several hours before finally being able to sleep.

To sum up, the set as a whole was very cathartic and the overall experience was empowering.

I could really get used to this.