Debt’s Ugly B***hole

I’m normally smarter than this, and know better than to stay up past 12 if I have to work all day and take a four hour flight immediately afterwards, inevitably landing somewhere I’ve never been before.  Actually.  Come to think of it, that situation hasn’t really arisen as of yet. Normally I wouldn’t have had to work.

People have been telling me I’m lucky to get the time off work to go to the Fringe, but am I?  When I got hired, I made my ulterior career goals known.  If the aim in hiring administrative support is retention, then really, if I want to go to Winnipeg for 3 weeks, and take a day off here or there throughout the year afterwards, jeez.  Just let me be.

I realize this is a silly thing to say and that people work for the tiny amount of time they are granted off, considering the amount of hard work and effort goes into surviving just the day, let alone the week, the year, the 30+ years to feed your family, pay off your mortgage and retire comfortably, but damnit.  I don’t feel that’s me.

In a dreamworld, I would fly out to Winnipeg, someone would catch my show and think: “my these girls are damn gifted writers, here:  have your pick of TV shows to write on, or radio shows, here’s something I want to pay you to write” etc.  If only it were that simple.  If only I had those 8 + travel time hours a day I use up to go to work Monday to Friday, to stay at home and get my ideas written down, my creativity challenged, that would be the best.  But debt is sticking out its nasty butthole right in my face, and it’s damn stinky and needs to be payed back.  Like, now.  Or else light a match or something, because peeeeee-yew!

So, post-Winnipeg, it’s belt-tightening time. But until then, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come check out our show!  FOR REAL!  It’s really good!  And it’s a lot more fun when there’s more people in the audience!  COME ON!!!! I NEEEEEEEEED THIS!

I mean.  *Brie gets up from the floor.

Good night everyone.

My Online Presence Renewed

Recently, a friend and colleague of mine told me “You need to have more of an online presence,” which I took as a sign that I haven’t posted anything here on CCC, so it’s time to get back to it. No more excuses or nonsense.  It’s not like I’ve been all that busy or anything…

Well…

Part of the reason my posts have been dwindling is because I’m co-managing another website lately for my sketch duo Lake Erie.  We’ve been working tirelessly at creating content for our upcoming Fringe show and in an effort to promote it, we put this little website together:

http://lakeeriecomedy.wordpress.com/

So far the show is coming along nicely, and we had our first shot at performing some of its material tonight at the JokeBox Live Comedy Lounge.  We spent all day yesterday preparing for the set and filming what will soon be our first promo short for the Fringe show.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but I may or may not have been driving around in a Mustang convertible for the shoot.

With all the Lake Erie stuff coming together, it’s hard to believe I’ve also just finished stage 2 of the 6-part process that is the Second City Conservatory program.  Last Wednesday my class had our final Level 2 show, and we finished with some fun improv and our first shot at performing some scenes written a la Second City style/process.  Our next term starts in a few weeks, and we’ll be focusing mainly on archival material, which is always fun.  I remember back from the Archival Show I did at Humber that performing other people’s stuff can be pretty darn fun.  Heh.  Colonel Angus

I’ve also added to my responsibilities belonging to the Communications Committee for the Canadian Comedy Awards.  The festival is going to be in Ottawa this year, so well in advance, I’m warning my remaining Ottawa peeps that it is very important we get together and get drunk while watching some hilarious shit that weekend in October.

No rest for the wicked, they say.  Which I’ve never really understood.  Does that mean people who are busy are witches?  Probably.  I’d better get back to my cauldron folks, but stay tuned, I’m going to try harder to update this puppy more frequently as we approach our Fringe show dates and the anxieties increase!

Huzzah!

Oh, and in honour of our first performance as Lake Erie tonight, world, I want you to remember a simpler time when this was relevant:

 

CON-gratulate Me

Great news, folks – I was informed last night that I’ve been accepted into the Second City’s Conservatory Program!   Huzzah!  My audition went super well last week, despite my being fully stuffed of delicious prime rib because I’d left directly from our office Christmas luncheon (…if ever there was a first world problem…)

Then, I found I was way too sweaty to perform well in an audition so I ran to MEC to purchase a new sweater, which I did not wear at the audition because I thought it fit funny.

But it’s warm and cozy and I’ve been wearing it ever since immediately after the audition.

Anyway.  I begin classes in January so stay tuned to find out more! 🙂

***

For more information about the Conservatory program, (Mom!,)  click on the image below:

 

sc_script_logo_black__3_

 

Brieviews: Fringe Edition Part 2

I was finally able to check out a few more Fringe shows after a lovely improv class down at the Second City Training Centre.  I made my way over UofT’s campus for a switch from solo performances to an evening of ensemble casts.

Fringe Show # 3 ->  I will never listen to Annie Lennox the same way ever again.

A friend of mine highly recommended Tony Ho’s Sad People – and I was happy to find out it fit into my schedule last night because I never got around to seeing these guys during the last year’s TOsketchfest.  Finally, my time had come to be weirded out by their talent.   I chugged a beer at a nearby O’Grady’s Pub and proceeded to climb the many stairs up to the Robert Gill theatre for, I’m not afraid to say it, one of the weirdest and most wonderful performances I’ve ever seen.  They’re really nothing like other sketch comedy troupes in the city.  Though bizarre and hilarious, there’s a powerful humanity behind a lot of their sketches and monologues – as depressing as that may sound, particularly in the case of the guy who wanted to put his 51 year-old mother in a home.  I was impressed at the strong, very real emotions the characters could portray, for a comedy show, especially in the nurse/patient scene – even though one of the characters’ face was covered with gauze throughout the entire sketch.  (I’m thinking just the shy side-to-side movement on his wheelchair spoke volumes!)  My favourite sketch of the show had to be the time traveling one.

So many good ideas!  Such great performances.  And cool guest performances.  If you’re into sketch comedy, you should check out Tony Ho for sure.  Here’s what they’ve got left, Fringe-wise:

  • July 13 11:30 PM
  • July 14 01:45 PM

Two days left!  Check ’em out!

Fringe Show #4 ->  Not the War of 1812 I learned about in high school!

I ran over from UofT to Spadina (not a very far run) to catch the National Theatre of the World’s performance of “The Soaps” A Live Improvised Soap Opera.  Another one of their formats I’d never seen before, but equally as hilariously entertaining as the Carnegie Hall Show and the Script Tease Project.  This edition of the Soaps had a background of the War of 1812, which had a certain fun significance for me because I used to give tours in a Niagara-on-the-Lake historic home that was used as a field hospital during the War of 1812.  If you live in Southern Ontario, particularly near or on the Niagara River, you’re gonna year a lot of stuff about 1812, at school and otherwise.  This year happens to be the bicentennial of the war.  (I really think they should take this production down to the Niagara Region – there’s huge 1812 hooplah going on down there this summer – I bet tourists would go CRAZY over it!)  But I digress.  The cast, composed of some heavy-hitting Second City alum, played British, American and First Nations characters as their stories entwined over issues of romance, betrayal, drama… and corn!  Every night is a new story with the Soaps, so I URGE you to see this one because if you like good improv, and I mean really great, nothing beats it kindof improv,  you will lose your SHIT over this one.  Only three days remaining at St. Vlad’s!

  • July 12 09:15 PM
  • July 13 12:30 PM
  • July 15 02:45 PM

(I can say lose your shit in a review right?  Whatever.  It’s my blog.  I’ll write what I want.)

Finally… A Different Kind of Review –

I’d like to post a review of the car break-in I experienced last night.  Nothing on the car was broken or destroyed, which is a plus.  Well done, jerkoffs.  (Which leads me to believe I may have left my doors unlocked, but that’s not likely.  It’s like, automatic behaviour for me to lock my car after paying for parking.)  I DID, however, leave the windows open SLIGHTLY so the car wouldn’t be stifling when I got back from my Fringe-hopping.  That must have been it.  When I got back to my car, all my CDs had been taken, as had my change in the ashtray.  I worry some of the former car-owner’s old mail was taken, but go figure, they didn’t take the shitty $15 fan I bought at Canadian Tire as a substitute for my broken car air conditioner.  Luckily, I’d just emptied my car earlier that day of some a pretty nice North Face jacket, and some other clothes.  Also, it was fortunate these creeps didn’t know how to open my trunk, because they might have liked some of the stuff they found back there.  (Like that dead body!!! Moohooohahahahahahahaha)  All in all, I give this crime a rating of: “Fuck you, you delinquent fucks.”

Funny, I never had my car broken into when I lived in Ottawa!  (Then again, I didn’t own a car in Ottawa.)

Getting Even with Sketch Com-Ageddon

I’m sure you’re sitting on the edge of your seat right now just dying to know how the debut performance of Getting Even with Chesapeake turned out, so I won’t keep you in a state of suspense.

Or will I?

HAHAHAHAHAHA Blah blah blooooooooo lalahfjdhfkdakda.

No, I won’t.  It went fine.  We didn’t move on in the competition, but it was fun to be performing sketch comedy again in a non-academically-obligatory kinda way.  It was also great to perform in an non-entirely Humber-based audience.  Helps to shed some objectivity on life in general, as a whole.

Buuuut that being said… congrats to troupes Sketch & The City, Jape and Parker & Seville for moving on to the next round of the contest!

I’m going to go back to Sketch Com-ageddon tonight to catch more of the action because I loooooove sketch comedy! (And because performers get a 4-free show pass.)

Good luck to all you bloodthirsty troupes!

Ms. Brightside

Maybe I didn’t get to perform stand-up in the Industry Show this year – but tonight, I did get to perform on the Main Stage at Second City along with some amazing local comics.  Check out this line-up:

  • Blair Streeter!
  • Chris Roberts!
  • Mark DeBonis!
  • Erik Bamberg!
  • K. Trevor Wilson!
  • Hosted by Jim Kim!

 

Sometimes things have a way of working themselves out.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Chemika for the sweet pic!

You’re Never Trapped in a Cave

…or a mud hut, for that matter.  This was certainly well proven tonight in the National Theatre of the World‘s May 30th edition ofThe Script Tease Project, which I thought was brilliant!  Now, I’m pretty stupid, because I’ve only seen NTOW twice since moving to Toronto (if you don’t count the multiple times I’ve seen them on various TV commercials & in a bunch of the photos lining the walls at The Second City.)  I saw them do Carnegie Hallin the first few months after I’d started at Humber and it completely changed my understanding of what improv could be.  They are the outstandingly talented improvisers and ever since I first saw them, I have had the strongest desire to learn to emulate their skill and technique.

I also saw Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram perform together in November’s Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival – which, if you’d like to take a step back in time, you can read about HERE.

BUT ON TO THE MATTER AT HAND!  It was my first time seeing them perform @The_NTOW’s #ScriptTease format.  If you haven’t heard anything about it, well… who better to explain it than the cast itself:

The Script Tease Project ’12 – YouTube

Tonight, the playwright responsible for penning the first few pages was Anusree Roy, award-winning playwright and performer.  And, well, since Glenn Sumi moderated the Talk Back after #ScriptTease tonight, I’m just going to direct you to his feature in NOW all about Anusree so you can find out more:

OK – so you know how the show works and you who the playwright is – good?  Good.

Anusree Roy’s play:  Starving

The play was set in a mud hut in Calcutta. Naomi is Babui, wife of Gokul (Matt), but she is pregnant with the child of Gokul’s brother, Komol (Ron.)  To feed his starving wife, child and himself, Komol has killed a cow and it is lying outside in the village square.  But they are Hindu and cows are sacred.  The stakes are high and…

You know what, if you want the play-by-play of the play, you really should read what the live Tweeters were getting up to during the show ->  Here check out the feed, it’s hilarious: @The_NTOW

What I will do is tell you about how amazing an experience to watch these guys and lady live.  The moment the scripts are put down and the lights come back up, you’re truly taken into their universe.  Even though there’s not but a rug, a stool and a tiny bag on stage, you’re right there in that hut – and those seemingly meaningless objects become the funniest rug, stool and bag you’ve ever seen in your life.  They seamlessly flow in and out from dramatic and deeply emotional moments into the silliest nonsense:

  • “Please! Let me have a fun fun barbeque!”    (This is Calcutta, remember – after two years of drought!)
  • “There is no fish curry.  Eat the rug.”

No!  There are too many of these…  Just read the Twitter feed!!!! DO IT!!! Read it!!!  Or better yet, go see one of their shows.   This run goes until June 3rd, so you still have plenty of time.

THEN you’ll see how amazing they are at character work – I imagine South Asian accents are probably pretty tough to pull off – but then again, I’m still new to Toronto.

THEN you’ll see what good chemistry looks like.

THEN you’ll see what truly great improv is.

“It’s Jazz.”

Seriously.  Go see this show.  Call 416-504-7529 for tickets, or get them by e-mail at info [at] passemuraille.on.ca.  (Comedy nerds might be happy to know that Scott Thompson’s Script Tease play will be performed on Saturday, June 2nd @ 8pm.)

Fangirl Moment

I’m gonna go a bit fangirl for a second.  Please excuse, but I have to contain myself while at school so… here goes:

Um, it’s pretty dang nifty, I’d say, to work in a writer’s room with Dave Foley.  I ugh, how can?  I don’t.  What?  It’s Dave Foley for crying out loud.  My parents hated how obsessed I was with the Kids in the Hall growing up.  I was too young to catch their show when it originally aired, but I would watch re-runs on the early days of the Comedy Network repeatedly.  I would TAPE sketches on VHS, the ones I liked the most.   That feels like so long ago.  I had a pen-pal I met on a KITH fan message board.  A message board!  Do they even still have those?  Other than like, craigslist or kijiji!?!?  She sent me photos of their show in New York and I to her from their show in Buffalo.  She sent me Dave’s autograph.  Holy shit, I just remembered that now.   I used to quote Brain Candy with my friends.  Dina did a great Baxter!   I had a poster of The Wrong Guy on my wall when I was in high school for Pete’s sake.  Most of you probably haven’t even HEARD of the Wrong Guy!

And now I’m working with him in a writer’s room!!!!  Life, you’re being awesome right now!