The Past

This post came up in my Facebook feed today and I wanted to share it with you. I wrote it when I was preparing my first ever “stand-up” “set”required to enter Humber’s School of Comedy. I wrote the post 6 years ago.

8 years ago

Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded how far we’ve come.

Finally, screenwriting

I have finally begun writing a fucking script!  I’ve been telling myself since graduation from Humber “Brie, write a spec script, Brie, write a spec script.  Do it do it do it now!”  But I didn’t.  I don’t know why?  Procrastination?  I guess it’s because I can always go out somewhere and perform.  It’s easy to put off writing by justifying the fact that you need to go out and do and see shows; to stay connected and to make sure people out in the community remember your face and that you do in fact, live and breathe.  However, equally, it’s important to have a base of written work in case someone asks you to write for their TV shows one of these days.  (Or so I dream.)

I decided not to write a spec script.  Rather, I’ve had an idea mulling around the ol’ brain box for a number of years now, and I’m finally putting the ideas down in writing and creating my first script for a sitcom pilot. Of course we did work on similar tasks while at Humber.  We collaboratively wrote a workplace pilot, which was altogether a very interesting learning process.  But it was the entire class working on it, so my contribution was pretty limited.  Nothing you could show to an agent or whatever.  We also wrote pitch packages in our writing class, which was also an interesting exercise, and I was told to get writing an episode, but I never quite found the desire for it.  It was a fun project to work on, but I didn’t see the show ever realistically being picked up.  It was about army cadets, and I don’t think there’s a huge interest in youth paramilitary activities.  At least, not since 1945 anyway.

In addition to the writing of words, I also caught a few live shows this week.  On Monday, I attended the Humber College New Faces ’14 show.  (I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since my face was new!)  It was a classy show and featured a guest performance by none other than veteran comic Dave Thomas.  Last year, I left the Industry Show with a sense of joy, maybe because I knew some of the performers still, and I was still riding high from my own experience from the year before, but this year the connection was a bit different.  I now look at the shows more critically, thinking: “if I were ever to direct a show of this magnitude, I would do this differently, or I wouldn’t do this at all, or I would definitely consider this… etc.”  Maybe having taken the Conservatory program at The Second City has given me more experience and a different approach to putting on a massive revue, but whatever the case,  I felt differently about this show than I had in the year prior.

Then I thought about the aftershmooze.  There were some people I would really have liked to chat with, but the room was clearing out and it seemed like everyone wanted to go home because it was friggin sweaty in there.  Also, I felt like what’s the point of talking to someone if they’re really there to see and mingle with the people who just performed a huge show that took months of preparation and 2 years of training?  It wasn’t my night to shmooze.  Or was it?  Who knows?  Are there appropriate conventions to shmoozing? It was a great night to catch up with my ol’ teachers.  Ever since high school I’ve found it slightly easier to connect with the teachers than to most of my classmates.  I know.  What a nerd, right?

Anyway, it was a great show, and it’s always a cool production to see such young, hopeful talent rockin’ their jokes & performing their little hearts out on the Main Stage.  It’s also a great way to get motivated to get my own butt back in gear!

That being said, I also attended a show put on by a great Toronto improv troupe; Fake Cops.  Every month they put on a free show at The Ossington. This week, they had some pretty awesome acts.  It seems like a great show to be able to explore; to make crazy choices and see where that takes you.  To do a set where you end up covered in cereal, or to perform with a mic stand wearing a wig.  Either way, the result was laughter!  There was some weirdness and some messiness, but it was all good, it was all interesting, and the night had a really good vibe going on.  I highly recommend checking this one out (and I’d love to get on it one of these days, if any Fake Cop ever reads this blog.)  Passive-manipulative social media marketing.  That’s my bag!

Aaaaaanyway,  I suppose I still have a job to go to tomorrow.  I best be off to bed.   Bonne nuit WordPress!

I don’t normally like wrestling…

I was feeling a bit frustrated the past couple days because I really wanted to check out the opening of the new Second City main stage show, We Can Be Heroes, but tickets were sold out and short from showing up and sneaking in, I couldn’t really afford to go anyway. I attended one opening when I worked there and it was such a great atmosphere among the crowd, which was filled with Second City alumni and friends of the community just buzzing over the accomplishment and excitement of putting on a brand new show.

So, I wondered what I could do that would be comedy-productive, since checking out the new revue wasn’t happenin’.  I decided trying to get on at Yuk Yuk’s that evening would be that thing.  It feels like it’s been a century since I last performed stand-up comedy.

I signed up for Humber night and was put on the stand-by list.  I pretty much swam to the club in yesterday’s crazy downpour and enough people hadn’t shown up that I was given a set in the middle of the line-up.  The sent went really well.  The club wasn’t packed, but the crowd was so into it, they were laughing heartily.  Ahhh… music to my ears!  Granted, I was a little out of practise, but – I was still pleased with how it turned out.  It was also great to see some Humber folks, past and present still going hard at working on their craft.

When I got off stage, I checked my watch and realized there was still time to make it to the Second City Training Centre Tuesday night improv drop-in that I normally don’t drop-in on on Tuesday nights because I typically have class.  And after 8+ hours of work and 3 hours of improv, I’m normally pretty pooped.  Anyway, I went – attended, participated as “The Mighty Cheese” (which is now my wrestling name) and had a fun time playing some silly improv games in what is admittedly far to close to an actual WWE wrestling format for my comfort.  But we gotta break out of those comfort zones, n’est-ce pas?  I played a game working on emotional levels, and another sortof confusing larger group scene which was… shall we say… interesting?

What a fun and productive day!  New jokes were told, new improvisers were met, new underwear were worn (I wish – I’m broke!)

Next on the agenda:  I’m getting new head shots!   Sidenote:  I’ve been meaning to get this done for MONTHS!   (It’s FINALLY gonna happen!!)

This is the look I'm aiming for!

This is the look I’m aiming for!

Trading Faces

It’s hard to believe a year has past since I shared a stage with Dave Foley.  Not just any stage, the main stage at the Second City.  But alas, here we are, one year later, watching my successors have their moment in the limelight alongside another Kid in the Hall, and a most royal queen, Scott Thompson.

God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen

The show was really good, I was super impressed by the performances, a lot of the writing, but mostly the sheer joy on the faces of the performers as they showcased  what they worked really hard on, ans what they learned over the past two years.

…and I can only IMAGINE the infinitely more positive environment these kids had to work with in the writer’s room and in rehearsal.  They were having fun.  And being creative.  I bet they were encouraged to create, explore and push a couple boundaries.  And you could tell all that by the performances.

It was also nice to bump into some fellow alumni and other industry folk for the evening.  🙂  (Including the good news I heard about a sponsorship for Water Wings – but more on that to come…)

I left the Main Stage feeling pretty encouraged and motivated to work hard on my own stuff.  Nothing like a bunch of kids graduating and entering the world of what you want to do to motivate you to make sure you keep at it yourself!  But first, I must rest… because I’ve got this nasty  cough that just started out of nowhere and I’ve got a busy week (month, life) ahead of me!

Congrats Humber Comedy class of 2013!   Y’done good.  Now keep up the hard work and I’ll see ya on the circuit!

Young and Out of Work

This actually comes at a pretty appropriate time, given the fact that I didn’t end up getting the administrative job I’d interviewed for last week.  And I’m broke.  And unDERemployed.

It’s an interview with my school pal, who shall not be named, about how hard it is to find a job these days.  And, who makes a brief appearance?  None other than yours truly… dressed as a dog.

Yup.  First time I’m on TV, and I’m dressed as a dog.

Check it out HERE!

Death & Rebirth: The Circle of Life…and stuff

 

There it is folks; shaking the President’s hand as I walk off with a brand-spankin’ new college diploma. The end of an era; an era filled with ups, downs, highs, lows, rape jokes and more uses of the c-word than I’d ever thought possible.  Yesterday, at the Toronto Congress Centre, along with a handful of my fellow colleagues, my parents & my man in attendance, I completed the final element of the Humber CollegeComedy: Writing & Performanceprogram.  And no.  That does not mean you get to stop reading my blog now.  Because as the title suggests, the end of my time at Humber is, just that; an end. An end to the daily classroom routine, an end to 9am stand-up & improv comedy classes, but I think most notably an end to one hell of a LOT of stressful social scenarios.

Phew.  Breath it in, readers.  Closure.

That being said, it also marks the beginning.  The beginning of a life devoted to humour.  From here on in, the performance and the quality of my work is in my hands alone and will not be judged or criticized by the same group of 11 others day in, day out.  (Until/if I get a job in a writer’s room.)  It’s the beginning of new sketch troupe potentials (Cumin Rice Violation, anyone?), the beginning of spec script writing, story writing in general, play writing, book writing, writing writing, the beginning of job hunting for something in the biz, as lame as the job may be.  The beginning of a life in which I received a hug from Andrew Clark. (Victory!) Also, very excitingly (ALMOST as exciting as the hug,) it’s the beginning of my improv training at The Second City.

I had my first class today with instructor Brian G. Smith who, I’m told, is an excellent teacher.  (So far, this stands true. :P) My classmates come from all sorts of different walks of life; journalists, mothers, actors, tradespeople & they all seem super nice/fun/cool.  Many of them took Level B together last term, so they’re all very tight & familiar with one another, but they’re quite warm and welcoming, so you don’t get that sense of high school cliquerie.

It’s also the beginning of my life with an air conditioner. (Better grad gift than a frame, I’ll be the first to admit.)

Beginnings.  Lots of them.

I intend to take on these new beginnings with poise, dignity and of course, humility.  Oh hey?  Did I mention I got top of my class at Humber?  Yup.  Honours Award for Academic Excellence.  No big deal.  What?

I’m actually really super excited about this. #nerd4life

June Update = Jupdate

It’s been a fun past two evenings down at Comedy Bar for Sketch Com-ageddon, but sadly I won’t be able to see the rest of the competition because I’m working the next few evenings and on Saturday I’m going to see Radiohead.

Finally, a band I’ve wanted to see live in concert since I was pre-high school.  The Bends was the first CD I ever bought.  For whatever reason, I never got around to seeing them live.  I had tickets the last time they were in Canada, but I had to re-sell them in order to return to France (oh, boo-hoo, I know!)  The kicker, they’d been playing the city where I lived in France the DAY before I arrived.  I really should have planned that better.  But this weekend, I’m finally going to see them.  Unless someone has free tickets to France.

Back to Com-Ageddon, it was fun!  I performed on Monday and Tuesday I attempted to live-Tweet the festivities (despite my tardiness.) It was fun to re-connect with some TOsketchfest pals & Humber pals.  It felt a little strange to see fellow Humber students now, even though we used to see each other every single day of the week.  Maybe that’s why.  Or maybe it’s because I’m kindof awkward, socially.  Mph.

I’ve got a PREVIEW to some news.  A few of my fellow comedians with similar sensibilities are planning somewhat of a comedy tour in October.  We’re thinking about hitting up some more Eastern areas, such as Ottawa, Montreal and Sherbrooke, and some more Western areas, like St. Catharines, London and Guelph.  If anyone who reads this blog lives around any of those places, keep reading for more information to come.  If you’re from those areas and you have tips about venues and booking information, please get in touch with me – because I value your knowledge and experience.

Ooooh!  Also.  My partner in cat-crime, Paige Mcintrye, & I finally put up our second episode of CatChatz.  You should be sure to check that out, because it’s funny and about cats.