Guess Who’s Gonna Be Eating Bacon?

This message was posted on the Guess Who’s Coming to Improv? Facebook page today.  It is heartwarming and amazing:

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This message is a greater gift than any host could hope for.  And yet, tonight, Rachel came back to the show and gifted me with two hilarious scenes as well as the following:

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I didn’t really know what to expect when I started hosting #GWCI. I wanted to play more, I wanted others to have the opportunity to play more, and I wanted people from all levels of the learning spectrum to mingle and create magic together.

I certainly never in the process ever expected BACON!

These are life’s wonderful little gifts.

Thank you Rachel!

Bad Stand-Up Set? Try Improv.

The best way to get over a crappy stand-up set, I discovered last night, was to hit up an improv room.  Specifically, Natasha Boomer’s “Wheel of Improv.”  After a fair amount of ridiculousness, a little practice of my own, watching some newbies go up for the first time, watching some more experienced enjoy the challenge of working with the seasoned pros (in this case, special guests were Ken Hall & Rob Norman as well as a surprise drop-in from Becky Johnson & Kayla Lorette,) and finally chats and cupcakes at the end of the night, I felt a whole lot better about myself.

The stand-up bit needs more work, but at least I don’t feel as bitter about it after having been in the extremely supportive care of the Toronto improv community.

 

 

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!

Sketchfest: 2014 Edition

It’s Sketchfest season again everybody!  Hooray and celebrate!  This year, I am not working quite as diligently with the organizers as I’ve done in the past, mostly because I’m too busy with the day job to sustain all the evenings of hilarity and drinking and fun times.  Fun times are exhausting, you guys.  Anyway, I have been checking some of the shows and so far they have been GREAT!

Speaking of great, I wrote another article for She Does the City and it 100% has to do with Sketchfest, so please go ahead and check it out:

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The idea was that I interview all the all-female troupes (Templeton Philharmonic, Ladystache, 2 Weird Ladies, LadyBusiness & She Said What) participating in this year’s Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival & find out more about them, their style, and why the readers of shedoesthecity.com should check them out.  It was a lot of fun.  I quickly became aware of why podcasts are so popular, because interviewing other comedians is really fun and insightful.  I wouldn’t want to do it all the time, because transcribing takes a LOT of time, but the sitting down and talking to funny and interesting, hardworking and genuinely great people was a lot of fun!

Tonight, I’m off to check out the Kids in the Hall (if only 16 year-old Brie knew how many opportunities she would get in the future to see these guys live) as they do a live reading of their film Brain Candy.  It’s going to be great!  I love how they all hated one another when they made this movie, and now they’re revisiting it as older, cooler buds.

As the festival continues, I will attempt to post more, but don’t just sit here and read.  Make sure you go out and see as many shows as possible.  This is seriously such a great comedy festival, a wonderful place to study styles and methods of performing the art and basically just a really sick party.

My highlights of the fest so far are:

  • Bri-Ko (but they’ve already went back to Chicago, so you missed them.  Sorry.  Check them out if ever you’re in  Chicago though, because they blew my MIND!)
  • Peter n’ Chris (they’re done with Sketchfest too, but you CAN check out this video pilot for their new webseries thing coming out, which is a lot of fun.  It’s called Hardly Men and you can catch a glimpse here:

HOW TO AVOID BEING ASKED FOR WEDDING ADVICE @SheDoesTheCity

It was a big day for Canadian women yesterday.  We took home the Gold in Hockey and Curling, and on the home front, this Canadian gal had her own personal little victory.

I’m talking about my first article published in She Does the City, a most excellent website geared towards all things women.  It’s a wonderful site with all sorts of great resources concerning events going on in town as well, so check it out, and have a laugh.

SheDoesTheCity

It’s Latin so it’s Gotta Be Good

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Last night I had the pleasure of hosting a fantastic comedy variety show at Musideum; that word, that name… you know any venue with a Latin suffix is bound to be awesome!  This amazing little space on Richmond St. was filled with hundreds of musical instruments, a beautiful grand piano and, in this case, a bunch of hilarious performers and a super-supportive audience.

The weekly show is put on by The Sandbox,  comedy troupe formed in the Second City’s Conservatory program, who’ve stuck together to continue their comic journey.  Damnit, now I’m describing the Conservatory program as a journey.  What have I become?

Anyway, The Sandbox kicked off the show with some great fun and lively improv.  They were followed by a musical comedy troupe called The Sour Keys, who were super impressive.  They performed songs ranging from adorably punny to really disturbingly cute.  Next on the bill was 2 Humans, a great little sketch duo set to perform at this year’s Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival (so go check them out!)  Finally, closing the billed show was a solid and hilarious improv set put on by well-known troupe Sneak Attack.  The night wrapped with an improv lottery jam, in which yours truly was invited to participate; and I was a dinosaur and a horned-up old lady at the LCBO hitting on a 19-year wine salesman.  Playing within my range, y’know.

Oh, did I mention there was a gigantic, awful, miserable snow storm yesterday?  And yet,  the Musideum was packed to the brim for the show with a warm and very supportive audience of people who just seemed happy to be there and were rewarded and delighted by the night’s hilarious performers.

What a fun night of comedy!  Even better, there’s a new Comedy Night at Musideum every single Wednesday, so next time – you can be there to experience the fun for yourself!

 

A Set!

 

My reaction to starting up stand-up again after a mini-hiatus due to Conservatory and general fatigue from lengthy commutes.

Not My Dog is a fun night run by an incredibly nice lady, who I think wants to remain nameless on the Internet to avoid trouble with the school board.

I recommend it strongly for pumping out some new stuff or strengthening your classics.

Audition 2, Wheel 5

2nd Audition of the year, folks.  Not too bad considering we’re not even into January’s double-digits.  I wonder at what point this process will begin to get easier, or at least, less nerve-wracking?  I thought this would be a good role for me, it asked for a bit of tom-boy-ish-ness, and I mean, come on, I was an army cadet for 7 years, I’ve got a bit of that in me, no doubt, but why is it so difficult to bring it up on command?  Especially when there’s someone else in the room sucking out everyone’s energy asking the world to pay attention to “them”?  You know, those people?

The kind of person who, like, your friend would say “I just got engaged!” and immediately afterwards they would chime in with an: “OH MY GOD, I HAVE A HANG NAIL AND MY LIFE IS GOING TO END!  EVERYBODY PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”

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You know that kindof person?  What are they called again?  Oh right.  Actors.

Anyway, despite the attention-hog, I think the audition went well.  I’m beginning, slightly, to feel more comfortable, and like I have a right to be there.  I don’t know why, maybe because I didn’t go to acting school, but I always sortof feel like I’m imposing on some world or universe I’m not supposed to be a part of; seeeeeecrets.  I think the audition room should be a more welcoming environment, acknowledging and encouraging optimal talent and possibility, rather than petty competitiveness and oneupmanship.  But what do I know?  I’m just a silly comedian.

Speaking of welcoming, I attended the 5th Anniversary of Natasha Boomer’s community-building weekly Wheel of Improv tonight at Comedy Bar.  (And it took me less than 5 minutes to get there.  OMG Love my new apartment!)  I’ll admit I haven’t gone to that show as much as I would have liked.  The last time I went, it was still in the JCB and I had only begun to crush on my now 3 years & counting man-beau (because that’s what improv is all about, amirite ladies???) …and then there was that one time a few weeks ago at BGS’ Holiday party, and there were treats, and treats are fun. (because that’s what improv is all about, amirite ladies???)

“Wheel” is such a positive space; there’s a variety of different levels of experience, and the more people play together, the better we all get, collectively.  So, cheers to 5 years of that sexy sexy Wheel and I hope, especially now that I’m so close, I will motivate my own ass to attend more frequently.

If I lived in Mississauga, I would still be driving home right now.   (What?)