Friday, October 13

NaNoWriMo time again

National Novel Writing Month is coming up again and I am diving back in. I have no plans on duplicating last years numbers as this year there is a lot more going on. But I am sure it will be about all I will be able to talk about for a while.

Thursday, October 12

Another Thursday, Another Class & The Departed

I went to see The Departed today. I haven't seen the Hong Kong movie Internal Affairs that it is based on. So I can't compare. BUT Scorsese's is a mighty fine movie. Not brilliant (but what is these days?). Just a good solid yarn. Yes, that's what it is. A good good yarn. Nice experience in obvious editing. Scenes cutting back and forth, a dance of fear and lies.

Waiting for class now. I still get nervous. Perhaps because each week I promise myself I am going to work on something specific, only to be confronted with something entirely different and then later realizing I entirely forgot to do what I said I was going to do because I ended up focusing on something else. But all is good.

Wednesday, October 11

Oh, rainy Wednesday

Went out today unprepared for the weather. My bad. And it is one of those Fall Damp Rains, that once it gets you wet you just want to get inside with hot chocolate and a quilt and read. But I have now hot chocolate, the quilt is being washed and none of the books I have are holding my attention.

Well, here's Tickle Me Harder starring TMX Elmo. NSFW if you're a muppet.

Anyway, went to Harold Night at UCB last night. It was good. I still have a crush on Ellie Kemper, but it is an audience / performer type crush. And I am purposely not actively searching for anyone. But crushes are good. I'll just pimp her show on Thursday. It's a double header with Hot Sauce. That's a spicy meatball of improv sexiness. I won't be there as I have class, but you should go.

I've been keeping an Improv Body Count of all the deaths I (or anyone who wishes to report them) has witnessed on stage during improv performances since 9/24. I'm at 61.5 deaths. Last night Gregory Tuculescu was chopped by push lawnmower Shannon O'Neill. See Greg had had a torrid affair with a riding mower and his wife, Ellie Kemper, had and affair with the neighbors push mower. Kemper also had two baby lawnmowers from the affair. She breast fed them. As I said, meatball... spicy... sexiness.

LOST will be on in about ten minutes. Man, is that a hard addiction for me. I can just talk about LOST for hours. But then I realize that I am over analyzing everything. And when I get into a conversation about it there will be one person there who doesn't like the show or just doesn't get it. It is not the type of show you can watch casually, like say CSI or Law & Order or House. You watch it or you don't. So I'm kind of tired of it.

Oh, there is a new episode of The Terrible Red Show up. Back on track. It's getting there. Step by step.

Sunday, October 8

More Practice, More Fun

I've been having the issue of the Level 2 slump that apparently everyone goes through. My whole class has, I think. (Actually it is now dawning on me, hearing stories of others, that this "slump" often extends deep into Level 5... horror!) Just being stuck in my head. I am fully aware of the cause of this. Improv, especially long-form, has a bunch of "rules." These rules are not hard and fast, but are most often just a series of things that help you avoid the many many pitfalls that folks often fall into. The idea is that you learn them, make them "muscle" memory and then forget about them.

But after Level 2 and the start of Level 3 you have gathered a tons of DON'Ts. You haven't done enough scenes/Harolds to run into the same problem twice, so you are always hitting a new "wall." You are (or at least I am) still thinking about what went wrong LAST time, that you stumble over something else. I know it is all part of the process, and I am extremely passionate about it, but I am also hyper-analytical.

So what gets lost is the "fun."

But today we had a practice class. Six of us. And, with the help of our coach of the week, Ben Schwartz, I finally was able (in a small way) to just let it happen. Certainly not in every scene, but when it happened, it was so so sweet. Like an embrace. Yes, a damn embrace of sweetness. I also allowed myself to get bigger in my characters. I also started to trust my instincts more.

It is also a thrill to "perform" with someone whose work you have admired for awhile. For the last few minutes, Ben joined us in a montage. When you are with someone who just makes such fascinating moves, it is inspiring.

(If you are curious about Mr. Schwartz, check out his site

Now I have to go write some sketches and drink my tea.