Assuming I live through it

I am getting used to life without Urinetown. I’m not much less busy than I was before, especially since I have my standing gig with Unexpected Productions. Getting back in shape with them is going to take some work, though.

I ran lights for most of their shows this past weekend, but participated in the 8:30 show on Saturday, which wasn’t Theatresports (that happens later on at night) but a more stylized form called Blank Slate. It was a pretty decent show for me, although I could’ve performed better. I had one flash of inspiration towards the end of the of the show, when I was playing a girl that one of the other characters had been pining after. He attempted to win my character over by using a metaphor for life that his recently-discovered biological father had given him… I responded with “that’s amazing, my dad told me the exact same thing!” Bam, comedy ensues for the remainder of the scene as our roles reverse as my character starts fawning on him, and his becomes extremely anxious.

I wish things had gone so well in Theatresports that night… I was only supposed to be running lights, but one of the teams unexpectedly responded to a challenge by switching out all of their players with everyone working tech, front of house, music, etc. So there I was suddenly thrust on stage with three other people of mixed improv experience, in a scene that was pretty much doomed to tank from the get-go. I wish I could say that I miraculously saved it somehow… but instead I think I just piloted us more squarely into the pavement as we crashed and burned. Bleh. Even though I know it wasn’t all my fault, it’s the first time people are seeing me back from my hiatus, and I wish things had gone better. I know I’m capable of doing better. I want people to think of me as an asset, not a liability.

Maybe it will help matters that I’ve signed on to do the 54-hour “improvathon” in June. That’s an entire weekend of unrelenting improv in June, from Friday evening until Sunday at midnight. (We get five minutes every hour for the bathroom, and are allowed two 30-minute breaks to sleep, but we have to stay on stage and will probably wind up being used as props.) It’s a pretty stupid thing to do, but I’m kind of excited to see what will come from it, and it will hopefully sharpen my skills somewhat. That’s assuming I live through it… I’ve pulled some all-nighters in my day but I doubt I’ve ever been up for anything close to 54 consecutive hours.

June is a busy month for Unexpected, as it’s their 25th anniversary and there’s a party as well as an international improv festival. I was confused at first that there might be overlap between the festival and the improvathon… the festival draws performers from all around the globe, and I can only imagine how a bleary-eyed me would react if around hour 40 or so I was suddenly performing with a bunch of folk who only spoke Japanese. Turns out the events are mercifully distinct, though.

I’ve mentioned before the river that runs outside my office at work… well last week there was the most adorable family of goslings camping on the bank of the river with their parents. I managed to crawl to within about six feet of them or so (before one of the adult geese started bobbing his head and snapping menacingly at me) and snap pictures with my cameraphone. They turned out somewhat poorly, but someone with a real camera and telephoto lens managed to take these:

In addition to this, a coworker brought in her pet birds and one of the doves saw fit to perch on top of my head. All in all it was a good day for bird-related surprises.

It’s a couple weeks late in coming, but I’d like to take a paragraph or so to mourn the passing of the Weekly Radio Address. These were parodies of President Bush’s radio addresses done in collaboration with The Onion, and just about the most brilliantly hysterical stuff you’ve ever heard. They have an archive of three years’ worth of material up on the site, but for those of you without the time or inclination to go browsing through I’ve cherry-picked some of my favourites here:

Giving Thanksgiving Thanks

Airline Terror Alert (If you don’t get the joke then it’s explained here)

June Terror Update

The Decider

The True Meaning of Christmas

A Holiday Tradition

Local Elections

Seriously, the whole collection is hilarious and you’d be remiss not to check it out.

Dan.

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