Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life Overload

This post is purely for my own sanity. I need some place where I can write down all the things I'm involved in right now just so I can try to make sense of my life. You see, I've set a lot of balls in motion over the past couple months, and now they're all kind of gaining speed. So without further ado, here's the list of crap I've got on the brain:

1. Poop Monsters from Castle Poopskull - my new, experimental two-person improv team that I formed with my friend Nellie. We're having our first show August 25th. We're getting t-shirts made and everything. So far we haven't even had one actual rehearsal together. But we're planning on having weekly rehearsals leading up to the show. If all goes well, we'll start looking for more opportunities in the future.

2. Bastion Videos - I've been interviewing a number of local comics about themselves and their perspectives on comedy. The interviews are one part real journalism and one part sketch (at least that's the way we're evolving them). I've got quite a backlog of video that I need to edit, so that's on the agenda.

3. Spec Script - I've done a pretty significant edit on my first draft of my 30 Rock spec script. It still needs some more tweaking, but I'm nearing the end. Sometime in September I will likely stage a reading, along with my friends Maureen and Jack (yet another thing that will take planning and coordinating). It's pretty exciting though.

4. The Homo-Breeder Alliance - This is my sketch group that has kind of been on hiatus for a while. Supposedly we may be getting a director, which will jumpstart things again for us. I sure hope we do. They're a really smart group of people, and the opportunity to write and act in smart queer-oriented sketches that appeal to a wide audience is hard to pass up.

5. An unnamed improv group - The former members of Armchair Showcase that aren't moving (i.e. me, Qian, Maureen and maybe Jack) are trying to create a new, much more informal improv group, along with some newbies. As of now, the group will probably be comprised of all girls, except for two gay guys, me and coincidentally someone I know from college. We'd only perform about once a month, so the commitment is doable. I really hope this gets off the ground.

6. Audition this Saturday for Theater Momentum - Theater Momentum is gaining a name for itself for producing improv shows that are praised as both comedic and dramatic at once. They are holding unified auditions this Saturday, and I just made makeshift headshots for it today (thanks Nellie and Daniel for the help). You can see a sample of the headshot at the bottom of this post. I'm a little nervous about the audition, especially if I get a callback and then get a part. It's going to be a huge commitment. But it sounds like a great opportunity.

7. Improv for Kids Program - I'm going to start teaching kids how to improvise in a couple weeks. The program at Matt's workplace (despite our separation) is moving forward. I'm really excited about this since it's a whole new facet of improv for me...teaching! Plus working with kids will likely be a welcomed change of pace from working with adults. Bring on the fun!

8. Videos - I just bought a camera so I can make funny videos. It's mainly just a digital camera, but it can take about an hour of high-quality footage with the right memory card. I'm planning on making some sketches in my new apartment once I move as well as a few before I do.

9. Non-comedy stuff - This includes moving to a new apartment, breaking up with my boyfriend and running my own business. I think I'm a little ADHD.

Oh, here's that headshot I promised. Can you believe this was taken outside behind an elementary school? That background is really just a metal door.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sorry For The Delay

Hello readers,

I'm sorry for the delay in creating a new post. My world has been in a state of flux for a bit. But I have some inexplicable downtime right now, so I thought I'd make a little post.

First, I've been drinking a lot lately. It's weird. I'm not much of a drinker. Don't get me wrong. I like alcohol alright and everything. It's just I typically reserve my libations for the weekend. Well, without a weekend anymore (remember that whole throwing off the shackles of the 9-5 world thing?) I kind of have freedom to drink whenever the damn hell I want. And lately I've wanted it to be everyday.

This really sucked yesterday for Chicago's Pizza. After a night of comedy and celebrating my friend Crank's b-day at Hopleaf, I came home around 12:30 am hungry as a drunk wolf. Not really realizing my quickly fading consciousness, I dialed Chicago's pizza and ordered some grub. "45 minutes to an hour" they said. Well they were sorely disappointed when they finally arrived as nearly two hours later I woke up on the futon, the television still glowing and my cell phone recording three missed calls from Chicago's Pizza. Lesson learned?

I think the underlying reason for all this drinking is probably because of the aforementioned dynamics of my life as it stands right now. I'm in the middle of a separation, maybe a break-up, I guess its TBD. In any case, Matt and I are going our separate ways after spending 4.5 years together. I'm not going to go into all the various reasons why things haven't been working out for us. What's the point? Just get me drunk and ask me in person. Loose lips sink ships and all that jazz.

In any case, I'm moving out of the apartment a month early, which means as of Sept. 1 I will have a new place to live. I've been apartment shopping the past week. At first I was dead set on a studio. Then I looked at two studios yesterday. They're awful. They truly are glorified closets with mini ovens and fridges inside. For a few hundred dollars more I can get a really kick ass one bedroom. So that's what I'm doing. There's a place I'm looking at today that has an extra long lease attached, but it has all utilities (including cable t.v. include) and a 4x4 shower...oh and it's right by the gay beach.

Another reason why I've probably been drinking more is that Sadie ran away on Monday. I'll preface this part of my blog with WE FOUND HER! as not to worry any readers. But she got out thanks to Matt's absent-minded, drunk friends. I spent the entire morning cancelling interviews for work, crying and shaking a bag of cat food outside. Finally our upstairs neighbors spotted a cat that wasn't theirs in their closet. It tried to claw them. Of course it was Sadie. I sang to her the rest of the day. She likes it when I replace words in oldies songs with her name, e.g. Baby Come Back = Sadie Come Back.

Finally, I bought a bike helmet. Thank you. Thank you. I realized I was just waiting until my head got crushed to get one, so for once I used my noggin and bought me one. (However, I did ride home from the store with the helmet still in the box. Old habits die hard.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fuzzy Memories - Part 1

Here's a new installment of my blog. It's called "Fuzzy Memories," and it's basically stories from my past that I vaguely remember. Everything that I write is true to the best of my memory, which Lord knows is about as solid as Jell-O.

This first installment was inspired by the wonderful, family-oriented show The Moment of Truth. For those not familiar, TMoT is a FOX game show where contestants must reveal their most terrible, dark secrets to win money. If they tell the truth, they win money. If they lie, they lose. Questions tend to deal with relationships and family, which is convenient because they always have the contestant's significant other and family in the studio, so they can watch in horror as it is revealed that the their loved one has been cheating/lying/plotting their deaths for quite some time.

The other day one of the questions posed on TMoT was "Have you ever been involved in a car accident and fled the scene?" Of course the woman had done this, and when she responded truthfully, the audience booed and hissed (and then immediately cheered and applauded after she was awarded money; go figure).

This crappy, sleazebag gameshow triggered a memory, a memory I'm not too proud of but every time I think about it, I laugh. I had fled the scene of a traffic accident once.

I was in college, probably a junior. Many of my friends and I were journalists. I was kind of a crappy journalist. I slacked off a lot and spent a lot of time inebriated on a variety of substances. But I was always there to lend a friend a hand. And my friend Patrick needed one.

Patrick was a neurotic, studious student with high hopes for his future (he currently works for a newspaper in Florida). He was always very polite and obeyed all laws (note: he was a fairly straight edge kind of guy). One day he asked if I could drive him to the local movie theater so that he could conduct an interview. I think Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11 was coming out, and he was doing a piece on the fervor. I could be wrong. This is called Fuzzy Memories.

Anyway, I took him to the theater in my beat up '89 Oldsmobile. I didn't want to go inside so I sat in the car in the parking lot waiting for Pat to come out. About 10 minutes later he did. He hopped into the car, I put it into reverse and I pushed the accelerator.


We turned around and saw I had rammed a giant, parked pick-up truck. I'm completely calm. Meanwhile, Pat is freaking out. Here we are in a parking lot in the middle of the day, Pat just was in the theater spending much face-to-face time with the theater manager, who obviously knew Pat's name at this point. It was understandable that he'd be a little worried.

So I got out of the car and did a quick inspection. My car had a little bit of a scratch on it. Nothing major. And considering my car was basically a hunk of junk, I could have cared less. The truck too was fairly unharmed. The only damage whatsoever was a cracked taillight.

No owner was in sight. I had nothing to write a note with. The damage was minimal. Pat was freaking out. So I put the car in drive and drove off. All of this lasted about 30 seconds.

So there. I got it off my chest. And I was able to recount a memory that I haven't recalled in probably about 5 years. If any other random memories ever occur to me, I'll write those down too as my next installments in Fuzzy Memories.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Asshole - Texas Style

Meet Joe Horn. He's 61 years old and resides in a nice neighborhood in Pasadena, Texas. He's a grandfather, a gun owner and a real fucking asshole.

Asshole isn't the right word for Mr. Horn. Murderer? Killer? Psychopath? Not one of these encapsulates the brutal insanity that this man wields inside his fleshy dome. I'd call him a douchebag, but that's offensive to douchebags everywhere.

You see, Mr. Horn took the law into his own hands. One day he was looking out his window and saw two men robbing his neighbors home. Like a good concerned citizen, Horn called 911. The dispatcher assured him that the police were on their way. But that wasn't good enough for Mr. Horn. He had to make sure these robbers would be caught and punished. Ignoring the pleadings of the 911 dispatcher, Mr. Horn grabbed a shotgun and shot the two thieves in their backs. In their backs! Even in Texas, a state known for its libertarian, no-nonsense ways, this was an act of cowardice.

When the decision came down in Mr. Horn's murder case, the jury decided to let him off the hook. There's a law in Texas called the "Castle Law," which basically states a person's home is their castle and they are legally allowed to use deadly force to protect it. But Mr. Horn wasn't protecting his own home. He was protecting his neighbor's. And the burglars weren't committing acts of violence. They were merely robbing the house of money and jewelry, items that could be insured and restored. However their lives, sadly, cannot be.

Many are calling Mr. Horn a hero. He saw a crime being committed and did what he could to stop it. I think Mr. Horn is a symbol of the state of the nation. Here is a man that is so crippled with fear that he would take a shotgun to the backs of two burglars. Here is a man who values money over human lives. Here is a man who probably thinks the terrorists are out to get us, that illegal immigrants are taking our jobs, that hate, violence and inhumanity lurk around every corner waiting to destroy everything we hold sacred.

The truth is the world is a peaceful place. It is the fear that Mr. Horn fosters that turns it into the violent, ugly world he perceives. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"I'd say I'm about this much of an asshole."
- Joe Horn