…they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
—Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato
Someone posted this as a comment to an article on jezebel about how today’s youth suck. Socrates, Plato and the correlations between Athenian democracy and contemporary America make my life.
I think the salads made at “Hale & Hearty Soups” are better than the ones from a place called “Just Salads”. I also think the salad I got at the Mrs. Fields/Deli in the subway concourse was better than the salads I got at Just Salads. Discuss.
I skipped the P.I.T. last night and saw Totally J/K at the UCB. It was an interesting show because I think the comics were trying out new material. Actually, that’s wrong. Rob Cantrell mentioned doing his bits before. Leo Allen gave his set a pre-amble that led me to believe it was new. John Mulaney’s is definitely all new. Well, maybe not. None of it was from The Top Part and there was no Girl Scout Cookie rant or garbage train commentary involved. So, in essence, I have no idea if it was new stuff, but it was all new to me.
I feel kind of iffy about whether or not I should go into what the comics talk about. Some might consider it spoilers. I will say there was a prevailing theme of vulnerability in all the acts—particularly Allen and Mulaney. It seemed like it was “expose your worst nightmares and most embarrassing experiences” night or something. Allen seemed to have more control over the tone of his story. Like, he was constantly able to interject wry wit at every turn and seemed to emerge the moral victor at the end. Mulaney’s set kept the house in hysterics the entire time, but when I thought back to everything he had shared, I really felt…well, sorry for the guy. Maybe that’s strange to say, but it left me thinking about the philosophy of exposing oneself emotionally in comedy. Like, the more you embrace the pain and fear, the further your art can go. Hmmm… And the emcee had us sing along with the ediets.com theme song. Fun!
After that it was Mustang Sally’s where I had an exciting serving of water. I was once more introduced to impressive people I don’t have a right to talk to yet. I was quizzed on what the UCB and Magnet Writing Programs are like and then creeped the members of Big Black Car out by pointing out that Kevin James is filling in for Chris Farley in the new Sandler/Rock/Spade/Schneider film. All in all, fine family fun!
Granted, I haven’t watched Lost really in over a year, but I have been keeping up with the big plot points online. After watching the unLocke/Jack showdown, it seems to me though that it’s become a lot like Supernatural S5. Fair statement?
no one is going to get things done for you, make shit happen for yourself. Don’t be such a pussy and stop letting people take control of your dreams, yes i’m talking to you. So you want to move to l.a and become an actress? Then just DO IT already and stop talking about it, jesus. This is my…
Ugh, taking two sketch writing classes at once is confusing...
…because based upon what I learned this week at the UCB I should SERIOUSLY edit and rewrite my commercial parody for my Magnet class tomorrow. But, based upon what my Magnet instructor wants, I should keep it a fat, lame, long piece of shit so I can edit it down later. Plus, I don’t know if I was supposed to approach a commercial parody with “game” in mind or not, because there was no instruction for the commerical parody.
Hence, I have just written a stinking pile of doody called “Rent-a-Sultan”.
But I won’t apologize for it. It’s got potential. Sort of. If I UCB-style edit it. *headpalm*
I used to hate the UCB. Really. Everything I heard about “game” as a collegiate improviser disgusted me to the core. The one time I’d seen Asssscat, the actors spent most of the time heckling the audience and indulging in toilet humor.
But now? Well, I’ve seen some amazing stuff and some better than average stuff there. I like how the shows are typically $5 or free, and how these shows give fans easy opportunity to see their idols on stage. My class that I was spazzing out about? It was INCREDIBLE. I feel challenged and enlightened all at once. It may not be completely my style, but the UCB dissects humor to a technical craft. Maybe there’s no romance to it, but if you want to be better, sharper, more professional, those are the tools you need to have. I really like my instructor so far. He’s a nice supportive guy, but he doesn’t seem to bullshit. My class? We’ll see. Some of them are of the “it needs to be completely believable in real life to be funny” mindset. So, my ”Henry Higgins gives speech therapy to Chewbacca” sketch might not be the way I want to go in this class. It’s going to be a fun challenge. It’s pretty much exactly what I wanted to get out of a sketch class in NY. Fun times.
I know it’s early, but so far I feel a stronger pull to the P.I.T. or UCB than I do to the Magnet. We’ll see in two months where I want to continue my studies. I need to cut it down to only two theaters for my budget.
I LOVE finding out who wrote what. It’s a total mystery to me why SNL can’t add a byline to the hulu clips saying “written by:”. It would be really fascinating to see if you can track certain writers’ voices and batting averages for getting on air.
I only started this blog about a week ago, and already people I don’t know in real life are following me. As I have a touch of the narcissism, this pleases me greatly. Thanks for following!
I’ve noticed other peeps on tumblr occasionally welcome these strangers into their world with a blurb of personal information. So, it’s personal fact time!
Real Name: Meghan
Age: a spritely 25
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
What’s Doing: I just moved to New York on May 1. By day, I am a demurely dressed, mild-mannered Research Assistant for a midtown financial firm. The cool things about the job are financial security, sweet benefits, nice co-workers, tons of downtime to web surf and write, and working across the street from 30 Rock. By night, I am a less demurely-dressed, sharp-tongued worshipper of the comedy and improv scene. I am currently enrolled in classes at all three major improv theaters: Sketch Writing at the Magnet and the UCB, and Improv Level 1 at the P.I.T. I performed improv all through college at Boston University and have studied at ImprovBoston and ImprovAsylum. In more recent years, I was drifting towards scripted comedy. I’ve completed the Sketch Writing program at ImprovBoston and was a regular contributor for Boston News Net (bostonnewsnet.com). I also do “teh srs acting” on occasion. You know, low budget Shakespeare plays and the like.
A Few Of My Favorite Things: comic books, costumed dance parties, cupcakes, cheap bottles of red wine, traveling, the UK*, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Jeff Buckley, Lady Gaga, Laura Marling, short skirts, ballet flats, historical sites, celebrity gossip, the Olympics, cooking, running & long rambling walks with my iPod blasting.
Again, thanks for following! Now I need to figure out how to reply to replies!!
* I’ve long resisted the label “anglophile”, but there’s no other word. I was an English major purely for the Brit Lit, studied abroad at Oxford my junior year, spent six months in London post college, listen to UK radio online, and base my wardrobe on London fashion. It’s really sad to be an anglophilic Irish American.
So last night marked the third Wednesday in a row I spent at the P.I.T. and afterwards, Mustang Sally’s. The consensus after the 7pm show was that both teams, Local 154 and Borealis, gave incredibly strong performances. I think I’m most impressed with both teams’ internal chemistry. The members of Local 154 seem to have very different and distinct comic voices, and yet they blend together to make a really cohesive whole. The members of Borealis seem to have an innate sense of one another’s timing that lends itself to complex comic payoffs. Good stuff all around.
I was also finally able to catch the 8pm show last night. Yay for the wait list! It was a super cool show. Senator started their longform (I think it was a Harold, but I always hesitate to call something a Harold because some people get really elitist about the definition) with a single monologue from a single suggestion. I think working like this really narrowed the focus of each scene and created natural recurring themes. Then, of course, was Big Black Car. It was evidently a special night because “blast from the past” Ellie Kemper was on stage with them. After the show, everyone kept buzzing about a scene in which Kurt Braunohler had impregnated Ellie and they were visiting an abortion doctor. I was really glad I was able to sneak in and see it after the 7pm. Also, I think I might have a tiny bit of a girlcrush on Ellie Kemper now. Her style of improv was kind of new to me because she didn’t rely on big characters or over the top physicality. Also, she is so pretty in real life and makes me feel like I wear too much makeup.
Overall, a fantastic night! I’m very excited now that I signed up for Level 1 at the P.I.T. Everyone kept telling me really wonderful things about my instructor. Hurrah for good times!
Aw man! I ended up doing the same thing and I'm kicking myself for it because Paul Rudd was there too.
Btw thanks for following me. Your Big Lake review basically said everything I thought as well.
Hey, thanks for following me. I am a tumblr n00b, but I noticed that you actually went to the same show I did and you seem to have similar interests besides comedy as me, so I figured you’d be fun to follow.
I just had this madcap idea for an improv or sketch show about girls who snuck into the Imperial Academy ala Yentil or She’s the Man. They discover they are the only girls there and constantly are freaking out about how hot that new recruit Soontir Fel is, or how the mating habits of Hutts make no sense, or how all the stormtroopers look a lot a like, or how the Empire actually seems to be run by evil people.
I really should just step away from the nerdom and work on freewriting my commercial parody for Sunday’s class.
Last night I was priviledged to see two episodes of Big Lake at the UCB. Because Chris Gethard and Horatio Sanz asked us in the audience to not post spoilers, I will do my best to avoid any plot or joke details.
The bottom line…good or bad? Really good. My feeling is that this is definitely going to be a hit for Comedy Central, if not a cult sensation. It really comes down to when they air it, how they promote it, and what timeslot they give the show. Why do I say this? Firstly, the style is a really interesting mix of classic sitcom shooting style with contemporary humor. The way it’s shot makes it look unlike anything that’s been produced on network TV since the mid 1990’s. For a subversive sitcom on Comedy Central, this is a good idea. As for the writing, I don’t typically laugh out loud at sitcoms, but I did during both episodes I saw last night. It’s one of the few sitcoms I’ve seen in which setup and reaction shots are just as funny as punchlines. It’s still a little bit rough, but the pacing and tone are already working. It sounded like they are still working on a couple of things related to plot and character development, but the dialogue is sharp and witty all the way through. Great games are played in the B plots of both episodes I saw, and there are some potential breakout supporting players.
As for the cast? The cast is pretty much what makes the show spectacular. Chris Gethard, Horatio Sanz & Chris Parnell have fantastic chemistry together and each knows how to make the most of every line they are given. There was a moment towards the beginning of the screening where I tried to imagine Jon Heder playing Gethard’s role, and I just couldn’t picture it. It really is a role that Chris Gethard was meant to play. I’ll admit that when I used to watch SNL in college, I had no idea what Horatio Sanz or Chris Parnell would do after their tenure at 30 Rock. The answer is Big Lake. Sanz plays his role with a lighter touch and more depth than I ever saw on SNL. It only adds to the humor and he really shines as a comedic actor. I was most impressed, however, with Parnell. His delivery on every line of dialogue was truly incredible. The man has ridiculously masterful timing. I think this is the role that is finally going to give him the respect he’s always deserved.
My one complaint? Besides the mother, there really are no female characters—but there are a LOT of male characters. At the end of the screening, Sanz and Gethard pointed out an actress in the audience who supposedly has a supporting role. This role was comprised of two lines of dialogue in one episode. There was also a scene (I’m trying not to spoil anything) in which a group of people was presented. Most of these people were girls, but one male character spoke repeatedly for the entire group. That’s where the gender disparity became really noticable. I realize that as a woman I’m more sensitive to this, but they might want to include at least one more strong supporting female to the roster. It’s not so much a critique of the acting or the writing, but there it is…
So in conclusion, Big Lake is awesome stuff. It’s funny, has great performances and a skewed mindset that I love. I will definitely catch it when it comes on Comedy Central—and you probably should, too
Whenever I’d try to explain why I was done with improv to an older, wiser improviser, they’d be really supportive and then explain I was just going through a phase. Apparently I was supposed to go through an anti-improv phase only to return to it with renewed passion. I didn’t believe them. Well, they were right. I desperately want back in. *sigh*