I am sold on high speed business class train travel. Bring it on!
I am sold on high speed business class train travel. Bring it on!
My very first sketch class that I instructed. It was scary, exciting and rewarding – it took a long time to get these projects complete. But here they are now.
So for those of you who don’t have the pleasure of owning one of these:
This was the first PIF at the Herberger Theater. 2008.
Some things are still the same as that year. We’ve been at the Herberger Theater, staying at the Holiday Inn Express and enjoying the proximity to Space 55 ever since.
This particular year we had the closing party at Tommy Schaeffer’s and there was fried chicken. There was also a famous conversation between two legends.
Check out these workshops! Wowza. Also – cheap. Ah the good ole days.
I regret not taking one – but I was spending my third year focusing hard on hospitality and having too much fun I’m sure.
There was also a map, downtown Phoenix was a much different place back then. I remember TJ & Pete playing catch in an empty lot just across the street from Space 55. Certainly not an empty lot anymore.
So now the fun part comes in – it doesn’t stop there – oh no.
Michelle Edward, Amy Carpenter and myself made a coloring book. At the time, I new some of the people in the book, however no where near as well as I do now. Such fun to look back on. And some super clever stuff. I hope you enjoy.
So then the Mail Order Bride picture comes up and for all my fellow brides – this picture is significant to now as we celebrate our 10th yr Anniversary and are just about to release our 2017 calendar.
In conclusion – this guide was pretty rad and I love that it exists and I can happen upon it every three years or so.
If anyone wants to do this for PIF16, let’s talk.
Over the course of the last couple weeks – everyday Hot Mess gave you a taste of a few ladies: The Designer, The Sisters, The Tough One, The Strange One and The Thinker. We definitely enjoyed creating, exploring those characters and sharing our inspired improvisations off of welcomed questions from our Facebook followers.
The first round of Hot Mess characters – under the Wiggin’ Out playlist was truly our first attempt at anything. Just a simple goal – with fun exploration – just to see if we can follow through with something and maintain interest within ourselves without the constructs of life narrowing the path.
…And we did – we put some stuff up, some good, some bad, some great …But it was only just the beginning for Hot Mess. We have more in store and so we moved onto the next chapter in Hot Mess content.
Today we announce DUDEin’ Out w/ Hot Mess.
One thing we did notice about our second round of fully improvised answers to random questions based on minimal gifts to a character, how much it allowed them to be discovered in the moment – as the interview progressed. I can look back on it now and see that with our first Wiggin’ Out characters – however, we were more comfortable and excited about that process this time, led to a lot of wonderful moments of just character behavior. We’re having fun and we hope you enjoy some too!
Let me take you back to April of 2010. I was deep into Phoenix Improv Festival hospitality management – making sure that all our visiting troupes were checked into the Holiday Inn Express downtown. I had just said hello to my one of my favorite visiting improvisors Nick Armstrong in the hallway just beyond the lobby – as we split up to go our separate ways and I was on to my next order of business – Nick shouted down the hall to me “you won’t have to work this hard at Camp Improv Utopia!” and my immediate response was “I’m in!” He had just launched the announcement of the very first Camp coming up the next year in May 2011 at Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria, California. I was in – the concept sounded amazing. Going back to a camp atmosphere with a bunch of adult improvisors, taking workshops and sharing our passions with around 100 like minded people, learning, growing, networking – sounded amazing. And so, after Festival weekend that year – I registered and put my check in the mail. Little did I know – I would be the first camper ever. It’s hard to revisit the experience that far back. I remember lots of great moments and the connections I made that I’d like to think are still prevalent today. I not only got to learn from Susan Messing at that camp – something I would have previously needed to go back to Chicago to do – but I also got to socialize with her on a peer level. Perhaps that is the most amazing aspect of Camp – or one of the amazing aspects. We all strive for greatness – therefore we all strive to learn from the greats before us and the Camp atmosphere is just that, a bunch of peers learning and sharing with each other. There are no egos – therefore – people like Craig Cackowski, Susan Messing, Paul Vaillancourt, Dave Razowski, Jamie Moyer, Karen Graci, Brian O’Connell, Kevin Mullaney – among a few to mention – are just another camper. Not only does camp connect you with your immediate community members who share the experience – but also the national community who are all just trying to bring things back home with them. Things evolved out of this camp – more festival submissions due to the amazing networking site for improvisors, now called Improv Network, which was born out of the Bill Binder, Nick Armstrong connection – more visiting cities outside of festivals, more sharing knowledge with other theaters and ultimately – a national community that is more connected – to the point that you can visit any city – on business, on vacation – passing through and you can find a theater to visit, play or even teach a workshop at, and those communities treat you like family.
I’m compelled to share this experience on my blog because I just returned from my third year at Camp East in the Pennsylvania Poconos. I had only gone to the first two years of Camp West. I chose not to continue because I was trying to have a baby – to no avail. Please don’t be sad about that – life is just how it is always supposed to be – but after that third year I chose not to attend again – Camp West blew up and sold out before it was even open a week – now going into it’s sixth year – if you don’t stay up all night and submit every minute – you may not make it. However there are great perks to being on the waitlist so submit anyway! In 2013 Nick approached me regarding his decision to add a Camp East – in the Poconos of Pennsylvania and assist in registration. I happily accepted as it was work that I was already doing for the Torch Theatre and felt very proficient at. And so it began – building the culture again and linking the East coast into the amazing community that is Camp Improv Utopia. Now after our third year and at a new Camp this year – Camp Trout Lake – East has become a beautiful thing – more beautiful than imaginable. Don’t get me wrong, the first two years were great – and many campers returned – as counselors and campers in the know, comfortable and excited. However, this year – going backwards for a brief moment, I missed the wonderful experience of year three out West – but so thrilled to have committed to it at East. I always say when teaching group games – it takes one to inspire the idea, it takes two to support it – it takes three to make it a game. And what a beautiful game it is! — please, please, please – as an improvisor of any level – I highly recommend this experience. This year in 2016, Improv Utopia introduced a third camp – Camp Yosemite – I didn’t go – as I was being reserved with travel and money – but the experience those campers had, at another beautiful location this time focusing on formats all weekend, permeates off of them like an aura of enlightenment.
I find the most of my stress is centered around money. Which is what makes waiting tables the worst income choice for me. I have been doing that job for a long time as I started with the same company that I work for today in 2001. As a twenty something with little to no responsibilities (mainly debt), I found it to be suitable, I lived day to day and it was fun and unstable in the best possible way. Now as I have gotten older, married and thinking about my future – mainly growing a family – it’s close to difficult to be happy with the outcome of working for tips every day. There are a billion things I could remind myself – for example – things always work out and bills always get paid, but still every day there is an expectation I place and almost every day it is unmet. I am fully aware this is easily controlled by lowering my expectations or placing less stake in them. Yet, I want the best for myself and whether it be how I’m treated, how I’m tipped or how well I deal with the crazy frenetic lifestyle that comes in hand with that business I get so disappointed in how I walk away from my job. Upset. I’ve talked for a couple years now about finding a different job, something I can be motivated by and stand behind. Truth is, The Torch Theatre is that job, unfortunately it’s not something to build an income off of and I’m okay with that. Yet, to devout the amount of time to that and the pleasures it bring to life, my current job and current reputation within it allows me to be successful without pay. It’s hard to give it up when I can shrug away every day with something better. Now, in wrapping this back around to the beginning of my post – for someone who stresses out about financial security, I’ve really made a challenging life for myself. In the bigger spectrum – I am still fortunate in so many ways and I will forever work on my attitude so I don’t let myself down for feeling let down.