Tag Archives: Improv Comedy

Late Post

Just a couple of random thoughts.  We had a really good show at The Comedy Zone tonight.  Good, if a bit of a rowdy crowd.  They mostly stayed with us the entire show, and had some pretty good suggestions.  The team is gelling pretty well, too.  They’re a fun bunch to perform with.

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My articles of incorporation are signed.  I’m waiting now for the final blessing from the state of Florida, and Broad Reach Communications will be a reality.  I’ve got one long-term client ready to go, and a couple of other interesting projects possible in the wings.

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We got a full price contract on the townhouse up in Atlantic Beach today, thought we had dropped the price a couple of times since getting it on the market in December.  5 months is not bad in this market, and selling that place will be a bit like being able to push the “reset” button on a lot of things.  Not a lot of people are fortunate enough to have that happen.

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It finally feels like we’re starting to turn the corner.  For real.  We still have a couple of major challenges ahead, so it’s not all a big party just yet.  But after the past half-year, it was time to get a break or two.  Nothing breeds success like success.  I’m hoping we’re on a roll.  I still have a lot of things to get together for my business.  No office yet, but maybe that’ll come later.  I’d love to have a little office out here at the beach, maybe even with a view.  But it’s not time to look quite that far ahead just yet.  I’ll get a couple of good projects under my belt, and see where it goes.  But it is nice to have goals.  In the meantime, just getting back to work will feel really good.  And the best revenge, they say, is living well.

So that’s what we’ll shoot for.

Sig

–scene–

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Filed under Beach Living, Improv Comedy, Life, The Improv Effect, Thoughts

Randomness

Michigan State seems to be way overmatched by North Carolina in the National Championship Game.  14 minutes and change to go and UNC leads 61-43.  MSU might as well be playing at home, as the game is in Detroit … but Carolina just seems to be too much for the Spartans to handle.  Still a lot of time to go, but it’s a big, long hill to climb.

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Over in Tallahassee … the legislature is past the halfway point, and a body controlled by conservative Republicans, many of whom have taken a “no new taxes” pledge, are facing a deficit of $6.1 billion.  So, to provide political cover, they’ll turn to “user fees”.  From “Florida Capital News“:

If approved, they would hit everyone who drives a car, files a lawsuit, goes fishing or takes out the garbage. College tuition could zoom 15 percent.

The legislature has also “zeroed out” “Florida Forever” … the state’s signature preservation and conservation program.  It’s $300 million budget gone.  Still to come is a potential complete re-write of the business tax code.  It would be difficult to imagine a Republican legislature increasing taxes on businesses during a recession, but I suppose not impossible.  About 1200 state jobs are likely to be cut, 800 currently vacant but that still leaves a lot of state employees in a bind, and the rest likely facing salary cuts.  The session ends in 26 days.

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The committee studying the City Budget begins crafting it’s recommendations tomorrow.  I joined this study late, but I’ve learned an incredible amount about how the city crafts it’s budget.  There are so many challenges in our consolidated government, and Jacksonville has been, by almost any measure, fairly fiscally responsible, but still finds it’s self with some serious challenges.  I think when the report is released that people will be surprised at how involved the process is, and yet how basic some of the issues are.  I know I have been.

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I’ll likely spend some time Thursday at City Hall at the committee meeting discussing the city’s landfill dilemma.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days talking to people about the issue, from longtime political observers to current city councilmen and one who voted on the original contract.   There will be public comment on Thursday, along with another iteration of the Mayor’s presentation.  No matter what, it’s going to be close.

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Wreck 295 cropDriving to improv rehearsal tonight, traffic was at a crawl on I-295 from I-95 to Old St. Augustine Road.   Why?  Someone had managed to flip an SUV in the eastbound lanes.  That’ll make for a really bad evening.  The only camera I had was the iPhone, and since we were staring to get moving again, it was difficult to get any composition on the shot.  I had to make sure I didn’t have a wreck myself while trying to get a shot of this carnage.  I hope everybody was OK.

And speaking of improv … yes we rehearse and I’m getting a little disappointed with people making the “you rehearse improv?” joke.  We rehearse to build trust among the players, to learn the structure of the games, to develop characters, to learn new games, and to laugh and have fun.  All to make sure the audience has the best possible experience.  And if you don’t believe it, just give it a shot sometime with no rehearsal.  Stand up in front of 50 to 100 people with someone you’ve never been on stage with before.  Get a relationship and location suggestion.  Build a scene.  Make it funny.

Go!

Nah, I wouldn’t want to do that either.

And now, with 10 minutes until midnight, and North Carolina running out the clock on their 5th national championship (tying Indiana), it’s time to get this up to the server and call it a night.

Sig

–scene–

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Filed under Florida Budget, Florida Legislature, Improv, Improv Comedy, Local Government, Local Issues, Thoughts

Nothing is Catching My Eye

Days just merging one to another … a sameness that is making me concerned about my future.  I attended two Chamber of Commerce functions today.  The first was a meeting of the Business Advocacy committee … and then the Beaches council lunch.  More schmoozing, more gripping and grinning, maybe something will come of it down the road.  I sure hope so.

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Bret Favre is retiring … again.  Make it real this time, Bret.  Call it a career.  I would if I were you.  But I’m not you and I’ve never suited up to play in the NFL.  What a rush that must be.  You were great … one of the greatest.  Maybe not so much any more.  Go out with what’s left of your dignity intact.  Don’t make me write a sketch like I did for “The Never-Ending Cher Farewell Tour”.

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A couple more words on last night’s crowd at The Comedy Zone.  I mentioned last night that it was one of those groups who though sexual innuendo and 4th grade bathroom humor is just hysterical.  Every suggestion had to do with sex or poop.  And unfortunately, the few who were dominating the suggestions kept others from speaking up.  It happens.

There are a couple of those people in every crowd.  They usually make themselves known early.  They think “tampon” and “proctologist” are the funniest things ever, and that they’re the first ones to ever give us those suggestions.  Usually, we get at least one “They’re Gay” suggestion for a scene game.  I’m not sure why that’s supposed to be so funny, but apparently it’s the funniest thing ever.

Still, the bad audiences make the good ones so much better.

It was a pretty small crowd last night, which allowed the couple of wanna-be comedians in the audience even more prominent.  But, we worked through it.  And we had a good laugh about it after the show.

But that’s about it.  Things are going crashingly slowly.

Something will come along.  I’ve got to keep believing that.

Sig

–scene–

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Filed under Football, Improv Comedy, Job Search, Sports Rant, Thoughts

One Show to Go

Before we take a break.  Fred has stuff scheduled through the rest of February, so we’ll play next Tuesday at Comedy Zone, and then probably not for 2 or 3 weeks.  That’s OK … it’ll give us a little more time to work through some new games and gel better as a troupe.

We had a pretty darn good show tonight.  And a pretty good audience, too.

I don’t have a lot in the box tonight.  It’s been a slow couple of days at the job search, and I skipped a chamber mixer tonight in order to play at CZ, and I missed a meeting at JCCI at noon today to take mom to the dentist.  I have one meeting tomorrow, and I’ve sent out a few more resumes.

Wow, former Governor Blagojavich is on Letterman tonight.  I don’t know if that’s outrageous chuztpah, or just plain cluelessness.  I guess we’ll find out in about half an hour, if I make it that long.

Speaking of television, I saw a promo the other day for Celebrity Apprentice.  Yes, Donald Trump, the ultimate “B” celebrity, has a bunch of “B” celebrities “apprenticing” for him.  The only one I remember seeing is Joan Rivers … but it seems like “Celebrity Apprentice” is becoming the “Love Boat” or “Fantasy Island” of the 21st century.  Career in the dumper?  Make a comeback on “love Boat”.  Or grab the handle and flush.  It seemed like every celebrity on the way down wound up on that show, “Fantasy Island”, or as the lower left hand square on “Hollywood Squares”.  Now, they show up as apprentices on “Celebrity Apprentice” for the opportunity for Donald Trump to tell them “Your Fired”.

Not like none of them have heard THAT before.

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Filed under Comedy Zone, Improv Comedy, Television, Thoughts

All About the Team

It’s already late, and we’re just recently back from tonight’s show at The Comedy Zone … which went pretty well, IMHO.  Some solid scene work and good fun in the line games.

After the show, I had one of the standup guys ask me if I’d ever considered doing that instead.  I mumbled something about it was always easier for me to let the jokes tumble out than to try to write something funny, but it got me thinking on the drive home.

The top was down, of course, and it was very foggy.  I had the MP3 player going … just playing random songs.  But I skip through the ones I’m just not in the mood to hear.  But none of that’s really relevant.

Anyway, I was asking myself “what is it that draws me to improv rather than standup?” And it comes down to the team.

When you’re on stage as a standup … nobody’s got your back.  There’s nobody else on stage who’s job it is to make you look great, and who know’s that it’s your job to make them look great.  That’s what we do.  But when you’re doing standup … you’re out there all on your own.  There’s nobody to count on but you.

So that’s it.  It’s about the teamwork.  It’s about the socializing that takes place during rehearsals and backstage during shows.  It’s about knowing that somebody can bail you out if you’re having a bad scene.  It’s a lot of fun.

Still, it might be fun to see if I could be funny all on my own.  I’ve never tried it.  Maybe that’s the next thing I need to try to overcome.  Not just public speaking.  I know I can stand up on a stage or in front of a group of people and talk about stuff that I know about.  But could I walk out on stage, with jokes I’ve written, and sell it well enough that people would laugh?  Dunno.  Maybe I should try to find out.

Meanwhile, our next show is next Tuesday at The Comedy Zone.  Standup guys at 8:00 … The Improv Effect at 9:00.  C’mon Down!

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Filed under Comedy, Comedy Zone, Improv Comedy, Teamwork, Thoughts

Short Post

I’ve spent the day working on tweaking my resume … after getting a frustrated e-mail from a friend who’s a professional resume writer … making calls and doing some other research.  It’s amazing how much of your day that can eat up.

But if you look under the “Resume and Demo” tab here, you’ll get far more than I’d ever send out on a piece of paper.  Nobody’d read that much stuff.

Oh, and getting laundry done.  I still have folding to do.

So now, I’m going to wrap up those couple of chores before heading over to Orange Park for improv rehearsal.  And before you ask, yes we rehearse.  It’s how we build trust among team members, learn the mechanics of the games, work on character development, and generally laugh a lot.  Very therapeutic.

Still, I wanted to get something posted to the blog before going, since I’ll probably be just about done by the time I get home.  Then I sit and stare at a blank page for 25 or 30 minutes as the clock ticks down to midnight and I’ve got nothing to say.  THAT makes for interesting blogging.

I will say that a couple of the comments over at JaxDaily took me aback just a bit.  I’m pretty thick skinned, but the person who referred to “The Socialist State of PBS” made me blink once or twice.  For the record, I worked (past tense) for the local public broadcasting affiliate … not for PBS.  But no matter.

I’m still looking forward to writing over there.

There’s been a lot of traffic here today, but still short in the comments department.  Maybe after reading what was posted on JaxDaily, I’m not all that unhappy about that.  But thanks for reading, and I’ll be back after while … perhaps to post something of a little more substance.

–scene–

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Filed under Blogging, Improv Comedy, Thoughts

Long Winter Days

Yesterday, it was a long day of networking.  I joined the local Tiger Bay club, which (according to its website) was patterned after The National Press Club in Washington, and which has as it’s purpose to promote civic and political engagement, in a spirit of bipartisanship.  So,I went to lunch, and  enjoyed the company of people discussing issues.  Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland was the featured speaker.  I think this will be an interesting place for me to meet people, and get involved in local politics, and maybe meet someone who knows someone who’s looking for someone with my talents.

I came back to the beach for a couple of hours, then headed back onto town for a Senate Select Committee hearing on but economy and business climate in Jacksonville.  The committee will hold hearings across the entire state, and I learned a lot listening to some of the testimony.  I really hope to be involved again in some way in the next phase of my career.

After the hearing, I met up with Andie, Sharon, Charlie, and John to celebrate John’s birthday.  Our destination was Northstar Sub Station on Bay Street, where Mad Cowford plays on Friday nights. Mad Cowford is comprised of some of the former improvjacksonville players, along with some new players.  They put on a good show, which I expected, and I ate too much pizza, which is nobody’s fault but my own.  After the show, we joined some of the cast members at London Bridge downtown, which had been a favorite post-show spot with IJ as well.  I split my time between Andie, Sharon, and Charlie, who were in the back room where Eric Fury and the King Rockers were playing … a 4 piece band with styles ranging from blues to rockabilly … to the front bar where the Mad Cowford folks were sitting and talking.  By the time we got home, it was after midnight.

Today, my day was spent at a career workshop focusing on how to look for a job in this economy.  And I mean all day … from 10:00 to 5:00.  I learned a lot, and have a lot to do.  I never expected this to be easy, and my expectations are being met.

I think I’ll try to regroup a bit tomorrow.  The prospect of the end of my severance is weighing increasingly on me.  I need to try to not worry about it for just a few hours.

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Filed under Improv Comedy, Job Search, Thoughts