Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So...a 30-person improv troupe would probably mean NO stage time, right?

Every year, auditions for Exit 16 get tougher. I think a lot of it is because the kids raise the standards every year...so the audiences see what level of work is expected...so the auditioners don't really have to be told what not to do. 

And every year, we could probably make a whole, new, really talented troupe out of the kids we don't take. I hate knowing we're letting super-talented people walk out the door because we simply don't have room...but if the group got bigger, stage time in rehearsals and shows would suffer. So I hope the High School League gets going again soon.

Tonight, we did warmups, character work (lots of walking around) and object work (tug of war), then played Gauntlet and some restricted dialogue scenes. Pretty much everybody had some funny in them—there was almost constant laughter from the current troupe and the audience. 

Unfortunately, we're only losing 3 this year (one ducked out early; two graduate in a few weeks). We could take 2 or 3. Probably more guys than girls—adding one more girl would keep them in the majority. (Which I think is kinda great—just because it's so rare. And no one has ever said, "Wow, your cast seems really over-girled.") But balance is good, when you can get it. We also look at balance in grades, styles, types and comfort level. ("Hmmm...he plays like Matt and is two years younger. And she plays like Amy and is in the same grade. Matt is graduating—and Amy's not—so we'll take him but not her.")

We've narrowed it down to 9. 

Tomorrow, the kids coming back next year will play with the potential new guys. We'll see if some of the bad-habit patterns we saw in the audition can be trained out. We'll check for teamwork, range, creativity, character work—and save stage presence for a tie-breaker. Perkins will be a rowdy place around 9:30, let me tell you. 

The kids get pretty passionate. Maybe this year I won't have to keep them from yelling at each other. That would be cool.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And...we're back.

Tantrum met last night for the first time in ages to talk about what's next. 

It was great to see everyone and to find out what everyone thinks about where we should go. We ended up talking about everything in the post below (with minimal ribbing from Pete), and landed on the same page.

I had worked myself up to be nervous about potential conflicts—and then finally relaxed when I realized I'd be happy with whatever was decided. I think I was putting too much pressure on this one group to meet all my improv needs; when I let that go, everything was fine.

Some teasers:
  • We talked about how to make a show more newsworthy—and where we landed should be really fun. (Hint: There will be no nudity.)
  • We're looking at joining forces with another troupe...'cause that's the trend, and it's a good one.
  • More shows! More shows!
Currently, we're scheduled to play WCH June 20 and August 22, plus at the KC Improv Festival. And we're looking to add more in-between dates. 

As far as meeting other improv needs, there's lots coming up: Opportunities to work out with others put together by Jared and John, KC Improv Festival Fundraisers (kickball in May and workshops in June) and playing Thunderdome with Burnin' Sternums.

Plus, I just completed day one of the three-day Exit 16 audition cycle—free workshop, auditions and callbacks. Their last show is in two weeks...freaky.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What makes a good improv troupe.

Today is our second shot at an all-KC Improv Blog Topic: What makes a good troupe? (Click on the links at right to see who thinks what.) I sneaked an early peek at a few others and there’s already agreement on the basics: things like trust, talent, collaboration.

Great. Knew I should have started writing earlier.

I’ve performed with a lot of different kinds of troupes:
  • ComedySportz/ComedyCity—A great big troupe with lots of members mixed and matched in weekly shows. 
  • Lighten Up—Kinda the same thing (though a little smaller), with two separate troupes and a completely different philosophy. 
  • Funny Outfit—Lighten Up’s two separate troupes smacked into one. 
  • 2 Much Duck, Tantrum, The Trip Fives, Poke, Spite, etc.—Small, self-managed groups with a consistent full-time cast.
  • KC Improv Festival ad hoc groups—Individuals from 8-12 different troupes thrown on stage under the direction of a respected instructor after a weekend of rehearsal/workshops.
  • Improv retreat group—A six-person troupe at the Artistic New Directions performance retreat that performed together every night for a week after studying all day. 
Plus I’ve directed or coached a few groups (Exit 16, Straight Man, Fakers, The Trip Fives).

And corporate existence—plus dozens of books and as many seminars on mission statements, teamwork and management—has had as much influence on my improv life as experience performing and directing has. (Including a tendency to bullet-point thoughts.) I am a big corporate
Kool-Aid drinker and completely OK with it. (Mostly because I can still wear jeans to work.)

My theory as I start writing: Assuming the basics (see above) are true, there are some completely non-improv-related essentials that must be in place for a troupe to succeed:
  • Vision
  • Discipline
  • Leadership

VISION
Whether it’s stated formally or informally—decided by a group, a director or a company founder—a group has to know why it exists. At a
seminar I attended this week, a team was defined as “a group of people who volunteers to collaborate to achieve a common goal.”

Without the common goal, a team has no reason to exist. And if everyone has a different understanding of what they’re shooting for, collaboration is impossible. To succeed, an improv group has to know: Is the goal to teach? To experiment? To entertain? To be the best? What kind of work will you do? 

Your vision defines how you rehearse and what you perform.

DISCIPLINE
If the vision defines where you’re going, discipline describes how you’ll get there. And without consensus on what it will take to reach your goal, a group won’t last more than a few shows.

How often will you rehearse? How long? What will you work on? How often will you perform? Who’s in charge of what?

I’d guess that different ideas of discipline—or differences in ability to commit to it—split up as many troupes as differences in vision. (Funny Outfit was one casualty I was involved with.)

LEADERSHIP
Strong leadership ensures a group adheres to the discipline necessary to achieve its vision.*

Leadership doesn’t have to live in one person—and in smaller troupes, it typically doesn’t. But things get tougher when you don’t have a single, accountable person to do the work or take the blame. Dividing leadership duties means your vision and discipline have to be exponentially more clear.

The interesting thing happening in KC improv right now is that small, self-managed groups have begun to outnumber large, single/double-leader troupes. Most local improvisers still start off with the bigger groups—
Full Frontal, ComedyCity, Roving Imp, Improv-Abilities, even Exit 16. But as they figure out the kind of work they’d like to do, they’re splitting off into smaller, more agile groups based entirely on their interests—and not accountable for rents or mortages.

Bigger groups are hardest on the leader—players, for the most part, just have to show up and play by the rules. Smaller groups are harder on the players—who all of a sudden have to do all the work. 

The good news is, you can do both. And switch back and forth based on your interests (pick a vision that fits), what’s going on in your life (find a group that fits your ability to commit) and your willingness to lead (eep!).

Three glasses of leftover wine and 400 words and I’ve talked myself into my original theory: Any group with a clear vision, agreement about discipline and some kind of leadership can be a good troupe.

Maybe not to
watch—but to be a part of. 

And because improv is often as much about process as product, that might just be enough.



*OK. Here’s where I acknowledge that this no longer sounds like a blog about improv.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cutest. Ever.

So I was at the Women's Lyceum, a leadership gathering for chicks, all day. And I have a whole bunch of improv-related thoughts. 

But it's late, and I'm pooped and I have to get up REALLY insanely early tomorrow, so here's this video of my nephew saying his favorite word, instead: 


Sunday, April 20, 2008

There's not much you can't improvise...

I now join fellow improvbloggers Jared, Scott and Jess in bitching about being a homeowner. 

Reassured by Jared's adventures in Home Repair, I bought the same book he got, plus a bunch of other minor tool-related stuff, and started pulling my bathroom apart. 

I've been in this BRAND NEW condo for just little over three years. So it seems a little odd when the hardwood flooring in my seldom-used guest bathroom started warping—kinda like a kiddie roller coaster. For my first go at it, I just looked up "removing hardwood floors"—then went in to get started and realized it would also mean removing the toilet, baseboards, door jamb and some tile. 


In about an hour, I've drained and removed the toilet (that part was easy) revealing the unsealed hardwood floors that have been sucking up water for the last three and a quarter years. GREAT. Baseboards—and what cheap-ass pieces of crap they are—are also out. So I'm finally to the floors. I can't WAIT to see what's under there. 


On the list at Home Depot: Goggles, mask and heavy-duty gloves. Sometimes I miss being a tenant instead of a homeowner. Opening a beer and going in.

.......................................

Mother. PUSS. Bucket.

Apparently the only thing holding my bathroom together is the industrial-strength adhesive. It took me half an hour—using a chisel+prybar+mallet—just to get the first piece of wood out. I'm having to start by the door and work my way to the part where the hardwoods are separating from what I now believe to be plywood subflooring.

Bet that's glued to the f-ing concrete, too. This sucks. 

........................................

Back from Run to Home Depot #2. This time I have a circular saw. Saw my next door neighbor on the way in—warned him there was about to be some power tool noise, mallet-hammering and most likely a good deal of off-color language.

..........................................


A little less than 1/3 of the hardwoods are up. They're actually not that badly damaged—some spotty mildew on the bottoms, but not so bad otherwise. 

The subflooring? That's the fun part. It's hard to get the hardwood popped off in places because the plywood underneath is like sponge. 

Because of water. 

From the toilet.

So if you've ever used my guest bathroom...I'm pulling up 1/2" plywood with your pee on it, probably.

Even worse—if that's possible—is using the circular saw. Besides the fact that it keeps setting off the fire alarm, the kickback is so brutal I've come close to running over my foot three or four times. So I'll be resting a bit before I make another cut, because it I think it would be difficult to drive myself to the emergency room WITHOUT A FOOT. 

...............................

A little bit more floor is up. I've ripped my carpet (thank you, kickback), sprouted a blister, beaten my hand with a mallet repeatedly...and now hit the point where I can't get the hardwood pieces off the subflooring because it's sticking to them. 

So I'm writing to my builders to express my disappointment, calling general contractors to get bids on finishing the job, and taking the power saw back to Home Depot where it belongs.

I give.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Kicking into high gear.

When we started planning, here was the thinking (I have a thing for alliteration): 
  • 4th Quarter ‘07—prepare: Seek major sponsors, upload skeleton website, prep/write/design marketing/collateral materials, complete comprehensive plan, finalize performers/times, find workshop locations, information to Union Station
  • 1st Quarter ‘08—prime: Promote as background (mention, don’t highlight), seek major and minor sponsors/ad sales, build volunteer base, plan fundraisers if needed, get detailed info from troupes and instructors, update site with more details
  • 2nd Quarter ‘08—preview: Increase promotion by troupes, info to long-deadline media (magazines), aggressive ad sales, class promo and registration begins, information to web calendars
  • 3rd Quarter ‘08—promote: Confirm information in web calendars, monthly-to-weekly press releases, aggressive class and show promotion, posters and handbills out
The good news is, we're only behind on a couple of things: 
  • The marketing materials (with the exception of sponsor sheets and ad rate cards) aren't as far along as I'd hoped. Setting up a meeting with design folks this week to get things moving again.
  • We don't have the information we need from all of the troupes. Still.
We can make up the time on those...I may just have to take a couple of vacation days to do it.

Our first all-troupe meeting is tomorrow. We're asking for more active participation from the performing troupes this year, for a few reasons. It takes the pressure off our planning committee—so they're less likely to burn out. The more engaged the groups are, the more likely they are to promote the festival to their audiences. And honestly, every troupe who performed last year got something out of the festival—whether it was exposure, respect from other troupes, opportunities to study, getting to know other local improvisers, or partying with the national acts. 

Because of that, all the groups that still exist are coming back: ComedyCity, CounterClockwise Comedy, Improv Abilities, Hype 7 and The Trip Fives. Most of Tantrum performed as 2 Much Duck—we lost Steve and added Nikki and Michael this time around. Roving Imp and Makeshift Militia were just getting started and Exit 16, Full Frontal and Scriptease (aka Fakers) were around, but didn't play. (We've also added a Sunday show.)

And Improv-Abilities has taken over as the sponsor. That feels really good to me—Spontaneous Combustion (two names ago) started off as a way for Lighten Up members to meet others passionate about the same things (uh...beer and improv). I like the idea of a troupe taking ownership of the festival, and Improv-Abilities is absolutely the right one to do it. 

So, here we go...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yeah, but why would anyone like it?

I have, since my first gig in the PR group for the Austin Symphony, written a gazillion press releases. 

I know what they should include, how they should be structured, what they should look like. I know the new rules (you don't send attachments in e-mails) and the classics (you don't call and bug the reporter, tailor them to the readership, you don't send gimmicky bullshit that clutters up their desks). Some of these I learned by breaking them. 

From the reporter/editor side, I know what information I need—and what's just self-indulgent filler. 

I can crank out a release in my sleep. Which is a bad idea.

The more I do this—and the more improv groups pop up all over town—the tougher it gets to nail down what makes this show newsworthy. Thunderdome made news. It was an event. So how do I turn the revamp of our shows at the Corbin into news? Or at the very least, make it interesting and relevant?

Is it because the show will feature...
  • Some of KC's best high school and college improvisers—or comedians?
  • Thunderdome finalists present the Disaster Flick?
  • The debut of an all-new show format for Liberty?
  • Local performers?
  • Quality work?
  • The only improv North of the River?
And then—in addition to the press release—there's the challenge of boiling it down into a quick blurb that sums it up for calendar listings. How do you make someone want to see a show in two lines—or probably less?

Ack. I am so not going to the Comedy On The Square release out tonight. I'd love any comments on what you think the story is...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two books on improvising a play.

I heart Michael Gellman. Aside from giving me the single most effective side-coaching I think I've ever received (Example: "BULLSHIT!"), he's genuinely giving as a teacher and an audience member (I remember very clearly hearing him "ooooooh" a game-move I made at the AND Performance Improv Retreat—and I thought, "BINGO, I've figured this scene out.") So I couldn't wait for his book, Process: An Improviser's Journey.


It's a narrative, modeled after An Actor Prepares (which is on my shelf...and on the list). Because it's about a student going through his workshop, you get a real sense of the exercises, the notes and what goes on in your head when you succeed or fail. His teaching style is very organic—"process" is the perfect title.

It's rare that a book can bring experiential learning to life. This one totally captured the feeling of studying with him. Man, I liked it an awful lot.

Staying in the same mode, I cracked into Kenn Adams' How to Improvise a Full-Length Play: The Art of Spontaneous Theater. It's a completely different approach—very structured, very linear. It's a tougher read—more text-book-y—but I'm digging it in a completely different way. More to come when I hit the end...maybe a side by side comparison.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Something in the air?

So I'm not the only KC improviser hitting burnout. My pal Pete talks today about hanging up improv for good (don't you FUCKING DARE)...letting things on the boards get to him (you and me both, buddy)...and feeling a little overwhelmed by it all (feel you, I do). 

(And because I'm such an awesome friend, what do I do? Call him? Take him out for coffee? Send him a "hang in there" card? No. I WRITE about it on my BLOG. What an asshole I am.)

POINT: Why sometimes it's way easier to just suck it up and do what someone tells you to than strike off on your own. 

If you are in an improv troupe run by someone else...if you have never once thought about finding or getting the keys to a rehearsal space...if your call times, show dates and run lists are dictated by someone else...if you don't ever have to make sure the cash drawer has enough ones or check the reservation line or negotiate rent...

Dang, people, you have it easy.

There's always plenty to complain about: stupid policies, favoritism, mistaken philosophies, too-low standards, what-the-hell-do-they-do-with-all-that-money-anyway? But when it comes right down to it, you are responsible for one thing, and one thing only: Your own performance. (OK, and maybe wiping down a table or three.) So what do you really have to bitch about? It's like being a teenager—your parents do the hard stuff. 

Once you have even a little responsibility, it's highly likely you vacillate between these three emotional states: 
  • Sublime self-satisfaction: I am organized.  My press release rocks. I have designed the Ultimate Flier. 
  • Extreme anxiousness: There are two hang-ups on the reservation line. I have six Confirmed Guests for my Facebook invite, and five of them are IN THE SHOW. Most of the fliers are still in my car. 
  • Supreme Self-Loathing: I didn't do enough. I'm going to have to pay the players and the rent out of my own pocket. Everyone in the troupe hates me. Fuck.
And it just gets worse the higher your standards get. If you just want a little stage time—if that's all that matters—seriously, you'll be fine. (I wasn't lying.) But if you want your group to be really good...if you want to evolve, grow, blow away audiences and inspire other improvisers....

Oh, then you are just truly, deeply screwed.

COUNTERPOINT: Why going it on your own is the One True Path to Creative and Spiritual Fulfillment.

Of the somewhere between 17-18 years I've been improvising, I've been completely free of responsibility for less than two of them. Even my first year at ComedySportz, I begged to take over their marketing about six months in. 

I go through phases, like now, when I lie in bed for two hours before I can sleep while the Evil Being I call my Inner Hamster spins on a stupid wheel spinning options and outcomes. (See "emotional states," above.)

Usually all it takes is a few weeks of bitching, a few days of cold turkey and one really good show. That I don't even have to be in. Usually watching one is enough.

I have a Theatresports history book called Something Like a Drug sitting on my shelf. It's fifth in line to read. But I think here's a lot of truth in that title. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

Improv people are weird. But cool.

When I started the Voyage of Self Discovery last week, I fully assumed my stats would take a beating. (Yes. I check statistics for this blog. I didn't think I cared, but—as I believe we've seen—I lie to me. Often.)

Here's what's hilarious: My numbers actually went up from previous weeks. It's relative, of course—my daily readership barely earns the "s" at the end of "dozens." I'm assuming it's because people have a great deal of time to waste at work and the knowledge there would be daily updates helped a few people avoid thinking about their jobs for another four minutes and seven seconds. 

So you...Inexplicably and Perhaps Morbidly Curious One. Thank you. 

But an even bigger thanks goes to the kind people who wrote, in comments and privately, out of empathy and concern for my mental well-being. It does mean a lot to me, and I appreciate your nice thoughts and ideas. 

Stuff like that is a big driver of the sometimes-unhealthy obsession. Improv people are some of the nicest folks I know. I learned that in my earliest days at then-ComedySportz—to paraphrase Del, the way we do the work on stage does back up into the way we treat each other off stage.

A lot of my favorite improvisers, it seems, share the same qualities:
  • They have enough ego to believe they should be on stage (and to survive when things go horribly wrong), but not so much they think they're better than everyone else up there. 
  • They believe in their ideas enough to throw them out there, but not so much they're unwilling to follow someone else in the next moment. 
  • They know they're good enough to charge admission, but they're self-aware enough to understand they can always learn more and get better.
  • They want new improvisers to be successful. Yes, you have to earn their respect—but they almost always start from a place of openness and optimism.
  • They're generous with their knowledge—they know that the more you give away, the more you get back. 
Why would you not want to hang with these people?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Because I can't shut up...

John, the founder of Roving Imp, is teaching classes...starting in a few weeks. 

And that's exactly what I want right now. I feel kinda dumb for not figuring it out earlier. I can't even describe how much I love being in student mode. When I thought seriously about moving to Chicago about five years ago, I realized the following: 
  • To make a living, I'd be doing a similar job to what I'm doing now, except without my friends and probably working for clients I don't like as much. 
  • I'd get bumped to last in line to teach (which I love) or direct.
  • I'd be fighting for stage time. And starting from scratch against a bunch of people younger and more gung-ho than me. 
  • I have no interest in playing at Second City or writing for SNL...or really, being famous. So I'm way less motivated to compete.
It hit me: the only thing I wanted from Chicago was a chance to study this stuff.

Which having a career lets me do. So I decided I'd try to bring teachers to KC—or make at least one trip a year somewhere to train. 

John is the first person to go to Chicago...and come back to teach. He's got training no one else in KC has been through, and he's incredibly generous about sharing it. 

And Thunderdome Champion Clay Morgan teaches at ComedyCity. That seems fun, too.

I think I've maybe been going about this all wrong.

And the aftermath.

Here's what I've learned—and what I'm doing about it:

Playing is more fun than working. I do a lot of improv work because it feels like the only way to get to play as much as I want. As it turns out, other people are willing to do some of the hard stuff. Like: 
  • Clay's sister is a graphic designer, and has offered to do posters for the Corbin shows. 
  • Scriptease/Fakers (especially Clay) seems to be willing to be a lot more engaged in the production side of their shows. 
  • Scriptease may just have a new coach for Thunderdome: Season Two. 
  • Keith will jump on festival stuff like that (snaps) if you just ask. 
  • Jessica is totally on top of things. As are Pete, Aron and Scott.
  • Keith—who started the whole thing—is totally willing to do the management stuff for Burnin' Sternums. 
  • It's my choice to be involved or not. Huh. 
I occasionally overreact. That nice Alan Scherstuhl (that right there is a link to his articles about improv) pointed out that he never really said anything negative about Scriptease. I disagreed...but will grant that I did focus a lot on a few adjectives. 

That kind of reaction is a little bit of a pattern—actually, my family and closest friends might argue with "a little bit of." I'm passionate about what's important to me, often to a fault. Also, I'm loud and have a tendency toward hyperbole and strong language.
  • Not really sure I've done anything about this one yet. 
I spend a little too much time plugged in. I spend too much time checking friends' blogs and not enough time talking to them face to face. I check my Blackberry instead of listening to conversations. I have the TV on and the laptop open too much. 
  • I need to call some people and go get coffee.
  • The Blackberry stays face down or in my purse in meetings. 
  • There will be no more checking the boards—and minimal answering of e-mails from improvisers about improv—between 9am-5:45pm. 
So, the conclusion: Yes. I have become a little one dimensional. I love this improv thing, but my singular, near-obsessive focus on it is making it Not Fun. And letting it be my whole world certainly isn't making me better at it.

Interesting experiment. For me, anyway. 

OH, and...I think I got mostly talked out about Thunderdome last night at McCoy's. But: 
  • It was a great night, and Ed and Jared deserve big congrats for pulling the whole thing off.
  • Loaded Dice won. Decisively, deservedly and hilariously. 
  • The difference between second and third was just four votes—Scriptease took third. But their set said all it needed to say, and I'm stupid proud of them.
And now, it's time to get ready for Season Two. Teams to watch out for: 
  • Scriptease: Now with Tommy Todd!
  • Some Technical Difficulty: AKA Exit 16—under the direction of alum Andrew Brant.
  • And the Burnin' Sternums...Pete Calderone, Keith Curtis, Rob Grabowski, Nick Rigoli and me.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day Seven: No rules.

Printing out the Thunderdome program as we speak. Will head to Kinko's around 5pm, then to the coffeehouse at 6pm to work out with Scriptease before call time. 

After round 2, the piece garnered a fair amount of smack talk because it was seen as too templated. They've mixed it up—added some variables for themselves and included the audience more. Because of the template, it would be easy for the performance to get big and loud and become more about moving from signpost to signpost than about relationships and reactions. So we'll spend some time on scenework and give and take. 

Right now, I'm way more nervous about my ability to tech the show than theirs to play it. Doing sound is not where I'm most comfortable—so it's weird to be working from iTunes in a cue-heavy show. 

I can't wait to see the show tonight. These are fun groups to watch...and they'll be playing for a full house. 

Plus, I kinda want to prove Alan wrong.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day Six: Back on the wagon.

It was a crazy day of meetings. Good grief. I went Blackberry-free (Digital Commando) for most of it. 

HERE'S WHERE IMPROV RUINS IT FOR ME:
Improv is toilet paper. One use and it's done. Hell, one person, one use and it's done. 

Not so much in the world of corporate marketing. Create, critique, recreate, recritique...repeat. (I recognize that this is what I signed on for. It's part of the gig—if I'd wanted to be an artist, I would have majored in English or Liberal Arts or something. My writing is, and always has been, byline-free and disposable.) 

But I gotta say, clients and creatives could learn something about process from improvisers. Trust, yes-anding and making it a policy to drink beer at the end of the night? Secrets to success, man.

THE TO-DO LIST CONTINUES:
I've rarely wanted a beer as much as I did tonight when I got home. Two barriers: My personal trainer and my to-do list. It's hard to say who's more demanding, honestly. 

On the list for tonight: 
  • Do all the festival stuff I didn't do yesterday. 
  • Work on the Liberty shows. (Got some smart ideas from Clay.)
If I get through it, I'm free! Free! Free...to do taxes and some stuff for work on Sunday. I want my weekends back, dammit.




Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day Five: Yeah, a little melt-down.

STATE OF THE MORATORIUM;
Couldn't help it. Looked at the
Star article about Thunderdome. Then went to the boards. And saw bitching about the coverage—and then got pissy and wrote snotty things and kept checking responses for the next couple of hours. And while I was at it checked Facebook and e-mail. But stopped myself before going to the blogs—it felt a lot like throwing the last few cookies in the bag away before losing every last bit of self-respect.

Pathetic.

A possible explanation: I'm a first child, so I very much hate the idea of being left out. Add that to my Army brat-ness, which means I was never really one of the cool crowd. OK, it wasn't all just being the new kid—I was a pretty big geek all along:

Put all those things together and you've got someone who, even as a mostly indisputable grown-up, gets hit with waves of "What'd I miss? What'd I miss? Hey, guys...what's going on? Guys?"

So, note to self: Going cold turkey works much better. 

TONIGHT'S AGENDA:
  • I told Jared I'd do a Thunderdome program (and print/"sponsor" it) if I could use the back page to plug some festival fundraisers. A last-minute call for blurbs and bios resulted in responses from less than half the groups (and an even smaller proportion of individual players), and I ended up just putting in the finalists' descriptions and listing the players for the other teams. (I'm sorry if you're one of the folks who actually followed directions.) So except for any corrections to the info from Ed and Jared, that's ready to go to the printer. 
  • Need to shoot an e-mail to the Fakers/Scriptease crew about revamping the Corbin shows. (Not to mention one to the board about the changes.)
  • One member away from having everybody in Tantrum on Google Calendar, which will let us plan meetings/rehearsals/etc. at a glance without a gazillion back and forth e-mails.
  • I still owe our KCiF designer feedback on the Web site. And need to pick up photos from Chris Thomas. And talk to Keith about running the fundraising workshops. And get info about the Kickball Thingy up on City 3. And prep for our 4/19 all-troupe meeting. And get Jess bios/sell-sheets for the guest artists.
I can manage the Corbin stuff. On hold with Tantrum. The festival stuff will have to wait. (Crap. Still haven't done taxes. There goes my Sunday.)

I talked to a co-worker today who is coming to terms with the fact that she has a math deficiency—she's forgotten to count time spent on activities and settle it up with minutes of the day. I can completely relate. 

IMPROV IN REAL LIFE:
Day two of not pulling out my Blackberry in meetings. It occurred to me that I'd never check messages in a backup line. If I'm not treating co-workers with at least as much respect as I do the people I play with, it seems like there might be some priority issues.