Sunday, April 12, 2009


Crosby Kemper III will be our monologist Wednesday night at the library, which should mean our biggest crowd to date—ever, in any show since Tantrum got started. We’ll have 2/1 coupons there, in hopes of pulling some of our library crowd to our shows at the coffeehouse.

It’s going to feel good to play for a bunch of people. Tantrum is more playful and more consistent than we’ve ever been. We’ve worked hard for it, as individuals and as a troupe, and it feels like we’re playing at our full potential. The most exciting thing about that? It means we can start building—exploring, evolving, developing a signature style.


Roving Imp celebrated its second anniversary this past weekend. I had show commitments—Tantrum, Job Fair and helping out with Thunderdome—so I missed this weekend (last one, too).

I would have loved to be there just to support a local troupe on its anniversary. But it’s becoming much more than just another group to me. Thanks to the really, truly amazing and generous folks at the Imp, I’m really feeling like a member of a troupe—not just a person in a cast. That’s a hard thing to explain to folks who haven’t improvised with more than one group.

* *

As one of Tantrum’s Designated Marketers, I’m feeling more pressure than ever to get folks to the Tantrum shows. So I spent some time today putting a few things in order that should make it easier to consistently promote shows:
  • A promo calendar, with jobs and deadlines
  • Tighter mailing lists
  • Online promo documents troupe members can access whenever they need to
  • Monologist chart, with bio info, show dates, audience numbers and notes (how they helped promote, press coverage, etc.)
Ideally, all of this will shave a few hours off the PR efforts every month. (And keep me from wondering, “Have I done that yet?” when I’m promoting 2-5 shows.)

* * *

A while back, I had some thoughts on things that make a Thunderdome team work or not—from the POV of an improviser, a director and an audience member. I can’t figure out a way to write it without teams feeling like I’m picking on them.

* * * *

I still love playing and rehearsing this much. But it’s kind of nice to look at the next few weeks and see non-improv related stuff on the calendar.

My 43rd birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks. And as I get further into my forties, I’m realizing how much bigger a deal it is to take care of myself than it was a decade or so ago. I have to leave bars at midnight or I’m dead meat the next day. Being on a diet means scheduling meals and snacks carefully enough that I don’t get dizzy in scenes—that means always having back-up protein bars and water nearby.

And it requires that I remember my Myers-Briggs type is just barely Extrovert. I need serious recharge time—by myself, doing nothing, with no obligation to talk to or interact with anybody.

Without those things…man, I get pissy.

* * * * *

On a related note, I missed Easter services today.

I set the alarm, woke up, wanted to get up…and couldn’t. I didn’t go out last night. Didn’t drink. Didn’t stay up all that late. But I slept through all three services. And it feels…awful.

I go through waves with church-going. I love the pastor, the people, the traditional trappings combined with the liberal outlook of Second Presbyterian. When I was most involved (even ordained as a Deacon) I was doing very little improvisation.

So from one angle, it seems like improv is a bad influence. I look at all the “mandatories” in my life—work, working out, Exit 16, rehearsals and shows—and as someone raised by people who don’t miss a Sunday, I feel guilty that going to church can feel so…optional.

Really guilty.

* * * * * * *

When I finally did manage to drag my ass out of bed, I went to an Easter potluck in the Crossroads with some Hallmark pals. About half of them have seen shows—and Tantrum has converted them to improv fans.

Which is really flattering, considering the talent in that room. Besides their creative work at Hallmark, one of them writes extraordinary poetry. One cooks with local food and takes beautiful pictures. Several others are musicians. The host was in the middle of mastering a CD for a friend visiting from Amsterdam—we got a little preview, and it was gorgeous.

It reminded me how important it is to have a creative outlet. And made me remember that there are always rewards for getting out of the house. And, like I said to my friend Stacey, that people are just cool.


  1. You're my hero in so many ways!!

  2. You sound happy and content. That makes me happy for you.


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