I’m super excited that this keeps happening. Please come to the Beast tonight at 8PM, if you’re not doing anything, and check out Rewrite Movie Night. We have a trio of incredible improvisors tonight: Brandon Scott Jones, D’Arcy Carden, and Leslie Meisel. It’s going to kick so much ass.
Plus, we’re paired with the awesome improvised documentary! TWO MOVIE SHOWS IN ONE AWESOME HOUR! WOOO!
Really quickly, tonight is the first Rewrite Movie Night show at UCB East. I’m extremely excited and proud of the show, and our guest stars this month, oh my god. Andrew Law (Charlemagne, GoodGirl, Anthony Jeselnik) and Dan Klein (The Onion, Law Firm, Pangea 3000) are coming to improvise with us tonight. They’re two of my favorite performer / improvisor / writers ever, and it’s an honor that they aggreed to do the show. I would love it if you came to check it out, because it’s going to be ridiculous, and fun. Aaaand we’re paired with Elvis’ Rockin’ Nativity Scene, put together by Will Cleveland, and hosted by Eddie Dunn. It’ll be hilarious and great.
Guys, I’m always available for group photos. Unless you’re cool with using the weird Dr. Who interdimensional shit you’re using right now. I don’t do TARDIS photography.
New Lloyd Team:
COOKERS CLONING (starter name)
Look we already took a group photo!
- Claire Ayoub
- Tricia Olds
- Alex Teague
- Allie Kokesh
- TJ Del Reno
- Eric Gersen
- Sarah Burton
- Sal Gentile
sarah is great with the internet.
A very good friend of mine was talking about the artifice of the auditioning process yesterday, saying that a single audition wasn’t the best way to cast an improv team, and, acquiescing, I agreed, as I didn’t feel like I had the energy to argue the point just then. Yes, an audition puts an undue amount of pressure on the individuals involved, and there may, in fact, be a lot better ways to cast an improv show. The point that I would argue is that the UCB auditions are really so much more than just one audition. What the UCB auditions are is a reminder to your allies in the room, or an introduction to the AD, with the full backing and force of your notes, performances, and interactions with your professors, in and out of class.
Especially if you’ve been invited.
But even if you haven’t, they’ve got a file on you. That file says whether or not you love improv. It says whether or not you play game well. It says you’re a comfort to watch on stage, or an unmitigated shit storm. It says you’re really working hard, or you’re just phoning it in. The reality of these auditions is that they’re so very un-superficial and so very specific to who you are or who they know you to be that calling it just a single audition is perhaps the greatest mischaracterization of the process I’ve ever encountered. If you’ve been invited, you’ve already impressed the hell out of your teachers, or the panel from the last audition. If you’ve been invited, your job is to remind them why.
Somewhere along the way, we can really lose sight of the fact that UCB is much more than a theater and a school that share a lot of staff. We can lose sight of the reason why we’re here in the first place - that love and passion for comedy. For making ourselves and those around us laugh. We can get caught up in this pathway to success or recognition at the theater, and let ourselves get too focused on the minutia of successes and failures that accompany each session of class, or each triple crown show. Step back, take a breath, and remember why you’re here.
Have fun, and break some legs tonight auditioners ~ hope it kicks ass.
The full post is here, but this passage stood out:
When he was 27 and he agreed to direct Stone Cold Fox (a house sketch team at UCBT) he wasn’t thinking “I bet a number of these people will work for SNL someday,” he was thinking “I love sketch, this seems fun, we’re going to make a fun show.” And then they were the fucking best team at the theatre.
If something is fun and enticing, you are victorious. You should keep doing that. If you’re a zombie and going through the motions it’s time to move on.
If he never got a job, and now I can speak from experience, then he’d only have a life spent being happy behind him.
Road to nowhere! Good heavens. I mean, ALL ROADS LEAD NOWHERE. Try not to think about that. Spend your days in love with what you’re doing as much as fucking possible and thank the stars for your chances to do that. Be nice and honest and brave and hopeful and then let it go. The improv stages of Chicago and now NYC and soon LA are filled with super talented people on roads to nowhere! I am one of those people! But I’m not in a cubicle giving my precious breath to a dumb company which I could give a shit about and so that’s what I’ve got.
Not to get all YOLO on everyone (because it’s the worst philosophy that our slowly decaying civilization has ever given rise to) but, hell, Will’s SO RIGHT. Right? I’ve spent the better part of the last two years figuring out why, despite being an eternal optimist, and someone who generally enjoys life, I’ve been so miserable the entire time, even when I’m ostensibly having FUN or doing things or with people that I LOVE.
While improv filled a HUGE gap in my life, the need for a performance outlet, and a community of like-minded people, there’s always another hole to fill (that sounds strangely sexual - it’s not). And there are a couple great life lessons here:
1. Live your life and enjoy the shit out of it. If your job isn’t something you love (or something beyond mindless and easy with lots of flexible time), then you’re either wasting or hating 8 hours of your day. And THAT is a huge waste of your life.
2. Humans are funny creatures. I love this Neil Casey quote (paraphrased):
Human nature is to do the exact opposite of what you tell them to do. People don’t want to see you trying to be funny, the second you do that you’re telling them to think you’re funny. Their first reaction is gonna be “No. I don’t want to.”
It’s really true though, if your end goal is making money from something, you’re probably trying too hard, and it probably shows. I say this as someone who would love a career in comedy, and who is TOTALLY burnt out right now from taking 2 to 3 classes at a time since January. Which has been, if anything, totally counterproductive. I do truly love comedy, and performing, but I’ve gotten to the point where I actually need to take a break because of how hard I’ve been going at it, and how seriously (TOO seriously) I’ve been taking it, which is something I didn’t want to do (I’ll still do shows and practice, just not taking another class after these until January or February). I’ve been too heavy handed (an accusation my art teacher used to levy at me in high school) with my execution lately - pressing too hard on the charcoal of comedy as it were - because you can’t convince anyone you’re funny. You just have to love it and let the funny come.
Thanks for another great post, Will!
Kirk is real smart. Listen to things he says.
I’m writing this as a tangent to Will Hines’s improvnonsense post about diversity. His intentions are for the best, I know, but parts of it troubled me… and some people who wish to remain anonymous.
I almost didn’t say anything, but I saw Nichelle Nichols speak at DragonCon this weekend, and…