I was able to see the final episode of “Strange Worlds,” the most recent mainstage Hideout show. The word I’d use to describe it is “hoot.” It was a hoot. The idea behind Strange Worlds is to pay homage to the pulp heroes of the 1940s and 50s. Director Jordan T. Maxwell did a fantastic job directing this cast, whose chemistry was on full display Saturday night. I was most impressed by their avoidance of the obvious, easy jokes; but instead to commit to the genre and their pre-developed characters. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t funny–there were some great laughs–but they weren’t parodying pulp novels, they were playing in their world. And Ryan Austin, who performed the entire show in little more than a leopard-print strip of cloth, deserves an award for Improv Courage.
Two New Shows Opening
This week, the two shows I’m in open at Coldtowne Theater: “Braised in Texas” and “JTS Brown.” In a previous post, I wrote about how wildly different these two shows are. I’m excited about them both, but for different reasons.
I’m interested to see how JTS Brown, which is a show without a format, comes together. A few weeks ago, I was concerned that the cast wouldn’t gel enough for the show to work. That’s all changed, and I feel much closer to those 14 people than I thought possible in eight weeks.
“Braised in Texas,” on the other hand, is much more formatted, regimented, planned out. There’s a lot of marketing going into it–including an opening night BBQ party in the Coldtowne parking lot, t-shirts, aprons, press releases, etc. And the show itself? I’m predicting that it’ll be a success, insofar as the cast is dedicated and funny, and our director is staying firmly on our ass.
I’m also honored to finally break onto the Coldtowne stage, which was one of my big 2013 Improv Goals.
The Hideout Schedule
This morning, the Hideout released it’s May/June schedule. When that email arrives it’s like Christmas fucking morning. I was thrilled to see that Mandinka has a show on Thursday, May 16.
But then I was bummed to see that “Past Lives” (my other troupe) didn’t make the cut. Except it did make the cut. But I, being barely awake and a bit of an idiot, overlooked it. Yep, Past Lives is playing on Friday, May 24, along with Knuckleball Now.
(You can see my Calendar right here on this website!)
No More Hissy Fits
I must say I’m proud of myself. See, I’ve always had a tendency to take any form of rejection very personally. In fact, I sometimes anticipate or expect rejection even when it’s not coming.
Being an only child, my natural reaction to rejection is to throw a hissy fit. I did this a couple of months ago when I didn’t get cast in a show I not only wanted, but thought—somehow, stupidly—I deserved to get. But that experience, and my resulting embarrassment, taught me a very important lesson: Don’t sweat it. It’s not like I’m auditioning to be the lead in the next Avengers movie, after all. Things comes, things go–it’s best not to get attached to the outcome of any single experience.
So when I thought that one of my troupes hadn’t gotten put on the calendar, my reaction went like this:
1. Bummed: 95 seconds.
2. Determined to get better: Everything after that.
In fact, I emailed the Artistic Director and asked what I/we could do better the next time submissions were opened in order to improve our chances. He kindly pointed out that we had, in fact, made the cut. (Durrrrr.) I’m proud that I didn’t even momentarily throw a fit. I’m proud that I saw a momentary failure as a challenge to improve.
Me: Would you like a pat on the back, Andrew?
Andrew: Why yes, yes I would. Thank you, Andrew.