I booted this blog to write theatre reviews, but it turns out I got real busy in the months since.
I knew July and August would mostly disappear, due to classes in Clown, Movement and Improv.
Shortly before the end of that gauntlet, I auditioned for and got cast in the Freehold New Play lab readings, which took place over a weekend in early September.
With Improv, I had to take a quarter off from U.P. due to the Advanced Clown class falling on their Tuesday class days. While training for a term with Wing-It Productions (WIP, purveyors of Jet City Improv) I joined a new improv group formed by several of those classmates plus a handful of others (former WIP students and a couple of U.P. students). We’ve practiced almost weekly since forming in mid/late-September, have seriously focused on improving our scenework with tangible results, and though we don’t yet have concrete plans for a show, we’re ramping up.
I formed a sketch duo with Ectal Greenlaw called Banana Obscura. Along with meeting somewhat regularly (weekly to fortnightly) to form sketches, we’ve also performed short sketches at several People’s Republic of Koffee’s Friday Open Mics to a mostly positive reception. Ectal and I hoped to do a full live show by year’s end, but various life snags intervened for both of us. We’ve got a few alternative ideas in the pipeline and they may take off by year’s end if a live show does not. We’re also considering casting for addditional members but also want to develop more material for them to work with (much of our material we have is for the two of us) before we solicit.
Following the end of the previous class gauntlet, I resumed improv training with U.P. and found myself working with a very enthusiastic group interested in practicing on the side as well. Meeting outside of the Tuesday night class, I found myself doing improv three, sometimes four nights a week.
To the present: With the improv class winding down, I have decided to cease training with U.P. after this year for various reasons. They moved up their cast auditions several months, in several ways blocking me from getting cast, though I’ve discovered in recent months their non-cast community has a clear pecking order, and several volunteers and students are likely favorites to get cast. Even if not for schedule conflicts, my chances at getting cast are nil. Part of my motivation to train aggressive in improv this past 12 months was to prepare for an upcoming Theatresports audition. With that out the window, there’s no leveraged motivation for me to continue training with them. If the opportunity to join the cast remains attractive after a couple years (assuming the company still exists in its present form, of course), I may train with them again.
Aside from that, my current projects keep me very busy: My improv group likely intends to start performing in the coming months, plus Ectal and I plan to begin presenting material on a serious basis with a goal to earn a spot in next year’s Seattle Sketchfest. Also, I’ve studied standup comedy this past couple months in a class with Kevin Hyder and intend to start performing standup at open mikes starting before year’s end.
This doesn’t even include possible clown pieces: Along with a series of workshops this coming month, I’ve got a few clown pieces in mind and intend to submit one for next year’s annual Not All Clowns Are Bozos show.
So it may go without saying, but my stage acting career is on a conditional hiatus. I never say never to auditions and possible opportunities, plus I still see a bunch of plays*. but I’m certainly going to seek them out more selectively than aggressively. Along with performing sketches at PRoK, I’ve also gotten to know quite a bit of the standup and sketch comedy community, one I formed a tighter connection with while helping out at this year’s Sketchfest festival in early October. The resulting chain of events compels me to shift my focus from theatre and mainstage improv to more comedy and fringeprov, an environment that would allow me greater creative control and give me a chance to forge a performance identity rather than serve as a dues-paying cog in a community theatre machine.
* More on this, and why you’re not seeing reviews, in a future entry