I am in fucking Italy, motherfuckers.
My grandma and me and her two friends are hell of touristing the shit out of everything. We are drinking the balls off of some wine and sitting the shit out of some balconies.
(I haven't gotten to swear properly in days, sorry.)
I had my last class of school ever today! No more pencils, no more books. Just walking outside into the rain after being told how hard it is to get a writing job for two hours.
From now on the only times I'll set foot inside a (non-improv) classroom is to teach a class, to shoot something that takes place in a class, or for a parent-teacher conference in which I am the parent. I should try to make all three events coincide. That would make me one efficient dad.
The above picture is from this weekend. We were in Massachusetts. We were mad at The Dave Matthews Band.
We're off to upstate and then Amherst in a rental car. It is warm and sunny, a lurvely day for a drive. Back Sunday.
CELEBRATE SPRING with ultra-catchy French dance music!
Justice - "D.A.N.C.E." - (right click/save as)
Uhm so Andre 3000 doing a whole killer verse over a classic soul loop before the drums even kick (and do they ever kick when they do)? Pretty much this boy's idea of best.
UGK feat. Outkast - "International Player's Anthem" (right click/save as)
Not to overstate the case, but this song will scare the remnants of Nor'Easter from the sky and bring on a summer afternoon at midnight in April.
Copped wholesale from Soul Sides, my new favorite thing.
I have a buncha shit I have to do before I can not be sitting in front of this computer anymore, but I haven't written here in a while so I guess I'll do that. It's been a Big! Couple! Of weeks! and the next couple of weeks should prove to be As! Big! Or bigger! and they deserve chroniciling, I guess. (Feel free to cop any part of my exclamation-point bit for the name of your indie band, as the vogue is to pack the name of your indie band as full of exclamation points as possible. The ideal indie band name would be E!X!C!L!A!M!A!T!I!O!N!S!!! as it is also the vogue to have a plural name but not put "The" in front of it, even though everyone will automatically add "The" anyway.)
Last weekend was the last Hammerkatz NYU show of the year, and my last one ever. HKATZNYU is the college sketch group where I met Donald and Dominic. We ended up co-directing the group (Donald directing with Dominic and I assisting, Donald and I co-directing when Dominic graduated early) and that's hows come we ended up spending a whole bunch of time together and starting Derrick. I've probably spent a good 60 percent of my college career doing Hammerkatz-related activities, whether doing shows at UCB with the professional group (also named Hammerkatz) that came out of the college group, or performing in/writing for/directing the college kids. Needless to say, the last show ever for myself and the rest of the class of 2007 was hell of an emotional.
At least, I would've been emotional if I wasn't drunkenly sleepy/wired from having been up 42 hours in a row (we had a Derrick shoot that morning at six AM and I worked at UCB the night before until about three). But that harried last-minute exhaustion was actually kind of the right state of mind to go into the show with, since that's kind of how it always was. Right down to the wire to the point where you're like "There's no way this is going to be funny, we won't pull it off this time, everyone will discover us for the phonies we are," and you do it, and it turns out to be really good anyway. The fact that it was like that more times than it crashed and burned is something I'm proud of.
Everybody availed themselves well (The Seniors especially) but special mention has to go to Brad Mielke. Brad is never not a champ, but on Saturday night he was sick as a fucking dog. Like, deathly ill. But you never would've known it, except for the fact that he was sweaty and pale. He sold it across the board, as always. He fucking killed it. Note to show business professionals: HIRE BRAD MIELKE. Like you, he is a professional.
In between the 9 and 11 o'clock shows we watched old audition tapes. Nostalgia Factor 12:
Your Humble Narrator. Man, I was way blonder and tanner back then. Also: I still wear that shirt. I think 70 percent of us still own and regularly wear the shirt we were wearing at our audition. We are not rich.
Donald. What's weird about this picture is he actually went to Columbia.
Dominic. Ubiquitous blue pullover.
Gregor. You cannot see it in this picture, but in the fall of 2007 Gregor was a wavy-haired indoor-scarfed dandy.
Gregor now. Also between shows, we told stories of old Hammerkatz times. I think one of the really cool things about HKATZNYU is how all the alumni stay present and involved. It gives (I think/hope) a sense of history to the kids now, and a sense that you can take what you've learned and actually walk out the door and do it for realsies. Hopefully won't be creepy for another three or four years.
The Seniors. This picture was taken in-show. Graduation was affecting everybody differently: Ari and Emma were becoming their grandmas, Brad thought it was still Welcome Week freshman year, Lauren was convinced that when you graduate, you die, and Marc was Hollywood's next big thing and was being a real dick about it. In the show, I mean. Lauren was dressed like a British detective-granny, which I thought was hilarious.
The party was also the jump-off. The thing about being insanely tired is, you are already pretty much drunk, so you might as well have a Red Bull, post up on a couch, and do bits and drink beers for a couple more hours. You've earned it.
Cale and the Bro Rape dildo. That dildo is famous.
Holdin' court. Apparently the face-scratch-with-beer-can-hand is a drunken tic I have.
A prop from the show. This bone is the biography of J. Eldon Haywood. When taken out of context, it is shit like "This bone is the biography of J. Eldon Haywood" that makes you go, "Oh, wow. My life is ridiculous."
It was a good night and I hope a proper send-off.
Derrick is embarking on a mini-tour of sorts. And when I say mini-tour I mean we were one place this weekend and we'll be two more places next weekend. It would be more places if we didn't have, like, jobs and school and things.
This weekend we were in Atlanta. Donald's theater teacher from high school, Tim, is the proprietor of this really very amazing theater down there called Push Push. They were celebrating their 10th anniversary this weekend. We've performed there once before and Tim invited us back to perform at the 10th anniversary bash. We flew down on Friday, and while various obligations meant Dom and I only got to be there for about a day and a half, I'm sure glad we went.
It was a big festival with bands and booze and submarine sandwiches. It was going to be outdoors, but the weather drove it inside. Which was just fine: it's an awesome space, with a big performance space/bar/dancefloor/DJ booth in the lobby, and the theater itself is comfy as hell, with all kinds of assorted couches interspersed among standard theater seats. And the whole place is a wonderful roomy bastard. If I was a high school kid in Atlanta I would volunteer and only leave when they made me.
We showed up early (the festivities started at 3, our show was at 8:30, then got pushed back to 10) to fuck around and drink and socialize. A good thing, too. It was nice to sit on a couch in the theater in the middle of the afternoon, souvenir beer cup in hand, watching a local funk band, any and all sources of stress miles away.
We did sketch last time but this time we straight-up improvised. Some kids drove an hour to see our show: their names were Adam and Lee and Tyler. Thanks for coming, dudes! I ended up enlisting Adam to cue up our intro music ("Throw Some D's," what-the-fuck else). I also have to shout out Zoe, Donald's friend from high school, who did lights for the fest, as I forgot to on-stage. Thanks Zoe. I dunno if I'm spelling your name right. Also love to the Doug Dank Project, a very cool/hilarious improv group who did a really good monologue/long-form piece. Nice dudes (and lady).
There was a dance party after the show! Oh man! Atlanta theater people get 'em on the floor! Rene from Doug Dank took the DJ booth and played hell of indie jams. Shit I would never be brave enough to play (I hew pretty close to the Madonna/Prince/Michael Jackson trinity) but he pulled it off and the kids was lovin' it. I was in jerky I-am-a-white-person dance-heaven. Super-fun.
Dom and I had to get to the airport retardedly early, so Donald's dad was good enough to drive us as he's up at all kinds of weird hours because of his job. Donald's dad is awesome and easily one of my favorite Donalds. (He is also named Donald, as am I, and my dad, and my grandfather, and my great-grandfather. When you've got a good thing, stick with it.) He fed us ribs before we left. This is a good dude.
Speaking of eating: I always take being on the road as an excuse to eat even shittier than I usually do, and at odd times, and for no reason. I could sit here and tell you that next weekend at Colgate and UMASS Amherst I will turn it all around eat nothing but salads, but that's a dirty fucking lie. I will eat things just because they come with french fries. I will eat items whose names begin "Double" and "Triple" and "Western," and end "Supreme." I will attempt to make my body run entirely on cheese, and when it fails, I will jump-start it with soda. I will order pancakes at a time that does not qualify as either breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner. I will invent some new time just so I can anachronistically order pancakes at that time. And you'd better believe I will drink whatever is put in front of me, passed to me, or I have been dared to drink by a dude named Motor who has been living on campus for as long as anyone can remember and has never attended a class.
Because it is only your last month of college once. Except for Motor, for whom it is always the last month of college.
I do not apologize for the length of this post. You ARE that bored at work.
My esteemed colleague Will Hines made a series of web videos a while ago called "Fun Squad" for Channel 102. It is one of my favorite things in the world. Now it's on YouTube. Watch the whole series. It will be the best 20 minutes you spend today.
Right? I told you.
My esteemed colleague Will Hines made a series of web videos a while ago called "Fun Squad" for Channel 102. It is one of my favorite things in the world. Now it's on YouTube. Watch the whole series. It one of the best 20-minute periods of your day.
Right? I told you.
This CNN headline has given me a name for my non-existent indie-dance side project: "Negligent Dancing."
We describe our sound as somewhere between delinquent funk and disco malfeasance. We recently cut our first single, "Cited For Failure To Stop The Beat," which will hopefully appear on our debut LP, "Guilty Of Tearing The Roof Off The Sucka."
By order of a judge in the 3rd Circuit Court of Groove Appeals, all proceeds from the album will go towards replacing the roof.