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Finishing out the year

Merry Christmas, Erdmaniacs. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Rich and I were able to go to Dallas for 2 days, thanks to no shows on Christmas eve or Christmas. I hadn’t been there in nearly two years, so it was nice to be there and be in 70-degree weather. But our trip to Dallas was, of course, two days after the mainstage show opening. It went fairly well – the show itself went as well as we could have hoped, aside from one immense brain fart on my part toward the end of the show, but it was a weird audience, as I’m told opening nights often are. Lots of industry/press folks who watch things very differently from an average audience member. Even though I’d been to openings before, I had somehow thought that there would be more energy and excitement in the room, and there really wasn’t. So that was a little disappointing. But all in all it was a huge relief to finally open the show. We then had two shows the following night, and they went really well. I think we already feel like the pressure’s off. I felt a little better about things when I got a call Friday morning telling me that the show had been Jeff Recommended. That means that the Jeff Committee (sorta like the Chicago Tony awards – you may remember a previous entry when we went to the awards for last year’s shows) found at least one element of our show that they liked. This is a good thing, and means that other members of the committee will continue coming to the show for the next few weeks and could ultimately nominate people/things for Jeff Awards next year.

So my first mainstage process comes to a close. I’ve learned a lot, and I look forward to my next process when I can put what I’ve learned to use. Overall, I’m happy with what I’ve created for this show and I think it will be fun to run in the upcoming months.

Yesterday we flew home from Dallas, caught up on a little TV (did you catch any of “Deal or No Deal” last week? Pretty great.), and then I went to a very fun Armando. It’s always fun this time of year, because alums are in town and audiences are big. Following Armando was the Improv Match Game’s 1-year anniversary show. There were 8 of us on the panel instead of the usual 6: regulars Jeff Griggs and myself, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Bakkedahl, Charna Halpern, Frank Caeti, Armando Diaz, and Kevin Dorff. It was a terrific panel, and we had a huge audience. It was a great time. Rich pulled out all the stops for prizes, and the winner got Blue Man Group tickets thanks to IMG intern Rebecca pulling some strings. Before the show Rich goes to the audience to get contestants. One of the people he interviewed was a 13-year-old kid who’s favorite subject in school was lunch. I had really hoped he’d play, but Rich made the right decision and chose two adults, since things can get a little risque. But the kid got a Bob Guiney CD during the show, so really, wasn’t he the big winner?

This week we have 2 shows every night, but no improv sets and, more importantly, no rehearsal, so it still seems like an easy week. Saturday is New Year’s Eve and we do a show at 7 and one at 10. The 10pm show will end just around midnight, and we’ll do an imprvo set to ring in the new year. It will involve a cast member in a diaper. That’s all I know for sure. And then starting Sunday, life will go back to normal. There you have it.

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