Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Gentelmen of Verona

After receiving an email from my favorite Improv theatre announcing new classes, I took a Shakespearean Improv class. I signed up somewhat impulsively last Wednesday for a class held yesterday, and a couple of minutes later was asking myself, "What did I just DO?" I haven't improvised in two and a half years, and I haven't taken an improv class in four years, so I was a bit nervous about jumping back into it in a room full of 23-year-old talented upstarts. But not only did my scenework go swimmingly (thanks in no small part to competent scene partners), the Shakespearean stuff was an absolute blast. Teacher Blaine drilled us in rhyming couplets, thee vs thou, exit speeches, prologues, emotional reaction and Elizabethan characterizations before letting us loose to do the Henry form. In my two back-to-back scenes in the form, I played a pregnant commoner whose husband roams the countryside eating fermented apples, and whose coworker in the castle kitchen has been boffing the husband but can't get pregnant. For all the reluctance and dread and apprehension I felt before I got there, the class really couldn't have gone better. I left actually wanting to do it again (as opposed to my last few improv outings in 2006, when I sort of wanted to die). I say, well played, good sirs! And madams!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I've been on a Holiday New Thing hiatus- and now I'm back!
Here's a bit of what I've been doing, trying and watching in the last month:

I ate hot Cheetos. Um, have you tried these things? Some friends brought a bag to a Day After Christmas Party I go to every year in CA, inspired by a sound clip from L.A.'s Kevin and Bean show. Apparently, these red-hot wonders are banned in some schools. Which is ridiculous. If I were a teacher in one of these schools, I would welcome these addictive taste treats with open arms. Then I would steal them and eat them all myself. Buy a bag and thank me later. By sending me the bag.

I went to a Bowl game. A family friend kid recently started his freshman year at TCU, and wanted to celebrate his new collegiateness, as well as the football team's apparently great season, by inviting all of us to the game. Stuffed with pre-game carne asada, I joined my family, family friend kid and his family and a bunch of people and their families in Qualcomm (nee Jack Murphy) Stadium to watch TCU beat OSU by one point. I understood none of it and at one point started trying to write a novel on my phone, but nonetheless appreciated the atmosphere, the excitement, the win, and all those families.

I watched Barack Obama's inauguration. This one would be a lot more exciting to write about had I actually gone, but it was awesome anyway. Kevin (who is not associated with the aforementioned Bean) nearly missed the beginning of it- I had to wake him out of a dead sleep at 11:35, but we got to the couch in time and were part of the biggest viewing audience in the History of Anything. This was by far the best New Thing, and one of the many kick-ass kick-offs of 2009.