Archive for November, 2008

What happened in Chicago, in roughly chronological order

Friday, November 28th, 2008

I will stop using the bullets at some point, I’m sure, but for now, they’re getting the job done.

Things I did:

  • I had a visit with Chris Dingwall.  Sadly, just the one, on my first night in town, as he was skipping town for New York the next day.  But he was in fine fettle, and I was very glad to see him.  I now regret not taking a lock of hair.
  • I saw the first of a chain of banks called Fifth Third Bank.  The name makes me giggle.
  • I walked around Wrigley Field.  Literally, all sides.  Something that’s awesome is that it’s so residential, most of the apartment buildings across the street have set up bleachers on their roofs from which you can see the field.   Plus there’s one part where you can see onto the field from the street.  It feels like history, if only because I can’t imagine anyone ever building a stadium that would allow those things again.  Maybe I just haven’t seen enough cities…
  • I started reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  So far, not the type of book I normally read, but I’m enjoying.
  • Ashley and I have “discovered” our mutual love for the “Bumdiyada” Discovery ad.  At the least, we will make our cast mates love it.  But if we get ambitious, it will be everywhere.
  • I saw Lauren perform in the Second City show.  Their gain is our loss.   I won’t spoil any moments for those who might be seeing the show, but Pat O’Brien (or, as some call him, POB…that’s right, Toronto, other cities have performers with acronyms too!) had some definite wish-I-wrote-it moments for me.
  • Deep dish pizza turns out to be a bit of a disappointment.  I still love fat, though.  And the waitress was cute, and it was one of those restaurants where you write on the walls, so Nate and I got our names on a “painting” of John Belushi.  So a little bit of Chicago has been marked.
  • I went up the Hancock.  I’d done it before, but still, quite a view!
  • I saw “Messing with a Friend” at the Annoyance.  Fun little theatre.  I’m still not entirely sold on the Annoyance philosophy (though I think it’s a great tool to keep in the back pocket, and still think Mick Napier’s book is the best I’ve read on improv).  But it was great to see a show adhering to that philosophy performed by masters, and good times were had.
  • I walked down Clark from Waveland to Oak, then walked down Oak to Michigan.   That’s where the Drake Hotel is.  I used their pay phone to call the family, then I sat in an inner lobby for awhile, doing a combination of people-watching and drifting off to sleep.  The people-watching was fascinating, a lot of families doing fancy Thanksgivings, some boors, but mostly cuteness.  I then walked down Michigan as far as Roosevelt.  Very scenic.  According to Google Maps, I went about 7.2 miles.  I enjoy Chicago.
  • Americans seem to take their Thanksgiving quite seriously.  Damn near everything was closed.  In what would be ironic to someone with the racial awareness of Christopher Columbus, the only thing that was consistently open were Indian restaurants.  Thinking it might be awhile, I had some chicken tikka masala and nan bread for dinner.  Atraditional, yes, but tasty.

Well, that’s it for Chicago.  First thing in the a.m., we’re off to Miami and hopping onboard.   But before I go, I thought I’d introduce you to the cast.  Should come in handy for future posts.

Study it well:

Special Thanks to Diana and Simon

Monday, November 24th, 2008

For setting up the blog in the first place!  (So if you don’t like it, blame them.)

Things I’ve learned recently

Monday, November 24th, 2008
  • For someone who moves apartments and cities as often as I do, I’m an awful packer.
  • In the scene I was given for my Second City callback, I played the Stephen Colbert part. And in at least one scene for the boat, I’m playing the Steve Carell part. I can only conclude that when I die and go to heaven, they’ll be my gay dads. To supplement my real parents, of course. It’s heaven.
  • My fellow cast mates are as sweet as punch spiked with funny juice. Based on the first twenty-four hours. (And one is already on the boat yet, so I haven’t met him. But I hear good things.) An interesting thing: on our show poster, the Canadians are smiling, teeth a-blazing, the Americans not. A trend?
  • Ketchup chips: chicks dig ’em.
  • The first show I’ve reserved a ticket for: Messing with a Friend. It’s at Annoyance, the Chicago mecca that I haven’t yet been to, and it’s Susan Messing playing with Mick Napier and The Barinholtz Boys. I’ll be seeing other shows (including the Second City, of course), but that was the first where I said “Gotta have it!” And for $5, too!
  • I’ve got a hankering for a deep-dish pizza. And we’re staying ridiculously close to Wrigley Field. Chicago!
  • Toronto will be missed. By me, that is. I’m not prophesying any big disaster. But all Torontonians should be emailing me constantly, so that if disaster does strike, I’ll figure it out from the sudden lack of emails. (What the hey, better assure me of Vancouver’s survival too!)

And lastly, but far from leastly, and in fact, so far from leastly that I’m giving it its own separate bullet:

  • It was brought to my attention by fellow cast mate Nathan Clark (not the Vancouver one…a Texas/L.A. one) that there’s a special event happening on our boat in February. It’s called Ships and Dip. It’s a bunch of Canadian icons coming to perform on the Jewel, including The Barenaked Ladies…Sloan…and…wait for it…Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley! In my dreams, they improvise with us. And then become my second pair of post-death heaven-based gay dads. Check it out:

Hello world!

Friday, November 21st, 2008

I realize the “Hello world!” post is intended to be deleted, but I’m appropriating it. I shall overcome!

This is my first foray into the world of blog. It’s a little odd for me, because I’m not one to normally divulge information about myself unprompted. Which may be why, for some of you, this will be the first you’ve heard of me working on the Norwegian Jewel, a cruise ship traveling through the Carribean, performing sketch and improv for the Second City. So if you hadn’t heard that yet, well, you should have asked me at some point if I was doing that. I would have said “Yes.”  (And as I write this, I am in Chicago for a few days of rehearsal.  In case you weren’t going to ask.)

It’s also odd because this will undoubtedly be a chronicle of disappointment. I don’t say that out of pessimism. It’s just that in my head, I will be returning to Toronto in April a wall of solid gym-sculpted muscle, a guitar virtuoso of such skill you’ll swear I took an excursion to “the crossroads”, a basketball player of such prowess that those who witnessed me attempting to play football (or “the football”, as I tend to call it) will hold the belief that I’m actually athletic in proper contexts, a guy who has read The Source (okay, not that impressive, but it’s long), and the author of a new play, a reworked pilot, a reworked show bible, a new original TV script, a new spec script, and, if I have time, the great Canadian novel and screenplay (and maybe a few more show bibles). Oh, and having fun. Watch me fail, everybody!

And it’ll be odd, because in my attempts to be interesting, I will say odd things. I had a whole rant about the unpleasant innuendo which can be found in the phrase “We (or I) shall overcome.” I took it out, but it’s early yet. As cabin fever sets in, and I become more desperate for your attention and comments, I will no doubt become more provocative. Just like Stalin.

Good night world! (with special attention to the princes of Maine, the kings of New England.)