I’ll be teaching a week long intensive class at UCB Theatre in August. It’s going to be in the afternoons 1-5pm, August 6-10th. It will cover a variety of topics like improvising from the gut, la rondes, character wheels, weird Harolds and more. It’s going to be posted today on the UCB website and should be open for registration in about 20 minutes.
The Chris Gethard Show is a talk show featuring some of my friends in New York. It runs once a month, Saturday at midnight at the UCB Theatre. I don’t know much about it, but it penetrated my brain this week when I noticed a link that Chris posted on facebook.
I next heard a little bit about it on the January 4th UCBTNY Podcast featuring John Frusciante and Will Hines. Anyway, I thought I would just post something to plug the show and share the video. It’s quite fun. Enjoy.
When I was in college, I spent a year abroad in London. It was an amazing experience. It was there that I first fell in love with the theatre. In part, it was because I had access to some of the finest productions in the world. There were always great shows to go see somewhere in London. And the student discounts made it relatively cheap to see them too. My love affair was also stoked by some of the classes I had, one class specialized in Shakespeare and to this day I still remember some of the lectures, at least in broad strokes. But the main reason I fell in love was it was the first chance I got to do some theatre.
In that year, I acted in several plays, I directed one (a Pinter play no less), built sets, did lighting design and produced a play that went to the Edinburgh Fringe. It was such a great experience that, after I graduated from college, I returned for another six months, hooked up with many of the same people I had worked with before and helped produce a few more shows. When I left London, I wasn’t ready to go. I was sad, but I didn’t know at the time how to go about becoming a permanent resident there. I returned home and headed to Chicago, determined to make it in the theatre there.
About five years later, I had the opportunity to return to London. I was once again producing a show for the Edinburgh Fringe. This time it was an improv show. I arranged to stay in London a few days after the festival. I anticipated it being a great experience, but it was somehow hollow. It was great seeing some of my friends again, but walking the streets where I had once lived put me in a distinctly melancholy mood. It was like visiting a memory. It was a place I used to live and when I returned to the places I used to hang out, they were devoid of the people that made it special to me.