Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What we really wanted to call this was "God Hates Fags"

So, "Farewell Monster Island" began their rehearsal process on Saturday morning over at Second City. If John's cast is filled with seasoned vets and Dunbar's is filled with hopeful newbees, my guys have been around long enough that they'll cut their grandmas in the parking lot for a paid gig. I'm looking at you Steve Konet, Emily Walker, Greg Callozzo, Jack Farrell, Jess Bettini, Andrew Kraft and Mal Merpi!

I'm proud to call these folks my cast.

I casted this show under the formula that everyone had a certain level of experience and all knew at least one person in the cast (that was not me). This created a sort of instant group dynamic and allowed us to hit the ground running. We're doing a modified improv to product process, which seems to be going well. I'm happy to say that we've got 4 sketches already blocked...including our favorite "God Hates Fags."

Oh relax...it's a thoughtful "What if..." regarding what would happen if God showed up at a Westboro Baptist protest.

And if my weeks are any proof of it, Joe is obsessed with mortality, relationships and scenes under five pages long. If you're epileptic, you're gonna love our show! Lights up/Lights down/Lights up/Lights down

Monday, April 19, 2010

365 Leaking Onto Facebook

It's been fun reading Facebook status updates that reference the 365 Project.

Here are a few I pulled that are related to director Scott's Olson's 365 show.

Jack: "She's my princess. She doesn't deserve to be finger b**ged in a beanbag chair under a black light and black velvet leopard poster. You're going to nail her in a good and proper fashion. We Clear??" Me: "Yes, sir. I will do my best."
was....this a real conversation?

Scott Olson If it's true that casting well is 75% of a director's job, then I have done my job well based on what I heard at the read-thru tonight. How can you go wrong with a series of sketches called "Shows You Would Never Go See Unless You Knew Someone In the Cast"?

Love that title.


365 does have a fan page on Facebook. You can find it HERE.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First Rehearsals

(from left to right: the back of John Hildreth's head, John Brewster, Rudy Voit, John Mobley, Gillian Bellinger, Janna Sobel and Mary Jo Bolduc)

I sat in on two first rehearsals yesterday. Basically, the agenda for both rehearsals was to read through the show based on the director's casting and order of scenes and then set a rehearsal schedule.

John Hildeth's was at 12:30 at Second City. John has assembled a cast of veterans; Gillian Bellinger (who I met at ComedySportz, is part of LOL Theater and who wrote the show Cougars), Mary Jo Bolduc (an old friend from WNEP, ComedySportz and Teatro Bastardo), Janna Sobel (who was in a SC writing show of mine last year), John Mobley (Also a writing show alum and a student at Columbia), Rudy Voit (another writing show alum) and John Brewster, the only cat I didn't know from before auditions. Gillian is also in Lillie Frances's 365 show, Mary Jo is also in Jen Ellison's 365 show, Mary Jo and Janna are also directing a 365 show each. The men are all slackers in this group.

The readthrough went very well. I haven't read many of the scenes since I posted them long ago. It was nice to hear them and ferret out the typos. And, of course, fun to hear the cast laugh and have a good time. Only one scene struck me as needing to be fleshed out more and I was able to turn that around a few hours later.

Don Hall and I were meeting for dinner and then heading over to Steppenwolf to catch Endgame, which I highly recommend. So, I stuck around Second City and worked on rewrites after John's rehearsal. While there, I ran into Dunbar Dicks who informed me that his cast was all together and that they were going to do a first readthrough IN FIVE MINUTES. Awesome. I gathered my things and headed to the classroom they were meeting in.

Dunbar took the opposite approach of John's. He cast all newbies. Everyone in his show is a current or former training center student and, for most of them, this is their first scripted show in Chicago. They seemed pretty jazzed about it. I didn't know a single person, which is unusual and kind of cool. They did great at the readthrough. Had I not known they were new, I would not have guessed it. They all had nice timing and even in the throes of a first time cold read, made good choices.

The best thing I walked away with out of both rehearsals is feeling assured that the scripts were in good hands. And, surprisingly, that not much rewriting needed to be done. Even scenes that I didn't feel strongly about when I posted them, seemed pretty good.

The interesting thing about hearing the scenes read in their two-week blocks was hearing recurring themes. In John's show, there seemed to be a lot of sexual content. In Dunbar's, there's a lot of cannibalism and things being killed, like the Easter Bunny. I guess I'm a horny vegetarian animal rights hypocrite.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Audition for Robot vs. Dinosaur

I would not have been able to accomplish 365 Sketches without the support of my main group of writers, Robot vs. Dinosaur. We're prepping our new show, which opens the Friday or 365. - Joe


Robot vs. Dinosaur is NOW CASTING for its new show, "12 Angry Sketches," a fun, high energy scripted sketch revue.


Saturday, April 17, 2010
at CORNELIA ARTS BUILDING (1800 West Cornelia), Studio B.

Slots available each hour from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. The audition will be cold readings from the script with some improv.


DONNY’S SKYBOX, Friday’s at 9 p.m. from June 4-June 25
(Important: You must able to make all performances to audition.)


Looking for a variety of MALES and FEMALES. This will be a large cast show. It will be a fun time and a great opportunity for all levels of experience.

To sign up for a time slot, please email your name, phone number and preferred time slot to gwendling@gmail.com. (Slots begin at 10 a.m./11 a.m./12 p.m/1 p.m./and 2 p.m.) I will reply to confirm your slot.

Please bring headshots and resumes (if you have them) to the audition, as well as your availability for rehearsals from now through June 4th.

For more info about RvD check out our blog: www.rvdchicago.blogspot.com

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hey, World...

We'll be doing all 365 sketches here in Chicago June 3 - 13. If you can't make it and you, your theater company, comedy group, book club, cult, militia, whatever, want to put up a "365" show, you're welcome to. The only stipulation is that it has to fall within June 3rd and June 13th. Contact me at joejanes1065@gmail.com and we can work out the details.

Peace, Love, Dope,