Friday, June 25, 2010

Question and an Update

So, the dust has settled on the 365 event at Strawdog. Seems to have been a very positive experience for all involved. Some book events that will feature performances from 365 are now in the works for August. August 13th at 7pm has been confirmed at Second City's de MAAT studio. The evening will be hosted by Micheal Gellman and will feature Micheal interviewing me, us discussing 6 to 8 scenes after they're performed, Q & A and mingling and signing of books. The venue needs to charge admission to cover costs, so there will be a ticket price of five bucks. I'm going to work on getting five bucks off for anyone purchasing the book at the event.

While scheduling these events, a recurring question has been about doing a workshop in conjunction with an event. I'd love to do that, but I'm not sure what it would look like. Not sure how I can teach someone to write a sketch a day in a workshop. Also not sure if that's the most valuable thing to try to get across. Any suggestions? I would love to hear them. What kind of writing workshop would you benefit from most?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Reaction

My reaction to the MetaFilter debate on writing every day is up at Bite and Smile.

Go ahead. Read it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Write Every Day?

Well, if you're a writer, why not?

365 Sketches seems to have inspired debate amongst writers about the value of writing every day.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Well, Wow, Um, What Just Happened?

Not much to say at the moment, but there will be more to come. Nothing but big bouquets of thanks to all the directors and actors who made 365 a huge success. Here are some very surreal pics last night. These are just from my camera. Don took more from the shows themselves and we'll get those up soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Knocked 'Em Out Of The Park Last Night

Jen Malinsky and Jeff Hedges in "Kick the Can"

Going into our last trio of Saturday shows, I was nervous. We've been on a really strong streak of shows and we're deep into the number of scenes. One of these shows just had to be a shitfest. The odds were in the favor of me donning a fake mustache and sneaking out. Happy to report, the comedy gods continue to smile of 365. Bina Martin, Rachel Staelens and Danni Parpan and their casts put together an evening of fun, fun, shows. Michael Gellman, an improv instructor stalwart at Second City and whom I consider to be my teaching mentor was there and he had a great time.

Tonight is it! Your last two chances to see 365.

Toni Machi pines as Matt Scott and Steve Hund frolic.

Matt Malinsky teaches Vanessa Menton to fish.

Sasha Smith and Pat Whalen. Yep. I went there, too.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

294 down. 71 to go.

Chris Chemlik, Mackenzie Yeager, Isaac Holter and Zoe Shwartz in "Boxing Day" from "St. Drunken's Day."

Don's computer is acting all fussy, so he was unable to post pictures from Thursday's shows. Friday's shows were kuh-ray-zee. I have avoided warning the audience about what they are about to see, except for last night. I looked over the roster of scenes and this was definitely a period of weird shit. By this time into the project, it was very clear we were going to be presenting them for an audience and we may have had around twenty directors on board. I was more aware of the possibility of repeating myself, if only in where the scene took place. Tried my damnedest to avoid office scenes. There was still one per show. But, there are a lot of scenes where I knew for certain as I was writing them that I hadn't done THAT before. I let the audience know they were in for a strange and often very dark ride. All three shows rocked. Amanda Rountree, Mary Williamson and Tony Soto and their casts all brought their A game.

Scott Whitehair, Kelsie Huff and Mike Carothers in "The Last Unicorn" from "What If They Held A Peace Rally And Nobody Came?"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One Hundred Forty-One Sketches Left

Last night, John Hildreth and Chris Othic, with casts in tow, knocked out weeks 29 through 32 leaving us with 20 more weeks to go.

One of my favorite scenes out of all of the 365 Sketches was onstage last night.  It involved an actual conversation Joe and I had (I was being the wounded girl in the scene and wondered why I introduced him as my "best friend" and he introduced me as his "friend.") and it underscored for me what many people involved in this project can attest to - truth in comedy.  I'm certainly not the only person who recognizes moments of "ME" in Joe's world and it's a strangely gratifying thing - like being Arthur Miller's girlfriend or something.

Further, as we continue on, the constant standing room only crowds of actors and directors coming out to see other sets has given the whole thing a sense of - dare I say it - "community" which makes the whole thing just a bit more worthwhile.

Come on out and check out a few of the last 141 days of Joe's year.  You won't be sorry.

RobK on 365

Check it:

"I love what Joe's done. It shows the kind of individual get-up-and-go that was so sadly lacking in the improv comedy universe back when I was an active participant. It always seemed to me that people would do everything they could to get the attention at iO and Second City, all with the goal of being spotted by Lorne Michaels some evening and win the right to get paid a decent salary to do really bad children's television on Saturday nights.

But Joe did something to do something, did a hell of a job and all the sketches are being produced even as we speak. I would give Joe kudos, but the word isstill banned on this site."

Some 365 Insight

From Nat Topping, one of our 177 actors and a colleague of mine in Robot vs. Dinosaur.

"Since each show is directed and performed by a wide variety of people from different parts of the sketch comedy landscape, the show is essentially a meeting of comedy minds from across the city. The show is the perfect combination of Joe's writing prowess and this city's interpretive creativity."
Thanks, Nat. He has more interesting things to say about 365, too.

Click here to read more.

Sketch Zero

My friends at Robot vs. Dinosaur are doing their part of 365 tonight. Back in January, at the end of the 365 writing process, they presented me with this...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sold Out on a Tuesday??

We're Officially Halfway Through Joe's Year

And This Train Keeps Rolling!

The 365 Sketch Crazy Tribal Constant Gathering in Celebration of the Mind of Joe Janes continues with an energy that even I, the Self Appointed Energy King, am left astonished.

As the buzz behind the quality of the work grows, the houses continue to become SRO - if you don't have tickets for this weekend, you need to get them very soon or risk being turned away.  We have had oversold houses for Sunday night and Monday night - both tonight and Wednesday are near sold out and I have a feeling that the weekend is going to be ridiculous.

Each director and their casts have been really bringing their A games and the level of talent and creativity is fucking awesome.



Monday, June 7, 2010

a little love from chicago elevated

Margaret Hicks is a tour guide, improviser and an utter delight to behold. She's a friend of many folks who are working on 365. She attended a show on Saturday night and gave 365 a shout out on her blog. Rooty toot!

Thanks, Hixx!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shows 6, 7 and 8

(Mike Dobbyn, Chris Savell and Bryce Fishman provide thought bubbles for Kate Compton portraying yours truly. Apparently, Wrote a lot about food. And sex. And death. But mostly food.)

Last night was my first night back and it was great to be in the room, live and in-person. Great houses, great shows. Three very different shows under the direction of Dunbar Dicks, Rebecca Langguth and Derek Van Tassel. Dunbar's was very stylized with lots of dancing transitions and each actor trading off - via black ball cap and glasses - playing me writing the various sketches being presented. I was skeptical of this, as I didn't want it to come across as a tribute to me or be full of in-jokes people wouldn't get. Fortunately, neither happened and it made for a really cool, cohesive show. Rebecca's cast had some very rockin' transitions that took the risk of not using transitional lights which sometimes confused the audience as to when a scene began or ended. But the meat in-between the transitions kicked with this really tight and creative cast. Derek's show, comprised of Columbia college students and recent grads, was pretty traditional and straightforward, but you can tell they worked hard on the scenes discovering some really interesting moments between the characters that I never would have guessed was there. All three worked well and, as the writer, I couldn't be happier.

(Brett McGovern is a zombie superhero in the imagination of comic book store employee Trey Hanks who, rather condescendingly, explains his concept to Brianna Hansen in Searching for Joss Whedon.)

(Sadly, even I am not immune of writing more male roles than female roles. Derek handled this masterfully by casting Molly McCormick, Lori Lewis and Mal Merpi as men in a locker room talking about their penises in Weenus.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Three through Five of Twenty-Six

Last night, we cranked out weeks 5 - 10 in three genuinely hysterical sets.

In the case of the midnight show, it's pretty damn cool to know that Joe Janes is simply a fucking funny guy - his humor cracks up the college crowd just like it cracks up old farts like me.

Tomorrow night we knock out weeks 11-16.  Seriously - don't miss out.  AND Mr. Janes will be in the house.