Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Brady Bunch

We had a wonderful surprise a few Saturday nights back. Wayne Brady came to play at SAK!! He called me about 6:00pm and said he was in town and would like to play in with us. I immediately said "Of course!" and asked when he'd like to do that. "I was thinking about tonight," was his response.

Thus began the whirlwind. I was not scheduled to play that night, but of course I wanted to be there. We already had 180 reservations for the night by that time so I didn't think it would be a good idea to try to blast the word out to our e-mail list. I did, however, send to our internal SAK groups to let them all know.

As you might imagine, though, word still spread quickly. We ended up with an extremely packed house, people sqeezing into any corner or crevice that could keep their butt comfortable for 30 minutes or more. It was a great show and a lot of fun.

For me, it was a little weird - in a good way, but still a little weird. I have performed with Wayne quite a few times over the past couple of years and was just with him in Vegas about 5 weeks ago. But these have always been Wayne on the road personal appearance shows - very high profile. It's been an extremely long time since I've been on the SAK stage with Wayne. It was interestingly, strangely and joyfully familiar. The big difference was that there were many new faces on the stage from the days when Wayne was with us regularly. But it still all felt so comfortable. That's one of the beautiful things about improvisation. When you have the skills it's quite easy and quite fun to blend in just about anywhere. That has always been especially true on the SAK stage. I think the other performers were very excited to be on the stage with Wayne. It was a great show - the audience loved it.

Oh, and we regularly do something at SAK called the "Slice of Life," a scene in our show dedicated to a specific audience member who's celebrating a birthday, a marriage, etc. In that night's performance Wayne played the girl who was soon to be married. Can you imagine? You set up this thing at SAK, they play a scene and at the end of the show you get to take home a video of the performance - and it's WAYNE BRADY! Playing YOU!!! Definitely an extra value added to that deal.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Start Spreadin' the Germs...

I was in lovely New York City Monday before last auditioning actors for the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club show I'm directing at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Seems like everybody loves New York. I like New York - and there are some things that could be considered lovely. But New York is dank, musty, smelly and dirty! Don't get me wrong, I love New York - just, not really. I was there on the kind of deal I love to be in New York on. Fly in to JFK, taxi to the Royalton Hotel on 44th, just north of Times Square, across from the infamous Algonquin Hotel where the infamous gathering used to take place - the Algonquin Round Table. All on Disney's dime. (I'd never be able to afford the kind of accomodations I did if I was on my own). Down the street was Times Square, with all the lights, flashing marquees in all their splendor. When you look up New York is FABULOUS. But when you watch where you're going, New York is dirty and stanky. Who could believe a place with all this money, all this noteriety, all this class - would look and smell like such a dump.

I've decided New York should be neutralized from 30 inches to the ground. Thirty inches and above - New York's beautiful. 30 inches and below - New York could be torched and washed into the yucky gutters.

Of course I don't live there and I have no idea what kinds of challenges they are up against, so I probably have no business talking about it, but with all the technology and industrious thinking we have in this country, it seems someone could come up with a way (and a profitable one too) to alleviate the process of littering the streets with bags and bags of garbage!!!

Okay enough soap box. New York might be a great city to live and work in if you had a lot of money.

On at least a slightly more positive note, however, my entire travel tour was quite pleasant and without delays. I flew to Los Angeles the Wednesday previous, then L.A. to New York (JFK) on Sunday, then out of LaGuardia on Tuesday. No huge delays in New York city cabs, gentle driving up the 405 and across the 101 to Glendale, only a few minute wait at Security in all the above listed airports, no wait to check in at Skycap. I had planned even extra time (always a challenge for me) because of the recent security level hike after the foiled liquid bomb plot in Britain. Cracking down and limiting the items allowed for carry-on have really streamlined the system. I say Kudos to that!! I will gladly check more bags for that ease of travel.